While having an hour to spare in Shizuoka prefecture’s Hamamatsu City yesterday I found this little bag of cotton candy in a great little wagashiya (Japanese old fashioned candy shop) in one of the few remaining central city shopping areas. I just had to buy it! I dare anyone to find cuter candy packaging! Although new to me, it has been around for a few years and it seems this little rabbit called “Dafune” (I think they meant to say the classic greek name Daphne, but that’s just my hunch) is modeled after the creator’s real life pet. There’s a whole range of animations, candy, cookies and books with this character out but this was the only one I could find. How did it taste? Well, like typical store bought cotton cady, with a slight hint of strawberry – delicious! Dafune the rabbit has a sort of home page here. There’s also a very peculiar video featuring Dafune’s parents, birth, shipment to Japan and… well, it ends there and I have no idea what it is supposed to say. Still, this is easily the cutest thing I have seen in a long time!
I don’t post much stuff recently, maybe because I have been to busy even to window shop recently but here’s a great, simple, can’t-believe-it-hasn’t-been-done-before kind of item, a Mount Fuji beer glass! I found this at the table ware exhibition in Tokyo Dome a couple of weeks ago, and the design is by Keita Suzuki, of course they are all handmade and comes in the typically gorgeous white soft wood boxes that are so famous in Japan. The box alone is worth the price! I think these will become collectors items in the future!
One of my favorites from this year’s Design Festa was Mr Masato Homma and his very low-key no thrills exhibition of customized tin dolls, known as Buriki-ningyo here in Japan. Even as a kid I remember sometimes seeing photos of old tin toys that would move around if a spring in the back was wound up and came in all sizes and shapes. Cuesukeya, as he calls himself in the world of toy making, takes standard sized tin doll and customize them, for collectors and fans of old-style toys all over the world. Here’s four of his dolls in Japanese style but he’s got many others on his Flickr page, including Hulk Hogan! I love the details and the clean simplicity of these toys, they are almost works of art and would fit in well in any modern art gallery around the world I think. He’s got a Facebook page as well. If you ever visit Kyoto I also recommend the tin doll museum.