Japan Today

Putin calendar sales surpassing those of Japanese stars in Japan

By Krista Rogers, SoraNews24

The current leader in 2019 calendar sales at a popular chain store in Japan is not a fresh-faced young idol, nor is it a sexy heart-throb actor. Rather, Vladimir Putin, the 66-year-old president of Russia, takes the cake in that category. That’s right, the very same exercise buff that also has claim to a fragrance in his home country and a manga in Japan is currently contributing to an unprecedented number of calendar sales in a foreign country.

The Putin-dedicated calendars are being sold by Loft, a popular Japanese store that sells miscellaneous household and everyday goods. The company reports that it began selling a variety of “famous people” 2019 calendars back in September, and Putin’s sales have continuously dominated all others throughout its nationwide locations. Loft actually began selling Putin calendars three years ago based on their popularity in Russia. Past calendars include this year’s version which featured the president chilling with dogs (including his pet Akita Inu named Yume [“Dream”] from Akita Prefecture, Japan) and 2016’s version which included an infamous shirtless fishing photo.

▼ Putin calendars on sale at a Loft store.

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 6.32.27.png

While a number of shoppers are likely buying the calendars as a sort of practical joke, the fact remains that Putin’s sales are still managing to beat a number of native Japanese celebrities who definitely have higher fan bases in Japan. Case in point–currently the second highest number of calendar sales at Loft is going to Kei Tanaka, a 34-year-old actor who has starred in dozens of popular TV series and films such as this year’s "Ossan’s Love."

The current third-place holder in terms of sales is Yuzuru Hanyu, the 24-year-old two-time reigning Olympic champion in men’s figure skating, who is often noted for his charmingly boyish looks. His second-consecutive gold medal at the 2018 Olympics elevated him to a godlike status in his home country (and seriously, this is about the only time you’ll ever see him being labeled “third” at something).

It has also been reported that a recent explosion of self-proclaimed “Putin fans,” or young women with a feverish zeal for the foreign leader, are the ones responsible for propelling these calendar sales to the top. Livedoor News quoted many of the women as saying that they find something attractive about the former KGB intelligence officer and president at the forefront of many controversial policies.

Japanese net users were both amused and skeptical by the revelation of Putin’s calendar popularity:

“Hmm…I kinda want one now.”

“It seems like it would be a good luck charm! Or that it would ward off evil or something.”

“Why does he seem to be so popular with the ladies?”

“I’d be weirded out if I went to a friend’s house and saw Putin hanging on the wall…”

“OK, legitimate question–who did they have to get permission from to sell those? The Russian government?”

“I think this is all a ploy to make him look more favorable in light of the current Kuril Island negotiations.”

Source: Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Putin puts the moves on Russian judo team during practice in Sochi

-- 2018 Russian calendar features Vladimir Putin just hanging around with some dogs

-- Manga book aims to explain Vladimir Putin

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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At the age of 66, Mr.Putin is very energetic! And he has skin treatment to make him looks good!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You must never get out of the countryside - Loft has been pretty prevalent in bigger cities for at least 20 years.

Or never visited a big city. I was going to Loft in Sapporo 20 years ago. The one in Umeda has like 6 floors, the one in downtown Kobe is 4 or 5. Along with Tokyu Hands, is there another more popular store in urban Japan? Absolutely mobbed at all times.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Until reading this article, I had not heard of Loft

You must never get out of the countryside - Loft has been pretty prevalent in bigger cities for at least 20 years.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The current leader in 2019 calendar sales at a popular chain store in Japan

So, one "popular chain store in Japan" is generating these sales. Which store? From when to when?

There's more than one "popular chain store in Japan." What's happening at the other ones?

Would it be out of place to point out that LiveDoor was started by "Horiemon" who spent nearly two years in the clink?

Would it be out of place to point out that a search on the LiveDoor web site for プーチン turns up this article


that identifies the store as ロフト (Loft) and the source of in the information as an article in 週刊ポスト2018年12月21日号 (Shukan Post) one of several trashy weekly magazines in Japan.

Looks like some PR agent for Loft deserves a bonus.

Until reading this article, I had not heard of Loft, probably because while it has a number of outlets, most of them are rented single floor operations within larger chains. Loft looks rather small compared to "Donki" and other major retail operations in Japan.


Just saying. I suppose non-news is better than fake news.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Wow. It's surprising that he beats out those boys considering they're extremely popular. I kind of knew Putin is popular around the world but didn't think he's that popular in Japan. Omoshiroi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While a number of shoppers are likely buying the calendars as a sort of practical joke

It's like the gag gifts ya buy for the lolz

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He old be on the January calendar of the series ‘Leaders you love to Hate’.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It makes for a good darts board, if nothing else.

Oh, in that case. I want one!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Is this article for real, or a prank?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"infamous shirtless fishing photo"

That photo rivals the shirtless horseback riding photo! What a stud!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I believe in miracles. Where ya from (Russia)? You sexy thing. You sexy thing you!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So uncool it's cool, i guess.

“Why does he seem to be so popular with the ladies?”

Don't think Putin is 'that' popular with Western, non-Russian, women tbh. May be different with J women though, dunno. They seem to like, or at least not mind, blokes (western or asian) with short-man syndrome like Putin who act all tough & 'macho'.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It makes for a good darts board, if nothing else.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Putins popularity in Japan is partially because of this.


Over Twitter, people say that at Normandy ceremony, at the moment Atomic was dropped, Obama clapping hands together with crowd, while all European guests remained silent. Putin even made the sign of cross and prayed for victims.

I don’t know if this is what really happened, but people on Twitter believed it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


I don't think a single Japan Today reader has claimed to own one of these, just lots of bros saying they look like a cool joke present. But since they are only sold by the Loft chain of stores, that kind of narrows down who will be getting one. Maybe nationwide there will be a run on Putin calendars resulting in a few thousand sold by Loft. Is that even enough to cover the licensing fees going to Russia? Not exactly a big deal except for the part about Yuzuru Hanyu calendars taking third place, but if you ever scanned the audience at figure skating events you can guess that it will be solely women buying those, and many of them may not have room next to the pile of Pooh bears (whose maker Disney should really be paying Yuzuru something if they aren't already secretly sponsoring him).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It should be mandatory to own this calendar.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sounds like a good novelty present. It would put a smile on my face.

Hope its got the Japanese national holidays marked on it. It's a right pain if your calendar doesn't, especially if you are a freelancer and don't have people telling you when this month's holiday is. They end up creeping up on you otherwise.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Apart from our friends on Japan Today, who buys them I wonder?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Put-in ¥en

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cool..?..Popular leader..?..... How soon we forget this 'cool leader' is a vicious murderer and a major threat to world peace.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Not bad. Maybe it's time to take down my yellowed, curling 1966 Mao calendar and change to this one.

You're behind the times. I changed mine to Xi a long time ago.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Either that photo is not up-to-date, or it's been photoshopped. In real life, the botox is screaming out.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I admit Putin is a very popular leader in Japan, shown by his calendar sales. Japanese people highly respect a “strong man” leader. I hope his popularity can be matched by trust in him by japanese people, to negotiate with PM Abe the return of Northern Territories to Japan in next few years.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Not bad. Maybe it's time to take down my yellowed, curling 1966 Mao calendar and change to this one.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I want one, but with this news they will be sold out. In japan everybody copies everybody.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Buy one, every house should hang one in a prominent place, or suddenly be irradiated.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Either you like him as Russia's leader or not, you really can't deny how cool he looks.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Wait, what?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Russian collusion!!! Russians under the bed, behind the bushes!!! Sneakily taking over japan!!! Watch out for them Russians!!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I have one. He look pretty cool in it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Looking at the picture, I'm wondering what he's describing with his hands...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are probably thousands of Russians living in Japan. Given Putin's popularity in Russia, second only to Stalin, it makes sense many would buy at least one of these.

And given how many 'Americans' have lauded Putin, saying he's the kind of 'strong man' leader they prefer, and given how much support Putin's various agencies have provided in helping Trump get elected and stay in power, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/16/new-report-russian-disinformation-prepared-senate-shows-operations-scale-sweep/?utm_term=.4271fa34f5a6

no doubt many of those Trump-backing 'Americans' probably also bought some.

Cult of personality, after all.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Vlad the Shirtless! Can't wait till next year.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Cool! I'll buy one to hang next to my Kim Jong Un calendar! The great thing about these calendars is that the provide no infomation on how long you can expect to survive.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I love it, the guy is like an evil bond character.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Any word on the number of Trump calendars sold? Just curious.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

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