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Phone of the Wind – The Tragic Story Behind a Phone Booth Connected to Nothing and Nowhere

Outside the Japanese town of Otsuchi, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, there is a white, glass-paneled phone booth with a black rotary phone connected to nothing and nowhere. Ever since the tragic tsunami of 2010, which claimed nearly 20,000 human lives, thousands of grieving people have visited the booth to “call” their lost loved ones as a way of coping with their loss.

The Wind Phone, as the now famous Otsuchi telephone booth is commonly known, was actually built a year before the 2011 tsunami that ravaged Japan’s Tōhoku coastOtsuchi resident, Itaru Sasaki, had lost his cousin in 2010 and decided to build a phone booth in his hilltop garden from where he would call his dear relative as a way of dealing with grief. He would dial his cousin’s phone number on an old, unconnected rotary phone, and his words would be “carried on the wind” as he spoke. Even though no one would talk back to him, it made Sasaki feel a deeper connection to his cousin.

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Japanese Company Isolates “Young Woman Aroma”, Turns It into Popular Deodorant

Deoco, a range of women’s beauty products that allegedly captures the coveted “young woman smell”, has become a huge hit in Japan, among both older women who want to smell younger and lonely men who crave the fragrance of a younger woman.

The story of this intriguing line of cosmetics began last year, when Japanese company Rohto Pharmaceutical announced that it had successfully isolated two fragrant chemical compounds, called Lactone C10 and C11, which younger women’s bodies seemed to produce in much larger quantities than those of older women. In a study that involved 500 women of all ages, from teens to adults in their 50s, Rohto’s scientists detected a “sweet aroma” that was stronger in younger women’s worn clothes. Subsequent research revealed that the scent came from two lactones, the levels of which were highest among teens, but dropped significantly in women over 35. After making the discovery and isolating the two compounds, Rohto quickly started working on Deoco, a line of body soaps and deodorants rich in Lactone C10 and C11.

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This Human Mouth-Shaped Coin Purse Is Freaking People Out

A Japanese amateur artist decided to give the popular phrase ‘to put your money where your mouth is’ a literal sense by creating an ultra realistic coin purse shaped like a human mouth.

Complete with stubble beard, soft pink lips and even realistic teeth and gums, the coin purse designed by Japanese music producer and amateur artist ‘Doooo’ is one of freakiest things I’ve ever seen. Not only does it look like the lower half of a man’s face, but it even opens up like a human mouth, revealing ultra-realistic teeth and pink, wet-looking gums. It looks like the fake flesh of an advanced android, but it’s actually a coin purse, which is somehow even more bizarre.

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This Japanese Undershirt Instantly Turns Skinny Men into Buff Macho Dudes

Skinny Japanese men looking to get that coveted “slim and macho” look without putting in the work and breaking a sweat at the gym now achieve their goal pretty much instantly. All they have to do is put on the Super Macho T, a special undershirt that instantly gives them a buff physique.

Developed by a Japanese company named “His Company Group”, the Super Macho T features inflatable air bags that go into small pockets located around the chest and upper arm areas and visually enhance the wearers chest, biceps and triceps. The cool thing about this system is that you can inflate the air bags as much as you want, allowing you to go for an inconspicuous moderately toned look, or an absolute gym addict.

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Japan’s Fascinating Blackboard Art Trend

While most students can’t leave the class quick enough once the final bell rings, some art students in Japan stick around and pour their creativity into stunning blackboard artworks.

A few years back, Hirotaka Hamasaki, an art teacher and graphic designer from Nara, Japan, went viral for his incredibly detailed chalk drawings. From recreations of famous paintings to anime and cartoon-inspired pieces, his blackboard masterpieces captured the imaginations of millions around the world. But what many people didn’t know wasn’t the only one who specialized in blackboard art; in fact, there’s an actual blackboard art trend that has been sweeping Japanese schools for years now.

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Shinjuku Tiger – Tokyo Living Legend Has Been Wearing a Tiger Mask for 45 Years

Yoshiro Harada, a newspaper delivery man from Tokyo, Japan, was only 24 years old when he decided to live the rest of his life as a tiger and became Shinjuku Tiger. Today, at age 69, he is considered a living legend of the business district.

Born in Nagano Prefecture, Harada moved to Tokyo in 1967 to attend Daito Bunka University. He started delivering newspapers while he was still in school, and eventually decided to quit the university and dedicate himself to his job full time. He can’t really recall the reason he quit his studies, all he knows is that he wanted to quit. The same can be said about his beginnings as Shinjuku Tiger. One day in 1972, as he was attending a shrine festival in Kabukichō, an entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, he passed by a row of shops and noticed one of them was selling colorful, plastic tiger masks. That’s when it hit him, he was going to live the rest of his life as a tiger.

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The Skeleton Flower – The White Flower That Becomes Translucent When It Rains

Diphylleia grayi is not the most striking of flowers, in fact many people pass by it without even noticing its white, rounded petals. But that’s because they don’t know about its most impressive feature, turning translucent in contact with water.

Native to wooded mountainsides in the colder regions of Japan, “skeleton flowers” bloom from mid-spring to early-summer. Their white petals are completely opaque in dry conditions, but as rain begins to fall, they become almost crystal clear, giving the flower an almost ghostly look. When the rain stops and the petals dry, the skeleton flower goes back to its plain white self.

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Ingenious Sprinkler System Turns Entire Japanese Hamlet into a Water Fountain

Kayabuki no Sato, a small hamlet in Kyoto famous for its traditional thatched roof houses, features a concealed sprinkler system that turns the whole place into a water fountain.

Known as Miyama’s Thatched Village, Kayabuki no Sato has a higher percentage of thatched roof farmhouses than any other place in Japan. This makes it very popular with tourists, who love walking among the over 40 traditional thatched roof abodes and even spending the night in one of them, but also very vulnerable to fire. Local officials realized this in the year 2000, when a fire burned down the archive center, so apart from asking people to be vigilant at all times, they decided to install a special sprinkler system to cover the whole hamlet. They test it twice a year, usually in May and December, and people from all over Japan and beyond come to see the powerful sprinklers in action.

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Japan’s Famous Aquarium Toilet

If you love exotic fish and don’t mind hundreds of them eyeballing you while you answer nature’s call, you’ll probably love using this unique aquarium toilet in Akashi, Japan.

Hipopo Papa (formerly Mumin Papa) Cafe, used to be known as one of the most popular dating spots on Hayashizaki Matsue Coast. It still is, but ever since the owner decided to do something special with the women’s toilet, it’s become famous primarily for being the only cafe in Japan – and probably the world – to feature an aquarium toilet. It’s technically surrounded on three sides by a giant aquarium filled with hundreds of exotic fish and a male turtle, which, considering this is a women’s only toilet, is a bit weird.

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Japanese Food Stall Staffed by an Adorable Shiba-Inu Dog

Food stalls in Japan have apparently gone to the dogs. The aptly-named “Dog’s Sweet Potato Shop”, a small kiosk selling roasted sweet potatoes, in Sapporo, Japan is manned (dogged?) by a three-year-old Shiba-Inu dog.

Japanese Twitter user @hina_shii_ver2 first learned about the unique “Dog’s Sweet Potato Shop” in her home city of Sapporo earlier this month, when her husband texted her a weird message – “There’s a dog selling sweet potatoes”. She thought he was joking, of course, but then he sent her some photos and, sure enough, they showed an adorable dog sitting behind the counter of a small kiosk, seemingly waiting for hungry customers. @hina_shii_ver2 posted several photos and videos of this unusual food-stall on Twitter and they quickly went viral. Of course they did, how often do you see a dog running a business, and a food stall, no less?

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Japanese Company Sells Jars of Honey Complete with Dead Giant Hornets

A small batch honey producer in Oita Prefecture, Japan, recently sparked controversy online after it was reported that it sells a product aptly called Honey with Hornets, which actually contain a giant dead hornet suspended in the sweet liquid.

While the decision to put a dead hornet inside a jar of honey can definitely be called questionable, even more so is the fact that the giant Japanese hornets are actually placed inside the jar while still alive and left to drown in the viscous liquid. According to an article on SoraNews24, the hornets, which are known natural enemies of bees, are captured alive by beekeepers while trying to encroach on the bees’ territory to be used as macabre decorations for the company’s jars of honey.

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Japanese Device Allows Fathers to Breastfeed Their Babies

Fathers sometimes like to say that they can do anything mothers can, except give birth and breastfeed. Well, thanks to a new device developed by Japanese company Dentsu, breastfeeding babies may not be a problem for fathers in the near future.

Recently unveiled at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, the Father’s Nursing Assistant is an intriguing, if somewhat bizarre, gadget that aims to allow fathers to help out with stressful tasks usually reserved for mothers. Data shows that much of the parental stress and difficulties associated with taking care of a baby are related to feeding and sleeping, responsibilities in which fathers’ participation tends to be low. In order to get fathers more involved and relieve some of the burden off mothers, Japanese corporation Dentsu has created a wearable milk or formula tank shaped as a pair of female breasts, which allows men to breastfeed children.

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Japanese Business Specializes in Plucking Customers’ White Hairs

Shiraganuki Main Store, a white-hair-removal specialty shop in Tokyo, Japan, charges people for the service of removing white hairs by hand, leaving them looking years younger.

Pulling out your own gray hairs is tedious work, and constantly asking someone else to do it for you can become embarrassing after a while, but luckily, the staff at Shiraganuki Main Store is more than happy to do it for you, if you’re willing to pay them for it. The store charges 3,980 yen ($36) for 30 minutes of white hair plucking, 7,480 yen ($67) for 60 minutes, and an extra 1,000 yen ($9) for every 10 additional minutes spent ridding your head of those pesky signs of aging. That’s not cheap, but let’s face it, pulling hairs one by one using tweezers is not the easiest thing in the world.

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Japanese Speed-Dating Event Has Potential Matches Sitting in Silence While Robots Do the Talking for Them

Based on the premise that people who are having trouble finding a romantic partner probably lack the confidence and experience to properly interact with a potential match, a Tokyo-based robotics association recently hosted a speed-dating party where human participants sat in silence across a table from each-other while tiny robots spoke on their behalf.

The bizarre event took place in Tokyo, Japan, and was organized by the Contents innovation Program (CiP) Association, which specializes in developing AI, robotics and other technology, according to The Japan News. In a series of videos posted on YouTube, potential matches can be seen sitting across from each other, but instead of talking, they just sit there quietly with their gazes focused on two little robots placed on the table between them. They just sit in silence while these robotic assistants ask each other questions and provide answers, based on information pre-loaded into their system from a 45-question survey participants completed prior to the event.

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Japanese Artist Gets Barbecue Fans All Fired Up With Skull-Shaped Charcoal

If you’re looking to give your backyard barbecue a macabre touch, these charcoal skulls created by Japanese artist Sekisadamu are sure to do the trick.

When Sekisadamu came up with the idea for his creepy charcoal skulls, he never really though about commercial potential. He merely wanted something cool to show off at the recently concluded Wonder Festival, in Chiba, Japan. But after posting photos of his creations on Twitter and inviting people to the festival to check them out in person, he got an overwhelming response – over 13,000 likes and almost 9,300 retweets at the time of this writing – and started contemplating the idea of making charcoal skulls for the masses. The Japanese artist has already announced that he has set up a domain name for them and begun procedures to register a trademark on them. So fire up your grill, cause charcoal skulls are coming.

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