Tag: Shibuya

Become Your Kitty’s Twin With A Japanese Company’s Creepy Cat Mask

As we’ve documented quite a bit on this blog — and via my own travels in Japan — the Japanese are absolutely crazy for cats, and their obsession has led to some strange inventions.

From the country that brought you cat shrines, cat train conductors and cat baby carriages comes My Family, a company that can turn you into your cat’s twin with customized kitty masks.

For a paltry $2,700 (we told you they’re obsessed), all you need to provide are some good photos of your feline master, and the totally normal people at My Family will craft and ship your creepy-looking kitty visage right to your home.

Here’s our totally accurate translation:

Step 1: Put on your cat mask:

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Step 2: Pick up your cat and traumatize him or her for life:

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Step 3: Prepare to be bitten and clawed.

Just look at the cat above. He’s not saying “Hey! There’s my beloved owner, and he looks like me now!”

Nope.

That cat is like “WTF dude get away from me! Put me down! I cannot unsee this!”

We ran the idea by Buddy, and while he says my wearing a mask of his face would be an improvement (hey, he is handsome), he would certainly bite me if I spent $2,700 on a Buddy mask instead of a Roomba.

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A normal scene in a Japanese sake bar.

NUDE TRUMP: WTF Is This?!

Now what’s an American tourist to make of this?

What the hell is this place?

An art gallery featuring images of the 45th president in the buff?

“These are terrific! Tremendous! I take the best nudes, I really do, okay folks?”

Maybe some sick theme restaurant? A Trump-owned strip club?

Turns out it’s a vintage clothing store, a place that’s been supplying Shibuya’s trendsetters with bizarre Americana and loud kitsch for several decades.

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The interior of NUDE TRUMP, a clothing store that caters to Shibuya’s hipsters.

The name isn’t inspired by President Trump, according to owner Hayao Matsumura: It’s a reference to vintage playing cards decorated with pinup models.

The neighboring Trump room, described as a favorite haunt of Tokyo hipsters, is also unaffiliated with the president.

Shibuya: Where Dogs Rule

Every day on his way home from work, Hidesaburō Ueno would step off the train at Shibuya Station and find his Akita dog, Hachiko, waiting for him.

Hachiko adored Ueno, an agriculture engineering professor at Tokyo Imperial University, now called the University of Tokyo.

Then one day Ueno was in mid-lecture in front of a class of students when he suffered a brain hemorrhage and died on the spot.

For the first time, Hachiko went to Shibuya Station and didn’t see his beloved human step off the train to greet him.

The little dog went back the next day. And the next. And the day after that.

Hachiko went to the Shibuya Station every day for the next 10 years, until he died of old age.

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Today the world’s most loyal dog is remembered with a statue at Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest intersection.

It’s a place marked by impermanence — three thousand pedestrians traverse Shibuya’s scramble crossing during every traffic light cycle, and thousands of faces come and go on the array of massive video screens overlooking the intersection.

The one thing that never changes is Hachiko, standing in the same spot he returned to every day, eternally keeping watch for his buddy.

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In 2015, the University of Tokyo unveiled a new statue on its campus, reuniting Hachiko with Ueno in the afterlife:

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Photo credit: Joyce Lam/TimeOut Tokyo

Finally, who’s that dapper fellow pouring sake? That’s my man Satoshi, bartender at what he translated as a “little drink box” —- one of Shibuya’s tiny bars, dozens of which are packed into alleys between the main streets.

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Satoshi’s bar seats five people, so we drank with two Tokyo natives who kindly humored me and my questions while my brother did his best at translating. He’s pretty good! I’m proud of him for learning the language so well, even though he insists he’s not very good.

Today I return to Shibuya to help my sister-in-law find a birthday present for my brother, and my next stop is Odaiba to meet a life-size Gundam RX-0 Unicorn.

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Photo credit: Tom Roseveare

Note: All photos by Big Buddy unless noted. The photos of Shibuya Crossing were taken from an observation platform on the rooftop of a nearby building.