What they lack in writing space, they more than make up for in cuteness.
Japan has long been keen on peppering its language with cat-based phrases and idioms. Some of these make a lot of sense, like neko ni koban, literally “a gold coin for a cat.” It’s Japan’s equivalent of “pearls before swine” and likewise implies that someone doesn’t comprehend or appreciate the full value of something they’ve been given.
But in some ways the Japanese language is like a lonely shut-in with far more feline housemates than is sensible. In its effort to cram as many cats into the common vernacular as popular, Japan came up with the expression neko no hitai, which means “a cat’s forehead” and is used to describe a very small home, room, or other interior space.
Granted, cats’ foreheads are small, but that’s sort of a function of their not having very big heads to begin with. Even then, there are plenty of other members of the animal kingdom with smaller craniums that would still allow for plenty of linguistic cuteness. A hamster’s forehead, for example, is several orders smaller than a cat’s.
Nevertheless, neko no hitai stuck, and it’s now a readily understood part of Japanese (provided, of course, that someone first explains to you what it’s supposed to mean). But while neko no hitai might not make for the most intuitive bit of descriptive speech, the phrase has inspired these adorable sticky notes.
Novelty goods retailer Village Vanguard is now offering pads of Neko no Hitai Sticky Notes, starring helpful kitties Pepe and Muddy (seen on the left and right, respectively, in the above image). Actually, maybe we should call them “willing to help” instead of actually helpful. Why?
Because Neko no Hitai Sticky Notes take their name both literally and figuratively, in that the space for you to write your note is on the cats’ foreheads, and also incredibly small.
Village Vanguard itself acknowledges how limited the usable area is, excitedly trumpeting “So small! Almost no writing space” on the products’ official website (from which they can be ordered for 648 yen [US$5.90]). However, having only three extremely truncated lines to work with should encourage you to distill your notes down to their purest, most essential elements.
▼ Village Vanguard also boasts that the cats’ imploring gaze will make sure you don’t forget what’s written on their tiny foreheads.
Besides, it’s not like you’d be able to bring yourself to write all over that cute face anyway, would you?
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