A sugary smile

Valentines Day is just around the corner, and in Japan it’s customary for women to give men chocolate on the 14th. But there’s chocolate, and then there is chocolate. Check out the tasty Mona Lisa below that’s on display at Tokyo’s Salon du chocolat. 13kg of chocolate went into painting this.

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Go ahead and call me unromantic, and perhaps a little bit cynical, but isn’t this somewhat excessive? There again, look at this chocolate copy of Brussels’s Grand Platz.

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Now that’s excessive!

Table tennis ball avalanche

For all you table tennis ball avalanche aficionados out there (and you know who you are), here’s a website courtesy of F*cked Gaijin that will keep you happy for a long time.

For anybody unaware of table tennis avalanche studies, here’s a picture of some tests conducted in Japan.

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The site even has videos. What are you waiting for?

Schoolboy humour

Recently at my school, we had the rather tedious task of teaching the second graders (13 year olds) tag questions. After wowing them with such fascinating examples as,

You are from Japan, aren’t you?

and

You can play baseball, can’t you?

they seemed ready to have a go themselves. So, on the board we wrote,

You _______ her, don’t you?

The usual eager students (3 of them) put their hands up, and the chosen one confidently shouted out his answer, adding extra emphasis to the missing word.

You DO her, don’t you?

Sadly, in a class full of schoolboys (and schoolgirls), it was left to the 34 year old English teacher to laugh furtively. A great opportunity missed.

You would have found it funnier if you’d been there, wouldn’t you?

A footballing saviour?

Japan’s long and desperate search for a consistent and quality striker may at last be over. How FIFA will react to the news is as yet unknown, but the Japanese Football Association must barely be able to control their glee.

The Sony produced Qrio certainly looks the part, although programmers are apparently having problems getting the young upstart to gesticulate wildly at officials, and dive at the slightest hint of contact.

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Minor league, major mistake

“CLEVELAND — Indians minor leaguer Kazuhito Tadano is asking for forgiveness for what he called a one-time mistake — his appearance in a gay porn video in which he engaged in a homosexual act.”

If a football player in England came out with such a confession, I dread to think what kind of heckling (at the very least) he would have to endure week in and week out.

For Kazuhito Tadano’s sake, I hope baseball’s minor league fans are a little less malicious.

Somehow I doubt it.

An all too familiar political stunt

Japan’s wavy haired Prime Minister obviously felt no shame yesterday in having his picture taken with the nation’s favourite baseballing son, Hideki Matsui. No doubt Koizumi is hoping that some of Matsui’s immense popularity will rub off on him.

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But does he really believe that donning a Yankees jacket and smiling at the camera will cause the whole nation to forget that Japanese troops are now stationed in Iraq? Or that people simply won’t see through this transparent stunt?

Having said that, his rumoured game of naked tennis with Anna Kournikova tomorrow could be an altogether different story.