Sunday, April 29, 2012

folding squares of colored paper

I think the stars are aligned for origami.  Not long after I discovered the Thomas the Tank Engine chewing candy (who's wrappers transform into a train set through a series of strategic folds) I discovered modular origami.  A viewer on YouTube introduced me to her origami channel and have since been watching video after video, on how to make three-dimensional forms from folded pieces of paper called modules or units.
I am obsessed. 
These were my first attempts, Omega Stars which despite their multiple spikes are actually fairly simple to put together. 
While shopping for paper at the one-hundred yen store, I found these clever storage boxes made specifically for keeping origami paper.  My days of rumpled paper are blissfully over.
What are your thoughts on origami? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

a refill please

Back home if I ran out of dish soap, shampoo, or the like, I would just buy another bottle.  In Japan I can do the same but more often than not I do this:

I save my dispenser and buy a refill.  Refills are shelved next to their bottled counterparts and priced typically a ¥100 or so cheaper.  It just makes sense - I have both the satisfaction of using less plastic AND I saving money.  It also seems like a win-win situation for the manufacturer which makes me wonder why this idea hasn't taken off in the States?  Do product refills appear in other parts of the world?  Do tell.
Here are a couple of store shots that shows other examples of refills, toilet bowl cleaner, fabric softner,  and shampoos.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nothing a Little Water Won't Cure

Over the New Year holiday we went to Kiyomizudera a Buddhist temple in Kyoto.  In the video I forgot to mention this little stand that provides a tangible means of relieving you of your worries. 

First you place ¥200 into the box, then take a paper doll, and on it write your problems.

Place the paper doll into the bucket of water, say a little prayer, and watch your problems slowly fade

Friday, March 30, 2012

Unchi-kun Math

Walking home on the bike trail today I spied this sign in the grass.  Never one to miss an opportunity to take a photo that includes the words unchi kun うんちくん Japanese for 'poop' I shot it and went on my merry way.  It was only later while transferring my photos onto my computer did I notice the math problem below the pooping dog. 

1 poop + 1 poop = 2 poops     0 + 0 = 0

How perfectly logical.