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Vladimir Putin Calendars Are Very Big in Japan

You probably didn’t even know that a government-approved Vladimir Putin calendar actually existed, but even more surprising is the fact that it is incredibly popular in Japan, where hundreds of thousands of copies have been snatched up by fans of the Russian president, in the last few months.

The official 2017 Vladimir Putin Calendar is produced by a St. Petersburg company called Mednyi Vsadnik, with authorization from the Russian government. It features a manly photo of Putin for each month of the year, along with some of his most popular quotes. The calendar is written in eight languages, including English, and is obviously very popular in Russia. But while the calendar’s domestic success was to be expected, its massive popularity in Japan was certainly not.

Japanese chain franchise store Loft has been exclusively selling the 2017 Putin calendar since August last year, for around 90 cents apiece. News of the calendar being available at Loft stores apparently spread like wildfire on social media, with many fans of the Russian president scrambling to buy one for themselves or their friends. By October 2016, the Vladimir Putin Calendar, which comes in two sizes, was the the third and fourth most sold item out of some 3,500 different calendars.

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“We expected some interest from our customers, but didn’t expect it to become this popular,” Loft spokeswoman Koyumi Yokokawa told The Japan Times. “Sometimes you can hear customers, in particular women, saying (Putin) looks good or stylish.”

Apparently, many Japanese see Vladimir Putin as the epitome of masculinity, and the calendar photos showing him preparing for a judo match, piloting a hang glider or wearing a aviation suit were just too hard to resist for many of his fans.The few pics in which he’s wrestling with his adorable dogs do nothing to dent his aura of “machismo”. Instead they are considered a way to show a different side of this powerful man.

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Interestingly enough, the only highlighted holiday in the 2017 Vladimir Putin calendar is October 7th, his birthday.

Weird Asia News reports that by the end of 2016, Loft had sold over 350,000 Putin calendars, a number that exceeded their wildest expectations. That’s Putin for you…

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