Japan Has Ikan Bilis Hair Pins, Earrings & Other Accessories

Ikan bilis is a must-have whenever we indulge in a plate of nasi lemak.

But now a store in Japan is making it a hot-selling accessory as well.


With everything from ikan bilis hair pins to earrings and necklaces, you can now literally wear your love for the delicious dried fish.


Bejewelled ikan bilis hair pins, necklaces & earrings

Love it or hate it, we all know of anchovies, especially from our beloved nasi lemak dish.

Instead of adorning our plates, a store in Japan is letting us decorate ourselves instead, with bejewelled ikan bilis accessories.


The store sells everything from ikan bilis hair pins to necklaces and earrings.


They even sell brooches appropriate for more so-fish-ticated events.

Ikan bilis hair pinsSource

Made from real anchovies

If you’re thinking the ikan bilis accessories look as if they came straight from a nasi lemak dish, there’s a reason for that — they are made from real anchovies.

Preserved, and then adorned with jewels and glitter, each anchovy accessory is unique, varying in size and shape.

Ikan bilis hair pinsSource

Certain items like this ear cuff are limited edition. According to an Instagram post by the store, it’s hard to come across a fish that fits the exact curve of a person’s ear.

Ikan bilis hair pinsSource

And perhaps because of the work and artistry behind these accessories, they do not come that cheap as well.

According to the store’s website, the hair pin, their most popular item, is on sale for about S$42 (¥3,300).

A necklace, on the other hand, costs about S$45 (¥3,520).

Ikan bilis accessories carry a deeper meaning

While you might not quite sea the appeal, these accessories are actually wildly popular, often selling out fast.

Ikan bilis hair pinsSource

And they actually do carry a deeper meaning.

The store director shares in her blog that the ikan bilis actually represent Japanese office workers that are “company slaves”.

Using them as accessories symobolises a parallel between the burnout experienced by workers who are corporate slaves and the anchovy, often regarded with little respect and easily “thrown away” after use as stock for soup.

Ikan bilis hair pinsSource

For her, this project is about giving these fish a new lease of life, as well as value and purpose even after they are ‘used up’.

A unique work of art

While we might not quite know what to feel about these ikan bilis accessories, it certainly is a work of art.

And perhaps, a thought-provoking one at that.

So the next time you see ikan bilis in your nasi lemak, maybe you’ll be encouraged to just keep swimming.

What do you think of these unique accessories? Let us know in the comments.

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Featured image adapted from Instagram and Instagram.