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Nov 16, 2008

I *think* the Japanese are kicking our asses again?

But I can't understand what this little edamame bean is saying, so I can't be sure.

Help a sister out with the translayshe?

Domo arigato Sam L.! [head bow]

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Dan dan boo!

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 06:38 PM

It appears to be the Edamame Bean of Existential Despair.

Sort of like a cute vegetable version of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.


the bug man
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 06:40 PM

i don't know...is it qte, is it sad?

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 06:41 PM

OMG! Are they trying to get Vegetarians to eat NOTHING! That is SO sad! I don't want to eat lentils or peas or anything now!!! ACK!

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 06:47 PM

That links to a toy edamame bean! According to wikipedia, "In Japan, some animals bred for miniature size are referred to as Mame-Shiba. The prefix "mame," meaning "bean" in Japanese, is similar to "toy" prefix used to refer to other miniature breeds."

Christy L.
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 06:49 PM



Michelle S
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 06:49 PM

Is Japan ever NOT extremely weird and/or extremely cute?

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 06:55 PM

I dunno about existential despair, but if my food started blinking and talking to me, I'd be kinda bugged too!

David Harmon
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 06:56 PM

Also, they have all kind of merch on the website of these little bean guys. Watches, keychains, wallets, and boy do I want these stickers: http://dogatch.jp/blog/mameshiba/goods_detail3499.html

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 06:57 PM

I don't understand all of it. Just little snippets, really. The bean dialogue escapes me.

Bean: Ohayo gozaimasu. (Good morning.)
Woman: Nani? (Huh?)

The kid: Itadakimasu! (Thanks for the meal. Ritual saying before beginning dinner.)

After the bean talks to him...
Kid: Mommy....

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:00 PM

1.) Good morning. did you know that 20,000 bacteria go in and out of kangaroo pouches?

2.) Did you know? Dandelions in France smell really bad.

3.) OOomph. Did you know? It smells really bad when kangaroos wet their bed

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:03 PM

??!??!??! That's all I have to offer.

Beth (in NC)
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:04 PM

oops. 200 million bacteria, not 20,000

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:04 PM

The beans look strangely guinea pig like - at least on that link that goes to the stickers. There's someone at work who is half Japanese, so I'm going to have to do some investigation tomorrow. The talking bean intrigues me...

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:11 PM

The first factoid is "There are 200,000,000 bacteria in a kangaroo's pouch." I'll post a translation eventually if no one else does. :)

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:19 PM


 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:19 PM

I'll do my best with the translation...
(Caption) Mame-shiba
[Bean-"shiba"; not sure what "shiba" means. Maybe an abbrev. of "(theatrical) play".]

(Caption) Nattou-shiba [Nattou is fermented beans.]
(Bean) Good morning!
(Lady) What?!
(Bean) 200 million bacteria live (lit. 'come and go') in a kangaroo's pouch.
(Singing) Once-a-day Bean Factoid.
(Text) [Same as what bean and singing said.]

(Caption) Mame-shiba
(Curtain) Bar (lit. ‘alcohol’)
(Old Man) Huh?
(Caption) Edamame-shiba
(Edamame) Hey, did you know?
(Old Man) What is it??
(Edamame) They say France’s dandelions are really stinky.
(Old Man) I’m done. (lit. ‘Thanks for the tasty meal.’; traditional post-meal saying)
(Singing) Once-a-day Bean Factoid.
(Text) [Same as what edamame and singing said.]

(Caption) Mame-shiba
(Boy) Time to eat! [A non-religious traditional grace.]
(Caption) Green pea-shiba.
(Pea) Ta-da!
(Pea) Hey, did you know? They say a kangaroo’s pee-pee (lit. ‘bed-wetting’) is really stinky.
(Boy) Mom…
(Singing) Once-a-day Bean Factoid.
(Text) [Same as what pea and singing said.]

That was considerably weirder than even I expected, and I lived in Japan for two years (and watched a lot of TV!). My favorite is the second, due to the old guy's reaction...

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:22 PM

I think this is also a play on the Japanese use of the word mame to sometimes describe anything trivial (think bean = small size, hence a trivial tidbit of info or matter...). So the tiny mame-shiba puppy, is also throwing out random factoids, much to the chagrin of his audience. The Japanese do love their puns.

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:24 PM

Whoa..almost jinx!

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:25 PM

That's weird... I posted a full translation but now I can't see it... hm...

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:25 PM

@Asumi - It's still there above my first post. I think the shiba is referring to the shiba-ken, since it's a doggy face on the mame. And as someone's noted, they do breed a miniature version of the shiba referred to as mame-shiba as well.

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:32 PM

Wow, no wonder I couldn't understand a thing the bean said! :)

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:34 PM

Hey, chanpon, thanks for the help! I think you're dead on with the pun... I've learned something!!

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:35 PM

It seems like these might be chopped up by some weird people. The Ronald McDonald is a giveaway there - it was recently quite popular to splice him into strange videos. I'm not quite sure about the source material.

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:37 PM

is she eating natto for breakfast? grooooss...

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:37 PM

. . . it's amazing how that becomes even MORE surreal after you know the translation. Usually it's the other way around.

Emma M
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:41 PM

Is it too much to hope that
he's a spokesperson for a
Green lifestyle?

totalee puppy
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:43 PM

If you'll excuse me, I need to step outside a moment to reassure myself that I'm still on Earth.

Not That Mike The Other Mike
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:45 PM

This is an altered version made to have weirder dialog than the original by splicing words from different parts together. The original eps can be fount on youtube, but if you can't understand Japanese anyway, you can't tell the difference!

Like people have said, "Mame shiba" can be a mini dog. "Mame" also means pea, and "mame chishiki" (豆知識) means "trivia" or "bits of knowledge".

SO, this is a combination of a pea and a dog that comes out and tells you a random piece of pointless trivia, like "The inside of a kangaroo's pouch really stinks."

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:48 PM

Therpharm: I think you are on to something. The weird words (kangaroo, bed-wetting, etc.) are poorly spliced into the text at the end of each segment. Someone living in Japan would be able to confirm the splicing for us if they went to the mame-shiba.jp website (the video on that site is restricted to Japanese IPs only, so I can't see it)

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:50 PM

Found the real #2 on yotube:

Real text: They say the inside of a kangaroo's pouch is really stinky...

Ok, now that this is clearly a hoax I'm going to stop being a nerd for the evening. :)

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:53 PM

That is in no way disturbing what so ever. I have to go lock up my peas now, excuse me.

Purple Phoenix
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:56 PM

Ok, after this one I'll really stop... Here's the real #1: http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=ta7Fc-xNulg

Real text: In France, white asparagus is called "Mademoiselle's finger."

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:57 PM

wow what a coincidence...I just got something similar off of thinkgeek.com....a little keychain where you pop the edamame beans in and out...sooo fun to play with

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 07:57 PM

@good, I was going to write the same thing, but he beat me too it. It also sounds like mame-chishiki which means random trivia (mostly useless). Japanese word play is much more common then in English and often you need to understand something on a few different levels for it to make sense. The straight translation often has only part of the meaning.

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 08:05 PM


That's one of the creepiest things I've seen in a long time. It reminds of a Tales from the Darkside episode I saw when I was little. Eeek.

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 08:08 PM

I think you are giving the Japanese too much credit. That was not even cute.

Vicki Carpenter
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 08:11 PM

it was cute up until the scary japanese ronald mcdonald at the end!

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 08:44 PM

Oh, I see! The reason this seems really weird is because someone edited the dialogue!

Let me get this straight. In the edited version, a chibi dog/soybean pops out and says, "They say France's dandelions are really stinky", whereas in the original, non-weird version, a chibi dog/soybean pops out and says "They say the inside of a kangaroo's pouch is really stinky". Is that it?

I feel so much less confused now.

(Goes off to curl up in the fetal position someplace.)

the bug man
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 08:51 PM

This may sound brutal, but I think I am going to put my pea soup through the blender before I put into bowls... I don't want any cute little peas floating to the top, spouting random trivia... =:-0

Boomer's Babysitter
 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 08:55 PM


Cute, but also very wtf? Japanese advertisements just make me smile.

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 09:19 PM

These characters are super popular in Japan right now. You can't walk into a Taito game station without seeing at least 1 or 2 machines with these doggie/vegetable characters for grabs.

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 09:22 PM

Talking edamame? OK, fine.

Ronald McDonald at the end? Nooooooooo!!! Make it go away! Abort! Danger Will Robinson Danger!!!!!

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 09:38 PM

the bug man summed up my thoughts exactly. LOL

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 10:29 PM

enough WeIrDnEsS...
now back to our "Munchichi's" &
"Shirt Tales."

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 10:51 PM

if my bean talk to me i'd freak out

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 11:27 PM

That was very cute and yet infinitely disturbing. o.O

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 11:29 PM

And also, that singing will haunt my dreams.

 |  Nov 16, 2008 at 11:31 PM


 |  Nov 17, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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