Japanese phone cases look good enough to eat.
Likewise, a deep-fried pork cutlet slathered in curry sauce, and lying on top of next week’s management report, shouldn’t cause you alarm, or even afflict you with hunger pangs.
It’s probably your friend’s phone.
Any visitor to Japan will have noticed and admired the displays in restaurant windows. Plastic food, often as inviting as the real thing, and sometimes surreal in its approach (for example, a pair of chopsticks in mid-air grasping a hank of ramen pulled from a bowl), giving any customer an instant appraisal of the goodies to be found within (and helping non-Japanese speakers – “I’ll have one of those”).
Tsukasa Sample, a Kawasaki-based maker working in the field of Japanese craftsmanship, has adapted some of its line to create cases for smartphones and other electrical gizmos, based on their food samples.
Prices for an iPhone case are typically about ¥3,400 (about US$42), with strap ornaments/keyholders being a little cheaper, and according to the markers, these cases mainly go to women. Nintendo DS cases and cases for other smartphones are the same price as those for iPhones.
The range offered changes according to the season, with fruits and ice desserts making up the summer offerings and being among the most popular items on the menu.
But check out the full-course meal, from salmon roe on rice, through beef stew, prawns in chili sauce through to tai-yaki – a Japanese pancake stuffed with sweet bean jam in the shape of a fish.