At first glance, the sleek packaging of these pantie liners for men looks like a mocked-up image that could have been made as a joke. It looks almost identical to the packaging of some (women’s) liners, except that the branding is silver and dark navy. The product is real and can be purchased in Japan. And unlike bras and panties for men, the market it’s targeting isn’t niche.
When crazy ideas work, they can be genius. And if that little spark of genius makes our working day just that little bit easier to get through, it’s got to be applauded and shared.
So, without further ado, we bring you the foot hammock. With benefits for your physical and emotional well-being, there’s never been an easier way to rest your body and your mind while at work.
When I was in high school, every year there was an on-campus blood drive. It always saw a pretty good turnout, with a large number of generous and socially conscious students willing to part with their home-brewed hemoglobin to help others. The organizers even sweetened the deal by holding the event in the middle of the day, meaning that you could get out of a period of class by participating. And while that’s a pretty nice incentive, I think it’s been one-upped by a blood bank in Tokyo that offers a bookshelf of free manga to read and ice cream to munch on.
- Philip Kendall
Aug 9, 2014
Cigarettes. They’re awful, stinking things that do nothing but make you want more and give you cancer. Yet millions of people continue to smoke, putting their lives even more at risk every time they light up.
But as this video from Indian youth entertainment channel YTV Network shows, when a kid approaches and asks for a cheeky cig, pretty much every smoker will refuse to give them one and immediately starts lecturing them about the dangers of smoking.
- Casey Baseel
Aug 1, 2014
I used to think it was kind of strange how every summer so many women in Japan carry parasols, as though the whole country suddenly slipped back in time to the 19th century. I soon came to understand that this isn’t due to any sort of classic image of propriety or fashion sense, but simply because Japan can be mercilessly hot in the summer, when high temperatures and humidity can make walking around a concrete heat island like Tokyo for too long not just uncomfortable but dangerous.
In light of how much walking you have to do in urban Japan, parasols are actually a pretty smart idea. Still, sometimes they can do their job a little too well, since being insulated from the harsh sunshine can sometimes make you forget about the importance of putting on sunscreen.
There’s now a cute new way to remedy this, though, with a parasol that uses cat paws to tell you how strong the UV rays are.
- Casey Baseel
Jul 31, 2014
For the most part, Japan takes personal hygiene pretty seriously. Combing your hair, putting on makeup, and getting dressed in the proper attire are all seen as essential parts of getting ready to go out in public, and dress codes are a much bigger deal than in some countries.
The standard grooming routine runs into one pretty big problem in the summer, though. Since most people in Japan take a bath at night before going to bed, by the time they arrive at work or school the next day, several hours have passed, during which sweat, oil, and odors can build up on the body. To combat this, there’s a wide variety of fragrances and deodorants available in drug stores, with one brand in particular that’s being described as “the ideal scent for women.”
- Master Blaster
Jul 3, 2014
Like much of the Northern Hemisphere, Japan is now entering into the deep summer and the unbearable heat and sunlight that come along with it. This means that it’s time again to remind people not to leave their loved ones – human or animal – inside the car on a hot day, as even over a relatively short period of time the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to lethal levels.
Electronics, too, have a particularly strong aversion to the summer heat, as proven by a car-related mishap reported on 2-channel yesterday. This technologically tragic tale doesn’t have a happy ending, but hopefully it will save others in the future from suffering a similar fate.
Even though the prefecture is home to barely a million residents, Oita has not one, but two famous hot spring resorts. Yufuin is generally held to be the more refined and tastefully restrained of the pair, while Beppu, despite having some of the most popular hot springs in Japan, gets saddled with the reputation as the more touristy town.
While there may be some truth to the labels, there’s one thing Beppu has that you won’t find in Yufuin, or anywhere else in the country for that matter: Japan’s only hot spring with three Michelin stars.
- Casey Baseel
Jun 19, 2014
All else equal, most people would prefer to have a set of firm, sculpted abdominal muscles. Of course, most people miss out on their chance for six-pack abs when they give in to the temptation of a six-pack of beer, unlimited fried chicken, or one of the numerous other ways our modern, delicious society can derail one’s quest for personal fitness.
Making things even harder is the perception that you can get through your daily life just fine without a particularly strong or muscular core. After all, what kind of catastrophe is going to befall you where only your abdominals can save you?
We’re glad you asked, because this crazy, breakneck-paced Japanese commercial has several answers.
- Casey Baseel
Jun 6, 2014
The Japanese government recently released its 2014 white paper on suicide in the nation. While the continuing downward trend in the number of people taking their own lives is encouraging, the statistics also revealed the sobering and troubling fact that suicide is the leading cause of death among Japanese aged 15 to 34.
May 27, 2014
I have a little game I sometimes like to play where I compare Japanese people I see on the street with American celebrities and friends. I once had a Japanese acquaintance who was a dead ringer for Nathan Lane, for example, and a popular Japanese comedian reminds me a whole lot of a childhood friend.
Of course, it’s not like these guys were going out of their way to look like Westerners; they just happened to have similar features. But there’s a whole other class of Japanese, Koreans and other East Asians that spend an exorbitant amount of time and money trying to get that Hollywood look – from wardrobe changes to hair dying, even skin bleaching and plastic surgery.
Results are typically mixed, but one South Korean woman apparently hit the jackpot in her quest to look like Australian model Miranda Kerr – because, after numerous plastic surgeries, she’s pretty well on her way to looking like Kerr’s long-lost twin.
There’s a Japanese proverb, “Neko ni Koban,” that translates as “Giving a gold coin to a cat.” It’s a metaphor for offering something of worth that the recipient either doesn’t need or can’t understand the value of, but it’s also a telling example of how hard it is to win a cat’s favor. Cats have no use for our money, they’re not impressed by our fashion trends, and even if they appreciate our modern sense of humor they’re too proud to let it show by openly laughing.
With so few options, in an attempt to curry favor, some people offer stray cats food (although not, in fact, a bowl of curry). But might this be causing a problem to the residents of one of Japan’s famous cat islands?
We dispatched our Japanese-language correspondent, Meg, to find out (and also pet some kitties while she was at it).
If the thought of a prolonged hospital stay or the sight of common doctors and nurses terrifies you, you might consider moving to China, where one hospital has taken it upon themselves to dress their nurses up like flight attendants – presumably to help patients forget, at least momentarily, that they’re in a healthcare facility.
We imagine the planning stage for the idea went something like this: 1) Dress nurses like flight attendants, 2) ???, 3) profit!
There’s quite a lot to be said for green tea. It has no calorific content of its own to speak of, and doesn’t need sugar or cream to taste great. A steaming cup can warm you up in winter, or you can drop a couple of ice cubes in and cool off with a glass in midsummer.
Now, new research suggests that aside from keeping your body trim and your palate pleased, a daily cup of green tea can help keep your mind sharp by warding off the onset of dementia.
- Casey Baseel
May 16, 2014
While progress has been slow and begrudging, anti-smoking movements are finally starting to gain traction in Japan. For example, smoking is largely banned in train stations, except for in designated enclosed smoking spaces, and even many of those are being removed.
Likewise, when smartphone advertising firm Adways moved into a new office, management saw it as a chance to rethink how to make the workplace more comfortable for nonsmokers, and came up with a solution that uses a mix of technology and simple common courtesy.
It’s not easy out there for people with weight issues when even fictional monsters are criticized for being too pudgy. But a popular Japanese Twitter user with more than 45,000 followers is pushing back on society’s fat-shaming and telling the world how great life is when Ramen Jiro is your “afternoon snack.”
E_Debu, who says he is “the fatty who has a high consciousness,” has been musing on his observations about life as a big person. He enlightens his online audience on some of the hardships as well as the benefits of coming in a larger size. Click below to read 25 thought-provoking observations from one of the most popular “fatties” on the Internet.
- Fran Wrigley
May 10, 2014
As the new business and academic year takes its toll and Japan collectively sniffles with a case of the May blues, people all over the country are hiding under their blankets and calling in sick (probably using paid vacation days rather than actual sick leave, but that’s another story). When you’re feeling under the weather, it’s always nice to have someone to fluff up your pillows, cook you comfort food and generally feel sorry for you.
Japanese website My Navi Woman surveyed Japanese women in their 20s and 30s, asking them: “When you get a cold, who do you want to be by your side looking after you?” You may – or may not – be surprised to hear that boyfriends came in at a measly third place, with only 22 percent of women saying they’d want their man to care for them.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the rankings, and at what reasons Japanese women gave for wanting (or rejecting!) someone’s love and attention.
- Philip Kendall
May 9, 2014
There are a number of theories regarding the causes of male pattern baldness. Some suggest that one’s diet and stress levels play key roles. Others feel that regular exercise will help keep locks thick and plentiful until well after retirement. Most would agree, though, that our genes hold the most sway, and if a man loses his hair then chances are his son, too, will have increasingly more face to wash as he ages.
Baldness affects some more than others, however, and a survey by Trip Advisor Japan has revealed the countries where male baldness is most common, with Japan found to have more bald men than any other Asian country.
- Casey Baseel
May 4, 2014
A few of Japan’s most popular pastimes aren’t exactly what some other societies would consider socially acceptable, or even comprehensible, as hobbies. It’s perfectly acceptable to say your hobby is “drinking” or “taking baths,” and while those are both common activities the world over, in other countries most people stop putting their enthusiasm for the first front and center after graduating from college, and the second is seen as more of a necessity than an entertainment option.
Japan’s love for alcohol and bathing, though, is immense, as evidenced by the thousands of bars, pubs, and hot spring resorts that cover the country. Now, some are claiming there are health benefits to combining the two by mixing a little booze into your bath.
From Hello Kitty to the ubiquitous cat cafes, it’s no secret to our readers that Japan loves cats. Despite their tendency to view us humans as their own personal servants, we can’t seem to get enough of their fluffy cuteness and sometimes ridiculous antics. Whenever you need to smile, a silly cat video will usually do the trick.
So why not repay your cat by ensuring its healthy lifestyle? For starters, you can reevaluate your cat’s diet by checking out this list we’ve compiled of five at-a-glance foods that you should never feed to your pet. Maybe your kitty will thank you for your concern with even more purring and nuzzles (and no dead mice!).
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons1
- Chinese parenting posters from 1952 gave insightful advice that still makes plenty of sense today2
- GIF: Chinese SASUKE contestant’s unexpected fail immortalized in Web’s favorite file format3
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later4
- “Women who attract chikan, and women who don’t”: The illustrated guide that’s provoking debate5
- 50 items you can buy in Japan to spruce up your bento lunchbox6
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls7
- Gaming culture takes a hit as Sony demos its virtual reality headset with schoolgirl leering sim8
- From Ponyo to Italy: Four delicious ways to improve instant ramen while your water’s boiling9
- Korean Photoshop Troll Trilogy: The shocking conclusion! 【Photos】10
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons3
- Hello Kitty isn’t a cat!? We called Sanrio to find out!4
- Taiwanese Tsunade cosplayer sparks debate about public decency at events5
- Visiting the South Pole and 14 other lesser known crimes in Japan6
- Sanrio says, “Hello Kitty is not a cat.” Whaaa?7
- These photos from the ‘richest village in China’ will positively blow you away8
- Philippine netizens do the makeup transformation meme to mixed results9
- Master drummers are lurking in Japanese game centers10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later2
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons4
- The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】5
- Hello Kitty isn’t a cat!? We called Sanrio to find out!6
- Taiwanese Tsunade cosplayer sparks debate about public decency at events7
- We swear we won’t tell anyone if you buy one of these super lifelike love dolls from Japan8
- Visiting the South Pole and 14 other lesser known crimes in Japan9
- Sanrio says, “Hello Kitty is not a cat.” Whaaa?10
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker1
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!2
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】3
- Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup4
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later5
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls6
- This amazing water cake just may be the most delicate sweet ever created!7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】9
- Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!10
- 50 items you can buy in Japan to spruce up your bento lunchbox
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls
- Gaming culture takes a hit as Sony demos its virtual reality headset with schoolgirl leering sim
- From Ponyo to Italy: Four delicious ways to improve instant ramen while your water’s boiling
- Korean Photoshop Troll Trilogy: The shocking conclusion! 【Photos】
- Real-life Fruit Ninja! Watch Isao Machii slice up flying fruit like a boss 【Video】
- This ice cream spoon uses your body heat to get the perfect scoop, costs more than most desserts
- Artist creates awesome anime artwork by carefully cutting a single Post-it note 【Photos】
- More than meets the eye, sushi in disguise! Check out these transforming sushi toys!
- What is this man painting? You may have to wait until the very last second to find out 【Video】
- Hello Kitty isn’t a cat!? We called Sanrio to find out!
- Genius dishes can be molded freely to hold whatever you want