Beloved minor character gets a starring role in new Studio Ghibli release, and there’s a red bucket hat in store too.

Some English words get lost in translation when they’re adopted into the Japanese lexicon, and one of those words is the word “bobblehead“, which goes by both “ボブルヘッド” (“bobblehead“) and “バブルヘッド” (“bubblehead“) in Japanese.

When you think about it, though, the oversized wobbly noggins on bobblehead figures do have a bubble-like appearance and are essentially filled with air due to their hollow shape, so “bubblehead” isn’t a bad term to use. Either way, Studio Ghibli uses the word “bubblehead” to describe the bobbleheads they sell, and now they’ve pushed the envelope even further with a new “bubblebody” figure in the shape of Oshira-sama, the radish spirit from Spirited Away.

It’s nice to see this relatively minor character stepping into the spotlight, although rather than stepping it’s actually dancing, as it does in the movie when the stink spirit is cleansed and departs the bathhouse restored as the river spirit.

▼ The joy of the jubilant scene is reflected in Oshira-sama’s face…

▼…and the fan that the character holds in its left hand is perfectly replicated.

The loincloth preserves the radish spirit’s modesty, and the Aburaya bathhouse is honoured with the abura kanji (“油”) on the pedestal it stands on.

On the back of the pedestal is “GBL”, Ghibli’s “American casual style” brand, which the product is sold under, and this rear view gives us a better look at the bubblebody design.

The top part of the figure is set on springs that have been specially adjusted to give the upper body just the right amount of jiggle and sway to mimic its dancing movements when pushed with a hand or finger.

▼ Oshira-sama is more than a bobblehead, it’s a bobblebody, or “bubblebody” as Ghibli describes it.

Peering beneath the character’s “hat”, which is actually a lacquered sake cup known as a “sakazuki”, reveals a green leaf design that resembles radish leaves and harks back to the glimpse of green we see underneath the cup in the movie.

If you like the radish spirit’s headwear, you can now mimic its style with the Oshira-sama Bucket Hat, which GBL has created as part of this new release.

The hat brings a pop of colour to any outfit, with the word “オシラサマ” (“Oshira-sama”) embroidered on the front…

▼ …and a patch with an image of the character sewn onto the brim.

The fabric inside the hat is adorned in a radish leaf pattern, so you can truly embody the spirit of Oshira-sama.

▼ The botanical interior peeks out from beneath the rim, just as it does in the movie.

The Oshira-sama Bucket Hat retails for 6,600 yen (US$43.93) while the Oshira-sama Bubblebody figure is considerably more affordable, at 1,540 yen. Both items can be purchased at Donguri Kyowakoku stores and online from 17 February.

Source: Donguri Kyowakoku
Top image: Donguri Kyowakoku
Insert images: Donguri Kyowakoku (1, 2)

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