McDonald’s Japan founder explains why Japanese people are ‘Short and Yellow’

denfujita

Next Shark:

Every now and then, we revisit a part of history that some companies would rather be kept swept under the rug. This story comes from the Japanese entrepreneur and self-made billionaire that brought the first McDonald’s to Japan, Den Fujita.

Fujita fell in love with McDonald’s the first time he ate it in 1967 — he was amazed by how popular and efficient the burger chain was. When he saw the opportunity to bring the franchise to Japan, he opened the first Japanese McDonald’s in a Mitsukoshi department store in the Ginza district of Tokyo in 1971. It was an instant success, particularly because of their Japanese-styled Teriyaki McBurger and Chicken Tatsuta.

But perhaps Fujita’s love for the American burger chain extended beyond just the burgers. On his strategy for selling McDonald’s to Japanese people, Fujita is credited as saying:

“The reason Japanese people are so short and have yellow skins is because they have eaten nothing but fish and rice for two thousand years … If we eat McDonald’s hamburgers and potatoes for a thousand years we will become taller, our skin become white, and our hair blonde.”

Does McDonald’s food secretly hold the key to creating a master race? I guess we won’t find out until the year 2971.

It was Fujita’s dream to see 10,000 McDonald’s in Japan by 2010 — as of 2013, there were only 3,164 McDonald’s in Japan, the second most popular country for the fast-food chain after the U.S.

Den Fujita retired in 2003 and died of heart failure in April of 2004 at the age of 78, two days after McDonald’s then-CEO Jim Cantalupo died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 60. It is unknown whether McDonald’s food played a contributing factor in their deaths.

Anna Sui jumps into the world of Sailor Moon fashion with necklaces, earrings, and bags

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RockeyNews 24:

Tokyo’s Isetan is welcoming back Sailor Moon and her magical gal pals. From now until March 31, the department store chain’s Shinjuku branch is offering a special lineup of fashion items based on the hit anime. Previously, we’ve looked at the new offerings from Samantha Vega, Honey Bunch, and Riccimie Premiere Salon, all popular Japanese brands.

Now, Anna Sui is getting in on the moon prism action, with a selection of coolly feminine bags and accessories inspired by the Sailor Senshi.

In contrast to the bright pastels of Samantha Vega’s Sailor Moon collection, Anna Sui’s aims for a more mature allure. The front of the 21,000 yen (US$176) compact head necklace takes the lines of Sailor Moon’s Crystal Star, but recolors them in the trademark Anna Sui purple, with the designer’s name appearing on the back. Similarly, the Key of Space-Time necklace (16,000 yen) has an ornate, almost gothic look to it.

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Even though Sailor Moon is the star, she’s hardly the only popular character from the franchise. If you’ve got a soft spot for other members of the ensemble cast, you can show them some love with these 18,500-yen Luna and Artemis earrings (featuring black cat Luna on the front and white kitty Artemis on the back) or the 21,000-yen pearl catch earrings, featuring the image colors and celestial symbols for Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.

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Your wrists won’t have to feel left out either, with the 19,000-yen ribbon bracelet and its charms shaped like the Crisis Moon Compact and Inner Senshi celestial marks. Rounding off the wearables, the 12,000-yen Anna Sui Sailor Moon logo T-shirt provides perhaps the biggest sticker shock of the lineup, while the set of five clear files for 1,600 yen is the most budget-friendly option.

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Of course, unless you have Sailor Moon-style magical powers that allow you to summon whatever special items you need out of thin air, you probably require something in your daily life with more carrying capacity than the files provide. Once again, Anna Sui has the answer, or actually two, with these leather bags adorned with celestial mark charms, the smaller of which (pictured on the right) is priced at 32,000 yen.

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Not only will they hold your wallet, keys, and phone, there should also be some space left over in case you find something else you just have to have while shopping at Isetan.

Shop information
Sailor Moon X Isetan Shop
Address:
Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-14-1
Isetan Shinjuku Main Building 3rd floor Center Park Stage #3
東京都新宿区新宿3−14−1
伊勢丹新宿店本館3階 センターパークステージ#3
Open 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Website

STORE by NIGO® set to open in Harajuku’s Laforet

Coming soon from NIGO is the polymath’s latest retail endeavor. Simply dubbed STORE by NIGO, the brand new space is set to open by the end of April at Harajuku’s Laforet department store and follow’s NIGO’s latest work with the likes of UNITED ARROWS, adidas Originals, Tetsu Nishiyama, and UNIQLO.

For those interested, job openings for the new endeavor can be found over at honeyee.com.

 

First Kit Kat Chocolaterie shop with cafe opens in Kyoto

KK 0

RocketNews 24:

Chocolate lovers around Japan were understandably thrilled when the Kit Kat Chocolatery, the world’s first Kit Kat specialty store, opened in the Seibu Ikebukuro Department Store about a year ago. Of course, we were pretty excited too, and when we visited the shop on opening day, we could see from the crowd that plenty of people felt the same way.

After a year, it seems the Kit Kat Chocolatery has been a success so far, as they’ve just opened their fourth shop in Japan, this time in Kyoto. And what’s even better, this Kit Kat Chocolatery comes with a cafe attached! Plus, they’ve released some new Chocolatery products as well, so we thought we’d share the news with all our sweets-loving readers!

Kit Kat shop pic

As we’ve previously reported, the Kit Kat Chocolatery features items produced by renowned pastry chef  Yasumasa Takagi, and his special creations exclusively for the Chocolatery were certain to attract attention, particularly as Kit Kats have always been popular in Japan. But just how successful has the Kit Kat Chocolatery been since its launch a year ago?

Well, according to Nestle Japan’s recent press release, the two Chocolatery shops in Tokyo (the Seibu Ikebukuro and Daimaru Tokyo stores) and the third shop in Nagoya (the Matsuzakaya Nagoya store) so far have welcomed over 400,000 customers and generated roughly 900 million yen (approx. US$7.6 million) in sales. No wonder they decided to open a fourth shop! And the historic city of Kyoto, which attracts a huge number of tourists from both within Japan and abroad, certainly seems an excellent choice of location.

As a matter of fact, Kit Kat actually already has ties with Kyoto, as one of its products, the “Kit Kat Matcha Green Tea for Grown-ups (Kit Kat Otonano Amasa Matcha),” has been designated a “PR Partner” by the Prefecture of Kyoto for promoting the Uji Matcha green tea, which Kyoto is known for.

▼Here’s an image of what the new shop in Kyoto looks like. It just recently opened on January 28 on the B1 floor of the Daimaru Kyoto Department Store.shop_daimarukyoto03

Now, as we’ve already mentioned, this is the first Chocolatery shop with an eat-in cafe, and their menu definitely sounds tempting. On offer at the cafe are: the “Kit Kat Sablé” and “Kit Kat Sablé Matcha Flavor” cookies, both baked with rich dough containing crushed Kit Kat crumbs (350 yen [US$2.96] a piece); the “Kit Kat Parfait” consisting of chocolate flavored soft serve ice cream made with chef Takagi’s original chocolate topped with Kit Kats (600 yen [$5.08]); the “Café Affogato (Affogato al Caffè) Chocolat” made with NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Espresso poured over chef Takagi’s original soft serve chocolate ice cream (300 yen [$2.54]); and the “Café Mélange,” a beverage consisting of NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®’s Lungo regular blend coffee topped with whipped cream (350 yen [$2.96]). Goodness, just introducing the menu makes us seriously crave sweets and coffee! And if you just want something simpler, they also have regular NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®’s line of Lungo coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino, Tea Latte and Uji Matcha Green Tea Latte available for approximately $2 to $3.

And now, let’s take a look at the new Chocolatery items that have just recently been released.

● The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Kyoto Assort” (1,350 yen [$11.43]/12 pieces)16144189087_4ce9ddb61b_zThis package containing 3 pieces each of the “Strawberry Maple,” “Plum,” “Matcha Greent Tea and Kinako Soy Bean Powder” and “Ginger” flavors, comes in an original package decorated with an illustration of Kyoto’s famous five-story pagoda and is available only at the Kyoto Daimaru Store.

● The “Kit Kat x DISH Special Collaboration Kit Kat with CD” (Special Kyoto Package Version)” (600 yen [$5.08])KK 4These Kit Kats come with a CD of the tie-in song “Kit” featured in the short musical film “Your Story” which stars the four-man rock band DISH. The box has a blank space on the bottom where you can write a personalized message if you’re giving it to someone as a present. The package pictured above is a special edition box sold only at the Kyoto Daimaru store, but a regular version will be available at all Chocolatery shops from February 2.

● The “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Plum (Ume)” (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)16330077725_22d2d2e4ce_zThe slightly sour flavor of plum makes a refreshing combination with the sweetness of chocolate in these KitKats. They’re currently available only at the Kyoto Daimaru store but will be sold at the rest of the Chocolatery shops too from February 2.

●The “Kit Kat Sublime White” (300 yen [$2.54]/piece)KK 3These Kit Kats made with quality white couverture chocolate are rich, yet not too sweet. They’re now available at all Chocolatery shops, but only 300 are sold each day, and each customer is limited to a purchase of three pieces.

And for your reference and enjoyment, here’s a recap of the other choco-licious items available at the Chocolatery shops:

▼The ever popular “Kit Kat Sublime Bitter” made with bitter couverture chocolate containing 66% cacao (300 yen [$2.54]/piece)KK 5 sublime_R

▼The ”Kit Kat Sublime Raspberry,” which also contains couverture chocolate with 66% cacao combined with the refreshing flavor of raspberry (300 yen [$2.54]/piece)KK 6 sublime raspberry_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Ginger,” made using cream containing ginger powder (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces) KK 7 special Ginger_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Cream Cheese,” which contains powdered cheese in between the wafers (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)KK 8 Cream Cheese_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Matcha Green Tea and Kinako Soy Bean Powder,” which uses quality Uji Matcha green tea (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces)KK 9 Matcha Kinako_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolatery Special Strawberry Maple“, made from white chocolate containing strawberries, with a touch of maple flavoring added (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces) KK 10 Strawberry Maple_R

▼The “Kit Kat Chocolaterie Special Orange Cocktail” with a refreshing orange flavor (400 yen [$3.39]/4 pieces, 1,200 yen [$10.19]/12 pieces, available only in Tokyo)KK 11 Orange Cocktail_R

Well, the folks at Nestle Japan must have a ball thinking up special Kit Kat flavors to drive chocolate lovers mad with craving. Not that we’re complaining, as long as they continue coming up with delectable looking treats for us! We can never have too many choices of chocolates, after all, can we?

 

[Details for Kit Kat Chocolatery Daimaru Kyoto Shop]
Business Hours: 10am to 8pm
(Closed when Daimaru Kyoto is closed)
Address: 79 Shijo Street Takakura Nishiiri Tachiurinishimachi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi
                  Daimaru Kyoto Department Store B1 Floor
Access: 1 min from Hankyu Kyoto Line Karasuma Station
                2 min walk from Karasuma Subway Line Shijo Station
Tel: +81-75-211-8111

Latest evolution of Pokémon cafe to open in Shibuya this January

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RocketNews 24:

To celebrate the release of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, “THE GUEST cafe & diner,” a restaurant inside the Shibuya Parco building, will mega-evolve into a Pokémon-themed cafe for a limited time starting this January. They will offer a wide variety of meals, desserts, and drinks to fully restore the HP of all Pokémon trainers and their loyal Pokémon friends.

If you missed the Pokémon cafe in Roppongi last summer, now’s your chance to catch it again. The Shibuya Pokémon cafe is scheduled to be open from January 9, 2015 until the end of February. So if you’re a fan of the series, or just like to eat food with cute faces staring back at you, mark your calendar now. The cafe won’t take reservations, and they’re expecting big crowds, but based on what’s on their menu it definitely looks worth checking out.

Just take a look at some of the fabulous food they’re offering.

▼ Smiling Pikachu Omu-rice – 1,580 yen (US$13.20)

omuraisu

First up is the ubiquitous Pikachu (you’ll see him quite a bit), with his saffron rice face and omelet ears. You get to choose between two sauces to go with your omelet-rice: either magma sauce (based on Primal Groudon) or aqua sauce (based on Primal Kyogre), both of which look to be ketchup. Best of all, you get a fresh Pokéball cup to take home with you when you’re done. Just don’t try throwing it at any Pokémon.

▼ Pikachu’s Favorite Hamburger Steak – 1,380 yen ($11.50)

hamburg

We’re not sure how much choice Pikachu was given in deciding his favorite hamburger steak, but we can’t argue with what he picked. The hamburger meat is actually packed together with mashed potatoes and hidden underneath the Pikachu head, which is made of egg. Pikachu’s red cheeks are little peppers, and his ears are made ofmonaka, a crispy wafer. The orange cubes in the salad are Pokéblocks (basically candy for Pokémon), and the blue thing is allegedly a Rare Candy. The cafe can’t guarantee any leveling up as a result of eating it though.

▼ Primal Groudon’s Fireblast Mapo Tofu – 1,280 yen ($10.70)

flame

The first non-Pikachu item looks pretty sizzling, with mapo tofu (fried pork and tofu with spices) surrounding the Pokéball in the pan. It comes with red rice and a fireblast-shaped salad, for maximum fire-breathing potential. Since it’s aimed at kids, it’s relatively mild, but if you’re a fire-type at heart, they provide some optional extra kick in a bottle for you to shake on.

▼ Pokemon Fried Potato Friends – 980 yen ($8.20)

fried potato

All of the starter Pokémon from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have come together to be fried in delicious potato wedge form. Now you don’t have to choose: you can eat Torchic, Mudkip and Treecko all at once. Just be sure your rival doesn’t grab one when you’re not looking, because you know they’ll pick the one that just happens to be super effective against yours.

▼ Pikachu’s Sweet Pancake – 1,580 yen ($13.20)

pancake

Moving on to desserts, we start off with a culmination of everything sweet: Pikachu’s sweet face, sweet pancakes, sweet potato ears, and sweet maple butter sauce to pour on top. It’s so sweet you might just start shooting electricity out of your own cheeks. Just like the Pikachu Omu-rice, this one comes with a Pokéball cup you can take home to impress all your friends with.

▼ “Pikachu, I Choose You!” Cream Puff – 1,280 yen ($10.70)

chou creme

For the Pokémon trainer with a more sophisticated sweet tooth, this cream puff shows Pikachu coming out of his Pokéball as you toss him into battle. His face tops a pastry along with cream, fruits, and cotton candy, and it comes with a crepe on the side and a chocolate pen to write whatever you want.

▼ Primal Kyogre’s Hydropump Dessert Plate – 1,280 yen ($10.70)

hyrdo pump

Probably the least visually impressive of all the items, the dessert plate looks like it was hit by a devastating hydropump attack. The dessert itself is a mixture of gelatin and candy, and the Pokéball is made of white chocolate and berry mousse. Compared with Primal Groudon’s impressive mapo tofu, this seems to be a rare occurrence of a water-type clearly not having the advantage over a fire-type.

▼ Pikachu’s Electric Shock Parfait – 980 yen ($8.20)

parfait

If Pikachu’s sweet pancakes just aren’t quite sugary enough for your liking, then try this. It’s a giant wad of cotton candy stuck inside a mixture of mango mousse and pineapple gelatin. If the sugar rush doesn’t shock you into paralysis, nothing will.

▼ Volt Tackle Ginger Ale – 780 yen ($6.50)

pikabiribiri

Of course eating any one of the above will put quite a strain on even the toughest Pokémon master, so you might want something to help wash it all down. Volt Tackle Ginger Ale is supposed to taste just like taking one of Pikachu’s volt tackles right to the face. If that sounds like too much for you, they have a lower-voltage version available for little kids.

▼ Mix Au Lait and Saiko Soda – 680 yen ($5.70) and 580 yen ($4.85)

drinks

For anyone who’s only played the English versions of Pokémon, these two might not make much sense at first. But they’re actually the Japanese version of the items“lemonade” and “soda pop” that you can get from vending machines in the game. The Mix Au Lait is a fruity milk drink, and Saiko Soda is clear soda.

▼ Hot/Iced Pikachu Latte – 680 yen ($5.70) and 780 yen ($6.50)

latte

Choose from a hot or iced Pikachu latte. The hot one comes with a Groudon or Kyogre cookie, and the cold one comes with the horror of having to rip off Pikachu’s ears and drink his face.

The cafe is also offering a ton of other incentives to come visit, like the free coaster you get with each drink order.

▼ I think five is a much more reasonable “gotta catch ‘em all” than 719.

coasters_resized

If you bring your 3DS and copy of Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire, aside from battling with other avid Pokémon trainers, you can also download a special “Pokemon Cafe Pikachu” as a present. It’s name is “P-Cafe,” it has the moves Play Nice, Charm, Nuzzle, and Sweet Kiss, and it’s holding the item Sweet Heart. It’s not going to be taking down the Elite Four anytime soon, but it’s a fun little souvenir of your trip.

With a photo-spot to take selfies with Pokémon, and a shop attached to the cafe selling official limited edition goods, there’s plenty of ways to get your full Pokémon fix. So be sure to hop on your trusty Taillow and Fly on down there this January.

Store Information
Open Dates: Jan. 9th, 2015 (Friday) to end of February 2015
Hours: Open at 11:00 a.m., last order at 10:00 p.m., last drinks at 10:30 p.m.
Location: Shibuya Parco Building, Part 1, 7th Floor
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Udagawa-cho 15-1
東京都渋谷区宇田川町15-1

BEAMS (Japan) At Home book

Image of BEAMS At Home Book

 

Finally! The chance we have all been waiting for. An exclusive look into the lives, spaces and wardrobes of all 130 BEAMS employees in this intimate 430 page volume. Curated for the Japanese department store by Yusuke Osawa of RCKT/ Rocket Company, the BEAMS At Home publication is the ultimate culmination of style and taste. Documenting the people who form the ‘beams’ to the brand’s ethos and commercial presentation.

Marking the company’s first-ever lifestyle publication, the book helps us explore all corners of the globe, from Africa to America in a beautifully documented visual tour. Head on over to BEAMS directly to pick up a copy.

 

Image of BEAMS At Home Book

Image of BEAMS At Home Book

Image of BEAMS At Home Book

Image of BEAMS At Home Book