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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogJapanese Plushies: All the Types We Love

Japanese Plushies: All the Types We Love

By Terrell
October 19, 2021

The world of Japanese kawaii (cute) culture has many different genres. There’s music, fashion, plushies, and more. And just like the larger culture, Japanese plushies have a variety of types, and we love them all. 

However, for those just diving into the world of plush toys, let’s go over all the options available to you.

The Different Types of Japanese Plushies

A woman in a red jacket holds a Japanese plushie of Gudetama in a shop in Tokyo with many products behind her
It’s unclear where this Gudetama plush may land on the list, but we really love this character. Image via Shutterstock

Stuffed Animal Plushies

These plushies are themed after some of your favorite animals, or in this case, Japan’s favorite animals. Do you love teddy bears? Japan does them a little differently. Rilakkuma and the Line app’s Brown are just two examples of Japan’s super cute plush version of the classic teddy bear. 

If you’re a cat lover, there are also plenty of options available thanks to Japan’s love of cats. Shiba Inu are also a very popular plush option for anyone looking for doggie plush friends. Luckily, with Japan’s love of animals in general, there are plenty of other animal plushies, even sea animals. These animal plushies are perfect toy gifts for kids and regular gifts for adults.

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Game, Manga, and Anime plushies 

There are plenty of people who love Japanese media, especially manga, anime, and video games. Whether it’s cultural staples like Pokemon, new series like Jujutsu Kaisen, or cult series like Neon Genesis Evangelion, we have all enjoyed some kind of Japanese media at some point. 

That’s why anime plushies are so great to have. You get to see your favorite kawaii characters every day, and they make great cuddle friends. Pokemon, Demon Slayer, and Studio Ghibli all have adorable plushies that make great gifts for any anime fans or gamers in your life.

A shop in Tokyo filled with many Pokemon plushies in a basket and on the wall with other character goods hanging in the background
Pokemon is a powerhouse in anime and gaming, and creates plushies big and small! Image via Shutterstock

Weird Japanese Plushies

Japan is a place full of strange but awesome inventions. However, thanks to this, we get a plethora of weird Japanese plushies that are also really cute. For example, if you like science, Giant Microbes and other organ plushies are surprisingly cute iterations of things like brains, hearts, colons, and DNA. 

For those with a dark side, the popular, scary pink bear, Guromi, is a great choice. There are also plenty of food plushies featuring random food products like daikon, Japanese sweet bread, and pizza.

Reverse or Mood Plushies

Reverse and mood plushies are a really cool type of plush toy that you can turn inside-out, changing the appearance of the plushie. The inside-out version of the plush toy features a different or reversed color scheme to the other. 

However, what gives them the name ‘mood plushies’ is the fact that one version usually has a cute, happy smile, while the other has an adorable pouty or angry expression. In other words, they’re a way to express your own mood just by using a toy. There are even stories online of people using these types of plushies to express their mood to friends or loved ones. 

Although it’s not Japanese, the octopus mood plushie is definitely one of the most popular ones out there. Who knew plushies could be both cute and expressive?

Keychain Plushies

A bunch of Japanese plushies keychains with a purple Pusheen in the front at a store in Tokyo
Pusheen is popular in Japan as both a text message stamp, and a plush toy option. Image via Shutterstock

Keychains are a common way to express your likes, interests, and characters you love. Luckily, for lovers of Japanese kawaii culture, it’s easier than ever to show your love with keychain plushies. Although they may be a little too big to just put on your actual keys, they fit perfectly on a backpack or bag. Just remember to clean them if they get dirty.

Some are even small enough to be perfect cell phone charms. You can easily rep your favorite Sanrio characters or cute Nintendo characters on your bag anytime and carry them with you everywhere.

Japanese Squish Plushies

Squish plushies are probably one of the most satisfying types of plushies out there. Filled with a very soft material, these plushies are made to be squeezed, hugged, and squished. If you need a hug, squish plushie is ready for your strongest bear hug. 

If you need to squish some frustration out, grab the plushie and squeeze away. Some people just fall in love with how soft these plushies are and enjoy squishing them as they study, work, or relax.

Pillow Plushies

Two Japanese plush cushion designed to look like a cat on top of a couch in an apartment
These cute neko (cat) plushes are actually cushion pillows used on a sofa. Image via Shutterstock

At the end of a long day, pillow plushies are here to help you get a good night’s sleep. From travel pillows to body pillows, this type comes in many different shapes and sizes, all made to help you on your way to a kawaii dreamland. 

Many plush pillows are designed to look like all of your favorite animals or your favorite sweets, such as donuts. There are even plushies that have blankets so you can fully sleep on them. The infamous long-tongue Gengar is a perfectly hilarious example of this. If you’re looking for a less scary option, the kawaii Kirby pillow is great too.

As you may already know, these categories have plenty of crossover. Animal pillow plushies, anime squish plushies, and anime keychain plushies are all perfect kawaii crossovers. Plushies can fit into several categories at the same time, and that’s totally okay. In fact, it’s even better that way. 

Either way, Japanese plushies are more than just their function and have value just by being. 

Did you find a new kind of plush that you want for your collection? Any plushies that you love in particular? Let us know in the comments below!

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