I think dad brought this little oddity home from WWII, and I remember always hating it. It was kept in the cupboard above the fridge, I think, along with the black and white Scotty dog magnets. They were weird, too--somehow rude or 'adult', remember?
Last night, Larry and I were talking about stuff, as we do, and the figurine came up...I'd never checked it's origin or why it was popular then. According to Wikipedia, it turns out they were Japanese, from three monkeys depicted above the door of a temple there. Were the monkeys' popularity a way to honor AND make fun of a bit of Japanese culture during the war? Evidently, the idea appealed to Americans then...an extension of "Loose lips sink ships" maybe?
Did most Americans realize it was originally Japanese? I'd bet not. And, how come dad had a set, when he was never stationed anywhere near the Pacific Theater? It must have been a souvenir sort of item, the way you'd buy a Paul Bunyan mug in Minnesota even if you hadn't seen the statues.
Somehow, these little dog magnets are from the same era in my mind--I think dad brought them home from WWII. Did he really? And did mom just tolerate them, like she did the monkeys?
I need some sibling input here...did you have the same impressions?