Friday, November 18, 2005

Walkie Bits Redux

Walkie Bits our favorite rhythmically excitable little droids from Japan are now available in the USA for the first time via EBAY for $10-$25.

For those of you who missed our previous coverage Walkie-Bits are programmable mini-robots that can recall patterns of up to 15 digits tapped on their shells and translate them into movements or songs.

More info on Walkie Bits at

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Flower Can

While not quite the same as picking up some roses on the way home from work the Magic Bean Word Sprout might still score you some points with your significant other.

Also offered: sunflower, mimosa, marigold and more.

unfortunately, custom printing is only available on orders of 5,000 or more units.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Storm Trooper tours Akihabara

Akihabara News bring us a Storm Trooper led tour of the world famous Tokyo shopping district: Akihabara. Some great pics at the link.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Halloween Japan - O-Bon

generally speaking Japan does not celebrate western Halloween. The closest equivalent is O-bon where the spirits of the dead are invited back home to spend time with their families. O-bon celebrations typically consists of the spirits of the dead being greeted with strange dances and rites.

Of course exptas can still visit Disney Tokyo and there are tales of drunk costumed westerners parading through the streets of Tokyo.

O-bon is typically celebrated from August 13-15.


Saturday, October 22, 2005


Japander:n.,& v.t. 1. a western star who uses his or her fame to make large sums of money in a short time by advertising products in Japan that they would probably never use. ~er (see synecure, prostitute) 2. to make an ass of oneself in Japanese media.

Check out vid's of everyone from Brad Pitt, The Muppets to Stevie Wonder doing asinine things to sell products in Japan.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Chindogu strikes back..

The childern of Chindogu (the art of gee-whiz semi-useful quirky inventions) bring us this gem.

With easy to attach leg straps the Walk and Wash will clean small and medium sized clothing and help you save on your ever escalating power bill.

Think of all the calories you'll be burning and the positive environmental impact of your daily Walk and Wash.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Crazy Happy Lunch!

JustinSpace recently posted a collection of Japanese kids lunches accompanied with very amusing haiku.

Little bird made of rice.
Fresh eggs in her lettuce nest
infested with shrimp.

Justin does an excellent job and would surely have posted more than the dozen or so pages at the link had his luggage not been stolen!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Honda Dog returns!

At the Tokyo Auto Show this week our palls over at Honda announced their expanded Honda Dog concept called WOW (Wonderful Open-Hearted Wagon). A new small sedan was demonstrated that includes a handy compartment for mans best fried as well as dog bone shaped door handles and more. While the particular pooch shown here doesn’t look all that excited I’m sure there are many a K9 who will enjoy their new dog-house-car. Let’s hope this makes it out of the prototype phase.

See our previous Honda Dog coverage here.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Doremon Returns

Hot on the heels of the recently released Doremon helicopter Bandi brings us the indispensable Doremon robot. With the ability to understand over 750 words, the ability to respond to pain ("hey, that hurts") and make random utterances ... "if you're going to stroke me I wouldn't mind a bean-jam pancake as well" this cute cat has a leg up on your average coworker.

Now available in a limited release of 5000 units for approximately $187 from Rakuten.

Not dead yet..

No not quite dead but I felt close for a while.

I apologize for being out of touch and not keeping JMAD updated recently. I moved to a new position at work last month and it's been sucking up most of my free time. I think I'm finally in the groove with the new job and should be posting a bit more regularly in the future.

Thanks for your support and continued patronage.

- Eric

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Beware the Nattou has an amusing and enlightening review of a Japanese treat known as Nattou. This fermented soybean dish is apparently quite ghastly...

Unfortunately, much in the same way a poisonous frog or caterpillar will be brightly coloured to warn predators not to accidentally eat them and suffer a long agonising death, nature provides similar health warnings for food that isn't fit for human consumption, and in nattou case the subtle clue by which humankind should be able to decipher that we are never ever to put this in our mouths is that it smells - overwhelmingly - of S**T.

Even after this description I was still open to giving Nattou a try until I got to the part about the "decaying tentacles of bean plasma".

Check out the article here.

Friday, September 09, 2005

When there's smoke....

... There's the Hello Kitty fire extinguisher!

The good people at Sanrio Japan may be just a little out of touch with the demographics of their target market for this to have slipped out the door. They've unleashed a fully functional Hello Kitty fire extinguisher. Not just cute this baby will douse the stubbornness of flames in no time flat.

I guess the real question is how Batz-Maru feels about all of this.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Want it REALLY clean?

When you need your clothes more than clean turn to the new Samsung
Silver washing machine. Promising a 99.xx % reduction in bacteria and other nasty beasties you can count on the Silver to keep you both alergen free while keeping your obsessive compulsive cleaning tenedencies in check.

Pricing not yet announced.


Mecha-Madness:The Land Walker

Yes, it's real.

When you need a 3.1M tall industrial robot to do some heavy lifting or um.. 'crowd control' turn to the Sakakibara-Kika corporation of Japan. Their new product "The Land Walker" brings the hopes and dreams of many a mecha fan to life for the low, low cost of $345,000 USD. While the 250 CC engine seems a little underpowered for serious action I'm sure the modding community will have a ball.

Follow the link for action packed (well, sort of ) movies of The Land Walker.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Wild Japan

The New York Times has an interesting story on vacations to 'wild Japan'. That's right - sparsely populated swamps, jungles and mountains awaiting your visit.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Video Bulb

Need an 8 bit x 8 bit dancing stick figure to dance on your TV screen? Then the BITMAN-Video Bulb by "Mwiwa Denki (Japanese artist/preformer) is here to satisfy.

Just plug the bulbs RCA plug into your TV and groove along with the little dancing figure.

As one comentator put it "the practical possibilities are limitless!"

Availible in NYC or online at Zakka Shop and Space

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


While Domu-Kun seems to have faded from the spotlight recently there is still a massive plethora of Domu-Kun related kitch availible online. Some of our favorites include Emporor-Kun (pictured here), Samuri Domu-Kun, and the Yubnimal Collection.

Get your fix over at JBOX

Toast Roundup

Our buddy Jen over at Nipper Knits posted a great blog entry recently on the wonders of toast that inspired us to collect a few cool links to toast related Japanisms.

- Greggman discusses the Japanese toast alternative Ongiri (riceballs). Tasty flavors include Chikin Raisu (chicken), Yaki Onigri (plain), Ebi Chiri Chaahan (shrimp in chili sauce), Ume Chirimen (bitter plum crepe) and many others.

- Dan in Japan has a great piece on why it's so hard to cook anything much larger than toast(er oven) size dishes in tiny Japanese kitchens (scroll 2/3 down the page).

- examines the ubiquitous Hello Kitty toaster phenomena.

- I4UNews exposes the newest in toaster tech: the $10,000 Neural KK infrared cooking, bread slicing "Oh Super Toaster".

We'd buy Jen an Oh Super Toaster for her move to NYC if we had the Yen!


Small scale sushi

I realize all the 'big' gadget site already hit this one but since we recently blogged on a high capacity sushi robot we had to mention the newest entrant into the semi-automated sushi market.. The sushi@home line of sushi making machines are now available to satisfy your Nigiri and Maki cravings.

Each machine retails for approximately $90... That's about 200 times more than your average sushi mat.


McDonald's Nori fries and KFC Grilled Riceballs

We recently read an excellent article detailing how American exported Japanese fast food has changed over the last 30 years.

Some of the highlights include:

- McDonald's has never offered ketchup in Japan and instead serves them with your choice of toppings including nori (seaweed), curry, barbecue and Mexican sauces.

- Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) offers 'yaki musubi' .. Grilled riceballs instead of biscuits and is one the leading seller of tira misu (Italian desert).

There is also some interesting discussion of the secular nature of Christmas in Japan and the role of KFC in it's celebration. Definitely worth a read.


Sunday, August 21, 2005


When you need to let the world know you got lucky.. Gaigen Geisha offers the "Hurray!...Sex" bracelet. For the price of only $7 you can afford to buy in bulk and really show off what happend last night!


Insane Flying Cat

While his heyday was in the early 80's the Insane Flying Cat (aka Doreamon) is a combination of Felix the Cat and Inspector Gadget who has been reborn as an exciting remote control helicopter.

Here's a Google translation from the site :

Recently slightly arranged suddenly finds one report, the machine cat's bamboo dragonfly finally may fly. But in this bamboo dragonfly and the book writes not greatly same, it has two 螺旋桨, needs the battery takes the power, moreover may control remotely.

Man, I want a bamboo dragonfly!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ramen in Space

As if 65 billion served on earth wasn't enough NASA saw fit to turn to the Nissin Foods for a fresh (well, sort of) serving of Ramen noodles on the recent shuttle flight for Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi.

No word so far on Noguchi's impression of the Space Ram meal but I hope NASA was able to get at least 4 servings for $1.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Arcade Madness - The Dogstation

When you NEED to know who's love dog types faster just visit your neighborhood Japanese arcade!

No need for silly inventions like the internet or PS2. Japanese arcades seem to have it all.. huge multi-story enclaves with lot's of crane games, multiplayer dance, drum and action titles waiting for your hard earned Yen becon.

Besides the Dogstation (pictured here) the folks at Cardhouse have put together a feature including a robust complement of titles to bring out the twitch in anyone.


Butter Stick - Father Milk

Chindogu is the Japanese custom of creating silly, marginally practical inventions. This site has some shining examples including the Butter stick, Father milking system for infants (a must see), toilet paper headgear and more.

Old School Pencil Carving

Q - What did the Japanese do before texting obsessively?

For at least two gentlemen the answer was elaborate pencil carving. There are some pretty incredible designs that I'm amazed humans produced. Their names sound like thrill rides from a wonky theme park.. 'Chains', 'Helix', 'Triangles' and the dreaded 'Six Fold Spiral'.

I considered giving this a try but realized that I don't think we have a single pencil in the house and that my current experience in carving pencils involves teeth marks.

The link features some competition winners from the late 80's and early 90's.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The string will not pass!

Our friends over at Nippon Style are now offering a unique "neodymium magnet bracelet" held together with the power of magnetism.

Their secret is the neodymium alloy who's 'electromagnetic' properties are strong enough to hold the bracelet together during normal use.

In Gandolf like fashion Nippon Style thunders "The string will not pass!".

Cost is about $240.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Sushi Making Robot

Wow.. automated Sushi production. If I wasn't totally intimidated by the size of this machine I would probably consider taking the amazing MCR-3000 from TOMOE for a spin. Here are just a few features..

-This machine is the most high speed in the world.
-The producing capacity of this machine is 50pcs/minute ... 3,000pcs/hour
-The exchange of the amount of Wasabi became possible by the easy operation.
- It is excellent in the durability and there won't be a trouble.

Unfortunately you'll have to contact them for pricing. Make sure you're hungry!


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Strawberry milk sausage

When fish-meat sausage sales dropped recently Nissui corp. Decided that their market research dictated entering the lucrative 'Strawberry milk sausage' niche.

"Customers will be able to buy the strawberry milk sausages in packs of five, and they will go for a retail price of 148 yen, about the same as regular fish-meat sausages."

I just can't wait to try these (yuck!).


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Alpha wave MP3 player

The Cure Alpha mp3 player transmits extremely low frequency alpha waves (the kind your brain produces during deep sleep) and claims to:

In sleeplessness cancellation
In improvement of Labor effectiveness
In improvement of study ability * memorizing ability
In concentration rise such as sport
In serenity of stress cancellation * heart

I sure could use some "stress cancellation" but what I really want to know is if this mean that I can train my brain to relax while listening to rockin' music? Alas, at ¥30,000 ($268 USD for 128 MB) I can't afford to know.


Walkie Bits?

Just when you thought Sony and Honda had things all wrapped up in the neat robot space come the "Walkie Bits" line from Takarapy.

These little bots might be the smallest programmable robots available to consumer market.

A great bonus is that "You sing song and/or taking the rhythm, you walk, with several... also race is possible."


Music Bird Cannon: Flower Speakers

What could be more delightful than the sight of a beautiful plant and the sound of FM radio? The Music Bird Cannon flower pot speaker system apparently utilizes plants as oscillation boards so that sound is emitted from their flowers, stems and leaves.

I think the larger questions are if these devices are iPod compatible and if our orchids prefer jazz or indie pop.

Check out the link for some neat images are further details.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Vader likes school girls...

... and cell phones.

Scared of ghosts?

Cost of Atari 2600 - $100
Game cartridge - $12
Hat (at age 35) - $46
Loss of all dignity... Priceless

I always thought Pac-Man looked more determined than crazy but at least this one is having a good time.


Full-sized origami house

"The architecture of Origami House was purposely designed to reflect a childlike image of a house, the traditional rectangle and triangle, for a single main reason: Origami House should be easy to build."


Monday, August 01, 2005

Snack or meal?

There's nothing I like more than coming home to a cold beer and some roasted bamboo worms. Yes, the web site is Thai but many of the Japanese blogs I follow are interested in these lovely treats.

Also available: roasted mole crickets, silk worm pupae, water bugs....


Happiness and serenity

Just when you thought you couldn't get comfortable in bed comes the 'Head tired sexy knee pillow"!

"You gathering the knee because your own, the happiness which it waits is the expectation which offers one time of the serenity which does not understand in only the man."

I know this is what you've been waiting for..


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Google Poo

Just a silly observation here - I added Google Ads to the page a few weeks ago in a vain effort to earn some money to buy the nifty toys we find while 'researching' items for our blog. I've been keeping an eye on the results lately and I am bemused to see that based on the content of the site Google deems the most effective ads to be:

1 - Related to hazardous materials and their disposal.
2 - Dog poo cleanup items
3 - Composters

I really hope this isn't the typical impression our faithfull readers are getting of our site even if the worlds premier search engine seems to think we are all about poo. At least search results from Google related to waste don't seem to be brining people here with misguided expectations.

I'll try no to interpret this as a sign.

Your brand new (wooden) keyboard

I ran across this immaculate wooden keyboard produced by the Hacao company of Japan. Before you set your sights on one of these beautiful devices you should know that yes it is fully functional and that it sells for the heart wrenching price of 262,500 Yen ($2340 USD) plus shipping.

See the translated link here.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Google Maps now covers Japan.

That's right Google Maps has added street level maps of Japan. Now, all you need to do is learn Japanese to find your way around.

Here's the link to Tokyo

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


For those of you who feel that Sushi bandages just aren't enough to get your fishy fix you'll be happy to know that Dynamism (Japanese 'grey market' gizmo importer) has a full line of Sushi flavored thumb drives. Yummy!

Welcome iDog

From the "and you thought Asimo was it" department comes the all new iDog from Sega. iDog enjoys music, dancing, and being touched. Sounds like a nice pooch but I wonder why it looks so much like my Netgear router!

Monday, July 11, 2005

In Kitchen Composter

We looked at a neat story in the NYTimes on Japanese garbage/recycling recently. I was checking out the Toshiba 'life' page today and found that they sell (beautifull) devices that compost kitchen waste. The model I link to here will process .7 kg/day and turn it into 'fresh compost'. This sounds like a better idea than all those big black bags we put out on the street every week.

Saturday, July 09, 2005 Bamboo Garden Icy-Crispy Dragon Beard Candy

Check thisout!
Bamboo Garden Icy-Crispy Dragon Beard Candy - made by a "skilled candy-maker repeatedly stretches and doubles a small mass of sugar and maltose until over 8000 fine strands are formed. Finally, the strands are trimmed and wrapped around finely chopped, lightly roasted coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds."

Sounds YUMMY!

Translated Suntory Scene

I don't know about but I loved the movie Lost in Translation. I particularly enjoyed the 'Suntory Time' commercial shoot (and the 'escort' scene .. but that's another post) so I was really excited to actually find out what was the director in the scene was saying in Japanese. Check it out at this spiffy web page located here.

Running Asimo

I bumped into a neat Japanese video of the Asimo (Honda's astronaut looking robot) racing an older gentleman at an airport. I wonder what's up with the books in the background? Oh well... check it out Here./

Friday, May 27, 2005

Sushi Healing

Heal thyself sushi lovers.

Now, what I really want is the free toy.

See more exciting silly stuff here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

X-Station revolution

It seems the entire technology press has got goo-goo eyes over the recent console announcements from Sony and Microsoft. While I'm intrigued by how amazing these systems appear to be I am more amazed when looking back on how far we've come. Check out the totally 'hot' product of 1983 - the Nintendo "Famicon". Dual controllers, a $99 price tag and 'innovative' design didn't save it from the dustbin of obsolescence. Cheers.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


OK... so this isn't a post about some neat gadget or a mistranslated marketing piece... it's about garbage. Apparently, the Japanese don't have a whole lot of room for giant American-style trash dumps so they incinerate most of their waste. According to this story in the New York Times some Japanese cities are now trying to eliminate waste entirely (WOW!) by instituting some really intense recycling efforts. These include but are not limited to requiring residents to sort waste into:

"44 bins collect everything from tofu containers to egg cartons, plastic bottle caps to disposable chopsticks, fluorescent tubes to futons"

Not to fear.. residents are provided a 27 page manual on how to do so correctly. Residents also receive visits from 'volunteers' who return their garbage to them if it is not sorted correctly and are shamed by their communities for failing to do so habitually. At least one family has been evicted for not sorting their trash effectively.

It's pretty late and I've spent far too much time at work tonight but all of this totally blows my mind. It also makes me feel like a goober for not always sorting recycleables into my two measly bins!

Factiod: Recycle in Japanese is リサイクルしなさい

Friday, May 06, 2005

Paintball Japan

Paintball is apparently becoming popular in Japan and at least according to this site women are really into it. My favorite 'translationism' is the sentence...

"Please do not forget! Anyone large welcome!"

We're back!

OK, so I appologize for not posting lately. We kinda forgot we had a blog going.

Thanks to Jen for reminding us how much we enjoy this.

Honda Dog!

For many this is old news but if you haven't visited with the Honda Dog yet you definitely should.

See translation here

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Shibuya Boxxxx

Friendly Metro Directions from your local Shibuya God
The Tokyo Shibuya Ku God south 2-1-1
Head of JR line / Keio well / the Tokyu east horizontal line * new Tamagawa line / Tokyo metro Ginza line * semi- warehouse gate line Shibuya station
From bee public oral open space walking 12 minute. The Q-FRONT and the Seibu department store it advances straight to the left hand, it turns left with the divergence position which is Marui city, the hill (according to the park) climbs to ??? direction. It passes before the Shibuya public hall and the hippodrome entrance which crosses the pedestrian crossing (the Shibuya mouth) it passes through the open space which is the right hand, * the movable Internet coffee @FUTURE of open coffee style and meeting place
of establishment
This way click

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Information: Full Load of Hair!

News and headlines again. These are always reliable for some laughs, especially if you are brain dead after work.
Here's some of our favorites for the day, from Yomiuri OnLine:
-In giant game, child who lost parents in road accidents and the like invitation
-The traveling- Saint and Vulgar two surface characteristic towns
-The giraffe appears "3rd Beer" sale and 4 major companies

As always, things sound more interesting abroad.

Bonus! Here's your picture for today:

Caption: "With love dog micky the returning island it does, will be relieved Yamada"

You can view more news here.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Unintentional Poetry

From WebCat Plus, which appears to be a search engine for publications of the Hakasui Corporation. I like the fact that this page seems to have a poetry of its own...

In order the human, from one word to remember the word
which how many ones it is related
among non consciousness,
it is the searching method of
the word whose connection is high from searching keyword,
not leaking and finding

the books which
include that.

You can view some other free verse here.

Friday, February 04, 2005

News Flash!

There are tons of websites devoted to keeping us updated via fresh news feeds. Here in the US our updates are usually just the normal basics-- which way the Dow has gone, news of another murder, or an update on what or who our president is attacking next. I much prefer the news in Japan. Here are some recent headlines, as translated by Google:
--Special Edition: Mysterious Human Sumatran Open sea Earthquake Drama Searching Expert
(possible news on the tsunami?)
--Inscription Liquor of Healthy Gruel Hot Spring Hay Fever
(My guess? Perscriptions to help you avoid the flue and head fever.)
--With Mammoth of International Exposition Brain Organization Verification
(Your guess is as good as mine.)

You can view them here.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

At the time of the earthquake

Every parent wants to send their kid to the best school that will prepare them for the real world. Moms and Dads want to know that their schools are safe-- from gangs, drugs and violence. But what about the violence of nature? Are your kids safe from natural disasters at school? Well now you can be sure. Just make sure that your kids' school is equipped with the latest "desk for the earthquake measure pupil," now available from the Kokuyo Company. Here's what they have to say about their product: "Besides the fact that it withstands the weight of approximately 2 times in comparison with the former desk, the time of earthquake the occasion where the pupil dives under the desk, in order to support the body and the desk from " it is caught and protects the face and the hand the stick " and falling ones et cetera the " protective panel " has been attached. As for size from 1 they are 105 centimeters in standard height it to be to 6 of the same 180 centimeters."

Check the google translation of the page here.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

A real multi-function phone

Our link for today comes courtesy of Vodaphone. Japanese products always seem to be a cut of above our own; they look cooler, they have more functions and always come in an anodized silver finish. This cell phone promises a truly unique feature: " It loads the function which can be enjoyed. Translates the feeling of the dog bow phosphorus gal connecting which * 5 It corresponds. The k tie becomes more conveniently more pleasant." We're not sure if will help you tell your dog to sit in its own bow-wow language or if it helps you get girls. It also advertises a direct conncetion with the Higher Power by connecting you to the "Maker's Voice."

Click here the view the phone.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Harmony Candy?

A wide array of yummy treats awaits those visiting Japan. Here are a few , accompanied with translated descriptions. I am especially interested in the small cake, described as "now the river burning half ardently burning bean jam." Mmmm...tasty! And only XXYen and 940, includes tax!

You can view the link here.

Monday, January 24, 2005

USB Head Massager

What could be more exciting than a USB powered head massager?

The product claims:

"The head becoming tired, being sick * & * something there is no pleasant thing in we would like, * & * everyday life to refresh? Or oral habit * & * such a dejected every day the bull bull っ and the changing ち ゃ う, the bull bull rammer of the comfortable GOODs becoming USB connection possible, -!"

It took us awhile to figure out that "bull bull rammer" means head massager. We think the Japanese name is alot more fun.

Check out the Google translation here.