Hello Kitty has fallen down the rabbit hole into a world of whimsical animals in this gorgeous line of ceramics from an established Kyoto shop.

Sanrio is no stranger to fun and innovative partnerships with other products of popular culture. In its latest collaboration, however, Sanrio’s star player Hello Kitty is bridging the gap between modern Japanese pop culture and Japanese traditional culture with a nod to the 12th century picture scrolls that are often credited as being the world’s oldest manga (and were even adapted into a two-part short anime by Studio Ghibli).

Choju Jinbutsu Giga (鳥獣人物戯画) are usually called Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans in English, but the name is often shortened to just Choju Giga to highlight the most famous first scroll’s depictions of anthropomorphic animals playing and engaging in other decidedly human pastimes. In the new Hello Kitty x Choju Giga Series of dishware, the scrolls’ whimsical sumi-e ink illustrations are faithfully recreated on ceramics with the stylistically similar depiction of Hello Kitty herself inserted into various scenes of swimming, wrestling, archery lessons, flower-picking, and more.

Apples, one of Hello Kitty’s favorite treats, are a nice modern addition to the illustrations along with the splashes of color throughout.

The collaborative collection was designed by Kyoto’s Tachikichi, a shop specializing in traditional Japanese tableware that was founded in 1752. It’s fitting that the dishes originate in Kyoto, which served as the country’s capital during the feudal times when the Choju Giga were created.

Let’s take a closer look now at the four unique dishware items in the lineup.

Mug cups (3 patterns): 1,980 yen (US$18.20) each

Long plates (3 patterns): 2,200 yen each

Small plates (5 versions): 1,760 yen each

Chopstick rests (10 patterns/5 sets; two rests come bundled together in one set): 2,200 yen per set

Besides being used as dishware, the long plates would make cute office supply organizers and the chopstick rests would make handy paperweights, too. Furthermore, each item comes packaged in an adorably themed box–making them perfect gifts for the Hello Kitty lover in your life.

The Hello Kitty x Choju Giga Series can be purchased on Tachikichi’s Online Shop or Sanrio’s Online Shop (links below). For more modern, 3-D takes on the Choju Giga, see these gachapon drink toys and these display figures of the animals as well.

Sources, images: Tachikichi Online Shop, Sanrio Online Shop
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]