Thursday, February 24, 2011

I just wanna pinch those cheeks

Fun Fact of the day: The Japanese word for Mumps is Otafuku - because if you have the mumps, your cheeks look like this:

Otafuku, mythic creature and folk heroine, is as ubiquitous here as Daruma, I'd say. In all her various incarnations - her image adorns food labels, ceramics and signboards; she's a mask, she's a doll, she's a sculpture -- you know her by the plump rosy cheeks, laughing eyes and rosebud lips.

She hangs in our hallway, a tiny mask covering an ugly picture hook.
According to Otafuku, Joy of Japan by Amy Katoh, "She is every woman, a source of generosity, a fertility symbol; her essence is goodwill and affirmation and delight, and she is thought to bestow pleasure, success and well being, and to grant wishes."

What's not to love?

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