In July of last year I posted one of my favorite strangest YouTube videos of all time — Japan’s biggest Harry Potter fangirl and her encounter with actors Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, aka Ron and Harry, at Hogwarts. Those clips in their entirety have since been removed from the interwebs because of licensing blah blah, but I found these snippets on YouTube of the crux of each, where she asks “touch ok?” and starts petting the two of them on the face. Love how she sniffs her finger after petting Ron’s eyelashes!
This is amazing to watch — a troupe of suited men doing a synchronized walking performance in a gymnasium. If you’re wondering why I think it’s amazing, fast forward to 1:50 and watch them do a speed-walking weave.
My friend Lisa G sent me this funny video for Honda in which Australian hipsters answer the question: How much hipster can you fit into a Honda Jazz? They quote Haruki Murakami and Jack Kerouac while putting beer in the cooler and taking Polaroids of themselves while saying “fair trade!” Silly.
Finally, Japanese politics has gone so whack that it’s not all too unrealistic to imagine a dog running for office. Japan’s most famous dog, Jiro Shirato, stars in this mini documentary created to parody election time. It’s a Softbank commercial for a Twitter-friendly cell phone, and is chock full of drama, jokes (“manifesto” becomes “Everesto”) and hope for a brighter future. Plus it kinda explains Japanese politics in a nutshell. Amazing.
In this promotional video for a new Takara Tomy toy, a cheesy white guy shows us how to use the “potechi no te”, an artificial hand that is designed to pick up potato chips firmly without breaking them and even brushes off its own fingers afterwards.
In this video, a very serious lady from the company Unicharm shows us how to insert a tampon the right way. It might seem strange, but in Japan a lot of women still don’t use tampons because they don’t want to put things inside their bodies. Charm Soft is the leading tampon brand in Japan.
One of my favorite thinkers on Japanese modern culture, Morinosuke Kawaguchi gave a talk at TEDxTokyo this past weekend. You may remember him from my ETech presentation last year, where he talked about the manner mode pen. You can see his Toilet Talk here — a must-see!
This is all over YouTube already, but worth posting, I thought, because it’s not just a fun commercial but plays out like a good short film. A young man moves to a new town, where all the girls are really pretty. He’s super excited about it until he realizes that they all have really manly raspy voices. It’s a commercial for Ajinomoto Stadium, home to the soccer team Tokyo Verdy.
You must watch this crazy jazz version of the classic Japanese folk tale, Momotaro. In it, a team of comedians tells the story of the heroic boy who was born from a peach via a series of American jazz tunes. PRI’s The World called up Roland Kelts and analyzed it on air recently. Apparently it was a segment on Tamori’s show, which makes a lot of sense.