⟨ Object ⟩

Mosquito-catching pig

MUJI’s traditional mosquito coil server

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Illustration / Furze Chan
Translation / Ian Tsang



畫面上是由無印良品推出的「蚊取り豚」,其大量簡化原設計之細節,只擷取其傳統的輪廊線條,換來這隻無印風濃厚的蚊香爐;其光滑無遐的白瓷表面,讓人光是看著就感到全身沁涼。無印良品的「蚊取り豚」只限日本發售,不過最近竟在MUJI GOBAL頁面上也發現它的身影,大概不久以後也可在各國分店中購得。

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.