Posted: May 21, 2014, 9:25 p.m. EDT
Step aside, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce. The latest rear ends to capture people’s attention belong to hamsters. That’s right, the small furry pets apparently have butts worth watching — at least for many people in Japan. We know this because two books devoted to photos of hamster butts are selling like crazy. (More than 40,000 combined since March).
What is it about hamster butts that is so endearing? The nearly-not-there tail? The roundness? The furry roundness? The tiny legs? I suspect the appeal is individual to each person.
The Japanese craze for hamster butt photos seems to have begun in the fall of 2013, according to Brian Ashcraft of the website Kotaku. He wrote that threads on the topic began appearing in Japan’s largest online forum at that time.
Basilico's book of hamster butt photos published in March 2014.
The first book of Hamuketsu (hamster butts) was published in March 12, 2014. That same day, a Facebook page was launched to commemorate the event and invite people to post hamster photos on it to enter a photo contest. As of today, it has 7,496 likes. The deadline to enter is June 30, 2014, but prizes will only be delivered in Japan. Further details can be found in the About section of the page.
The first hamster butt book publisher is Basilico. Takeshi Takahashi, a company spokesperson, is fascinated by the books. Jun Hongo of the Wall Street Journal reports that Takahashi said, "The great thing about hamuketsu is that it is delightfully cute. I can’t stop smiling when I see these butts.”
A more recently released book featuring hamster butt photos was published by Sekai Bunka Publishing.
© Sekai Bunka Publishing
A second hamster butt photo book came out in April from Sekai Bunka Publishing.
Is Japan alone in its fascination with hamster butts? Evidence suggests not. The website Sad And Useless devoted a page to hamster butts in January 2014. And a Flickr group dating from 2008 is a collection of hamster butt photos.
And if you need to see more hamster butts, never fear. A third hamuketsu book is due to be published later this month.
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