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Japan New-Borns Visit Relatives as Cuddly Rice Bags

cuddly bags of riceNew-born babies in Japan who can't make it round to visit all their relatives can now send them proxies instead - cuddly bags of rice.

Yoshimiya, a small rice shop in Fukuoka, southern Japan, has been swamped with orders for "Dakigokochi" rice-filled bags shaped like a bundled baby and printed with the new-born's face and name.

Each rice bag is tailor-made to weigh as much as the new-born and shaped so the rice fills the bag up. Holding the round-edged bag would feel like holding a real baby.

It is customary in Japan to give people gifts or money on occasions such as births, and the recipient then responds with other gifts, often worth half the amount they received.

The rice bags have made perfect "half-return" gifts, Ono said, although relatives face a dilemma once they are done with the cuddling.

"People say they have a hard time opening them up and eating the rice," Ono said.

Source: Stuff
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