A Japanese sake house near Tokyo has stolen one of my ideas and employed monkeys as waiters—one brings hot towels to customers when they sit down, and another takes orders and delivers bottles of sake. They’re tipped in edamame, which U.S. waitstaff should seriously consider since you don’t have to report it, and since the dollar will soon be worth about the same anyway. Our favorite quote from the article: “‘The monkeys are actually better waiters than some really bad human ones,’ customer Takayoshi Soeno said.” Hold on to your hats, there’s video footage below!
I am secretly coveting this stuffed teddy bear that is also a cellphone. It’s called Kuma Phone. Price: $500. Conspicuous consumption has never been cuter. [Cscout Japan]
In what should have been a no-brainer, Apple today agreed to replace any iPod Nanos that unexpectedly explode. The announcement came as a response to the Japanese government, which yesterday asked the computer-maker to “take some measures” to warn consumers of the potential danger of their little pocket rockets. Apple blames a single bad battery supplier for the spontaneous fireworks.
Like Zubaz pants before them, Crocs seem to be well on their way to assuming their rightful place of honor in the bad fad hall of fame as the company slashed its sales forecast and announced that it would be closing a plant in Quebec due to decreased traffic in its US stores.
Before leaving for his honeymoon, Derek called Bank of America to make sure he could rely on his debit card while he was in Japan. Bank of America assured him that he would have no problem accessing money. Yet on the third day of his honeymoon, neither he nor his wife could draw cash from their cards, stranding them with only $15 in cash.
Yes, you read that correctly. Strawberry Cheetos. They’re really Cheetos, and they’re really from Frito Lay, but they are only available in Japan.
Real Kobe beef can only come from one region of Japan—and since the U.S. has banned Japanese beef imports due to mad cow fears, the best you can hope for now in an American restaurant is Kobe-style beef, writes Debonair Magazine. They explain what to look for if you’re shopping for this premium beef in the U.S., and the best way to prepare it.
“Brain Age” and its recently released sequel are hugely popular video games in Japan and the US. What’s unusual about this is that the games are made for and marketed to “older people” (which in video game language means “anyone over 25″) as a way to improve your mental acuity by keeping your cognitive skills at peak levels. Does any of it work, or is it just a self-help fad for the 21st century? Sharpbrains.com interviews Go Hirano, a Japanese entrepreneur (their description, not ours) who provides a general overview of the current state of “brain training” and its borderline-scientific underpinnings.
Yes, you read that correctly.
It’s Labor Day weekend. That means today’s a half-day for me and Ben. It also means that, depending how drunk we get, there may very well not be any posts on Monday. It also means that the posts we do put up today are going to be slacker heaven.
In a story that would never happen in America, a Japanese man was arrested after making over 37,000 calls to telephone operators because he just enjoyed the sound of their voice.
Andy Warhol certainly has a cool command of Japanese in the 80’s ad for TDK, doesn’t he? “Aka… Midori… Ao… Gunzyouiro…Kirei!” Red, green, blue, ultramarine, beautiful, for the record. Not that you’ll care after Warhol’s eyes horrifically snap open and appear to be black pools of staring blood.
In Japan, organ donation is almost entirely unheard of, due in large part to a taboo associated with it according to traditional Buddhist beliefs. An organ transplant supposedly makes the body less clean and perfect — an odd mentality to take when you’re talking about replacing a black and diseased kidney with a functioning one. Nevertheless, those who are in dire need of organ transplants tend to die in Japan because there aren’t enough organs to go around.
The trunk humpers over at Treehugger have the scoop on Japan’s pastry-phobia and one intrepid patisserie’s response to it. Apparently, Japanese men feel that their manhood is called into question when publically eating flouncy, sugary cakes. The solution? Make the pastries look like fast food, including hamburgers and french fries.
Adorable Japanese girls are sick of the expense and tedium of slavishly giving all the men in their lives chocolates on Valentine’s Day. From Yahoo News: