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.