Several years ago a friend of mine, one Amber Lundy Leigh, brought me back a present from Japan. It was this small plastic sign of a raccoon who has an instructional message to errant children (and adults) who do not consider hand hygiene a serious enough issue. He's also a cool little dude.
Little did I know that washing your hands has been a big deal for the Japanese for many years now. So, naturally I googled NOW WASH YOUR HANDS, which introduced me to a whole new land of Japanese hand hygiene. When Swine Flu was terrifying the entire world with the threat of a kind of misunderstood porcine cold, Unicef decided to educate Japanese kids with, what else, a dance!
What I love about it is the jollity - it's so cheery and devoid of irony. It's also sort of infectious, much like watching an episode of the original Human Tetris.
Remembering the joy brought to me by staring at this little green raccoon with his sensible words reminded me of a similar, brilliant if puzzling piece of Japanese advertizing. This is not health based at all, quite the reverse in fact, given that these two videos are variations on a fairly bizarre theme, for crisps. If anyone can explain any part of these ads to me, please leave a comment - uninformed, humorous guesses are of course very welcome! If you are as befuddled as me, then just sit back, relax, screw up your eyes, furrow your brows, laugh, eat some crisps, then wash your hands.
For more serious updates on the situation in Japan, visit here.