No Worries Here!

September 8, 2009 at 10:42 am 1 comment

I have a friend who suffers from anxiety whenever she’s in public places. The thing is, she’s one of those silent sufferers, not wanting to impose on even close friends whenever she’s scared. That’s why she carries around a San-X plushie called Rirakkuma (“relax bear”). It’s a cute teddy-bear sprawled out like he’s taking a Sunday afternoon nap. Take a look:


Rirakkuma specifically caters to ‘worry worts’ like my friend. More than most countries I know, Japan is a nation of people who suppress their true feelings — and that leads to a lot of stress. So I have a feeling Sanrio knew what it was doing when creating a character who is in perpetual chill-mode. They’ve sold millions of items since its 2003 debut.

My friend has an eye-opening collection of Rirakkuma goods: erasers, toothbrush, waffle-maker, laptop, toilet paper, car seat cover… And of course, there’s her prized plushie, a 2-inch tall guy that attaches to her keychain. Just by caressing Rirakkuma against her cheek, she says she feels all is right in the world. She keeps him in her purse whenever she walks out the door. And on the rare ocassion she misplaces him, she starts freaking out.

Personally, whenever I’m stressed or feeling down, I’ll sing my favorite songs or go jogging. But everyone has their own way of venting and my friend just so happens to have two-dozen teddy bears to do so. Just don’t ever think of pulling a prank by confiscating her goods. All hell will break loose. Next thing you know, you’ll need your own Rirakkuma to calm your nerves.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Cooking with Bear « Japanizmo Staff Blog  |  February 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    […] I’ve mentioned before, Rilakkuma is a bear created by Sanrio. His main objective in life is to relax and enjoy life, and he hopes […]


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September 2009


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