Vladimir Putin, the 67-year-old president of Russia, is one of Japan’s most popular calendar subjects. Every year he seems to outsell even Japan’s most popular idols, and for good reason; each calendar seems to show a different side of the enigmatic man.
Our Japanese language reporter Mr Sato, a fan of the Russian president’s manly persona and tough reputation, he’s been buying Putin calendars since 2016, when he laid eyes on his first one in the Japanese stationery shop Loft and thought, “I need this.” Of course, when he happened to spot 2020 Putin calendars in the Shinjuku branch of the home goods store Tokyu Hands, he had to stop and get one.
To his surprise, Tokyu Hands had not just one Putin calendar for sale, but a whole shelf of Putin goods (photo at top). There were tons of varieties of calendars, pins, notepads, and other goods perfect for expressing your love, respect, and fear of the Russian president.
These calendars are made in Russia, so their holidays may differ from Japanese holidays.
Let’s take a look at Mr Sato’s first purchase: a “Mini 3-Month Putin Portrait 2020 Calendar” (660 yen).
Although it’s convenient with its three-month, at-a-glance format, it does only have a single portrait of Putin at the top, which is a major downside, considering the pictures are the main reason to have a Putin calendar. If you wish to see many majestic portraits of Putin, this may not be the right calendar for you.
It is a rather dashing photo of him, however, so it’s still a worthwhile calendar to have on hand. It’s also got a magnet on the back of it, so Mr Sato put it up on the office fridge.
Next, Mr Sato bought a “Desktop Putin & The Military Putin 2020 Calendar” (935 yen). President Putin posing with the Russian military is really an exceptional sight, but this calendar portrays more than just the military side of the man; while there are solemn scenes of Putin holding weapons, there are also heartwarming scenes of him playing with cute animals.
There’s even this brilliant photo of him shaking hands with President Trump.
Finally, Mr Sato bought this impressive “Putin & The Military Putin 2020 Calendar” (2,090 yen), because what’s the point of having a Putin calendar if the photos aren’t big enough to enjoy?! Flipping through the photos, Mr Sato noticed another photo of Putin and Trump together. “Wait a minute, are they friends?” he thought with a shock. “Well, I bet if they are, it’ll make the world great again!”
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