Fun in Japan

Monday, March 4, 2013
I am preparing to visit Japan once again in May and therefore I have been thinking about the country a great deal.

I've told a Vietnamese priest and my Filipino friends about the Taiga dramas and Oda Nobunaga and Takeda Shingen. I've pored through my well-worn travel guides and done my usual Google search: "Fun in Hiroshima/Osaka/Yamaguchi/Kanazawa, Kochi..."

Band Aids in Japan

This usually turns up someone's blog and I read a more personal view of an area rather than the official tourist guide version. That is why I love - I enjoy reading about the best of and least of Japan, and how the writer felt about the experience.

I have been looking at items I purchased in Japan simply because they attracted me. One of these things is a box of band-aids.

Band aids and cats

Yes, I enjoy browsing in the local stores and noticing what is similar and different to the USA. I have bought Anpanman Band aids on several occasions, and I have used them. (It is fortunate that I am old enough to ignore possible peer pressure.)

But I kind of knew who Anpanpan was, that little kids in Japan were fond of him and his companions. I had no idea who the clown with the drum was and why he decorated a myriad of products in the Osaka Itami airport, but I figured he must be somebody so I bought the band-aids. Also I thought it was just plain weird and I appreciated it for that.

Since that time I have learned that Kuidaore Taro, this mechanical drum-playing clown, was a fixture in front of the Cui-daore restaurant in Osaka since 1950. When the establishment closed, the clown relocated to a nearby area just east of his original home. I see. But I never looked up that information until today. It was enough for me that the people in Osaka wanted to put the clown's likeness on goods for sale. It was all about fun, fun in Japan!


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