When Japan Gets April Fools' Day So Right

Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Today is April 1. I recently read someone somewhere saying that April Fools’ Day is not a thing in Japan. Oh how wrong is that! It’s been around for decades and is very much a thing online.

In Japanese, April Fools’s Day is called 4月馬鹿 (Shigatsu Baka or, literally, April Fool) or エイプリルフール (Eipuriru Fuuru or April Fool)—though, more recently, I have also seen エープリルフール (Eepuriru Fuuru or, again, April Fool).


Just like last year, numerous companies launched their own internet gags. Some of them are clever and funny.

Let’s take a look at the standouts.

Escaped Slowpokes


[via Gamer]

After 52 years of breeding, 800 Slowpokes have escaped from the Slowpoke Research Center in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan. Sounds like a good reason to visit Kagawa!


[via UdonkenKanko]


[Photo: shimizu_izu]

(If you want to make your own escaped Slowpoke, you can find high-quality assets here, here, here, here, and, uh, here.)


Pixel Mini


The world’s first 8-bit model comes in 256 colors and can transform into a pixelated block.

[via Inside]

Coca-Cola Business Cards


On April 1, Coca-Cola Japan employees got new business cards...that are a pain in the ass to carry. But at least they’re refreshing!

[via Coca Cola]

World’s First Airbag for Smartphone Users


The folks at Volvo Japan are worried about people walking and using smartphones. You should be, too.

[via Volvo]

Photoshop Made “Real”


Adobe prepared these “Adobe Photoshop for Real” kits and, cooler, they even passed some out to members of the Japanese press.


[via Adobe Japan]

Hot Springs Arcade


Today only, Taito says it’s opening a game center at a Japanese hot springs. Nude gaming, everyone, nude gaming in warm water.

[via Taito]

Nothing Says Traditional Japanese Food like Audi


Like rice? What about tatami mats? Then this is the fake Audi for you!

[via Audi Japan]

One Big Ultraman


Measuring over 40 meters high and costing a mere 78 million yen (US$650,816), you’ll be happy to know that at least delivery is free. Too bad Bandai won’t release something like this, because surely, someone would buy one.


[via Bandai]

Smart Beer Mug


A “smart mug” for your Kirin Beer. If only!

[via Kirin]

Frieza Idol Group


Momoiro Clover Z’s homepage is covered in Frieza. Even the group’s profiles are in Frieza make-up. Makes sense as the group has a song in the new Dragon Ball Z anime.

[via Momoiro Clover Z]

Red Bull Eye Drops


You can blast pollen in the stratosphere. Sign me up!

[via Red Bull]

Hands-Free Smartphone Holder


Anime channel Animax noticed that some people’s hands get tired while holding smartphones and watching anime. Here’s a solution.

The name “teburakuchin” is a wordplay on “empty-handed” (手ブラ or tebura), “comfort” (楽 or raku), and penis (チンチン or “chinchin,” チンコ or “chinko”). “Rakuchin” (楽チン) also means “easy going.” But yes, all the phallic jokes are on purpose.

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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