How do you take your air?
Unpolluted and crisp? You got it.
The winds of change are about to sweep through the land of the rising sun with the crowning of a new emperor.
To commemorate, a company in Japan is selling the preserved air from the Heisei era, which signifies the 30-year reign of the abdicating Emperor Akihito.
The canned "Air of Heisei" hit store shelves on Monday in the Seki, Gifu Prefecture.
Each can is priced at 1,080 yen ($9.60), and producers are hoping to sell as many as 1,000 units, according to Inquirer.
Don't be surprised at the air of Heisei. There is also "Pizza Potato Air". There is also a canned can of "volcanic… https://t.co/nvovJz1cmz— 夏目くうみ (@夏目くうみ)1556118819.0
The Japanese are notorious for capitalizing on special occasions at every opportunity with limited edition merchandise for demanding consumers always wanting a keepsake.
In Japan, if you don't have a tangible souvenir of an event, it may as well have never existed.
The Heisei period is the name of the current era in Japan that will end on 30 April 2019, when the Emperor Akihito… https://t.co/tIIjC5TEhz— Incunabula (@Incunabula)1555945952.0
The canned air will exist as a reminder of a bygone era if you're lucky enough to snag one at a roadside shop or online.
The manufacturing company is located in Seki's "Henari" neighborhood, which is coincidentally written in the same Japanese character as "Heisei" (平成).
Say “thank you” to the Heisei era with a can of Hesei air https://t.co/o9JlQN57yE https://t.co/X4S8Wro6Ql— sam-english (@sam-english)1556285635.0
The company's president Minoru Inamoto told Agence France-Presse:
"Air is free of charge, but we hope people will enjoy breathing the fresh air of Heisei after the new era comes, or just keep it as a memento."
Okay, so you're really paying for the packaging.
At least it will look swell in your pantry whenever you're feeling nostalgic.
And I thought commemorative items in the US were crazy. But over in Japan, it's all, "Hey, buy this can full of air… https://t.co/IbzxzysQM6— brainwise ☕ (@brainwise ☕)1556198007.0
Seems some enterprising folks are apparently selling canned Heisei Era air for around $9.65 a pop. 🤔… https://t.co/LJNi7f45jI— Brian Ashcraft (@Brian Ashcraft)1555934767.0
The commemorative can is Henari's way of ushering in a new dawn while expressing gratitude for the departing era with a five-yen coin, called "goen," inserted inside the can to resemble good luck.
Part enteprising, part superstition and totally “only in japan” you can now buy cans of air from the previous Heise… https://t.co/1y4Uhz2AXb— Matt Gillet (@Matt Gillet)1556000707.0
Other companies are hoping to cash in by producing toys and other souvenirs as Emperor Akihito's eldest son Naruhito ascends to the throne on May 1, heralding in the "Reiwa" era.
Mainichi says these Reiwa kokeshi dolls are in demand. They are close, but don't quite do it for me. Still looking… https://t.co/Y54wOixLG6— Mulboyne (@Mulboyne)1555862081.0
Merchandise producers sure don't miss a chance to commercialize the new era name of #Japan. There is even #Reiwa ta… https://t.co/sMc5n8ZwzS— japan_no_koto (@japan_no_koto)1556183285.0
Tokyo department stores can barely keep the popular gold oval coins engraved with Heisei stocked on their shelves. Confectionery stores are also getting in on the action by bringing back sweets made popular from the era.
The Reiwa era is being welcomed with exclusively labeled merchandise such as stickers, smartphone covers, T-shirts, pins and commemorative bottles of the Japanese tipple, sake.
Selling preserved air is not a new concept in Japan. Location-specific merchandise includes canned air in tourist spots like Mt. Fuji.
@kevinandbean my buddy bought a CAN OF AIR from Mt Fuji in Japan. money well spent. https://t.co/2iwiVv5EFR— kristykun (@kristykun)1556203352.0
Some mocked the wacky souvenirs, but then admitted they would purchase the air from other eras, including the Showa period (December 25, 1926, to January 7, 1989) and the Taisho period (30 July 1912, to 25 December 1926).
@Brian_Ashcraft @necrosofty i laugh but then i'm like i'd buy showa air— out of control (@out of control)1555974768.0
@ferricide @necrosofty I want some good old Taisho air 🤣— Brian Ashcraft (@Brian Ashcraft)1555975357.0
While the gimmick may seem outrageous, you can't say the Japanese are not creative.
Their imagination cannot be contained; however, the air from the past can be.