Archive for March, 2010

Bug in a Box

Fireflies hold a special place in my heart. Ever since watching the animated drama “Graveyard of the Fireflies,” I’ve always felt something both beautiful and sad about the tiny, winged creatures.

I’ve never seen a firefly in real life so this cool toy is the next best thing. You get three battery-operated bugs flickering brightly with the power of LED. They sit snugly inside a grass-blanketed bamboo cage that you can carry around wherever you go.

Keeping bugs in a box is a popular childhood hobby in Japan. Boys like collecting stag beetles; studying their body structure or pitting them against each other in a head-to-head brawl. Though in the countryside, I’m sure kids collect fireflies instead. They’re so much cuter and you can use them to light the way to the toilet in the middle of the night.

$91 is a hefty tag for a bunch of fake flies, yet I find myself strangely drawn into getting one. It makes me think of the brother and sister in the movie and how hard they struggled to stay alive during the war. I think that’s the power of movies. They make ordinary things into something extraordinary. ^^

Himawari

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March 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

Lolita Fashion at Your Disposal

Lolita fashion boutique Baby, the Stars Shine Bright made it big after being featured in an indie-circuit film called “Kamikaze Girls” (“Shimotsuma Monogatari”) in 2006. Lolita clothing is still below the mainstream radar, but if you drop by the Southern California’s Anime Expo you’ll find that even American girls are sporting this peculiar trend.

So it was a matter of time that BTSSB’s website would start catering to overseas fans. I checked it out and there’s just enough English-translated text to get you through the purchasing process. And just last year, they opened their first overseas shop in San Francisco! When I was a teenager, getting a hold of Japanese goodies meant flying to Japan. These days, it’s just a matter of walking down the street.

Lolita fashion has nothing to do with pedophilia but rather a style popularized in Japanese comic books. Like so many things in Japan, it’s about looking cute than anything. If you walk around Tokyo long enough, you’ll come across flocks of Lolita girls gathered to see their favorite (visual-kei) rock band. But instead of white frills and pink bonnets, they’re dressed completely in black. Goth Lolitas. Just another fashion twist.

But if you think these clothes come H&M cheap, think again. A single bonnet can cost $100. An extravagant dress will set you back $500. Yikes! At those prices, I’ll sew my own outfit, thank you.

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

March 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

It’s Michael!

I can’t get enough of this video featuring a Michael Jackson doll that slides into playgrounds and soars through the sky. It’s a fan-vid made for a toy company called Marusan. They’re known for classic monster figurines made of soft vinyl, but I guess this is their way of keeping with the times.

Even after he became known as Wacko Jacko, MJ remained incredibly popular in Japan. I went to his History concert in Tokyo several years back and adoring fans were still fainting at the shrill of a high note. But will they faint for a vinyl Michael? Heheh, probably not, but it’s still cool to see him as an action figure. He comes in two versions with removable masks: A werewolf and a zombie, both a la “Thriller.”

You probably can’t pose him like you do with GI Joe figurines, but watching the videos makes the doll look fun. The entire time, the kids are asking, “Where’s Michael?!….oh there he is!” The doll is a whopping $58 in Japan, which I suppose doesn’t sounds as bad in yen. I can totally imagine all kinds of MJ collectors buying it for their showcase.

Rest in peace, Michael!

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

March 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm 1 comment

Wanted: An Enlightened Boyfriend

Could a Buddha-like deity be Japan’s flavor-of-the-month?! That’s what Metropolis magazine alluded to in a recent article. For the past year, women have set their hearts and wallets on the demigod Ashura — a young man with a stoic face and six long arms. It’s not because he’d be great at multitasking chores around the house, it’s more about the feeling they get when seeing him. With a slim body, smooth skin and a beautifully benevolent face, a guy like this couldn’t be far from the ideal boyfriend… or so they hope.

Last year, thousands of women flocked to Tokyo National Museum just to see the famous Ashura statue on exhibit. Tickets sold out quickly and the lucky ones waited for hours in line just to get in. A 15,000 stock of mini-replica Ashuras were sold for $33 each.

But really, what's the allure? It's no surprise that many Japanese women prefer their men skinny. Think of all the Johnny’s idols selling out 55,000-seat stadium concerts. More than once, I’ve heard Japanese female friends say they have an image of men being rough and unkempt, so their longing for a guy as silky smooth as they are kind of makes sense.

So if you want girls in Japan to look your way, I suggest shaving your head and tanning your body bronze. Good or bad, you’ll get them shrieking. \(^O^\) (/^O^)/

Himawari

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March 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

How to Get Your Kid to Eat

A piece of broccoli is never as appetizing as when it’s smiling at you. That’s why when a Japanese mom needs to feed a stubborn kid, she starts by making faces. That is, she cuts out a pair of eyes and a mouth from cheese slices and puts them over a mound of vegetables. Food tastes best when it’s grinning from ear to ear.

Japanese people call it ‘kyara-ben’ (character bentos), a lunch box filled with happy kids and chirping animals. Poke your chopsticks around and, lo and behold, it’s a bed of rice and chicken nuggets!

Of course, to make this pile of cuteness, you’ll need the proper tools. Here’s a few:

Face-cutter

The only choices here are happy, happier and happiest! But it’s always good to mix it up a bit, so choose wisely!

Food Stylus

Fill this pen up with ketchup, mustard, chocolate, or whatever else sits in your fridge. Use it to write down your kid’s name so that he’s the coolest student on campus.

Frying Pan for Eggs

One of the most specialized cooking tools, this frying pan will make a thin sheet of egg you can use to cover a rice ball or clothe a quail egg. The best part is that it’s tasty, too!

If you’d like to see cool bento creations, check out Anna the Red’s Bento Factory.

Himawari

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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

March 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm 1 comment


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