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Blood Types in Japanese Culture

The Japanese analyze people’s personalities according to blood type

The book series, "Ketuekigata Jibun no setumeisyo"
The book series, "Ketuekigata Jibun no setumeisyo"
  Don’t be surprised if a Japanese person asks you what your blood type is the first time they meet you. In Japan, it’s fairly common for people to ask this sort of question. Because some people believe that your personality is determined by your blood type.

It seems this belief dates back to 1916 and was originated by Japanese doctors.

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 on 23 Feb 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese Culture Comments ( 1 ) Send this to a friend

Carlota's

Carlota's cookies are thematic; you can choose from one of their collections or order special designs.

"Driver’s License" cookie collection
"Driver’s License" cookie collection
  Carlota’s cookies are constantly renovated. They adapt to fads, to each season’s holidays and to consumers’ tastes. They’re cookies made for and by people who are detail oriented and love both food and design.

Carlota’s are made by two sisters from Catalonia who have been baking thematic cookies for the past 10 years. The cookies take on the shape of the key objects or people in any given celebration: a bride and groom for a wedding, baby bootees for a first communion, or a birthday cake for parties.

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 on 17 Feb 2009 by Marta Reig in Unusual gifts Comments Send this to a friend

Do you miss writing on the blackboard at school?

Use chalk to write on a globe, a breakfast mug, or on the walls in your home. They’re made of slate.

You won’t forget to call the plumber
You won’t forget to call the plumber
  Slate is one of the most practical media ever invented for writing. It’s reusable, incredibly easy to clean and ideal for leaving anonymous messages and pissing the teacher off. Blackboards have watched us grow up, but new technologies are now all the rage and gradually blackboards will disappear from the classroom to make way for digital boards. They’re much uglier but also more suitable since they offer almost as many options as a word processor.

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 on 16 Feb 2009 by Marta Reig in Unusual gifts Comments Send this to a friend

Trashion

Vaho Works and Freitag turn discarded materials such as canvas covers for trucks or advertising signs into exclusive designer shoulder bags.


  "Trashion" is a blend of the words "trash" and "fashion". The concept was created by Vaho Works, a group of ardent recyclers based in Barcelona whose aim is to "salvage discarded objects".

According to them, every thing deserves a second change, and that’s why they resuscitate materials and give them a better life. This is the reason they turn PVC advertising posters and shop signs into ultra-durable and very colorful handbags, backpacks, and wallets.

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 on 13 Feb 2009 by Marta Reig in Unusual gifts Comments Send this to a friend

White Day

On March 14, Japanese men buy sweets for women to pay them back for their Valentine’s gifts.

Rabbit and bear shaped White Day cakes at the Anniversary shop
Rabbit and bear shaped White Day cakes at the Anniversary shop
  What is White Day?
In Japan, there’s a strange custom celebrated on the 14th of March. It’s called White Day and it’s a special day for women. You know how in Japan, on Valentine’s Day, women give men chocolate? Well, White Day is the day men return the chocolate gifts women give them for Valentine’s Day.

Celebration or obligation?
The fact is, this custom is less popular than Valentine’s Day.

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 on 13 Feb 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese Culture Comments Send this to a friend

Paper Critters

Design your own paper dolls with this on-line application. Draw them, color them in, and make them evil or adorable.

This is the Paper Critters Interface
This is the Paper Critters Interface
  3-D paper dolls are in style. Various designers are dedicating themselves exclusively to creating this type of toy, and there are several websites that offer templates you can download. If you still haven’t found a design you like, take note of this: Paper Critters.

It’s a thesis project created by JR Fabito, a student in San Francisco’s Academy of Art University’s MFA program.

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 on 12 Feb 2009 by Marta Reig in News and curiosities Comments Send this to a friend

Pop Cut-Outs

At Cubee Craft you can download free templates to create various paper dolls representing important pop culture icons.

Geometric, three-dimensional, and very bigheaded
Geometric, three-dimensional, and very bigheaded
  What do Obama, Superman, Doraemon, and a Ninja Turtle have in common? Each of them has its own template at Cubee Craft, a website dedicated to giving these templates away to all its users.

Chose your favorite model, print it, and follow instructions to create a geometric paper figure. In a few hours, you can have the President of the United States in your hands and play with him at will.

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 on 12 Feb 2009 by Marta Reig in Unusual gifts Comments Send this to a friend

Maru-goku

Products made in a juvenile jail are big sellers in Japan. The best-selling product is an apron.

Maru-goku apron, number 1 in sales
Maru-goku apron, number 1 in sales
  "Sorry, we’re out of stock. They’re in production." Lately, this phrase has been repeated a lot by Japanese clerks at shops that sell Maru-goku products. The Maru-goku brand has turned its products into big sellers. The best-selling product is an apron: in one on-line shop, 100 aprons were sold out in three minutes and 10,000 have been sold in just two years.

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 on 10 Feb 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese Culture Comments Send this to a friend

Container City

A group of British designers is converting steel containers into inhabitable spaces. They look like Lego buildings.

The first Container City construction
The first Container City construction
  If you’re planning a trip to London, you should add the Docklands neighborhood to your list of favorites. This was formerly one of the largest ports in Europe and the city’s main communication and transport route. Today, it is a residential district with several attractions and perhaps the least touristic of these is Container City, a building of artists’ workshops and living quarters built out of colorful containers designed by the Container City group.

The building is made up of several modules the designers call "cubes".

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 on 09 Feb 2009 by Marta Reig in Art, design and architecture Comments Send this to a friend

Rilakkuma, A Relaxing Bear

This angelic-looking bear is a relaxing pet. It’s very popular among stressed-out young Japanese women.

Rilakkuma, Ko-Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori
Rilakkuma, Ko-Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori
  Who is Rilakkuma?

It’s brown with a big head and an angelic little face. Rilakkuma is a very popular pet among young Japanese women in their 20’s and 30’s. Its first product was launched in September 2003. Today, Rilakkuma stuff is everywhere and you can see it and buy it in just about any corner of Japan. It was designed by Kondouaki, for a company called San-X.

Rilakkuma and Kaoru-san

Rilakkuma lives free-of-cost in Kaoru-san’s home.

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 on 06 Feb 2009 by Ayumi Nakai in Japanese videos Comments Send this to a friend
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