Posts filed under ‘Japanese Culture’

Missing Keys No More

Have you ever come home after a long day, throw your keys onto the messy, clothes-piled floor only to go searching for them the next day? It happens to me a lot and I almost feel like surgically attaching a keyring to my hand. WHERE ARE MY KEYS!?

Well, stress no more with this birdie key chain:

It comes in six adorable colors — grey, orange, red, pink, black and green — and also serves as a safety whistle for when you’re walking down dark alleyways in the middle of the night.

The best part is that the bird comes with a house, so when you come home you put birdie back into its cage and everyone is happy. The next day there won’t be any question as to where your keys are.

Form vs. function? Why not have both? It’s a brilliant idea. I just wish I could’ve thought of it first!

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

June 16, 2011 at 10:48 am 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

Display Food

Looks are Deceiving

When it looks this good, I’m bound to grab a pair of chopsticks and slurp it up. Though be warned: IT’S A PIECE OF PLASTIC!

Display food is a great way to lure customers through the door. Not only do you learn what’s on the menu, you get the sense that it’s all amazingly fresh and perky. (I love perky!) That’s why so many of Japan’s restaurants spend thousands of dollars on elaborate store fronts, displaying rows and rows of food that’ll make you salivate before you’re seated.

And now you can get all your favorite food-fakes via Japan Trend Shop: kitsune udon, tempura, yakisoba, sushi, pork ramen and even a strawberry donut. But don’t think fake udon is cheaper than the real thing just because you can’t eat it. One bowl is $77, chopsticks not included. It’s the cost of craftsmanship. (Read up on the century-old industry here.) Apparently, there’s one company that only hires women to craft the food because, “Women cook everyday.” Hah!

Though once you actually get your delicious paper-weight in the mail, then what? I suppose it’d make a great dieting tool: just lick it whenever you get an urge to snack. Zero calories! \(^o^)/

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

August 31, 2010 at 10:17 am Leave a comment

Teen Idols + Bikinis = Good Business

I’ve been away from J-pop for a while so I just recently caught wind of a popular idol band called AKB48. (I’m of the Morning Musume era.) Yes, 48 cute girls on one stage. They sing, dance, and now they strut their bikini and yukata-clad stuff for department store Ito Yokado, the Target of Japan.

19 year old Tomomi Itano is the band’s golden girl, so she’s been the focus of all the Lolita-esque publicity:

Check out the store’s site and you’ll see all the adorable accessories for sale — wooden slippers (geta), handbags, hair decorations and soft-pink sashes. The thing about having a yukata is that matching accessories are an absolute must. Who’d wear a little black dress without a string of pearls?

Back when I was a kid, I’d be so embarrassed to wear clothes from second-tier stores like Target. But these days, as Target has introduced their own line-up from popular designers, it’s actually cool to shop cheap. Same goes for Ito Yokado. I’m sure tons of prepubescent girls are buying up everything off the rack. Heck, I’m sure men are, too. Yikes!

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

August 25, 2010 at 10:27 am 2 comments

The Force is Strong in These Chopsticks!

This month, geeks and fanboys alike converged at San Diego’s Comicon convention. It’s only here where you’ll see Storm Troopers, Spawn and Naruto walking side-by-side without bystanders doing so much as a double-take. Inside the convention hall are endless rows of booths selling figurines, comic books, and other fun collectibles you can blow an entire paycheck on if you’re not careful.

Toy company Kotobukuya is one of my favorite booths. Why? Because they know how to really geek it out:

These “Chop Sabers” ($18.95 via Amazon) come in Yoda green, Luke Skywalker blue and Darth Vader red, and they’re beautifully crafted to look like the real thing!

So what do you do with these hi-tech utensils? Well, as Kotobukiya’s spokesperson says, “You can have a wonderful dinner fighting each other on your kitchen table.” Hahah! Though let’s not be mistaken, these sabers won’t help cut through your prime rib. That is, unless you can locate the secret operation manual that’ll turn them into a real light saber…

… I kid, I kid. =P

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

August 11, 2010 at 11:57 am 1 comment

Put a Lid on It

Cup ramen is as simple as 1,2, 3, but thanks to designer Akira Mabuchi it gets easier.

Introducing CUPMEN 2! Colorful little people whose sole objective is to tell you when lunch is ready. Three minutes is all it takes to get your noodles from crispy to soft. And with the help of temperature-sensitive silicone, these guys will change colors just for the occasion.

When I’m making ramen, I tend to find whatever is within arms reach to hold down the paper lid: a knife, a dish cloth, a piece of Scotch tape. Cupmen 2 adds a touch of chic to your 3-for-a-dollar meal.

I love how you can position these guys in two ways — either sunbathing or hanging from a cliff. (The original Cupmen comes in one position.) Its more of a functional work of art than your standard paperweight.

Though just like a Picasso original, these body-bending creatures don’t come cheap. $58 for a set of three (blue, orange, red), to be exact. What a way to be the envy of college dorms everywhere!

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

July 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

Canine Coolness

“Kyaawaiii~~!”

That’s what a friend IMs me whenever he finds something cute on the internet. And not just cute, Japanesey cute. Like let’s say dogs wearing a yukata

A yukata is a light robe worn around at summer festivals as you chug beer and gawk at fireworks in the sky. Though in the case of a canine, a yukata is an adorable garment that’ll earn you plenty of head-pats and even a few scraps of yakitori.

My friend found these pups on the shopping site Rakuten. They average $23 per robe and some come with a cute ribbon your dog can eternally chase after. They’re the most adorable doggy outfits I’ve seen in a while.

The good thing about a doggy yukata is that, just like the human version, it’s comfortable and loosely-worn, so your pup won’t be panting at the expense of your accessory fetish.

I know most people scoff at girls who dress up their Pomeranian and lodge them in a Louis Vuitton. But you can’t deny that these yukatas are adorable. Leave it up to Japan to transform tacky back to cute!

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

July 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm Leave a comment

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