Monday, May 23, 2011

Land of Cute-- Erasers

My kids get cute erasers every time they go to the dentist-- that's an eraser in the photo at left.  Came in a pack of erasers I found at the snacks-n-stationery shop at our Daiei.

Please bring color pencils, tape, and stapler by Friday!
As a matter of fact, it came in a set-- the "Going to School Set" of erasers.  I bought it and have taken pictures of it, because it struck me as a mini-pack of Cultural Differences.

What do you think belongs in the pack of  "Going to School"?

Well, the scissors, of course.  And the pencil sharpener (the handle turns around:-))  The tape and stapler (yes, they have to take those things to school--mostly for art.  They are kept in the students' desks).  So far, roughly the same, I think.

All outdoor shoes go in the shoe boxes by the entrance-- heaven help anyone who walks into school with, *mercy!*, Outside Shoes on!
The Uabaki--the indoor shoes (scroll down to the bottom of that post to see Cici's uabaki).  Not what you'd find in an American (or European, I think) version of this set-- but since I've written about these before, you may have been expecting them.

So what are these last two?...  Note that they are not in proportion to one another...
These are important!
Ah-- the Landosel (left). The iconic Japanese school backpack (in which the eraser version has the straps upside-down, but... oh well.  You get the idea.)  All textbooks and notebooks are sized to fit in it, every elementary school child has one--traditionally black for boys and red for girls, although that's changed over the last decade.  Cici's is yellow:-))

And that other thing?  It's actually close to actual size--you would see one dangling from the side of a child's Landosel.  That's the All-Important O-Mamori (mamoru-- vt, to protect).  A protective charm--usually to do with traffic safety, or traveling safety, although the one above says "accomplish goal"--clearly an academic charm:-)  It's the thing that made me smile when I looked at the pack of erasers--at what they think is included in the Set of Things You Take To School.  Of course you have to have an O-Mamori--who in the world would go to school without one? ;-)


  1. Awww, it's almost TOO cute. :)

    I definetly have to visit Nihon someday. Maybe I can do a study abroad program when I get to college.

  2. There are a great many things that border on "too cute" here;-)) And you should *totally* do a study abroad program!

  3. When I went to elementary school, all one needed was: nothing! :D The school handed everything out for free: notebooks, pencils, erasers, etc. etc. I think it's required of all communal elementary schools in Sweden to hand out essentials. What the children have to bring on their own are backpacks and indoor shoes!

    I had an adorable little light blue backpack, I remember. Though nothing fit in it. :/ Oh well, at least it was cute!!!

  4. Hi Josephine! Wow--they give you everything! But--do you wear indoor shoes in Sweden, too? Not just Japan, then! I think they're a good idea, myself--helps keep the floors cleaner, among other things:-)) I seem to remember that they wear indoor shoes in Mexico, too... now where did I hear that?

  5. These are so cute. If I had been with you, I would have bought the set, too.

  6. Hi Cary! I now know what to get you for your birthday;-))

  7. Oh, we do wear indoor shoes in Sweden too! In Sweden, most people also remove their shoes indoors. (Criminals don't however, like the yauza in the movie you mentioned on the blog previously ;D) But, as you said, it keeps the floors cleaner! And it's seen as a sign of respect: "I take my shoes off so to respect your floors."

    Having grown up with it, I am very dismayed here in Britain, where no-one removes their shoes before entering! The other week I had someone over to replace the heater in my oven, and the godforsaken man didn't take his muddy shoes off! I spent the rest of the day scrubbing my kitchen floor when I really should have used the hours for revision. D< AAAAH!

  8. I just knew that Sweden was a civilised place:-)) It is respectful, isn't it--to take shoes off before entering, so's not to get mud or dirt all over. I've seen moms fuss at their kids for stepping into the genkan in socks, then back inside my house--"you'll get the floor all dirty!" (just as if my floor was so clean to begin with).
    A repairman didn't take shoes off before fixing your oven?? Aaaah, indeed! Next time a repairman comes here, I should take a picture--they not only take off shoes, but often even roll a mat down the hall to wherever they're working and only walk on that. And you should see the lengths that movers go to to avoid tracking in dirt or bumping your things on corners!

  9. Oh, please do take a picture of the next repairman to enter your doors. I feel my faith in the merits of repairmen is in dire need of some reassurance!

  10. oh man! Those erasers are adorable!!! Who wouldn't want those?!

  11. Josephine-- Will do!

    Sarah-- Aren't they cute? And they work as erasers, too--although there are much better ones... (next time I post cute erasers, I'll post the real erasers that work. 'Who wouldn't want those?'... you know I have to restrain myself every time I see some in the Y100 shop;-)

  12. Amy,
    You were reading my mind. "I want those" was my immediate reaction. Diana will probably say that I do not "need" them, so I will have to get rid of something else. This is not a problem, since downsizing is an ongoing project.

  13. But...if you get rid of one thing, a get one new thing... no downsizing has happened ;-))

  14. True.

    I will have to get rid of two things or seven, since there are seven items (counting the pair of shoes as one.) I'll bet I can find that many pens or pencils that don't need to remain in my desk.