Haniwa and dogu are now available in plushie form!

It seems there’s just no limit to the weird and wonderful world of capsule toys — anything you can imagine, there’s probably a capsule toy version of it out there somewhere.

The latest capsule toy to hit the shelves and capture our hearts are these plush toy versions of haniwa.

Haniwa, literally meaning ‘ring of clay’ in Japanese, are clay figurines that were placed on top of tombs during the Kofun period (300-538 AD). No one is sure of the real meaning behind haniwa — some have theorised they were a show of wealth and high status, whereas others speculate they were talismans made to protect the living from the spirit of the deceased.

▼ Haniwas are said to have inspired the look of Cactaurs from the Final Fantasy series.

Whatever the reason, you can now have your very own plushie version of a haniwa thanks to these new capsule toys by Japanese company Tarlin. The toys are about 100cm (39 inches) tall, and there are four different types of haniwa to collect, as well as two plushie versions of dogu.

▼ Here’s one of them.

Like haniwa, dogu are figurines made from clay that date back even further to the Jomon period (about 12,500-300 BC). Again, the exact function of dogu remains a mystery, but it’s speculated that they acted as some sort of effigy to capture a person’s misfortune. For example, illnesses could be transferred into the dogu, which would then be destroyed, taking the illness with it and healing the user.

▼ These plushie dogu are just so cute though that destroying it is the last thing you’d want to do!

Each plushie costs 300 yen (US$2.30), and comes with a strap so you can carry it around with you wherever you go.

Source: Tarlin via Japaaan!
Images: Tarlin
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