Ashinano, Hitoshi. 1998. Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. Chapter 40. Vol. 5, Page 122, Panel 4.
'Hyo-chan' is a soy sauce container that comes with Kiyo-ken's shaomai lunch packs. It is made of ceramic.
A shaomai is a Chinese-style steamed dumpling. Some Chinese people say that Japanese shaomai are far different from "genuine" Chinese ones.
Kiyo-ken is a Yokohama-based company that sells shaomai and bento lunch packs.
Some people collect Hyo-chan. Old Hyo-chan seem to be real collector's items.
This one looks similar to Ayase's ones. Mine are not rare at all, though.
Smaller ones look slightly different from Ayase's.
Hyo-chan comes only with Kiyo-ken's shaomai lunch packs. They are not sold separately.
Cheaper shaomai lunch packs come with smaller Hyo-chan. If you want a bigger Hyo-chan, get a pack with a higher price tag.
'Mukashi nagara no Siumai 30 tsubu iri', 1000 Yen.
"30 Old-fashioned Shaomai Pack", about US$9.
'Tokusei Siumai 12 tsubu iri', 1200 Yen.
"12 Deluxe Shaomai Pack", about US$11.
Soy sauce is not rare in Alpha's world. Hyo-chan is.
When you visit Yokohama or Tokyo, don't forget to get a shaomai pack at one of Kiyo-ken's kiosks. I would suggest you bring your YKK book, show and tell them you need a bigger Hyo-chan, not a smaller one.
(Some of Kiyo-ken's kiosks)
Buy the books. Support the author.
Some book importers should be able to take care of you.
YKK - Behind the Panels > Hyo-chan
2004-12-19/2005-08-20 KIMOTO Go