Let a little classical absurdity into your life.

There are a lot of items for sale that boast being the thing to get that someone who has everything, but what were about to show you may fit that bill like no other. Japanese lifestyle goods retailer Felissimo is certainly not afraid to get a little weird at times, but now they’ve gone educationally weird with a set of items based on some quirky ukiyo-e works from the Edo period.

First, feast your eyes on this print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi from 1853.

This piece is a lesser-known spin-off of The 53 Parallels of Tokaido, which was a companion to the very famous 53 Stations of Tokaido series but focused more in individual stories at each station. Utagawa’s series of prints on Oiso Station in Kanagawa Prefecture followed the story of a legendary woman named Tora (“Tiger”) Gozen who was involved in a famous assassination that took place in the 12th century.

Over the centuries, Tora’s legacy somehow evolved into a torakoishi or “tiger cub stone” which is quite literally a stone with a tiger’s legs and tail. Apparently in the print above, the man falling down was attempting to pick up the stone because according to one legend only handsome men could lift a torakoishi off the ground.

And now it can be yours with the Torakoishi Pouch!

This little guy is perfect for all your lipstick and Band-Aid carrying needs and sells for 2,100 yen ($19). It’s also soft and lightweight which means you can successfully pick it up every time and feel like a million bucks for doing so.

But if that’s too small for your liking, you can super-size your torakoishi with a cushion for 3,500 yen ($32).

Its adorable cat loaf pose not only makes it great for resting your head on, but also opens up to reveal a built-in 600-milliliter (20-ounce) hot water bottle to keep you warm in the winter.

Together they make the perfect gift for anyone who loves being asked “What’s that?” either at home or on the go.

However, some of you may be saying: “Pfft, I saw a stone with tiger legs just the other day. Show me something really weird!”

Well, get a load of this other ukiyo-e print by Utagawa titled Kanai Anzen wo Mamoru Junishinozu (Chinese Zodiac Diagram which Protects the Safety of Home), also from 1853.

This work answers the age-old question “What if we mashed together all 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac into a single monstrosity?” in the form of an adorable fuzzy charm.

This chimera contains the horns of a cow, the comb of a rooster, the face of a mouse, the beard of a goat, flames of a dragon, front legs of a dog, hind legs of a monkey, body of a boar, stripes of a tiger, ears of a rabbit, mane of a horse, and tail of a snake.

Actually the tail IS a snake, I guess because Utagawa though that would be cooler.

Nevertheless, they say it’s good luck to carry around a charm of the animal which represents the current year, but with this bad boy on your bag, you’ll be set for life!

These items were made with the help of the Ota Memorial Museum of Art, one of Japan’s leading museums of ukiyo-e art with over 15,000 works. Until 24 October they’ll be having a special edition to commemorate the death of Utagawa Kuniyoshi 160 years ago.

It ought to be a treat, because as we’ve seen time and time again, the world of ukiyo-e can get pretty wild.

Source: Felissimo, PR Times
Images:  PR Times
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