Mac Funamizu's Gadget Designs of the Future

Welcome back to MangoBot, a biweekly column about Asian futurism by TokyoMango blogger Lisa Katayama. Mac Funamizu is a tech geek, designer, and futurist who has created quite a lot of buzz among design circles for his innovative gadgets from the future. The 38-year old Tokyo native has always loved Apple, Google, and… » 8/01/08 9:00am 8/01/08 9:00am

Futurist Japanese Artists Show Us Life in the Next Century

Welcome back to MangoBot, a biweekly column about Asian futurism by TokyoMango blogger Lisa Katayama. There's a lot of buzz about Japanese contemporary artists these days. Takashi Murakami's super-cute, superflat alien-like characters are on everything from Louis Vuitton bags to the pages of io9. But he isn't the… » 7/18/08 9:00am 7/18/08 9:00am

Prevent Body Odor with Baking Soda and Lemon (and Book Signing Sunday)



Sick of your store-bought, baby powder-scented deodorant? James shows us how to smell better using baking soda and lemon. (Editor: James is my hero.) The combination is a natural deodorant that absorbs moisture and kills odor-causing bacteria. My kung fu teacher swore by this technique, and he was a pretty sweaty… » 7/12/08 7:00am 7/12/08 7:00am

Four Anime Robots That Made Me More Human

Welcome back to MangoBot, a biweekly column about Asian futurism by TokyoMango blogger Lisa Katayama. My childhood hero was a purple-haired robot who spends all her free time poking poop with a stick. Like all good Japanese children, my formative years were influenced by manga robot heroes-two-dimensional, two-legged… » 7/05/08 2:00pm 7/05/08 2:00pm

Clean Pen Marks Off Your Hands with a Teabag



Whether you've got ink blots on your hands from working too hard or snagging that cutie's number at the concert last night, there's a better way to scrub it off than plain old soap and water. Use a cool teabag instead like my friend James in the video above. For more urawaza, see my previously posted five secret… » 6/22/08 8:00am 6/22/08 8:00am

How Alternate Reality Helped Me Survive the Dentist

Welcome back to MangoBot, a biweekly column about Asian futurism by TokyoMango blogger Lisa Katayama. While Dr. Wong was putting dental dam in my mouth, I was watching three hot women singing the penis song in a Chinese restaurant downtown. It happened last Thursday, when I discovered a gadget that can warp my brain… » 6/20/08 9:00am 6/20/08 9:00am

Five Urawaza Solutions for Avoiding Weekend Picnic Disasters

It's summer, and if you're anything like me, you're planning on spending a lot of time outdoors. It's sunny, people are happy, and dogs are romping in the fields. But then there are those dangers and annoyances that we all have to work around. Picnic mats flying in your face and annihilating your sandwich. Mosquitoes… » 6/15/08 8:00am 6/15/08 8:00am

Urawaza Video Contest—Even a Baby Can Do It!

On Monday, we posted five secret Japanese tricks that make life better, excerpted from my book, Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan. The book is a collection of 106 tips and tricks that are part of a cultural phenomenon in Japan of finding organic, quirky alternatives to otherwise ordinary things like… » 6/07/08 4:00am 6/07/08 4:00am

Five Reasons Why Aliens Will Make Contact with the Japanese First

Click to viewWelcome back to MangoBot, a biweekly column about Asian futurism by TokyoMango blogger Lisa Katayama. I've been thinking about extraterrestrials a lot this week. Do they exist? How will we know? Who will they call if they decide to make contact with us, and through what medium? First off, nobody knows if… » 6/06/08 9:12am 6/06/08 9:12am