This big stuffed bunny is my latest achievement in my UFO catching escapades.
I actually had no idea who this cute little bunny was until I came to Japan. Her name is Miffy and she is a small female rabbit in a series of picture books drawn and written by Dutch artist Dick Bruna. Her original Dutch name is Nijntje [nɛɪ̯ncǝ] which stems from a toddler’s pronunciation of the word “konijntje” meaning “little rabbit”.
Many think that Miffy is Japanese, because Sanrio’s Hello Kitty and friends are rendered using a similar line style. In addition, the Miffy brand is popular in Japan and there is a lot of Japanese-made Miffy merchandise. In an interview for the British paper The Daily Telegraph, Bruna expressed his dislike for Hello Kitty. “‘That,’ he says darkly, ‘is a copy [of Miffy], I think. I don’t like that at all. I always think, “No, don’t do that. Try to make something that you think of yourself.”
Miffy mania is such that in 1999 giant rabbit-shaped tulip fields were planted in six major cities in Japan. A few years ago, one Japanese couple even took their honeymoon in Utrecht, turning up on Bruna’s doorstep with a Miffy-shaped cake.