Ever wonder what your government bureaucrats do on their down time? An internal investigation at the agriculture ministry recently revealed that six of their staffers had been spending hours and hours editing Wikipedia entries about Gundam on their work computers. Apparently they know a lot more about mobile suits than farming, cuz they edited at total of 260 entries related to the popular anime series.
As a consequence, Wikipedia was banned from all ministry computers. When interviewed by CNN, a ministry official had this to say about the situation:
"The Agriculture Ministry is not in charge of Gundam."
Another hilarious Japan-related article in The Onion:
NAGANO, JAPAN—Mere hours after eating what he claims to be his
"farewell meal" Tuesday, longtime consumer of comestible goods Takeru
Kobayashi formally announced that, after a career that has spanned
nearly his entire lifetime, he has decided to walk away from eating
There’s an awesome article in The Onion this week titled "Earthquake Sets Japan Back to 2147." I can’t even begin to summarize it because the writer’s so witty and satirical and I can’t really compete with that. But here’s an excerpt and a link:
Teleportation of food and water remains at a standstill as technicians in Kobe continue to fix the extensive damage to the eight-million-yottabyte mainframe computer, a four-by-three-inch quantum femtoprocessor responsible for accessing and fulfilling the thoughts and desires of all Japanese.
When I was in high school, I was waiting for a friend at Shibuya Station when I saw a man dressed in a white suit and white top hat standing on a white box in a corner by the JR Exit. Curious, I went up to him and asked, "Why are you standing on top of that box?" It turned out that he was an actor being filmed by a then-popular prankster TV show. I think I was on TV for a brief second the next day, asking the guy what he was doing. I was one of the few people that actually approached him—most people just walked by, with the occasional glance.
Prankster TV shows are just a part of daily life in Tokyo. My friends have been on silly morning English lesson shows with Mr. Wicky, been interviewed by quiz shows where celebrities bet on how smart/stupid you are, etc.—pretty much every Tokyoite has had at least one moment of fame on a laugh-out-loud funny variety show.
So it’s no surprise that these ordinary businessmen on their ways to and from work don’t scream or threaten to call the cops when they’re mobbed by 100 pranksters. This is from a TV show called Troop of The One Hundred. Enjoy!
Check out this video—with conveniently translated subtitles—of two girls, one from Osaka and one from Tokyo, having a competition to see whose butt is stronger. After exchanging some challenging comments, the girls get on top of a giant disc floating in a hot tub. The countdown begins, and it’s on! Watch the clip to see who wins.
In case you haven’t seen this YouTube blockbuster yet, here’s a Japanese game show where guys dressed like moji moji kun have to jump through various human shapes that are coming toward them quickly…otherwise they fall in the water. Some funny fun for your Sunday afternoon!
There’s nothing like dozens of humping USB dogs gyrating to cowboy music. This and other USB-powered animals are featured in this wonderful video reminiscent of the nature channel, kind of, except all the animals are miniature, plastic, and hooked up to computers. Well, and then there’s the random paraphernalia at the end but the first minute of the video made me laugh.
Japanese quiz shows are silly, but this one is more stinky than anything. It features four men in red wrestling suits, two of whom not have any ass coverage. Two of the men sit back-to-back answering quiz questions like: Name the sekitori (high-ranked wrestlers) in the sumo world. Whoever screws up first gets farted in his face.
I just spent twenty minutes watching these dozen silly Japanese ojisan (middle-aged men) running around toting this click arrow across my computer screen. Hey, you can do it too! Just click on the photo, wait for the gray circle to load, and then move your mouse around in it.
It’s funny! Anyone who has a Japanese dad knows that they wear this wife-beater + cotton legging set under their business suits every day; and anyone who has ever been to a Japanese street festival knows that these men are experts at carrying portable Shinto shrines (omikoshi) on their shoulders while making noises that express cooperation and motivation.
Depending on which direction you move your mouse in, the ojisans scream out "right! right!" or "forward! forward!" etc. When you stop moving, they go into resting pose and go "Aaaahhh." Funnnyyyy. 1-click Award (Thanks, Kenji!)
Here’s a short video clip of the bride’s father’s wild performance last Sunday at my friend’s wedding. As you can see, he’s feeling the music and grooving with his two twirling dancers in a way that we normally don’t associate dads with. Watching this performance live would have made you roar with laughter or rendered you completely speechless.
Actually, that’s my editor Rob at Wired. I bought him a plastic Ultraman mask from Japan last week. You know, the kind they used to have way back in the day like in the 70s and 80s before cosplay became a big thing and this was the closest you got to looking like the legendary superhero.
I think in the first frame he’s trying to fly. And in the second one he’s trying to transform. I believe he succeeded in doing neither, but at least he tried.
The wedding I went to Tokyo for last week was awesome for various reasons, but the single most memorable moment was when the bride’s dad, who was nice and drunk and exhausted by then, performed an eccentric inspirational dance at the end of the evening. I think the background dancers are the bride’s friends.
The rest of the affair was very formal and to my knowledge this was the first time the father opened his mouth the entire evening.
If anyone was at the wedding and got video footage of this miraculous event, please email me.
Update: Someone sent me video and it is now on YouTube! It’s here.
Gekkan Shonen Jump, the monthly edition of the token comic book collection that every Japanese boy read religiously at the bookstore since 1970, is going to be discontinued after the July 2007 edition. Shueisha, the publisher, had been circulating close to 400K copies a month, but I guess it wasn’t enough to keep it going.
The more popular weekly version, which as a circ of about 3 million copies per week, will continue to deliver kick ass original comics like Dragon Ball Z, Dr. Slump, Kinnikuman, Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, Slam Dunk, and Death Note. Yep, most of the great memorable manga of the 80s and 90s were first seen in the black-and-white newspaper-like comic-reeled pages of awesomeness behind covers like these. Being a girl child, I didn’t usually buy Jump at the bookstore, but I definitely used to sneak peaks at my brother’s copy, and secretly enjoyed it more than the Shojo Manga series.
Every year, Reve 21, a company that makes hair growth products for men (kinda like the Rogaine of the East, we could say) has a contest to determine the person who most successfully reversed the process of balding. This is no joke! I mean, the winner gets 3 million yen and the chance to show off his new ‘do–which is NOT a toupee like Donny Trumps–in front of the whole country. This year’s was the 7th annual, and as you can see, this man has a beautiful mane of thick black hair now. And a lot of cash.
Did you know you can’t smoke on the sidewalk in Akihabara? James found out the hard way when the No Smoking Cops busted his ass as he lit up a much-needed Camel Light after we spent an hour in a 7-story high sex shop. The guy in the yellow is the top dog of the Akiba Smoking Patrol, and the other guy is his bitch. The blue plastic bag in James’ left hand does not contain porn, but some random Bollywood videos he bought from an Indian lady down a random alley next to an electronics shop. The guy in yellow is looking at me for translation, and James is putting on his fake guilty look. (Actually, he might have just been checking out some geek girl across the street.)
The fine is 3000 yen. Not much, but enough to make you think, shoot, I could have bought a whole carton with that money.
Razor Ramon Hard Gay is Japan’s favorite gay guy. Except he’s not really gay, or so he claims. The 32-year old wrestler-turned-comedian is often seen on Japanese TV in tight leather pants singing Livin’ La Vida Loca while happily, furiously thrusting his pelvis.
Watch Hard Gay give his pelvis a good thrust! before levitating in this clip from a PS2 game, Graffiti Kingdom, that lets you make your own gaming avatars.
You know how they say white people are so bad at telling Asians apart that Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese all look the same? (If you don’t believe it, take the All Look Same test and see how you fare.) Well, apparently, Japanese people can’t tell white people apart either. Here’s a clip of a bunch of JSGs who think this random dude is Brad Pitt.
First they go wild and scream, "Kyaaaaa!" Then, when they realize it’s not him, they look angry. And glare at him for being the wrong guy.