Life advice from Hello Kitty

Leave it to the folks of Sanrio to bring you the Hello Kitty Psychological Test. I took the one I seem to feel anxious lately… My analysis found that I “easily feel stressful” and recommended “exercise and Karaoke.”
Other tests include:

Rest sound knowing that Hello Kitty can help you with all of your life’s problems.



Automated Japan

My first few days back in Japan have been surreal. I feel I am experiencing reverse, reverse culture shock. One of the things to really hit me compared with New York is how mono-cultural it appears to be here. (Harajuku girls or other Japanese sub-cultures might seem extreme and unique, but their extremeness almost always follows a prescribed formula). It is only over time that you really begin to discern the subtle nuances in people.
I am staying with an old friend, V. My first night she took me to a local izakaya in Roppongi. (My beloved “local” is unfortunately now closed.)

This restaurant used a computer touch screen for placing your order . The photos of the various appetizers and entrees are displayed and you simply touch the item you want. Computerized voice over explanations are available as necessary.

The Japanese love to automate everything, robotic dogs, robotic nurses, will they soon eliminate the need for people?


Propaganda: The Making of Roppongi Hills

Yesterday, I walked around the Roppongi Hills complex and visited its museum where About the Making of Roppongi Hills featured this:

The old neighborhood was indeed a bad place, no greenery, narrow streets down which emergency vehicles could not fit, a darn fire hazard, I’d say.


A proposal for “a city that nurtures people with open minds” was put forward and approved by all.


Yippee for the new Roppongi Hills!


The manner poster

There seems to be signs everywhere telling you this is not allow or that is strictly prohibited. At my subway stations one sign reads, “any behavior that might inconvenience another person is not allowed.” Might inconvenience someone? That kind of covers a lot.
About a year ago the subway authority began a new campaign: the Manner Poster, kicking off with the one below. New posters followed every month or so highlighting bad behaviors to avoid such as don’t put make up on while on the subway.

At the bottom, for the benefit of English speakers, is written: “Good manners are not rules. They are born from consideration and respect for the people around us.”

manner_poster mannerposter

Earthquake preparedness

As a result of last weeks earthquake (really only a small rumble in Tokyo) I was issued this earthquake survival kit at work: The Ark III  – When it’s up to you to help yourself!

The company added a sticker: “Please do not tear off the film out of curiousity. Use for emergency purpose only.” The young guy who delivered it diligently explained, “this is so you don’t die.” I cannot figure out if he was being totally sarcastic or completely serious.

There was no instant English news to be had. Fortunately, MJ posted a play by play.
A few weeks ago a bigger quake hit while Antipixel was in the tub.