Friday, July 6, 2012

Useful Japanese Products for the Home

I spent the day pouring more bottles down the drain than I care to remember under the kind tutelage of a friend who not only kept me on target, but cleaned my refrigerator while she did it. Can I have an amen? The world needs more people like her. While we were cleaning, I was inspired to share some of the Japanese products that I found handy during my time here.

As I've mentioned before, in Japan I'm illiterate and so with illiteracy I have the opportunity to rename all products whose names escape me. If you can enlighten me or my readers, please post a comment. I buy and use these items not by reading the labels, but by recognizing the packaging.

Oil Pucks

Oil Pucks are extremely useful, and it is beyond me why I've never seen them in the States. They are made by Johnson, a family company. The are actually packets of sprinkles that turn cooking oil into oil jelly pucks. Scoop the oil puck out of the pan and into the trash. Thinking that some of my gaijin friends may be unaware of this fabulous product, I took some photos so that it can be identified by others on store shelves everywhere in Japan. I avoided thinking about moving for a whole five minutes with this project.

Oil pucks in the packaging
Pictographs are explanatory
Pour in the powder into warm oil and distribute with a swirl of chopsticks
As the cooking oil cools, it congeals and is easy to toss

Mosquito Coils

Mosquito Coils come in both small and large tins. My husband and I discovered the benefit of burning these coils and we like the smell so we get the large tins. Sometimes he lights one in the morning and it burns all day just by the door. We live in an overgrown jungle of green, damp, steam which breeds mosquitoes that sting and itch. My children often request them to be put out as well. Keeping one near the door helps to insure that the mosquitoes stay outside. Plus check out the kawaii container to hold them which is unnecessary as you can simply burn the coils in the the tin's lid by following the pictograph. However, we have a Mule that loves piggies so we have the burner. The piggies are very cute as the smoke comes out of their noses. I've noticed too that gardeners in Japan will use these coils as they move from spot to spot in the yard. There is another brand with a rooster on it, but these win the sniff test at our house.

Good luck finding these handy Japanese products for your home!

You have to separate the coils by pressing gently in the center and along the perimeter

The separated coils

Light the coil and start it on the slow burn

Coil hanging inside the container 
If you see these kawaii piggies in shops, now you know what to do and get for them


  1. Sounds like the start of an import business as you move to Ohio.

  2. It's crossed my mind, but I have a lot to learn about importing. If you can direct me to some good sources, I'd appreciate it. Our main focus in Ohio will be an office practice so it is the long slow simmer for my Japan ideas.


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