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The Most Expensive Japanese Collectibles

By Charlie Willmott
June 08, 2021

The Japanese culture is one of the most interesting and beautiful cultures in the world. With a rich history spanning back thousands of years, it's no surprise that there are many valuable pieces from this amazing country.

In this article, you will learn about some of these priceless items and what makes them so special. Now let's look at 5 of the most unique expensive collectables found in Japan.

Most Expensive Kimono 

The most expensive kimono in Japan is Jūnihitoe. Its name simply translates to "twelve-layer robe," and that's just what it is: a kimono with 12 layers in all. Starting around the 10th century, Japanese court nobles wore this very complicated kimono. Even now, the Japanese Empress still wears it to her wedding and a few other formal occasions. 

A Jnihitoe's layers are all pure silk, but the intricate pattern of each layer is only visible at the hem. These garments are, without a doubt, prohibitively costly and exceedingly rare. They're still a ton of weight. A Jnihitoe will weigh up to 20 kilograms when fully clothed, including the counting in the under-robe and the coat that covers it all. It's very old, having been untouched for over a thousand years. 

This could explain why it is so costly. The junihitoe is said to be beautiful because it has sheer layers of silk. A woman wearing this pricey kimono will almost certainly be a member of a powerful clan. It's no surprise that this is the most costly of all the kimonos. The price can be at least $100,000, as an authentic Japanese silk kimono yet still can be considered affordable by the Japanese. 

image via shutterstock.com

Most Expensive Lifesize Anime Figure 

In both Japan and the United States, the 1963 anime series Astro Boy was a smash success on television. Astro Boy has been lauded for its contribution to the growth of the anime and manga industries. It has been included on several best anime of all time lists and has influenced the development of popular manga by other writers.

More recently, a computer-animated superhero film, loosely based on Osamu Tezuka's manga series of the same name released in 2009. It was orchestrated by David Bowers, who co-wrote the screenplay with Timothy Hyde Harris for the Hong Kong-based company Imagi Animation Studios.  Due to the property's indespensible contributions to the anime industry, a retro lifesize Astro boy now costs an astonishing $25,000 on average!

image via shutterstock.com

Most Expensive Video Game

Super Mario Bros. was released in 1985, and is the best selling NES video game of all time. This iconic side-scrolling classic makes up a huge part of gaming history as it brought about new standards for gameplay, design and introduced one of the most popular characters in this industry; Mario (the protagonist). A copy can now be purchased on auction sites like eBay at varying prices between $500-$1000+ depending on condition. A refurbished original cartridge is worth upwards of $1500+.

image via shutterstock.com

Most Expensive Console Ever Sold

The Nintendo Entertainment System Console was released worldwide in 1983 by Japanese business giant Nintendo Co. The console has been marketed under several different names including Famicom, or Family Computer for Japan's domestic market, and the NES for western markets.

At a starting auction price of $50,000 on August 13th 2011, this console was won by an unknown buyer in Missouri for the staggering sum of $750,000 – making it one of the most expensive consoles ever sold. Another high priced item that has managed to hit big through auctions is…

image via shutterstock.com

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Most Expensive Anime Artwork

image via shutterstock.com

Hayao Miyazaki's original hand-painted artwork from his 1984 film Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind . The auctioned painting fetched £141,805 ($200k USD) according to Clayman Auctioneers who held bidding until September 15th 2013 with 20 bids submitted up to that point.

The auction includes a certificate of authenticity, signed by the artist's son Goro Miyazaki. 

Miyazaki is among Japan's most famous animation film directors and Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985 with his backing as part of an effort to produce high-quality animations for international audiences…

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, we'd love to hear from you in the comments.

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