Archive for February, 2007

a pickle for the self-defense forces?

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Waaaaaaaah! KA-WA-IIIIIIIIIII! Ne! ne? Kawaiiiiiii!

This is Japan’s Self-Defense Forces new mascot — Mr. Pickles, nay, PRINCE Pickles. YES, a royal salted vegetable has joined the forces because “he is very endearing, which is what the Japanese military stands for” (?.??) um, according to Defense Ministry official Shotaro Yanagi.

I nabbed this rather amusing piece of Self-Defense Force PR from a Japan Times AP article. So please go here www.japantimes.co.jp for the full story and another picture. I checked the date, it’s not April 1.

I guess they can just about get away with this because it is a Self-Defense Force, which is as about cute and cuddly as a military force is going to get. But my God, what will he look like if they change the constitution? I don’t know how endearing Prince Pickles could be wielding a sub-machine gun screaming “shoot to kill!”

But at least he is a human in uniform — I have always had a hard time taking the Japanese Police Force seriously when it is being protected by Peopo, the flying mouse-thing (described as a cross between “a rabbit and a space trooper” in the AP story, which, let me just remind you, is here: www.japantimes.co.jp). And there’s always something to be said about a man in uniform… in this case it has to be “The forces will make your eyes pop wider than psychedelic drugs ever could” and “it is possible to protect a nation, without a nose.”

I wonder what Iraqis will think of this vision of their future.

February 21, 2007 at 5:11 pm 2 comments

sexy cars, credit cards and cute women

enexco.JPG

At first I just couldn’t figure out why the e-nexco pass, something that looks like a credit card, would use this flash car and cutsey version of a racing queen for its launch campaign, I was so inexplicably intrigued, I just had to look into it!

Oh, O.K., I’m lying. I know, this really is just car + cute girl= boring campaign, and that I just enticed you here by using the words “sexy,” “cars” and “cute women.” Ha, you’re so predictable. I was just bored and I didn’t see anything else really inspiring to blog.

The reason why e-nexco is using this car is because the card can be used as a credit/visa card, but also as a means to pay highway tolls. Whenever it is used, points are gained, which can also be used to pay highway tolls. Drivers need an ETC (electronic toll collection) machine in the car, into which you insert the e-nexco pass when you reach a toll gate. There is no need to stop the car, the toll is debited from the driver’s account, so they can speed straight through — hence the racy car look (no explanation for the nylon mini-skirt dress or manga platforms I’m afraid).

Wake up!

February 20, 2007 at 2:50 pm Leave a comment

routemasters live on!

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If you’re British and you’ve been wondering what happened to all those Routemaster buses (the ones you could run after and jump on the back and buy your ticket from a bus conductor … yeeeeees I AM that old) … I found them! No, they have not all been miniaturized by advanced London Transport technology and sold in souvenir stores, they’ve been exported to Japan!

Revered and respected by Yamaguchi prefecture, there is one in its original bright red showing tourists around that good old British town of Shimonoseki; and here in Tokyo one is being used to advertise that good old British product, the Converse All Star.

This bus will take you for a free ride around Harajuku and Shibuya, and inside displays Converse products, plus items from Beams, Cibone and Spiral Records. Er, I think it does, anyway. I was too chicken to actually get on it. Was worried it would drop me off in Romford.

February 17, 2007 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

happy valentines day!

lovelevel4
I hope your love levels are high and your wallets are fat.

February 13, 2007 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

bathroom laboratory

spalab

Neat packaging, just couldn’t resist them. The one on the left (Royal Jelly) has tiny colored specks in it that look just like Hundreds and Thousands, which made me all nostalgic, even though this has nothing to do with cakes.

There’s actually a lot of funky bath salts out here, ranging from chili to color-personality coordinated. Enough for me to even consider making a bathsalts blog. But I am simply not hygienic enough to bath that often…

February 12, 2007 at 6:08 pm Leave a comment

go! london, only a bunny hop away

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This is how we entice the Japanese to London, by calling it the “Bunny Republic.” It is actually advertising for a campaign found on “Totally LondOn,” London’s official Web site. Of all the countries represented on visitlondon.com, Japan is naturally the only one with the blue bunnie hats.

Check  visitlondon.promotionbox.jp to see more “Bunny Republic” pics of London (the one featured here is just one of many different posters that were taking over a whole carriage of a Yamanote train), and get your very own London Bunny Republic passport. You think I am joking don’t you?

February 10, 2007 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

raging red bull

redbull car

Not sure if I like these ad cars. I am still wondering if people are paid to drive these around as transport, or if they just drive round in circles in Tokyo, adding CO2 to the global-warming problem. I suspect the latter unfortunately. Although the thought of someone getting dropped off at work in a red bull car does make me chuckle.

February 8, 2007 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

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