Archive for January, 2009

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

There’s something very enticing about collectibles. From Beanie Babies to Pokemon cards, we love blowing our money on things that come in sets.

My latest obsessions is a Hello Kitty charm made by Gotochi. There’s one tailor-made for every region of Japan, plus for Japanese tourist destinations like Hawaii and Guam.

So let’s say you’re visiting the city of Shizuoka, famous for their fresh green tea. Stop by the souvenir shop of the airport or train station and you’ll find a Kitty-chan dressed in a kimono harnessed to a bale of tea leaves.

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Or you’re ever in Nara you’re sure to spot Kitty-chan dressed as a deer, the town’s sacred mascot:

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Cute, right?

A few coworkers collaborate with me to make my collection grow. They visit Japan twice a year so they always bring home a new charm for me. And then when I visit friends in Kyushu and Tokyo, I buy some for them. So far, I’ve collected 10 or so, but I know I’m not stopping there.

So what’s the point, right? Mmm yeah, these trinkets aren’t gonna bring world peace or anything. And eventually they probably will end up in a dusty shoe box in my closet. But right now I’m all about attaching Kitty charms to every purse zipper I own (They come with a clasp). Accessorizing raises your bag’s cuteness meter, making other girls instantly jealous. (Ooh how I love making girls jealous!) And the idea of having a charm from different regions of the country somehow makes me feel worldly in a Paris Hilton kinda way.

Yep, yet another useless but completely indispensable thingamabob from Japan. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!

japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

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January 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm 1 comment

Face blotting paper: Cute, practical, and makes a great gift

When Himawari goes to Japan, she likes to check out the latest candy selection. That’s high on my list as well, and I also love picking up face blotting paper.

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Developed in Kyoto 90 years ago by Yojiya Cosmetics, the ultra thin, small squares of paper are used to dab away shine from your face and absorb any oil that’s built up, but without smudging your makeup. Keep a small case in your purse for easy access and you’re good for a clear, blemish-free complexion. (Or at least that’s the hope.)

Originally used in the 1920s by stage actors, Geisha and Maiko who needed to keep their faces fresh without ruining their greasepaint makeup, face blotting paper caught on with Japanese women from all walks of life in the 1990s. As usual, presentation is key. You can buy the paper in bulk at any beauty store and dress it up by carrying it in a thin, snap shut case decorated with traditional artwork or kawaii cartoons. Squares of pretty packaging with 20 or so sheets inside are popular souvenirs from Kyoto, and are found at the markets and stands just about everywhere there.

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It may be too late to use them as stocking stuffers this year, but they do in a pinch as a cute and practical gift, whatever the season.

Sarah S.

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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January 6, 2009 at 11:03 am 4 comments

How to Shrink Your Face

The other day, a friend was telling me about how women in Korea are so concerned about the width of their face that they’ll pay a doctor to shave down their jawbone. It freaked me out, but then I remembered that Japanese women are also pretty ‘adventuresome’ when it comes to trying to decrease their face size.

Here are some of my favorite methods:
• Sing a song

Many Japanese feel that strong jaw muscles contribute to a thinner face. But as most people would agree, Japanese isn’t a very jaw-intensive language. (If you don’t believe me, ask a Japanese person to pronounce “right” and “light.”) So for $20 you can buy a CD containing four songs that’ll help work out those troublesome areas around the mouth, cheeks and even the eyes. One song is titled “Hello! Beauty Face.” Another is called “Ko gan rin kin sa kitto,” which doesn’t have any meaning, but try saying it three times fast.

• Wear a mask
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I never thought beauty would end up looking like a serial murderer, but here you have it, a rubber mask you wear while taking a hot bath. It’s sort of like a Bikram yoga class because for less work you’re theoretically sweating out more fatty lipids. Just don’t scare your boyfriend away.

• Bite on a Stick
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Like the wings of a bird, the longer you hold on the farther you’ll go. Just bite down on the silicon mouthpiece and let it flutter. The up and down motion will put your muscles to work, and if that’s not successful at least you’ll have a nice stirring stick for your morning coffee.

• Wear a Big Hat

It’s a quick fix, but at least it works.

It’s always fun hearing all the interesting ways women stay beautiful. It can be as simple as drinking a nutritional supplement or as odd as spreading bird poop on your face. Of course, the above methods are some of the latter. It just goes to show how overzealous some of us can be. Though personally speaking, what’s wrong with a wide face?

Himawari

—————————————————————————
Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more
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January 2, 2009 at 9:50 am 2 comments

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