Mayonnaise Margheritas

September 3, 2008

Oh blimey, what next? Koji Nakamura, a typically inventive Japanese bartender in Tokyo, makes cocktails with mayonnaise. You might think he was incredibly drunk when he came up with the idea, but Koji is obsessed with mayo and even runs a restaurant in Western Tokyo called “Mayonnaise Kitchen” (the Japanese actually have a name for mayonnaise fanatics- mayolers.)
Koji’s creamy cocktails include the “Mayogarita”, and the “Mayoty Dog” (which has mayo instead of salt around the rim.)
I’d have to be pretty far gone to drink one of these horrific concoctions, and have a sick bucket close at hand.

More at Reuters.

Mayonnaise Kitchen Homepage.


Random Ramblings

August 30, 2008

Here are a couple of stories that I wrote but forgot to post in the winter. At the time I was perusing the tabloids and news-sites to find funny tales of drunken scandals in the Land of the Rising Sun. But there weren’t that many!

Youths Throw Mayonnaise at Coming of Age Day
The annual coming-of-age-ceremony takes place in January each year. It’s a traditional event where those who are 20 years old that year celebrate their adulthood by dressing up and attending a special ceremony in their local town hall. The streets are brightened up by beautiful girls in fur stoles and luxurious silk kimonos that cost their parents a small fortune.
Historically, the students spend the day posing for photographs and sitting quietly, listening to numerous speeches by local dignitaries. (These speeches are, by all accounts, extremely boring.)
Now, in the West, if you filled a hall with thousands of adolescents and told them that they are now allowed to drink, smoke, and pretty much do whatever the hell they like from now on, all hell would break loose. If the newspapers are anything to go by, things seem to be headed in that direction in Japan too these days. Each year, there are more and more headlines about the drunkenness and debauchery of the new adults.
Indeed, each year I look aghast at the 20-year-old girls sat in bars, dropping cigarette ash and slopping red wine onto their priceless kimonos.

The most ridiculous incident I read about took place during the speeches this January. Two boys had obviously taken to the newly-permitted booze-guzzling, like ducks to water, and had been knocking back the beverages before the event. Bored to tears by the monotonous speeches, the pair of delinquents crashed the stage and started throwing mayonnaise at each other. To a room of 20 year olds, the sauce-splattered tearaways’ slapstick routine was probably far more entertaining than the actual speeches, but the older generation didn’t see it that way.

I’m just pleased to live in a country where mayonnaise slinging still makes the headlines!

Drunken Molesting Demon.
One of Japan’s most bizarre events is the annual Namahage festival in Akita. Every New Year’s Eve, a group of men wearing terrifying monster costumes visit all the local children at their homes and scare the shit out of them, threatening to take the little rascals away if they are naughty or disrespectful. With their grotesque masks, straw raincoats, wooden knives and haunting cries, the Namahage bogeymen are sure to subdue even the most rambunctious toddler. Good work, guys!
(Personally, I think this would be a good solution to the escalating juvenile delinquency in the West. Send guys in Freddy, Jason or Pinhead costumes around to scare some sense into young Timmy. “If you don’t eat your vegetables…I’LL TEAR YOUR SOUL APART!”)

This year, however, proceedings didn’t go according to plan. Thanks to imbibing way too much booze during the festivities, one of the Namahage fellas caused quite a scene. He got so utterly smashed that he somehow stumbled into a women’s public bath, still in his creepy costume, and started groping and chasing the naked ladies around. The poor women must have horrified. He was trying to “give them the willies,” so to speak. It sounds like a Benny Hill spoof of “The Ring”.
The lascivious loon got a severe telling off, but got off with a slap on the wrist after saying sorry. The lesson is- if someone wants to get away with groping ladies, they must be wearing a ridiculous costume. It worked for Benny Hill!

More at Japan Probe.


Kentucky Fried X-Ray

June 25, 2008

Lou Fattorusso has sent me an email about an bizarre development at KFC in Japan. Thanks Lou!
Read on…

So Im strolling along the streets of Tokyo when I duck into a KFC…I place my order and sit down…when I open the bag, I examine a mysterious piece of paper inside…I wonder…is this the underground vault where the keep the secret recipe? As it turned out it is the direction map for where the bones are located in my chicken part…the things I LOVE about this town


Ball Eggs

April 24, 2008

I’m currently hunting for a new flat in my beloved Tokyo (which is no mean feat: finding someone foolhardy enough have a giant, accident-prone foreigner as a tenant is proving to be the mother of all headaches.)
Here’s a picture of one of the apartment rental agencies I’ve encountered. If anyone has any idea why “Ball Eggs” might be an appropriate name for a real estate agency, please let me know!


Gachachin

April 10, 2008

Kawasaki City’s annual penis-celebrating fertility festival, the Kanamara Matsuri took place on Sunday and was as crazy as ever. A highlight was the appearance of Gachachin, a grotesquely mutated phallic version of the popular cuddly character, Gachapin. Gachapin usually looks like this:

…and this is Gachachin:

Truly, deeply warped. He looks like the bad-trip hallucination of Sigmund Freud watching children’s television on mescalin.
I wonder if we can expect to see more of Gachachin in the future?
I, for one, would like to see him do battle against Flesh Gordon.


Penis Party 2008

March 19, 2008

The first Sunday in April is almost here, which means it’s almost time for Kawasaki’s notorious Kanamara fertility festival, at which an enormous pink penis is paraded around town by transvestites, vegetables are carved into phallic shapes, and crowds nibble on pink schlong-shaped lollipops. Before you sigh “those crazy Japanese people,” I should point out that these days the voyeuristic, giggling Western tourists outnumber the locals.
Festivities take place on Sunday April 6th, at Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine in Kawasaki from around 10AM to 4PM. To get there, take the Daishi Line to Kawasaki Daishi station. Go out of the exit and you’ll see Wakamiya Hachimangu shrine across the street, to the right.
Tel: (044) 222-3206
You can read a story I wrote about it last year, with accompanying photos, here– which is by far the most popular blog entry I’ve ever written (it’s been seen by about 100,000 people). Below are some new pictures that I didn’t post last year.


Bizarre Japanese Amateur Team Names

March 9, 2008

Japanese amateur sport teams often have highly unique and inventive English names. Obscure clubs from remote towns are always the most entertaining (like the tiny Wakayama badminton circle, “The Tony Tony Choppars,” for example.)
High-school and university teams, in particular, gleefully ignore the convention of choosing heroic, macho-sounding words, instead opting for cute and catchy phrases like “Santa Claus” or “See You Again.”

Also, inappropriately menacing monikers are popular, like Nagoya basketball team “The Snipers.” Kyoto University is one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious universities, located in a city renowned for its fascinating history and culture. So why the hell is their American football team called “The Gangsters”?

My personal favourite team name is Kinki University’s American football team, “The Kinki Devils.”
Below are some pictures of the more odd names I’ve happened upon.