November 30, 2004

Forbidden PSP

Sony is releasing their new portable game system, the PSP, on the 12th of December in Japan. To help create buzz, they've partnered with, wait for it, a mannequin company.

Emanuele, friend and wakeboarder extraordinaire, desperately wanted to see the PSP while he was visiting Japan, but we couldn't find any of the so-amazed-by-the-PSP-that-their-jaws-are-on the-floor mannequins to save our lives. As luck would have it, though, one day before he was to fly back to Italy, we were walking past a high-end home furnishings store when I spotted them.

We rushed inside to gawk. The thing that amazed me was the lack of security -- no armed guards standing around to make sure one of these things didn't walk off. Emanuele snapped one picture, than deleted it because he wanted to take another. As he was getting ready to take the picture, one of the folks shopping in the store came up and told him that it wasn't allowed.

I was a bit taking aback, until I looked closer at the woman and noticed that in addition to her trendy clothes and hip purse, she also had a "SONY STAFF" badge around her neck. Apparently Sony decided to have their PSP guards blend in with the local environment. Cute.

So, we rushed home, broke out the forensics software and undeleted the image off of Emanuele's memory stick.

Here's the verboten PSP pic, along with a snap of mannequins taken from outside the store:

Posted by pmk at 4:17 AM | Comments (8)

November 28, 2004

Sushi Beatdown

We've had a parade of house guests here in Tokyo over the past few weeks. This has meant many sushi meals. Twist my arm, dontcha know.

Last week, while eating one of said meals, I was amusing the Japanese folks at the counter with my atrocious Japanese while our guest, Jeremy Pelofsky , was amazing them by scarfing down all sorts of sushi that Jewish white boys from Missouri are not supposed to enjoy.

So, there we are, happily eating. I had just ordered some engawa (the edge of the flounder) and uni when the guy to the right whacked me, hard, on my right shoulder. Not a light tap. Not even a playful smack. A hard, closed fisted punch.

I turned to find a round- and red-faced Japanese guy, eating sushi with his son. In a mixture of Japanese and English, he asked me if I knew what engawa is. I explained to him that, yes, I did know what it was. He then wanted to know why I ordered engawa. I told him I thought it was tasty. He then explained that it was a fish for young men like me, not for old men like him, supposedly due to the fact that it is oily (which it's not -- he was in full English mode at this point, so maybe it was a brainfart).

Anyway, after this little exchange, I figured we were all sorted. But, 5 minutes later -- THWACK. He punches me again. This time wanting to know where I am from.

This happened two or three more times before they finally finished eating and left. Lucky thing, too. I don't know if my shoulder could have taken much more of that.

Jeremy performing "Feelings" at the karaoke box

Posted by pmk at 8:29 PM | Comments (3)

November 14, 2004

Fall in Japan

After a stint in the US and Canada, I'm back in Japan. The traditional hallmarks of Fall are everywhere to be seen:

The leaves are changing.

Tokyo residents are capturing and taming miniature feral pigs.

The Skiing Ostrich is back. And this time, he brought his friends.

Posted by pmk at 12:25 AM | Comments (1)