New Niche Play: Hamster Buttocks

The Wall Street Journal reported that a new craze is spreading in Japan: books featuring photographs of hamster buttocks. The article elaborates:

Two books devoted to images of hamsters’ posteriors have already sold nearly 40,000 copies combined in Japan, according to the publishers, with a third book set for release later this month. Fans of the craze have coined the term “hamuketsu,” which combines the English word “hamster” with “ketsu,” the Japanese word for buttocks.

The article did not have the fact that a third book was on the way in bold text. I just found it highly entertaining. I realize that 40,000 is not a large number, in particular if measured against the population of the planet. But even if we had 17 trillion people on this globe (we don’t), I would still find this number surprising in this context. Also, apparently people study these photos closely enough to have a preference over male or female hamster: 

“Male hamsters appear to be more popular because they have bigger and rounder buttocks, according to the publisher. The pictures of furry roundness help “soothe the hearts” of viewers, said Ms. Minami.”

Unlike mood rings, pet rocks, slap bracelets, pogs, tamagotchi and silly bands, I think this fad has real staying power (not really), and soon you will find hamster bottom books on the BOOKS page of this website (also, not really).