Friday, 26 August 2011

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When I was in Tokyo in 2009, I discovered the most wonderful thing on earth: mameshiba. Mameshiba is a Japanese cartoon based on various types of beans with doggy features that come to life and freak out people by stating rather obscure facts about various things, typically food and biology. If you’re familiar with mameshiba though, you probably just know the edamame bean, which is most famous for being an adorable keychain novelty where you pop him out of his pod and he’ll have a funny face:


But there are many other types including a peanut, black bean and coffee beans and they all have some random facts to give their unsuspecting “audience” (victim might be a more appropriate choice given the reactions the beans tend to get). In fact their name is a play on the Japanese word  for trivia “mamechishiki”. Literally the name means “bean dog” (a shiba is a breed of dog) which is basically the most adorable thing I have ever seen in my entire life!

Mameshiba is so big now, apparently 78% of Japanese adults recognise the characters! It’s also infiltrated the USA and Canada and one can only hope it will make its way to Australia shores soon. You would not believe how much merchandise you can get. Personally I got a couple of bits and pieces while in Tokyo (notepads, stickers, keychains etc) but at Supanova last year one stall had a giant edamame pillow that I simply could not refuse!

If you’d like to get into mameshiba and their wonderful world, I suggest checking out all of their videos. Then once you’re hooked, you can get all of them as wallpapers! You’d better believe my work desktop now scrolls through all of them throughout the day!

Japan, have I told you lately how aesome and CUTE you are?


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Cara Westworth
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