The Best and Worst Things Japan Has Going For It Right Now

THE WORST: The Saddest Invention Ever [article here] The Situation: A Japanese roboticist invented what is essentially a moshi pillow shaped to resemble a human form, in which you can place your cell phone and it will vibrate like a heartbeat while you talk to your loved ones to "enhance your experience" and help you feel better that you're alone. I guess.

Japan. Japan. What are you doing?

I'm sure you had the best of intentions when you started this project: comfort those who are away from their loved ones. Make them feel closer to their family when they speak with them on the phone. Sure. No one's against that.

But…look at you guys. This is just depressing. No self-respecting adult would ever use this product.


I just want to give these people a real hug so they don't have to hug a ghost-shaped pillow with a phone stuck in its head.

I like how the researchers say that the seniors in test groups all hugged the pillow when using it. Like that's an indicator of success. Like anyone could hold that thing any other way. It forces you to hug it. There is literally no where else to comfortably put your hands except around its waist. It forces its sadness upon you.

If you feel like you need to hug a pillow, just hug a pillow, okay? You will be judged far less harshly for hugging a regular pillow than a neon one with an expressionless face, stumpy arms and a mechanical heartbeat.

Is this getting creepier the more I talk about it? I think it is. Let's move on.

THE BEST: Bunny Cafes [video here]

Situation: Japan apparently has cafes in which bunnies just hop around all willy-nilly so you can just scoop one up at your leisure and snuggle it during your lunch break. From what I gather, this is because no one has room for pets in their small Japanese apartments and this makes them feel better about it. (Apparently some of Japan's biggest markets are happiness and snuggles.)

Photobucket Japan: Now you're speaking my language. High five on redirecting your unconventional fixation on cuddling things into something that's actually useful and cute instead of creepy.

I maintain that I would feel better about life if I got to snuggle a bunny during lunch every day. Wouldn't you?

Never mind all the health code violations this practice would surely incur in the United States. I say throw caution to the wind and let everyone hold a bunny while they eat.

It's got to be like Oprah's favorite things in there. You get a bunny! And you get a bunny! Everyone gets a bunny!

Maybe the people who are having to use the creepy ghost-cushions would feel less sad if they got to hold a bunny every once and a while.

MAYBE these two concepts should just join forces and combat long-distance sadness with bunny love instead of an "overgrown fetus" (an actual term describing that pillow in the article I read).

It could be like a cyber cafe…only with bunnies instead of outdated computers. You could talk on the phone to your boyfriend in Guam and pet a bunny at the same time to make you feel better about the fact that he's in Guam. Genius.

Who do I need to call to make that happen? This one's not even a health code violation. I'm going to be rich.

What other situations do you think bunnies would improve?

I'll go first: DMV's (as long as there were strict rules to prevent the bunnies from being harmed in moments of frustration), any time you try to print something wirelessly, and traffic jams (maybe a traveling bunny cart? I'm just spitballing here).