Welcome, anime lovers and otakus on duty! Are you ready to discover the secret behind those cuddly, huggable pillows we love so much? Well then, get ready to discover the wonderful world of Dakimakura – the famous “love pillow” that has been conquering hearts around the world.
In this article, we are going to explore everything about this item that is essential for fans of Japanese culture and also tell you how to use it to increase your SEO and bring more visibility to your online content. So grab your pillows, let out the battle cry “Kawaii!” and let's go on this adventure together!
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Meaning of Dakimakura
Dakimakura (抱き枕) is a Japanese word that can be divided into two parts: "daki", which means to embrace, and "makura", which means pillow. Therefore, Dakimakura can be translated as "huggable pillow".
The Japanese word can refer to any Dutch wife or body pillow. But this term was popularized in the West as pillows with sexy prints of anime characters.
Although originally created as a sleeping comfort item, the Dakimakura has become an object of collection and adoration for many fans of Japanese pop culture. With dakimakura, otaku can finally embrace their favorite anime characters.
History and Origin of the Dakimakura
In order to understand the history of the Dakimakura, we need to go back in time a little and talk about the traditional body pillows of Japanese culture. Known as “makura”, these pillows were originally used to support the head and neck during sleep, but were also used to hold objects such as flashlights or books.
Over time, body pillows gained a new function. In the 1990s, the Japanese anime and manga industry began producing pillows with prints of characters from their works. These pillows were nicknamed “Dakimakura”, which in Japanese means “huggable”.
Initially, Dakimakura were more popular with women, who would hug their pillows while watching their favorite TV shows or reading manga. However, over time, men also began to adopt Dakimakura as sleeping companions.
The popularization of Dakimakura has grown rapidly in recent years, not only in Japan, but all over the world. Nowadays, you can find a huge variety of anime, manga and video game character prints on Dakimakura pillows, and they have become a sought-after collector's item by fans.
Dakimakura are also called love pillow or love pillows. They have existed for decades in Japanese culture, mostly in the form of animals.
After the emergence of these patterned anime character pillows emerged, the phenomenon quickly spread on forums like 2chan, pixiv and many others, especially after some sexy prints.
Online establishments and physical stores began to create and print pillows with thousands of different characters. Many associate these pillows as a sexual object, but some use it only as an ornament or as something to cuddle at night.
Another term that was used for this pillow besides Dutch wife was chikufujin which means "bamboo wife". The main sizes of dakimakura are 150 to 160cm long by 50cm wide, with a circumference of 100cm. It is common to find only the pillow cover on sale, so many end up buying different prints.
A very controversial and common event is the yome to no bansan (嫁との晩餐) or dinner with the waifu. These are romantic encounters where otakus take their dakimakura pillows for dinner. These romantic encounters take place mainly on the eve of Christmas which is considered Valentine's Day in Japan. Many share photos of these meetings on forums and social networks.
They have already invented dakimakuras that even speak or moan. For otaku, pillows are one of the only ways they can touch their beloved characters. Some have already taken their dakimakura for walks in Amusement parks and go on roller coasters. You've heard cases where people even married these pillows. And for those who think that only the Japanese are crazy to this point, there are several Westerners who have accepted the passion of their favorite characters.
The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:
How to buy a Dakimakura?
If you're an otaku looking to buy a Dakimakura, there are a few things you need to know before making your choice. Below are some helpful tips to help you shop for the perfect pillow:
- Size: The size of the Dakimakura is important as it determines how big the character's image will be. The most common sizes are 150x50cm, 160x50cm and 120x40cm, but it is possible to find other sizes. Be sure to choose a size that is comfortable for you.
- Where to buy: There are many online stores that sell Dakimakura, such as stores specializing in anime and manga products, Japanese product stores and e-commerce platforms. Make sure you buy from a reputable source to ensure you are getting a quality product.
- Print: Choosing the right print is crucial. Make sure you choose a print of a character that you really like, not just because it's trendy. It is also important to consider image quality and print sharpness.
- Material: Be sure to choose a Dakimakura that is made from a quality material that is both soft and durable. The most common materials include cotton, polyester and microfiber.
- Care: Be sure to read the manufacturer's care instructions to keep your Dakimakura in good condition. Some pillows are machine washable, while others must be hand washed. Avoid exposing the pillow to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.
You can create your Dakimakura
Body pillows are easy to find for sale at mattress stores and other big box stores and on the internet. Maybe you want to buy just the print or have it manufactured at a print shop in your city, that's what I did, I spent a lot less than buying it ready-made. All you have to do is choose a good white fabric and a print shop that performs the printing service.
Why have a dakimakura?
I don't see anything other than the bad reputation these pillows have gained due to some erotic prints or public embarrassment. Pillows are nice and comfortable to cuddle and sleep, even doctors recommend using body pillows for spine. And there's nothing unusual about stamping or having objects, clothes, posters of characters or celebrities that we like. Of course everything has a limit!
If you want to have a dakimakura, know that there are thousands of patterns on the internet for you to print yourself and make your love pillow. I bought 20 reais of fabric and went to a print shop and paid about 20 reais to print on the fabric, while the worm or body pillow cost about 50 reais. What do you think? Do you dare to wear a dakimakura? Do you find it strange and controversial?
We recommend reading: Anime Genres and Types – Complete list with recommendations
The Future of the Dakimakura
The future of the Dakimakura looks promising, with many opportunities for innovation and growth on the horizon. Some of the possible evolutions we can expect for love pillows include:
- Integration of technologies: With the advancement of virtual and augmented reality technologies, it is possible that in the future the Dakimakura will be able to connect with other technologies to create an even more immersive experience for anime and manga fans.
- Advanced customization: JThere are already options to customize the pillows with custom images, but in the future this could become even more advanced. Imagine a Dakimakura that has the ability to mold itself to the user's physical characteristics for an even more comfortable fit.
- Improved print quality: The print quality has already improved significantly in recent years, but it is possible that in the future it will continue to improve, allowing the prints to be even sharper and more realistic.
- Use in therapies: Dakimakuras are already known for their calming and comforting effect, but in the future they could be used in more specific ways in therapies, such as helping people with anxiety or sleeping problems.
- Creating communities: Communities of Dakimakura fans already exist, but in the future we can expect these communities to grow even more, creating opportunities to share information, exchange products and connect with other fans.