The dakimakura: Japanese Pillow --- A Must Have and What can it Do For You?

The dakimakura: Japanese Pillow --- A Must Have and What can it Do For You?

The dakimakura, formed from the Japanese word “daki” meaning to embrace or cling to and “makura” meaning pillow; a translation into the English language gives us the word embrace pillow, hug pillow or what we currently understand as the body pillow. The general body pillow is an oversized pillow that provides your body with remarkable relief and comfort throughout a night’s sleep. It roughly the size of your body and it shapes and models itself into you as you sleep. It also provides relief from pain associated with pressure points such as those that occur in your knees, elbows, hips and back. The dakimakura is a body pillow with a twist.

Similar to the orthopedic body pillow, the dakimakura is used by several Japanese people as a security item that is, an object that provides one with comfort, a sort of emotional support, what the Western world would understand as a security blanket. The origin of the dakimakura began in the 1990’s and began to intertwine with what is known as otaku culture. The term otaku is associated with Japanese individuals who are obsessed with what are known as manga and anime, these are forms of entertainment that take shape as graphic novels and comic books as well as animated film and television series’.Because of the wide spread popularity of these entertainment products various items have been manufactured in relation to anime’s and manga’s creating a fan base not only in Japan but across the globe in different international communities. The dakimakura is such an item. Most of these body pillow covers feature printed images of various bishonen – young beautiful boy – and bishojo – beautiful girl – from various games and anime’s and are manufacture and distributed by a company known as Cospa, who also cater for the cosplay costumes that are available in Japan.

Studies in sociology illustrates that the human beings requires certain things for their basic survival and while the need for food and shelter is obvious, what is not so obvious is companionship. No man or woman was created to be an island, to be a loner, each of us is a complex puzzle piece that fir into the whole puzzle that is known as humanity. It is no surprise therefore that a majority of our current inventions not only to seek to advance our race from a technological stand point but also from a social one. The creation of apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, to name a few are modes of communication that not only allow us to share our thoughts through words, pictures and videos but they also link us across continents. They allow us to experience different cultures from our own and share some of our knowledge with each other. The popularity of these apps as well as the continuous creation of socially driven technology is evidence that humanity is constantly striving to emotionally connect with each other but in some situations this is not probable and again we did what we dobest, we create.

Strangely, within some societies, individuals are unable to connect with one another; reason could be the stratification of that society does not provide for interaction with each other. Societies constantly working towards improving the economic status and ties of their country in comparison to others; they sometimes forget that they need to improve relations among each other. It is no surprise that it is in these communities that certain items are more prevalent than in others; technologies created to deal with the lack of connection that is unavailable within the society. Or is it that sometimes, we need to comfort ourselves? The dakimakura is such a creation, a piece of comfort provided for all who seek that illusive connection that is no longer existent in today’s society.


Waifu Pillow

The dakimakura is also known as the “Dutch wife” or a closer translation in Japanese would be chikufujin, the “bamboo wife” or in Katakana the waifu pillow. Why the title “Dutch Wife”? Well, history indicates that during the European colonization of Southeast Asia, a bolster made of bamboo like material was wrapped in linen and it was used by Europeans to help them sleep at night. Because of this region’s tropical weather, the bolsters kept the European’s cool, as the hollow insides allowed circulation of air, cooling their bodies that were wrapped around this bolster. This pillow would become known to the English as the “Dutch wife”, the narrative being that a Dutch man created this while in Indonesia and this bolster gained popularity across Europe especially among men involved in the colonial process. They would go back home and would have to readjust to lives without their “Dutch wife”. With time and continuous modernization, this “Dutch wife” is currently understood in Western community as a body pillow and in Asia, especially Japan, it is the waifu pillow or rather the dakimakura. These body pillows are available in two sizes that is, 150cm to 160cm in length and 50cm in width.

Talking Dakimakura

The waifu pillow in Japan is no longer an ordinary body pillow with an anime or game character printed on the cover, with technological advancement, the body pillow can talk. The Kyushu Institute of Technology created a product known as the Itaspo. These are sophisticated sensors that are placed on the pillow and when touched, they allow them to talk. How to do this? Well, take your dakimakura and insert the three sensors beneath the pillow cover, these can be placed along any part that you want, from the head, breast and leg of the animated pillow cover, then connect the sensors to your smart phone via Bluetooth. One issue with the sensors is that they must be connected to a battery and Arduino board which is bulky and can cause discomfort if you accidently lie on it as you sleep, but this made up by the fact that your dakimakura can now speak. With an app available for Android and iOS, the Itaspo sensors provide feedback based on your interaction with the dakimakura, light caresses with have positive responses, from “Aishteru” meaning “I like/love you” to “It getting hot”. Touches that are rough will elicit negative responses from “No”, to “Stop it!” and “I hate you!” The Itaspo has five different modes and they are all dependant on the different forms and styles of the caresses elicited by the owner of the dakimakura. With a total of 500 different sounds and speech patterns, from moans, heavy breathing and screams of ecstasy to shouts of anger and disgust, the Itaspo adds an element of reality to these waifu pillows that are already a source of comfort for a majority of owners.


Why Have a Dakimakura and What can I do with it?

Apart from providing comfort and relief, there are several reasons why people choose to have a dakimakura or a waifu people. Here is a list of some of the reason and experiences that others have had with their dakimakura and why this may be the choice for you.

Pain Relief

There are men and women who experience back pain and a full body pillow is an effective way of dealing with this pain. A full body dakimakura will release the tension that build up in your neck and back from being on your side for too long as you sleep. It will provide you with a fitful free sleep

Go To Work Day

Some people choose to take their dakimakura to work and not as a body pillow but as a source of emotional support. The dakimakura receives their own chair and desk, just like any other company employee and participates in your day to day work activity.


Want a Jealous Girlfriend/Boyfriend

I imagine that your super soft dakimakura pillow provides you with a sense of happiness and comfort, with the anime of your dreams waiting for you every night, on your bed, how can this not make your other bed fellow jealous? How do you benefit from this jealousy? Well, I am sure it takes no stretch of the imagination for you to figure out how to use this to your advantage. Here’s a hint, butt loads of sex – pun intended.

A friend at Hand

Waifu and dakimakura pillows become your confidants. Late at night, with just your thoughts, you can share your troubles without fear and insecurity. Pour your heart out and release some of the day’s issues that plagued you.


Adore you Anime Character

The body pillows covered in anime characters are a way to show love to your favorite bishonen and bishojo characters and enjoy them off-screen by having them with you as a dakimakura.

Sexual Pleasure

A healthy sex life is good for the soul? A waifu pillow with a sexy/hentai anime print can be used as sex toy, a satisfactory masturbatory stimulant.

Sleep Over

Going for a sleep over, the dakimakura will provide you with a sense of home away from home. Any uncomfortable feelings that arise as a result of being in a new space can be eradicated by carrying a piece of home that you are familiar with and what is more comfortable than a body pillow, a dakimakura that provides emotional support.

Dinner with Company

Tired of having no company at the dinner table, have dinner with your dakimakura. Strange or not, the feeling of loneliness affects us all and thus having your waifu pillow sitting across from you reduces that feeling of emptiness, even if it’s just for awhile.

Waifu Pillow

There is a reason the dakimakura pillow is also known as the wife pillow, this is because some men have been known to regards them as such and even going off to the extent of marrying their dakimakura pillows. For those of this inclination, this is an option for you. Others have done it.


Similar with the sleep over, a dakimakura is great from travel, not only does it produce a sense of comfort from being so far away from home, it provides you with physical relief from all the pain and stress that is associated with travel. A good night rest while you’re globetrotting is essential if you plan to continue with your travels.


Being an active member of society is important and thus participating in group activities is essential; going hiking, swimming and playing board games are interactional activities and who say you can do this with your dakimakura? As part of a group or all by your lonesome, you can have your waifu pillow accompany you to these social activities, from swimming to playing on your Xbox.

Greif Companion

For some individuals, the waifu pillow produces a sense of comfort for individuals who have lost their loved ones to death. Those undergoing the process of grief receive emotional relief from these “hug pillow” which help them cope with the loss.


This is the Japanese word for festival; there are several festivals that take place in Japan all year long. Don’t be shy, take your dakimakura along. Enjoy the sights and sounds, visit a temple and stop to smell the roses.

Art Décor

Not everyone will appreciate your sense of style so the safest room to decorate using the dakimakura would be your bedroom. It may take up a lot of space but you can pick and choose the different sizes that you would like. It doesn’t have to be the standard 150cm by 50cm, be creative and custom make your own dakimakura.

Design your Own

Because Cospa only produces dakimakura that are either 150cm/160cm by 50cm, this doesn’t mean that you can get creative. Don’t be afraid of copyright issues, you aren’t mass producing your product and therefore this is totally legal. Create pieces that suite your need, this makes it all the more yours and provides you with a sense of accomplishment.


I’m sure some disagree but your dakimakura can be a cosplay item. If you decide to attend a cosplay event, why not take your dakimakura with you. You never know, this might be the beginning of a new cosplay trend.

Why not? Especially if this is a new experience for you, share this moment with your waifu pillow and see how that goes.

Sunset Watch

I reiterate, why not? If you can have dinner with your waifu pillow, why not enjoy an evening of gazing at a sunrise or sunset. Enjoy that moment with the dakimakura that provides not only emotional security but physical comfort and relief from bodily pains through the night.

So there is the list of reasons why you should purchase a waifu/dakimakura pillow and all the possible activities that are probable with this body pillow that are not available with other types of body pillows