tech e blog

Those who follow Japanese culture have probably heard of the Yakuza, Japan's organized crime syndicates, but did you know that the finger-cutting origin tied to its members stems from the traditional way of holding a Japanese sword? The bottom three fingers of each hand are used to grip the sword tightly, with the thumb and index fingers slightly loose. The removal of digits starting with the little finger moving up the hand to the index finger progressively weakens a person's sword grip. Continue reading for more.

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The Necomimi Brainwave-Controlled Cat Ears are currently being offered for only $61.20 shipped, today only. Put on the headset and the ears will begin to wiggle in sync with what you're thinking: If something catches your eye, your ears will perk up and if you're enjoying yourself, they'll wiggle. Product page. Continue reading for a video and more information.

Notable features:
  • Show your emotions in your ears, just like a real kitty.

  • For use by animal lovers aged 14 - adult.

  • Based on research-grade technology trusted by over 400 universities.

  • Conceived in Tokyo, designed in Silicon Valley.


[via Amazon]

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Not just any dueling pianos performance, this one by Japanese pianist Yoshiki, performed in Austin at the SXSW Festival, had the holographic performer appearing first who then later introduced the real performer. While there's not much word on the hologram technology, it's believed it was created using an updated version of an illusion known as 'Pepper's ghost', a system developed by London-based Musion. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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In places like downtown Kobe, Japan, land is hard to come by. So, Japanese firm Fujiwarramuro Architects' Nada House made use of whatever space they could find, like a narrow alleyway between buildings. They managed to squeeze a three-story multi-family home onto a small 397 square-foot lot, making the most of its tiny urban footprint. The architects created an innovative series of slatted openings to allow a column of light to pass through from the roof skylights to the first floor to maximize the amount of natural light in the house. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Hikaru Cho is not your average Japanese artist, she's known for 3D optical illusion body paintings that are quite popular with the internet. Using acrylic paints, Cho takes the human body as her canvas; painting zippers, laces and buttons directly onto our skin as if they were clothing. That's not all, Cho also adds sockets and plugs to bodies to turn them into faux cyborgs. Continue reading for more.

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Just when you thought elevator pranks were going out of style, a Japanese television show decided to create one of their own. Similar to the others, they lead unsuspecting guests into an elevator that's been fitted with fake wall panels so the supposed *ghost* can climb through when the power is cut. Continue reading to see the madness that ensued.

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Here's a mind-blowing look at Takeda Castle, a real castle in the sky. Originally constructed in 1441 on the summit of a mountain that towers nearly 1000ft over the surrounding terrain, the ruins of Takeda Castle span an area a quarter of a mile in length and more than 300 feet in width. The castle changed hands several times until Hirohide Akamatsu, a soldier who fought for Ieyasu Tokugawa's at the battle of Sekigahara, was appointed its lord in 1600. Within a year of his appointment, Akamatsu committed sepuku and Takeda Castle was abandoned. Continue reading for three videos and more information.

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Located in Miyazaki, Japan, the Seagaia Ocean Dome was the world's largest Polynesia-themed indoor beach. It was a part of the Sheraton Seagaia Resort and measured 300 meters in length and 100 meters in width. The waterpark first opened in 1993, with visitor numbers peaking in 1995 at 1.25-million a year. Depending on the season, entrance fees averaged $30USD per adult and $20USD for children during its best year in 1995. Unfortunately, the Ocean Dome was officially closed on October 1, 2007 due to a renovation and partial re-branding of the resort. Continue reading for videos and more information.

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Japanese barista Ito Yuichi at Belcorno, an Italian restaurant in Aichi Prefecture, is probably the best latte artist you'll ever see, or at least specializing in turning froth into art. Latte art developed independently in different countries, following the introduction of espresso and the development of microfoam, the combination of crema and microfoam allowing the pattern; it presumably was initially developed in Italy. Continue reading for more. In the United States, latte art was developed in Seattle in the 1980s and 1990s, and particularly popularized by David Schomer

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The "Snow Corridor" in Japan's Aomori Prefecture is one the popular tourist sights, with snow walls reaching a height of 9-meters (30-feet), allowing visitors to enjoy magnificent views of the vivid blue of the sky contrasted against the white of the snow in perfect harmony. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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