PC 28

Japan still hasn’t gone all-in on the concept of digital communications, and in many situations there’s still a lot of value attached to physical, paper documents. Sometimes this can be puzzling, like the time I applied for a job at a prestigious technological institute which required a hard copy of my resume, as email applications weren’t acceptable.

For personal relationships, though, it’s nice to see so many people in Japan still willing to put pen to paper in order to write a heartfelt message to a friend or loved one. Many even take great care in selecting the perfect stationery, and those looking to add a touch of classic femininity to their correspondence will be hard-pressed to find a better choice than these elegant Disney princess greeting cards.

While Japan has a whole pantheon of domestic characters such as Hello Kitty and Sailor Moon, the heroines of Disney’s animated works stand shoulder to shoulder with them in terms of popularity. The Japanese marketplace rarely, if ever, deems a product too girlish, and there’s quite an extensive line of Disney Princess stationery available.

PC 3

You can find notebooks and memo pads featuring characters such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora, and recently Rapunzel has been added to the lineup per her starring role in the CG film Tangled.

PC 13

PC 14

PC 4

But while these items are all big sellers, a few fans report the dilemma of being reluctant to use them, lest they mar the beautiful design. Apparently understanding their dilemma, Disney designers came up with the idea of free-standing princess greeting cards that you can simply display in your room, should you be unable to bring yourself to write on them.

PC 27

But by far the biggest hit of the princess stationery line is the organdy dress card series.

PC 16

Being a guy, I had no idea what organdy was, although if you’d pressed me for an answer, I’d have guessed it to be a battlefield from the Napoleonic Wars. The truth is far more elegant though, as organdy is a variety of sheer cotton.

PC 17

The royal court for these daintily attired cards consists of the above Cinderella and Aurora, plus Belle from Beauty and the Beast and the little mermaid herself, Ariel.

PC 10

PC 11

Even some of Disney’s most notorious villains get in on the act, with cards modeled after Snow White’s nameless yet wicked queen, fan of fur and carcinogens Cruella De Vil, and persuasive sea witch Ursula.

PC 24

The reverse side of each card is blank, giving you an ample, if oddly shaped, space in which to write your message.

PC 18

Two of Japan’s great passions, celebrating the season and limited-availability merchandise, were combined last December with special Christmas versions of the cards.

PC 28

PC 29

PC 30

But even though we’ve all been told it’s better to give than to receive, after buying the cards some people report becoming too attached to them to send them to their friends on their birthdays. Instead, Disney fans are coming up with other unique ways to use the cards. The cloth dresses are in fact small pouches, with their shape coming from the ribbon that cinches them at the waist. This means you can easily use them to store jewelry or potpourri. Some truly selfless individuals have even used the princess cards as gift bags, placing the present inside the dress before handing it to the recipient.

PC 23

The Disney princess organdy dress cards can be purchased at stationery stores across Japan, although fans report having the best luck at the chain Sony Plaza. Each sells for 504 yen (US $4.90, which, while a little more expensive than a normal greeting card, is still a bargain for those looking to feel like royalty.

Source: Mery
Top image: Cocopri
Insert images: Twitter, GB GRC, Twitter (2, 3), Cocopri, GB GRC, Cocopri, GB GRC