Hamster Butts Are the Newest Adorable Trend Out of Japan

TIME

From the country that brought you cat cafes and soccer-playing robots comes the next big thing in cute: hamster butts.

The furry pheonemon known as hamuketsu is a portmanteau of hamster and ketsu, the Japanese word for butt. Hamuketsu became a hit in Japanese social media circles around the end of 2013 and becomes the latest example of Japan’s aesthetic for all things kawaii, or cute.

Japanese publishers latched onto this trend and have released two hamuketsu photo books in 2014 already, selling more than 40,000 copies combined. Photos from Why Are Those Hamster Butts So Darn Cute?, Japanese publisher Basilico’s contribution to this emerging genre, can be seen above, while additional user-submitted hamster butts can be seen on their Facebook page.

“The great thing about hamuketsu is that it is delightfully cute. I can’t stop smiling when I see these butts,” Takeshi Takahashi, a spokesman for…

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