Every weekend when I go shopping, a fascinating cultural phenomenon hovers in my peripheral vision: Japan’s adoration for buttholes. I don’t mean in a sexual way per se, just a deliberate inclusion of a lovingly-rendered anus on all things cute. Fluffy plush puppies, huggable cartoon kitties—even the most minimal of character designs feature a puckered posterior starfish. Sanrio’s adorable Pompompurin is the biggest offender; that dude won’t stop flashing his hole at me!
I assume this practice isn’t exclusive to Japan. Maybe it’s me, with my Puritanical Western upbringing, who’s in the wrong. Maybe it’s weirder to only acknowledge front orifices. My research on the subject, Googling “Japan buttholes cute” (I don’t recommend this in public), produced little insight.
I recall that when I had a puppy, I loved her not for her anus, but despite it. If I were creating a bodily-functionless fantasy version of her, in a charming sweater, maybe a hat, I’m not sure including an anus would occur to me. But, for better or worse, it has occurred to Japan.
I guess this little guy is winning me over.