Archive for October 3, 2007

A Snooze in the U.S., But a Hit in Japan

Remember Clocky, that bizarre, pet-like alarm clock on wheels that debuted in the U.S. a few years ago? When you hit the snooze button, the clock rolls away where you can’t reach it, all the while continuing to emit flashes and beeps. Presumably the noise is so irritating that you’re forced out of bed on a hunting mission to locate the clock and silence it. Once you’re up and about, you’re likely to start your day (albeit in a bad mood). Clocky was created by Guari Nanda, an MIT student who had trouble getting up in the morning.


Though Clocky and Guari got a lot of press at the time, the mobile alarm clock wasn’t a bit hit in the U.S. (The only place you’re likely to see it now is in the pages of Sky Mall, that cheesy airplane catalog.) But this month, “Nanda Clocky” is being marketed in Japan, and the Japanese absolutely love it.


Ditto Billy Blanks, the TaeBo (martial arts, boxing and aerobics) instructor who received a lot of hype in the U.S. several years ago; he’s become the newest craze in Japan. This summer he traveled to Japan to promote his Boot Camp Workout DVDs, and proved a huge success — at least 500,000 copies sold! According to Japan Probe, 80% of women surveyed recognize him from his photo, and he’s become an ubiquitous guest on all the Japanese morning talk shows, where he demonstrates his military-style exercises.

This was a surprise to me, because I hadn’t heard about Billy Blanks in years. Some of my ex-co-workers used to take classes at his huge training facility in Sherman Oaks, California in 2000 or so, but that was about it. Having been given a fresh start in Japan, Blanks has apparently made a frenzied comeback.

Sarah S.

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October 3, 2007 at 1:46 pm 1 comment

riseup japan support japan and be cool


October 2007


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