Plus, they only need water to adhere to surfaces.

There aren’t many characters that have appeared in more than one Studio Ghibli film, so when you do see an unexpected crossover it’s likely to be a character that the director is particularly fond of.

That appears to be the case with the Soot Sprites, known as both “Susuwatari” and “Makkuro Kurosuke” in My Neighbour Totoro, which debuted in 1988. These little black sprites came out from their dark corners again 13 years later, for the 2001 film Spirited Away, and when that film was broadcast on television earlier this month, the network itself acknowledged the director’s fondness for the characters.

These small black creatures are identical to the mysterious creatures that Mei and Satsuki called “Makkuro Kurosuke” in “My Neighbour Totoro. Kanta’s grandmother called them “Susuwatari”. The little pipsqueaks who reappeared in this impressive scene may be director Hayao Miyazaki’s favourite character.”

With that in mind, it’s nice to see that the Ghibli Museum, which is home to a window of Soot Sprites, is now selling a sheet of stickers dedicated to these characters, and they’ve gone above and beyond in their attempts to make them look and feel as realistic as possible.

Called the Makkuro Kurosuke Washi Seal (“seal” in Japanese refers to “stickers”), these little Soot Sprites have been made with washi (traditional Japanese paper), which gives them a slightly furry texture. Handcrafted by Yanase Washi in Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, a city where washi has been made for more than 1500 years, the stickers contain 100-percent kozo (Japanese paper mulberry), known for its long fibres, which are perfect for replicating the fluffy fur of a Soot Sprite.

That’s not the only fascinating feature of this product, because the Soot Sprites don’t act like ordinary stickers. As they don’t have an adhesive backing to them, you simply swish them about in water for a moment and then apply them to a smooth surface.

This means they can be used repeatedly, so you can peel them off and reapply them to different surfaces by re-moistening them. The museum says the stickers work best on smooth surfaces such as glass, mirrors, tiles, and refrigerators, so you can bring the Soot Sprites to life on your windows…


▼…and even shoji sliding doors.

The natural materials and reusable nature of these stickers ties in perfectly with the themes of conservation at the centre of My Neighbour Totoro, similar to the way the Totoro and Soot Sprite capsule toys came with no-waste cute capsules.

Priced at 850 yen (US$5.74) per sticker sheet, which comes with two Soot Sprites and a sakura flower, the new seals can currently be purchased at the Ghibli Museum and the online store, where you can also purchase a handcrafted Soot Sprite clock to add to your collection.

Source, images: Ghibli Museum
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!