Posts Tagged ‘japan’

These are your favourite links this month at TWOM. Images link to post.

In no particular order they are:

(UPDATE: Dead links sorted out. Sorry!)








8. What not to write when applying for a job



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I just love when people take something we recognise and turn into something completely different.

And I especially like these cakes.


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Remember the Japanese man who called the police from the same police station he’d broken into to steal a girlie poster (read it here)? Not long after that happened, another dumb crook does something equally dumb.

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One of the things I admire most about the Japanese is their ability to take some mundane, generic thing and turn it into a wacky, new fangled thing.

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Vending machines have come a long way since they were first invented. Now vending machines vend anything from rice to sneakers to coffee beans. I would have loved to be in that era when you can buy your own meals, like in the video. Nonetheless, I am in my era and I have some great machines too.

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tabemikako.jpgWe Japanese sure are a weird bunch. we do the weirdest things in the world and then invent ways to make them even weirder.

Last week, I posted an entry about this guy who stole women’s boots from health club lockers and this week an old guy steals from the police.

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51bf.jpgLast week a man from the Japanese city of Fukuoka (that Foo-coo-oh-ka, folks) was caught stealing this woman’s boots from a dressing room of a sports club, which are usually left outside the lockers as they are too big to fit inside.

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Lookee what I came across! Great idea for a start-up designers’ studio (or photographer etc).2220274594_467fa7d4ae.jpg

And this is how he’d done it:


If you thought that was amazing, check out his whole flat transformation, from an old, run-down flat, to a sexy minimalist, modern interior. Respect!

Thanks, boing boing and akame

Recently I posted an entry about Harrod’s “interactive” windows and lambasted them saying that three window displays with free lollipops ain’t gonna make people spend more there or “feel” what Harrod’s is about. They’ve now given an update on more installations by famous people. You still wouldn’t know what the whole campaign is about, since they call it “feel” but they’re all abstracts. Ideally when you have a campaign like that, you’d want to “feel” the brand, and just by having lollipops and fish (more on that later) isn’t going to give Harrod’s patron a better idea of what the store’s about. Since its sale to Dodi, it has lost it’s Britishness and although still a very famous landmark, I fear it has lost its position in the clouds it used to enjoy.

I’ve mentioned how window displays for these retailers are not going to make a huge impact especially these


interactive” ones. The problem with it is that the return on investment on such projects are not measurable. How do you clearly measure a person’s receptiveness and patronage just by the window display? My opinion is that interactive and large-scale installation window displays are nothing but a PR stunt. Some are really good, like the nude woman at Selfridge’s. Are they really catered to Selfridge’s shoppers? Regular visitor to Harrod’s, Selfridge’s and Harvey Nicks will agree with me on this one: It’s going to make us talk, but it probably won’t make us buy.


Cheaper than above the line advertising but heck a lot more expensive than PR campaigns, the good thing about window displays, if you think of them as adverts, is that they create buzz. And although they are right where you want them to be, no one can be sure exactly the target catchment area of these large-scale upmarket malls. Tourists? London suburb well-off shoppers? Young kids form Chelsea? Who knows.

In summary, window displays are huge PR stunts and should only be ventured into if a. you have the cash b. buzz is the only thing you’re looking to generate c. you are 101% that your designers are going to cause some stir. Otherwise, forget it.

So going back to Harrod’s – two of the new installations they’ve come up with are pretty nifty. One of them is an interactive projection of fish swimming on the ground and as you walk near the fish (or on the fish, if you have sick tendencies like me) they swim away and create ripples on the “water”. Pretty nice. But what happens on a Saturday when they have max capacity? The fish are going to have nowhere to go!

Harrod's Lift

The other nifty installation is one that I’ve experienced several times and still quite like. As you get into the lift (elevator) the lights go off, LEDs – I mean stars, come out to play and you are “transported into space”, giving you a “sixth sense-like cosmic experience”. I hope they give advance warning to those who are claustrophobic or are scared of the dark lftatt.jpg(what -phobia is that? Comments please). In Tokyo, where I experienced a similar lift, is a tower that goes up to 40 storeys. Half of the lift is glass and you can view the outside world as you go up. After the 10th floor, lights go off and you are transported to space. Until the 40th floor. I went there with a friend who was both claustro- AND dark-phobic. I’ve never felt more sorry and tickled at the same time. He was shaking so hard the lift started to feel like we were in an asteroid field and as soon as the door opened on the 40th, he threw up, just next to the uniformed lift attendant, just as she was about open her mouth and say “WELCOME!”.

Credits: Retail Week, Daily Mail, Urli


…are not prostitutes. Why would Gwen Stefani, good ol’ Gwenny, sing about prostitutes?

Harajuku is a trendy, somewhat eccentric area in downtown Tokyo. It is sandwiched between several upmarket shopping areas, Aoyama and Daikan-yama. This is where you’d find Burberry Blue Label (exclusively for Japan only, of course), Juicy, Rock Rep, Miu x2, Dior, Tod’s, Marc Jacobs, McQueen, Lagerfeld – catch my drift? Tokyo DRIFT! Ahem…I digress.

Anyhow, it’s the hybrid of the young designer plus upmarket designer that has created the culture of Harajuku.

In Japan, because they don’t speak much English, is where I find an abundance of funny signs. “Please help yourself to the cleaner lady” and “Toilet at your rear”. So you would expect that in the U.K., the home English, the Queen’s language, is where you’d find grammatically correct use of nouns and verbs. But you cannot be more wrong. Because the number of funny signs I have seen in England can put Japan to shame! Exhibit A, signpost at bus stand, Richmond:


This way to Funny Signs gallery

Superb interactive window display in Shibuya, Tokyo of the fantastic fashion group, BayCrews.