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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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Skull Lollipop Candy Case Shows Zombies You're No Sucker

Keep your friends close and your personal lollipop closer as the old saying (sort of) goes. The Skull Lollipop Candy Case from Japan's Village Vanguard will alert those so-called “friends” to keep their sticky fingers off your fave Chupa Chups sucker.

Nemuriale Sleep Aid Kitten Is Better Than Counting Sheep

The Nemuriale Sleep Aid Kitten is a soft & cuddly Russian Blue plush cat that puts stressed-out souls to sleep faster than the hippest hipster hypnotist!

Rilakkuma Condoms Make Cute & Conscientious Gifts

Rilakkuma "Honey" Condoms by Okamoto feature colorful box and wrapper art that's so cute, giftees might think they've been presented with a box of delicious sweet treats. Contraception just got a lot more adorable!

Dig In To Dinner With Deep Fried Construction Equipment!

Do not operate heavy machinery while eating? The heck with that! The clever designers at Panda's Hole, an edgy division of Takara Tomy's T-Arts, suggest diners throw caution to the wind and sprinkle their new line of Deep Fried Construction Equipment over your next box lunch.

Gifted Ribbon Bands Ensure Your Gifts Look Perfect Every Time

Gifted Ribbon Bands from Japan are made from red elastic silicone rubber and come in two sizes, ensuring your carefully chosen and beautifully wrapped holiday gifts (and/or bananas) look as smart and stylish as can be!

KitKat Flavors of Japan Box Set Collects The Best Eats From The Far East

The KitKat Flavors of Japan Box Set features 11 exotic KitKat flavors reflecting Japan's many unique regional culinary traditions. Even living in Japan it's tough to sample these exotic KitKats as Nestle Japan usually sells them only in their home regions. Now you can sample these signature cuisines in the form of specialty KitKats packed in a collectible showcase box.

Chair Back Coat Hanger Keeps Jackets Close, Clean & Crease-Free

The Chair Back Coat Hanger from Japan's Konna Online Shop is the ultimate way to park your parka on the back of your chair. Why expose your coat to potential theft, transferred perfumes and/or somebody else's pet hair in an unsupervised communal closet when your jacket can rest securely on the back of your chair?

Cristiano Ronaldo Plugs The Facial Fitness Pao Smile Trainer & Anti-Aging Exerciser

The Facial Fitness Pao Smile Trainer is the latest weird “face training” device from Japan. Unlike so many others, however, this device appears to have garnered a significant following not to mention a high-profile endorsement by world-famous pro soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.

Toshiba Makes Over Mothballed Computer Factory Into An Enormous New Factory Farm

Toshiba's former floppy disk factory in Yokosuka, Japan had been sitting idle since 1994. Rather than allow a valuable asset to deteriorate, the company boldly performed an innovative makeover to the plant, which now GROWS plants for profit.

Hundred Buck A Box Tissue Paper Is Nothing To Sneeze At

At 100,000 yen (about $100) per box, 12-layered ceremonial kimono tissue from Japan's Daishowashikosangyo Co., Ltd. is not only nothing to sneeze at, it's nothing to sneeze ON. In fact, don't even look at it – just set the box in the center of the executive board room table and hope nobody dares grab a single one of the 288 luxuriously colorful sheets.


July 2010

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