ICHIYA’s POP Eye – Uniform

 From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Moshi Moshi Nippon’s “ICHIYA’s POP EYE”.
  Today’s topic is Uniform!
  High school girls are trendsetters of Japanese pop culture. They create trends in fashion and foods. High school girl’s fashion has been getting more attentions from oversea; especially their uniforms are very popular. Some people overseas wear Japanese high school girl’s uniforms too.
  In old days, student’s uniforms were  a symbol of regulations. However, they became very fashionable nowadays and have been loved. That is why, even in schools that do not require wearing uniforms, some students chose to wear clothes that look similar to them. It is a uniform, yet it is not interesting, if everyone wears them in the same way, and some people want to stand out. So, they personalize them. For example, making the length of skirts a little shorter, subtly adding some accessories, and getting creative with socks. 
  The Haori I am wearing everyday has a bold-patterned liner. Japanese people have always enjoyed fashion that pays attention to the whole garment; exploiting the potential inconspicuous areas of the garment have to lend the whole color and character. New fashions have always been evolved with regulations. 
  In Japan there are lots of job that require wearing uniform. Uniforms are used to reinforce a sense of belonging to an organization. For organizations, it makes it easier to manage employees. For customers who see the uniform, it gives them a sense of security and credibility, because uniform shows that the person who is wearing it belongs to the organization. 
  Many American high schools have introduced a uniform imitating Japanese high school uniform. Some schools report that introducing them led to students performing better and improved disciplines. 
  Gothic & Lolita fashion, which is now seen worldwide, is similar to uniform. By wearing the same style of fashion you can connect with people who have a similar values and tastes. Fashion is used to build a community. 
  Japanese uniforms are our tradition, and are expanding globally as well. 
  You can often see them in animations, so please pay attentions. 


ICHIYA’s POP Eye – Sound

 From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Moshi Moshi Nippon’s “ICHIYA’s POP EYE”.
  Today’s topic is Sound!
  Japan is noisy. When you walk around a town and enter a store, you can hear many melodies from TV commercials.
“♪Bic bic bic bic camera” 
“♪Seven eleven good feelings”
  Melodies of television’s CM are played in town.
 “Rasshai, Rasshai, Rasshai!” --  it means “Welcome” 
“Tohle Tole Peech Peech!” --- it means “It’s fresh”
  Many different of catch phrases become jingles and attract you to go inside a store.
  Sounds have become characters and icons in Japan and are used as a tool to deliver messages. In order to produce a CM sound logo, professional musicians have to come up with about 100 ideas, and then choose only one among them. That is fairly costly.
  It is one of Japanese characteristics that sounds are treated as equivalent as letters, pictures and movies.
  Machines also make various sounds. Vending machines talk, and elevators talk and say something like “2nd floor. The Door is closing”. On a train an announcement is made at each stop, saying something like “We will soon make a brief stop at Kyoto.”
  In Tokyo, each station has its own theme song. For example, Shinbashi’s song is song of railways, and Takadanobaba’s song is Artro Boy.Every time a train arrives at a platform of a station, a theme song for the station is played. Sounds have become an ID of the place. At the same time, sounds of birdsongs are played at station’s platforms through a speaker to create natural ambience.
  Sounds of nature. Do you like singing of insects?Japan has many kinds of cicadas. Robust cicada goes “min min”, evening cicada goes “kana kana”. Cricket goes “rin rin”. 
  They are all famous sounds of insects that are recognized as the seasonal features of summer and autumn, which all Japanese know. 
  However, these kinds of sounds are considered as merely noises in other countries. When Japanese films are exported, the sounds of cicada get erased. In Japan, summer scenes often include the sounds of cicada. For Japanese, these sounds of insects are more like “voices” and are important factors to express seasons. 
  Please pay some attentions to various sounds when you visit Japan.


ICHIYA’s POP Eye – Machine

 From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Moshi Moshi Nippon’s “ICHIYA’s POP EYE”.
  Today’s topic is Machine!
  Life in Japan is surrounded by machines. One of the examples is vending machine.  You can find it everywhere, outdoors and indoors. In Japan, there are five million vending machines. The total annual sales are fifty billion dollars.  You can purchase anything with them, not only juice, beers, cigarettes, magazines, but also instant cup noodles, bananas, sushi, eggs, flowers, umbrellas, and underwear. 
  Moreover, they talk. They say “Hello.” and “Thank you.” They communicate. They are alive. The number of digital media vending machines  that feature movies on a screen,  is increasing these days. We can be surrounded by five million of digital entertainment vending machines  in the near future.
  For Japanese people,  vending machines are friends. It is natural to be friends with machines for us. It is one of the Japanese characteristics to make friends with machines. We have always liked to develop human-shaped robots, Astro Boy, for example, and to play with robot pets such as Sony’s AIBO or SEGA’s Pooch. Some hospitals use toy robots for aged care. 

  From of old, Japanese people play with and live together with machines and robots. In the west, they are to serve for humans, while in Japan they are our friends. It may sound strange and immature. However it is also our culture to play with something a little childlike. It is believed god inhabits everything in Japan too. 
  There are many robot pets. For example, we have dog-shaped toy robot, and seal-shaped robot. Robots have always talked and played with people in Japan. In the west, things, machines and robots are to serve humans. Japan saw a machine and robot boom in the 17th century. 
  It is one aspect of Japanese cultures to enjoy something childlike. Japanese witness the divine in everything. It is said that there are millions of gods in Japan, like vending machines. Machines have a life. Japanese people find god and a life in everything.
Why don’t you come to Japan and play with machines?


ICHIYA’s POP Eye – Toy

  From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Moshi Moshi Nippon’s “ICHIYA’s POP EYE”.
  Today’s topic is Toy!
  Do you know Tamagotchi? 
  I believe many people have experiences playing with Tamagotchi. You can feed a character that appears on the screen so that it will grow up.  Tamagotchi’s mood stays good as long as you keep communicating with it, and finally it will transform into a character of various kinds. It is a typical example of Cool Japan. It is a combination of cute character design and high technology. Tamagotchi are not only toys for children, also adults can play with them.
  Many toys in Japan are designed in order to offer adults a combination of technology and the "cuteness". Japanese toys are manufactured thoroughly with both sophisticated design and high technology, trying to attract both children and adults. In toy stores in Japan, you can find many adults buying toys for themselves. Some plastic models require you to acquire skills, like the Mini Four Wheel Drive.Cooking toys are scientific toys that parents and children can enjoy together. Pet robots are also toys for adults for the family communication .
  Several professors at MIT once asked me to introduce toy companies in Japan, because they wanted to understand the mechanisms of Gundam and Beast Wars dolls. The US technology authorities were very surprised to see how toy makers in small companies in Japan were making those toys.It was impressive.
  There are many maniac toys, for example, plastic models. In addition to airplanes and cars, there are also castles and gardens as well. Some kinds of toy genres are holding nationwide competitions and championships, such as spinning top and Kendama. They are considered as a "road “ in terms of a spiritual experience, comparable to Judo and Karate. It is not only a competition in technique. Spiritual things and courtesy are also important. Rather than just a play, a kind of culture is being produced.
  Every year, I participate in the Tokyo Toy Show which is held in June. 148 companies exhibited a total of 35.000 products last time.  I was surprised to see many companies showing toys for smart phones and tablets. Kids can enjoy music and take photos, they can have fun with games and fortune-telling with the digital tools. They can also study and communicate with each other. Children's toys are changing into the information society type. Toys may introduce new technologies and evolve rapidly.
  Well, you may find Japanese toys around you. I hope you like them.