These are some of my favorite things. They sit in a proper line along the length of my desk. Whenever the day gets long and I need a smile worthy moment, I look down and take in their sweet expressions. They are my everyday happy.
I first discovered polepole animals by T-lab (Tirabo) when I traveled to Tokyo in 2012. I would encounter them piece meal at various gift and stationery stores. One by one, I took them back to the hotel with me. By the end of the trip I had a tidy dozen.
Each polepole animal is hand-carved and painted in Japan using a soft, light wood called albizia, which is very similar to balsa.
When I returned from my trip, I brought my collection to work as a way to brighten up my desk. It wasn’t too long after that I noticed my coworker had a little zoo of her own. About a year later, after many hours spent searching for them online, I discovered Kobo, a Japanese import store in the International District (Seattle), carried them. They only ever had a few but that was a few more than I’d been able to find elsewhere. My coworkers and I hurried down for a lunchtime field trip to add more to our menageries. The addiction has continued ever since.
To date I have 21, my numbers growing markedly after I discovered the online retailer, Japanwave, carried them. I’m currently coveting the anteater, capybara and sloth, which I hope Japanwave will start carrying soon.
What animal would you get?
Side note: Just in case you are wondering, I am not getting paid to write this post (I don’t get paid for any posts.) I just really love these little guys and feel the world needs to know them too!