Leading lady

The staff at Keijuen nursing home in Fukuoka Prefecture whooped and hollered on Monday after hearing that Faust Tillman had finally died, making age-ravaged resident Yone Minagawa the world’s oldest known living person. In fact, barely able to hide their glee at the death of Ms Tillman, nurses hurriedly gave 114-year-old Minagawa-san an over-sized card reading, ‘Congratulations on becoming the world’s number 1’


Staff member Sumako Katsuki kindly found a bit of time during the festivities to divulge that the home’s star resident still enjoys a happy and rewarding existence, as “when she feels good, she ventures to the dining room by motorised wheelchair.”

Asked how it felt to be the world’s oldest person, Minagawa-san is unfortunately said to have been a little confused, wanting to know what day it was and if that lovely young man Bing Crosby would be coming to visit again.

Japanese giant

Having announced the Japanese release of its gargantuan Gundam figure quite some time ago, Bandai now appears to have deemed it necessary to display the titanic toy in shops to boost sales – although presumably only in the nation’s larger outlets, as standing at a whopping 1.5 metres, it does take up a fair bit of space.

RX-78-2 Gundam japan

Whether the display’s puny plastic chain is to protect the figure from customers – or even the opposite – isn’t exactly clear, but with a price tag of 350,000 yen ( 1,470 pound), safety measures are certainly sensible.

RX-78-2 Gundam japan

A toy that whilst lacking any large label lustre, is surprisingly popular amongst ladies of a Lilliputian nature.

giant gundam

A love of large weapons perhaps?

Butler-related babble

“The cafes fulfil a woman’s underlying desire to be rich and lavish by providing a special atmosphere and offering a realistic but temporal relationship with butlers.”

Japanese economist Shinichi Shinano from the Hamagin Research Institute amply proving that he has way too much time on his hands by attempting to explain the popularity of the nation’s burgeoning butler cafes.

Quite how realistic or indeed temporal the experience at a butler cafe may be is unclear, but with a simple cup of tea costing 1,050 yen (4.5 pound), the rich and lavish aspect is clearly indisputable.

swallowtail butler cafe tokyo

Yet what Shinano-san fails to mention is the underlying theme of ‘boy love’ said to pervade such places – albeit in a refined and butler-like manner.

Swallowtail’s vast majority of visitors it seems are women in their 20s and 30s, with Ayako Abe of K-Books – which runs the cafe and has several shops that sell manga depicting love between beautiful youths – explaining the market for such establishments by saying, “Our shops’ prime target customers are not women in their teens and 20s, but those in their 30s and 40s who got used to ‘boys’ love’ comics while they were young, and come to the stores with their daughters.”

For the rest of the article* just click here.

*Includes a bonus maid picture for those a little bashful about the ‘boy love’ business.

Torn up in Tokyo

As Charles Bukowski once wrote, ‘you get so alone at times that it just makes sense’. A sentiment that very often rings true, especially in a huge city like Tokyo.

But not always.

lonely japanese

(image via the FG forums)

Happily hoodwinked

tokyo pachinko

Roughly translated into pachinko parlance as, ‘please come in and smoke yourself silly* whilst gambling away all your money trying to desperately divert bucket loads of ball bearings.’

pachinko japan

*Smoking optional

(let’s click lagoon-like image for larger language lapse)

Fan fun fan?

Whilst this year’s Miss Nippon contest in Tokyo featured the usual soporific question and answer session that allows each contestant to profess their love of children and hopes for world peace, it did break with tradition somewhat by asking the finalists to “use your fan to express your feelings right now” during the kimono section. A challenging request it has to be said, and one that resulted in apparent expressions of confusion,

miss japan


miss japan

and other things altogether.

miss japan

Even the bashful covering of a belch.

miss japan

Yet the organisers did conform to tradition in regards to the obligatory bikini round, although not eating for at least a week prior to performing appears to have been a prerequisite.

miss japan