Sanyo’s shameless suggestion

After sustaining substantial losses due to the earthquake in Niigata last October, electronics giant Sanyo has hit upon a novel way to claw back some money. As on Saturday the company asked its domestic employees to go on Sanyo spending sprees.

Perhaps if minor purchases had been proposed, this announcement wouldn’t have made the news, but the figures suggested simply beggar belief. Division chiefs have been asked to buy up to 500,000 yen (2,500 pound) worth of products, and regular rank-and-file workers up to 200,000 yen (1,000 pound).

A spokesperson said that if every employee met the company’s specified target, sales would be boosted by about 16 billion yen. And in an act of selfless generosity by Sanyo, it has been said that workers will be allowed to include purchases by relatives and acquaintances in their money-spent-under-duress totals.

That said, perhaps they’ll all be happy to rush out and spend their hard earned cash on Sanyo Winnie the Pooh toasters.

winnie the pooh toast

Or there again, perhaps not.

Sumo in Vegas

The Japanese Sumo Association has announced that a 110 strong group (consisting of wrestlers, referees, and ushers) will take part in a three-day exhibition tour of Las Vegas this autumn. An event that should produce a few memorable images if nothing else.

Especially if the distinctive looking Toki could manage to squeeze his bulk and his sideburns into a white Elvis-esque jumpsuit.

toki

And it would be even better if the other sumo wrestler to sport sideburns, “tiny” Takanotsuru, joined him.

takanotsuru sumo

Serial snatcher

The Yokohama District Court found a 16-year-old boy guilty of stealing yesterday, and as a result put him on unlimited probation.

After being rumbled by a record shop owner whilst trying to steal a CD, the unnamed youngster would probably have gotten away with just a slap on the wrist. But instead the boy apologized profusely and promised to go home and get the necessary money to pay for the disc.

Contrary to what most people would have expected, the boy was as good as his word, and amazingly returned 20 minutes later to pay the store owner in full. The only problem was he got the money from an old lady’s purse, which he snatched soon after leaving the store. An act that raises considerable doubts about the boy’s morals, but not it has to be said, his resourcefulness.

Pigging out

Forget all that fancy stuff like sushi and sashimi, or tempura and tofu. If you want a no-nonsense cheap night out, how about a back to basics evening of pork and pints?

pigs and beer

Perhaps not eh?

The display’s liberal use of cotton wool is a nice touch though. Unlike my inability to avoid the reflection of those bicycles. Or my legs in the background for that matter.

Thank you

I’d like to take a bit of time out from the usual inane tittle-tattle to thank everyone who kindly nominated me for the 2005 Bloggies. Sadly I don’t know who you are, but thank you very much all the same.

It was a very nice surprise indeed to hear I’d been nominated, but that was nothing compared to how I felt when informed that Tokyo Times had actually made it as a finalist in the Best Asian Weblog category. Considering the wealth of quality blogs throughout the region, I can only assume that many nominations simply went missing. There doesn’t appear to be any other explanation, and a quick gander at a few of those linked to from this site proves the point perfectly.

But worthy or not, I’m still on the list. And you know what’s coming next don’t you? Yes, if you wouldn’t mind (and providing you think I deserve it) a vote would be much appreciated. Clicking here will take you directly to the site, and even if you aren’t voting it’s worth a peek for the sheer variety of blogs on show.

Pod-like pooch

From students to salary men, the iPod is the current gadget of choice. Those distinctive white ear buds are everywhere, and the queues in Ginza’s Apple Store are reminiscent of those once seen in Russian supermarkets. So with this in mind, who can blame Sega for trying to cadge a lift on the iPod express with its new robotic pet?

Ok, so the idog isn’t a music player (as such), and as the name suggests it’s a dog. But take a look at the picture. It’s white and it starts with a little i.

idog

Like its far more advanced (and expensive) robotic cousin Aibo, the idog responds emotionally when touched. Well, different coloured lights come on dependent upon which sensors you stroke. But the main selling point is its musical ability. The idog contains 720 internal musical phrases, and has the ability to improvise tunes when you wave your hand over the phototransistor on its head. However what kind of tunes and how much ability we are talking here I don’t know. It can dance as well though, so that should make up for any musical deficiencies for at least 5 minutes I would have thought.

And whilst all this is not very iPod-like, little robotic rover has an audio jack for an external player. And I don’t need to tell you which is the player of choice…

ipod and idog