TokyoMango in Battle of the Blogs

Picture 1

I got an otherwise message-less email with this image file attached to it. It appears that TokyoMango has inadvertently been placed in a battlefield against another Japan blog… the thing is, TokyoMango doesn’t battle. She’s a peaceful little blog that likes to just hang out on the couch and occasionally go out for some fun. If TokyoMango were a soldier, she’d be the one cooking dinner for everyone back at the barracks and saying silly things to make everyone feel better at the end of a hard day. So I don’t know if she’ll win this one…

But when someone pits her against another in battle, she’ll never say no. Kinda like how I took my friend Ben on in a taco eat-off on Tuesday even though he’s way bigger than me.

Cast your vote here.

See your favorite photos of Japan on TokyoMango

Want to share your best Japan photography with us? Send me your best shots of Japan with explanations, and I’ll put them on TokyoMango (with a photo credit, of course, and any other info you send along). It could be scenery, a moment captured on film that meant something to you or told you something about Japanese culture, or something just totally abstract or random that looks cool. Thanks!

Contest: Win a TokyoFlash watch in the Team Lazy contest

Picture 1Last call for the Team Lazy fan contest:

The winner will get to be our team’s official fan—you’ll get a free PixiMix t-shirt and lots of continuous love from all of us on Team Lazy. All you need to do is show me something that represents how much you want to be our fan–whether it’s a poem, a cheer, face paint, or even better, a YouTube video of you reading a poem or doing a cheer while wearing face paint. Email all entries to mango [at] tokyomango [dot] com with the subject line: Team Lazy Fan Contest.

UPDATE: The winner will also win a super cool Japanese watch courtesy of TokyoFlash.

Original post about the contest is here.

Contest: Become my volleyball team’s official fan!


This season, my rec league volleyball team, Team Lazy, is sponsored by SF t-shirt company PixiMix (you might recognize their art if you were at my book signing at Double Punch last fall). The super talented guys at PixiMix made these amazing Team Lazy t-shirts in cranberry red and brown. Yaaay PixiMix! There’s just one problem: our team needs a dedicated fan.

So here’s the deal: I’m holding a PixiMix/TokyoMango/Team Lazy fan contest. The winner will get to be our team’s official fan—you’ll get a free t-shirt and lots of continuous love from all of us on Team Lazy. All you need to do is show me something that represents how much you want to be our fan–whether it’s a poem, a cheer, face paint, or even better, a YouTube video of you reading a poem or doing a cheer while wearing face paint. Email all entries to mango [at] tokyomango [dot] com with the subject line: Team Lazy Fan Contest. (Please make sure you submit your entry in this format, otherwise it’ll get lost in my inbox.)

Entries due by April 20th.

Japanese Teen Who Pilots Giant Robot Fails Driving Test

by Grant Goodman
March 19, 2009

A week after discovering a buried giant robot and piloting it to fight off hideous monsters, Sawara Tomonobu failed the test for his driver’s license when he was unable to parallel park his 1999 Honda Civic at the Semboku city Department of Transportation.

His father, Subaru Tomonobu, expressed extreme disappointment and frustration with his son’s performance: “The boy jumped into the robot, hit a bunch of random switches, pulled on some levers, and flawlessly dispatched of a great threat to human existence. And now he tells me a steering wheel and two pedals are too complex to operate?”

The day before the test, Tomonobu-san successfully fought off three demons from the Earth’s core, saving the entire world from being devoured by the imprisoned sons of ancient gods. According to sources on the scene, Sawara struck them all down with a single, arcing spin-kick, struck a cool pose, and stood still as all three demons exploded. Property damage has yet to be determined by the Japanese government.

Tomonobu plans on re-taking the test in two weeks, unless, he adds, “The ancient prophecy comes true and I must venture beneath the surface to fight the Volcano God. But, really, when did prophecies ever come true?”

(Grant was the winner of my Make T-shirt contest; This is a work of fiction.)

The Make t-shirt contest: we have a winner!

Hey guys! Thanks so much for your awesomely entertaining entries to my I’ll Make You a Make T-shirt Contest. It was a tough call, but the winner is Grant Goodman for the headline (and article) Japanese Teen Who Pilots Giant Robot Fails Driving Test.

His post will follow this one. Grant, please email me your address and some other info about yourself so I can make you a custom t-shirt.

By the way, if you didn’t win but you still want a Make t-shirt, you can buy one here.

TokyoMango’s “I’ll make you a Make t-shirt” contest

Picture 1

One of the highlights of last week’s ETech—besides giving a presentation—was hanging out with the Make Magazine folks while making t-shirts on their portable t-shirt press. I made one with three super-cute characters designed by Mark Frauenfelder that reminded me of me, Ruby, and Malcolm taking a morning walk. It must have been obvious how much I loved it because Mark kindly gave me a bunch of templates that I could iron onto t-shirts myself. Anyway! I decided I’m gonna share the love with a TokyoMango “I’ll Make You a Make T-Shirt” contest.

Here are the contest rules:
Make up a fake headline for a TokyoMango story. If you want, you can write the article too. See The Onion for inspiration. Get creative, but not derogatory, please–I’ll post the winning entry here after the contest is over. Email: mango [at] tokyomango [dot] com with subject line: Make t-shirt contest. Deadline is Monday, March 23, a week from today.

The winner will get a Make t-shirt custom-made by yours truly! You can see some more designs at the Maker Shed apparel store to get an idea of what the t-shirt might look like. But be warned—the final design will be at my discretion.

Contest: Win a beautiful 2009 MUJI planner

Picture 2

When it comes to daily planning, I’m totally analog. I’ve tried tinkering with iCal, but I don’t like it. It doesn’t make sense to me. What makes sense to me is writing what I have to do each day in boxes designated for those days, and to write To Do Lists on blank sheets, ideally interspersed between the day boxes so you can plan week by week.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been using these very simple, good-looking, practical planners from MUJI. I bought a white B5 sized one this year. But what do you know—my awesome little brother in Tokyo bought me the same thing as part of my birthday present! Anyhow, now I have two, so I’m going to be giving one away here.

Contest rules are simple: Send an email to: tokyomango[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line “MUJI calendar contest” before Obama’s inauguration next Tuesday. Include your name, address, and one great Japan story link you found in the news over MLK weekend. I’ll post my favorite story on Tuesday and send my tipster the calendar that day, too, so you can start using it ASAP. Sorry, US only.

UPDATE: Since you guys are such amazing tipsters (and should tip me more often!), I may post more than one link from you guys on the blog. Ultimately, I’ll pick my favorite one on Tuesday and send the planner to that person. If I used your tip but you didn’t win, I’ll still send you something anyway.

Vote for TokyoMango in the 2008 Weblog Awards

Picture 1I just learned that TokyoMango is up for a 2008 Weblog Award. The Weblog Awards = the Oscars of the blogging industry. Except you, not a panel of old geezers, gets to vote for the winners. Oh yeah, and you get to vote once a day until the deadline of January 13th.

As of right now, TokyoMango—up for the Best Asian Blog title—has only has 32 votes. (Voting was open from December 1, but even I didn’t know about the nomination until now. Yikes.) But if you, me, and every other TokyoMango reader voted for TokyoMango every day, that means we could probably win. And if we win, I’ll throw a big party!

So…VOTE HERE. And then vote again at the same time tomorrow, and again the day after… Let’s see if we can at least finish with a bronze.

TokyoMango reader holiday wish list


Hey guys! It’s December 17th and that means that the TokyoMango Holiday postcard contest is official over! I got lots of letters from all of you, thank you. I picked 20 readers at random to send holiday cards to. Those should be getting to you shortly…so keep an eye out!

More importantly, you all sent me emails saying what Japan-themed holiday present you wanted this year. It’s an amazing compilation of all the great things people miss or desire from Japan.

The TokyoMango reader holiday wish list:

– fresh, hot takoyaki (Tracy from Towson, MD)
– a black shoji table…or a USB humidifier (Jeff from Reseda, CA)
– ski trip with onsen and amazing Japanese food (Rachel from Taipei, Taiwan)
– reconnect with exchange program tutor circa 2005 (Atte from Tampere, Finland)
– a visit from the amazing and yummy Tadanobu Asano! (Amanda from Statesboro, GA)

Continue reading

Enter to win the TokyoMango cool holiday postcard contest

Picture 1 

Dear TokyoMango Readers,

Happy Holidays!

This year, instead of just putting up a bunch of silly Santa posts on my blog, I've decided to send out personalized Holiday Cards to my readers. Last Gasp and Chronicle Books (the guys who published Urawaza) are two smart, creative book publishers who also have these amazing Japanese art postcard collections by artists like Ai Yamaguchi, Nara Yoshitomo, Hideshi Hino, and the guys at Gama-Go. 

Since I can't send out postcards to everybody, I'm going to have a little contest. All you need to do is email a short letter to tokyomango [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line "TokyoMango Holiday Card" telling me what Japan-related thing you want for Christmas. I'll pick 20 entries at random to send these very special postcards to, so don't forget to include your mailing address in the email!

Those of you who don't win…keep an eye out for a blog post around Christmas with a giant list of everything TokyoMango readers want for Christmas. Feel free to send images too. Contest deadline is Wednesday, Dec 17th.

Thanks for reading!

Love, Lisa

Announcing the WoodBot Contest Winner

Thanks everyone for sending me robot jokes for my WoodBot Contest! I had some good laughs, but I have to say, the dirty joke got me. Sophie from Sacramento, I’ll be sending you a WoodBot in the mail soon. And here’s the winning robot joke:

Two friends are meeting for lunch one afternoon. One shows up to the other’s office for their lunch date. As he’s entering the office, he notices a hot secretary sitting at the reception desk.
"Hey, bud. How are you?"
"I’m good. Hey, that new secretary of yours is beautiful!"
"Well, I’m glad you like her. Believe it or not, she’s a robot!
"No way! How could that be?"
"She’s the latest model from Japan. Let me tell you how she works. If
you squeeze her left breast, she takes dictation. If you squeeze her
right breast, she organizes your file cabinets. And that’s not all, you can also have sex with her!"
"You’re kidding, right?"
"Nope. She’s something, huh? Tell you what. I’ll let you borrow her."
So his friend takes her into the restroom and is in there for a while. Suddenly, he hears his friend screaming in pain.
The guy says, "Oh crap! I forgot to tell him her ass is a pencil sharpener!"

Contest: Win a Limited Edition WoodBot


are cute little wooden robot companions that will hang out on your desk while you work or sit on your dash while you drive. If you always wanted a Doraemon but he never showed up out of your desk drawer, this might be a good alternative. (You can just pretend your WoodBot has a magical door that will take you anywhere and a little propeller hat that can make you fly.)

Alexander Shen, the creator of WoodBots, sent me a couple of limited edition WoodBots to give away on TokyoMango. Yay. Each one is handmade and quite fragile, so I’m a little bit worried about shipping it. But hey, Alex got them to me safe, so I should be able to do the same, right?

To enter the contest, just email me your name, address, and a good robot joke with the subject line: WoodBot Contest. Winner will be chosen in a week. Thanks!

Announcing Death Note Contest Winners


Thanks everyone for entering the free movie ticket contest for Death Note! I’ve picked two winners based on how much I laughed—not freaked out—when I read about how you would use the killer notebook if it fell in your hands.

Linda said:

If the Death Note
fell into my hands, I would use it to plot world domination,
starting by assassinating of the Prime Minister of Malaysia in which
all proceeds and child labor workers will be donated to the Derek
Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good. Yay for charity!

Or I would give it to Viz Pictures in exchange for a housekeeper.

Keep reading for the other winning entry…

Continue reading

Contest: Win a Watch From the Future by Answering One Question…


If you know anything about cool Japanese watches, then you’ve probably visited, home of futuristic wrist accessories that look like they could do a gazillion things that watches aren’t really supposed to do. So here’s my proposal:

You tell me what you think any one of the Tokyoflash watches would be able to do in an alternate universe, and the people with the three best answers will get a free Tokyoflash watch!

For example, I’m pretty sure the Shinshoku (shown above) can double as a Chinese Checkers board. And one of those has to be an alien ship. Winners will be picked by a contest crew in Tokyo a week from now. You can submit your responses to

Make a Short Video, Win A Free Trip to SF & Tons of Movie Tix


I’ve covered a lot of local film fests in the last couple years, but the SF Int’l Asian American Film Festival is by far my favorite. It has the biggest, most refined selection of Japanese and other movies from Asia, and it’s put together in part by my friend and occasional Tokyomango guest blogger Taro Goto.

This year, the Festival is holding an awesome contest, where you can win 2 free tix to SF, 4 nights at the manga-themed Hotel Tomo, a $500 shopping spree at Macy’s, and two all-access passes to all the movies at the festival. All you have to do is make a 26-second video about why you should be the next festival blogger.

As a festival blogger, all you have to do is write one blog post about your experience at SFIAAFF. Easy.
Deadline is Friday, so hurry!
More details and submission link here.

Blow Up Doll Photography Contest


Japan’s greatest sex doll company, Orient Doll, is holding its second annual CandyGirl Photography contest right now. Entries are due by November 15—everyone who has a blow up doll from this company and knows how to angle her beautifully has a fair shot at winning the grand prize of 200,000 yen ($1700) or one of 8 1st prizes of 100,000 yen.

Last year’s winner was an image of a young pink-skinned silicone princess that looks like she just got wet in the rain. Sexy.

Contest flyer (Thanks, Rog!)


Win an Instant Ramen Emergency Kit


You never know when you’re gonna have to flee your home, and that’s why The Institute for Fire Safety and Disaster Preparedness recommends that everyone have an emergency kit. For a limited time, you can win this awesome instant ramen emergency kit—so much better than Clif Bars!

Here’s some more info:

The package contains:

— Five servings of instant ramen noodles
— Three 500-milliliter bottles of mineral water
— A stainless cup
— Solid fuel
— A barbeque lighter
— A pair of chopsticks
— A wet towel

To apply for the giveaway, send a postcard with your address, name, age, sex, occupation and phone number to:

"Instant Ramen Bosaishoku Kit" Present (Mainichi Daily News) Gakari
DPR 2-16-7 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8210

You do have to live in Japan, unfortunately, to enter the contest. I am going to enter anyway, even though I don’t live there, by using my parents’ and all my high school friends’ addresses. Tee hee.