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 »