Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A book of Japanese "life hacks"

The term "life hacks" is a modern equivalent of the Japanese word urawaza, which generally refers to any sort of unconventional technique but also refers to handy, outside-of-the-box solutions to everyday problems, such as this one taken from the book Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan:

Dilemma — The company bowling tournament is coming up, and the winner gets an extra grand in his or her bonus this year. You want it — bad — but right now you can barely keep the ball out of the gutter.

Solution — Take an iron — yep, the one you use to press your shirts — to the bowling alley and practice pointing the end of it at the second arrow from the right on the lane as you make your approach.

Why this works — This angle positions you perfectly for a dead-center throw. When you repeat this motion with the ball, you get the angle down pat before you factor in the weight and awkwardness of the ball.

There is also a series of urawaza videos online.

The "Ice Cream Yo-Yo" is an example of an urawaza.

—Mellow Monk

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