Friday, May 18, 2007

Clearly I needed a bigger suitcase

Ok, so I already gave away a few gifts and there are a few others that I don't want to show because they're Christmas/Birthday things.

Ye olde Japanese Swag Poste...

The magical snack foods of Japan, or what took up more room than it should have been alloted in my suitcase. I know you probably can't read it... but those Maid Cookies? They're called "Maid in Tokyo." Because puns are wonderful!

Should be pretty obvious what most of this stuff is. Lots of kit kats, beside a bag of 'soda' candies in the flavors of Grape, Melon Creme, and Cola. They have fizzy powder inside them. The pink and tan box is animal crackers that contain a "cock" cookie. The orange and green box is a special crunch chocolate mushroom snack. (Not containing any real mushrooms, I promise.) The pink little box is rosehip gum, because it sounded odd. The orange little package behind it is Valencia Orange hi-chews.

1) It's a jar of six two-piece kit kats that came CHILLED from a vending machine on the side of the street in Kyoto. Aside from umbrellas and Happy Family Condoms, it's the damn weirdest thing I've ever seen in a vending machine.

2) 100 yen or about $0.90 to win 4 boxes of Mousse Pocky from a UFO catcher at the Namco Wonder Tower in Kyoto. I think Hel for showing me how it's done!

This has got to be the most pathetic anime and manga goods haul I've ever made, which sort of goes to show that I'm not really up on it so much. (Or I'm getting more picky about what I'll buy.)

1) Buso Renkin Infinity—a character guide for the new-ish series by Nobuhiro Watsuki, who created Rurouni Kenshin. This book appears to also contain summaries and screenshots for the anime episodes.

2) Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle 18—the latest Japanese volume of Tsubasa by CLAMP. You can read up to volume 12 in English from Del Rey manga. (I think #13 comes out in June.)

3) A folder with two different images on it. The problem being it's a B4 size, so anything put inside it has to be smaller than 8.5" by 11", but I think I'll just frame it anyway because I really like the back image.

4) A mobile screen cleaner featuring Fay D Flowrite from Tsubasa. There was some discussion over which one to get... I like Fay, because I'm a sucker for blonds, but Hel pointed out that Syaoran is most cute, and we all know Kurogane is the most badass.

5) A gatchapon of a Syaoran figure from Tsubasa. I'll take another picture after I've put him together.

6) A black Chi statue won from a Club Sega UFO pull machine in Shinjuku. We were trying to get the Angelic Layer one.

7) A gatchapon of the Tsubasa version of Chi. For the first couple days we could not escape Chi. She stalked us.

8) An official Kingdom Hearts keyblade keyring. Yes. I know. But I want you to know that I did not buy the Roxas figure... no matter how many times it was pointed out to me in Akihabara. (I told them, it wasn't worth it if it didn't have dual keyblade fun.)

9) Mokona from Tsubasa. Hel won two of them from a UFO catcher, so she's got one. When you wind him up, he "walks" across a flat surface.

10) Tochigi Hello Kitty mobile charm... Tochigi's famous for strawberries. It and the other two were gifts from my friend Wasim, who lives in Oyama, Tochigi. I think I had to substitute teach in that prefecture once.

11) Hello Kitty dressed like an eggplant. No, I don't really understand it, either.

12) Apparently there's some kind of Candy Land or Candy Castle...uh...something in Tochigi. So it's a Candy Castle Fairy Hello Kitty.

13) A Masturi Festival Saitama Hello Kitty Pen. Yes, I realize this suggests I like Hello Kitty almost as much as I like Tsubasa. I don't. I used live in Saitama.

Um... that yellow dog thing is apparently a door stopper. That says "Please love my little friend." The sushi...we think it's made of sugar.

These are gifts.

1) It's a purple coin purse. A coin purse especially chosen because it's purple. I'm hoping that's a big enough hint to the person getting it.

2) It's a paper doll. No, really. I think she's funny.

3) She's not a paper doll and weighs considerably more.

4) Loose leaf green tea. At least I hope it's loose leaf and not the entire leaf.

5) It's a pen! ...yeah. Look, there's not much else to do in Narita airport than spend some remaining yen on souvenirs.

6) Socks for wearing with Japanese sandals.

7) A lucky cat mobile charm/key ring. Look in his belly and see him chilling in Japan with some cherry blossoms. I tried to find a black one. I could not. (Yes, that I looked for a black one is a hint.) The lucky cat brings money into business and good luck to people.

8) It's a little mirror with a Japanese girl that you use as a keychain. I assume it's too look over your shoulder when you're on an uncover stake-out.

9) Sakura flower "Japanese crafts." (WTF.) They're little bells, as bells are said to drive away evil spirits. Or bring good things to you. They're lucky... and on almost every keyring intended for girls in Japan.

Shrine stuff—much of this is gifts, too.

1) Dreaming in Red's new mascot: Aki-chan. Aki is a super sweet kitsune plushie. She was deemed the cutest, which may be because she has one ear that is tipped back a little and makes her unique. The tag around her neck reads "Fushimi Inari," as she came from the Fushimi Inari Taisha.

2) A charm from Fushimi Inari Taisha that brings good things to you and keeps bad things away. One of the few charms that didn't have a myobu on it.

3) A charm from Fushimi Inari Taisha for safety while traveling.

4) A myobu-head keycharm from Fushimi Inari bring good things to you. It has a bell and everything.

5) A charm for good health from Fushimi Inari Taisha.

6) A mini-myobu plush to keep away bad things and bring good luck. This is for someone who's going to Japan next summer to teach with Nova. I thought she might like a friend to keep an eye on her. ;)

7) A charm for Safety in Traffic from the Daibutsu in Kamakura.

8) Ok, we're not certain, but we think this is a good luck arrow. I don't know the specific story behind them, but I've seen them before and went looking specifically for one. They're not really common, so I was thrilled to find this one at Sensojii (Asakusa Kannon Temple) in Asakusa. I'm guessing the boar has to do with it being the year of the Boar/Pig.

EDIT 6/18/07: I've learned these arrows are "hamaya" or demon-breaking arrows. They are customarily sold at New Year's for bringing in good fortune and keeping away bad.

So you see all this and you think "WOW, that's a lot of stuff... but what about those amazing Japanese fashions?"

Let me tell you something about Japan. If you're bigger than a size 4, you don't fit in their clothes. And if you're larger than a size 8, good luck finding shoes. I do not fit in a size 4. I haven't for about 2 years now. I do, however, have size 7.5 feet....