Sep 12, 2017
"Diaper sushi" proving popular as baby gift in Japan
TOKUSHIMA, Japan - An offbeat baby shower gift evoking one of Japan's most famous culinary exports has become a popular seller since hitting the market.
Combining white nappies as "rice" and pink bibs as "shrimp" topping, "diaper sushi" are attracting non-stop orders for seller Wire Mama, a childcare information magazine publisher in the western Japan city of Tokushima.
Noriyuki Monda, a Wire Mama employee who developed the product, which went on sale in 2012, said he first had the idea for diaper sushi 10 years ago after hearing about "diaper cakes" being given as gifts for babies overseas.
"Naturally, Japanese should make sushi" with diapers, he thought.
The company has hired around 10 women raising young children to make diaper sushi at their homes. Wearing gloves and facial masks, the women make each sushi by hand.
In addition to folding diapers into the shape of sushi rice, the "sushi chef" uses items related to childcare and housework for toppings, such as white baby soap for squid and orange mini mops for sea urchin.
"We looked for people who cannot work outside of their house because of childrearing," said 36-year-old Monda, who is also raising a young child.
"Thanks to their ideas, the toppings have been improved," he said.
Wire Mama, which receives around 200 orders for the "sushi" every month, launched the "Takumi," a high-end version using a sushi tub made of local cedar trees, in July.
An order for the product, with an assortment of 15 sushi priced at 7,777 yen ($71), can be made at the dedicated website (http://omutsuzushi.wire.co.jp/index.htm).
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