Mononome gives candy jars personalities, breathes life into any inanimate object

Some of you may remember Neurowear as the company who made Necomimi, the robotic cat ears that you can control with brainwaves, and their follow up projects Shippo (mind controlled robot tail) and Mico (mind controlled music player).

This time, however, Neurowear won’t be reading our brain waves but will instead try to give some to your fridge or sofa. The latest project called Mononome works with your smartphone to deepen your relationship with a household item of your choice by adding a touch of humanity to it.

Mononome is currently on display for Tokyo Designers Week from 25 October to 3 November. We caught up with Neurowear’s Kana Nakano during the exhibition to learn more about it.

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How pure of mind are you? Take a look at this image and find out!

What did you see when you looked at the above picture? There’s two potential options and only one of them reflects reality, although both give an insight into how dirty or clean minded you are.

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Amazon goes nuts with the packaging as they ship us nine cardboard boxes…packed in six more?!

A while back, we took a look at an odd online retailing episode when a Japanese customer ordered a single persimmon from Amazon Japan. Sure, it was weird enough to find out that Amazon sells produce, not to mention that you can purchase it in individual pieces. What really got our attention, though, was the comically oversized box it shipped in.

But just when we thought the company’s packaging couldn’t get any crazier, we received our most recent order from Amazon. What’d we order? Cardboard boxes. How’d they ship it? Inside six more cardboard boxes!

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More ways to magically trap a cat (or dogs who think they’re cats)【Photos】

So we’ve previously found out that cats have a certain fixation with circles, and have the tendency to plop their furry bottoms down in one, which basically goes to say that you can easily create a cat trap just about anywhere you want, as long as you’ve got some tape on hand.

Cat owners of the Internet went on to experiment and proved that you don’t even particularly need tape. Here are some of the tested and proven improvisations of “cat circles” that seem to work just as well! Check them out!

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Chinese table tennis champ stripped of $45k prize after emotional outburst【Video】

A table tennis champion has been stripped of his $45,000 prize money for kicking an ad hoarding in an over-excited celebration.

Chinese player Zhang Jike fly-kicked two hoardings after beating Ma Long in the final of the Liebherr Men’s World Cup in Düsseldorf. Now, the International Table Tennis Federation has decided to withhold his prize money in light of his actions.

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Disney magic strikes again — Get ready for some serious Frozen sweetness!!

It’s been over seven months since Disney’s Frozen was released here, but love for the hit animated film still seems to be going strong in Japan. Walk into a bookstore around here, and you’re more than likely to find several different Frozen picture or music books, and you can bet that many kids in Japan will be dressing up as Elsa and Anna for Halloween this Friday. Well, it seems the world of pastries here is no exception. Major Japanese confection maker Cozy Corner has announced that they will soon be coming out with lovely offerings inspired by the movie, and yes, we’re thrilled, because these are exactly the kind of goodies we love — delightful to look at and delectably sweet to taste!

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Compulsory manga? Top Taiwanese university’s manga course has a waitlist of thousands

Like the rest of my classmates in my first Japanese class, I was inspired by manga to start learning Japanese. Although manga is usually deemed as ‘leisure’ reading, there are some quality manga that deal with serious societal issues. In fact, at National Cheng Chi University, one of the top universities in Taiwan, there is actually a class in which you have to read manga. Mandatory manga readings? It’s no wonder the class is so popular that some students have to wait four years to get in!

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Cellphones edge out rings as proposal gift of choice in North Korea

There’s a new way to say “Will you marry me?” in North Korea – with a gift of a mobile phone.

Cellphones are now the most popular engagement gift in small and mid-sized cities, Daily NK reports, overtaking rings as the gift of choice. The high price of phones makes them a status symbol among young couples.

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Japan’s latest anti-piracy ad features wacky new mascots Popcorn Otoko and Soda Otoko

Earlier this year, we brought you the news that Japan’s wacky anti-piracy ads have turned into something of a cultural phenomenon, with body-popping mascots Camera Otoko and Patrol Lamp Otoko getting their own range of figurines. Now a new ad has been released, which features extra characters Popcorn Otoko and Soda Otoko. But what role do they have to play in this mini crime drama, besides providing delicious refreshment?

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Would you eat “nuclear soup”? Japanese artists serve broth made with Fukushima-grown vegetables

Would you eat a bowl of soup made mainly with vegetables grown in Fukushima Prefecture? What if the cook swore to you that everything that went into the soup had been tested and was safe for human consumption? Would you be able to push all thoughts of Fukushima Daiichi, contaminated groundwater and Blinky the three-eyed fish out of your mind long enough to risk a spoonful?

A pair of artists from Japan recently gave visitors to the Frieze Art Fair in London just such a decision to make, presenting them with a homemade broth made with Fukushima-grown produce and asking them to give it a try, if they dared.

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Get inspired by these 700-year-old words from a Japanese monk

From creating lavish artwork on exquisitely crafted lattes to mastering the art of gender-bending cosplay, perfecting any skill takes a lot of hard work and time. But a Japanese monk who lived about 700 years ago recently reminded the Internet that another key part of success are the failures and embarrassments along the way.

A Twitter user recently found the ancient writings of this monk and his words seemed to resonate with Japanese netizens who found that words very applicable to their modern lives.

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Fruity wieners spotted in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture! Available in “lemon” and “strawberry milk” flavors

The heartland of Japan is certainly becoming the envy of the nation with their recent offerings of unusual foods. First the crunchy sweet mushrooms of Chubu region turned heads on Twitter. Now out of Tochigi Prefecture, emerges fruit-flavored hotdogs!

What chemical witchcraft went into making these sticks of pork(?) colored and flavored like lemon and strawberry milk is a mystery, but they do look intriguing, and dare I say delicious?

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One bag of wasabi potato chips, hold the wasabi

It’s hard to think of a more Japanese condiment than wasabi, but even among diners born and raised in Japan, you can find people who order their sushi wasabi nuki, or without wasabi. We can see why, since not everyone who loves the flavor of raw fish also enjoys the sensation of simultaneously having their sinuses cleared and their tongue set on fire.

What’s a little harder to understand, though, is why the makers of wasabi-beef flavored potato chips have decided to offer a wasabi-free version of their salty snacks.

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New Studio Ghibli sunglasses will make anime fans look like fat pigs

Totoro may be Studio Ghibli’s most iconic roly-poly creation, but he’s not the only corpulent character from Hayao Miyazaki’s animation house. 1992’s Porco Rosso stars Porco, a heavyset seaplane aviator in 1920s Italy who happens to have the head (and build) of a pig.

But while Porco may not have typical leading man looks, he exudes a dashing, gallant aura, which extends to his cool old-school cool shades. If you’d like to copy his style without duplicating his physique, you’re in luck, as you can now buy official Porco Rosso sunglasses.

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You guys, Donut Selfies are totally the next big thing

If there’s one unwritten, universal rule of the Internet (other than Rule 34), it’s that you can’t purposefully make something “go viral.” As you read this, there is almost certainly a team of marketing people in a boardroom somewhere trying to figure out a way to leverage that crazy “Shibe Doge” into an ad campaign that will almost certainly never succeed.

But one former Microsoft employee apparently thinks she can buck the trend with her new invention, the “Donut Selfie.”

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Pink strawberry milk Pepsi set to return to stores in Japan this winter

We’ve talked before about all the cool Kit Kats Japan gets, but the chocolate-covered wafers aren’t the only sweet indulgence with exclusive-to-Japan versions. Once a year or so, Pepsi releases a special flavor for the Japanese market, too.

This winter the soft drink maker is bringing back a popular hit from a few years ago, with the return of strawberry milk Pepsi.

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The Yakiniku Rules: dating advice from the front line

“When you take a girl out for yakiniku, you have to follow the rules“, says Natsuko. “Too many men these days forget about TPO“, she adds, referring to the importance of the three things – Time, Place, and Occasion – that are supposed to dictate appropriate behaviour in social situations.

We asked one yakiniku-loving Japanese girl to give us her honest opinion on the dating game, and – well, it was pretty brutal.

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11 predictions Japanese people made hundreds of years ago about the future

For a large chunk of Japan’s history, there wasn’t much time to think about the future. Instead, most people’s days were filled with more immediate concerns, like trying to figure out how to survive the civil wars that were all the rage in the country during most of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries.

Things finally settled down in the early 1600s, though, and ordinary Japanese citizens entered into a long period of internal stability. Finally having enough time to muse about things to come, they came up with a list of predictions about Japan’s future, some of which are nowhere near how reality has turned out, and some of which were spot on.

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Panasonic may change the world with upcoming product…SAND!

When you think of the multinational electronics producer Panasonic, “sand” probably doesn’t immediately come to mind. However, if a new product they are looking to release meets its full potential, this new kind of sand may completely change the face of the Earth as we know it.

The picture above is not Panasonic sand, but you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at it anyways. Actually even if you examine their grains of soil under a microscope you wouldn’t see a difference. So let’s start by looking at what makes this dirt so special and how it could help everyone in one way or another.

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What’s cuter than a cat? A cat with a cat-mask on

Twitter user @kyoxxxxx, aka Kyou, recently posted this picture of a cat with a cat-mask on its forehead that’s weird and extremely cute at the same time.

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