Artist Peter Machat created his 51 Japanese Characters project while he was a student studying abroad (in Japan, from Germany).  He has made a limited edition (500 pieces) postcard set featuring many of these characters. 

But, for more information about the project, Peter describes it as follows:

society is full of special expressions for certain people, characters
and Japanese cultural phenomena. When such an expression is used, a
member of Japanese society instantly knows what kind of person,
character or cultural phenomenon is meant. As Being a foreigner, a
Gaijin in Japan, I tried to lift the curtain and shed some light on the
areas of Japanese society that are often perceived as being mysterious
and closed. I wanted to know the exact qualities of an Obatarian, a
Narikin, an Otaku, a Bosozoku or an Ikeike Onna.

Japanese Characters" is an insightful collection of figurines
showcasing several typical members and cultural phenomena of Japanese
society — an easy and playful approach to Japan, turning the
character-loving Japanese society itself into characters ...


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