Genius mother comes up with clever solution to stop teenage son from untucking his school shirt

Clever trick ensures students will never want to untuck their school shirts for that “cool look” ever again.

While there are many guidebooks in the world to help new parents cope with pregnancy and looking after young children, when it comes to rearing teenagers, parents often find themselves walking treacherously into a whole new battlefield, where no guidebook or nugget of knowledge is enough to make them feel like they know what they’re doing.

It’s a stage in life when success tales from other parents becomes invaluable, and as one certain mother in Japan will tell you, this advice from others can be instrumental in making life easier for family members, especially when it comes to toeing the line with strict uniform codes at school.

The genius mum now sharing her knowledge with everyone online is Twitter user @matsukobucha. As the mother of a 23-year-old son, and a 15-year-old son now in senior high school, she knows just how hard it can be to stop teenagers from untucking their shirts for that “cool look” at school, so when she learnt about this clever strategy from another mum, she decided to pay it forward with this simple tweet, which has attracted a huge amount of attention online.

▼ It’s cool to untuck your school shirt when you’re a teenager…unless your mum does this to you.

According to @matsukobucha, all that’s required for this hack is an iron-on name label on the back end of the shirt, and the one she’s used is so big it would be impossible to miss if he ever thought to untuck it from his trousers. She says she’s written his name inside the label, so that if it ever does go untucked, he’ll be the laughing stock of the school.

While some online commenters wondered if this was actually a good thing to do to your son’s clothing, the large majority of responses were full of praise for the novel idea. One mum even said it’s something she also does for her teenager, proving her point with a photo of her son’s school shirt as well.

▼ This one reads “Goko desu”, which can be translated as “I am Goko”, taking the level of potential embarrassment to a whole other level.

Since posting her photo online, @matsukobucha has been overwhelmed by the response from parents who are keen to try the name-tagging hack on their own children. And as many have pointed out, not only is it a good deterrent against sloppy dressing, it also helps to distinguish the shirts of different family members on laundry day.

While it might not be a fool-proof solution for all types of boundary-testing teens around the world, for those needing a little encouragement to stay on the right side of the rules, this could be the nudge to get them there.

Source: Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Pakutaso

Cover commanding Japan “stop staring at smartphones and read a book” doesn’t really hate tech

Contents are actually an ironic jab at Japan’s holier-than-though critics of digital media consumption.

It’s gotten to the point where if you take a look around a Japanese train, most people will be absorbed in their smartphones, with those reading a physical book being a very tiny minority. Some would say this is a sad sign of the times, as society increasingly embraces flashy digital media and abandons the proud traditions of the printed page.

Such traditionalists might find them vigorously nodding their heads should they happen to spot someone staring intently at this.

A closer look reveals a bold proclamation written across the front of the cover and on its spine, with the Japanese text スマホをやめて本を読め reading Sumaho wo Yamete Hon wo Yome

…which translates to:

Stop Staring at Your Smartphone and Read a Book

Just the sort of harsh wisdom those techno-tranced Millennials need, right? Except, when we swing around and take a look from the reverse angle…

…we find that the joke is actually on uptight luddites, since this isn’t the cover for a high-minded paperback, but a smartphone. The clever design even has fake barcodes near the opening for the camera, to help disguise the black plastic housing for the lens.

▼ As an added bonus, using this as a foreigner will also have people thinking you’re a kanji-reading master.

The duplicitous accessory is the latest product from ekoD Works, the same company that previously had us all doing double takes with its T-shirt that seemingly gives the wearer large and shapely breasts through the power of optical illusion.

The smartphone-disparaging smartphone cover comes in four sizes: iPhone 6-8, iPhone 6-8 Plus, general-purpose medium (which fits smartphones 140 millimeters [5.5 inches] long and 77 millimeters wide), and general-purpose large (for smartphones measuring 150 by 85 millimeters). All are priced at 3,240 yen (US$30) here on ekoD Works’ online store, and are made of polyurethane and polycarbonate, to further twist the knife when technophobes discover that not even the cover is made of paper.

Source: ekoD Works via Twitter/@2gta9
Images: ekoD Works

Shogun arrested in Japan for being a peeping Tom

Months-long investigation ends with police officers taking Shogun Kigawa into custody after he fails to resist his fetish for peeing women.

At roughly 10 in the morning on December 10, a woman entered the restroom of a convenience store in the city of Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture. She entered the stall and prepared to do her business, but the tranquility of her porcelain-seated reverie was shattered when a smartphone suddenly appeared from beneath the stall’s door, with a man’s hand gripping it and the camera lens pointed at her.

While the peeping Tom was not apprehended at the scene, officers from the Sagamihara Minami Precinct have announced that the perpetrator has been identified and taken into custody. After examining security camera footage, their investigation eventually led them to a 37-year-old resident of the neighboring city of Yamato, who was formally arrested on April 16.

The man’s name? Shogun Kigawa, written with the exact same kanji characters, 将軍, used to refer to the military rulers of feudal Japan who ruled the country for centuries.

While there’s been a trend of Japanese parents giving their babies flowery or flashy names in recent years, “Shogun” is an extremely rare choice, especially for the era in which the man was born, with many online commenters saying they’ve never met anyone named “Shogun” in their entire lives.

Following his arrest, Shogun Kigawa admitted to the charges. History buffs will be glad to know that there was never an actual shogun from a clan named Kigawa, and so the legacy of Japan’s samurai lords remains free from modern sexual scandal, which is more than we can say for TV action hero Kamen Rider.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News/Sankei Shimbun via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Gatag/ヨギリリ

Mr Sato tries the gorgeous new bonsai parfait that everyone’s talking about in Harajuku

The delicious bonsai dessert comes in three different varieties.

If you’re on the lookout for delicious treats in Japan, Tokyo’s hip Harajuku district is the place for you. While the bustling central area of Takeshita Street is probably best known for its variety of crepe stands, strolling a little further down into the backstreets of Harajuku, known as Urahara, reveals some other tasty treats as well.

Tucked away in a side street here is a beautiful wooden building that catches the eye, and it’s home to Tsurukamero, a Japanese restaurant that takes its name from tsuru (crane) and kame (turtle), two auspicious animals which can be seen on the facade of the building.

Tsurukamero is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner, with some creative menu items that take their inspiration from some of Japan’s famous icons.

While the meal options here are enough to stop hungry passersby, the restaurant has been attracting attention recently for its unique dessert selection, which comes in the style of beautiful bonsai. With three varieties to choose from – chocolate, matcha, or berry banana – our sweet-toothed Japanese-language reporter Mr Sato was curious to find out what it would be like to eat a bonsai, so he took a trip to the restaurant to try the new dessert for himself.

Despite us pleading with him to try the matcha variety, which comes complete with a taiyaki fish-shaped sweet red bean cake and an adzuki-flavoured ice cream on a stick, Mr Sato could not be moved once he’d set his eyes on the chocolate option. As a firm lover of chocolate, he ordered the Choco Parfait, and when the waitress told him it would take ten minutes to make, he knew he was in for something special.

▼ When the dessert was delivered to the table, Mr Sato’s eyes gleamed with delight.

The parfait came served on some beautiful Japanese tableware, with the main components sitting inside a small bowl in the middle of the dish.

Although the images on the menu made it look like the bonsai pine tree branches were inserted into the dessert, Mr Sato was happy to find that this wasn’t the case. Instead, the pine tree decoration sat gracefully on the side of the tray, creating patterns in the light, which became more and more pleasant to look at as he tasted the dessert.

The parfait itself was rich and creamy, with mounds of ice cream and fresh cream throughout, yet also light and refreshing, thanks to the addition of fresh blueberries. What really made Mr Sato’s toes curl, though, was the delicious chocolate powder and sauce, which filled every mouthful with the sweet and decadent flavour he’d been yearning for.

After finishing the dessert, Mr Sato gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up. Not only is the 800-yen (US$7.46) price reasonable for desserts in the area, it’s also a nice relaxing spot to stop while strolling around the Harajuku backstreets. Plus, not only are the parfaits delicious, they’re gorgeous to look at too, and will no doubt turn all your friends to jelly when they see your photos of the dessert pop up on social media.

Store Information

Tsurukamero / 鶴亀樓
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 4-27-2
Hours: 12:00 p.m.-4:00p.m., 5:30p.m.-10:00p.m. / weekends and public holidays 12:00p.m.-10:00p.m.

Featured image: PR Times
Insert images: © SoraNews24 

All-you-can-eat sandwiches for 300 yen?! Our Japanese-language reporter dutifully investigates

You can also tack on all-you-can-drink soft drinks for a total of less than 500 yen at this cafe in Tokyo!

Buffets in Japan are not like your average buffets in the United States. Rarely will you find cold and soggy egg rolls, slimy pizza, or fried chicken of dubious quality sitting under a fading heat lamp out in the open for all to touch and cough on. Instead, restaurants in Japan will offer up as much quantities of freshly made food as you like for fabulous prices, including fan favorites like Kentucky Fried Chicken, pie, and ramen.

You can even get all-you-can-eat sandwiches Our Japanese-language correspondent Ahiruneko happened to find that out by accident when he stumbled upon a cafe called “Misty Ipanema” while walking in Asagaya in Tokyo. The sign on the door caught his eye: “All-you-can-eat sandwiches for 300 yen!” Hmph. 1,300 yen huh?, he thought to himself. That’s nothing–huh?! When it clicked that the price was actually just 300 yen (US$2.80), he had to do a double-take to make sure. It was so cheap that he wondered if the owner was right in the head.

You see, he himself is a fan of sandwiches, but every morning when perusing the well-stocked shelves of his favorite convenience store for breakfast, he, sadly, usually passes them up for a rice ball, since they’re usually about half the price of a sandwich. But now he has the chance to eat as many sandwiches as he likes for what he would pay for two rice balls–and that was a deal he just couldn’t pass up, so he had to go inside.

It turns out that Misty Ipanema is actually a small jazz cafe. There are lots of jazz analog boards decorating the walls, and jazz music was playing the background when Ahiruneko visited. The atmosphere was really nice, but as the tenor saxophone sang its tender tune, he couldn’t help but be unsure whether the sign posted outside on the door was true or not.

▼ Could it be real? Sandwich-lover Ahiruneko was afraid to get his hopes up.

Mustering up all of his courage, he asked the cafe’s owner, “Do you have all-you-can-eat sandwiches?”, but when the owner initially replied, “huh?” he felt his heart stop, and thought that it might be the end for him and his relationship with sandwiches. But the owner just hadn’t heard him correctly, and to Ahiruneko’s utter relief he said that they regularly offer all-you-can-eat sandwiches.

The way it works is this: You can have three sandwiches to start, which you can choose from the menu, and once you finish those, you can get two more at a time. Unfortunately, it isn’t actually all-you-can-eat, since you’re limited to seven sandwiches in total. Still, that’s a lot of sandwiches for just 300 yen, and if you’re still hungry, you could probably ask for a second session if you want.

Drinks are self-service; you can order one for 100 yen ($0.93) or unlimited drinks for 150 yen ($1.40), so of course Ahiruneko picked all-you-can drink. He poured himself a coffee from the coffee machine near the entrance while waiting for his first three sandwiches: chicken cutlet, egg salad, and ham with mixed veggies.

Now it’s important to note here that throughout this experience, Ahiruneko was experiencing a rising sense of bewilderment. First, because he’d unexpectedly found himself in a jazz cafe. Second, that a nice, mature jazz cafe like Misty Ipanema would offer so many sandwiches for just 300 yen. Third, that all-you-can-drink is only 50 yen more than ordering one drink. And fourth, that the sandwich options include rather luxurious choices like chicken cutlet, that the sandwiches are made with original ingredients, and that the lettuce is actually organically grown in water, without soil.

But even though the part of him that loves sandwiches was screaming internally, he was careful to keep his outward appearance calm, despite his burst of glee at seeing his first plate.

Pleased as he was that chicken cutlet sandwiches were part of the menu, Ahiruneko had been expecting a sad, thin piece of fried chicken, in keeping with the cheap price. Imagine his surprise when the plate that was put before him hosted two substantial chunks of tasty poultry nestled between soft, fluffy white bread. After his first bite, he was further baffled to find it to be actually really tasty.

Delighted, he wolfed down his first three sandwiches and ordered his second round, which included a teriyaki chicken sandwich on rye bread, another surprisingly high-class choice.

After his fifth sandwich he was feeling a little full, but they had a fruit sandwich on the menu, and he just could not pass up the opportunity to have dessert included in his 500 yen meal, so he ordered it.

But now that it was time to pay the bill, Ahiruneko was starting to get nervous. It can’t really be this cheap, he thought. There must be a cover charge…It is a jazz cafe after all. He was fully prepared to pay an extra fee…but if it was over 1,000 yen, he thought he just might lose all faith in sandwiches. Gritting his teeth, with his heart thumping in his chest, he asked for the bill…and to his amazement, it was only 486 yen ($4.63). Letting out the breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding in, he handed over his 500 yen coin with a grin.

To further increase Ahiruneko’s sense of having entered a strange alternate universe, he learned after he left the cafe that the sandwiches are also available for takeout, typically for about 210 yen or more for two. “THEN HOW CAN YOU OFFER ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT FOR JUST 300 YEN?!” he wanted to scream, but thankfully his sensibilities, at least, were more or less still intact.

Although it’s not actually all-you-can-eat sandwiches, Ahiruneko really recommends Misty Ipanema to fans of Japan’s triangle-cut sandwiches. It’s located about five minutes walking from Asagaya Station on the Chuo/Sobu line, and is open daily. They offer the sandwich deal every day, including weekends and holidays, but the cafe is mostly manned by the owner, so make sure you have time to slowly enjoy your sandwich smorgasboard when you go.

Cafe Information
Misty Ipanema / ミスティ イパネマ
Address: Tokyo-to, Suginami-ku, Asagaya Minami 1-35-23
Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (may be subject to change without notice)

Heartwarming store closure found in Kyushu moves Japanese twitter to tears

Have you hugged your local business recently?

It’s hardly a new trend that small mom-and-pop stores and services are largely being replaced by large-scale businesses who themselves are now feeling the squeeze by the rise of e-commerce.

And with this trend comes an increasing disconnect with our providers of goods and services. When a big-name operation like McDonald’s or Yo-Kai Watch shuts its doors, very few people are deeply affected. On the other hand, when Daiichi Cleaning – whom most have never heard of – announced its closure, people all over Japan were shedding tears of warmth and joy.

The posted message in the image reads as follows:

I originally came by train alone from Kagoshima to work for my uncle who was my predecessor at Daiichi Cleaning Shokai.
I was 15 then.
I was clumsy and couldn’t do anything else.

All I did was focus on this job and kept at it. 
Life is just a moment, isn’t it?
This year I turn 80.
I think I will hang up my long-time partner, my iron, around these parts.
Thanks to your continued support I am well enough that I think I can just enjoy the rest of my life with my wife.
Thank you very much for using this shop for such a long time.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Unlike many store closures in which a business could not support itself any further, the proprietor of Daiichi Cleaning has simply accomplished what he set out to do and retired. Moving into the community with no skills and no foreseeable future, he provided people with his steadily improving services for 65 years and managed to raise a family while doing so.

Many online where touched by this sincere gesture of thanks. Especially young Japanese people, filled with anxiety about their own work and life, saw a great deal of hope in this modest success story.

“Job well done down that 65-year road. Have a happy life with your wife.”
“The way ‘御’ is written, it looks like he got a child, maybe his grandson or granddaughter to do it.”
“‘My partner the iron,’ that’s so sweet.”
“Although I never met them, I won’t forget the Daiichi Cleaning couple and wish them well.”
“I never thought I would be moved by a store closing announcement.”
“I have no idea who this guy is, but I want to tell him ‘thanks’ too.”
“I hope I will be able to write a sign like this someday too.”

It’s doubtful any movies will be made of Daiichi Cleaning, but to a lot of people his story is more powerful than those of the most daring and ingenious titans of business. It reminds us that success isn’t something to be gotten – it’s what we make it.

In a world of hazardouly rampant overwork and harassments that cross well over the border to the absurd, it’s important to remember that knowing what your prize really is is more important than keeping your eyes on it.

Source: Tweet/@tkasuga1977, My Game News Flash
Featured image: Tweet/@tkasuga1977

Japan continues to make pooping cute with adorable Shiba Inu toilet paper covers

Adding a touch of canine cuteness to the homes of housebroken doggy lovers.

You could say that Japanese design is a complex mixture of aesthetics developed during the country’s centuries of isolation and those enthusiastically taken from foreign influences. You could argue that it blends the seemingly contradictory desires of captivating beauty and elegant understatement.

Or, you could just say it’s all about making things cute, and you’d still be right quite a lot of the time. Japanese designers’ commitment to cuteness even extends to pooping and the bathroom, with the latest example being these adorable Shiba Inu toilet paper covers.

To clarify, these aren’t individually sold rolls of toilet paper that come in throw-away doggy packaging. Manufacturer Mimi Papier Toilette has created four cloth covers to place over spare rolls you keep in your bathroom, so that guests will have a cute view as they do their business, and will also know where they can restock from should they run short of supplies. Two of the covers, the light-brown Okaka (meaning “Bonito”) and black Goma (“Sesame”) are designed to slip over the top of the roll.

▼ For each of the covers, the Shiba Inu’s ears stick up attentively.

Meanwhile, the dark-brown Tsuna (“Tuna) and white Ume (“Plum”) wrap around the roll.

As if the potty preparedness pups weren’t cute enough on their own, they’re actually likenesses of the dogs from the Mochi Shiba line of character merchandise.

Each cover is priced at 400 yen (US$3.80), but you can’t just walk into a housewares shop and buy them, since they’re instead being offered out of capsule toy vending machines. As such, it might require a few tries to get the exact version you want, but since you probably should have more than one backup roll of toilet paper in your bathroom anyway, having a couple covers shouldn’t be a problem.

Source, images: PR Times