Nankai Paradise – Mr. & Mrs. Smith

A hilarious parody of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This is why I love Kansai!

The text in the Japanese poster says…


My unprofessional translation…

“The two won’t fall in love for even a moment. The reason for both of them, is outward appearance.”

The original saying on the Japanese poster for “Mr and Mrs Smith” says, 「一瞬で恋に落ちたふたり。おたがい、その正体は秘密。」

My translation…

“The two fell in love in an instant. The actual reality is a secret.”

The Japanese poster features Shizuyo Yamasaki and Ryouta Yamazato, together known as Nankai Paradise, a comedy combo who do “konto” コント, which is like Manzai, with a story and more physical movement.

As far as I know, their act does not NOT include any spoofs of the actual movie however, only this poster.

– Harvey

Hokkaido Fun #1

Found cheap tickets so decided to take a trip up to Hokkaido and ensure that my plans to avoid all good weather this winter would be a success.

A handy thing about Hokkaido, is that if you get lost, all you have to do is find the nearest “外国人デスク” (Foreigner Desk) and you can get all your questions answered.


Q: Why do kimono ladies in Hokkaido have rubber shoes over their traditional sandals (草履 ぞうり)?

A: I think it’s so their socks don’t get wet in the snow. I almost slipped and fell 37 times while I was there, so I hope those rubber slipper covers have metal soccer spikes on the bottom as well.

Q: Why is it so friggin’ cold!?

A: Not sure, but this train is frozen.

Funny thing about the Gaikokujin Desk sign though. It’s written in Japanese. So it seems that it is there in case any native Japanese accidently spots the helpful lady behind the counter and thinks that “Hokkaido Railways Information Desk” can provide some useful railway information too. Nope! Read the sign! Step off! This is the Gaikokujin Desk thank you very much. Service for foreigners only?

In all seriousness though, Hokkaido people seemed to be nice. I’m sure this funny sign is just a strange logical way to make things more efficient.

More relevant Hokkaido stuff later!

– Harvey

Takoyaki Home Party!

We have covered a bit on Takoyaki before on JapanNewbie, here we go again!

This time, do-it-yourself (or with 6 friends) Takoyaki. A while ago we had a Takoyaki party at a friends house, and she brought out the very special Takoyaki cooker!

We started eating at 1pm, and had 60 Takoyaki between the 7 of us. That’s 3 rounds on this Takoyaki machine, because as you can see, it can yak’ 20 tako’s at a time. Then, at about 7pm, we did it again and had 60 more!

That’s 120 Takoyaki in 8 hours. Gotta be a record!

Basically you just plug it in, and the iron gets hot. Then you pour in your Takoyaki batter (just flour, water, egg), and then add your pieces of goodness.

The goodness usually consists of Tako (octopus) of course, and the usual green onion, minced ginger and what not… but you can also include crazy things like mochi (rice ball), cheese, chocolate and whatever else is lying around the table. After the bottom gets warm, you stick a toothpick in and spin the ball around, and the not yet hard batter stuff on top will seep down, completing the Takoyaki and creating a round mass.

Once done take them all out and add your Takoyaki sauce, and aonori (green seaweed stuff) on top, and mayonnaise if you like, and you’re ready to go! It looks like a mess now… but really you can get them to end up nice and round like this with some quick toothpick skills.

The good thing about Takoyaki is that once they’re done, you can’t really tell what’s inside!


– Harvey