I’m safely back in Japan after the 16 hour door-to-door hop from San Diego. Whenever I come back to Japan after being in the U.S. I enjoy “surfing” the minor bits of culture shock I encounter. As I’m getting off the plane, I know there’ll be one thing that suddenly makes me realize I’m back home, whether it’s a catching a view of the official character of Narita Airport or seeing the famous “Narita Hot Dog guy” statue. This time it was an advertisement for JAL’s duty free products, promising “Trendy Gift to You in a Lofty Space in the Sky.” This year I was surprised to see drizzly skies, since I happened to return in the middle of Japan’s rainy season, something I’d forgotten about as I usually plan my schedule so that I’m in California during this time of year.
Part of Peter’s Unified Theory of Japan is that the Japanese greatly desire to be seen in a favorable light by other nations, especially the countries of the West. A lot of what the Japanese do, such as the creation of Japan’s high-speed Shinkansen train system in time for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, were largely done so foreigners who visit the country would oo and ah about how advanced Japan is. There is no higher honor for Japan than to have one of its own attain fame around the world, and various men such as writers Yukio Mishima and Yasunari Kawabata, directors Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki and manga illustrator Shirow Masamune have become legendary inside Japan in part for attaining fame in the world stage. Whenever some new event happens, such as Mt. Fuji winning official UNESCO registry as a World Heritage Site or baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki’s upcoming 3000th lifetime hit in the MLB, everyone here gets giddy with excitement. Recently a team of researchers in Tokyo has discovered the 113th heaviest element in the universe, which they promise to name nihonium (after nihon, the name for Japan in Japanese), which naturally has everyone beaming with pride.
You know that Japan is adept at making some truly amazing toys for personal stress relief, including toys that parody popular anime characters. We’ve got great toys, including a Bakuon! parody, Megumin from Konosuba, plus a toy that promises to change the way you look at your solo playtime forever. Browse the new items now!