How Much is that Doggy in the Window?

May 23, 2008 at 7:49 am 2 comments

Just like Hollywood starlets who never travel anywhere without their beloved, ubiquitous “purse dogs”, many Japanese people have gone gaga for Chihuahuas, toy poodles and miniature dachshunds. The Watashi to Tokyo blog claims that a series of ads for AIFUL, a finance company, is to blame for the trend. Each AIFUL CM commercial features a dad, his daughter, and a criminally adorable Chihuahua in increasingly silly situations.

Hmm. I don’t remember the “Yo Quiero Taco Bell” ads causing a similar lust for Chihuahuas in the States, but then, the Taco Bell dog didn’t have these enormous, soulful eyes:

The Japan Times explains that “For better or for worse, pets are no longer mere pets — they are members of the family, entitled to the very best. This is a recent and abrupt reversal of the traditional Japanese attitude which, free of the Judeo-Christian thinking that gave man ‘dominion’ over the beasts, was similarly immune to pagan reverence for them.”

It’s not only dogs that have experienced an extreme hit in popularity; as we reported last month, Cat cafes are gaining ground, too. And why not? Pets love you unconditionally and look cute in ridiculous outfits. All you have to do is remember to feed them. (Maybe they’re better than babies…)

Sarah S.

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Entry filed under: Japanese Culture, Japanese Entertainment.

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May 2008