When I saw the above photo of the yakuza gangster on the Tokyo Reporter , I could think of only one thing: mukku-kun
MUKKU, the best friend of Gachapin in a popular Japanese children’s program “Hirake! Ponkiki” (3Yen 2009-07-21).



Previous reports the Mysterious Duo on the 3Yen include:


Japan’s Gamera has invaded North Korea !

Gamera-comic Japan’s kaiju, Gamera, The Invincible, Super Monster, Guardian of the Universe, and Friend of All Children (Wiki) has been seen invading North Korea!


North Korean zoo upgrades include 65-meter ‘turtle’
NK News – North Korea News / 2015 Sept. 21
Upgrades to Pyongyang’s Central Zoo include construction of a 65-meter turtle-shaped building, and a larger construction in the shape of a bird’s wing, satellite imagery and a bulletin from Korean Central Television (KCTV) revealmore...


Previous Gamera reports on the 3Yen include:
   • Gamera chomp! (3Yen / 2015-09-18)
   • Gamera camera (3Yen / 2014-03-24/)
   • Gamera captured in Tokyo’s Ginza! (3Yen / 2006-04-25)
‘Turtles can fly’ premieres in Japan (3Yen / 2005-07-27)
   • Nagasaki’s mutant Crocotutle scare (3Yen / 2010-08-13)


‘Weird’ Japan vs ‘Normal’ Japan

People who live in Japan groan (actually Japanese suck air through their teeth rather than groan) about the lame observation that, “Japan is weird.”
People are weird.
In that context, the so-called [ab]normal-day-in-Japan photos below actually are quite normal.

  What does a normal day in Japan look like?
  Turning Japanese blog by Andrew C | 2015/July1-6_normal-japan
  13-15_normal-Japan View the full-sized photos on the turningjapanese.org

Most of the above photos are just a normal-day-in-Japan, if you understand that they are intentionally meant to be strange for advertising and artistic reasons.
Specifically (with links to previous 3Yen posts of the original photos):

  • Photos 1 and 2 are just unusual but “normal” enough enough product adversing displays.
  • Photo 3 is Chinese (with Chinese writing on the Coke bottle hats).
  • Photo 4 of a lady walking her pig is rare but possible—I see the Chicken-on-his-head Man and the Live-Goldfish-Earrings Man most weekends.
  • Photo 5 is abnormal.
  • Photo 6 is “normal” everyday occurrence in Chiba (just east of Tokyo) were “Batman” commutes. (3Yen / 2015-01-12)
  • Photo 7 is a movie promotion but Japan has several “normal” permanent mecha statues. (3Yen / 2010-06-03)
  • Photo 8 is a “normal” cosplay contest (3Yen / 2007-11-30).
  • Photo 9 is a “normal” performance artist, Omaru Uwabaki, who performs every weekend in Machida. (3Yen / 2011-01-27)
  • Photo 10 is a “normal” summer promo display–KFC Japan dresses the Colonel for Xmas, Halloween, etc. as well as giving him a sex change occasionally. (3Yen / 2010-09-09)
  • Photo 11 is a “normal” failed product test–Japanese think pancakes are a dessert (cakes).
  • Photo 12 is a “normal” mainstream science museum exhibit, which runs every school summer vacation period. The Japanese (like Germans) love everything poop related. (3Yen / 2014-07-08)
  • Photo 13 is a “normal” attention-seeking, performance artist. (Rocketnews24 2014/02/22)
  • Photo 14 is a “normal” Coca Cola advertising promotion that ran for a couple a weeks a few years ago. Refer to:
       Coke machine robo-babe (3Yen 2007-09-2)
  • Photo 15 is a “normal” Mario Go-kart rental business for tourists–an everyday sight in Tokyo. (kotaku.com)

So to recap the fun, five photos are just advertising promotions, two are of performance artists, one is Chinese not Japanese, and only one is “abnormal.”

Jamming Gem-of-Japan

“Wanky,” long-time reader of the 3Yen, just sent in this jammin’ gem of Japan…

[Japanese] Fellow enjoys VR sex simulation so much he won’t stop when asked to
boingboing.net | Aug 28, 2015

Previous “jamming” Japan reports on the 3Yen include:


Pikachu ‘Outbreak’!

Pikachu Tairyo Hassei Chu—an Outbreak of Pikachus is scheduled to take place in Yokohama from August 8 to 18. One thousand dancing Pikachus will descend on the Minato Mirai bayside district of Yokohama—No telling what havoc they will cause!


Funk the ‘Chanbara’

Chanbara*, Japanese kids playing with sticks like make-believe swords was “culturally appropriated” and funked for this music video of samurai fighting in the garage.

Featuring Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington | Brainfeeder 2015 | Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada | Produced by Zach Wechter


*Learn more about Chanbara swordplay at:


A copy copied

Things have gone full circle.
The imagery of Star Wars was appropriated from Japan, and now Japanese ukiyo-e images have become: Official Star Wars ukiyo‑e

See the prints at the official Star Wars ukiyo-e website (in Japanese): makuake.com/project/starwars-ukiyoe

Previous reports of modern ukiyo-e on the 3Yen include:


Doraemon in chains!


When Japan’s Foreign Ministry appointed the beloved character Doraemon as an “anime ambassador” to the world in 2008 (Wiki), I doubt he was thinking that he would end up being chained in front of a shopping center in China. Doraemon volume 1 cover
I also doubt that the Japanese Foreign Ministry would have thought harmless Doraemon would become persona non grata in China since he is, on a mission to corrupt the China’s youth (theguardian.com).″

A few of the many previous reports about Doraemon on the 3Yen include:


Bears in the bigtime

Bears are Big in Japan″…especially killer teddy bears taking revenge on an afro-samurai.

Picking up where where the original Afro Samurai story (3Yen / 2007-10-30) left off, you can follow the path of Kuma on his quest for wreck revenge by hunting down Afro to make him pay for the death for all those he loved.

Previous reports Afro Bears and the fury of the Furry on the 3Yen include: