Thursday, December 13, 2012

Will Miss #6 - maneki neko (reflection)

When I first returned to the U.S., I was on a small island in Washington State and the only Japanese culture I saw there was overpriced botan ame and Pocky (chocolate only, of course). At that point in time, I figured I'd have to give up my Japanese snack blog for lack of food to review or spend a fortune getting things from importers or specialty shops. The view from there in terms of all things Japanese was very bleak.

After moving to northern California, many things changed. Not only are there dozens of Japanese restaurants sporting maneko neko (welcome cats), but they are sold in many shops, not the least of which is the Daiso Japan. I thought that my days of being able to see their paws beckoning me to enter were over, but they are just somewhat fewer and far between.

That being said, most of the maneki neko my husband and I see here are not as large, attractively designed, or creative as the ones we saw in Tokyo. Many of them are sad looking or just plain tacky. Still, I can't honestly say I "miss" them, since I see them pretty often even here in the U.S. I'm guessing I couldn't say that if I lived in another region, but they are hardly rare where I am living now. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm fairly sure we live in the same general area, although I won't say where. Also just moved back to the states, albeit after only three years in Japan. Before my significant other and I left, we stocked up on as many things as we could, including a number of heavy but not particularly distinctive items we thought we'd never be able to get easily (nabe, for one, Shirakawa incense for another) once we were stateside. Then we moved from Japan to NY, then NY to NoCal, where we are literally 6 blocks from a rather busy Japantown(not even remotely intentional, but certainly not complaining). It is all there, and not even particularly unique stuff. Whenever I go there, I can't decide if I am nostalgic or annoyed or disappointed or thrilled. I went Christmas shopping there earlier today, and the number of items I found in the central shopping area that also happened to reside in my apartment was rather disheartening.

    Naturally, this includes one manekineko.

    Not much point to this other than to say, yeah, as usual, I agree. Thanks for blogging past the 1k


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