Blending anime with centuries-old design.

Studio Ghibli has a long-held soft spot for traditional processes, preferring hand-drawn anime to computer-generated images and championing local crafts and culture in Japan. This love for the old ways has resulted in a number of very Japanese goods being released at the studio’s affiliated Donguri Kyowakoku retail chain, and now they’re giving us a traditional collection that combines classic design with My Neighbour Totoro.

The range features a red cloisonné pattern, an auspicious pattern in regards to harmony and strong relationships, due to the eternally connected circles…

▼ …and a blue star-stitch design, which is like a deconstructed asanoha hemp-leaf pattern, deemed to be good for protection.

The drawstring pouches measure 22 by 22.5 centimetres (8.7 by 8.9 inches), making them the perfect size for small everyday necessities.

This style of pouch, complete with wooden beads on the drawstring, has long been popular in Japan, giving them a sense of nostalgia for people who’ve grown up using them from a young age.

However, these ones come with a Ghibli twist, as they include a woven label with “と” (“to” for “Totoro”) on one side…

▼…the “Studio Ghibli” name on the inner lining…

▼…and if you look closely at the patterns, you’ll see some familiar characters hiding within them!

The red cloisonné pattern conceals a tiny Totoro, acorn and leaf, while the blue design contains small Soot Sprites.

It’s a clever twist on traditional Japanese patterns, and it features on the cloth wallets too.

The wallet design is a marvel in itself, containing a pocket and a zip section, so you can use it as a traditional wallet or for holding small cards and accessories.

Simply fold it up and keep it securely in place with the attached rope, which is adorned with…

▼…a special Totoro coin, which has an acorn and the word “ととろ” (“Totoro”) on one side and a trio of Soot Sprites on the other.

The collection also includes a couple of pouches for holding omamori amulets, but at the moment, only the pouches and wallets are available for sale, with the amulet pouches soon to be released.

Unlike a lot of other Ghibli releases, this range won’t be sold in physical Donguri Kyowakoku stores in Japan. Instead, it can only be purchased at select overseas Donguri Kyowakoku branches and by members of the official online store. The pouches retail for 2,420 yen (US$14.97) each, the wallets for 2,860 yen, and the amulet pouches will retail for 1,980 yen when they become available.

Source: Donguri Kyowakoku
Top image: Donguri Kyowakoku
Insert images: Donguri Kyowakoku (1, 2, 3, 4)

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