What is DAKIMAKURA / ANIME BODY PILLOW / WAIFU PILLOW
Life today is a series of stressful and strenuous situations that are constantly being thrown your way at any given time. As a result, most of us are often seeking different means to relieve the ever mounting pressure. While others might turn to yoga, meditation, extreme sports or simply turn into couch potatoes in order to decompress from life’s demands, others seek out the comfort of body pillows.
What is a body pillow you ask? well these are long pillows that are designed to offer your body the comfort and support it requires as you sleep. but how is any of this related to a dakimakura? The answer is simple, dakimakuras are, in their most basic functionality, simply body pillows. They derive their name from the Japanese names daki and makura which respectively mean to hug or embrace and pillow.
ORIGIN AND USE
In the basic form of their definition, dakimakuras are in essence body pillows. However, digging deeper into their origin and history one easily spots the difference between the two. The dakimakura, as the etiology of the name suggests, can trace its origin in Japan.
This pillow unlike other body pillows was primarily used to provide comfort and emotional support to its users. In many ways, the users of dakimakuras to date still seek them out for this very reason, emotional support.
Their use was especially popular amongst teenagers looking for emotional support. This comes as no surprise as this is one of the most emotionally stressful and tumultuous times in any one’s life.
The dimensions of the dakimakura have for a long time remained standard. Unlike other body pillows that can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes, dakimakuras typically come at a length of between 150 and 160 centimeters, a width of about 20 centimetres and a circumference of approximately 100 centimetres.
DAKIMAKURA, WAIFU AND ANIME
Fast forward to the late 90’s and the traditional dakimakura begins to gain popularity within the otaku fan circles. These pillows took on new meaning for anime fans. Instead of simply providing emotional support, otaku culture die-hards began using the pillows as a means to interact with their favourite anime characters. I mean, what could be better than hugging your favourite hero as you sleep?
This interaction with the anime and general otaku world saw the dakimakuras evolve from being simple, plain pillows to personalized pillows with printed images of various anime characters. The popularity of these pillows amongst the otaku fans saw them slowly become collectors items of sorts. Collecting pillows might just sound strange but think of it as collecting action figures of your favourite super heroes. Makes sense right?
The need to collect the pillows in order to satisfy the desires of the collectors played a crucial role in informing the size of the pillows. The initial pillows were typically 160 centimeters long and weighed about two kilograms. This was before they gained popularity and demand on a global scale.
Faced with the challenge of meeting global demand, manufactures of the dakimakura needed to make it cost effective for themselves as well as the buyers that required these pillows in various geographical locations. Shipping costs were primarily influenced by the size and weight of the pillows.
In an attempt to maintain the general size of the pillows but make them cost effective and economical enough to ship to other parts of the world, manufacturers reduced the length of the pillows by about ten centimeters. This in turn decreased the weight of the pillows by about one hundred grams.
The standardization of the pillow sizes became even more important as the issue of storage space became evident amongst the buyers. In order to get a complete set one needed to have multiple pillows with them. Manufacturers solved the space and shipping cost issue by keeping the pillow at a standard size and instead of manufacturing a different pillow for every anime character, they simply made printed covers of the different characters. This way, buyers only needed one pillow and had the space to collect as many characters as they wished.
MODERN DAY DAKIMAKURA
Technological advancements in various sectors have seen even the most basic aspects of our lives undergo dramatic changes. The dakimakura has not been spared the changes and improvements that come with technological advancements.
Today, dakimakuras are used for more than just basic physical and emotional support by teenagers. They have found a niche amongst the adults thanks to the manga society. With increased use by adults as love companions, dakimakura manufacturers have made use of AI technology to introduce talking pillows. This development helps to bring those loveable fantasy characters to life.
Die-hard fans will insist on having dakimakuras that are manufactured in Japan. However, the growing popularity of these pillows has seen pillow manufacturers from other parts of the world take up these pillows as part of their product portfolio. Like other body pillows, these anime pillows now come in a variety of fill materials, providing different levels of comfort to their users. Despite the difference in country of manufacture, the dimensions of the dakimakuras have remained standard across the board.
WHY BUY FROM US?
Simply put, there are a lot of manufacturers and resellers in the market today. However, we guarantee that personal touch to all our pieces. We have a wide variety of ready made prints to choose from. Our wide selection does not, however, stand in the way of our ability to listen to your needs and customize your piece to your liking. Whether you want a double feature pillow or pillow cover or a one sided one, we have the capacity to see to it that your needs are met.
As your comfort and satisfaction is at the core of our business, we would like to hear from you. Have you shopped with us before? If yes, what was your experience? Your feedback is highly appreciated as it allows us to better serve you. If no, why not give us a try?