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English Textbook Character Ellen Baker Gets Unauthorized Hug Pillow

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Ellen Baker, the fictional young English teacher featured in the new edition of the Japanese English-language textbook New Horizon who achieved wide-spread internet popularity is now featured on an unauthorized hug pillow despite her creators' request for "discretion."

The hugging pillow cover is for sale on Yahoo! Japan's shopping website for 5,088 yen (US$46). The pillow is being sold by Pepera Shōji, a brand known for its hugging pillow knock-offs and pirated goods.

Ellen Baker's popularity led to fan art, doctored images and English songs, some of which played up her sex appeal. On April 13, New Horizon's publisher Tokyo Shoseki released a statement expressing its reservations about Ms. Baker's depictions: "If you wish to use the character in teaching materials, books, the Internet, etc., please complete the Japanese Association for the Copyrights of Textbook Publishers form. Please understand in advance that in cases that clearly deviate from the character's purpose, permission may not be granted."

[Via Hachima Kikō]

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