I have officially been here for 24 years now. That's six years more than I was aiming for. イエイ〜！
On a completely different topic, here is a graphic of an inuhariko that I've been vectoring. I turned the vector into a stencil and painted it out on an old piece of wood, so now it's at least something concrete, if not an actual figurine.
Inuhariko (犬張り子 in Japanese kanji) is the small figurine of a dog, traditionally made of a paper/plaster combination like papier mache, intended to ward off evil in several regards. For expectant mothers, an inuhariko was said to ensure a safe birth and a healthy child. For children, inuhariko (sometimes wooden toys instead of delicate paper figures) were expected to keep the child safe by frightening off evil spirits and dangerous creatures. Other dog-like figures, such as shishi and komainu, share this demon-scaring skill in Japanese mythology. In modern times, inuhariko charms and images are used as a general wish for safety and good fortune.
I'm too old to need an inuhariko watching over me, but its always nice to have a little luck. ^-^
PS: I'm thinking I'll put this guy and some other graphics on t-shirts or something, 'cause I've always wanted to try it. Any sites better than zazzle for this kind of thing?