Monday, May 22, 2006

Peaceful Kitties

As I prepared my various Spring Kitties, I thought about those sleepy Kitties - some of my favorite varieties of regional line. I realized how I keep many of them close to my desk so that whenever I am feeling the stress of life, I just look to my left, my right or if its really bad, over my shoulder and take in the vision of those peaceful sleeping (or meditating) kitties. It always makes me feel better or I should say it actually interupts my bad patterns of thought. I even have a few "portable" kitties that I'll keep on my purse or briefcase for that quick fix during the work day, just to make sure I don't let myself get too overwhelmed or take things too seriously.

Chiba prefecture
Kanto, Japan

Kitty makes her pilgrimage to the Naritasan-Shinshoji Temple, perhaps to take part in legendary rite. She will pray to Fudomyoo, the buddhist divinity of fire, as a priest burns special sticks. According to tradition or legend, this rite was performed during a revolt in 939. On the 14th day, the revolt ended and Fudomyoo was given the credit. Today, it is believed that performing this rite honors Fudomyoo and in turn, he helps pilgrims like Kitty fufill her wishes by extinguishing ignorance, attachment to material things, and pulls them closer to enlightenment. The rite of prayer along with burnt offerings is called the Sacred Fire Rite or Goma

Kagoshima prefecture
Kyushu, Japan

Kitty has never been the same since she's seen Princess Mononoke! Here she takes in the nurturing care of a Japanese Cedar or Sugi tree in the lush forest of Yakushima island. Sugis are the national tree of Japan, but in Yakushima they are very special. Due to the altitude, these Sugi trees can grow to be almost 3000 years old. These old cedars are known as Yakusugis.

(I just call her Winter Kotasu Kitty)
Limited Seasonal Version

Kitty curls up to her Kotatsu, a table with a heater, covered with futon. Winter is raging outside her home, but she's oblivious. There are some versions out there that I covet not only for the plush but for the artwork. Being a displaced northerner living in a southern state sometimes I miss that peaceful, cozy feeling of coming in from the cold and cuddling up to a warm fire or radiator. When I got this kitty (plush, pen/pencil set, zipper mascot AND stationary!) I scanned the tag and blew the artwork up so I could have the full image of the warm, sleeping Kitty and the snow falling outside at night - definitely a comforting image from my childhood.

Limited Promotional Version

This series is not terribly remarkable but this little plushie says it all -- "ahhh...." very cute and very peaceful. As an aside, I have to admit that the recent offerings up at Asunarosha have been a bit blah as of late. I'm waiting for something like "Ramen Devas, 2006"! C'mon guys, let's get crazy!


Blogger ichigogeisha said...

I love Kittychan in this form as well.

2:55 PM  
Blogger chamekke said...

Just discovered your blog, and I am entranced! You've captured what it is I love about HK - she's a doorway to so many fascinating aspects of Japanese culture.

One question, please. May I ask where you found that fantastic Kukai plush Hello Kitty at the top of the photograph (beginning of article)? I would looove to buy one of those... {sigh}

1:27 AM  
Blogger cheeko-san said...

Keep an eye on eBay - that is where I have found them all. Some of the storefronts that I have bookmarked -

If you are patient, the plushes you're looking for will turn up sooner or later. Good luck with your collecting!

10:35 PM  
Blogger chamekke said...

Thank you for your kind advice - it is much appreciated.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Amami said...

A good way is always to find Japanese friends online who would help you with purchasing Kitty plushes.
I collect mainly M size regional plushes (regretfully due to space limit I had to limit myself only to these) and many of my plushes were sent to me by my friends and in return rather than money they always prefered something from my country (like Moomin stuff:).
People are very friendly and helpful. A male friend of mine discovered a blog of a hotel at the Shirakaba lake which talked about the Hello Kitty Shirakaba Hypopotamus plush, which I was looking for for ages. He called them (the blog entry was a year and a half old) and they spend a day looking for the Kitty in their storage space and found one for me. So nice of them.
Good luck with collecting.

5:21 PM  

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