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J A P A N O R A M A

Ahh, Japan... land of the rising sun, rising sin, and rice with nearly every meal. In Japan everything is possible and possibly everything is available - often with a unique and unexpected twist. Vending machines dispensing whisky, frozen meat, live rhinoceros beetles or schoolgirl panties? Where else but in Japan, where urban legends live and die on streets that have no names.

As the Japanese Innovations Writer for InventorSpot.com and an unabashed Japanophile, I take great joy in channeling the relentless tsunami of on-the-edge Japanese ideas and products, each wondrous one revisiting and reinventing 1950s Japanese Transistor Radio Syndrome for the post-atomic age!

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Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Cookies Celebrate Japan's Cute Cat Character In Delicious Style

Hello Cookies! You don't have to be Cookie Monster to nom-nom-nom these cans of Hello Kitty Cookies but just like the cute character celebrating her 40th anniversary, they're awfully hard to resist!

Revoltech Danboard Mini Yotsuba&! Action Figure Thinks Cute Thoughts Inside The Box

Got Danboard? The adorable cardboard box robot from the manga Yotsuba&! has been adopted by digital camera photographers as it adds a timeless sense of wonder to almost any scenic background. Revoltech's Danboard (or Danbo) Mini Yotsuba&! Action Figure is ideal for such pursuits thanks to its flexible joints and light-up eyes.

Thick Aluminum iPhone Case Is Waterproof To 300ft

Calling Captain Nemo! Thanko's thick aluminum iPhone case keeps your iPhone 5 or 5s high, dry and waterproof at depths of up to 300 feet. Y'know, just in case your spouse tells you to pick up some fresh seafood on the way home.

Crocs Hamburger Clogs: Fast Food Footwear That's Good For The Sole

Running out for fast food? Crocs Japan has got the perfect footwear for it! The burger & buns design sported by limited-edition Crocband Hamburger Clogs adds an unexpected aura of good taste to these much-dissed plastic sandals. But wait, there's more: the mouthwatering mocs can be customized with a set of special Jibbitz ideal for fast foodie foot fans opting to make it a combo.

Zoo Jeans Feature Distressed Rips & Tears Made By Lions, Tigers & Bears (Oh My!)

A Japanese zoo has come up with an innovative new way to raise funds for the zoo and the World Wildlife Fund. Known as the Zoo Jeans project, the charitable initiative invites lions, tigers and bears at the Kamine Zoo to fashionably claw and bite denim blue jeans which will subsequently be auctioned online.

Portable USB Handy Iron Ceases Unfashionable Creases

Iron out the rough spots with the portable USB Handy Iron from Japan's Thanko. Whether plugged into your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile battery, or used “wireless” via three internal AA-size batteries, this snappy new pocket-sized iron is sure to in-crease your chances of promotion!

Frito-Lay Japan Butters Up Seafood-Lovin' Snackers With Grilled Scallop Cheetos

Frito-Lay Japan's newest Cheetos flavor channels the sublime taste of freshly grilled Hokkaido scallops swimming in creamery butter and full-bodied, fragrant soy sauce.

Ha Uchiwa Leaf Fan From Japan Beats The Heat In Three Cool Shades

The Ha Uchiwa Leaf Fan from Japanese design house Koncent uses no power – well, maybe Flower Power – to keep you cool this summer. It's the nearest natural air conditioning solution to waving around a big ol' tropical plant leaf and it lasts MUCH longer.

Piafloss, For All Your Pierced Ear Flossing Needs!

You read that right, “pierced ear flossing”, and if you didn't know you needed to floss your filthy ear holes, well, you do now! Thankfully, using Piafloss (in two pleasing ear-romas) can save you from the eternal humiliation of having some tall, dark and handsome type lean in to whisper sweet nothings in your ear... only to instantly recoil in shock and disgust.

Black India Ink Bath Salts Leave You Clean As A Blank Sheet Of Paper

India ink bath salts from Japan's Kaimei & Co. may be made from calligrapher's ink but fear not, they won't leave your back as blackened as a Louisiana cooked catfish.


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