Archive for the ‘cabinet of wonders’ Category

 This cute little Dream TOMICA rolling Cup Noodle arrived unannounced in my mailbox yesterday. I wonder if these ancient Cup Noodle dinosaurs ended up providing the petroleum that powers this thing? Advertisements


A few weeks ago I went to Kobe with my friend Miyuki Nakao to visit the Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art.  Though I’m absolutely wild about Tadanori’s art and have been to see three different exhibits of his work since I’ve lived in Japan, for some reason I hadn’t yet visited the Yokoo Tadanori […]


I had no intention of uploading this shot of the very cute Team Moto-Liberty Honda Motocompo, until I was pointed in the direction of a very fine Madness advertisement for the Honda City, which also includes a cameo by the Motocompo.  The Motocompo is basically a transformer bike, a motorcycle that folds up like a […]


The ゴキブリホイホイ (“Gokiburi Hoi-Hoi”) is the mousetrap of cockroach removal devices; it’s a model of simplicity in conception and execution, and yet so absolutely effective that it’s hard to think of any way in which it could be improved.  The Gokiburi Hoi-Hoi has been around since 1973, from what I can gather, and uses the […]


In Japan the tai (鯛) — often translated as ‘sea bream’ even though there’s no precise English equivalent — is a fish that’s associated with good luck because its name rhymes with the Japanese word medetai (目出度い), which means ‘auspicious’ or ‘lucky.’  Because of this, tai is often served during the new year period, or […]


I picked up a few packs of these Namahage (生剥) demon sweets while I was in Akita for a conference.  In Akita Prefecture, especially in the Oga Peninsula area, Namahage appear on New Year’s Eve and make their visits to local houses where they scare the children and accept handouts of the local sake.  Here’s […]


One of my favorite orphaned objects is this MIGHTY ROBOT that I found among the rocks down on the beach near Himeji.  It was most likely left behind one day by someone’s son or daugher, playing among the rocks; it doesn’t show any of the kind of sea wear that you would expect from an […]