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JAPAN - Where tradition meets the future

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mameshiba

Looking For Mameshiba In Tokyo

whysojapan looking for mameshiba in tokyo

Looking For Mameshiba In Tokyo

A reader of the blog emailed me and asked me about finding Mameshiba in Tokyo. He was a father that was travelling to Japan and wanted to buy some Mameshiba merchandise while on their trip, for a family member back home. In the email the father also asked if Mameshiba was still popular in Japan. They would be visisting a couple of cities during their trip, one of them being Tokyo. Mameshiba is one of our favorite Japanese characters, so on one of our trips to Tokyo we went on the search over most of Tokyo to find the cute little “bean dogs”.

Here’s our answer to the email:

On the first occation we visited Tokyo we had problems finding anything to do with Mameshiba. On our second trip we were more succesful. The two shops I can recommend you check out are both toy shops.

The first shop is Hakuhinkan Toy Park in Ginza. This shop seemed to have a special offer selling Mameshiba, if its still on now I cant be sure, but its worth checking it out.

The address is:
Hakuhinkan Toypark 8-8-11 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan (Map link)
The website is: http://www.hakuhinkan.co.jp/
Closest subway station: Ginza (on the Tokyo Metro)

The second shop is Yamashiroya in Ueno. This is also a toy shop. When I was there, Mamishiba stuff was on the bottom floor around the other soft toys.

The address is:
有)ヤマシロヤ   Japan, Tokyo, Taito, Ueno, 6丁目14−6 (Map link)
Closest subway station: Ueno (on the JR Yamanote line)
The website is: http://www.e-yamashiroya.com/

Of course, all of this can change since we were there last year, but I think these two shops are your best bet. There’s one more big toy shop in Tokyo, Kiddy Land in Harajuku/Shibuya, but we have never found any Mameshiba stuff there.

****Update 13th sept. 2014 we got some information that still both shops stock Mameshiba products so that great****

****New update 7th march. 2015 from a user that posted a reply to this post, is that its better to go to Hakuhinkan Toypark seems the other shop did not have or had very little available for sale****

I still see adverts being made with Mameshiba, makes me believe they’re still popular. Good luck and hope you have a great time in Japan and find what you’re looking for.

If you have any tips on the hunt for Mameshiba in Tokyo, please share..!





Posted on by Paul in Characters, Shopping 10 Comments

Mameshiba Love Winter book review

whysojapan mameshiba love winter book

Mameshiba Love Winter

The second book to be released by Viz media featuring the Mameshibas was Mameshiba Love Winter. The book was first released in November of 2011, which at the time made it the perfect Christmas present for me to give to a loved one. The book was bought from the UK, from Amazon if I remember correctly. I’ve noticed that Amazon still have it for sale. Follow this link for more info (amazon.co.uk). When I bought the book it wasn’t very expensive at all, and with buying it from the UK and Amazon, it was fast delivered and in time to be given away as a present on Christmas day that year.

whysojapan mameshiba love winter book whysojapan mameshiba love winter book

Mameshiba Love Winter is a hardback book that consists of around 12 pages or so. This book is very different from the first book. The first book was more about getting to know the Mameshibas. On the very first page of the book is an envelope that says to be very special. Inside the envelope your find some cardboard cutouts on your favourite Mameshibas, and a selection of winter themed stickers. Now you might wonder what all of they are for. Well, if you go to the last page of the book, a winter castle will pop out of the book, allowing you to place them around the castle and cover them with stickers.

whysojapan mameshiba love winter bookThe story to this book is all about the Mameshibas’ day, playing out in the snow, and while some of the Mameshibas are playing around in the snow with their sledges and snow balls, the others decide that they need to make a castle, but not any sort of castle – a snow castle. Through this short story you get see them design and build their castle to the end, where the castle becomes a popup book. That’s where the story ends and your own imagination begins.

The book is a another great way of getting children that might not be aware of Mameshiba into them. The book has nice pictures and even if its a bit short, it is still fun to read and even if you dont use the castle at the end of the book, it still makes it a great addition to your Mameshiba collection.

Feel free to read our other posts on Mameshiba via the links below:
http://www.whysojapan.com/japanese-characters-mameshiba/
http://www.whysojapan.com/meet-mameshiba-book/





Posted on by Paul in Characters, Shopping Leave a comment

Meet Mameshiba! Book review

whysojapan meet mameshiba book

Mameshiba

If you haven’t heard about the Japanese character Mameshiba, read the previous post that we have published all about them: Japanese characters: Mameshiba

Meet Mameshiba!

Meet Mameshiba! is the first book from Viz Media. Viz Media is one of the largest distributors and licensors of anime and manga in North America and has now taken on Mameshiba to bring it to the world. The books are published in English, which is great for us that love Mameshiba but don’t understand Japanese. The first book was first available to buy from the 5th of July 2011.

The first book Meet Mameshiba! is exactly what its called – a book all about each character. Some of the mameshibas you get to meet are Edamame, Tiger Bean, Soybean, Chili Bean and other of their friends.

The book guides you through the world of Mameshibas, giving you loads of small facts about them. The book includes some of the Mameshiba saying, small quizzes, how to draw your own Mameshiba, true and false pages, small comics, and even a page that helps you learn some basic words in Japanese, and more.

whysojapan meet mameshiba book whysojapan meet mameshiba book

The book consist of 96 pages and the book comes in a paper back version and has a square shape to it. The book is very colourful. It is very light on text, there are mostly pictures, which makes its a great book for kids that you want to introduce to the world of Mameshibas. Its also a great collectors item.

We bought our book from amazon.co.uk but the book is available from many online shops all over the world. The book costs around £5 when we got it on the release date.

More reviews are to come in later posts, of the other Mameshiba books that have been made available in English. Stay tuned!

whysojapan meet mameshiba book whysojapan meet mameshiba book

Link to the book on amazon.co.uk:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Meet-Mameshiba-Carrie-Shepherd/dp/1421539721/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371836238&sr=1-4&keywords=mameshiba

 

 

 





Posted on by Paul in Characters, Shopping 1 Comment

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

The internet and the rest of the world outside of Japan saw Kyary Pamyu Pamyu for the first time when she released her music video PonPonPon. It was a big hit on YouTube and seen by millions. The music was catchy and the video was colourful, fun and weird.

But Kyary’s career began before that. She was walking through Harajuku with a friend and was stopped on the street by a photographer from the fashion magazine KERA. He asked if he could take their photo for a streetsnap to be published in the magazine, which they agreed to do. The photo can be seen here (extrernal link). That was the start of her modelling career, and soon she was being paid for shoots and regulary appearing in the magazines Zipper and KERA. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu became more and more famous and soon she was became a fashion blogger, and appearing on fashion shows and TV shows.

After meeting and working with music producer Nakata Yasutaka of capsule, she released her single Ponponpon and the mini-album Moshi Moshi Harajuku. The mini album was followed by more singles, and soon a full album was released as well.

kyary pamyu pamyu music why so japanHer musical career really took off, and soon she was performing not only in small venues, but even bigger arenas and festivals as well, and earlier this year she went on her first world tour, performing in Belgium, France and the UK, then Asia and the United States. She’s currently back in Asia again and will finish her world tour in Shibuya, where she started her career. Several of her concerts during this world tour have been sold out. One of them was the concert in London, and we were two of the lucky ones to be at that concert. Paul will write and post a full report about it here soon, including photos and videos from the London concert.

When KPP isnt performing around the world, she hosts two TV shows, Space Shower AREA and Catherine the Third and also stars in a show called TVJohn. She’s also has her own radio show on kyary pamyu pamyu fake eyelashes why so japanNicoNico Douga and appears in several TV commercials.

For her single and music video Tsukema Tsukeru she collaborated with the Mameshiba charachers, where the commercial for her new music video featured special KPP versions of mameshiba, called “Mameshipamyupamyus”. These special Mameshibas were also released as plush dolls. Paul has written about Mameshiba in a previous post, which you can find here.

There are a lot of Kyary products available, such as her own line of fake eyelashes (Harajuku Doll Eyelashes by Eyemazing x Kyary), books (her autobiography is called “Oh! My God!! Harajuku Girl” and she’s done a Tokyo guide book called “Moshi Moshi ☆ TOKYO”) and other things too.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is famous for mixing the cute and kawaii with the obscure and weird. One example being a cute bow with a weird eyeball in the middle.

kyary pamyu pamyu book why so japan

If you want to know more about Kyary, there’s an excellent blog on Tumblr with loads of information, facts, photos, videos, translations and more. Its called Kyarychan and can be found here: kyarychan.tumblr.com

Her music is cute, upbeat and happy, and I like most of her songs. My favourite song though is probably the lesser known “Onedari 44°C”. Whats your favourite KPP song?





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Music Leave a comment

Japanese Characters: Mameshiba

Mameshiba why so japan
Mameshiba is a merchandise franchise that you can find in Japan and also to the lesser amount in the rest of the world. I would say that Mameshiba is one the more well known characters in Japan. A mameshiba is a kind of bean dog character. The little bean has a face similar to a dog. Mame means bean in Japanese and shiba is a well known breed of dog in Japan. And the phrase mame shiba refers to a toy or puppy Shiba Inu.

Mameshiba 2 why so japanWhat is even more special with Mameshiba is that he or she always has a little fact to tell you, something that you probably didnt know.

Mameshiba first became popular via interstitial program that where broadcast on TV over Japan instead of adverts. Each advert would run for about 30 seconds or so and would be animated and would always have an interesting fact to share with its audience.

That advert also become very popular on YouTube with most of them being subtitled into English. After Mameshiba became so popular more and more products were being produced in Japan and being sold as small plush toys in the US via the store Hot Topic. I think that’s where I bought my first one.

In Japan there are lots of products that have been made in connection with the Mameshiba franchise. Lots of plushies in every size possible. I’ve also seen key rings, chopsticks, books, stationary and more. To date four books have been made by Viz Media that are produced in English. In a later post I will show you them and give a brief review about each one.

Mameshiba 3 why so japan Mameshiba 4 why so japan
There have also been what I guess you could say are spin offs of Mameshiba. You have Baby-Shiba which is a series of the baby shiba, Babyshiba Fruits and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu also has her own Mameshiba characters, the main one is being called Mameshipamyupamyus and both have appeared in TV adverts together.

Mameshiba 5 why so japan
One of the most popular Mameshiba is called Edamame. He is the green bean dog and his interesting fact is that “the inside of a kangaroo pouch is supposedly really stinky”.  That I bet you didnt know, but you know now.

I would say that Mameshiba is definitely one of my most favourite Japanese character that I always return home with.

Whats yours?





Posted on by Paul in Characters 2 Comments