Umbrellas

Good morning everyone,

Today is looking gorgeous-it'll get up to 27C and be sunny all day. Enjoy it because the forecast for the rest of the week isn't so nice...it's going to be overcast or rainy for the rest of the week, although we may see some sun on Sunday.

Unless you’ve got a bitter aversion to the cold, odds are you’ll find early summer to be the least pleasant time of year in Japan, weather-wise. Not only is it hot and muggy, it’s also the country’s rainiest period, and just about any time you’re stepping outside you’ll want to carry an umbrella with you.

Thankfully, there’s a way to make the rainy season a little more enjoyable, as a new line of Studio Ghibli-themed umbrellas means a summer squall is just the beginning of a Totoro hunt as the beloved forest spirit magically appears on the umbrella’s fabric when it gets wet.

Benelic, the operator of the awesome Donguri Kyowakoku chain of stores that are stuffed with Ghibli merchandise, has put out a press release announcing a pair of umbrellas featuring characters from two of the studio’s biggest hits.

You can pick up the My Neighbor Totoro Mysterious 24-Spoke Umbrella Totoro Clover. Umbrella connoisseurs in Japan generally believe the more spokes the better, and the extra sturdiness does do a lot to justify the 3,500-yen (US$28) price tag.

▼ A cover is also included

GU 1

But the bigger draw for anime fans is no doubt the embroidered Totoro that accentuates the simple design. Well, actually, the umbrella isn’t quite as understated as it at first appears. Once it gets wet, a whole slew of Totoros, and clovers too, appears on the navy blue portion of the material.

GU 2

But while Totoro’s status as the most famous (and cuddliest) Ghibli character makes him the company’s de facto mascot, the film that brought the studio its first Academy Award was Spirited Away, which is also getting its own special pattern-changing umbrella in the Spirited Away Mysterious Umbrella No-Face, identically priced at 3,500 yen.

GU 3

Taking over for Totoro is No-Face, who silently looks to the heavens in anticipation of raindrops. Once they start falling, more copies of the taciturn creature, as well as the Radish Spirit and coal-lugging Susuwatari, reveal themselves on the umbrella’s maroon field.

GU 4

If you’d prefer something more compact, both patterns will also be available for 3,300 yen in collapsible versions.

GU 5

Both items go on sale at Donguri Kyowakoku locations in July, and will also likely be available through the chain’s online shop. Should you decide to pick up one of these special umbrellas, though, you’ll want to make doubly sure no one swipes it...here's what I'm going to write on my umbrella handle...

BkM8Pp3CAAI5CFx

Just in case anyone is tempted to steal my cool new umbrella, I'm going to write this message on the handle...it's telling people that if they steal the umbrella, they'll be triple grudge-cursed for life! Don't ask me what that means...but it sounds bad! Ha ha!

Have a great day!


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