Is Tofugu the Best Humorous Blog on Japanese Culture?

The answer is no, probably not.

Still, someone kindly nominated us and we made it into the fray over at WhatJapanThinks. They are doing a “Best Japanese (culture) Blogs of the Year” poll, and we think it’d be great if you headed on over and voted. We really don’t care who you vote for; in fact, we’d love it if you took a look at the other nominees in our category. Our competition is definitely made up of cool froods who know where their towel’s at.

Best Humorous Blogs on Japan (nominees):

So what are you waiting for? Get on over to WhatJapanThinks and vote for your favorite blogs! I hope you make some discoveries of your own while you’re at it.

Update 1: On another note, we’ve made a big update to the design. It’s only about half done, but I decided to put it up because I need some help. What can we do to improve on it? What can we do to make your viewing experience more pleasant? Please comment and let us know. We actually listen (gasp?)

Update 2: Sorry for the big delay between posts. We were all in finals, but now it’s all over. Expect us to tease you with more posts than normal, only to take it away from you when we all go back to school. Ha!

Update 3: Vote or die!

hanamizu totte 3

“Mama Sucked out my Nose Mucus;” Child Protection Agency Works Overtime

Apparently there’s this neat little product over in Japan that’s called “ママ鼻水トッテ,” which roughly translates to “Mama takes (sucks) my nose mucus.” Seriously, only the most dedicated mothers would be able to suck the runny snot out of their sick children. Then again, Japanese mothers are pretty dedicated. Anyways, let’s take a look at it:

nose mucus sucker
The most important part is the top left. That baby’s never been happier!

Basically, what you do is you stick the soft end in the baby’s sloppy, gushing nose and put the other end in your mouth. Luckily there is an easy to clean bottle between you and your child’s snot factory, but what seems to be missing is the brown paper bag for when you have to throw up. Maybe that will appear in version two. If you’d like to see the product “live” on video, go ahead and read more: [Read more…]

JK Rowling

Half of Japanese Authors have Meaty thumbs

JK Rowling

At this point, everyone should know that Japanese people like their cell phones. In Japan, we are seeing a decline in personal computer use and a bigger interest in more versatile mobiles (the video’s a fake, but there’s still a lot of truth in it, nonetheless). On Japanese phones there are coupon scanners, television tuners (for at least the last 5-6 years), cell phone internet speeds faster than America will ever achieve (well, maybe if Japan shares), and so much more. The point is, Japanese cell phones are the s**t, and American cell phones are not.

This morning I read this article. It was early and I was feeling a little bleary-eyed. I scanned through it and thought that it said that half of Japanese top-10 books are read on cell phones. “Okay, great,” I thought. “This sounds about right.” Americans, even, are starting to enjoy the flexibility of reading e-books on their cell phones, not to mention Amazon’s new Kindle. Granted, I was surprised that Japan was only this far ahead. Normally when it comes to cell phones and technology (and ninjas) we have to look up to them like a third-world nation. The fact is, I was totally off, and I was totally blown away by the real story, which was this: [Read more…]

UFO Catcher 3

How to Win at UFO Catchers

UFO Catcher Image 1

Aight maggots. It’s time to edumacate you in the fine art of UFO catching. I’m about to present to you tips on how to net yourself a cute stuff j-character without spending a lot of moolah. Koichi spent ¥5,000 figuring out the tricks of the trade so the lot of us wouldn’t have to. But before I indulge you with such delicious tips, I’ll bore you with some background information on these arcade machines (sorry, nothing is free!). [Read more…]

Coat + Dress 2

Bag Lady Chic

The Look

Lately, flipping through Japanese fashion magazines, I’ve noticed trend. It’s a kind of Allison Reynolds (from The Breakfast Club) look; the combination of a simple, feminine dress and a more practical, sporty thigh-length anorak. Often, there are tights and boots involved, too. Pick up any Japanese magazine that deals with clothes, and I guarantee you’ll see this outfit.

I quite enjoy this look. I feel like a lot of fashion is impractical for every day life, especially during the fall/winter months when pretty shoes can’t stand up to the rain or snow, and even the cutest outfits must be covered up by bulky hoodies or jackets anyway. So, I figure, if you’re going to dress like that, you might as well be more pulled together and deliberate about it, right? [Read more…]


Top Japanese Impulse Buys of 2007: Part 1

We’re halfway through Black Friday (the American tribute to consumerism) by now, so I thought I’d share with you the top trendy, must-have items that debuted in Japan this year.

ビーフ天国1) The Mega Mac: A recurring menu item, the Mega Mac showed up again on Japanese McDonald’s in January this year. It’s advertised (see left) as being “beef heaven” (ビーフ天国 or beefu tengoku ), which may be a bit of an overstatement, but only a bit. It’s basically just two big Macs stacked on top of each other (+ extra cheese), so you could try recreating it at home if it sounds appealing to you, haha.

Koichi and Viet partook of this Mega meal while we were in Japan; I’ll try to find the video, if anyone’s interested.

Due to the success of this item, McDonald’s has created a few spin-offs which include the Mega Teriyaki, the Mega Egg (メガたまご), and the Mega Tomato (メガトマト), which is actually more like a BLHT (bacon, lettuce, hamburgers, and tomato).

[Read more…]

vanuatu port-vila

Erotic Weather Channels…yes, that’s plural

erotic weather

If you take a look at the sunny days, and you happen to be able to read katakana, you’ll notice that they spell out the word エロ (ero), which, if you do read katakana, you’ll know notice means “erotic.” Considering they were showing eight different locations, as well as the weather for each of them between 6am – 9pm, the chances for this coming up is nil to none. Unbelievably, something similar happened at a different time on the Wii Weather Channel: [Read more…]

Noodle Macro

Customizable Cup Noodles

My Cup Noodle Factory

Come lunchtime sophomore year of high school, all the cool kids were eating Cup Noodles. I wasn’t cool, unfortunately, but I loved them as well—with an instant ramen in my hands, I looked very much like that kid in the picture up there: excited, elated, and full of MSG-goodness.

Towards the end of the school year, though, the novelty of eating freeze-dried foodstuffs was wearing off, and that urban legend about the guy with the waxy stomach started going around, so Cup Noodles went the way of Twinkies and Spaghetti O’s—I just kind of stopped eating them, and eventually I forgot them all together. That is, of course, until I discovered the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, which has rekindled my love of all things Nissin. [Read more…]


Nothing Scarier Than a Gaijin

I know this is coming kind of late, but I sort of forgot to post this earlier D:


Apparently, somewhere in Nagoya, 外人さん (Mr. Foreigner) “costumes” consisting only of a nose and a pair of eyes are being sold. Not the most politically incorrect costume I’ve ever seen, but I thought it might be good for a chuckle (hopefully). Which makes me wonder, what do you perceive as the attitude Japanese people have toward foreigners? Here’s a little blurb from Wikipedia (the source of nearly all hastily gotten knowledge):

By global standards, Japan is highly homogenous ethnically. Thus, there are some issues which many non-Japanese find insensitive. The debate over these issues parallel the debate over political correctness in the West.

Anyway, you guys, have a good night, whatever you may be doing. We (the Tofugu team) probably won’t be doing much in the way of tricking or treating, so maybe we’ll finish up those other articles we’ve got waiting in the wings.

Source: merefflorescence

** 11/2 Edit: It’s not that Japanese don’t like foreigners. In my opinion, I would say that (generally speaking, of course) they merely find non-Japanese people to be intrinsically different from them. Not that foreigners aren’t human or anything, they’re just different. I think, perhaps, that it has something to do with the idea of uchi (内 or “inside”) and soto (外 or “outside”), too. Maybe we’ll explain this concept further in a different article, if anyone’s interested. Also, I feel that Japanese have a better sense of racial humor in general. They’re not too sensitive about that kind of thing. **

Pikachu Pulls a Britney

My Pokemanz, Let Me Show You Them

The title’s not so clever, I know, but there’s really no need to be witty, here—the picture says it all. Now, I know everyone and their mother has seen this, but I just have to say, this may be the absolute worse placement of an opening/entrance in inflatable bouncer history:

Pikachu Pulls a Britney

How could anyone have thought that this was a good idea? Couldn’t they have made a regular-looking doorway instead of a flap that needs to be held open by two people? I’m really not trying to be crude, here, but I’m just so mind-boggled by this decision. What do you guys think?

Source: おはようwwwお前らwww

**10/27: Edited out some of the questions that where more or less redundant**

New Pivo

Pivo 2 Unveiled: Generation of Lazy Drivers in the Making

The 2006 Pivo

If you’ve browsed Tofugu Flickr at all, you’ve probably seen this picture of Nissan’s 2005 concept car, the Pivo. It’s stout, round body makes it incredibly cute, like something a young Tokyo-ite would slap a Hello Kitty decal on and carry around in her over-sized purse. The car runs off of a lithium-ion batter (like many electronics now days), which makes this a more environmentally-friendly vehicle, as well. The most awesome thing about this car, though is the fact its body pivots (get it?) on the spot—a full 360 degrees—effectively eliminating the need for pesky reversing, as it allows you to face/drive in any direction you like. If you can’t quite envision this, please check out this video. It’s quite cool to see the Pivo in action… but now that I watch this again, it also seems incredibly lazy. All that work just to save yourself the hassle of driving backward?

Fortunately, in its newest reincarnation (creatively named the Pivo 2), the car’s usefulness, and perhaps even its cuddly-factor, have been significantly increased. [Read more…]

japanese transvestite

How to not talk like a Japanese Transvestite (or a boy/girl)

japanese transvestite

!!! Hey! View the updated version of this post in our guides section: Japanese Gendered Language

Learning to speak Japanese doesn’t get any easier. Right when you think honorifics make sense (which will never happen), you suddenly realize you’re not speaking like your own gender, which is usually a big surprise because nobody tells you about this for a really long time. So here I am, telling you that you need to think about your gender when you are speaking Japanese. It’s really not that tough at all, and yet, since 90% of Japanese teachers in America are women, 90% of students end up learning women’s Japanese. By clicking through you’ll be able to see a video, some of the history behind this, and a chart that plainly lays out women’s/men’s language for you. Here’s to making things easy (clink!). [Read more…]