Rakuten may represent the best and brightest when it comes to Japanese high-tech, online marketing savvy but their Top 10 List of 'Hot Items' for Mothers Day 2011 might leave Mom feeling a bit cold.
10) Mother's Day Set of Carnation & Teddy Bear
“Aww, how sweet”... at least that's what your teenage girlfriend might say when you present her with this charming, cute & frilly basket just bursting with preserved flowers and a cuddly widdle Teddy Bear. Your Mom, not so much... unless, of course, the two of you are, er, “close”. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just 2,680 yen each, or around $31 tax included.
9) Casual Heel-up Cubic Sneakers
Get a leg up on those other Mother's Day gift-givers by buying Mom a pair of “Cubic Sneakers”... I'm sure they're a LOT more comfortable than they sound. Available in Black, Khaki or Dark Brown and in a range of sizes. You DO know your mother's shoe size, don't you? Just 4,900 yen or around $56 tax included.
8) Lacquered Wooden Natural Tray
This lovely lacquered natural wood tray measures 39 × 30 × 2.2cm (15.6” x 12” x 0.88”) and exhibits a warm, glowing finish that shows off the fine grain of the wood. After you present it to Mom, ask her to serve you a sammich on it, like in the good old days. Just 1,160 yen or around $13.50 tax included.
7) The iPhone4 Case of Kitty & Apple
According to Rakuten's ad copy, “Always Together with a cute kitty! 're Wondering what to be wearing a cute Hello Kitty, because what? ?” Well, Mom'll figure it out. Apple iPhone is not included, so you'd better make sure she has one before you give her this Hello Kitty iPhone case as a Mother's Day gift. Just 2,190 yen or around $25 tax included.
6) Multi-color Stone Bracelet
Now this is nice: a pastel tinted stone bracelet featuring spheres of Amazonite, Aragonite, Rose Quartz and Cut Crystal. It's a step up from that pastel pink LiveStrong bracelet you gave Mom last year. Just 1,950 yen or around $22 tax included.
5) Hokkaido Baka-uke Snacks
Forget those prissy triangle toast points topped with caviar, feh. Rakuten recommends these tasty Baka-uke crispy snacks from Hokkaido, Japan's northenmost large island. Just tell Mom they're snacks from Japan and leave out Rakuten's description: “Uke kelp stupid soy sauce.” Stupid snacks from Japan at a smart price, just 487 yen or around $4.20 tax included.
4) Toad's Mouth Necklace Purse
The overly-descriptive Toad's Mouth Necklace Purse is, umm, a small purse one wears around their neck, like say, a necklace. It comes in a choice of 4 colors and includes a 95cm (38”) chain ideal for impressing a deep, painful groove into the back of Mom's neck once she fills the thing with her loose change. Just 2,500 yen or around $29.00 tax included.
3) Gorgeous Set of “Kubota” Japanese Sake
This Mother's Day, give the gift that keeps on giving you hangovers: a gorgeous set of “Kubota” brand Japanese sake. Hmm, doesn't Kubota make bulldozers and such? No matter. Umm, you might not want to mention this item's full name, which is the Hitoshi Tizu Kubota Yorozu Centenarians Set. Just sayin'... and just 7,980 yen or around $92.50 tax included.
2) Solid Material Leather Bag
Rakuten doesn't say much about this solid material leather bag, other than that it comes in Brown, Camel or Black. Oh, and that it's made from solid material. Possibly leather, though I'm going out on a limb here. Just 14,000 yen or around $165 tax included.
1) Ironing Board
This “Easy to use, can fold!” ironing board is so easy to use, Rakuten included a “how to” video at the product page. Unfortunately the video's in Japanese but I can offer one hint at least: remove clothes before ironing. Giving Mom that advice – along with giving her this rather pricey ironing board (but it can fold!) for Mother's Day – are done at one's own risk. Just 5,670 yen or around $66 tax included.