My friends were joking around about TOKYO BANANA™, the city’s oddly mysterious but highly popular souvenir confection—Tokyo is not known for tropical fruits and certainly does not grow bananas.
A little known fact is that before the Tokyo Banana’s introduction in 1987, the stinky ”ginnan“/ぎんなん/ginkgo nut was used for the city’s confection souvenir with the TOKYO TWINK®* name and mascot.
← The ginnan happa/ginkgo leaf (L) serves as Metropolitan Tokyo’s official symbol so stinky ginnan nuts were the perfect ingredient for TOKYO TWINK® unlike Tokyo’s current inexplicable choice of bananas for a seemingly random and incongruous souvenir (3Yen / 2015-04-24) gift item.
A few of our previous reports that are oddly related to Tokyo Twink-eeees include:
, importer/distributer of original products from Japan–Geneva/Tokyo
This kracked Khristmas Kitanosaurus statue popped up in my Twitter feed today and it got me wondering what as the meaning of the strange statue in the Osaka subway and if it had a backstory.
I googled “Kitanosaurus” since I’m not not very familiar with Osaka and I discovered that there were plenty of photos of the beastie but no information in English* about the statue except its location in JR Kita-Shinchi Station.
It turns out that the キタノザウルス aka “Kitano Zaurus” was installed in June 23, 1997 by the Osaka Advertising Association with the wish it would become a meeting place. The idea is that the Japanese word “Kitano” means ‘Northside.’
It also turns out there is a “Kitano Zaurus Legend” …
Long ago and far away, far away in the Jurassic period there lived a monster daughter called “Kitano.” One day she came to the beach in Osaka Kitano, carrying a rice packed in rice straw bundle on her back to meet with her friend. However, the friend not come as promised. Kitanosaurus waited for long time and finally fell asleep.
Finally on June 23, 1997, when someone tickled her, Kitanosaurus woke up for a long, long sleep while saying, “…Has he come yet?”
And that is the secret of Kitanosaurus’ feet.
There is a heart mark on the sole of the right foot and on the sole of the left foot is written the instruction to, “Touch me for good luck.”
However, as the last laugh on the Osaka Advertising Association’s promotional efforts, the Kitanosaurus has a reputation of being, “The meeting place nobody knows*.” Even Kunio Sato, the creator of Kitanosaurus says, “There aren’t any people there, so anyone who waits there can be found immediately.”