Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back-to-School Interruptus

Once again its Fall and I was caught in the spell of going back to work. Needless to say, I completely forgot Tsukimi this year and a number of happy fall rites. Fortunately there's still time for Thanksgiving!

Before I continue with more martial-art inspired kitties, I should at least announce the autumnal equinox with some kitties that I've wanted to post for awhile. In and of themselves, they look pretty ordinary. What catches my collector-mania is the artwork. As a result, I have a large collection of these kitties, so this may be the most image heavy post in a while.

Yuyake Kitty is a reoccurring part of Asunaro-sha's "promotional" series that screams back-to-school, or at least that's the feeling I get from these sun-tanned mascots and uniformed plushies. When I look at the artwork, it reminds me of the so-called magic hour of the day when dusk is approaching. It means that summer is ending and school begins. I feel the weight of my old nylon back pack, my blue, three-ring binder starting to rip the zipper stitches out because it never really fits in anything, and finally, noticing that the days are growing shorter and a little colder.

In this close up of a phone mascot, Kitty sports the classic Japanese school bag - a more expensive, but ergonomic and book friendly carrier.

Back from school (maybe a Friday) and ready to play. Looking forward to that weekend!

Ah...the weekends and that fresh, open feeling of a carefree morning.

Its Saturday, so let's do a little hula hoop then head over to the street vendors and eat some shaved ice.

These kitties also remind me of the joy of weekends. As a somewhat grown-up adult, weekends are all about catching up on all the things I couldn't do during the week. But when I was a youngling, weekends were a non-stop carnival. While I never learned how to use the hula hoop, I did do my share of pogo sticks, bongo boards and jump-rope.

The untanned plushies hide behind some garden harvests (eh, a little wimpy, but still trying)

I'm old enough to belong to a generation that had a neighborhood candy store that had a soda fountain. I bought all sorts of treats and candies like wax lips, Zots (precursor to pop rocks) screaming tiger tails (a type of long balloon that shrieked when you let the air out), Pixie sticks, Razzles and Fun Dip. If I was lucky and had a quarter, I might splurge and buy a can of soda or a blue Slush Puppy. My teeth hurt just thinking about all that sugar....

After a long week at school when Kitty finally comes home knowing that free days are coming her way, she likes to kick back with a cold Ramune and some of these egg biscuits/cookies

After a festive dinner, Kitty moves on to some hard partying with her can-walkers. You know I don't know what the name is for these things? I had a pair myself, but I just called them my-cans! Even after a big dinner, Kitty's can work out spikes her sweet tooth for a donut-like treat called karintou. The cakes are dipped in dark brown sugar.

Sugar-rush: In addition to some shaved ice, this phone mascot also features a small bag of suzu kasutera or bell-shaped cakes. I noticed this cute little cakes turn up on an episode of Star Trek Voyager - some kind of alien food that Neelix offered the Doctor. They're certainly cute, delicious and not at all alien.

On the healthier side of things, Kitty likes to round off her sweets with some roasted mame or beans. Broad beans, soy beans and peas are dry-roasted and offer a salty finishing note to her sugary day.

What makes Kitty such a pro with the hula hoop? Hot wasabi peas, dried like the roasted beans and coated with a crunchy wasabi coating.

I suppose after Saturday's overindulgence in sweets and spicy treats, Kitty brings it down a few notches. A peaceful Sunday is spent hosting a genteel tea party and the offering of tummy-settling hardtack biscuits.

Although the following youtube video is not kitty-related, its definitely one of those wonderful back-to-school ads that I love to see again and again!