Can you tell which is the “real” Gaga in this picture?
Here’s the official description:
Japan’s latest and finest technologies were put into the creation of the “GAGADOLL”. It’s the world’s first life-size human-shaped listening station that closely resembles Lady Gaga. The bone conduction system enables one to listen to her songs and message.
The “GAGADOLL” was inspired by the concept of “ARTPOP” and this masterpiece made by Japan’s master craftsmen has been highly-praised by Lady Gaga herself.
Orient Industry are more craftsmen than “adult toy” manufacturers, and their commitment to extreme detail and realism is legendary. From movable fingers and eyes to a myriad variations in body, bust and face, they provide customizable life companions for those who dare to desire one.
The Gagadoll is not on sale but it can be booked for events and appearances, according to the official website.
ARTPOP opened at number one in Japan and no doubt this marketing stunt can’t have hurt sales.
As the name tells itself, LowCarbonLife.net provides yet another possible solution for saving the earth. Online they have a variety of furniture on sale, but it’s neither the design nor the build-it-yourself concept that separates the brand from other competitors in the market. It’s JGBOARD, the patented material that makes the difference.
In short, JGBOARD is a 100% recyclable wooden board that is made from used paper. JGBOARD furniture, then, can be disposed of as recyclable waste just like ordinary cardboard boxes (which are collected separately and recycled in Japan).
Does this seemingly eco-friendly material only help us feel less guilty about throwing out or replacing old furniture? Well, according to their description, their product is just as durable as any other wooden furniture, yet is 40% lighter, about 50% cheaper and waterproof. There is no need to use any tools, as paper tubes and double stick tape replace the role of nails to connect each board. Their video tutorials are also great help to build each piece of furniture which, to be quite frank, looks much like just placing a different combination of colored cardboard boxes onto one another.
The low table on the left below is 3,900 yen and the single bed on the right is a mere 14,499 yen.
At first I felt nothing but great respect for whoever came up with the idea of making 100% recyclable furniture. And yet I can’t also help but question one phrase that is written in their product description – use it as disposable furniture and feel at ease. It seems as though JGBOARD furniture is specifically targeted at those who need a set of simple furniture for a short period of time. The demand for such product is surely expected to increase in spring as it is the time of the new school year and fiscal year, with many people moving in and out of their places.
I don’t mean to boast here but the wooden desk that I have at home has been with me for almost twenty years and I never intend to throw it out. It’s one thing to be eco-friendly and move toward a world where everything is recyclable, but I can’t help thinking there should be some other ways, too.
Every year the publisher Jiyukokuminsha picks the word or phrase that has apparently created the most hype or buzz during the past twelve months.
You can read an excellent overview of the buzzword candidates over on Nippon.com.
But we finally found out the winner yesterday and it was surprising because it wasn’t one word — but four, the first time in prize’s 30-year history.
So, what beat “Abenomics” — the prime minister’s dubious fiscal policy — or “Kontororu sareteiru” — the prime minister’s even more dubious boast to the IOC in Buenos Aires that Fukushima was “under control”?
Well, these four contenders, that’s what.
This phrase was made famous by the popular NHK morning drama Amachan, set in the world of pearl divers in northeast Japan. It is an expression of surprise in the Iwate dialect.
An Olympic-themed one, where newsreader-turned-tarento Christel Takigawa used the phrase (meaning “hospitality”) as a concept buzzword promoting Japan. Takigawa’s presentation at the IOC has no doubt meant a massive financial boost to her career too.
A more esoteric one meaning “double payback”, it was popularized by the Hanzawa Naoki, a TV drama about a banker. We guess it didn’t help that Hanzawa was played by actor Masato Sakai.
“How about now?” might sound like a rather anti-climatic example of a buzzword, but then you haven’t thought about the hype created by university cram school instructor Osamu Hayashi, who has been featured in mountains of TV commercials this year.
So TV or televisual buzzwords seemed to have the most impact this year, ahead of more general social phenomenon or memes.
On November 23rd, Studio Ghibli’s latest film Kaguyahime no monogatari (The Tale of Princess Kaguya) was released in all theaters across Japan.
I have already seen a number of reviews so far, most of which are specifically focused on how different the film looks, compared to other Ghibli works from the past. But I would like to take a different approach.
Director Isao Takahata is famous for his depiction of real life, while his longtime friend and another Ghibli guru Hayao Miyazaki uses fantasy as a basic setting of his stories.
“The Tale of Princess Kaguya” is based on a Japanese folktale from the tenth century called Taketori monogatari – or ”The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter”. It’s a story about an old bamboo cutter who finds a tiny baby girl inside a bamboo stalk and together with his wife raises the baby as his own. The girl grows up to be a woman of ordinary size and of extraordinary beauty. She is approached by a number of suitors, but she somehow manages to reject all proposals. Finally, she reveals her biggest secret to her parents that she was sent from the moon as a result of some “promise” that she made and must return there. In the end, an emissary from the moon takes her back to where she belongs, leaving everyone in tears. It definitely doesn’t sound like a happy ending, doesn’t it?
One could easily argue that this film might be the most “fantastic” of Takahata’s all past works. Yet the primary focus of the story is not the encounter between humans and aliens but answering many questions of why. Why was she sent from the moon in the first place? Why was she sent to earth? Why was she so sad when she left earth? Why did she need to return?
The tag line reads “The crime and punishment of a princess”, which implies that this is not a simple feel-good story of a lunar princess who comes down to experience life on earth. Takahata says in one interview that the earth and the moon stand opposite from each other: while the moon might represent sanctitude but without any color or life of its own, the earth is full of life, hardships – and joy.
If the earth was considered ultimate hell where all sinners are sent to serve their sentence, Princess Kaguya would be happy to return home, which is obviously not the case here. Perhaps this is where he portrays realism over fantasy, in an imaginative story setting where he suggests that life on earth might at times be too cruel, yet it does have something that even heavenly beings from above envy.
JapanTrendShop.com is celebrating Thanksgiving in the best way possible: With a massive 10% OFF SALE for Black Friday & Cyber Monday.
Everything is discounted!
The Cyber Monday sale lasts until December 4th!
Here are some recommendations, taken from JapanTrendShop’s latest offerings!
The original pinhole Gakken Planetarium has sold 500,000 since its first release in 2005. Now Gakken and its science and engineering built-it-yourself kits series Otona no Kagaku has come up with the Realstar Planetarium. As before, supervised by master planetarium designer Takayuki Ohira, this enhanced version now shows projects the Milky Way and the heavens even more clearly than before.
Attention all entertainment buffs! The latest must-have accessory has arrived! The Goron Tablet Cushion is the modern and stylish answer to a techie’s quest for comfort. This intuitive and ergonomic device is easy to use. Just attach your electronic device, and then adjust the arm to the desired angle. You can comfortably use your tablet while sitting on the couch, relaxing on your side, and even while lying on your back. The wide range of options allows you to experience gaming, and entertainment viewing on a whole new level!
The original Shibaful product has proved a major hit for being both cool and stylish, and eco too! You don’t get better than that. Now the makers have expanded the range and this includes a version for larger devices, hence the Shibaful iPad Case, giving you the texture of actual Yoyogi Park grass as a cover.
The Sara-ri Nudy Armpit Stickers Set come in a series of 20 easy-to-use stickers. Just place them on your armpit as a guard against perspiration. Never be embarrassed by wet armpits again at work or out and about, these transparent stickers are also subtle enough to avoid detection to curious eyes, so your beauty secret is safe.
Keep yourself powered up for work whether it’s winter or summer with the USB Cup Warmer, Cooler Holder by Thanko. Just connect your computer or other device’s USB port to the cup holder and it will maintain a cool or hot temperature perfect for continuing to enjoy your drink no matter how long that presentation takes you to finish. After all, when it’s winter and you’re keeping yourself warm with a hot cup of tea, the last thing you want is it to cool down. And likewise, in the summer, you want a drink that stays chilled.
…Just a small sampling!
But don’t just take our word for it. Head over to JapanTrendShop.com and check everything out for yourself.
Particle science can be pretty mind-boggling at times, right?
But if you are region is competing to host the ILC (International Linear Collider), you need to have your grasp on what’s an electron and what isn’t a positron, and all that jazz.
How do you make this exciting? Well, you could hire Team Lab, for a start.
That’s what Sefuri did. The region is located in Fukuoka and Saga prefectures and is one of Japan’s candidates for the ILC (the other is in the Kitakami Mountains in Tohoku).
Team Lab came along and recruited some actual local schoolgirls from Saga to make a “high school musical” about the science.
The result is the vibrant Sefuri ILC High School video.
According to Team Lab, “even though this work is less than 300 seconds and has had over an incredible amount 200 shots taken, it has incorporated the determination of the production team that have worked through scenes mere seconds long for extensive shots of scenes, costumes, props, motion graphics, animation, and more.”
Along with an exhibition at Tokyo Cultuart by Beams, they also made a very spectacular GIF Tumblr website for the promo, and which is guaranteed to give you a headache if you watch it for too long.
Although it’s very well done, we do wonder what it’s appeal could be to the bods that make these multi-billion-dollar decisions. Sure, it shouts “Cool Japan” (in a way that the central government could never understand) but it might be shooting itself in the foot by not taking itself seriously.
The ILC is, in the words of ScienceMag.org, “The ILC is expected to pick up where Europe’s Large Hadron Collider leaves off in studies of the Higgs boson and other exotic particles. Physicists in North America, Europe, and Japan agree on the need for the collider and have collaborated in the design stage. Each region would like to host the ILC, but Japan has emerged as the most ardent suitor. It is not clear, however, how the machine will be paid for.”
With Tohoku’s budget set to be occupied by post-disaster reconstruction for many years to come, ILC Kyushu is in with a real chance.
Here is the making-of video too!
The video also features the brilliant Shota Mori. He made this hilarious Taxi Driver-inspired “Sleeve iPhone” that generated quite a buzz earlier a few months back.
Doppelganger might just be the most interesting outdoor wear brand in Japan.
First they rocked our world with the Doppelganger Outdoors Wearable Sleeping Bag, an all-in-one jacket coat outer wear that becomes a sealable cocoon that also looks rather trendy as well.
Now they have also released the Doppelganger Humanoid Fleece, which frankly is a little more startling to look at. But if you aren’t put off by the “faceless” nature of this sleeping bag that you can walk around in, you will certainly appreciate its warmth.
It sold out of its initial batch on its very first day, so Doppelganger had to quickly crank up its production line to cope with demand.
You can unzip the bottom and keep it on while visiting the toilet (always an unpleasant task on cold winter nights, especially in the outdoors!), while we just love the four pop colors it comes in, even if it does kinda remind us of a rejected character from a Kick Ass 3 script.
Doppelganger make a nice antidote to the Yama Gaaru (“mountain girl”) and other fashionable outdoors/hiking trend that has been big for the last few years, where girls take themselves off to Gaienmae and Aoyama to buy ridiculously expensive gear for day trips to Tochigi.
Doppelganger’s approach is more fun and bold, both in terms of color and design, and functionality.
While the crowds were flocking to see the latest innovations in the Japanese automotive industry for the Tokyo Motor Show, there was another big car event in Odaiba last week.
As Nissan and Toyota et al showed off their concept cars that might just indicate the future of mobility (or the labors of an generously funded R&D department), November 24th also saw a one-day-only Itasha exhibition out in the bay.
Itasha are heavily — well, let’s be honest, overly — decorated cars that reflect the owner’s tastes in moe. A typical Itasha will feature shojo girls and other anime characters, and of course is driven by a self-professed otaku.
On Sunday, over 80 cars were driven down to Odaiba to be shown off to the world.
This “three-dimensional” Madoka car was spotted earlier this year and caused a storm on Twitter. Nice to see it back.
[All images via MyNavi.]
Leading fashion magazine CanCam has been going for over thirty years and now it has finally got itself its own exclusive male model.
After launching the careers and seeing immense success in the heyday of Japanese magazine publishing with the likes of Norika Fujiwara and Ryoko Yonekura, and most famous the trio of Moe Oshikiri, Yu Yamada and Yuri Ebihara (aka Ebi-chan), now CanCam has finally turned to a man to prop up its brand.
Yuuki Sawa is a nineteen-year-old sophomore student at Rikkyo University in Tokyo and this is his first modeling gig, which isn’t a bad debut by any standards. He was spotted by the editor of CanCam during the Mr Rikkyo Contest, where he was one of the judges.
CanCam’s prime readers are said to be young office ladies and female college students looking for tips for how to be mote-kei, i.e. popular with the boys.
Its name is an inventive if bizarre take on “I can campus”… whatever that means. Since the departure of Ebihara as its main cover model a few years back, its fortunes have famously declined, along with most fashion titles, though the one-time boom in offering omake fashion item giveaways helped boost sales for many. (For a comparison of the first ever issue of CanCam and the thirtieth anniversary issue in 2011, see this interesting article on Néojaponisme.)
Yuuki Sawa’s debut in the magazine is in the January 2014 issue, which went on sale last week. As he is a senzoku moderu (exclusive contract model), we can look forward to regular appearances by him every month.
Can Yuuki Sawa and this new gimmick by CanCam help the magazine regain its once lofty circulation of 500,000 during the Ebihara days?