Tag Archives: Japan

Now that’s change we can all believe in

The Secretary of Agriculture will see you now

Here in America, becankled hockey mom Sarah Palin slaps on a pair of designer glasses and a Supercuts hairdo and is immediately the most attractive national politician since Rutherford B. Hayes scandalized Washington with his off-white petticoats.

In Japan, they took things a step further. Why? Because it’s Japan. And Japan is six cuckoo clocks on a sombrero crazy. And awesome:

Japanese reporters and political commentators have dubbed the DPJ’s 26 new female Diet members, many of them young and attractive, the “Ozawa girls” after former party boss Ichiro Ozawa, mastermind of the campaign strategy. In addition to Isogai, the group includes a former sex-industry reporter who has appeared in a provocative photo spread and an erotic movie; a pretty former television reporter; and a 28-year-old activist who gained celebrity after leading a well-publicized legal battle against the government after contracting hepatitis C from a tainted blood transfusion.

The strategy helped propel the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to a sweeping victory over the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The LDP had held power for decades before the DPJ realized that “hot girls” was a viable election strategy in a country in which you can buy used panties from vending machines.

Naturally, the effort has its doubters who say that simply casting about for hot ladiezzz and then putting them in power is not exactly going to help:

“I do not think the DPJ made a serious effort to recruit qualified women. They just wanted to have some kind of flowers,” said Kumiko Shindo, a professor of gender studies at Toyo Eiwa University. “They will never let them into decision-making or put them in important positions.”

However, many in Japan see things differently. A Tokyo University poll found that when shown pictures of the neophyte politicians, 67% of Japanese penises said “Boiiiiiiiiiing!!” while another 22% said “Ooooooohohhhh!!” The remaining 11% had no opinion.

Politics meets porn in Japan [Global Post]

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Japan’s first lady has been to Venus


It’s a good thing I’m only halfway finished compiling the 2009 edition of the Pax Arcana Guide to Top First Ladies, because this latest bit of information has me reconsidering my top 5 (sorry Tatyana Karimova!).

Not only is Miyuki Hatoyama a macrobiotic chef and former actress, according to this article in the Independent (UK), but she has also visited Venus and knew Tom Cruise in his former life. Seriously!

“While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus,” she explains in the tome she published last year. “It was a very beautiful place, and it was very green.”

When the new Japanese first lady related her adventures to her then husband, he told her flatteningly that it was probably just a dream. But she is confident that Yukio, the man now entrusted with the task of hauling Japan out of its deepest recession, would have reacted very differently. “My current husband has a different way of thinking. He would surely say, ‘Oh, that’s great’,” she wrote.

Not only did she meet Tom Cruise in his former life — he was Japanese then — but she looks forward to making a movie with him in the future. Because yeah!

How do we know all this about the Japanese first lady? She wrote it all down in a book titled “Very Strange Things I’ve Encountered,” making this officially the cherry on top of the awesomeness sundae that is Japan. Seriously, this story is so awesome I want to drink it with milk beer and just let it course through my veins and be absorbed into my bloodstream. My liver wouldn’t even need to filter it because it’s just so pure. Then I’d pee it out into a silver chalice and drink it again to try to regain the awesome feeling. Ew. This time it just tastes like urine. Must be the milk beer.

I have been abducted by aliens, says Japan’s first lady [Independent]


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Japanese people are dead clumsy

Pax Arcana

Japanese people are both hilarious and fashionable, making that nation an endless source of fascination for me. What I didn’t know until now is that they are also prone to killing themselves with seemingly non-threatening electronics.

According to Engadget, Japanese television today is ablaze with the news that three people have accidentally killed themselves with the Shape-Up Roller 2 electric massager pictured below:


Details are sketchy, since no one actually speaks Japanese, but one woman apparently yojimboed herself after failing to follow the directions on the box:

We’ve only got specific details about one death, which happened when a woman removed the protective cloth cover from the machine — called the Shape-up Roller 2 — then strangled herself when it got caught on her collar as she tried to use it on her neck. The manufacturer, Matoba Electric, issued a warning against removing the cover or using the device other than as directed, but has not yet recalled the device, which seems to be powerful enough to massage the tension out of a T-Rex’s feet.

It’s a simple mistake, really. I can’t tell you how many family members I’ve lost when they accidentally choked themselves with household devices. The worst was Uncle Sven — though I suppose it’s not really considered choking yourself when you swallow a record player.

Japanese foot-massaging machine pleads innocent to killing three people [Engadget]


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Quench your thirst with this EEEWWWWWWW!!

Pax Arcana

Do you like yogurt, Pepsi, and throwing up?

If you answered yes to all three, then boy do the Japanese have the drink for you!

Meet Pepsi White:

A blend of crisp, refreshing Pepsi and creamy, bacterial yogurt, Pepsi White was voted among the top 10 favorite Japanese soft drinks that also resemble a milky discharge. Available now wherever you see people vomiting on street corners.

Move To Japan So You Can Drink Yogurt Pepsi [Consumerist]


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Put some balls in your drink next time

Pax Arcana

Anyone with a favorite drink also has a favorite preparation for the drink. Mine is a peaty single malt scotch with one small ice cube or small splash of cold water. Perry Ellis likes Evan Williams Manhattans with an equal dose of sweet vermouth and Licor 43. Father Scott likes to mix Kool-Aid powder, Amaretto, sour mix, and vodka with a chocolate Slurpee from 7-11. Fallen Angel only drinks flaming lighter fluid shot from a makeshift PVC flamethrower. Reverend E will pass tonight, he’s going out scooting later.

As discerning as our palates are, most of us spend very little energy considering ice.

Depending on your drink of choice, ice can make up a little to a lot of the total volume of your beverage. Hard core drinking enthusiasts swear that the quality of water used, size, and shape of the ice in your drink can make a big difference.

Via Boing Boing, a Japanese company called Taisin has created a bar gadget that will compress your ice cubes into perfect spheres. The theory is that rounded ice melts more slowly than cubed ice, allowing the sweet, sweet toxins in alcohol to soak into your liver before the drink gets too watered-down.

Trend spotter/blogger/possible marketer Rebecca Milner says the spherical ice ball machine is just doing its part to dispel myths about Japanese bartenders that I had no idea existed:

Contrary to what you might think, bartenders in Japan consistently take home at global competitions, not because of their flashy antics or strange new concoctions but because there is an intense devotion to making simply the best drink, of which perfect ice is an obvious component.

At this point in the post, I’d like to point out that I have not made one single reference to balls in your mouth, balls in my mouth, or balls in anyone else’s mouth. If anything, this article has refocused my energy away from the puerile and toward the sophisticated. To celebrate, when I get off from work today, I’m gonna get a strong highball glass and make myself a nice stiff one and just milk it for hours.

Perfect ice for perfect drinks [Trends in Japan]
Seamless ice-spheres for superior whiskey-rocks [Boing Boing]

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Japanese hairstylists threaten global economy

Pax Arcana

Thought the US housing market and subprime mortgage shenanigans were going to lead the world economy into the crapper? You were wrong. Not about that second part — that’s going to happen — just about the cause.

Turns out the Japanese economy — a major global influencer according to the economists living in my imagination — is very sensitive to ladies’ hairstyles. And the current trends do not look good:

Until the early 1990s, when Japan’s economic bubble burst, 60 percent of women in their twenties kept their hair long, the Nikkei said, citing the survey.

During the 1990s economic slump, short hair — defined as above the collarbone — became the dominant hairstyle for Japanese women. But since 2002, long hair has regained some popularity — just as the economy started to expand, the Nikkei said.

The Japanese Global Economics Council ponders lowering interest rates and growing out their bangs

So one of the most important economies in the world, in a nation that produced some of the most fearless, relentless, cunning warriors and businessmen in the history of humankind, is largely pegged to the whims of the female patrons at karaoke night at the Mr. Soul Disco in Kyoto.

OK, I’ll buy that.

Japanese women hairstyles track economy ups and downs [Reuters]

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And the Oscar goes to…

We realize we’re jumping the gun, but if this doesn’t win the Best Foreign Yakuza High School Girl Ninja Film trailer award, we will turn in our Academy membership.


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Glory days

Here’s Daisuke Matsuzaka closing out the final game of the famous Japanese Koshien tournament with a no-hitter:

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