Hey really quick update on the anniversary plushies: turns out the fishing Rilakkuma/Kiiroitori is just to commemorate the 5th birthday of the Rilakkuma Stores in general, which is why it falls on Umeda’s anniversary (the oldest store) but can be purchased at all 8 Rilakkuma Stores across Japan on September 14.
Meanwhile, Umeda gets its own store-specific 5th anniversary plush too!
So basically there will be two “birthday” plushies at the Umeda Rilakkuma Store on September 14: the Rilakkuma riding the fish AND the 5th anniversary set with all 3 of the Rilakkuma crew: Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori. You can also get special Rilakkuma event medals at Umeda and Tokyo Station!
So continuing the new anniversary theme of Japanese culture/traditions (see previous update post), Umeda’s special set is chestnut themed!
Chestnuts are known as a symbol of autumn in Japan, and are used in seasonal dishes such as Kurigohan (栗ご飯, Chestnut Rice).
You can even find chestnuts in Japanese folktales, proverbs, and nursery rhymes such as “The Crab and the Monkey” (さるかに合戦, saru kani gassen) – a short story where a crab is killed by a monkey, and the crabs kids and friends (one is a chestnut) seek justice.
Probably more on chestnuts than you cared to know about, but it’s nice to know the cultural context of these plushies. My family had a package of roast chestnuts while we were in Japan, they sell them right on the street – pretty convenient!
I’m still not sure super what Kiiroitori’s costume is supposed to be, so if anyone could enlighten me, that would be great haha he kinda just looks like a lion to me. (UPDATE: WOW, apparently Kii is a raw chestnut!! Thanks so much, Ariel!)
So pretty cool: so far this year, Sapporo’s theme is the harvest moon, the 5th Anniversary for all stores is the red sea bream, and Umeda’s is chestnuts!
Anyway, that’s it for me today – more photos of plushies to come as I finish studying about cholesterol and HDL, LDL, and VDL haha.
I’m a big fan of lion Kiiroitori! Maybe there is a legend about dressing up in lion’s skin also, but mostly I’m sure its just because he is a FEROCIOUS kind of bird.
I hope you still think he’s as ferocious as a raw chestnut!
Thank you so much for the latest updates!! Really informative and I learnt so much!! Will you be trying to get the chestnut series too?? It is already challenging for me to get the bunnies!!😜
Hmm, I don’t know if I’ll be getting the chestnut series, but it sure is fun learning about them! I might get the red sea bream for the overall 5th year anniversary of Rilakkuma Stores though!
Ha ha this series! Kii is a chestnut before he’s picked and cleaned. Hmm makes me want to try XD Japan has so many cool things about it but still wishing they’d bring back the sweets!!
Oh that’s what Kii is! Hahaha I was so confused because I’ve never actually seen unpicked/uncleaned chestnuts before haha – super cool, thanks for the chestnut lesson hahaha.
I kinda wish they’d bring back the sweets too – I love learning about how these new ones are inspired by Japanese tradition, but I haven’t really been compelled to purchase any yet like I did for all the food bears from over the last year.
yea! he is the chestnut shell thing! :D I used to go chestnut picking at parks and that’s what they look like! mmmMMmmmm I love roasted chestnuts!!! :3
But yea, was just saying on Ariel’s blog, I’d probably give this a miss (despite how cute Kiiro is!)… but I’m most definitely getting the deer series! :3
Wow haha I’m learning so much about chestnuts!! I don’t eat them that often, and they don’t grow around here so I had never thought about how they looked like on the tree haha.
Omg hahaha I was already going to the Umeda store for the fish one, but now I think I’m gonna need to get that Kiirotori chestnut one too because it’s too hilarious. I guess it looks like Korilakkuma is a chestnut picker and Rilakkuma is roasting them? Anyway looks like I’ll definitely be spending at least 5000 yen in two weeks hahaha so I’ll get the medal….if i’m not too careful and spend 7000 yen I’ll get both the coaster and the medal HAHA
Yeah they have so many great things at the Umeda store for this anniversary event – I’m so jealous that you get to go! Kiiroitori is so funny in this series – such a creative design haha, though I definitely mistook him for a koosh ball when I first saw him.
Be sure to post photos when you go to the event! I would love to see what you end up getting!
Thanks for the chestnut history, nice to know ^_^ I love eating chestnut, it’s very delicious so I am pretty excited about this set of plushes~
Yeah, it’s super cute! I don’t eat chestnuts that often, but it’s so cool to learn about them!