Putin’s steely gaze will motivate you to work hard all year long!

Happy New Year! Now that it’s January and we’ve left the romantic atmosphere of Christmas behind, it’s time for one thing and one thing only. No, we’re not talking about the first shrine visit of the year. We’re talking about the annual hanging-up of our Vladimir Putin Calendar!

The 67-year-old president of Russia is one of Japan’s most popular calendar subjects. Every year he seems to outsell even Japan’s most popular idols, and for good reason; each calendar seems to show a different side of the enigmatic man. Putting his calendar up in your house is sure to bring stability to your household!

▼ 2016’s calendar

So says our Japanese language reporter Mr. Sato. A fan of the Russian president’s manly persona and tough reputation, he’s been buying Putin calendars since 2016, when he laid eyes on his first one in the Japanese stationery shop Loft and thought, “I need this.” Of course, when he happened to spot 2020 Putin calendars in the Shinjuku branch of the home goods store Tokyu Hands, he had to stop and get one.

To his surprise, Tokyu Hands had not just one Putin calendar for sale, but a whole shelf of Putin goods! There were tons of varieties of calendars, pins, notepads, and other goods perfect for expressing your love, respect, and fear of the Russian President.

If just seeing the sheer amount of goods has inspired you to go out right now and buy your own Putin calendar, Mr. Sato does want to make sure you know that these calendars are made in Russia, so their holidays may differ from Japanese holidays. But that wasn’t really a problem for Mr. Sato, who decided to buy three kinds of calendars, because how could he resist such inspirational images of valor and masculinity?

▼ “Warning: This calendar was imported from Russia, and therefore the holidays may differ from a Japanese calendar.”

Let’s take a look at Mr. Sato’s first purchase: a “Mini 3-Month Putin Portrait 2020 Calendar” (660 yen/US$6.07).

Although it’s convenient with its three-month, at-a-glance format, it does only have a single portrait of Putin at the top, which is a major downside, considering the pictures are the main reason to have a Putin calendar. If you wish to see many majestic portraits of Putin, this may not be the right calendar for you.

It is a rather dashing photo of him, however, so it’s still a worthwhile calendar to have on hand. It’s also got a magnet on the back of it, so Mr. Sato put it up on the office fridge. When morale is low among the reporters, Putin will always be there to offer stern encouragement to wavering hearts.

Next, Mr. Sato bought a “Desktop Putin & The Military Putin 2020 Calendar” (935 yen). President Putin posing with the Russian military is really an exceptional sight, but this calendar portrays more than just the military side of the man; while there are solemn scenes of Putin holding weapons, there are also heartwarming scenes of him playing with cute animals.

There’s even this brilliant photo of him shaking hands with President Trump. Ah, if only we could be the ones to experience that solid handshake. How that steely gaze would motivate us to work hard for the sake of the motherland!

Mr. Sato likes to feel a sense of unease while he’s working, so he decided to put this one on his desk at work. As he struggled to find an empty place to put it, he apologized to President Putin profusely for the mess. He promised to clear it off this year so that his eyes will always fall on Putin when he struggles with productivity (may Putin guide him).

Finally, Mr. Sato bought this impressive “Putin & The Military Putin 2020 Calendar” (2,090 yen), because what’s the point of having a Putin calendar if the photos aren’t big enough to enjoy?! Flipping through the photos, Mr. Sato noticed another photo of Putin and Trump together. “Wait a minute, are they friends?” he thought with a shock. “Well, I bet if they are, it’ll make the world great again!”

In order to add tension to all parts of the office, because without tension there is no productivity, Mr. Sato decided to put this calendar up in the bathroom. After all, one must not let oneself lose focus, even while doing one’s business.

(Although, in hindsight it might be harder to poop with Putin glaring down at you…)

Well, if there was anything you couldn’t accomplish in 2019, or any loose ends you couldn’t tie up, you should buy at least one of these calendars. With Putin watching over you, you’re sure to accomplish anything you set your mind to, if only because of the fear of what might happen to you if you don’t.

Photos © SoraNews24
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