Hello Kitty is the cute girl’s status symbol.

Hello Kitty, the leader of Japanese Kawaii (Cute) culture, became 35 years old this year.
Sanrio Company created her just that long ago.

She had been for little girls for a while. But, a Japanese popular singer said that she loved Hello Kitty’s goods, and then the lid was off and she got popular among broader generations. Kitty’s simple face and pink color are good accents in girls’ chic fashions everywhere. A lot of celebrities have Hello Kitty wares adorning them around town.

You will see Hello Kitty goods like pens and straps for cell phones at souvenir shops in every prefecture you go in Japan.

By the way, do you know why Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth? The reason is because it makes her face not specify her facial expression and so she shares the same feelings with you all the time. Mona Lisa can eat her heart out.

Get something cute: Hello Kitty Chic Goods and Wares

Read more about it: www.kitty35.com/

Green Tea Flavored Coke hits Japan

Green Tea Coca-Cola is out just in time to start that new carbonated diet plan. It contains tea antioxidants called catechins, leaves a slight green tea aftertaste and is mainly targeted at health-conscious women in their 20s and 30s. So, I guess it’s not just for when you have company over to the house.

The taste?

According to Food For Thought:

“Diet Coke with extra aspartame is what comes to mind. Although green tea extract is listed in the ingredients, my tastebuds strained themselves to the limit of their powers to detect some a hint of tea flavor, and failed. To be fair, it’s not bad tasting, but even though it supposedly has catechin in it (like anyone is really going to switch from tea to Coke to get their antioxidants), Green Tea Coke seems to be pretty green tea-less.”

Rival Pepsi Cola is countering with another exotic cola – Japanese basil-flavored “Pepsi Shiso,” which hits stores in late June. Can’t wait.


Food For Thought – Green Tea Coke…

Daruma Dolls and Daruma Kids

We Love Daruma has put some more fun into the Daruma tradition and their own little twist with Daruma Kids. If you don’t know what Daruma is…

Daruma is a guardian of our hopes, dreams, and wishes. As he focuses on your goal, Daruma’s eye never blinks. He reminds us not to, either.

Dear to the hearts of the Japanese people, Daruma reflects their determined spirit and peaceful
outlook on life. Daruma’s Zen roots go back 1500 years, to Bodhidharma, founder of Zen Buddhism.
The traditional Daruma doll represents the silhouette of Bodhidharma in deep meditation. Today,
Daruma dolls are exchanged as gifts to mark occasions of all kinds, and millions keep a Daruma on
hand for its motivational power and as a symbol of love and hope.

While the Daruma tradition is deep-rooted in Japan, it is still not well-known outside of it. We created
the We Love Daruma brand and website to spread Daruma’s optimistic and inspiring energy around
the world. The timing, we feel, could not be more pertinent. Daruma’s positive force is just as valuable
in good times as in difficult ones, but our current economic climate has made the need to focus our
energies all the more essential. The tools of success are within all of us, but as we go about our hectic
lives, we could all use a little encouragement and support. Daruma urges us to remain determined, to
never give up on our dreams, and to achieve what we’ve set out to do.

How It Works
The centuries-old Daruma tradition is positive, constructive, and simple. First, think of something
special you wish to achieve. Next, draw or paint one of your Daruma doll’s blank eyes. Place Daruma
someplace visible, so that while he focuses on your objective, you’ll be reminded to do the same.
Once your goal is realized, signify your accomplishment by drawing Daruma’s other eye.

On welovedaruma.com’s “Tradition” page, viewers are encouraged to browse the five different colors our Daruma dolls come in, as well as learn about the meanings behind each one.

Red | Luck and Good Fortune | Great for students taking exams or athletes facing new seasons
Yellow | Security and Protection | Many people feel safer with a Yellow Daruma in the home
Purple | Health and Longevity | A silent but persuasive partner in a weight loss challenge
Gold | Wealth and Prosperity | Mark the beginning of a new venture or kick off a charity drive
White | Love and Harmony | Ideal wedding gift, starts newlyweds off in the right direction

“Roll With Your Heart”
Unlike any other Daruma doll, each We Love Daruma doll features a trademark hand-painted heart on
its back. Users may inscribe their goal or wish in this special spot. And, a sticker describing the
meaning of the Daruma doll’s color can be found on the underside of the doll.

Eco friendly
We Love Daruma dolls are handmade with recycled paper and only water-based paints in Takasaki
City, Japan under healthy and fair conditions.

We Love Daruma gives back
We’d like everyone’s wishes to have a chance to come true, so every time we sell a Daruma, we give
a portion of the proceeds to Children’s HeartLink, a non-profit organization that helps enhance
existing pediatric cardiac programs to support life-saving treatment for needy children.
(www.childrensheartlink.org) We believe charitable contributions are an essential component to any
business and are proud to make it a priority for ours.

Introducing…Daruma Kids
Inspired by the traditional Daruma, Daruma Kids are five friends who bring the adventure of
childhood to life with fun and stimulating stories. These original characters were developed with
modern kids and parents in mind, providing families with conversation-inspiring stories and mini
movies. Like grownup Darumas, the Daruma Kids present a positive and constructive message.
Through their actions, they champion principles like cooperation, friendship, perseverance, and

Be sure to watch the Daruma Kids pilot animation entitled “Blaze goes to Camp”, which can be
accessed from www.welovedaruma.com/kids.html

Each of the five Daruma Kids not only has a distinctive personality to call their own, but a color, too!
Hailing from different regions of Japan, Blaze, Carly, Rich, and the twins Dharma and Ollie come
together to help each other’s dreams come true.

Nintendo DSi

Owners of Apple iPhones are no longer the only geeks who can wirelessly download new software direct to their devices—from this month, Nintendo DSi buffs get to join in too.

The new DSi Ware Application Store performs much like the iPhone equivalent in that it’s packed with software of all sorts, from paper plane simulators to personal money trackers to brand new games.

While many apps are free, Nintendo clearly hopes developers will push the envelope for its new handheld, so we can expect to see plenty of novel uses for those DSi pinhole cameras.

Nintendo DSi


HAL is Back! And Stronger than Ever!

No, no…not the computationally murderous compulsive HAL from that space adventure, but HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) Cybernetic Suit from Cyberdyne Corporation of Japan, in conjunction with Daiwa House. The companies have begun mass production of a cybernetic bodysuit that augments body movement and increases user strength by up to tenfold.

The HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) suit works by detecting faint bio-electrical signals using pads placed on specific areas of the body. The pads move the HAL suit accordingly.

Among the potential applications, Cyberdyne is emphasizing helping people with movement disabilities, augmenting strength for difficult industrial tasks, disaster rescue, and entertainment.

The HAL suit is not currently available. But according to Nikkei News, Daiwa and Cyberdyne are planning an annual production of 400 units and they should be marketed at approximately $4,200 US dollars.

Related Links

Genki Japan has some hilarious and fun songs to help you learn Japanese

GenkiJapan.net has some hilarious and fun videos, games, and songs to help you learn Japanese. Warning: The songs do get stuck in your head! Ikura, Ikura, Ikura desu ka?

We put our favorite here but there are more and we want to put it up for a vote. So tell us…Which one is your favorite? Leave your vote in the comments below.

To see all the videos follow this link. The Learn Japanese Video List from GenkiJapan.net

iKnow – The social learning platform. Great for Japanese!

So you want to learn Japanese and you’ve bought books and you’ve bought tapes, but nothing to get you motivated. You’ve started and stopped so many times. Every time you’ve had to go back and review and start from scratch just to get frustrated and quit again. You haven’t been keeping up with your progress and you have no idea of what you have learned. You don’t know what to learn first or really how to do it on your own. You need help. You need something to keep you motivated and challenged. You want to ask questions and get answers back. You want it all for free! Ok that’s enough build up – enter iKnow. A great website filled with people, web applications, games and programs for helping you to learn any language. Japanese on this site is great. It’s fun, and it does more for you than keep track of your progress. It gives you that extra bit of interaction with great graphics and something that only friendly competition can bestow.

It’s an amazing site and in less than 6 months its really grown into something with over 350,000 users so far. There are more and more users added every day so go find a partner and get the help you need to get back to studying and kicking nihongo butt.

Start with the list below or try a harder one. You can even go all out and make you own lists and submit them to the site for others.



Ok this place is just fun and for two reasons. The guys working there all look like they are out of the new Willy Wonka movie for one. The other reason its so much fun and reminds me even more of the Willy Wonka movie is that they make CANDY! And its so good! They are making it right there in the store so its gotta be fresh. And it is! The place smells amazing! It smelt like cotton candy pina coladas in there. These guys are real artists or caramel artesans as they claim. There were all sorts of things made out of candy in the store. It was all so cute. I didn’t think the toothbrush candies were that cute, but maybe it will get the kiddies to brush their teeth after eating a ton of this stuff. No message there, right? They make those old fashioned lollipops, the ones with that swirl around and around, too.

I’ve always been more of a hard candy girl myself, not to say I don’t indulge in chocolate, but I love biting down on hard candy. I can’t suck on anything for long. I like that crunch and the pop that it makes as I grind my teeth into it. It’s that simple. And when you have something as flavorful as papabubble pop in your mouth you’ll too understand.

Needless to say I didn’t leave the store empty handed. I got a lollipop and a mixed pack of bite-size hard candies. And I’m not sharing!

Arai 1-15-13 Nakano, Tokyo