Monday, August 22, 2011

The List of 27


It's been a long time since I've done the kitty-search on the web. It's been a rude awakening.

I was doing "research" for my next kitty post and was appalled to see the changes at Asunarosha. All of the old versions of regional items as well as their artwork have been removed and what remains is a tiny collection and some lukewarm artwork. While the older kitty mascots still rattle around the train stations and souvenir haunts, I miss seeing those little square thumbnails of artwork and their vague, haiku-ish names. I miss the fast, encyclopedic reference the other parts of the site provided as well. I know. Everything changes, progress, expansion, etc. I get that. There was only so long the regional kitty craze would last, but for me, those Japanese cultured critters epitomized "The Way of Cute". Kawaii-do. They did it far better than a pair of pink fuzzy slippers or a cat-shaped toaster.


The old Shingen Takeda artwork; the new Shingen at Asunarosha. Call me old fashioned but I liked the old artwork. Way cuter...

As I wistfully dug through my packed up boxes of Regional Hello Kitty items (note the capitalization that suggests a level of seriousness to an otherwise girlie-cutsie endeavor), I came across a very precious item. It was a treasure list that I had created six years ago when I was living in another time and place... sometimes I think it was another reality as well. It was a pictorial list of the 27 Japanese Regional Hello Kitty Plushes that I had to have. I yearned for these kitties. I ached for them. I looked all over eBay and found myself lucky a few times, but for the most part, I was fighting tooth and nail to find these little treasures.

The list was inspired and literally built on the pictures from a gallery I found online back in the early days. It was called Nyankovivi.com and was primarily focused on the sale of those adorable San-X Nyan Nyanko cat plushes. The site also featured a gallery of her (or his for all I know) Japanese Regional Hello Kitty plushie collection which was not for sale. It was my source, my bible, my gestalt...

I giggled when I found this mashed-up list. A smug grin followed. Not just because I kept the list, but because I found those little you-know-whats. This list was my trophy; my testament for having stayed in the line of battle; for never giving up hope that I would find the Dazaifu Plum kitty; for being so freakin' serious about getting these stuffed animals mounted on my wall! Now, I am just grateful to have this memento because Nyankovivi.com is gone. Poof. So is that gallery that inspired so many bidding wars on eBay. I hope it returns in some form or another....


X marks each triumphant spot. The Daizafu Plum blossom kitty was the last and probably the hardest fought kitty of the collect. I'll admit that once she made it to me from Japan via Yahoo Japan auctions, the thrill was over.


The plushies were up in my new abode for a little while, but I eventually put them away. I also stopped collecting. Not really sure why. Am I growing older and more boring? Am I pretending to be an adult? Does it matter? All I know is that the cute army has retired to some nice boxes in my closet. Their days of fighting off boogie monsters and channeling displaced hostility are at an end. At rest, but not out of sentimental value. They still have that ability to pique my curiosity and dig a bit deeper into my family's cultural past. They call, mewl, moew and entice and puzzle me. In fact one is calling me now, asking about Arabian princesses and camels in Japan...(hint: that's the next post)


Safely stored in boxes, no more dust and fade to attack my army of cute. Just a pain to dig out when I want to do a post, but its worth the effort...

4 Comments:

Blogger Unknown said...

Hi there! Happened to stumble upon this post. I'm a kitty lover & collector. I started off buying from nyankovivi too. Reading your post brings back nostalgic memories of the good old times. Now even Asunaro (used to be called Genyo) has changed. I used to keep thinking I will save the little square pics so that I can reference them back, guess I'm too late now. If you are interested, you can check out my regional kitty plush ar my site. They are not much though, compared to my mini mascots hard figure form :)

11:30 AM  
Blogger Veronica Kitty ^^ said...

Hi, I was wondering if you'd sell any of your plushes? I'm a new HK collector and I love these region plushes! They can have a new home! I'd be glad to have them. ^^ If so, email me at veronica.alonzo44@yahoo.com
Thank you so much!! ^^

9:45 PM  
Blogger Cheeko-san said...

@unknown - I'd love to see your collection - can you post a link to it? @ Veronica - you know at some point I will be ready to let go of these precious Kitties, but I'm not there yet. I will let you via the blog when that time comes.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Veronica Kitty ^^ said...

Totally understand. Enjoy your plushies. ^^

10:04 PM  

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