I think I first read about this “fad” about a week ago on Boing Boing. Search Google for “shiny mud balls” in English and you get 186,000 hits. Search for the same term in Japanese (光る泥団子） and you get 413 hits. The latest fad taking Japan by storm? I think not.
For what it’s worth, I asked the expert this morning (Tony, 8yrs old) and he had never heard of them. Maybe they’re all the rage in another part of the country. Some place where people don’t use the Internet much, I guess.
Update: Siuyee, our resident Quality Control expert, notes that if you remove “shiny” from the search term you get 19,700 hits. So it’s quite possible that I’m totally wrong, and my kid’s a nerd. Maybe all his classmates are mass-producing shiny mud balls and hiding them when he comes around. What I do know for sure is that I’m at work eight hours a day and I’ve never seen any of my Japanese colleagues make one…
While we’re at it, let’s also tackle the myth about Japanese being in love with their robotic dogs and manservants. Sony recently stopped production of the Aibo and Qrio to return their focus to products they can actually sell. For a profit.