Archive for November, 2009

The Japanese iPhone Apps: What’s out there?

Of course, the Apps Store is the best part. Everyday I’m searching for applications that’ll hopefully blow my mind, whether it’s useful tools or wacky games I can play on the toilet.
The one thing I’ve found is that the U.S.-born apps outnumber the Japanese ones. That’s because not as many people in Japan have an iPhone. Unlike here, Apple has tough competition in Japan. So when it comes to making apps, they’re not necessarily made for the iPhone. But that just makes me want to seek out those few cool Japanese apps even more!

Here are some of the more interesting ones:

Amamiya Momo ($2.99)

Meet Momo, a girl dressed in a cat outfit who lives inside your iPhone. You can poke her cheek, pat her head and even lift her skirt. Momo comes with 200 pre-programmed behavior patterns, so depending on how you treat her she can turn from happy to angry very quickly. Apparently, her mood changes depending on the time of day, so watch out!

iBBQLite (free trial)

The object of this game is to cook meat on the grill and hand it to customers. If it’s overcooked they’ll say in Japanese, “Ugh, this is awful!” If it’s undercooked, they’ll say, “What the heck is this!” So be sure to grill it just right. It’s a simple game but oh so addicting.

Harlequin novels (free trial)

There’s now a handful of romance-filled manga series at the disposal of your fingertips. Just do a keyword search for “harlequin” and out comes English-translated stories of love and heartbreak. The first chapter is free, but once they grab your attention you’ll have to pay to read the rest.

LadioTouch (free)

Now you can listen to Japanese radio! Up until now it’s been pretty limited to anime songs, but the range of genres have slowly widened. With this app I can now listen to one of Tokyo’s most popular stations, J-Wave, along with hundreds of other internet radio stations. Unfortunately, the listing is mostly in Japanese.

So what’s your favorite iPhone application? Let me know!

November 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm 1 comment

Underwear with Nobility

Hot off the press: Samurai underwear!

It’s made by a Tokyo-based company called Rogin (pronounced “rogue-in”) whose tagline is, “Underwear for men who fight to live”!

It’s a form-fitting long underwear whose colors and patterns are beautifully inspired by traditional kimono robes and Japanese Samurai family crests. I can describe it in one word: Hot.

On my last trip to Tokyo, I noticed more stores carrying T-shirts and hoodies decorated with old-school patterns. Underwear is a new one, but it totally brings out the Samurai sexiness in a guy. Washboard abs wouldn’t hurt either.

The company says they expect these boxer-briefs will appeal to the growing number of women interested in Japanese history. Late-night study sessions anyone?

Priced between $80-$90, each design is named after a famous Samurai warrior like Nobunaga Oda and Ieyasu Tokugawa. And the material seems to work like Uniqlo’s Heat-Tech line – it’s a breathable mesh that keeps you warm and soaks up dampness really well.

It’s cool to think millions of Japanese salarymen might be suiting up in these. Maybe now they can start sticking it to the man!

Himawari

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November 17, 2009 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

X Marks the Spot!

When you’re on a Tokyo subway, watch out behind you because somebody might be trying to cop a feel. Train molesters run rampant throughout Japan’s public transportation system. Believe me, I’ve been three times a victim in a single year!

So I was happy to read in the newspaper about a sticker company that’s come up with a solution to this horrible problem. They’ve created this round sticker-stamp you put on your cell phone. So when you feel somebody’s hand moving up your waist, all you have to do is press the sticker on the perv’s hand and it’ll leave an X mark that’s hard to wash off even with soap and water.

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A sticker printing association brainstormed this product probably in hopes of keeping the sticker-printing trade alive amidst all the technological consumption these days. RIght now, the association has hired a research group to figure out if people would actually want to attach the product to their phone along with all their other danglies.

If this product takes off, it’ll completely ridicule anyone with an X on his hand. Though I kinda wonder how easy it is for the phone’s owner to accidentally get Xs on his/her hand simply by using the phone. I wouldn’t want people to think I was a molester just because I’m clumsy with my phone!

Himawari

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November 10, 2009 at 1:02 pm 2 comments


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