Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2017

Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival On April 22nd was the annual cherry blossom hanami festival in Stockholm (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”), Sweden. It's an event organized by the Japanese Association, and we were very happy to see that they - once Read more

Top Japanese places to visit in London

Top Japanese places to visit in London In this post we have collected our top Japanese places to visit in London. The city has so many places that are connected to Japan in one way or another. In our top Read more

Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo

Best art, crafts and stationery shops in Tokyo As a person who love all things art and crafts I've hunted down the best shops that I could find during my travels in Tokyo. Here's a guide to my personal favourites. Read more

Japan Candy Box review + giveaway

Japan Candy Box This is a promotional post. The Japan Candy Box was kindly sent to us to try and review for Why So Japan. We've been wanting to try a Japanese themed box for a long time now and thanks Read more

Japanese TV Adverts #54

It's been a while since we last posted about Japanese TV adverts from YouTube user JPCMHD who uploads them regularly. They're always fun to watch, and the latest upload includes adverts for Mouse the computer company, Y! Mobile with Read more

Danbo

Whysojapan Danbo

Danbo

Danbo started her life off when she appeared in the popular Japanese manga series Yotsuba&!  which has been published since 2003. The series has been translated into English for the American market as of 2005 and both are still being published to this day. The manga series is about a five year old girl called Yotsuba Koiwai. Yotsuba is not your normal five year old, she doesn’t really care about the things a five year old normally would care about. She is described as odd, quirky and strange. The series follows her discovery of life with lots of misunderstandings of everyday life, all put together in a comedic way.

Whysojapan Danbo

Introducing Danbo

Danbo (ダンボー) first appared in issue 28 from April 2006 as Yotsuba older friend Miura Hayasaka who had dressed in costume as a robot made up of cardboard boxes for a school assignment. Yotsuba discovers Miura’s  costume and Miura tries to playfully convince her that she is some sort of “attack robot” that is powered by money that can be inserted in the slot on her chest. Miura names her cardboard box robot Danbo.

Danbo takes over the world

Danbo became internet famous around late 2007 when Japanese company Kaiyodo started to produce small action figues of Danbo with movable arms, legs and head (which also can light up and be removed and replaced with Miura’s head on certain models). Danbo is most known for her photos where people have placed her in different cute situations by their millions and sharing them on the net to sites like flickr.  A simple google image search will show just how popular she is. Danbo has several name variations, like Danboard, Danboru, Danbooru and Cardbo, but by far is best known as Danbo.

Whysojapan Danbo

Danbo Products

Lots of Danbo versions and products have been made since the first action figure back in 2007. As a fan of Danbo we bought our first Danbo back in 2010 after seeing loads of cute pictures online. We just had to have one! The one we got happened to be the Danbo mini amazon.co.jp version, which was a hard to get a hold of and cost a lot more than what it would have done nowadays, or if we had been in Japan to buy it. We’ve done two unboxing videos, which can be seen at the end of the post.

Whysojapan Danbo Whysojapan Danbo

Buying Danbo

If you can’t travel to Tokyo, we would say check online. Places like amazon have a great and not so expensive selection of products – from the figures to the very popular battery pack.

If you do get the chance to visit Tokyo, then jump on the train and head to Akihabara (electric town). There are at least two shops that we know of that sell Danbo products. The first is the newly renovated Radio Kaikan, which has lots of smaller shops inside. You will find Radio Kaikan just outside Akihabara train station. It’s a mega store with all your otaku dreams come true. We found a couple of shops selling Danbo products in there, even though one only had a small miniature figure for sale. The other store, which is more worth checking, out is on the 5th floor and is called Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo. It had a couple different products, one being the limited edition Danbo with Japan post covering her. Check out the display of all the limited Danbo we found outside the store.

Map to store: Google maps
Homepage address: http://www.akihabara-radiokaikan.co.jp/

Whysojapan

Whysojapan

For the other store you will need to cross over the road to the back street of Akihabara. The shop is called Kotobukiya and has a great selection of Danbo products to buy. If you love Danbo I would recommend this shop. We found lots of different products to look at and buy, and there is even a life size model of her to been seen.

Map to store: Google maps
Homepage address: http://www.kotobukiya.co.jp/store/akiba/

Whysojapan

Whysojapan

Hope you enjoyed our guide to Danbo! If you have any other tips on good places to buy Danbo products please let us know.

 





Posted on by Paul in Characters, Shopping 1 Comment

Japanese TV Adverts #38 – #40

In our latest post with all the Japanese adverts that have been on in the last month or two in Japan we find some of the following: lots of ads for Nintendos, different game systems, Calorie Mate, Line, a really cute mascot for book-off, a new advert from idol group HKT48, AKB48’s 38th new single, Softbank, ZOFF glases, and a couple of adverts using Christmas Themes to sell their products (even tho Christmas is not an official holiday in Japan, it’s becoming more popular nowadays). Enjoy!

As always, please check out this YouTube user for more adverts: http://www.youtube.com/user/JPCMHD
Also check out older posts with Japanese TV adverts under the media category to the right of this post.





Posted on by Paul in Media Leave a comment

4TE – Japanese influenced j-pop girl group

whysojapan 4TE

4TE – Japanese influenced j-pop girl group

4TE (pronounced forte) are a new Japanese influenced j-pop girl group. They have just released their first single M O R E. Their music has a very Japanese vibe to it and really reminds us of the j-pop girl group Perfume and Japanese electro group Capsule, both produced by Yasutaka Nakata. The main difference is that 4TE are not from Japan. Not that you would know that they are not from Japan, since the group has captured the essence of what a j-pop group is in their music, both in style and language.

4TE are based in the southwest of the USA. Because the girls are not situated in the same location the rely on the internet to run the group, where they all work together on every aspect – from the music to the group’s image and concepts.

Group members

4TE consists of Chii, Jenny, Micchi, and Mei.

Chii is a Mexican-American singer and songwriter, studying audio engineering and vocal performance. She has her own YouTube channel with over half a million views and she is the winner of the “Singer Search Award 2013” hosted by NHK World.

Mei is a Chinese-Indonesian-American actress, singer, and songwriter. She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at the Azusa Pacific University. She currently lives in Osaka, Japan, where she works at Universal Studios.

whysojapan_4TE_group_members

Jenny is a Colombian-American singer and songwriter.  She has studied music studied, visual arts, graphic design and taken studies in sound engineering and entertainment technology. She has taken part in countless bands and online musical projects with various Japanese and western genres.

Micchi is a Filipino-American dancer, trained in tap dance, hip hop, jazz, flamenco, and contemporary ballet with a focus in Classical Russian ballet. She’s been invited to several anime conventions, such as Anime Matsuri, Omnicon, and Shimakon, under the dancing duo “Aquakia”.

whysojapan 4TE

The first single and music video: M O R E

The music video and first single M O R E was released on January 4, 2015. We’ve listened to the single a few times and watched the video a couple of times so far and we think it’s really good. If you’re into Perfume’s music, then I’m sure you will love M O R E.

Our thoughts

With the first single M O R E being a strong first release, we are excited to see what 4TE will deliver next. If their next song is as good as their first, maybe the next time Perfume are in the US you might just see 4TE as the opening act.

Find 4TE online:
Official site: http://www.4teofficial.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/4TEofficial
Twitter: https://twitter.com/4teENG
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/4TEofficial

4TE are back with a new single check our review: http://www.whysojapan.com/4te-new-music-video-ippo-zutsu/





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Music, Reviews 1 Comment

Book Review: Halfway Home: Drawing My Way Through Japan

whysojapan halfway home Christine Mari Inzer

Halfway Home Drawing my way through Japan

Christine Mari Inzer, age 17, is the author behind the book. Christine is half American and half Japenese. She was born in Japan but moved to the States at a at young age with her family. She is currently a high school senior in Connecticut. “Halfway Home drawing my way through Japan” is her first published book and the book brings out two of Christine’s talents – a great young writer and brilliant comic book drawer. She has already recieved lots of appreciation from fellow writers.  With this book being her first, if she continues to persuit a career in writing books, it’s a great strong start.

About the book

whysojapan book review Halfway Home: Drawing My Way Through JapanWe get to follow Christine as she travels back to Japan on her own for the first time. The book takes us on every step of her journey, from the second she leaves the airport (all nervous about the long trip that she has in front of her), all around Japan and back home. I can really recognise myself in the way Christine feels about travelling to Japan. It’s quite hard work with all the airport stuff and then sitting on a plane not being able to sleep when every one around you is fast asleep. Once Christine is in Japan we get to follow her on her trip, from meeting her family that she hasn’t seen for a long time, to going it alone and taking on the street of Tokyo. We get to see and read about some of Christine’s favourite things in Japan, like going to MOS burger and more. Christine also takes us with her as she travels to over parts of Japan with her grandma and gets to see some more traditional Japan and a lot more. I don’t want to tell you what happens in the whole book because it’s best to read it in Christine’s own words.

whysojapan halfway home Christine Mari Inzer

What we thought of the book

I found the book to be a great and easy read with lot’s of comical pages. I love the mixture of both the sketches, photos and the text. I found that the sketches compliment the book in a great a way. Instead of having a whole page of text trying to explain something, Christine’s drawings explains it so well. The book is perfect for those who don’t like to read a lot but still enjoy a good story. What makes it different from a lot of books on Japan is that it’s written by a young person, it is something that’s not very often seen. Apart from being a good read, the book can also work as a little guide to Japan, since the book features places Christine visits, like Harajuku and Kyoto. Maybe you’re planning your first trip to Japan and maybe you need a more personal insight to Japan? Then this book would be perfect for you. And if you’re like me and can not sleep during that long-haul flight to Japan, then take “Halfway Home drawing my way through Japan” onborad with you –  a perfect way to spend your time flying into Japan. Even if you’re not going to Japan or have already been there, this book is still a fun read. The book is for ages 12 and up.

The book is available to buy online via stores like Amazon etc. Links to US & UK store.
Check out Christines official site at http://christinemari.com/





Posted on by Paul in Media, Reviews, Shopping Leave a comment

Japanese TV Adverts #36 and #37

Here’s our latest post of some of the best Japanese TV adverts that are on TV or recently have been on TV across Japan. We start off with a couple of talking crazy singing grilled riceballs, a fun Japanese version of the Snickers advert, an ad for Facebook (something we never see on TV here in Europe), a cool advert from Softbank with Pepper the robot (which we saw while in Tokyo recently), an advert from YouTube starring popular jvlogger “blingirl” and a lot more. Hope you enjoy!

As always, please check out this YouTube user for more adverts: http://www.youtube.com/user/JPCMHD
Also check out older posts with Japanese TV adverts under the media category to the right of this post.





Posted on by Paul in Media Leave a comment