Are you looking for the cutest plushies to add to your toy collection? Or are you wondering what exactly Kawaii Japanese Plushies are? What’s the hype surrounding these toys? Well, regardless of what you came here looking for, we’ll help you find all the answers to everything, Kawaii!
What On Earth Is A Kawaii Japanese Plushie?
To understand what Kawaii Japanese Plushies are, you first need to learn the meaning behind the word “Kawaii.” It is a Japanese word meaning “cute.” Hence, stuffed plushies from Japan that are extremely cute are known as Kawaii Japanese Plushies.
In popular context, Kawaii is more than just an adjective. It has become a cultural phenomenon in Japan, which is slowly but surely extending its influence throughout the Western world.
Simply put, the Japanese Kawaii culture is a culture of cuteness. And this culture has different genres like fashion, music, and of course, stuffed toys. If you’ve ever been to Japan or have watched anime movies, you might have heard people using this word to express their feeling about something cute and adorable.
Are Plushies From Japan?
It is widely believed that plushies are from Japan. However, this isn’t true.
When we look at the history of modern plush toys, it all began with the creation of the first elephant stuffed toy from the Steiff company in Germany. Later on, the popularity of stuffed toys soared to new heights with the introduction of Teddy Bears by Richard Steiff and Morris Michtom.
Japan does play a huge role in propelling plushies into the global limelight. The nation is particularly credited with popularizing Cute Plush Toys in the 1990s. During this period, Japanese artists started creating super-cute (Kawaii) plushies, which led to the resurgence of stuffed toys in the early 2000s.
Popularity Of Plushies In Japan
Japan has a substantial stuffed toy industry. In fiscal year 2021, the shipment value of stuffed and soft toys in Japan amounted to 12.7 billion Japanese Yen. This figure only keeps increasing each year, emphasizing the popularity of Japan-made plushies not only in the nation but worldwide.
Besides, plushies in Japan transcend all cultural boundaries and age groups. These cuddly toys are not only cherished as playthings but have rooted themselves in the very fabric of Japanese society. This is evident in the various festivals and events celebrating these huggable toys. For example- AnimeJapan, Niconico Chokaigi, C3 Anime Festival, and Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair, to name a few.
During these events, you’ll see hundreds and thousands of enthusiasts and artists showcasing their love for Japanese pop culture, including stuffed plushies.
Beyond these, there’s even a dedicated Doll Festival in Japan known as “.” It is a religious festival celebrated on March 3rd of each year. In Japanese culture, it is believed that a soul dwells in all soft dolls and other toys.
During this festival, thousands of dolls and soft toys are collected from families after they are no longer needed. Then, these dolls are displayed for a while to show gratitude for their years of companionship and loyalty.
5 Popular Types Of Kawaii Japanese Plushies
If you’re an avid toy collector or simply looking for a new plush buddy, consider buying one or two or more of these Kawaii Japanese Plushies:
Anime and Manga-Inspired
These are one of the most popular Japanese Plushies on the market. Such plushies draw inspiration from some of the most popular characters featured in Japanese manga and anime movies.
Japanese toy manufacturers draw inspiration from almost anything, including everyday food items. These food-inspired plushies embrace a unique and cute fusion of the culinary world with Kawaii culture.
These plushies come in various designs, colors, and sizes. Some of the most popular food plushies are avocados, pizzas, French fries, ice cream, and marshmallows.
Mythical and Fantasy Creatures
Totoro is featured in the popular fantasy series, My Neighbor Totoro. It is a gender-neutral fantasy creature and is believed to be a mixture of three animals – an owl, a cat, and a tanuki (raccoon).
No exploration of Kawaii Japanese plushies is complete without mentioning the epitome of Japanese cuteness: Hello Kitty. Introduced in Japan by the Sanrio toy company, Hello Kitty has become the world’s most beloved cat.
Nowadays, many manufacturers from other countries craft and sell their own Hello Kitty plushies. But when you buy these soft toys from Japan or Japanese brands, you get a true sense of authenticity and quality that’s second to none.
When comfort meets cuteness, are born. These types of plushies come in multiple variants- from tiny travel pillows to giant ones. Their main characteristics include ultra-softness, cloud-like fluffiness, and unmatched coziness.
Where Can You Buy Kawaii Japanese Plushies?
If you live in Japan or happen to travel there, make it a point to visit a local toy store. These establishments are a paradise for true toy lovers and serious collectors.
From the cutest Hello Kitty plushies to electrifying Pikachu toys, these stores usually offer a wide selection of Kawaii Japanese Plushies in various characters, colors, sizes, and themes to cater to a wide range of customer preferences.
The next best place for buying Kawaii Japanese Plushies are online shopping sites and independent Japanese retailers. You can also check various company websites that specialize in offering Kawaii Japanese Plushies, like the online store.
However, if you take the online shopping route, just remember to check customer reviews before hitting the purchase button.