Have you ever found yourself lost in Tokyo before? One of the reasons visitors (even Japanese people) get lost there is due to the vast and complex subway systems the city has in its underground. But never again! With these neckties you can check your subway routes any time, anywhere you go!
While Lady Gaga visits Japan to promote her latest album “ArtPop,” she was presented with life-size, ultra-realistic replicas of herself. Can you guess which one is real Lady Gaga? The two Gagas on the left are dolls made by Orient Industry, Japan’s prominent “synthetic love doll” maker.
Japan is always about kawaii, so everything from sports teams to food products has to have a cute mascot character to go with. Among them, popularity over Yuru-kyara has especially grown. Yuru-kyara, literally means “loose character,” refers to mascots that represent a town or a prefecture to promote and vitalize local communities. They are supposed to be cute and endearing, but sometimes they end up looking creepy. Here we selected some of the scariest-looking yuru-kyara that would make kids cry!
Tora Touchan is a tiger daddy who has a family consisting of a wife, a son, and a daughter. He is a hard-working salary man, which is great, but he just looks like he’s going to molest children! Is that the wandering eyes or a necktie stuck to a naked body or a mysterious black attachécase, I don’t know, but he just looks creepy! I mean, look at his face.
Yeah, not creepy at all.
9) 801-Chan (from Misono 801th Market Street of Kita-ku, Kyoto)
801-chan is supposedly inspired by kamo eggplant, a popular vegetable locally produced in Kyoto. However, the vegetable looks nothing like the satanic-looking character above. Actual eggplants look much cuter.
Because of its name 801 (pronounced “yaoi”), 801-chan inspired a popular manga title called Tonarino 801-chan, which is a comedic nonfiction story about a yaoi fangirl. Yaoi-loving 801-chan is the true identity of a seemingly ordinary looking girl in Tonarino 801-chan.
8) Taramaru and Beniko (from Iwanai, Hokkaido)
I think half-fish, half-human creature is always a bad idea when trying to make something cute. They are twin cods Taramaru (boy on the left) and Beniko (girl on the right). Taramaru holds an asparagus stock because Iwanai was the first place in Japan to produce asparagus.
Udon Nou means “Udon (noodle) Brain.” As you can see, he’s not kidding about his name. The official story is that he used to be a normal human being once, but because he loved eating udon so much, one day when he woke up he found himself looking like this. Kagawa is well-known for its delicious udon noodle, but if it has such side-effect I’ll think about it before I eat.
It’s hard to believe Marimokkori is so widely accepted in Japan today. It’s created from a mere pun on words, Marimo + Mokkori, where Marimo is a kind of moss ball species living in Hokkaido’s Akan Lake, and Mokkori means a boner. No, seriously, he’s a family-friendly mascot, even with a bulging crotch and those creepy eyes. Initially, people complained about how inappropriate he looks, but celebrities like Namie Amuro and figure skater Miki Ando were fans of Marimokkori and made him widely known. Everyone seems to be okay with Marimokkori nowadays.
While some prefectures have more than 40 yuru-kyara, Kanagawa only has a few of them, and one of them is Com-chan, a mascot based on the shape of a condom. Com-chan is not exactly creepy, it’s actually pretty cute if you don’t think too much about what’s inside the cape.
Com-chan’s mission is to educate local communities about prevention of AIDS and safe sex. Ganbatte Com-chan!
4) Sayuri Koshinaga and Zen Takakura (from Kanagawa Police)
Unlike other yuru-kyara, Sayuri and Zen did not go for “kawaii” direction at all. They are too realistic looking! Their mission is to promote safe driving and educate people on transportation rules. “All the kids who’ve seen me cried,” said Sayuri. Duh.
Manbe-kun is a combination of a crab, scallop (on ears), and a Japanese iris (on his head). He is notorious for his sarcasm and sharp tongue. In his interview on Niconico Douga, he told that he doesn’t care about what people think about his talking manner and didn’t answer any of the questions about Hokkaido. Bad publicity is still publicity, that’s what his policy was. However, due to his inappropriate comments about World War II in 2011, his official Twitter account was forced to discontinue, and his official appearances have ceased since.
Manbe-kun being buddy-buddy with the Oshamanbecho mayor.
Funassy is a spirit of pears, the juicy fruit in which Chiba prefecture is a number one producer of. Funnasy’s seemingly cute, but his unlikely agility and odd behavior (he jumps really high while screaming) makes him a creepy mascot.
Also, his official snack product called “Funassy’s Secret Cookies” contained cookie wrappers showing terrifying truths about Funassy.
According to the wrappers, Funnasy’s favorite food is peaches, meat, pears, and dung beetles. Wait, aren’t you a spirit of pears? Also, it revealed that the red part on his chest, which was thought to be a bow tie, is actually a stain from blood, from murdering someone.
Melon Guma is easily the scariest yuru-kyara ever created. Yubari produces one of the best-tasting cantaloups in the country, and brown bears (Higuma) traditionally reside in Hokkaido and was considered by Ainu aboriginals “divine gods of mountains.” Sure, but they didn’t have to create such a horrific monster out of them. Melon Bear would surely give elderly heart attacks and leave traumatic memories to children.
Since Yahoo Japan Auction started in 1999, the service has grown into the biggest, most successful auction site in Japan. Sometimes you find great items, but occasionally you encounter weirdest things you’ve never expected to see. I’ve selected a few examples of oddity every found on YJ Auction!
Nyotaimori is “often referred to as “body sushi,” is the practice of serving sashimi or sushi from the body of women, typically naked (Wikipedia)”. However, this seller has offered himself to be Nantaimori, which is a male version of it. In the auction description, the seller states it’s perfect for occasions such as “when you have no dishware at home,” “to show apology to clients when you made a mistake in business,” or “to create romantic atmosphere at dinner with a girl you are proposing to,” and so on. Um…yeah…is there an insurance policy for when it actually destroys your date?
Well, it’s the planet we live on. In the Q&A section, the seller answered to questions like:
Q “How is the quality of the item?”
A “It’s been 3 hundred million years, but I think it could function another 5 hundred million years. Unfortunately the terrain and environment have changed from its original condition…”
Q “Is it size L?”
A “The size is S. There are many bigger planets out there.”
The auction started with 69JPY and eventually got terminated early by the seller with 9,999,999,999JPY with no highest bidder.
This guy must be a real masochist to be willing to let random people decide what to do with his money! (Or maybe he’s secretly super rich?) The seller would do almost anything, with the exception of making profit for the won bidder (such as handing all salary to the bidder), or for illegal actions. The auction ended with 25,000 JPY.
It sounds like the tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Supposedly, this item cannot be seen by ignorant people. The seller explained, “it’s embarrassing, but I cannot see it either.” Although he offered to give away a couple of Denny’s and Yoshinoya coupons as freebie to the highest bidder, no one purchased this item.
In crowded cities of Japan, not everyone has privilege to punch walls whenever they get angry (they are too nice to their neighbors). You could break your fist if you punch random walls without practice too, you can’t risk that! To solve such problem, the seller auctioned a service to punch walls on behalf of you. It was sold for 100JPY per punch, and total of 9 punches were sold.
One of those weird Japanese random inventions. You can catch dog poop and pee directly in this handy plastic purse. Japanese people put so much effort in making smallest part of their life easier and more efficient, which is great! However, the dog probably feels embarrassed by this photo going up on internet.
Evidently this guy was going through very difficult time. To try to cope with the situation, he produced a bunch of Japanese calligraphy pieces of “Orz,” a Japanese emoticon showing a man on his hands and knees struck by failure and disappointment. Calligraphy pieces were written on A4-size photocopy paper and framed. No one bid on it, which probably didn’t help his feelings.
This adorable penguin is a pet of this auction seller. His name is “Penguin Ouji (Prince).” You get to own a foot print of Penguin Ouji and a day of hanging out with him, feeding him, taking a walk with him!
The auction ended with 12,725 JPY. I hope the bidder enjoyed a date with Penguin Ouji!
The title of the auction stated it was a “real time machine” (Makes me think of the movie I recently watched Safety Not Guaranteed.) The seller explained that he spent 20 million JPY to invent it and runs on regular 100V electric outlet. This was also Yahoo Japan Auction’s most expensively bid item ever in its history, which was 10 trillion JPY. WOW. Eventually, the Auction staff found out about it and forced to terminate the listing with no highest bidder.
Even from auctions, you can see Japanese people have twisted sense of humor! A lot of the time these weird items show up on Neta (Joke) category of YJ Auction (not always, but often). Please remember listings in this category are not always legitimate, so browse it with your own judgement!
These legless chairs made by Japanese furniture company Nitori created a big buzz on internet recently.
How can you not love it? It looks so… delicious!
When flattened, it looks even more comfy… (and totally a piece of bread)
It makes me want to eat breakfast on these chairs!
A slight variation to this product: Lightly Toasted Bread Chair
I just think it’s hilarious that they made a considerate decision to make a toasted version, in case someone prefers toasted bread over untoasted bread.
Also, speaking of bread, from Rakuten there are 4-piece toast cushion set for sale too.
Japan is a rice country, but evidently people love bread!
If you want to get any of the above items, Request Store Order from your Rinkya account (make sure you are logged in).
Just copy and paste Nitori URL (untoasted or toasted bread chair) or Rakuten URL (4-piece bread cushions) into our form, set quantity, and you are good to go!
You can use Request Store Order feature to order virtually anything in Japan outside of Yahoo Japan Auction.