The anthropomorphized frog and rabbit from the famous 12th century Choju-jinbutsu-giga acquaint themselves with computers, selfie sticks and more in this cute line of miniature figures.
Quick, what’s the first Japanese manga work ever created? If you answered Astro Boy by Osamu Tezuka, who is often referred to as “the Father of Manga”, well, your guess is off by a good, uh, nine centuries.
The very first Japanese works of art to use a monochromatic art style to tell a linear story were the Choju-jinbutsu-giga, a series of scrolls depicting the antics of anthropomorphic animals living in the wilderness of feudal Japan. The scrolls are still hugely influential today, both for their role in Japanese art history and because, as the Internet has shown us, depictions of animals who think they’re people will never go out of style.
And speaking of the internet, toy company Re-Ment recently released these adorable, hilarious miniature figures depicting the Choju-jinbutsu-giga‘s rabbit and frog protagonists using computers and smartphones and generally just hamming it up in our modern world of cosplay, crazy otaku dances and karaoke.
“Wotagei” Frog and Rabbit
There’s a complete set of eight of the collectible figurines, but they come in blind boxes so if you were hoping for Karaoke Frog and end up with Hardworking Laptop Frog, you’ll just have to try your luck again – although, at 450 yen (US$4.40) a piece, buying a bundle of these suckers isn’t exactly a daunting investment.
Cosplay Frog and Rabbit
Too Much McDonald’s Frog and Rabbit
Walking While Texting Rabbit (You should be ashamed of yourself, Rabbit!)
You can find these little guys at convenience stores, toy shops and select grocers if you’re in Japan and we’d guess they’ll make better Japanese souvenirs for loved ones than, say, a gimmicky Mt. Fuji T-shirt from the airport duty-free shop.
Party Frog and Rabbit
Hardworking Computer Frog