⟨ Misc ⟩

Blessing from a Mascot

OKURA x Daimonya

Words / Elva Pang
Photography / Kimio Ng
Translation / Iris Heung

日本人也許是最迷信吉祥物的民族,不但每個縣都有代表的吉祥物,連大大小小的企業都有專屬的吉祥物;每年的日本吉祥物大賽就是一覽各式各樣「吉祥物選手」的好機會。

說到日本歷史最悠久的吉祥物必定是日本隨處可見的達磨,橢圓形不倒翁的設計有永不跌倒的寓意,又有祈福的作用(許願時畫左眼,願望實現後才畫上右眼);而有八成以上的達磨玩偶都是在群馬縣生產的,當中又以大門屋最為著名,很多人都會慕名而來參加達磨玩偶繪畫班。

It is probably not exaggerated to say Japan is the country that is the keenest on mascots. Be it big corporations or small businesses, all types of organizations love to create their own cute character. The annual Japanese Mascot Grand Prix is a perfect occasion to have a good overview of all the mascots joining the competition.

Speaking of the mascot that has the longest history in the Japanese culture, many would agree it should be the Daruma doll. The roly-poly shaped Daruma doll is a symbol of never falling from good fortune. It is believed that Daruma can help to realize one’s wish. When praying to it, people would paint its left eyes, before painting the right one too when the wish comes true. Over 80% of the Daruma dolls are produced in the Gunma Prefecture, with Daimonya being the most famous Daruma producer. Tourists even visit the city mainly for joining their Daruma painting workshops.

大門屋最值得欣賞的地方是以傳統的紙製工藝,創作全新概念的吉祥物,例如把招財貓化身成柴犬、熊貓或摺耳短毛貓等各種變奏版本,大大小小排列著的吉祥物取自俄羅斯娃娃的概念,有趣又有新鮮感,看著也會令人心情好起來。最近大門屋與選物店OKURA合作推出柴犬與達磨結合的裝飾擺設,柴犬頭頂達磨和各式吉祥物,扇子轉起來還會發出清脆的鈴鐺響聲;加上特製的手工刺繡圍巾,為柴犬加添可愛感。能夠讓人心情好起來,就是吉祥物最純粹的意義吧!

One of the greatest achievements of Daimonya is successfully transforming traditional paper crafts into creative mascots. The Maneki-Neko they make features Shiba Inu, panda, Scottish Fold and other variants. This imaginative series of mascots in various sizes inspired by the matryoshka doll is very playful and pleasant as a decoration. Recently, Daimonya had a collaboration with the concept store OKURA on a new decorative item, which is a hybrid of Shiba Inu, Daruma, as well as other mascots and talisman. When spinning the paper fan on top of the decoration, the little bell attached to the fan will give a lovely sound. The Shiba Inu also looks exceptionally adorable wearing the hand embroidered neckerchief. The purest purpose of a mascot can possibly be cheering people up!

OKURA  G/F, 1 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong  6627 7537