These are the answers to this quiz.

#1 Rice planter (Japanese: 田植機/taueki)



#2 Decorative chain-drainpipe (Japanese: 鎖樋/kusaritoi)



#3 Wooden clappers for fire-prevention patrols (Japanese: 拍子木/hyoushigi).

Members of local block associations go on regular patrols in their neighborhoods and shout warnings to people to be careful of fires. They use these clappers to attract people’s attention and then shout “Hi no youjin (Be careful of fires).”



#4 Double eyelid tape (Japanese: 二重テープ/futae te-pu).

Japanese women use this tape to give themselves Western-looking eyelids.



#5 Sleeping-mat beater (Japanese: 布団たたき/futon tataki)

After putting their futons out to dry in the afternoon, many people beat them to get rid of the dust. However, most sleeping-mat makers are now recommending that people not do this. The reason is that it damages the fibers of the futon, disturbs the neighbors, and does not actually remove dust and mites. The dust that comes out of a futon if you beat it hard is actually broken bits of fiber from the beating. The recommended way to remove dust is by vacuuming or just wiping your hand after you hang it out. Here’s a link to Wikipedia’s article on futons (in Japanese).

This YouTube video is of hundreds of apartment residents beating their futons to the tune of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”



#6 Ear cleaner (Japanese: 耳かき/mimikaki)

Japanese people seem to love getting their ears cleaned, and a man with his head on his wife’s lap getting the wax taken out is a famous image of domestic bliss. There are even ear cleaning services where men can go to get their ears cleaned by young women.



#7 Sukebe isu (Japanese: スケベ椅子/sukebe isu)

These chairs are used in soaplands. The man sits on them, and the soapgirl washes his body. The groove in the chair allows her to “access all areas.”

By the way, while I was searching for sukebe isu videos, I found this hilarious home shopping parody:



Surprisingly, you can order one from


#8 Tea whisk (Japanese: 茶筅/chasen)

These are used for stirring Japanese tea.



#9 Grave marker (卒塔婆/sotoba)

Buddhists are often given a new name called a kaimyou when they die. The name is written on the sotoba.


By the way, while looking for an image of a sotoba, I found this interesting high-tech sotoba printer:


#10 Winter tree wraps (Japanese: こも巻き/komomaki)

Some trees are wrapped in winter to prevent insects from laying their eggs in them. The insects lay their eggs in the straw wrappings, which are taken off in the spring and burned.