Shinada Global: Otters That Ought To Make You Smile

Created 4/5/2022 4:46:40 PM in kawaii | shinada-global | japan-plus-me |

A touching story about the positive impact that plushies and Shinada Global have had on one brave individual's life.

Foreword from ZenPlus

Are you a plushie lover?

If so, chances are you've seen tons of Shinada Global otters, cats, dogs, hedgehogs, and other cute animal plushies popping up on your social media recently. These plushies definitely have a unique look and feel to them -- like something many of us have never seen before!

Shinada Global's core philosophy is that it wants to put a smile on your face and make you feel better (especially in the midst of a global pandemic).

In this very special guest post, we'll hear from one individual for whom Shinada Global has done just that.

Read on to discover her touching story.




About me

My name is Christina, and this is my story about stuffed animals and Shinada Global.

I’ve been attached to stuffed animals my whole life. And though I started from a young age like most people -- you'll see me clutching a cute plushie in almost every one of my childhood pictures -- I feel that's where the similarities stop.

Because while many kids fall in love with plushies and then forget about them a few weeks later, that was never the case with me.


Plushies: Cute & comforting

Christina in hospital
Source: Supplied

Stuffed animals have always been a source of comfort for me, helping me cope with chronic illnesses I've had since birth.

I lived in the hospital for most of my childhood.

MRIs and other scans are terrifying -- to say the least -- for someone who's only four years old. At the time I never understood why my twin sister was able to go to school as usual, while I'd be stuck in a hospital room being fed into some scary contraption.

So every time I went to see the doctor, I'd bring a cat plushie (Toulouse from the Disney movie The Aristocats) with me to help me feel better.

He didn't just keep me company during MRIs, either. Whenever I had physical therapy scheduled (the pain made it unbearable to even walk) back then, he'd always be right there with me.

I recently started physical therapy again for the fourth time in my life (I'm 22 now), and Toulouse is still here keeping me company every time.


Growing love & collection

Penguin plushies
Source: Instagram (The Life of Kyler)

My love for stuffed animals really began to grow more in 2016, when I received a Pillow Pet penguin for Christmas.

I named him Kyler.

Losing my last two years of high school to a hospital room was an indescribable feeling. There were no friends around me to talk to or laugh with. I felt really secluded and alone, like it was the the end of the world.

Luckily, Kyler was by my side every step of the way: every test, every diagnosis, and every surgery. He was the only one I could really talk to back then. I truly owe my life to him.

Thanks to Kyler I started collecting penguin plushies and other stuffed sea animals (like stingrays).


Shinada Global otters


Shinada Global plushies
Source: Instagram (The Life of Kyler)

Otter plushies came into the picture in 2020 when I met my partner.

From the start he and I would call each other our "significant otters," because we often talked about Monterey [California] and the otters there. A few weeks later he bought me an otter plush. We began giving each other otter items as gifts and often visited otters in aquariums. We also took our stuffed otters to Monterey Beach on different occasions.

Love at first sight

One day a fellow collector posted a photo of Mochi Sea Otter plushies from Shinada Global, and they immediately caught my eye; they were the most adorable plushies I had ever seen!

I fell in love with the Shinada Global otters and wasted no time in ordering one for myself (the large pastel mint version). After he arrived he was instantly my favorite, so I ended up getting nine more otters in different colors and sizes -- as well as two penguins and five cats!

Mental & physical comfort

Shinada Global plushies are extremely comforting for me from a sensory standpoint. The pellets used in Shinada Global otters and other animals are similar to those found in weighted plushies, which I've used for comfort since my childhood (since my condition makes the slightest touch uncomfortable, even painful).

After discovering the Shinada Global brand and the many colors and sizes available in their plushie range, I wanted to know if there were any others out there.

And indeed there were! I found out then that XXL size otters existed, so immediately went on the hunt for them.

That's what brought me to ZenPlus.


Shinada Global plushies on ZenPlus

Shinada Global otter plushies
Source: Supplied

Using ZenPlus to purchase my first XXL Shinada Global otter (a brown) was extremely easy: I had no problems using the site, and the shipping was very fast. He arrived at my door from Japan after just six days. And not only was he well-protected in the package he came in, he was just as described too.

XXL Mochi Sea Otter

I'm 5’0, and my brown XXL otter is almost half my size. So not only is he a major source of comfort, he's also my biggest baby!

His supersized height and weight is perfect for me, because as I mentioned above I often use pressure to help my pain. Laying him on my entire body feels like a weighted blanket I once used as a child that I would throw on myself and try to basically swaddle myself in.

Not only does he help me both physically and mentally, he's also the sweetest otter to look at as well.

Penguins, stingrays, and otters will continue to be a major part of my life and shopping for them is always my favorite thing to do.


Other plushies

Aside from the otters, I really love the Fumofumo-san characters and the amount of personality they have in them. I've bought two so far and plan to own more to grow my Fumofumo collection as much as possible!

Their medium-sized plushies are perfect to hold and squeeze during times of stress. I recently brought my Fumofumo with me to the ER and he really helped with the pain I was in.

Shinada Global Fumofumo-san plushies



Got a story to share?

A huge thanks to Christina for agreeing to share this heartwarming story with us. It's just one example of the positive impact that Shinada Global and other plushie manufacturers have on people's lives.

Do you have a personal story you'd like to share with us about products, brands, or Japanese culture in general?

Feel free to get in touch via our contact form or on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).

We'd love to share it in this blog space and help bring the community closer together!

As always, thanks for reading!

Tap or click the button below to browse all Shinada Global otters and other cute mochi plushies!  


Browse Shinada Global Otters


Shinada Global otter plushies
Source: Instagram (The Life of Kyler)



Other articles you'll enjoy

For more kawaii character coverage, check out the articles below:

  1. Bear With Us: Quick Rilakkuma Character Guide
  2. Cute Rilakkuma Plushies: A Crash Course in Kawaii
  3. These 8 Recent Rilakkuma Collabs Are Kawaii to the Max

Thanks for reading!


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