Japanese overdesign fetish: Beetle 3-Way Highlighter

The business end of KOKUYO Beetle Tips highlighter looks a bit like a rhinoceros beetle's horns, hence the name. Three-way refers to the fun you'll have with the highlighter when you make three different kinds of marks with it.

Amazon sells a colorful 5-pack for .

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Japanese store "rethinks" badges that indicate if employees are menstruating

A spokesperson for the Daimaru branch at Osaka Umeda department store says that badges given to women employees to let others know they are menstruating are not mandatory. But the store has received enough negative attention that it is rethinking the program.

from BBC:

Ms Higuchi said some staff "didn't see the point" in the badges or were "reluctant" to wear them.

"But others were positive," she added. "If you saw a colleague was having her period, you could offer to carry heavy things for her, or suggest she takes longer breaks, and this support would be mutual."

She also said customers had phoned in with their support.

Daimaru are not cancelling the policy, but they are rethinking it.

Ms Higuchi said they would come up with a different way of sharing the information - without alerting the public.

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A day in the life of a 23-year-old Tokyo game programmer

Masa is a 23-year-old game programmer at Bandai Namco Studios in Tokyo. In this 13-minute-video made by Paolo From Tokyo, we see what Masa's life is like, from the moment his alarm goes off in the morning until he is back at home making a Gundam model before he goes to sleep.

From the YouTube description:

We'll even interact with directors from popular Japanese video game titles such as Tekken and CodeVein. Plus we'll get to see what a Japanese programmer from one of the large Video Game companies in Japan does after work with friends. This look inside a Japanese game dev's life is pretty unique and should provide some insight for those people who want to work in Japan as a game developer or game programmer. Also, this day in the life of a Japanese programmer will show you what it takes to be a Japanese programmer. As you would expect, most of the work day is spent programming and coding, but there are other unique aspects of the Japanese programmers life we are able to see in this video.

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Watch: an evening stroll through the entertainment district of Osaka, Japan

In late September, the person who make the Nippon Wandering TV YouTube channel walked around Dotonbori, the entertainment district of Osaka Japan and shot a 40 minute 4K video with binaural sound. It's so lively there! Los Angeles is a real dud in comparison.

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Tokyo Disneyland's new vinyl LP is AMAZING

Tokyo Disneyland is a curious beast: it's owned by a Japanese company (the "Oriental Land Company") but the company is contractually obligated to use Disney as its sole supplier of rides and designs; historically, TDL has expanded by ordering the very best, most popular rides and shows from other Disney parks, and then paying to have them built to the very highest possible specification -- it's a kind of global best-of Disney park, gold plated and buffed to a high finish. Read the rest

Music that inspired 1980s Japanese environmental music composer Yukata Hirose

Yutaka Hirose is a Japanese composer who was a key figure in that country's ambient/environmental music scene of the 1980s that in recent years has been rediscovered by crate-diggers around the world. Hirose's "NOVA" (1986) is a classic of the genre, a soundscape that Misawa Home Corporation commissioned as a "soundtrack" for the prefabricated houses. While original LPs have sold for hundreds of dollars, WRWTFWW Records have recently reissued the record as an expanded double LP and double CD. (For a further exploration of Japanese environmental music of the 1980s, Light in the Attic Records' "Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990" is a perfect portal.)

To celebrate the NOVA reissue, The Vinyl Factory asked Hirose to create a mix of music he was listening to and inspired by in the 1980s Listen above. It's a beautiful, sometimes-jarring, and totally compelling journey through avant-garde sounds of the time. Here's the tracklist:

1. Jan Steele – All Day 2. David Toop – Do The Bathosphere 3. Gavin Bryars – 1, 2, 1-2-3-4 4. Joan La Barbara – Poems 43, 44, 45 5. Meredith Monk – Waltz 6. Karlheinz Stockhausen – Stimmung 7. John Cage – Seven Haiku 8. Throbbing Gristle – Almost A Kiss 9. Robert Ashley – Yellow Man With Heart With Wings 10. The Flying Lizards – The Window 11. Henry Cow Little Red Riding Hood Hit The Road 12. Faust – Faust 13. CAN – Future Days 14. Tangerine Dream:Rubycon 15. Michael Nyman – Decay Music 16.

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Checking to see if Japanese people like root beer

Root beer is not common in Japan (apart from Okinawa). In this video, That Japanese Man Yuta goes to a park in Japan and asks people to drink some and describe it. Most people dislike it, saying it tastes like medicine, mouthwash, "pain relief pads," or "the stuff you put on when you get bitten by a mosquito." Read the rest

This guy walks around Tokyo with a GoPro strapped on

One of my family's favorite things to do is wander the neighborhoods of Tokyo. The narrow streets, filled with colorful visual, olfactory, and aural details, never fail to fill me with a sense of wonder.  Yesterday one of my daughters showed me a YouTube Channel called Nippon Wandering TV. The person who runs the channel uses a high resolution GoPro (strapped to his chest or head, I guess) and walks through different Tokyo neighborhoods at different times of the day. He doesn't narrate the videos, and I'm glad he doesn't, because it's nice to hear the sounds of the streets -- talking, cars, music, etc. Each video is about 30 minutes long.

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Meet the hairdresser to Japan’s sumo wrestling elite

Once when I was on a train in Tokyo, I saw a sumo wrestler board and take a seat. He looked like a real life superhero and moved with grace that defied his massiveness. One of the things that made him look otherworldly was his topknot hairstyle. In this video, we meet Kato Akira, who had been the hairdresser for elite sumo wrestlers for over 50 years. He uses both hands and his mouth to tie knots in the wrestlers' hair, and uses a number of beautiful wooden combs.

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Japanese film festival in Los Angeles this weekend, Nov 1-3, 2019

The Japan Cuts Hollywood film festival takes places this weekend at the Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. Carla and I will be there. Japan House Los Angeles is curating three movies on Saturday:

37 SECONDS | Director HIKARI is an award-winning writer, producer and director.

TEN YEARS JAPAN | The executive producer is Hirokazu Kore-eda. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with three female Japanese directors.

NO LONGER HUMAN | The US Premiere of director Mika Ninagawa.

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Japanese group wears hilarious "mundane" Halloween costumes over flashy ones

Forgot to take out the trash, the Halloween costume.

"Too embarrassed" to wear glitzy, showy Halloween costumes, a group of folks in Japan decided to start wearing "mundane" ones starting in 2014. These hilarious "jimi Halloween" costumes feature people in ordinary, everyday types of situations.

Like, here's a lady who is playing a "camera assistant for children's photo studio":

And this guy is about to win at Old Maid:

This lady is a YouTuber testing lipstick colors:

Mundane? Sure. Boring? Never. Clever? Yes, my god, yes!

Search the hashtag #DPZ or head to Spoon & Tomago to see more.

(Kottke)

screenshot via @oni_red Read the rest

Japanese robot hotel chain ignored repeated warnings that its in-room “bed-facing” robots could be turned into spy devices

Japan's Henn na Hotel chain, owned by the HIS Group, uses "bed-facing Tapia robots" in its rooms; these robots turn out to be incredibly insecure: you can update them by pairing with them using a NFC sensor at the backs of their heads. The robots do not check the new code for cryptographic signatures, meaning that malicious actors can install any code they want. Read the rest

Look what I made for lovers of Kewpie mayonnaise

Kewpie Mayonnaise, made in Japan, has extra egg yolk and MSG in it, making it far superior to any other commercially-made mayonnaise. My family loves the Kewpie. To make it easier to squeeze out of the bottle, I 3D printed a thing you can attach to the cap so you can invert the bottle and let the mayo settle near the spout. Now we don't have to shake the bottle to get the mayo out.

If you want to print one of your own, here's the STL file.

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Watch this Japanese man harvest salt from the sea using a traditional method

Ryoichi Toya of Suzu, Japan harvests 3.5 tons of salt per year from the ocean. He starts by pouring buckets of seawater onto a bed of raked sand. After the sand has dried, it's collected in a large wooden box, to which additional seawater is added, to create a very salty liquid. This is boiled over a wood fire for six hours to remove the water. "Salt produced with the Agehama style is made from seawater and is mainly used for food," he says. "It's mild in taste and the texture is smooth. It's the perfect seasoning for a rice ball." Read the rest

My new fave Instagram account: miniature models of old Tokyo storefronts

Christopher Robin is a Stockholm designer who makes realistic miniature models of aged Tokyo storefronts. He's got an Instagram account with photos of his work.

 

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Panic working here, lots of stuff left to do and aprox one week left until deadline. Working on the vending machine, added the glass and did some weathering. A real mental workout to figure out how to build this one in the best way, and I can only blame my self since it is I who designed the kit... Also been working on adding more wiring and electric stuff. Also did the roof. Used a very fine grit sandpaper cut into strips and glued and folder. Think it worked out ok. These flat roofs are tricky to get interesting. Now back to work. Stay tuned. #artwork #art #artist #sculpture #mini #miniature #miniartmodels #tokyo #tokyohouse #japanhouse #instaart #pic #picoftheday #progress #scratchbuild #scalemodel #modelhouse #modelhouses #aircondition #rust #hobby #workshop #handmade #handtool #weatheredmodels #weathering

A post shared by TokyoBuild (@tokyobuild) on Sep 29, 2019 at 8:14am PDT

[via Nag on the Lake] Read the rest

Video about Fukushima's exclusion zone, 8 years after disaster

Vegetation is overtaking the Fukushima exclusion zone, eight years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. Read the rest

Impressive Japanese manga cosplay by pro cosplayer Leon Chiro

Wow, takes a moment to realize this video is a real human being, not CGI. Read the rest

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