Secret history of the poop emoji

The 2007 project to bring emoji to Android -- and thence to the Web -- involved an epic battle over the inclusion of the much-loved "pile of poop" emoji, whose significance to the Japanese market was poorly understood by various reactionary elements at Google. Read the rest

Stunning photos along road between Tokyo and Kyoto

Kevin Kelly says: "The Nakasendo is an old road in Japan that connects Kyoto to Tokyo. It was once a major foot highway, but today small sections retain some of its historical feel. In October I walked along 5 short sections of it, staying at traditional inns along the way. The Nakasendo is full of history and many artists and poets over the centuries have travelled along it, including Basho, the haiku genius. We met a lot of characters, too, and thoroughly enjoyed the exquisite details that make up this country."

See all 83 of Kevin's photos here (If you like these, check out Kevin's book, Asia Grace) Read the rest

Halloween in Japan

A fantastic selection of photos from Japan Times. Read the rest

Semi-rigid, cubical rubber bands

From designer Nendo, "the geometrical shapes make the bands easy to find in a drawer and easy to pick up." Eye-watering pricetag, though: about $10 for three from Mark's.

cubic rubber-band (via Colossal)

(Image: Akihiro Yoshida) Read the rest

Videos: how fake Japanese food is made

In central Japan's Gifu Prefecture, a man demonstrates the making of sampuru, the fantastic fake food seen in many Japanese restaurants.

Learn more in this Tofugu post: "Japanese Food Models, Yesterday And Today"

And another informative clip below, from Wim Wenders' documentary Tokyo Ga (1985):

(via The Kid Should See This) Read the rest

Tentacle sex game that's all about consent

A playtest of Naomi Clark's forthcoming tentacle-sex card game Consentacle reveals a game that's as much about strategy as sex, where trust and consent are the keys to victory. Read the rest

Giant grubs, bug and worms made of gummi

Akai Tento's Yahoo Japan Store features some of the beautiful glistening gummi larvae, worms and bugs for sale in the tiny coffee shop/market stall in Aomori Prefecture, a Japanese fishing district. Read the rest

Trundling lidar-guided printerbot will find you and deliver your hardcopy

A Fuji-Xerox prototype printer-robot builds a model of the room and then drives itself to your desk to deliver your printouts, saving you the precious calories you'd waste, running around the office, trying to figure out which printer you sent your job to. Read the rest

Sushi socks!

They're $5.39/pair from Otaku Mode. Read the rest

Japanese hamburger crocs

These new Crocs, which resemble hamburgers, are only available in Japan, and will be accompanied by custom bling in the form of plastic fries, burgers and soft drinks. [Akihabara News] Read the rest

Used liquor store

Liquor Off is a Tokyo store that buys and sells used booze. Read the rest

These videos of a golden retriever eating vegetables are strangely comforting

This golden retriever's YouTube channel is a wonderful internet thing. More strangely comforting videos of Coco-chan below.

Read the rest

Facial-exercising pink fright mask

Worried about sagging facial skin? The "Facewaver Exercise Mask/Beauty skin sag face stretcher" ($60) is an elasticated pink fright mask/balaclava within whose confines you bind your face and then "stretch and tighten" your phiz, thus "kneading out wrinkles, lines and sag," through repetitive facial movements The manufacturer also claims additional circulation, which is useful if your face doesn't have enough blood it in. (Thanks, Alice!) Read the rest

People in Japan learning how to swear in English

Chris Broad of "Abroad in Japan" (subscribe to his YouTube channel) shares a Japanese educational book titled 正しいFUCKの使い方 (How to Use "Fuck" Correctly), which explains to Japanese speakers how to swear correctly in English. He shot video of various people in Japan encountering the lessons for the first time, and the result was pretty funny. NSFW language, if you work in a place that doesn't take kindly to cusswords.

[Video Link, via Joe Sabia] Read the rest

Kokuyo Roll Table: Roll of drawing paper wrapped around a cube

The Kokuyo Roll Table is a clever alternative from Kobe Ishou Sourenjo is a very clever way to package and dispense rolls of kids' drawing paper. It seems like it would be tedious to re-fill, though -- but if you're game for it, it should be simple to make your own for your playroom with four pieces of MDF (or pine, if you're fancy!) and some screws. Read the rest

Japanese arcade recreates gritty walled city of Kowloon

Kawasaki's Warehouse arcade, near Yokohama, is a fantastically detailed, gritty recreation of the old walled city of Kowloon, near Hong Kong. The Tokyo Times photos depict a place that's like a fevered Gibson dream, and note that there's an accompanying, spooky soundscape. This is going on my must-see list for our next Japan trip. Read the rest

Cool gallery of vintage Japanese movie posters

Over at 50 Watts, a must-follow tumblr (and everything else), a splendid collection of 30 Japanese movie posters from the 1930s to the 1970s. Read the rest

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