Condom connoisseurs

With condom sales currently sluggish at best, contraceptive manufacturers are continually looking for ways to increase interest in their product; novelty items especially being a popular choice when it comes to tempting would-be wooers.

However with Japan once again coming last in the most recent ‘how often are you getting it?’ survey, condom makers are faced with a very stiff challenge indeed, the 2005 study showing that the average Japanese only finds time for a bit of a fumble 45 times a year. A number that makes even Singaporeans seem sex mad, although their second to last figure of 73 sexual sorties is still way behind the top placed Greeks Olympian tally of 138.

Still, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, hopes in the industry are high, prompting one company to release the rather playful chocolate themed effort below. A product that provides the chance of a little extra excitement during break time.

kitkat condoms

And fear not those after something a bit more savoury, as amongst other items, online retailer Rakuten is offering an, erm, chicken ramen flavoured option.

japanese noodles

flavoured condoms

Just make sure you leave home with the right one.

Monkey (not so) magic

“The biggest reason it failed was because of a lack of promotion. That, and it was a bit grotesque, with scenes featuring humans being devoured by dinosaurs and giant bugs.”

Movie critic Mutsuo Sato attempting to explain why King Kong hasn’t been an especially big hit in Japan.

Considering that the country is home to the likes of Godzilla and tentacle porn, Sato-san’s latter point is perhaps a little suspect. However as far as promotion – or indeed the lack of it – goes, he appears to be spot on.

‘Low-key’ and ‘on the cheap’ being polite criticism for some of the advertising efforts on show.

king kong japan

Harem scare ’em

A man in western Tokyo is currently under police investigation due to his unusual living arrangements, the 57-year-old sharing his home with a staggering ten women. Yet despite all the ladies being in their 20s and 30s, officials have stressed that Hirohito Shibuya is not being pushed to divulge his phenomenal pulling power. Rather, they are looking into a claim that one woman was told not to spill the beans about the situation after she refused an invitation to join, Shibuya-san allegedly threatening her by saying, “You will be in danger if you tell this to anybody”.

Japanese playboy

The group’s unusual set-up started in February 2000, when Shibuya divorced his wife and started living with several women. An incident he has never looked back from, as after a few more marriages and divorces he has continued to increase his number of partners, the majority of those who have divorced him opting to stay on at the house – most of them also choosing to retain his family name.

In a residential area where curtains must be continually twitching, neighbours maintain that shifty Shibuya stays at home every day, whereas the young women go out each morning – presumably to work. Although this is not to say that the 57-year-old is nothing but a lazy ladies man, as he claims to practice fortune-telling from the house. A profession that appears to have played a major role in creating this unconventional situation in the first place, the middle-aged mystic telling investigators that, “After starting fortune-telling at home, female clients have gathered around me, and now we lead a communal life, just like polygamy”.

Shibuya further added to his mystique – whilst at the same time hinting at a secret that could net him a fortune – by saying, “I realised that I can attract women by reciting a charm”.

A statement that going off appearances could well be true.

*Update: It has since been reported that during a search of the house investigators found a stun gun and tear gas spray, suggesting that Shibuya-san backed his charms and captivating good looks with rather more forceful measures.

Sausage sorcery

As youngsters all over Japan take entrance examinations in the hope of bagging a place at their school or university of choice, snack manufacturers are equally busy trying to extract as much money as possible from these sleep deprived and stressed out students.

Nestle for one has it easy, as ‘Kit Kat’ is similar sounding to the Japanese for ‘definitely win’; meaning the multinational need only release different flavours of the popular biscuit to have the nation’s youth clamouring desperately for a bit of sugar-based superstitious success.

Yet despite having a much bigger mountain to climb, fish-based foodstuff maker Maruha has made a bid of its own for a piece of this lucrative market. The wily company bringing out a special edition of its, erm, fish sausages.

fish sausages

Realising early on that the product could be a tough sell, Maruha has ingeniously stamped each and every snack with the word gokaku (pass), encouraging students to mistakenly believe that sucking on a sausage will ultimately bring success.

lucky sausage

But even after packing its ‘lucky’ product with extra DHA, given the choice of nibbling on this:

japanese sausage

Instead of this:

green tea kitkat

The word ‘pass’ could become more appropriate than Maruha ever imagined.

Bloggies blackmail

After losing spectacularly in the 2005 Bloggies, I’ve been lucky enough to get nominated in the Asian category again this year, offering me the perfect opportunity to bow out with a whimper for a second straight time.

However instead of just lying down and accepting defeat, I’ve took the rather drastic step of bringing in some help; the dubious services of cosplay legend The Green Goddess intended to ward off at least a last place finish.

cosplay freaks

Possibly spurred on by the recent introduction of naked taiko, our beret wearing beauty is threatening to take off that tight fitting green outfit and do a spot of nude gymnastics if Tokyo Times doesn’t put up a decent showing. All in front of the camera too. The performance set to end with the lens lingering just a little too long on the leotard lacking lovely doing the splits.

cosplay beauty

So the choice is yours, click here to vote or the video it is…