Coppertone Bikini Girls

MJG Ads / Signs, Japan 19 Comments

Coppertone have gone nuts recently in Shibuya station, plastering at least the Yamanote line north-bound platform with pictures of bikini-clad women (and little girls) with a dog biting their butts. When I first saw this I did a double-take, turned the other way, saw a similar ad where a little girl was getting her butt bit, and started to wonder if the whole thing wasn’t just a bit too weird for its own good. Odd.

Dinning Bar

MJG Japan, Japangrish 9 Comments

I found the DINNING BAR in ultra-hip Shimo-Kitazawa a few weeks ago, and ever since have been scouring the net for what it could possibly be. My first thought was that it MUST be connected with the word ‘din’ as in “Lordy Mike’s making a din on that Double Bass!” or “Where’s that Godawful din coming from, is he on the Double Bass again?” But I wasn’t sure if the noun ‘din’ could be made into a verbal noun (AKA- gerund) so I went to the font of all knowledge, my old friends Merriam-Webster:


MJG Fantasy, Stories Leave a Comment

At the center of Flatland there was a tall sky-scraper, thirty stories high. In the skyscraper were many offices, filled with workers who spent their days typing at their ledgers, recording the business of Flatland that they could see out of their windows. After their work was finished every day, they left the skyscraper and went to their homes. They lived in houses and farms spread around the town-†the only town in Flatland. Flatland was not very big. Perhaps as big as six†football fields. Fotheringay, the CEO of the skyscraper in the center of Flatland, lived on the thirtieth floor. …

The ‘other’ Colonel Sanders

MJG Ads / Signs, Japan, Japangrish 6 Comments

His name is Koichi Sanders. He and the Colonel were divided at birth, despite not sharing a common mother nor being born in the same country or year. After that tragic separation, they never saw each other again, but for in the distant redness of Red land. They live in Red land, which is why the space behind them is always red. Their uniquely black and white faces cause them endless shame, as everywhere they go they are mistaken for each other. This is a big problem, since they do not even speak the same language! Koichi Sanders considers the …

What a wrecked Bowling Alley looks like – the Toyo Bowl

MJG Entertainment, Haikyo, Kanagawa 17 Comments

The Toyo Bowl in Kanagawa was a mammoth venture when first dreamed up, the second biggest bowling alley in the world behind the Nagoya Toyo Bowl, featuring 108 bowling lanes spread over 3 huge floors, along with a large pachinko hall, restaurants, gift shops, arcades, and a creche. It boasted state-of-the-art ‘natural lighting’ and ‘beautiful blue carpets’ on all floors. It encapsulated the vaulting ambition of the mid-Bubble era, when anything was possible and bigger always meant better. Now the ragged carpets, stripped lanes, trashed pachinko hall and scattered broken balls tell the story of how well that ambition fared.

Scott and Makiko’s Wedding, Niigata

MJG Guides, Japan 12 Comments

2 weeks ago my good friend Scott and his long-time girlfriend Makiko had a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony, in a hotel up in Niigata. I say ‘had a ceremony’ rather than ‘got married’ because of course- as things are done here in Japan- you get married first in secret at a local ward office, just by signing some papers. Then, when its too late for the parents to protest, you notify them that they’ll need to pay for the ceremony. Hay-ah! How do you like that, parents? I went up with some friends on the Shinkansen to attend. I’m on …

Push Pops

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 7 Comments

Push Pops! When I was a kid in England we had these. To have a Push Pop was a total status symbol. Adults may have walked around with ivory gilt gold-headed canes and peacock feathers in their caps, but for kids the only thing that mattered was the Push Pop.

Youtei Yusui Political Water

MJG Food / Drink, Japan 3 Comments

Lots of things get politicized in life. Rock has been political for a long time- Band Aid, Live Aid, U2 are heavy into politics. Food got political with Freedom Fries vs. French Fries for a while. Environmental concerns politicize a lot of regular products, as they switch their packaging and production methods to more eco-friendly ones. This is the first time I’ve seen water politicized though, especially for such a short term duration. This water is from Mt. Youtei in Hokkaido, where the 2008 eco-summit will be held for 3 days next week.

Arakawa Cyclo-Campers

MJG Guides, Japan 5 Comments

The Arakawa river stretches up out of Tokyo Bay and into the Saitama mountains, passing straight through the bulk of the city, picking up stray cyclists looking for a place to go as it meanders above and below ground. Some of the cyclists that accrete to its bike-pathed banks come prepped with tents and gear to camp out, BBQ, and generally make merry. That was us.

The Tower

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 4 Comments

This is a short story set to music with visuals. It’s called ‘The Tower’. The visuals are from Sports World and the Negishi Grandstand. The music is by ‘A Silver Mt. Zion’- ‘Stumble and Rise on some Awkward Morning.’ To comment or see a larger version, click more.