Archive for the ‘Strange’ Category

Today’s Weird Stories from Tokyo

Rat Curry at a Tokyo train Station

34% of Japanese couples “Sexless“. I liked this quote from that article:

I think we have to make a connection between the increasing sexless rate and declining birthrates.

Yeah, I seem to remember reading once about a link between sex and childbirth…

Whale Revenge: In apparent revenge for the recent attempts by Japan to reverse the Whale-catching ban and the fighting between Japanese fisherman and Greenpeace, a fisherman was killed by a whale. Unfortunately this fisherman was definitely one of the good guys, trying to save the whale.

More Urban Legends

This is a call for readers to send in any other Urban Legends they have heard about Tokyo or Japan in general. Following on from Mari’s post, we are looking to uncover and investigate any other urban myths. Use SUGGEST A STORY or just add a comment here.

Meanwhile, Metroblogging LA’s Urban Legend series continues with Gang Rituals, Frozen Walt Disney – I’ve heard that one before, and Human Sacrifices.

Is Lady Luck is in your Loo?

I’ve heard plenty of superstitions in Japan before, but this is a new one.
With exam season just around the corner, this book centres on how a clean toilet will bring you good fortune.
For more info in Japanese, see this blog post. Apparently the origins are in Feng Shui and a clean WC can bring beauty for yourself and even your future children….

Has anyone heard this before?

Gone Too Far? Too Far Gone?

Gone too far?? I am inclined to think so… but then, what do I know? I value your opinion more… what do you think?

The other weekend when I was walking a back street route from Akihabara to Ueno I happened across this “maid hairdressers”… I wish I knew more about it… am I paying a lot more to have my haircut by a stylist in a maids uniform? Has anyone out there ever been?




Art Gone Mad.

I am not sure of the details, but it seems that someone’s mom got a bit carried away with sprucing up her child’s bento. It is scary. You have been warned. [ link ]

Who am I?

Spotted this tripper yesterday afternoon whilst gallivanting about Omotesando [photos]. He had a sign hanging from his neck that read “Who Am I?” and was doing a kind of pop-locking robot thing. Poorly.

I sorta recall seeing him in the same general area many months ago, doing pretty much the same kind of thing. I’m inclined to think that he’s just a typical Tokyo costumed neurotic rather than someone driven by any genuine interest in trying to entertain or engage people who happen to be passing by.

How not to fill out a job application


The Japan TImes reports that a 28-year old Tokyo resident named Hiroki Okano celebrated Christmas Eve by sitting down at his computer, going to the Starbucks website, and filling out a job application with phrases such as:

I’ll set fire to all of your stores in Shibuya on Christmas Day and kill all of your employees.

Starbucks apparently decided that they didn’t have need for his particular skills, and passed his application on to the Tokyo police department. The police read through the application and apparently interpret the above bit as, well, a threat or something. So they pay Okano a visit at his home (being the conscientious applicant that he is, I assume he probably put his real address on the application), and after talking with him, they arrest him.

So, this Christmas ended a little sadly for Hiroki Okano. But his story touched my heart in a way that made me want to find out more. I spent a little time and managed to find a copy of the full text of the application he submitted.


PetLiveTV webcam at AM/PM

PetLiveTV I’d love to have a pet at home, but it’s not allowed in the apartment I live in (or in most rental apartments in Tokyo). But today I discovered something almost as good: An AM/PM near my office that has an Appoint’s kiosk with access to the So-net PetLiveTV webcam site.

So, if you live in Tokyo, you can now walk into many AM/PM stores, head over to the Appoint’s kiosk, and watch (via a webcam) cute little animals cavorting about. As long as your idea of cute little animals is ferrets, meerkats, chameleons, and hamsters, and as long as you are satisfied with watching them cavort about in cages — instead of, say, their natural habitat.

Better yet: If you have an AU (KDDI) mobile phone, you can (for a small fee) view PetLive from your mobile.

Alfons Mucha canned coffee

mucha-small.jpg Snapshot of a can of cafe ole from a vending machine a couple blocks away from where I live in Shinjuku. (I took it a while back with the camera on my cell phone on the way to work.) The image on the can is from a painting by the Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha. There were 6 other different Mucha images on various flavors of coffee — demitasse, capuccino, mocha, kilimanjaro, “black”, and “blend” — in the same vending machine.

Canned coffee is a really common drink to find in vending machines in Japan. They often have some interesting names, the most famous probably being Boss coffee, the logo for which looks a lot to me like William Faulkner. I remember a Blues. coffee, but I haven’t seen it for quite a while. Anyway, there are all kinds of varieties and speciality types that are labeled and targeted for specific purposes. For example, Driver brand, which sports the slogan, “A brand new fine coffee for all drivers. Enjoy the taste and refresh your mind!” Even better is Driver Black, slogan: “A coffee for drivers. Refresh your mind with extra caffeine!

But probably my all-time favorite canned-coffee slogan was this one for Asahi Next Stage Wonda (or something like that) brand :

Exclusive Elite Coffee

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