TOKYO >> The production of ox figurines has peaked at Maruei Toki, a maker of Bankoyaki pottery, in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.
The ox is the Chinese zodiac sign for 2021, and workers are busy painting the pieces. The company’s ox are characterized by an overall roundness and simple features, painted white or gold. It will create 33 products, including a parent and child set.
It usually produces about 140,000 figurines annually but it has cut production in half, expecting demand to drop due to the pandemic.
“We’re making them while praying for people’s health,” said company president Yoshiyuki Mizutani.