Archive for September, 2010

Balls of Fury and Delight

Now here’s a product that makes me think, “That’s SO Japanese!”

It’s called CAO maru, a stress-relief ball embedded with man’s emotion-filled face. There are four types to jumpstart your day: ‘happy,’ ‘grumpy,’ ‘surprised,’ and ‘exasperated.’

What’s the point? Well, their website attempts to explain: “For the people who have such troubles recently that forgetting a smile, feeling stress, and tending to pass by someone.”

Say what?!

Basically, they’re saying that in this internet age we barely take time to really look at each other and enjoy the warmth of human emotion/expression. Especially in big cities like Tokyo, people spend more time with their eyes to the ground, trying to get past the crowd. And especially in Japan where it’s considered rude to stare directly at someone’s face, people have grown distant from their fellow humankind.

So squish them, pinch them, and mimic their expressions; these little guys are made of polyurethane resin and fit perfectly inside your palm. I keep one similar to them in my car, so every time I run into rush hour traffic I take him out and squeeze into him. Feels so good~!

Himawari

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September 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

What’s in the Fridge?

As if I didn’t have enough gadgets, here comes one that greets you from inside your refrigerator! They’re called Fridgeezoo ($19) and they’re shaped like cuddly victims of an assembly-line disaster. (How’d they get into that milk carton!)

Open the door and they’ll say things in Japanese like, “Hello! Hard day at work?” or “Hey, what’s up?” But be careful because they’ll start complaining if you leave the door ajar for too long. That’s the work of a true environmentalist!

I love these critters because they’ll keep you company when you’re home alone, and will be a constant reminder to stop snacking between meals.

Though, if you’re thinking about buying one you’ll have to wait in line. The next shipment doesn’t arrive until mid-October on Yahoo Japan. In the meantime, settle for a box of baking soda!

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

September 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Eat the Moon!

This month marks the season to get on your porch and gaze at the autumn moon. It’s a time-honored tradition that’s not only celebrated with song and poetry but also by eating foods strikingly similar to the full moon.

At McDonalds, you can sink your teeth into a Tsukimi (moon-viewing) Burger filled with a beef patty and a perfectly-circular poached egg.

At noodle shops, you can order a hot bowl of soba topped with a raw egg yolk. (Yeah, it sounds gross, but it’s good!)

Another moon-shaped food is mochi, a sweet, sticky rice-cake. Here’s a fun kitchen toy that helps you turn out mochi from scratch:

You start off by boiling a pot of sweet rice, a.k.a., mochi-gome. Then you use this machine to mash the rice until soft and smooth. Traditionally speaking, mochi is pounded into submission using a mortar and heavy wooden hammer. Though, I’ve tried it before and nearly had my hand smashed. Ouch~

This cute mochi toys takes the sweat out of making Japanese desserts. Now all you need to do is pull up a chair and enjoy the rabbit in the moon!

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

September 14, 2010 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

Cell Phone Creepers

Right now, my grandparents are watching a Japanese drama called “Gegege no Nyobo,” which is based on the memoirs of a famous manga artist’s wife. The program got me thinking back to when I used to watch the artist’s manga-turned-anime, “Gegege no Kitaro.” It was a dark series dealing with the ghosts and ghouls of the supernatural world. The main character is a kid with a missing eye. His buddy is a talking eyeball who likes sitting in water bowls. Yeah, go figure.
As creepy as the show looked, it left such a strong impression on my childhood that when I saw these stickers at Tokyu Hands I stood there staring longingly for several minutes before finally peeling myself away:

These aren’t just ordinary stickers. You use them to decorate your phone, creating ghoulish scenes up and down your keypad. And the stickers are durable, so you don’t have to worry about scuffing.
Cell phone decorating (otherwise known as “deko-den”) can be a work of art, though most of what I’ve seen is just pink and cutesy. I don’t know about you, but my taste palate has become oversaturated with Hello Kitty sweetness. Time for the dark and ghoulish!

Himawari

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September 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment


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