We all know what an amazing country Japan is.
The Japanese are known for having quirky imaginations that inspire great and frankly, sometimes, odd products.
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Check out the amazing Japanese Gadget 1 post.
It might well often be compulsory for your pooch to wear a muzzle when out and about, but that doesn't mean it needs to be boring! Bright, fun and with a touch of the bizarre, these Oppo Dog Muzzles will transform your familiar canine friend into a semi-duck, designer "billed" dog.
A lot of overseas blogs and sites went crazy about these muzzles, with many joking that they were almost animal cruelty! Well, we have to disagree. We reckon any dog would be happy to have this funky duck bill rather than a nasty leather muzzle. They must be the most original and stylish protective pet muzzles we've seen in a while -- and that is saying a lot in Japan, where pet fashion and animal accessories are massive.
There's a lot to like about umbrellas - they keep you dry while letting you wear whatever you want, they don't get clammy like raincoats, and they're a great excuse to put your arm around a lady. That said, an umbrella is about the least manly accessory a guy can have...until now. The Samurai Umbrella replaces your boring umbrella grip with a Japanese sword handle, into a dashing, rainproof road warrior. We've even included a shoulder case for the umbrella, so you can carry it bandolier-style and free up your hands.
"Ashiato" means footprint and you will certainly be leaving some interesting prints in the sand with these clever and fun children's sandals. The colorful wooden designer footwear are perfect for the beach and come in five versions, each with their own color and creature "footprint". Choose from an orange monkey, a yellow owl, a pink cat, a blue gecko, or even a prehistoric turquoise tyrannosaurus. Each has its own distinct markings, from the paw of the cat to the unique splayed foot of the gecko. There are also four different sizes so kids of all ages will be able to enjoy making surprising footprints in the sand! "Look, Mom, I'm a dinosaur!" "Now I'm a monkey!"
The name Rocca is derived from the Japanese word rokkaku, which means hexagon. With this designer Rocca Spiele Card Tower Game set you can play a game where you have to build up a "flat" tower of cards. Part 2D, part 3D, the award-winning card block game looks like something that M.C. Escher may have designed if he wanted to have fun!
The aim is simple: Be the first player to have no cards. There are special "Joker" cards and of course, there are rules for how to build up the tower. The card faces and suits and so on are the same as ordinary playing cards, so there's also nothing to stop you playing regular games like poker either.
And on top of being a cool game for two or more players, you can also use the cards to make funky geometrical shapes and patterns.
Today might well be the digital age but occasionally we still need to print things. Like those times when you want to have what is on your screen in your hand, either for reference or to show it to someone later. And sometimes these are long and awkward sizes, and often these days we don't even have a printer to hand.
Enter the Rolto by King Jim, a handy portable gadget that uses Wi-Fi to allow you to print off your iPhone's screen without connecting to a regular printer.
It prints off onto long roll paper, making it ideal for making a carbon copy of a coupon or long page. For example, you might want to print off a schedule, series of instructions, or a even a recipe. Or perhaps you are in a meeting or brainstorming session and want to print off people's ideas? Reach for the Rolto and get printing!
Fun and very eye-catching, the Hanaga Tap was created by a small design studio called ekoD Works and partly crowd-funded by schnoz-inspired folk. ekoD are known for their tongue-in-cheek approach to product design and this "nose" will transform your outlets into a body part you never expected to see sticking out of the wall! Available in three colors (white, pink or black), this snout can be fitted into any two-pronged outlet to hang there waiting for you to plug something else into its nostrils. After all, why should plugs and electrical outlets be dull?
The 246 Nii Yon Lock Bluetooth Padlock is a neat way to protect your belongings without having to rely on medieval technology. After all, we're now in the digital age, so who needs a physical key? Instead, use the iOS and Android app to unlock the 246, which functions like a smart lock.
Japan's favorite micro block toys are back and now decorating your face during sunny weather! The Nanoblock Sunglasses not only come in a range of bright colors and with the unique Nanoblock look, they can also be customized by adding more blocks. Choose between ten colors (yellow, pink, orange, black, red, blue, white, gray, beige, brown), and then wear them as they are or if you also have your own separate Nanoblocks, you can start adding some extras to these shades!
Designed by Makiko Yoshida, Cao Maru are hilarious and original stress balls that let you relieve tension while expressing emotion in the balls themselves. Featuring four different facial expressions in both brown and white versions, Cao Maru (literally, "face round") will be right at home on your desk or table waiting for you to squeeze their little faces in all sorts of imaginative ways!
Designed by Hiroshi Kajimoto for +d/H-concept, the UnBrella Upside Down Umbrella is awesome. No one will forget you in the rain when you unleash this umbrella! But this is no gimmick or joke, it works brilliantly and is super easy to open up and protect you from the elements. It can stand up on its own, ideal for when you have nowhere to prop your umbrella up against. It will also keep the wet part of the umbrella inside once you've closed it, meaning things don't get dripped on when you put it away after coming indoors. Instead, the water runs off while enclosed by the folds of the canopy. Rather than being splashed by water when you close it, you will find that the whole affair of closing and storing your umbrella becomes drier with the UnBrella.
Nousaku is a 400-year-old tin casting company famed for making Buddhist altar fittings and other formal ornaments. It has now turned to modern living and the results of this fusion of tradition and contemporary chic are superb. Kago has a name which derives from "basket", though initially it looks like a flat piece of metal. It's not. It can be bent and shaped like a sculpture. The material is malleable tin, allowing you to customize your own ornaments. This version is a large square that can be reformed into a beautiful silver flower vase for ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) or even a fruit bowl. Actually the uses for the Kago are almost limitless. For example, it could form a decoration to an indoor plant pot or even a light shade. To see how it is made and how flexible the tin is, watch this video.
In Japanese "otete" and "anyo" are cute names for the "hand" and "foot" of a baby. Now you can preserve your infant's handprint and footprint forever with this unique Otete & Anyo stamp gift set.
With your baby make a ink print of their foot or hand, scan it and send the file to us. The makers of the Otete & Anyo will then create a customized life-sized stamp that you can keep forever. This superb commemorative product comes in a very elegant paulownia wooden case decorated with your child's handprint or footprint, and also even includes the name and birth date on the stamp, as well as a special birth record card.
The Air-Conditioned Work Shirt K-200Y by Kuchofuku is a fantastic cooling invention for hot days! Dual fans integrated into the shirt blow fresh air. Great for any hot office or room, or when you have to make a trip outside in the blazing sun. There's simply nothing else out there like it! When first released this created a storm in the global press and on gadget blogs, and you can get it for yourself here.
Holding down papers and other desktop documents has never looked so good.
Behold the Kasmi from Metaphys, a designer paperweight in the form of a transparent ruler.
Coming in a paulownia wooden gift box, the numbers appear to be floating in the clear glass, changing and "moving" when viewed from different directions.
Beautiful and yet practical, Kasmi is yet another example of how the Japanese create stationery just so much better than other countries.
Start the day with a piece of World Heritage by plonking your morning egg into the Fujisan Mt Fuji Egg Cup. After you peel the shell and start to eat it, it will look like Japan's most famous mountain is covered in snow. As it drips over the sides, the yellow yolk also resembles sunrise from the nation's tallest peak. A simple but rather neat design by Hachiman Kasei, the makers suggest other uses for this versatile Mt Fuji item. How about a mini flower pot? Or a little vessel for housing your accessories? Or a tooth pick holder?
Combining old Japanese craftsmanship with fun modern chic, this Perch Cup has a cute touch of nature about it too. The "tree trunk"-style mug is made in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan and gives you a small companion to share your drink with.
There are two versions to choose, depending on your zoological tastes, a cute little bird or a squirrel. The attention to detail is superb!
Keep your chin up as the British say! Now you can really relax while using your phone tablet or other device with this Utsubusene Cushion (Face-Down Sleep Cushion). Anyone who has laid down on a pillow or cushion to read or use their tablet for a while will know the pain that can develop in your arms and shoulders. Well now your shoulders neck and chin can get full support leaving your eyes fingers and mind free to be entertained. With a cushion made from a special meshing with excellent air circulation you can also lie down backwards on the frame like a mini sofa and watch TV from the floor. Needless to say the height angle is adjustable and it can be folded right up to slot away in a cupboard or beside a shelf for when not in use. Thanko knows a thing or two about nifty household gadgets and this is the latest in their long line of brilliant inventions. This sort of lying-down reading is actually a real custom in Japan where traditionally there aren't proper tables or chairs. Instead from an early age kids read comics and play video games on the floor and this extends to adulthood where people still often watch TV and browse things on their mobile devices while lying face-down. Whether Thanko's new addition forms a part of this culture for years to come will have to be left up to the historians to decide but we reckon it will come in handy whatever country you are from!
Ever felt tired and desperate for a seat? Thanko has you covered. Just use your umbrella to sit down! Sounds painful. Yes, but not if you use the Thanko Chair-Umbrella. As the name implies, this is literally both an umbrella that can be converted into a simple seat. Somewhat like the Gentleman's Shooting Stick for modern city slickers, the umbrella comfortably supports the weight of your buttocks thanks to its special handle. It could even be used as a parasol as it comes in a universal black color. The Chair-Umbrella will be your new best friend at festivals and outdoor events, or anywhere that's lacking in public benches. Of course, be sure to use it only on non-slippery surfaces and surfaces where the point will firmly fix into place in the ground.