You should know that Japan suffers from many social problems, especially young people who isolate themselves as hikikomori and also the otakus. The result of this is the drop in Japanese birth rates and relationship problems in Japan. Of course, these young people with social problems still have romantic interests, although these interests are completely different. Most of them fall in love with fictional characters from anime, manga and games. One of the ways they use to relate is Dakimakura.
Dakimakura (抱き枕) is a Japanese word that literally means body pillow and can refer to any body pillow or Dutch wife. Only that term became popular in the West as the pillows with sexy prints of anime characters. With dakimakura, otaku can finally embrace their favorite anime characters.
How did the Dakimakura come about?
The dakimakura are also called love pillow or pillows from love. They have existed for decades in Japanese culture, mainly in the form of animals. It was in the 1990s that a set of adult pillows appeared, with prints of various anime characters, with light images even the most perverted. Soon this phenomenon spread quickly on forums like 2chan, pixiv and many others.
Online establishments and physical stores began creating and printing pillows with thousands of different characters. Many associate these pillows as a sexual object, but some use them only as a decoration or as something to hug at night.
Another term that was used for this pillow besides a 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 for sale, so many end up buying different patterns.
A very controversial and common event is the yome to no bansan (嫁との晩餐) or dinner with waifu. They are romantic encounters where otakus take their dakimakura pillows for dinner. These romantic encounters take place mainly on the eve of Christmas that 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 to stroll in amusement parks and go on roller coasters. You have heard cases where people have even married these pillows. And for those who think that only the Japanese are crazy at this point, there are several Westerners who have accepted the passion of their favorite characters.
Why have a dakimakura?
I see nothing but the bad reputation these pillows have gained due to some erotic prints or shame in others in public. The pillows are cool and comfortable for hugging and sleeping, even doctors recommend using body-to-spine pillows. And there is 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 prints on the internet for you to print and make your love pillow yourself. I bought 20 reais of fabric and went to a printer 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 use a dakimakura? Do you find it strange and controversial? Thanks for sharing and comments!