Category Archives: Made In Japan

October 07

Obsession, Thy Name Is This Exhibit

Okay, I really want to hate the Mitsui Memorial Museum (because see below) but they keep putting on shows like this. The idea behind “Amazing Craftsmanship!” is to pair mad Meiji-era woodwork, metalcraft and even (who knew?) embroidery with contemporary artists whose mindbending skillz rival those of the obsessed artists past. But don’t take my […]

September 28

Square Fruit Balloons

In the I-totally-don’t-need-this-but-am-strangely-compelled-to-buy-it-anyway category, these square fruit balloons are a quirky modern take on kami fusen, a cheap, Meiji-era toy. Of course, in true ultra-Japanese style, they’re made of paper! If you’ve become remotely infected with the burning desire to buy some square fruit balloons  for yourself, they’re sold at the Cibone store in the (otherwise […]

August 14

The Meat Washcloth

Still looking for that perfect souvenir to surprise your friends back home? Well, they certainly won’t be expecting this. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…

June 22

The Host Club Vending Machine

When I first saw this gachapon machine filled with little plastic champagne towers, I thought WAT? Who needs a set of miniature, light-up, host club furniture? I mean, even though it’s pretty happenin’ how they change color and all… …I wasn’t instantly throwing all my money at the coin changer. Until… • Read a novel […]

May 20

Confessions Of A Shiba Stalker

Okay, I’m going to come right out and admit I don’t actually have a dog. You would, however, be forgiven for assuming that I was knee-deep in shiba inus, on account of I own a scary amount of stuff that is almost exclusively bought by fanatical pet owners who, uh, own shiba inus. But if that wasn’t bad enough, it gets worse. I stalk them. […]

May 11

A Leopard For Your Butt

I’ve seen fruit for your patootie and warriors for your derriere, but this is the first time I’ve encountered top-of-the-food-chain predators for your butt. Am trying hard not to imagine the Japanese bathroom where this would fit right in… • Read a novel set in Tokyo

April 21

The Hypnotic Tail-Wagging Cat Clock

Walking down the street in Ome, I discovered something that totally flipped my three-hour trip to see a garden filled with no blooming azaleas into the win column: the tail-wagging cat clock! BEHOLD ITS MESMERIZING POWER: Can’t. Stop. Watching. (Except to scurry around online like a crazed, tail-wagging weasel to figure out who makes these and where to buy […]