So you have stumbled on this thing called a “waifu pillow” and wonder what in the world is this funky-sounding pillow? From the above picture, I am sure pretty sure that you already have the answer.
Yes, waifu pillows are a creative way for fans to show their support for their favorite characters in a tangible way. But just what is “waifu”, and why are these cute pillows shunned by some – Read on for more!
A SHORT HISTORY OF WAIFU PILLOWS
Nobody knows the exact origin of waifu pillows, who invented them, and when they came into existence. But it is believed that they first appeared in the land of the rising sun, Japan – Also the birthplace of anime (animation) and manga (comics).
They have been around since the early 2000s, and are rumored to first appear as a way for some fans to express affection for their favorite fictional characters. Since then, the idea exploded. Waifu pillows have grown in popularity and can now be found all over the world.
WHAT IS “WAIFU”?
To keep the long story short, it’s a slice of Japanese pop culture.
- “Waifu” is the Japanese-English (Japanglish) way of saying “wife”.
- In otaku culture, a very passionate fan will refer to his/her favorite female character as “waifu”.
- So yes, a “waifu pillow” is simply a body pillow of someone’s favorite female character.
P.S. “Waifu pillows” are also known as “dakimakura” (抱き枕) in Japanese. A loose translation will be an “embracing pillow”, or “a pillow for hugging”.
HUSBANDO PILLOW – THE MALE VERSION
Don’t think this needs a lot of explanation.
- “Waifu” is the Japanglish way of saying “wife”.
- “Husbando” is the Japanglish way of saying “husband”.
- In a similar manner, passionate fans will refer to their favorite male character as “husbando”.
- A “male dakimakura” is also known as a “husbando pillow”.
WHY DO PEOPLE BUY WAIFU PILLOWS!?
People from all walks of life are drawn to them for different reasons.
- Some use them as decorations and collectibles.
- Some simply enjoy cuddling up with their favorite character.
- Waifu pillows actually make pretty unique gifts, a special way to show love and appreciation for someone.
- Waifu pillows are still body pillows. They are incredibly comfortable and are good for correct sleeping posture – Especially for side sleepers.
- Provide comfort and companionship to help relax and sleep better.
- A few buy them, because, why not?
Well, some people may think that waifu pillows are “embarrassing”. There’s another train of thought – People collect figurines, toys, and models of their favorite characters. So why can’t waifu pillows be also considered a “collectible item”?
THE DARK SIDE
I have kept the worst for the last. There are people who shun waifu pillows, and the entire “otaku culture” in general. Well, they have good reasons to do so. These cute and comfortable waifu pillows are not all good and fluffy as it seems.
Some people take animation and use waifu pillows as “a form of escapism from reality”. In a known extreme case, a Korean man actually married his waifu pillow. That is from 2010, and not sure how that marriage turned out…
Well, having too much passion for fictional characters can be a bad thing. But if we look past those extreme cases, and keep a level head – Waifu pillows are nothing more than good collectibles, they make perfect gifts for fans too.
Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this short guide. I hope it has helped to answer your doubts. Good luck and have better nights of sleep!