A 'hot' new gadget from Loft in Japan

I was wandering the Loft department store at Shinsaibashi in Osaka, Japan, last week when I found a display surrounding this video. Give it a watch and see if you can tell what it's advertising...

I was wandering the Loft department store at Shinsaibashi in Osaka, Japan, last week when I found a display surrounding this video. Give it a watch and see if you can tell what it's advertising...

$16 pens at Osaka's Shinsaibashi branch of Loft. Sinobyte

Well, did you get it? From the Pen Spinning Association Japan comes the Penz'Gear line of sticks to spin artfully in your fingers, complete with an instructional DVD to teach you techniques for the following techniques: Normal, Reverse, FingerPass, BackAround, Harmonic, and Tornado.

You're not going to catch me saying that this proves "the Japanese" are weird. On the contrary, I was the only one paying attention to this display in a very busy store. It is fun, however, to think about the folks who made the video and whatever process of retail selection (or payoffs) that might have given it this prominence.

I can only hope that this post brings out a subculture of people who are better at playing with pens than I am to explain to me how a properly weighted pen is essential to the art. As for me, I'm back to doodling.

About the author

    Formerly a journalist and consultant in Beijing, Graham Webster is a graduate student studying East Asia at Harvard University. At Sinobyte, he follows the effects of technology on Chinese politics, the environment, and global affairs. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network, and is not an employee of CNET. Disclosure.

     

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