The Japan Summer Song Phenomenon for 2018

Every once in a while something comes along that…..changes nothing. But sure is fun. Aging idol group Da Pump lead singer ISSA, who is pushing 40, wisely reformed his group with a bunch of young dancers and went for broke. The result is the kitschy catchy oh-my-gawd-this-is-so-bad-90s tongue in cheek single USA which became the Japan phenomenon summer song for 2018.

The video has spawed hundreds of bad imitation dance YouTube videos all over Japan but the best one by far is by the US Marines stationed in Japan. Who knew Marines dance like that. US Marines Rock!


Water For Your Whatever

Washlet is so ubiquitous in Japan I never think about it much, until I have to travel to the United States where a Washlet is considered exotic Japanese stuff like sushi and wasabi was 30 years ago. It’s strange coming to a place where people think nothing about dumping tons of money into functionless bathroom tile but consider Washlet a frivolous expense they can do without.

My Dad had been to Japan a few times and was on the fence about getting himself one. I forced the issue by buying him one on Amazon and installed it in 30 minutes. It has been fun watching his progression over the summer from amusement to can’t do without. There is also the side benefit that he does not have to bleach his skivvies anymore.

He likes it so much that he keeps asking me why Toto doesn’t advertise Washlet on TV in the USA. They do in Japan, the latest being a father (big ben) and son (little ben) smelly poo bacteria so overwhelmed by the auto sterilizing features of the latest Washlet they have to flee the bathroom to find another place.

This kind of ad works in Japan but not in America. So how do you market a Washlet in the USA? With humor of course: “Water for your whatever”.

So far Toto USA has stuck to showrooms and web site campaigns but nothing bigger. I look forward to the day when these kinds of ads can run on American TV too with Washlets so ubiquitous nobody bothers watching them.

Cherry Blossom Japanese Vocabulary

The Japanese language is the best equipped language in the world for flower viewing. Hundreds of years of experiences and poetry are packed into the vocabulary. Impress and amaze your Japanese friends when using these expressions:

Hana-ikada (花筏): “flower petal boat” when a pond, steam or river is filled with fallen cherry blossom petals

Hana-komichi (花小道): “flower petal path” when a pathway is strewn with fallen cherry blossom petals

Hana-fubuki (花風吹き): a shower of cherry blossom petals blown by a gust of wind

Hana-bie (花冷え): chilly spring weather during cherry blossom viewing season

Hana-gumori (花曇り): cloudy skies during cherry blossom viewing season

Hana-gasumi: (花霞): hazy pollen filled but clear skies during the cherry blossom viewing season

Have fun.

Cheering The Home Team

The Speed Skate Women’s Team Pursuit final race between the Netherlands and Japan was one of the most thrilling races of PyeongChang 2018. The Takagi sisters of Team Japan are from a small village called Makubetsu that is near Obihiro Hokkaido. The villagers were cheering them on from home when they won the gold (the video 3 minute mark) and set a new Olympics record. The YouTube virtual realty video of the event is a fun watch (in the YouTube App for VR glory) as the excitement builds. Congratulations to all.