Dog And Owner “Wear Each Other’s Hair” … Because It’s Art

 

Most pet owners know there’s a thin line between loving your pet and loving your pet. Well Japanese artist Aki Inomata dangerously walks that line with her new project “I Wear the Dog’s Hair, and the Dog Wears My Hair.” Yes, the title is quite self-explanatory.

Inomata collected bundles of her own hair and wove it into a small coat for her dog. She then collected heaps of hair from her dog and created a trendy, tan coat for herself. Yes, they literally wear each other’s hair.

Although this merely seems like an extreme pet love, Inomata swears that her art project aims to show a conflicted owner’s feelings over “owning” another living creature.

“The concept of my works is to get people to perceive the modes of life of various living creatures by experiencing a kind of empathy towards them.” she said in a statement to DesignBoom.

If you’re interested in checking out this peculiar piece of art, the exhibit is currently running at the Hagisa Gallery in Tokyo.

 

 

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Photos courtesy of Huffington Post. 

A Mother’s Creative Bento Boxes Teach Japan’s Geography And Look Adorable

 

We’ve seen everything from adorable Hello Kitty bento boxes to intricate panda bento boxes. And just when we thought we’ve seen it all, another creative food artist comes along and impresses us even more.

Bentos are home-packed meals common in Japanese cuisine. Traditionally, these boxes hold rice, fish or meat, and pickled or cooked vegetables. More recently, “kyaraben” (which translates to “character bento”) has picked up in popularity. Kyaraben are elaborately decorated bento boxes inspired by characters from anime, comics books, video games, animals, shows, etc. It is not uncommon to come across Japanese children comparing bento boxes at lunchtime to see who has the most impressive looking meal.

But one mother, who goes by the Twitter handle Sasariri, decided that she wanted her bento boxes to not only be cute but help educate her child as well. To do this, she very skillfully incorporated Japan’s prefectures as the theme for each bento box.

For each bento box, she used food items such as seaweed, egg and rice to accurately show the shape of one of Japan’s 47 prefectures, including Hokkaido, Kyoto and Tokyo. She even added the name of of each prefecture written in the roman alphabet to help her child learn even more.

Creative, yummy, cute and educational? Yes, please.

 

 

 

 

 

CHECK OUT MORE OF HER CREATIONS HERE.

 

Adorable Japanese Children Share Thoughts on Love, War and Happiness

 

If I were to ask seasoned, middle-aged individuals about their thoughts on war and love, my guess is that a handful would give me a response sprinkled with political opinions and even more would spew out jaded responses based on “the one that got away.”

But what about asking innocent children to dig into their brain and tell us what they feel about these deep issues? Their answers would be drastically different right?

Ryugin, an Okinawa-based bank, decided to go ahead and find out what sort of ideas were bouncing around in a child’s head. In a commercial titled “Children and Philosophy,” bright-eyed Japanese children give their adorable perspective on things.

The commercial, which is an advertisement for education loans that can benefit a child’s future, will have you smiling over their innocence.

 

 

 

Move Over Harajuku Girl! The Kurogyaru Is the Latest Look Out of Japan

 

Ganguro is one of Tokyo’s most distinct fashion subcultures, which started in the mid-1990s and is well known for some key characteristics: dark tans, bleached hair and dramatic white makeup. Contrary to what some might think, the style originally came about in opposition of the traditional Japanese beauty standard of fair skin, dark hair and a fairly simple makeup look. In order to rebel against this singular idea of beauty, Ganguro decided to express themselves with an extreme style so as to make their message loud and clear that there are other ways to be beautiful. Though the Ganguro look had mostly faded away by the 2000s, a succeeding subculture, Kurogyaru (literal translation: black gals), is keeping the spirit alive and Black Diamond is at the forefront spreading the fashion style all over the world. We caught up with Black Diamond recently and got the scoop directly from them.

 

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Audrey Magazine: What inspired you to form the group, Black Diamond?

Black Diamond: We are all just a bunch of girls who love the Kurogyaru style. Our current manager originally wanted to publish a special edition magazine featuring Kurogyaru fashion, so he tried to bring people together which is how we got involved. Over time, we became a group and now we have more than 150 members in Japan.

AM: Although Ganguro is a trend from the mid-’90s, what made you want to revive it and get into the Kurogyaru style?

BD: As a group, our goal is to spread the Kurogyaru style. Ganguro has completely faded out and now Kurogyaru is a newer evolution of that subculture. We noticed that there aren’t many people dressing in this way, so we want to inspire people to enjoy Kurogyaru.

AM: What is the difference between Ganguro and Kurogyaru style?

BD: Ganguro is also known for the tanned skin, but other than that, we would say the styles are completely different. Ganguro makeup tends to be like heavy and white makeup around the eyes, but Kurogyaru is a lot more colorful. We have a more modern way of doing our makeup and hair, as well as clothing style.

 

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AM: What are your thoughts on the traditional Asian beauty standard of porcelain skin?

BD: We think that there’s nothing wrong with liking pale skin. We just happen to prefer darker skin and we hope people can see the beauty in that, too.

AM: So from your perspective, what is beauty?

BD: Beauty is … flashiness? Flashy hair, flashy clothes, flashy makeup, flashy nails? [Laughs] Beauty is dark skin and flashiness.

AM: How do you accomplish your daily look? How long does it take?

BD: Well, for makeup, we do it everyday obviously. [Laughs] Our outfits depend on our moods and the weather. Like today, Harutama (the one with blue hair) and Rise (the one with pink hair) coordinated together and did their hair like the popular Japanese characters Kiki and Lala [Little Twin Stars]. It really depends on each person, but on average, it takes us about one to two hours to get ready everyday.

AM: What is a must-have Kurogyaru item?

BD: A tanning bed. [Laughs] False eyelashes? Actually if we don’t have everything, the look just isn’t right. Every item is a must-have. [Laughs]

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AM: Black Diamond not only has members in Japan but overseas as well. How has your group grown internationally?

BD: The Internet. People saw and heard about us from the Internet and many people wanted to join our group from their home countries, so we have many subgroups in different regions of Japan and also in various parts of the world.

AM: Can you tell us about your ongoing or upcoming projects?

BD: We are working on starting our own clothing line. One of our greatest motivations is that there are many foreigners who are into Kurogyaru style and they cannot easily get the clothes or the right sizes, so we want to make our line more accessible for Kurogyaru fans internationally.

Kurogyaru are also known for their “para para” style of dancing. Check it out here:

 

 

For more information on Black Diamond, you can check out their Facebook page here.
–Story and photos by Mai Nguyen.

Forget Surgery, Japan’s New App Makes You “Sexier” Instantly

 

We obviously live in a beauty-obsessed society. Diet tips, weight loss and surgery stories constantly make their way onto my newsfeed on a day-to-day basis. It’s tragic really — the lengths people will go to in order to achieve their ideal standard of beauty. Not to mention the financial costs of a little nip and tuck these days.

But we also have to remember that we are living in the digital age. There is an app for just about everything now, because who has time for anything that requires actual effort these days?

The latest of these apps includes Japan’s new “Spring App,” that will slim you down and lengthen your legs instantly, courtesy of Japan-based developer Kim Taewan. You can literally alter your body in just a few, brief motions. It’s so easy that it makes surgery and even photoshop look old-school.

According to Daily Mail, the app’s goal is to “help you adjust your body proportions, by overlaying lines onto the hips, shoulders and ankles to a more ‘appealing’ size.” The app asks users to pinpoint two to three spots on their body which they would like stretched.

 

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Photo courtesy of Elite Daily

 

 

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Photo Courtesy of Elite Daily

 

Since its recent release on July 21, it has already received glowing reviews on iTunes. One user wrote, “Just so easy to make you look much taller and thinner! Well I love it so much.”

What do you think? Let us know!

 

Watch Out Hello Kitty — Pikachu Pop-Up Café Is Moving In (For Now)

 

Japan is clearly the go-to destination for all things cute. In the past, we brought you Little Twin Stars and My Melody-themed cafés in Japan, where you can eat the world’s most adorably shaped foods. And of course by now, you probably already know about Sanrio’s Hello Kitty café that has now expanded its stores worldwide. But obviously, the cartoon-themed café trend isn’t complete without everyone’s favorite yellow rodent — Pikachu. Hence, a Pikachu pop-up café made its debut in downtown Tokyo, Japan on July 19, shortly after the release of Pokémon the Movie XY, a Japanese anime film. In addition to purchasing adorable Pokémon-themed food and beverages at the café, you can also purchase Pokémon postcards, T-shirts and more.

Even though the franchise is now 20 years old, die-hard fans (surprisingly, mostly adults!) still go the distance to stand in long lines, eagerly waiting for their Pikachu-shaped meals. The pop-up café ends on August 31, so Pokémon fans, get moving!

Here are some of the café’s most appetizing dishes!

 

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Photos courtesy of Kotaku

 

Japanese School Girls Turn Innocent Game of Tag Into Badass Parkour

 

When this video began popping up everywhere, I was confused. How could a pair of Japanese school girls get more than a million views on YouTube in just a few days?

The video starts off innocently enough. The girls are playing and chasing each other around school. Suddenly, one jumps over a trash can and begins flipping in the hallway. Well, that was unexpected … WOAH, did she just jump off a building!?

Before you know it, an innocent chase between two young school girls becomes an epic show of parkour skills.

 

 

As it turns out, one of the girls, Fuka Yoshino, is a professional kickboxer and athlete. They certainly had me fooled there. The video keeps viewers impressed and entertained the entire time. Now I wonder why it doesn’t have even more views.

At the very end of the video, the girls playfully open up a bottle of a citrus soft drink called C.C. Lemon. Yup, it turns out this incredibly epic video is just an ad for a beverage.

 

 

 

 

Korean Golfer Ignores Suggestion to Get Plastic Surgery, Wins 16 Golf Tournaments Instead

We’ve all heard stories of models and actresses who have to deal with the sometimes unattainable expectation to be beautiful all the time, but now it appears that this expectation of beauty is expanding to the sports world. Apparently, even some athletes are now facing the pressure to be beautiful. At least that’s what it seems to be in the case of 26-year-old Korean golfer, Ahn Sun-ju.

After winning 16 tournaments and accruing nearly $5 million in prize money since 2010, Ahn has climbed her way upward and has become the top female golfer in Japan. Clearly, this is an extraordinary achievement, but it left sports columnist Lee Young-mi with questions. Namely, why was she not striving to be the best golfer in Korea?

Unfortunately, her responses to his interview questions were disheartening to say the least. Simply put, her physical appearance held her back.

“Some (potential Korean) sponsors even demanded I get plastic surgery,” she said in the article. “Companies did not consider me as a golf athlete, only that I was a woman. It mattered most to them was whether my appearance was marketable [sic]. I was deeply hurt by that.”

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The Korea Times points out that she won six tournaments in Korea, but still struggled to find a corporate sponsor. Is it really because she wasn’t pretty enough? She thinks so. During the interview, Ahn acknowledged that she doesn’t fit the stereotypical definition of “sexy” (why does that even matter?) but would not let that hinder her from playing golf. Instead, she turned to Japan.

“Japanese companies, on the other hand, focused on my ability as a golfer,” Ahn explained. “They are more concerned about my performance and how I treat my fans. I am being sponsored by six Japanese companies, including a clothing brand.”

Can we say for certain that Ahn’s decision to move to JLPGA was due to Korea’s inability to accept her physical appearance? Absolutely not. She may have just dealt with a sour company’s opinion and we certainly shouldn’t assume that the KLPGA puts those expectations on their players.

What we do know is that Ahn endured a horrible experience of someone telling her she wasn’t pretty enough. What’s even worse is the realization that we, too — sometimes not even aware of it — are told the same thing.

Many of us, especially women, are pressured on a daily basis as hundreds of advertisements tell us there’s room for improvement. That of course confirms the message we’ve grown up with our entire lives: we’re never enough and our imperfections need to be fixed. The pressure to be beautiful certainly occurs worldwide, but some countries, such as Korea, have begun to build a reputation for beauty, a reputation maybe they feel they must keep. Many people have now correlated Korea’s high beauty standards to their equally high plastic surgery rates. After all, how else is one supposed to keep up with such extreme pressure and expectations?

We may never know the details behind Ahn Sun-ju’s unfortunate experience. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that we admire her. She quickly understood that her worth was measured in her talent, not in her external beauty. Besides, last we checked, beauty never won golf tournaments. Good for you, girl.

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(Source)

This Japanese Dessert Looks Just Like A Giant Water Drop

This Japanese dessert has recently gained quite a bit of viral fame. After all, who wouldn’t be intrigued by a cake that looks just like a drop of water?

This intriguing dessert is called Mizu Shingen Mochi and can be translated to water shingen mochi. As the name indicates, this dessert is actually a variation of a traditional “shingen mochi” rice cake. The consistency is said to be similar to soft and sticky mochi.

The rare dessert is created using water from the Southern Japanese Alps and is served with kinako soybean powder and brown sugar syrup.  The water is apparently solidified into a solid shape, but feels like it can break with just a poke. Apparently, the cake will melt like water in your mouth, but is extremely tasty. The cake is so delicate that if it is not consumed in 30 minutes, it will melt away.

By now, you’re probably itching to get your hands on one of these. Unfortunately, mizu shingen mochi are exclusively produced by the Kinseiken Seika Company and only available in two locations in Japan:

Kinseiken Daigahara shop:
Address: 2211 Daigahara, Hakushucho, Hokutoshi, Yamanashi 408-0312
Tel: +81-551-35-2246
Open: 9a.m. to 6p.m.
Closed: Thursdays

 
Kinseiken Nirasaki shop:
Address: 154 Kotagawa, Nakadamachi, Nirasakishi, Yamanashi 407-0262
Tel: +81-551-25-3990
Open: 9a.m. to 6p.m.
No scheduled holidays

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(Source 1, 2)

Who Needs Surgery? Japanese Breast Enlargement Cookies

Come on, we’ve all thought about it. Which flat-chested girl hasn’t looked in the mirror and secretly wished to go up a cup size or two, and perhaps for just even a millisecond, toyed with the idea of breast implant surgery? Surgery however, as we all know, is obviously not the most practical solution. Not only is the cost of the surgery itself ridiculous (price ranges between $5,000 to $10,000), but complications from the surgery include asymmetry, deflation and inflammation. Lets face it– nobody wants to risk that!

A Japanese company has come up with a new solution: breast enlargement cookies. No, you don’t need new glasses — you read that absolutely right. These 70 calorie “F-Cup Herbal Cookies” (F-Cup in Japan is roughly the equivalent of a double D in the US) promise their customers a quick and easy alternative to surgery for breast enlargement, at just $25. The cookies also come in two appetizing flavors: Soymilk or pralines and chocolate. Oh, and what is this miracle ingredient in the cookie you ask? An extract of Pueraria Mirifica, a plant in Northeastern Thailand that contains Miroesterol, a form of estrogen that has been known to help with breast development.

So far, there has been no evidence of this product actually doing its purpose – yet they are extremely popular in Japan, as well as in the US. In fact, according to the F-cup Cookie website, they are currently sold out! Other breast enhancement products on their website also include breast cream, capsules, and “bust up gum.”

So, what do you think? Ready to replace your midnight snack with a nice warm cup of tea, with a breast enlarging cookie on the side?