I was at Itoyokado (a common store in Japan…sort of similar-ish to Target.)   I spied red undies with an adorable motif of monkeys or kitties!   Yes, what I have been waiting all my life for!

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The monkey undies on top.  Next year (starting on Jan. 1, 2016 for Japanese people) is the Year of the Monkey.

Japanese cats (NOT LUCKY CHINESE CATS) are on the bottom.  Maneki Neko are originally Japanese and oh so cute.

 

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I bought the beckoning cat undies.  What a double entendre, a beckoning cat on your undies.

They were not cheap–1500 yen.  (So more than ten U.S. dollars for one pair.)  I just bought one pair because they were so expensive.

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They had a lot of undies–long underwear and (shown in the photo) men’s undies.

The reason?  Well, I bought my undies to Japanese class for an explanation.  (Yes.  That’s what I do.  Exhibit my undies in public.)

Some of them did not know the significance of the color red for undies.  But one or two teachers said that the color red for undies is good luck for the New Year, especially year of the monkey.  A talisman, she said.

This was actually written in Japanese both at the store and on the undies package, because I really think most Japanese people are not aware of the significance of red undies for New Year’s.  It seems to me like an old superstition brought back to life by the store in a marketing gimmick.

But a fun marketing gimmick!  Who wants boring plain undies when you can have bright red beckoning cat undies?


I went back yesterday and bought more for my sister and my niece!  Now we all have matching undies!