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..