UPDATE****Raccoon Tail International
We have our supporters from Cologne Germany, Denmark, New York, Miami, Taiwan, Japan, Australia...etc!!! A cultural story Bunbuku Chagama can be told in different language, different people...and pass down to all our friends.
Raccoon Tail, a cross-cultural collaboration
Raccoon Tail is a unique USB flash drive that is inspired by an old Japanese folktale. We designed Raccoon Tail in the spirit of transforming a traditional story into a contemporary product –a USB flash drive. Not only is it a fancy fluffy USB drive, there is a fascinating story behind the meaning of the product.
Who we are?
We are Susana and Yuske. We believe sharing culture begins with telling a story. A childhood story, which form the base of our common values, can introduce our friends to experience the subtle nuances and overarching similarities, which connect our cultures.
Bunbuku Chagama (lucky teakettle)- Once upon a time, a poor man rescued a tanuki (raccoon dog) from a trap. In return, tanuki in good faith transformed himself into a teakettle so that the poor man could sell tanuki for money. The poor man sold the teakettle to a monk. When the monk started to boil water, tanuki chagama (raccoon teapot) was unable to stand the heat and revealed his tail. He escaped and returned to the poor man. The poor man and tanuki decided to open a circus, where people could see a dancing teakettle walk a tightrope. Tanuki and the man become good friends and lived happily after. Since, Raccoon dogs have become a legendary animal in many Japanese folktales.
Now, raccoon dog has come to modern time, and transform himself into a technology product.
When did we start?
Yuske made the 1st edition raccoon tail in 2011. He told Susana the story of the “Bunbuku Chagama” and gave it to her as a gift. Ever since, Susana started using the USB tail in school where friends and acquaintances asked where they could get it - and because it was custom made we felt there is a need/market for us to Kickstart it!
Since it is an oversea collaboration, our communication is base on Skype, dropbox, google doc….facebook…anything that allow us to work on the same platform. Time differences boost up the team work to 24 hrs none stop.
Our very first raccoon tail was extremely cute and fat...but we found out that it is not practical to block all other USB holes. Prototype process allowed us to test out the best solution for stitching the fur in two layers to cover the USB stick.
Base on the 1st edition raccoon tail, we developed a package that can illustrate the story of Bunbuku Chagama.We made the insert card that is front and back so the person can tell the story to their friends.
Product in use
We want to surprise you, and we hope you’re surprised! Don’t be scared! Raccoon Tail is made with high quality synthetic fur and it works just like a USB.
We brought our prototype out into cafes, at school and talked to people about the story. We are convinced that sharing a story connected our cultures to theirs. This small object was able to transform the differences between us into commonalities. It begins with interaction and conversation between people!
Where we are in the project?
We started to tell the story, have made various prototypes and we want to create an open conversation where people engage to other cultures. Yet, we need YOUR help to reach our next step.
We are ready to manufacture the USB tail. Everything is lined up and our manufacturer is 100% ready to go. We've done numerous samples and are happy with the results and know you will be too. Your donation will contribute to the production costs, package assembly and shipping.
- Kickstarter launched: June 1st 2013
- Kickstarter campaigne closes: July 1st 2013
- Manufacturer USB : 2-3 weeks
- Package assembly: 2-3 weeks
- Distribution: late Aug
Thank you for your support! We hope to see Raccoon tail come alive!
Veronica Chen - Illustration artist
William Hsieh - Music composer
Risks and challenges
An initial challenge that we have is developing a good relationship with a manufacturer. This product is being prototyped numerous times to improve the size of the USB and the quality of the synthetic fur.
In order to complete this project we will have to successfully work with our manufacturer on scheduled delivery times. The biggest risk would be in a potential delay with the manufacturer if we get orders beyond our expected range. However, all the products would be made, with later delivery times.
- (30 days)