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Spanner Manga grips Japan

By Ignatius Rake, Japan

Posted April 18, 2018
Spanner Manga sweeps Japan
Translation: Spanners! Cute! © Ignatius Rake

Ignatius Rake reports on the latest trend taking Japan by storm.

It might sound like some baddie from a James Bond movie but Spanner Manga is actually the latest trend sweeping Japan like a giant broom made of art.

Take a walk around Tokyo's Harajuku district, the epicentre of Japanese youth culture, and you'll soon see that there's only one thing on the young things' young minds.


Lots of them.

I love spanners, sexy spanners
Translation: I love spanners, sexy spanners. © Ignatius Rake

"Hello Kitty and Pokémon are boring," says 17-year-old high-school student Takuya Feisumasuku.

"They're old and stale."

"We're a new generation: we want spanners."

His girlfriend Sayo Onara agrees.

"Watashi wa supana ga daisuki," she says, stating her love for that ever-practical tool for the tightening and loosening of nuts.

As we walk along Harajuku's crowded main thoroughfare, the world-famous Takeashit Street, a girl dressed as a cybernetic French housemaid with electric blue hair walks by, her dainty, lace-gloved hands clutching a six-foot aluminium monkey wrench with hearts and bows all over it.

Sayo is overcome with joy.

"Kanojo no supana wa kawaii," she gushes breathlessly.

Her spanner is cute.

And yes.

Yes, it is.

tickle me with spanners
Translation: Tickle me with spanners. © Ignatius Rake

We move on to a tool-themed coffee shop, where prices exceed the gross national product of Peru.

"There's something about a spanner," Takuya says above the excited chatter of high-school students temporarily freed from their rigid daily routines and thus for one brief moment able to express themselves as individuals via fashions that, to the casual western eye, appear outlandish if not downright bizarre.

"Spanners are beautiful," he continues, toying with a fluffy cuddly spanner Sayo has bought him for his birthday.

"They are kawaii [cute]."

"They are the marriage of heaven and earth, a practical means of tightening and loosening nuts."

"If I could be anything, I'd be a spanner."

He pauses.

"Or Godzilla."

"One of the two."

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rake clag kawaii

Fortunately, all three of the above Spanner Manga designs are available to buy as T-shirts, bags, duvet covers, shower curtains and whole lot more from the brand-new Manga and Kawaii section of the Rake & Herald's fan-flippin'-tastic Rake Clag Online Clag Emporium shop.

Check it out and buy some supercool Spanner Manga merch today!

Importantly, all Rake Clag designs are officially kawaii as stated by a waitress in Saitama t'other day.

And with prices starting from as little as $12.95 (£9.12) for a Classic Tee, you'd be certifiably mental not to.

Go on.

You know you want to.

In the meantime, for a better understand of the concept of kawaii in Japanese popular culture, have a read of this.

See also Meanwhile in Japan..., posted 6/2/15.

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Ignatius Rake is a journalist, geographer, filmmaker, artist, singer and life-long fortean who blew the lid on the 2017 Eden UFO hoax. He has so far visited 75 countries on six continents. When not travelling, he divides his time between Cornwall and Poland. You can view some of his art here.

Engage with the Rake & Herald on FaceBook here and Twitter here. Better still, buy a T-shirt here.

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