Japan Develops Shock-Absorbing Electric Car Covered in Airbags

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Hiroshima University-affiliated startup business Humanix has recently revealed a three-wheel electric vehicle, called iSAVE YOU, which is covered in covered with an airbag-like cushion material that springs back to its original form after absorbing impacts.

You hear that, auto-makers around the world? You’re doing it wrong, airbags go on the OUTSIDE of the not the inside! At least according to Japanese company Humanix, whose golf-cart-like vehicle, iSAVE YOU, is covered in airbags. Researchers from the University of Hiroshima formed the venture company to sell their innovative creation for 790,000 yen ($9,740 USD). Professor Tsutomu, president of Humanix, told Japanese magazine Sponichi Annex that “the car will be perfect for our rapidly aging society and that there are already many requests for it from the elderly and disabled.” The cushions covering the vehicle are made of a tent fabric and sponge, and will absorb shock waves in case of an impact, protecting both the passengers and pedestrians. The iSAVE YOU can run up to 30 km on a single charge and and can be recharged from any regular household electrical outlet.

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FINALLY! Japanese Company Develops Gas-Deodorizing Underwear

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Thanks to Japanese company Inodore, the days when passing gas in public was seen as a social taboo may  soon be behind us. If you can keep the noise level down, their odor-deodorizing fabric does the rest, absorbing up to 99% of gas smell.

I know what you’re thinking, fart-proof underwear have been around for a while now, but according to Professor Hiroki Ohge of Hiroshima University they didn’t do such a great job of neutralizing smells. Ohge first got inspired to work on this unusual type of underwear when he traveled to America to study how diseases could affect the smell of people’s flatulence. In theory, by analyzing the smell of gas, along with its main component, hydrogen sulfide, one could be able to tell if he was suffering from a disease without having to succumb to more complicated examinations. While researching in the US, the Japanese professor noticed stores were selling various cushions and shorts that used activated carbon and charcoal to deodorize body smells. After analyzing them he identified some flaws in their design and technology, and upon returning to Japan, he began working on his own improved smell-neutralizing fabric.

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Meet Asako Kanda, the World’s Biggest Hello Kitty Fan

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Hello Kitty has millions of fans around the world, but none are more in love with Sanrio’s iconic character than Asako Kanda. The 39-year-old receptionist from Japan has amassed a fantastic collection of over 4,500 Hello Kitty items.

Like many other girls of her generation, Asako’s fascination with Hello Kitty began during her elementary school days. At first, she just bought little things like pencils and erasers featuring the popular kitty, but by the time she turned 11 she was so obsessed with Sanrio’s creation that she made a Hello Kitty mug in her pottery class, and an embroided Hello Kitty apron for her home economics course. But she can’t be the only girl in the world who did this kind of stuff while growing up. But that’s the thing, while most other girls move on to idolizing boy bands or movie actors, Asako Kanda remained faithful to her childhood friend. “Kitty has always been with me, almost subconsciously,” she said in an interview a few years back. Some people call her infantile, other laugh at her bad taste, but none of this has ever affected her long-term love affair with Hello Kitty. She now holds the Guinness World Record for most Hello Kitty items, 4,519, as of August 2011.

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Prepare to Be Owned as Japanese Man Auctions Off Planet Earth

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We see crazy and bizarre items auctioned off on sites like eBay or Yahoo Auctions, every day, but this is the first time someone actually thought about selling our planet. The starting price was a measly ¥69 ($0.86), but since the auction went viral, the price has surged to ¥9,889,899,888 ($123,000,000). I still think it’s a bargain.

I know, this might seem like a joke to you, but it’s apparently no laughing matter to the seller. In the product description, it’s mentioned the Earth was bestowed upon the seller by God, who appeared to him in a dream. And since these are tough times, he decided to sell it to the highest bidder and improve his financial status. He lists our planet as “authentic” and warns bidders there is a “no return” policy on the item. So if you end up placing a bid and wind up owning the Earth and its inhabitants, you’re kind of stuck with us. You might feel tempted to post a prank bid on this, but the seller instructs all potential buyers to include a message expressing there serious intention to buy planet Earth, otherwise he will consider it a prank bid. And if there are too many prank bids he threatens to close the auction and start over at ¥69. In fact, he already did that once already, so please, be careful.

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The Fake-Head Waitresses of Japan’s Anime Cafe

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Maid cafes are a dime a dozen in Tokyo’s geeky Akihabara district, but Kigurumi Cafe t.t.t. one-ups them all by introducing waitresses wearing full-body suits and creepy plush heads to reallybring anime characters to life.

Wikipedia defines cosplay as a performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. You’ve probably seen cosplayers dressed as popular video game or anime characters at geeky events, or at least photos of them posted online. But few people know there’s an extreme type of cosplay known in Japan as Animegao or Kigurumi. It implies not only wearing a character’s costume, but also an oversize fake head complete with giant anime-style eyes to bring popular 2D drawn girls into our 3D world. If you’ve seen my post on Anna Amemiya, the half-human half-anime model, you already know what I’m talking about, if not, get ready to be freaked-out.

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Japanese DVD Lets You Go on a Dinner Date without an Actual Date

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Getting a girl to go out to dinner with you isn’t as easy as some people think. Luckily, now there’s a DVD that allows single men to experience a dinner date, without having to convince a woman to go out with them. It’s called “Amateur Dinner Time – Let’s Eat Together! -, and it’s hilarious.

Maybe you’re too shy to ask a girl out, or maybe you’re just too cheap to take her to a restaurant. Whatever your reason, you’re probably a bit curious about what it must be like to have a pleasant conversation with an attractive girl, over dinner. Now, thanks to a series of original DVDs released by Japanese media company K-NETWORK, you can (sort of) interact with cute girls from in front of your TV screen. Each of the three Amateur Dinner Time DVDs features a number of attractive ladies as they sit across the table from the camera enjoying their meal and engaging in small talk. They probably don’t answer your every question, or laugh at your stupid kokes, but hey, you can’t have everything, right?

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Get Your Very Own 13-Foot Functional Robot for Just $1.35 Million

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Just when you though it was safe to go out of the house, Japanese company Suidobashi Heavy Industry has officially announced their awesome boardable mecha, the KURATS, is now available for purchase. And it costs only $1.35 million.

I know it sounds like a lot of money, but we’re talking about the world’s first consumer mecha, which means you can buy it and use it to take your shot at world domination or just scare the hell out of your neighbors by riding in it on the street. If you’re a fan of Gundam or Armored Core, this thing is exactly what you’ve been dreaming of for years. It’s a 4,500-kilogram-robot that you can control and interact with using Microsoft Kinect motion sensors. You can either step into the built-in one person cockpit, or remotely control its actions with your smartphone, via 3G internet. RocketNews24 first reported on the KURATAS in May, but back then it was just a cool prototype. Now, its makers have announced their personal mecha is going into production and can be bought for ¥100 million ($1,35 million).

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Share a Table with Your Pooch at Deco’s Dog Café

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Animal cafes, places where you can enjoy a nice drink surrounded by animals, have become really popular in Asia, but Deco’s Dog Cafe takes things to a whole new level by allowing pet owners to share a gourmet meal with their pooches.

Even if they don’t have the time or space to take care of a pet, people seem to enjoy spending time around animals, so cat cafes, dog cafes, and even reptile cafes have become popular venues in Asia. But when Hideko Notani opened Deco’s Dog Cafe, in 2001, she wanted to create more than just a place where people could relax surrounded by pooches. She envisioned a cafe where dogs would be in charge instead of their owners, where they would be treated to gourmet meals very similar to those eaten by their human masters. The special menu includes human and canine versions of fine dishes like cabbage rolls, sweet potato scones and chicken pie, but  no one’s stopping owners from sharing the food with their dogs.

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Japanese Robo-Fish Looks and Acts Like the Real Thing, Needs No Maintenance

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Fish are regarded as the most low maintenance of pets, but even they need a minimum degree of care, like making sure they’re fed every day and cleaning their tank from time to time. But the Robo-Fish invented by Japanese company Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. makes having a pet fish a carefree job.

Robo-Fish are not only meant to look like real exotic fish, but they also act like them when powered on. They scour the bottom of their tank as if they’re looking for food, and rise to the surface looking for floating bits of food. The only thing that gives them away as robotic fish is a small gap between their tail and the rest of the body, but other than that they look and move like the real deal. People too busy to even throw their live fish some food every once in a while need only go to Amazon and spend $37 for one Robo-Fish. The worst that can happen is the robotic fish runs out of battery, but that’s easily fixable.

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Ultimate Slobs? Japanese Women Wear Diapers to Avoid Going to the Toilet

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Weird as it may seem, there are people out there who would rather wear an uncomfortable diaper all day long than go to the bathroom. Japanese media reports adult diapers are increasingly popular among Japanese women who say wearing them saves them a lot of time.

In an article titled “The Ultimate Form of Slob“, Japanese magazine SPA describes the hottest trend in the Land of the Rising Sun. No, it’s not the brainwave-operated tail for humans, that’s still just a prototype, but something way more disturbing. The masculinization of women has become a very popular topic in Japan, as statistics say more and more females don’t clean their rooms as often as they used to, leave their underwear all over the place and don’t even bother to remove unwanted bodily hair, but one magazine seems to have identified the ultimate slobs – women who wear diapers to avoid using the toilet. They even interviewed one such girl, 25-year-old Kaori Adachi (pseudonym), who works in a Tokyo real-estate agency. For the last six months she has been wearing diapers to work almost every day, instead of using sanitary tissues after using the restroom. And she doesn’t mean panty liners to prevent leakage, but actual diapers that absorb all the urine, and save her the trouble of going to the bathroom.

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Japanese Mother Uses Sleeping Toddler to Unleash Her Creativity

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While other mothers use their baby’s nap time to catch up on house chores or get some shuteye themselves, 41-year-old Mami Koide likes to turn her sleeping daughter Nuno into a living, breathing work of art.

When the sun sets over Tokyo, and it’s time for baby Nuno to go to bed, her mother, cartoonist Mami Koide, gets ready for work. After making sure the toddler is sound asleep she sets her on a canvas improvised from two mattresses covered with a fluffy blanket and makes her the protagonist in various artistic installations. The creative mother uses everyday items like clothes, socks and even vegetables to create fantastic sceneries around Nuno, who is always the center star. Once everything is in place, she climbs onto a chair and takes a bird’s eye photo of the artwork. Koide created he first art piece to send to her husband, who works as a bartender and is away from home during the night, but as the ritual continued, she put together a collection of around 200 images, which eventually became an illustrated book, and a best seller on Amazon Japan just a week after it was released.

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Bar Devoted to Female Self-Pleasuring Opens in Tokyo

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If you’re a woman looking for a girls-only bar where you can talk about love and sex without any inhibitions, the Love Joule female self-pleasuring bar in Tokyo’s Shibuya entertainment district might be the perfect place.

Japan is known for its wide array of weird bars and restaurants, so it should come as no surprise it now has its very own “love and sex bar dedicated to women”. It’s known as Tokyo’s masturbation bar, and judging by the female self-pleasuring toys put on display behind the bar, you’d be tempted to think it’s nothing but a fancy sex shop. In reality, Love Joule is just a place where women can come and talk about topics that have long been regarded as taboo in the Japanese culture, without feeling embarrassed or worrying about social repercussions. ”Once they take a seat, customers are able to experience a pleasant place in which they can openly discuss masturbation,” says owner Megumi Nakagawa. “Since most people view female masturbation as something of a mystery or taboo, it is not a usual topic at typical bars.”

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Bagelheads – Japan’s Take on the Klingon Forehead

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Ok, so they don’t look nearly as cool as Klingons, but Japanese bagelheads really do look like they came from a galaxy far far away. For some reason, injecting saline into the forehead is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the land of the rising sun.

Bagelheads have been around for years, but they recently caused international controversy after the body modification technique was featured on National Geographic’s Taboo program. Three people underwent the bagelhead procedure in Tokyo, under the supervision of an expert and the watchful eyes of several body modification enthusiasts. They had large needles inserted into their foreheads through which saline slowly dripped forming a kind of reservoir. When enough saline built up under the skin creating a nice bulge, the body mod master simply pressed his thumb on it to give it that coveted bagel shape. For some reason, every one of the three subjects seemed pretty happy to have a deformed head.

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Japanese Company Creates Mind-Controlled Cat Tails for Humans

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Remember the Necomimi, those wacky brainwave-controlled cat ears we featured around this time last year? Well, the same Japanese company that makes those, Neurowear, has just released a fluffy mind-controlled tail to go with them.

I have to admit it’s kind of strange seeing a company that has the knowledge to create mind-controlled gadgets create stuff like cat ears and tails for humans, but then again this is Japan, so the weird factor is still pretty low. Anyway, much like the Necomimi cat ears, Shippo, the new tail developed by Neurowear is able to read your emotions and reflect your mood by wagging. Depending on how your heart beats and the extent to which alpha and beta brainwaves are activated, the tail moves from side to side or top to bottom at different intensities. The feline accessory also communicates with an app that records your mood and broadcasts it out via your social network, so anyone can know when you’re happy, sad and even in love. There is even a  database of places other people wearing these wacky cat tails found relaxing, so you can check them out whenever you’re looking to find some peace and quiet.

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Japanese Divorce Newspaper Lets Your Loved-Ones Know You’re Happily Divorced

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Created by Japanese divorce guru Hiroki Terai, Divorce Newspapers are gaining popularity as a quick and painless way to let family, friends and acquaintances know your marriage is over. This saves couples the embarrassment of having to tell each one of them their marriage has failed and explain how it happened.

You know those awkward moments when you bump into an acquaintance on the street and while making small talk you courteously ask them about their spouse, only to find out they got divorced? With the divorce rate on the rise, it’s becoming harder to avoid this kind of unfortunate situations. However, the resourceful Japanese have come up with an ingenious solution to this problem, called “the divorce newspaper”. Its creator, Hiroki Terai, got the seemingly-wacky idea after hearing many divorcees complain about having to tell everyone they know in person about their failed marriage, and wishing there was a quicker way to do it. Sure, you have social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but let’s face it, 80-year-old grandmas don’t usually have accounts on these platforms, and a simple status change doesn’t let everyone know how you feel about the whole thing.

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