A mother who couldn’t afford to buy toys for her three sons decided to make the toys they wanted herself
The toys she made were of such high quality that the pictures of them and her story started going viral in Japan
The mother known as Sachi touched the hearts of thousands on Twitter and inspired other mothers
Solution? Homemade Toys Made With Love
As parents, people do anything to make their children happy and sometimes go to great lengths to do so. For one mother in Japan named Sachi, this meant providing her three children with the toys they wanted, but she couldn’t afford them.
So, like any good mother, with her kids in mind, Sachi thought of a solution to her problem. She began making homemade toys for her three boys just like the ones they wanted. Except, she made everything herself from materials from 100 yen stores, Japan’s dollar stores.
After seeing how high-quality the toys Sachi made for her kids were, a friend told her to upload pictures on Twitter. To Sachi’s surprise, the original post went viral, receiving over 50,000 likes with many commenting on how high quality and detailed they were, as they held back their tears.
Following that, Oricon News, a Japanese media outlet, reached out to Sachi for an interview about her work. Let’s take a look at what she had to say.
What Kind of Homemade Toys Does Sachi Make?
Homemade Kamen Rider Belts!
Firstly, like many young boys in Japan, her three sons are into TV show heroes including Kamen Rider, and Ultraman. Similar to Power Rangers, Kamen Riders, sometimes referred to as “Masked Riders” in English, are motorcycle-riding superheroes who morph into their “super-selves” using a belt. “Kamen” means “mask” in Japanese, and since they get around on their motorcycles, they’re known as Kamen Riders.
Also similar to the Power Rangers and Ultraman, who protect the earth from aliens and monsters, Kamen Riders change each year. The first Kamen Rider appeared on screen back in 1971, and since then, each year a new Kamen Rider continues to protect earth from alien invaders, ghouls, and monsters. The most recent Kamen Rider from 2021 is known as Kamen Rider Revice.
While many children in Japan play with toy Kamen Rider belts, these can sometimes cost up to and above 5,000 yen (roughly 45 USD). Understandably, Sachi realized she couldn’t afford three “rider belts” each year, so she decided to make her own out of felt and cloth from 100 yen stores. This way, the usual plastic belts would now be felt, and thus soft, making them easier and safer for her boys to wear and run around in all day long.
How Does Sachi Make Homemade Kamen Rider belts?
Sachi outlined how she buys a copy of the popular monthly manga magazine known as Televi-Kun, which usually includes a paper cut out of a Kamen Rider belt. Sachi uses the paper version as a base to model her knitwork on, saying it allows her to get a clearer picture of what all the intricate patterns and details look like. The magazines usually include paper masks with Kamen Rider masks printed on them, so her sons can pair them with the belts she makes.
For Sachi to make the belts, she says it can take up to a week. She uses felt for the majority of the belts, as well as plastic buckles, markers, velcro, and wide tape which forms the base layer of the belts. All of which can be found at a 100 yen shop of course. Sachi usually makes the belts when the kids are glued to the TV, watching Kamen Rider Revice, leaving her with spare time.
She notes that heat adhesive tape is a key component as it saves time that would otherwise be spent sewing, and prevents the felt from being stretched and deformed once her kids get their hands on them. Sachi says each one of her belts only costs 1,000 yen (8.80 USD).
The more intricate and gimmick belts like the belts worn by Kamen Rider Hibiki, she uses velcro so that her kids can remove the centerpiece, just like Hibiki does in the show, and just the toys found in stores would do.
Sachi’s Message to Mothers
Finally, Sachi thanked everyone for all the support and let all struggling mothers know that while kids may want the toys found in stores at first, they’ll end up having much more fun with cloth versions as they’re more comfortable to play, and “battle” in, and on top of that, mothers don’t need to worry about them being a little dangerous to play with.
How Have Japanese People Been Reacting to Sachi’s Homemade Toys?
As you can imagine, Japanese Twitter users were touched after hearing about Sachi’s heartfelt drive and positive outlook, as well as seeing pictures of her final products, of course.
@CP_TAROO on Twitter reposted Oricon New’s article saying they were thinking about how those kids had so much made for them, and that they could cry! Adding on, @CP_TAROO said “these have much more sentimental value compared to the real toys” and that the story was “such heartwarming news.”
@street3tunnel said that they could also cry, and that “the quality is so high, not to mention stronger than the paper belts in the magazines!”
Finally, @26n_BTS simply stated, “love is worth more than money.”
Kevin Murasaki grew up moving back and forth between Chicago and Yokohama, Japan. Known as a "hafu", Kevin is half Japanese, and half American. Now a videographer and drone operator based in Fukuoka, Japan, Kevin enjoys playing basketball, driving on mountain or "touge" roads, and fishing in his free time. Kevin is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia.