Francesco sez, "A Japanese company has released a plastic figure of a tuna fish. The figure is 33cm long and features a working table and the traditional 'Maguro bōchō' knife to cut the tuna. This figure costs ¥29,000 (USD292) in Japanese hobby stores."
I love that it's themed for the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, which may be the most memorable place I've ever visited.
Maguro Figure: il modellino perfetto per gli amanti del Sushi!
Over the last couple of days, Japanese electrical company TEPCO has announced that they found leaks in three of the seven underground tanks used to store contaminated water at the site of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant
. They've also admitted that the tanks aren't reliable
. And here's where we get to the fun part: Despite that fact, there aren't many other options. The water is stuff that's been used to cool down fuel rods that melted during the April 2011 disaster. You have to put water on the fuel rods, or they could overheat again. But once you're done with that water, it's not particularly safe, either, so you have to contain it somehow. And until other options can be built these tanks are the only place to put it.
The third, most recent, leak was found when TEPCO tried to move water from the known-to-be-leaky tanks to another they thought was in good shape. This is just a mess. — Maggie
"Numerous Japanese teens, it seems, are uploading photos of themselves doing the Kamehameha attack from popular manga and anime series Dragon Ball," writes Kotaku's Japan-based correspondent Brian Ashcraft. There's a photo gallery and it's awesome. Brian had an earlier post at Kotaku about the broader trend in Japan of young women staging photos with manga-style martial arts. Below, one such image found on 2ch, Japan's largest bulletin board, with the heading, "Schoolgirls Nowadays lol".
(Thanks, Brian Lam!)
FabCafe, a 3D printed confectioner in Shibuya, Tokyo, is offering nine lucky blokes the chance to have their bodies 3D scanned and rendered in gummi, the most wondrously magical of all the edible substances. It's in honor of White Day, the Japanese give-your-female-lover-a-present holiday on March 14 (they also did custom chocolate-lollies of one's 3D scanned head for V-Day). These are so amazingly amazing and they point the way to a future where cheap scanners will render entire rooms as voxels to be output in gummi, wherein you can pay to be encased while you slowly, deliciously eat your way out. Coming soon to a Shibuya Love Hotel near you (maybe).
Chew on this: FabCafe lets you create a gummy replica of yourself for White Day
Recently, I linked you to a report on the World Health Organization's estimates of the long-term risk of cancer and cancer-related deaths
among people who lived nearest to the Fukushima nuclear plant when it went into meltdown and the people who worked to get the plant under control and into a cold shutdown. The good news was that those risks seem to be lower than the general public might have guessed, partly because the Japanese government did a good job of quickly getting people away from the area and not allowing potentially contaminated milk and meat to be consumed. The bad news: That one aspect isn't the whole story on Fukushima's legacy or the government's competency. Although the plant is in cold shutdown today, it still needs to be fully decommissioned and the site and surrounding countryside are in desperate need of cleanup and decontamination. That task, unfortunately, is likely to be far more difficult than anybody thought, with initial estimates of a 40-year cleanup now described as "a pipe dream"
. One key problem: The government cut funding to research that could have produced the kind of robots needed for this work, because it assumed that nobody would ever need them. — Maggie
As I watched competitive eater Takeru Kobeyashi consume a 12" Domino's pizza in one minute, I realized that I could probably do this, and that if it wasn't Domino's, I could probably do it twice. Not that I'm supposed to. Carbs don't agree with me. But if you need to dispose of evidence in pizza form, and Takeru Kobeyashi is busy, I might be your guy.
Takeru Kobeyashi Eats a whole Pizza In One Minute
Murdo sends us a video showing "an Englishman in Japan showing how the Japanese queue for local football games. They stick sellotape to the ground with their information on it, marking their places in the queue so that they can return to that point in the future.
They even do it the night before the actual queue forms!"
Japan Culture Shock! Unbelievable lining up queue system at Japan sports events! MUST SEE!
A photograph that shows the Hiroshima atomic bomb cloud split into two sections, one over the other, has been released by the curator of a peace museum in Japan
. It was discovered on Monday among a collection of some 1,000 archival items related to the bombing, all of which are now in the possession of Honkawa Elementary School in Hiroshima city.
Read the rest
On Saturday, a bluefin tuna was sold at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market tuna auction for $1.76 million. Which is a little crazy. (Also crazy, the size of the fish
in question.) But the amount paid for this specimen of a chronically overfished species doesn't really represent simple supply and demand, explains marine biologist Andrew David Thaler. It shouldn't be read as a measurement of tuna scarcity
, he says, but rather as an artifact of culture (and marketing). — Maggie
Bandai has released the Chogokin King Robo Mickey & Friends, a voltronoid multi-robot toy made from classic Disney characters. It's about $132 plus shipping from Japan:
7 little robots combine to make one big one! The 7 little bots are:
Mickey Mouse (Jet Mickey)
Minnie Mouse (Sky Minnie)
Donald Duck (Diver Donald)
Daisy Duck (Aqua Daisy)
Goofy (Land Goofy)
Pluto and Doghouse (Dash Pluto and Doghouse)
Steamboat Willie (Ace Willie)
Stands 22cm tall in combined King Robo Mickey form! Made of diecast metal, ABS plastic, and PVC vinyl.
Chogokin King Robo Mickey & Friends by Bandai
(Thanks, Erik Krogh!)
I enjoy following Sakurako Shimizu, or "sakuracos," on instagram for daily cute-cat-photos from Japan. I was delighted to see that she has produced this attractively-designed "cat meme calendar," available on Etsy for $15.50 USD, with adorbzable photos of Fuku, Goma, and their furry friends.
Sony will no longer make its cassette player/recorders. In other news, Sony was still making cassette player/recorders.
Sony to discontinue the production early 2013 of Cassette Player/ Recorder
In this video
, an increasingly frustrated native Japanese speaker discovers that Siri is unable to parse the spoken English word "work" when voiced with a typical Japanese accent. (kenjikinukawa via Joi Ito)