Since July 1, 2020, when a nationwide fee for plastic bags was introduced in Japan, more and more people have been bringing in their own eco-bags when shopping.

Eco-bags used to be mostly plain-looking since they weren't too common, but now that demand has increased, they are available in all kinds of designs ranging from simple to cute designs and those with brand logos.

Some of them have eye-catching and unique designs.

Your eyes are normal

Twitter user KODAchannel (@Koduck_2016) purchased an eco-bag created by an artist named ekot on the handmade goods specialty store minne.

While shopping, the female clerk at the register couldn't take her eyes off it.

Here's the eco-bag that made her look at it again and again:

Reproduced with permission from KODAchannel (@Koduck_2016)

This isn't the "Ugly Duckling" but the "Hard-To-See Duckling."

In Japanese, there's a play on words: The word minikui can mean both "ugly" (醜い) and physically "hard to see" (見にくい or 観にくい). The fairy tale of "The Ugly Duckling" is translated in Japanese as みにくいアヒルの子 minikui ahiru no ko. Normally, ugly is written with kanji but since it's a children's tale, it's written in the hiragana syllabary instead as みにくい. This opens up the possibility of the two interpretations.

The duck is blurred on the bag, so it's literally "hard to see," hence the printed text: 見にくいアヒルの子 on top.

The design makes you wonder if your eyes are working properly because you can read the words just fine.

No wonder the clerk at the cash register looked at it over and over again.

The unique design that almost makes you doubt your own eyesight has been attracting a lot of attention on Twitter, with many people saying, "I want one! This is interesting," along with comments such as:

  • "What's that? That's strange, isn't it? I'm still in my twenties, but am I already getting farsighted?"
  • "The letters are blurry to me without glasses, but the illustration of the duckling is blurry even with glasses"
  • "Oh, so it's THAT meaning of minikui, I get it..."

If you're interested, you can purchase yours here.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.