Sakuma Type Drops Grave Of The Fireflies
Review by Showapop
July 2011 was my second trip to my spiritual homeland of Japan. On this trip I spent most of my time traveling Nagoya and the surrounding areas. After landing at Haneda airport in Tokyo I traveled by The Shinkansen for the one-hour trip to Nagoya station where I was to meet my girlfriend at.
After we met up at the station we decided to stick around and get a bite to eat. Nagoya Station is the main hub station in the Nagoya area and accordingly there is a big complex of shops, restaurants, hotels and bars throughout the area. While walking around the many underground shop areas looking for a place to eat I was surprised to see a Ghibli Goods Shop as I was walking by. Messe Ghibli Goods is not an official Ghibli shop but a goods store that sells Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki related items. The first time I traveled to Japan in 2010, I never ran across any Ghibli type stores so I was elated that I was able to shop in a Ghibli themed store within the first few minutes of my trip. And what a shop it was! I regularly look at Ghibli auctions online and I’m quite familiar with many of the items Ghibli has licensed over the years. But I was unprepared by the wall of items that I have never heard of or could have imagined. Literally thousands of Ghibli items of all types, prices and sizes met me in this shop. It would have so easy to spend hundreds of yen at Messe but as it my first store of the trip I had to decide carefully. This was difficult as there was an entire section just devoted to Go, Panda Go, one of Miyazaki’s earlier and relatively obscure anime series. Giant Jiji’s and Totoro’s were everywhere and it was great seeing a Radish-head scarecrow from Howl’s Moving Castle. Just looking at the pictures there were simply hundreds of items to choose from.
One item that I did pick up that moved me was the Sakuma Type Drops Tin with the Grave Of The Firefly character of Setsuko beautifully lithographed on the tin. Grave Of The Fireflies was a 1988 film directed by Studio Ghibli Founder and legendary anime director Isao Takahata. It recounts the tragic story of two war orphans, 14-year old Seita and his 4 year old little sister Sestuko, who survived the bombing of Kobe during the later days of WWII. Setsuko’s Sakuma Type Drops tin is an important thread throughout the film and it was nice seeing an item such as this from the film, as Grave Of The Fireflies has few products available over the years
Sakuma Drops was Tokyo based company started in 1908 and named after the founder of the company. By WWII the company ceased operation but a former employee of the company started to produce his own version of the Sakuma Drops through the war. After the war, the son of the founder sued the ex employee for starting his own version of Sakuma Drops. The resulting trial ruling ended with the odd arrangement of both companies were allowed to use the Sakuma name but with different variations in the name and colors on the tin. The son of the founder of the company was allowed to use “Sakuma Drops” and use a pre dominantly green tin while the ex employee was allowed to use the name but calling itself “Sakuma Type Drops” and used a predominantly red tin for its products.
Sakuma Type Drops are a fruit flavored hard candies that are still sold in a tin can with a tin push cap. Considering the tins sell for under ¥200 you get a lot of drops for the price. You have the love the vintage style lithograph on the outside of the tin.
I especially love the Image of Sestuko on the side of the tin, it brings me a smile yet reminds me of the innocent child victims of all wars. If I was going to have any products from Grave of the Fireflies, the Sakuma Type Drops tin is the first and last product I will even need and it is great that Sakuma still continues to make this product for admires of Grave Of The Fireflies film.
©2011 Photos and article Leonardo Flores and CollectionDX.
|Posted 12 December, 2011 - 13:47 by Showapop|