Popular Japanese variety store Loft recently announced their top-selling 2019 calendars, with an unexpected political world leader in first place. According to an article published on Livedoor News on Dec. 12, the man featured in the best-selling calendar for 2019 is none other than Russian president Vladimir Putin.
— ライブドアニュース (@livedoornews) December 12, 2018
66-year-old President Putin beat actor Kei Tanaka from the TV show Ossan’s Love (“Old Guys’ Love”) who’s calendar came in at number two on the list. Tanaka is at the center of a gay love triangle in the wildly popular series which first aired in late April of this year.
In at number three was two-time Olympic medalist and 16-time record breaking figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu. Hanyu gained a huge fan base this year with his incredible performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang that saw him win his second consecutive gold medal despite a debilitating ankle injury.
Um… why Putin?
Like us, you may be wondering why Putin is dominating calendar sales in Japan and has, in fact, been doing so since the first officially sanctioned calendar was released here in 2016.
Actually, there’s more connecting Putin to Japan than meets the eye. Putin makes no secret about his favorite sport being judo, a martial art native to Japan.
Putin also has an Akita dog named Yume (meaning “dream” in Japanese). The Japanese government gave Yume to him as a gift to thank Russia for their help in recovery efforts after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
However, when going to the source of the world leaders’ recent fame in Japan — mainly young women — it seems the biggest reason so many people are buying this calendar is that they feel attracted to Putin’s many sides. They like how he is a formidable world leader, yet also so cute and cuddly.
The Year of the Putin
Reviews on Loft’s website — which holds exclusive rights over the calendar’s sales in Japan — have been wildly favorable, with an overall 4.4 out of 5-star rating. Comments include:
“The Best. So glad I bought this. The days of the week are arranged differently from Japanese calendars which makes it a little hard to look at, but Mr. Putin is cute so I’ll let it slide.”
“So cool! This is my second year buying the Putin calendar. I’ve bought it as a present, too, and people really love it. All the pictures are great, and you can see many sides of President Putin.”
“Wonderful (≧∀≦). This is the most influential man in the world. I was so excited to buy this. It has pictures of President Putin’s private life. My favorite is of Putin in his judo uniform. Just wonderful.”
With such rave reviews, you may be wondering how you can pick up a calendar yourself and show it off to your friends. Unfortunately, Loft does not have international shipping and even if you’re local to Japan, the calendars are all sold out online.
It really is the most popular calendar for 2019.