Fungus Mungus' Weird Stuff in Japan

A chronicle of general weirdness I've encountered during my stay in Japan.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Well, even though I've not updated this blog in years, something comes along that causes even the deadest blog to be re-opened. In this case, it's a bizarre argument that ends badly.

On July 16th, 2013, a housewife in Japan completely loses it after her unemployed husband fails to find her favorite tea at the grocery store. She puts him in the ICU by with several blows to the head with a laptop. The link is in Japanese...sorry couldn't find a story in English.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


OK, so the last time I updated this blog was over a year ago. My how time files. I moved from Japan back to central California on August 2006. Things have been quite a whirlwind for me, so this blog dropped from the horizon. Sorry about that folks.

Since I'm not in Japan to witness the weirdness first-hand, I've decided to close out this blog. If I find myself across the shores again, I'll be delighed to open this up again and pick up where I left off.



Friday, March 31, 2006

Would-be thief breaks into Sumo House

Yes, there are stupid people in Japan too. Here's proof:

On March 31, at 2:35 am, would-be thief Konoshin Kawabata broke into a temple. He failed to notice the notice posted on the temple door indicating that it was being used as a sumo training facilty. When he entered the temple, he awoke the slumbering wrestlers in the neighboring room. The lights came on and 48-year-old Kawabata found himself encircled by 20 sumo wrestlers. After 35-year-old Dewanosato applied one of his Sumo "waza" (techniques), disabling Mr. Kawabata, another sumo called the police.

Dewanosato had a 2-win/5-loss record. This morning marked his 3rd win.

If you can read Japanese, you can see the original story here.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Perfect Gift...

In such a homogenous place as Japan, every town and hamlet in Japan tries to have a specialty, hoping it will make it different from other places. It may be a special kind of pottery or craft. Or it may be some kind of food item, usually a snack. When people travel, they are expected to bring back omiyage (souvenirs) to the office or family. Omiyage items are usually for sale in and around train stations, and even on the bullet trains, so even the most forgetful traveler has ample opportunity to buy something for the folks back home. Perhaps I'm a little cynical, but I have found most of the food omiyage I've received to tastes about the same. But every once in awhile, I find something really different:

I found this while looking for Christmas gifts for my family back home. While many people consider salmon bones a nuisance, something to pick your way through while trying to enjoy a nice filet of salmon, apparently the residents of the city of Miyako consider them a delicacy. There are 6 bones in every box!

So I did find the perfect Christmas gift...for my Mom's cat. Now, I wonder what they do with the rest of the fish?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Big Mouth+Small Face=Beautiful!

From another page of the Annals of Japanese Quackery, I present

The Slim Mouth Piece

Despite it's misleading name, this gadget is supposed to make your mouth bigger, not smaller. BIGGER? Yes, bigger. Who on earth would want this? Well, the theory is that if you widen your mouth, you will have the appearance of a small face, so prized by the Japanese.

Apparently, this device comes in regular, small, and large sizes so no matter what size your face is, you can have the mouth of your dreams! Now, that is weird!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Small Face

In the west, we obsess over having small bodies. There, thin will probably always be in, but in Japan, where many people already have thin bodies, having a chiisai kao, or small face, is a prized attribute. Most of the JPOP idols, many lacking talent, at least have "small faces".

I ran across this little device that is supposed to help the girl achieve the small face of her dreams. Behold, I give you the:

Ofuro de Kogao

Literally meaning "small face in the bath", this nifty little device is designed to be worn in the bath. It supposedly slims your face, giving you that pixish face such as those sported by Ayumi Hamasaki (see my blog post on the Ayumi Van in a previous blog post). I think if small faces make it big in the west, they should market this product as Kogao de Jason.

Sorry for the absense

Wow, it's been more than 3 months since my last entry. Looks like I have some catching up to do. In my defense, I have been busy with preparations for my wedding, so blogging has had to be set aside to make sure things went smoothly in that department. I've got some more goodies to go up in the next day so please check back.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hanging out

Japan is so closely associated with hi-tech that it's easy to forget that Japan has its fair share of unusual wildlife. Many people never see it because it rarely ventures into the cities.

The other day, we were driving to Kakunodate, an old samurai village in Akita Prefecture, when we saw this guy climbing up the railing of an overpass. He then proceeded to hang out, watching the traffic go by. I guess mountain life was getting too boring for him, so he came down to see what rest of us monkeys were up to.

I made the driver stop the car so I could get out and capture this rare moment.