The arrival of summer brings a spring of vitality. Not only human beings but even insects and mosquitos have become as energetic and active as ever. When I was little, my family used to use electronic mosquito coil for repelling mosquitos. However, for me, who grew up feeding on anime and Japanese television series, I very much prefered to get one of those shaped like a piglet – “Katori buta” – which is almost a must-have in every Japanese household.
“Katori buta”, a traditional mosquito coil server used in Japan, literally means “mosquito-catching pig”. According to a major saying, that it takes the form of a pig can be traced back to a pig farm in Tokoname city in Aichi prefecture. Apparently the pig farm owner decided to light a mosquito coil inside a waste pipe, hoping to repel insects. But it was not effective probably because its opening was too wide. After making the opening narrower, he discovered that its shape looked somewhat like a pig, prompting him to turn the mosquito coil server into one shaped like a piglet, complete with small features including a pair of eyes and pig ears.
The picture shown here is the “Katori buta” released by MUJI. It is a simplified version of the original design, removing many of its minor features and keeping only its traditional outline, thereby giving birth to this mosquito coil server characteristic of MUJI products. This product is sold only in Japan, but to my surprise, I have recently found it on MUJI Global’s homepage. It will probably be made available for purchase at its branches in various countries.