A massive earthquake — at 8.9 on the richter scale, it’s among the largest in record history — hit off the shore of Japan today, causing a powerful tsunami to sweep away homes, cars, people, and boats. At least 32 people are dead and that number is expected to rise. There are also tsunami warnings for the coastal U.S., particularly California, as well as Hawaii. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Japan and anyone affected by this devastating natural disaster. Please feel free to use the comments to post updates you think would be of interest. [Huffington Post] Keep reading »
When I was little I used to go swimming in a freshwater lake near my parents’ house. Until one day I waded in and saw a dull white eel swimming near the perimeter of the shoreline and was traumatized. I refused to ever go in the lake again. So you can imagine how absolutely thrilled
I was to see artist Kazuhiko Minawa’s eel-powered Christmas tree. Says Minawa, “If we could gather up all the electric eels from around the world, we would be able to light up an unimaginably large Christmas tree.” Sure, I’ll get right on that. [BoingBoing
] Keep reading »
The following video is a bit hard to explain, but trust us, you will at first be perplexed, then mesmerized, and then in fits of laughter. It’s a demonstration of how to use Japanese
inflatable, uh, boobies. Stick them on your shirt, and when you burst the inner packet, some chemical reaction occurs to make the balloons inflate. This is a gag gift, we assume. Unless you’re particularly prone to bumping into things and need airbags for your chesticle area. Either way, we’re kind of dying to try them. After the jump, check out some images and a similar (even creepier) product for guys—an inflatable swan-shaped boner to wear out of the fly of your pants. (We can’t think of any logical excuse for that one.) [Notcot
] Keep reading »
A geisha girl and a samurai warrior: these are the stereotypes Mattel used for Japanese Ken and Barbie dolls. Barbie is dressed as a geisha with lotus blossoms in her hair, a gold fan, and some gladiator heels which are badass-looking, but I’m thinking not particularly Japanese. Ken is dressed as a bare-chested samurai warrior with a small ponytail and a long sword. An ex-boyfriend who went to grad school in Japan called the Japanese Ken doll, quote, “pure Fu Manchu stereotype” — minus that nefarious mustache, of course. Surprise, surprise, Mattel has a long history of representing their Japanese Barbies as geishas. Keep reading »
Just when we thought Japanese technology couldn’t get any freakier (Love Pillows, anyone?) — now comes a new wacky perversion. Atami, a resort town located just outside of Tokyo, now caters to men with virtual girlfriends — guys who play a Sims-like virtual relationship game called LovePlus. The game features a teenage boy who works to court and maintain a relationship with a girl, and followers of the game often become completely obsessed with their virtual conquests. Keep reading »
Combine history, design, and romance, and of course you get a winner: Originally fashioned as a hair restraint for samurai warriors, Mizuhiki grew into a Japanese cord-tying art form used as decorative symbolism. Playing with table design, Japanese company Oey combines Mizuhiki with chopsticks, binding them together with brightly colored twine. In the end, this symbolizes the act of enjoying a meal with a loved one and the wish of “being together forever.” (Aww!) Put these on the list for cute anniversary presents and wedding favors.
Beer goggles: Make ugly people look prettier.
Japanese wrinkle goggles: Make ugly people look uglier, normal people look uglier.
The last completely insane anti-aging treatment we heard about was the vampire facelift, a creepy process involving facial blood injections, but now these “wrinkle goggles” make just about any beauty treatment seem legit in comparison. Keep reading »
We’ve talked before about the anxiety of doing a #2 in your significant other’s home, which is an understandable concern (especially for us ladies). But maybe we’ve got this whole bodily function fear thing wrong—what if guys are embarrassed to pee? From Japan, there’s this “Pee Without Noise” stool, which would imply that it’s a legit issue for some fellows:
“As great as it is to be able to pee standing up, there are some situations where you just want to do your business discreetly, and having the outlet several feet above the bowl makes it hard to keep the volume down. You could sit, but not only is that unbecoming a man, you also risk splashing the rim.”
Um, OK? But consider this … what’s more likely: your girlfriend dumping you because she’s disgusted by your loud peeing noise or because she walked in on you in the bathroom to find you kneeling before the toilet? Check, please! [Japan Trend Shop] Keep reading »