The Last Man in Fukushima – Kindhearted Local Remains in Radioactive Zone to Feed the Animals

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant went into meltdown, after the devastating tsunami in 2011, most of the locals fled to overcrowded temporary shelters. So did Naoto Matsumura, but the brave man soon decided return to his home town of Tomioka, just to take care of the many animals left behind! And even though the radiation levels are dangerously high (17 times higher than normal) in this area, Matsumura says he isn’t going anywhere.

He now spends most of his time running a charity along with a few supporters, taking care of animals left behind in the evacuation zone. “I have two cats, one dog, one ostrich, one horse, 31 cows and four wild boars,” Matsumura proudly declared.

He started off by taking into his care the animals that were abandoned in his hometown. He described how most of the pets were still tied up, because locals had believed they would be back home soon. Matsumura took it upon himself to feed the animals every day. “They couldn’t stand the wait, so they’d all gather around barking up a storm as soon as they heard my truck,” he recalled. “Everywhere I went there was always barking. Like, “we’re thirsty” or, “we don’t have any food.”

Naoto-Matsumara

..

Japan’s 60-Minute-Candy – A Real-Life Version of Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

There’s a wacky new diet product sweeping Japan, and it’s modeled after Willy Wonka’s famous Everlasting Gobstopper. Aptly named the ‘60-Minute Candy’, it’s a lollipop with a three-centimeter ball of sugar that lasts for an entire hour!

The 60-minute-candy has gone viral in the Japanese Twitterverse, with hundreds of women passing it on as a great way to suppress sugar cravings. A gigantic lollipop doesn’t really pass for diet food, but a few licks of it apparently beat gorging on a candy bar, and since it lasts so long it’s also more affordable.  Well, because it’s long-lasting, it’s actually great to suppress cravings for foods with higher calories. And they’re so handy that people could carry them around and take them out from time to time for a good lick.

60-minute-candy

..

Japanese Otaku Creates Creepy Talking Girlfriend Pillow for the Lonely

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Japanese inventor Koichi Uchimura is on a mission to develop new technologies that “support people’s otaku life”. Otaku is a term that refers to young people who are obsessed with computers or certain aspects of popular culture, often at the cost of their social life. And Uchimura wants to make sure they have every convenience possible. His latest invention is a creepy talking anime pillow that responds to human touch.

Having used anime huggy pillows – called dakimakura – himself, Uchimura realized that they always left him feeling unfulfilled. “When we’d sleep in the same bed, I’d start to think, ‘I wish she could talk,’” he said. “I wanted to make that a reality.” So he came up with ‘Ita-Supo’, a sophisticated talking pillow printed with the picture of an anime girl.

anime-pillow2

..

Japanese Startup Invents Wearable Device That Gives You 10 Minutes to Find a Toilet

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

There are plenty of apps that remind us to drink water, or exercise, but here’s a first – a wearable device that lets you know when it’s time to use the toilet! Triple W, a California-based Japanese startup, has come up with an innovative technology that predicts bowel movements and gives users a 10-minute heads-up before needing to use the toilet.

The concept might seem funny, but it could actually be a godsend for people whose work only allows for scheduled breaks, and also those who suffer from health problems like incontinence. All you need to do is attach the device to your stomach and connect it to an app on your smartphone. The sensors in the device can detect any swelling in your intestines and send notifications to your phone 10 minutes in advance. The app also records bowel movements to learn your daily habits and improve the accuracy of notifications.

D-Free-device

..

AIBO Robot Dogs Are So loved in Japan That Owners Hold Funeral Services for Them When They Break Down

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

‘AIBOs’ robotic dogs were the world’s first home-use entertainment robots, sold in Japan by Sony Corp. between 1999 and 2006. Equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI), these dogs were capable of developing their own personality, making them all the more endearing to their owners. So much so, in fact, that when they break down, the owners bury them with a proper funeral service, just like they would a real pet!

To understand the strange practice of burying a robot, you’ve got to understand exactly how popular Aibos are in Japan. When Sony rolled out the first generation Aibo in 1999, the initial batch of 3000 units were sold out in 20 minutes flat, in spite of the $2,000 price tag. In the following years, over 150,000 units of various Aibos models were sold.

But Sony was in trouble in 2006, so Aibo, the expensive luxury pet, was discontinued. The company did keep their ‘Aibo Clinic’ open until March last year. But then they decided to further cut costs by shutting down the maintenance unit, and owners had to look elsewhere for help with spare parts. Unfortunately, they are hard to come by, which means that when Aibos dogs break down, most of them leave their owners forever.  So the only option for the owners to deal with the loss is by organizing a real funeral.

Aibo-robot-dog2 ..

Japanese Farmers Somehow Create Eggs That Smell Like Citrus Fruit

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Only in Japan can you find strange foods like garlic flavored cola, deep-fried maple leaves, and delicious water cake, but citrus-scented eggs are pretty strange, even by its standards. And yet these fruit-smelling eggs do exist thanks to a producer in Kochi Prefecture, in the southwest corner of Shikoku island.

The special eggs, called ‘yuzu tama’, supposedly smell and taste like yuzu – one of Japan’s most loved citrus fruits. A yuzu looks like a wrinkly cross between a lemon and an orange and tastes like a combination of grapefruit and mandarin. It grows in abundance in Kochi and is used widely in Japanese cuisine.

Surprisingly, the yuzu tama don’t contain any chemical additives or flavorings. They are produced merely by feeding chickens copious amounts of yuzu peel, along with kale, non-GMO corn and sesame seeds. The resultant eggs don’t look very different from regular eggs, but they supposedly smell tantalizingly citrusy, even before they’re cracked open.

yuzu-eggs ..

Beware the Shadows, Ninja Day Is Coming!

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

If you happen to be in Japan this Sunday, chances are you’ll be seeing a lot more ninjas than usual. That’s because February 22nd is National Ninja Day in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Although not yet an official holiday, Ninja Day has been getting a lot of media attention in Japan, ever since the cities of Iga and Koka started organizing ninja-themed events to boost tourism. Both historical ninja strongholds, they feature a variety of themed attractions, like ninja villages and schools, but authorities go all out on Ninja Day, to really bring out the spirit of the skilled assassins that once thrived there.

Ninja-Day

..

Meet Japan’s Revolutionary Alliance of Men That Women Are Not Attracted To

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Lots of single people complain about how Valentine’s Day and other holidays are somehow designed to make them feel excluded, but this particular group of Japanese men have taken things even further – every year, they take to the streets to protest against the injustice of it all.

They are called ‘Kakumei-teki himote doumei’, which literally translates to ‘Revolutionary Alliance of Men That Women are Not Attracted To’. Popularly known as ‘Kakuhidou’, the group was founded in 2006, by Katsuhiro Furusawa, after being dumped by his girlfriend. He returned home dejected, and began reading the Communist Manifesto. That’s when he came to realize that being unpopular with girls is an issue of class and a form of discrimination. So on Christmas Eve that year, he stood outside JR Akihabara Station and handed out flyers with the slogan ‘Kurisumasu funsai!’ (‘Crush Christmas!’).

kakuhido

..

Garlic-Flavored Cola Is Actually a Thing in Japan

0 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Garlic is a great ingredient to cook with, but garlic-flavored cola is something I’m not sure I can digest, literally or figuratively. But believe it or not, the drink actually exists in Japan!

Locally known as ‘Jats Takkola’, the unusual drink was released last month. It is produced in the city of Aomori, often referred to as the garlic capital of Japan. Also known as ‘Garlic Town’, the city is well-known for the huge amount of garlic that is harvested every year in July. Local companies have produced several bizarre garlic-flavored products in the past, such as garlic beer and garlic ice cream, but latest offering, garlic cola, apparently took a fair bit of trial and error before they could make it palatable.

garlic-cola ..

Only in Japan – The LED-Illuminated Upskirt Skirt

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Japanese designer Kiyoyuki Amano has combined fashion and technology to create futuristic short skirts that illuminate the wearer’s thighs. Aptly named ‘Hikaru Skirt’, which means ‘Shining Skirt’, the garment comes equipped with LED lights and the miniature gyro sensors on the inside. So the skirt lights up, and the color and pattern of the light changes every time the wearer moves.

Amano said that he first placed light bulbs inside a skirt on a whim, and that’s when he noticed that it created a pleasant illumination of the thighs. So he worked on the design some more and soon created a whole line of LED-illuminated minis. The Hikaru skirts, he said, are meant to bridge the gap between everyday fashion and cosplay.

Hikaru-skirt ..

Female Face Shaving – A Growing Trend among Japanese Women Looking for Perfectly Smooth Skin

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Japanese women are blessed with beautiful skin, which is mainly attributed to their fresh diet and great genes. While those might be legit reasons, it turns out they also have a little known beauty secret – shaving their faces! The trend was pioneered by beauty salons in Japan, and many women now believe that it is the real reason for younger-looking skin.

While men generally shave the areas of the face with the thickest hair growth, Japanese women get rid of their facial fuzz all over. This supposedly creates a silky smooth, porcelain texture that’s highly desirable among the Japanese. The beauty treatment has become so popular that almost all salons offer a shave as a part of their regular services. Some women do it once every season along with a common facial, others once a month, and there are even those who shave at home every day with their own blades. Some prefer to shave their entire bodies, and some go as far as shaving off their eyebrows because they feel that real hair is an unrefined feature of the face.

women-shaving-japan ..

Japanese Company Fills Offices with Cats to Help Employees Unwind and Improve Productivity

34 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

In a cramped city like Tokyo, where owning a pet is a luxury and most apartments have strict no-pets policies, it’s hard for cat lovers to spend quality time with their favorite animals. In response, cat cafés have cropped up all over the city, where people get to sip delicious beverages while petting a purring kitty. But even that doesn’t come close to having a cat in your own home, because the time spent with the furry creatures is quite limited.

That’s why a Japanese company has come up with a great idea to get its employees to interact with pets more often – a cat-populated workplace! The offices of Ferray Corporation, an internet solutions business, is filled with nine lovable rescued cats that are allowed to roam freely all through the day. The cats are so adorable that employees of Ferray are reporting considerably lowered stress levels.

office-cats

..

Japan’s Unique Cotton-Spinning Bar

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Contrary to what its name suggests, ‘Tokyo Cotton Village’ isn’t a rural settlement of cotton farmers, but a bar located in the heart of Japan’s capital city, in Setagaya Ward. The one-of-a-kind establishment allows its patrons to experience spinning cotton, which is supposedly a relaxing activity.

The service is available for free to anyone who orders a drink – they get to enjoy spinning threads of wamen, a type of cotton that’s cultivated in Japan. The airy texture of wamen is believed to calm the mind and relax the body. The concept is a big hit with customers, many of whom visit the bar several times a week.

“Getting absorbed in [spinning threads] lets me forget bad things that happened at work,” said Yoshiko Jimura, 32, who visits at least twice a week. “This is a precious time for me to change my mood.”

cotton-spinning-bar ..

Man Proposes to Girlfriend with Epic GPS-Recorded Trek across Japan

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

If you thought Skywriting was a romantic way to propose, wait till you hear about GPS writing. The ingenious idea belongs to Yasushi Takahashi – a.k.a Yassan – who spent six whole months trekking through Japan as a way of proposing to his girlfriend. At the end of his journey, the GPS records of his travels spelled the phrase ‘Marry Me’ with a heart sign to boot.

It all started in 2008, when Yassan, then 31, quit his job and planned a journey through Japan, taking with him a GPS device and a map. His purpose was two-fold: to experience a Japan that he only knew in books, and also to draw a special message for his girlfriend using GPS tracking technology. Yassan managed to cover over 7,000 kilometers in six months, mostly by foot and sometimes by car, ferry or bicycle. Every place that he walked through was carefully planned beforehand to get the gigantic magic phrase just right.

GPS-marriage-proposal ..

Japanese ‘Solo Wedding’ Service Gives Single Women the Chance to Be Brides for a Day

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

As an increasing number of Japanese women put their careers ahead of starting a family, the number of services that cater to single women is on the rise. One such service is the ‘Solo Wedding’ – a full wedding day experience during which a woman gets to be bride without actually getting hitched.

The absence of a groom at a wedding might sound abnormal, but the concept is surprisingly popular. Ever since Kyoto-based company Cerca Travels launched Solo Weddings in June, at least 10 single ladies have used the service. These are women who have dreamed of wearing a wedding dress all their lives, but never really had the chance to do it.

Solo-wedding-service

..

Page 1 of 1612345...10...Last »