During my husband’s latest business trip to Japan, he managed to spend some free time at that mecca of anime known as Akihabara. And because Haikyu!! is our favorite ongoing series, he returned with a bunch of Haikyu!! souvenirs that ranged from cute to odd. He also went a bit overboard with his purchases so I’m splitting this installment into five parts.
To start, we have a piece of print fabric and two phone charms. Since I can’t read Japanese, I’m not positive as to the purpose of the fabric, but I’m pretty sure it’s a noren, the Japanese cloth divider hung in doorways and windows. In addition to featuring the show’s main characters, these three items have something else in common: they all promote Miyagi, the prefecture in which Karasuno High School is located.
The Kageyama charm features him with a samurai helmet and eyepatch. It looks really random unless you realize the crescent moon symbol and eyepatch are the trademarks of Date Masamune, a legendary warrior from Miyagi. In other words, he is the prefecture’s regional hero. (By the way, the only reason I recognized him was because I’d watched the historical anime Tono to Issho.) That is also why Hinata has the same crescent moon helmet on his lap in the noren.
The Hinata charm’s Miyagi reference was a little more difficult to figure out. However, I managed to get the kanji on the charm into my Google search bar and learned from the Internet that he’s holding a kamaboko, a Miyagi food specialty made from fish paste.
It’s a little strange to see anime characters on what amounts to regional souvenirs – kind of the equivalent of Spiderman on an “I heart New York City” bumper sticker. However, I can see why they did it. Tons of anime and J-drama are set in Tokyo. But Miyagi Prefecture? When Miyagi saw how popular Haikyu!! was, it probably figured that associating with their fictional local boys would be a great way to promote the area.
And that’s why I have a cell phone charm of Hinata with a giant fish cake. But that’s okay. It’s still way cool.