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Personalize Your Items & Make Anything Glitter!

There is an on-going boom in 'decoration' among Japanese women, who are known to love cute things. It is all the fashion to embellish every-day items with beads and rhinestones etc. that sparkle like jewels. The attraction lies in being able to transform smartphone cases and stationery, cosmetics, digital cameras, and so on, into personalized, original items with just a few ideas and a little hand crafting. Just casually carrying your treasure around in the office, or at school, is bound to create a topic of conversation, as people exclaim "Oh! How Cute..." And new decorative accoutrements are coming onto the market, such as shiny, miniature fruits and sweets made of resin.


Smartphone cases and key holders decorated with miniature sweets and fruits made of resin. (Courtesy of deco shop chuu)

Tradition and Decoration Meet


A decorated “Beckoning Cat” – a traditional lucky charm (Courtesy of Masami C.Brilliant)

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Beneath one of Osaka’s top class city-center hotels, lies a specialist decoration shop that is popular not only with the Japanese, but also with foreign tourists staying in the hotel. It is strange how your spirits lift just looking at the products in the store, as they sparkle, all decorated with rhinestones; from small & large pieces of furniture such as mirrors and tables, to trinkets such as accessory items etc.

The 'Beckoning Cats' are particularly noticeable in this shop, with the sparkle even extending to the pupils of their eyes. These ceramic figurines of cats, with a front paw raised, as though in invitation, are lucky items passed down from olden times in Japan. The original, traditional appearance of the cats is lovely, and when they are decorated with all the gorgeous rhinestones and ribbons, they really look like good omens. Even passers-by stop without thinking, as if inexplicably charmed, and find themselves being inexorably drawn into the shop.


Fans and traditional woven hand bags transformed into fashion items with a difference using decoration (Courtesy of Masami C.Brilliant)

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In addition, when you see things like Japanese fans and traditional woven bags remade into Japanese accessories with dazzling stones, it is amazing how traditional Japanese designs and patterns are surprisingly compatible with the decoration. Embellishing items with rhinestones and adding a layer of glamour seems to draw a new charm out of their traditional beauty.

In the shop, you can order decoration to be applied to anything you like. Golf clubs that sparkle with glitter are popular among female golfers. And there are many orders for bottles of champagne decorated with ribbons and the letters "HAPPY BIRTHDAY", which make good presents to take to a colleague’s birthday party. If you have a mind to try, it is even possible to decorate the interior, or exterior, of a car. If you cover the front grill with rhinestones etc., the chassis sparkles and it improves the look to one of first class quality.

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Golf Clubs decorated to look glamorous too (Courtesy of Masami C.Brilliant) A bottle of champagne decorated with rhinestones that say “Happy Birthday.”(Courtesy of Masami C.Brilliant)  Even a car’s front grill can sparkle with decoration (Courtesy of Masami C.Brilliant)

Sweets & Candy that Look just like the Real Thing

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A smartphone case decorated so much that it looks like the candy
will fall off (Courtesy of deco shop chuu)
Smartphone cases impressively decorated in unique ways with Japanese sushi etc. (Courtesy of deco shop chuu)

Decoration seems to have become firmly established as a fashion among young people since it first became popular around 2004. A new Japanese word dekoru meaning to decorate has even sprung up, and the boom in Japan has been relentless, even spreading to other parts of Asia and Western countries.

The biggest attraction is being able to stick on the rhinestones one by one and ultimately create something personal and original that is one of a kind in the whole wide world. You can get pre-printed laminated bases with colorful designs that you can stick on and then cover with stones. If you are using a base, you can rest assured that you can always just peel it off and start again from scratch.


Big charms attached to the bag are also popular (Courtesy of deco shop chuu)

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As well as glittering rhinestones, recent years have seen an increase in aficionados who enjoy making their own 3-D decorations made of resin; such as sweets, fruits and popular anime characters etc. It is not just a case of making the tiny "sweet deco" such as strawberries, candies and cookies one by one and carefully coloring them; they are also displayed on the arm of their creator - and how delicious they look! If you make a phone call using a smart phone whose cover is overflowing with sweets and fruits, you are sure to attract increased attention from those around you. In an individualistic way, even a selection of Japanese sushi items, tastefully arranged, might be cool.

(December 2013)

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