Ayumi Hamasaki's Figurines

Ayupan Figures

Ayumi Hamasaki has been a top star for longer than many other J-pop artists. Most fade away after just a few seasons. Not Hamasaki

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She can boast of almost thirty hit singles. Her popularity has reached such heights that she has endorsed everything from doughnuts to mobile phones in Japan. Her fame reaches far beyond the isles of Japan though. In most Asian countries she has huge numbers of fans. Thailand went crazy when Hamasaki went there earlier this year.

Yet in Japan her popularity seems to be waning a bit. No problem for Hamasaki. She has started her own merchandising line. The line has been around for a little while already, but items still sell like hotcakes. Or should we say doughnuts? Hamasaki’s Ayupan line includes bags, towels, key chains, pencil holders, lunch boxes and lots more. All featuring anime-like drawings of her and her dogs (yes, we are not kidding).

One of the most popular items is undoubtably the Ayupan figurine. They come packed in small silvery pouches without explanations of the contents, so you never know what’s inside. There are dozens of variations of the tiny dolls. Some fans, trying to get the whole series, will buy hundreds at a time. Tokyo now even features a store dedicated to Hamasaki merchandise. Don’t like the music? Buy the doll…

Kjeld Duits About the Author

Inspired by the stunningly creative street fashion that exploded on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990’s, photo-journalist Kjeld Duits launched JAPANESE STREETS in 2002. This makes JS one of the first fashion blogs on the net, and the very first to cover Japanese street fashion.

Recent articles by Kjeld Duits:

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