Friday, February 4, 2011

The Eel Cat of Shiba Mata

Altr. Tokyo is a small boutique in the sleepy time-slip neighborhood of Shibamata. Its 2 short stops from Aoto but feels like its a ride 50 years into Japan's Showa-era past. The area is famous as the locale for the long-running Tora-san series of films which spanned 48 installments (1969–95). The boutique's owner is Yuichi Hanzawa, a RxH Fortune cat collaborator since the historic RxH After School Event in June 2009 and who often has in-shop exclusive versions. His cats always have the characters 柴又 (Shibamata) on the coin.
Recently he unveiled an original figure - the Eel Cat. The same size as a fortune cat baby but mutated with a distinct caricature of the japanese eel - a popular creature in Japan. I am sure there is a nod and wink to the Eel Dog character from the manga work Tensai Bakabon by Fujio Akatsuka. The versions available at Altr. Tokyo will have 柴又 (Shibamata) on the coin and the versions available at Shinto Gangu wil have the characters 青砥 (Aoto) them.

Just in case you didn't have enough stuff to collect.

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