I *think* the Japanese are kicking our asses again?

But I can’t understand what this little edamame bean is saying, so I can’t be sure.

Help a sister out with the translayshe?

Domo arigato Sam L.! [head bow]



  1. Dan dan boo!

  2. the bug man says:

    It appears to be the Edamame Bean of Existential Despair.

    Sort of like a cute vegetable version of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.


  3. i don’t know…is it qte, is it sad?

  4. OMG! Are they trying to get Vegetarians to eat NOTHING! That is SO sad! I don’t want to eat lentils or peas or anything now!!! ACK!

  5. http://www.akiba-station.com/blog/?p=2080
    That links to a toy edamame bean! According to wikipedia, “In Japan, some animals bred for miniature size are referred to as Mame-Shiba. The prefix “mame,” meaning “bean” in Japanese, is similar to “toy” prefix used to refer to other miniature breeds.”

  6. Michelle S says:



  7. Is Japan ever NOT extremely weird and/or extremely cute?

  8. David Harmon says:

    I dunno about existential despair, but if my food started blinking and talking to me, I’d be kinda bugged too!

  9. Also, they have all kind of merch on the website of these little bean guys. Watches, keychains, wallets, and boy do I want these stickers: http://dogatch.jp/blog/mameshiba/goods_detail3499.html

  10. I don’t understand all of it. Just little snippets, really. The bean dialogue escapes me.

    Bean: Ohayo gozaimasu. (Good morning.)
    Woman: Nani? (Huh?)

    The kid: Itadakimasu! (Thanks for the meal. Ritual saying before beginning dinner.)

    After the bean talks to him…
    Kid: Mommy….

  11. supposedtobeworkingintokyo says:

    1.) Good morning. did you know that 20,000 bacteria go in and out of kangaroo pouches?

    2.) Did you know? Dandelions in France smell really bad.

    3.) OOomph. Did you know? It smells really bad when kangaroos wet their bed

  12. Beth (in NC) says:

    ??!??!??! That’s all I have to offer.

  13. supposedtobeworkingintokyo says:

    oops. 200 million bacteria, not 20,000

  14. michellemybelle says:

    The beans look strangely guinea pig like – at least on that link that goes to the stickers. There’s someone at work who is half Japanese, so I’m going to have to do some investigation tomorrow. The talking bean intrigues me…

  15. The first factoid is “There are 200,000,000 bacteria in a kangaroo’s pouch.” I’ll post a translation eventually if no one else does. 🙂

  16. w…..t….f……

  17. I’ll do my best with the translation…
    (Caption) Mame-shiba
    [Bean-“shiba”; not sure what “shiba” means. Maybe an abbrev. of “(theatrical) play”.]

    (Caption) Nattou-shiba [Nattou is fermented beans.]
    (Bean) Good morning!
    (Lady) What?!
    (Bean) 200 million bacteria live (lit. ‘come and go’) in a kangaroo’s pouch.
    (Singing) Once-a-day Bean Factoid.
    (Text) [Same as what bean and singing said.]

    (Caption) Mame-shiba
    (Curtain) Bar (lit. ‘alcohol’)
    (Old Man) Huh?
    (Caption) Edamame-shiba
    (Edamame) Hey, did you know?
    (Old Man) What is it??
    (Edamame) They say France’s dandelions are really stinky.
    (Old Man) I’m done. (lit. ‘Thanks for the tasty meal.’; traditional post-meal saying)
    (Singing) Once-a-day Bean Factoid.
    (Text) [Same as what edamame and singing said.]

    (Caption) Mame-shiba
    (Boy) Time to eat! [A non-religious traditional grace.]
    (Caption) Green pea-shiba.
    (Pea) Ta-da!
    (Pea) Hey, did you know? They say a kangaroo’s pee-pee (lit. ‘bed-wetting’) is really stinky.
    (Boy) Mom…
    (Singing) Once-a-day Bean Factoid.
    (Text) [Same as what pea and singing said.]

    That was considerably weirder than even I expected, and I lived in Japan for two years (and watched a lot of TV!). My favorite is the second, due to the old guy’s reaction…

  18. I think this is also a play on the Japanese use of the word mame to sometimes describe anything trivial (think bean = small size, hence a trivial tidbit of info or matter…). So the tiny mame-shiba puppy, is also throwing out random factoids, much to the chagrin of his audience. The Japanese do love their puns.

  19. Whoa..almost jinx!

  20. That’s weird… I posted a full translation but now I can’t see it… hm…

  21. @Asumi – It’s still there above my first post. I think the shiba is referring to the shiba-ken, since it’s a doggy face on the mame. And as someone’s noted, they do breed a miniature version of the shiba referred to as mame-shiba as well.

  22. Wow, no wonder I couldn’t understand a thing the bean said! 🙂

  23. Hey, chanpon, thanks for the help! I think you’re dead on with the pun… I’ve learned something!!

  24. It seems like these might be chopped up by some weird people. The Ronald McDonald is a giveaway there – it was recently quite popular to splice him into strange videos. I’m not quite sure about the source material.

  25. shadowsong says:

    is she eating natto for breakfast? grooooss…

  26. . . . it’s amazing how that becomes even MORE surreal after you know the translation. Usually it’s the other way around.

  27. totalee puppy says:

    Is it too much to hope that
    he’s a spokesperson for a
    Green lifestyle?

  28. If you’ll excuse me, I need to step outside a moment to reassure myself that I’m still on Earth.

  29. This is an altered version made to have weirder dialog than the original by splicing words from different parts together. The original eps can be fount on youtube, but if you can’t understand Japanese anyway, you can’t tell the difference!

    Like people have said, “Mame shiba” can be a mini dog. “Mame” also means pea, and “mame chishiki” (豆知識) means “trivia” or “bits of knowledge”.

    SO, this is a combination of a pea and a dog that comes out and tells you a random piece of pointless trivia, like “The inside of a kangaroo’s pouch really stinks.”

  30. Therpharm: I think you are on to something. The weird words (kangaroo, bed-wetting, etc.) are poorly spliced into the text at the end of each segment. Someone living in Japan would be able to confirm the splicing for us if they went to the mame-shiba.jp website (the video on that site is restricted to Japanese IPs only, so I can’t see it)

  31. Found the real #2 on yotube:

    Real text: They say the inside of a kangaroo’s pouch is really stinky…

    Ok, now that this is clearly a hoax I’m going to stop being a nerd for the evening. 🙂

  32. Purple Phoenix says:

    That is in no way disturbing what so ever. I have to go lock up my peas now, excuse me.

  33. Ok, after this one I’ll really stop… Here’s the real #1: http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=ta7Fc-xNulg

    Real text: In France, white asparagus is called “Mademoiselle’s finger.”

  34. wow what a coincidence…I just got something similar off of thinkgeek.com….a little keychain where you pop the edamame beans in and out…sooo fun to play with

  35. @good, I was going to write the same thing, but he beat me too it. It also sounds like mame-chishiki which means random trivia (mostly useless). Japanese word play is much more common then in English and often you need to understand something on a few different levels for it to make sense. The straight translation often has only part of the meaning.

  36. Um…

    That’s one of the creepiest things I’ve seen in a long time. It reminds of a Tales from the Darkside episode I saw when I was little. Eeek.

  37. Vicki Carpenter says:

    I think you are giving the Japanese too much credit. That was not even cute.

  38. Sorry to be a nuffer but wouldn’t it be great if the Japanese were as concerned about whales as they see to be about a smiley bean?

  39. it was cute up until the scary japanese ronald mcdonald at the end!

  40. the bug man says:

    Oh, I see! The reason this seems really weird is because someone edited the dialogue!

    Let me get this straight. In the edited version, a chibi dog/soybean pops out and says, “They say France’s dandelions are really stinky”, whereas in the original, non-weird version, a chibi dog/soybean pops out and says “They say the inside of a kangaroo’s pouch is really stinky”. Is that it?

    I feel so much less confused now.

    (Goes off to curl up in the fetal position someplace.)

  41. Boomer's Babysitter says:

    This may sound brutal, but I think I am going to put my pea soup through the blender before I put into bowls… I don’t want any cute little peas floating to the top, spouting random trivia… =:-0

  42. o.O

    Cute, but also very wtf? Japanese advertisements just make me smile.

  43. These characters are super popular in Japan right now. You can’t walk into a Taito game station without seeing at least 1 or 2 machines with these doggie/vegetable characters for grabs.

  44. binky-mama says:

    Talking edamame? OK, fine.

    Ronald McDonald at the end? Nooooooooo!!! Make it go away! Abort! Danger Will Robinson Danger!!!!!

  45. the bug man summed up my thoughts exactly. LOL

  46. Hmm. What about them? What do they say?

  47. enough WeIrDnEsS…
    now back to our “Munchichi’s” &
    “Shirt Tales.”

  48. if my bean talk to me i’d freak out

  49. That was very cute and yet infinitely disturbing. o.O

  50. And also, that singing will haunt my dreams.

  51. uh…eh?

  52. All I know for sure is that first segment has the girl eating Natto. And there’s absolutely nothing cute about that.

  53. It is very Japanese to show talking vegetables, I think. After all, the shinto religion (which is the oldest Japanese religion, and not even a religion in the everyday sense, more a deep sense of spiritual belief) has it that all things, living and non-living, have a spirit, sort of like a soul. Even the smallest pea! 🙂

  54. I found this explanation on a website:

    “This ultra kawaii character is a wild mixture of mame (soybeans) and shiba inu dog that makes you melt whenever you hear it talk back to you. The Mameshiba, typically appears just when you’re about to eat, and gives off some random advice, often shocking the person who is surprised to see a “bean dog” that is talking back to them.”

    There are mame shiba calendars too (http://www.jbox.com/PRODUCT/CL244-09)…but not as good as the qte calendar!

  55. Don´t know about cute, but the voice of the little green guy is certainly extremely cute! I am going to Tokyo for holidays next year to find out the weirdness/cuteness first hand. Can´t wait! 😉

  56. Somehow the translation makes this even weirder.

    I don’t know why they’d have the people freaked out by the talking soybean.

    Like the third one where the kid gets scared so his mom ends up drowning it in ketchup.

    Is there a legume equivalent of PETA?

  57. How very strange.

  58. i don’t mind my daily dose of trivia coming from a talking pea or bean, but i do mind the world going dark and cold just seconds after. and does anyone else think it, um, odd that there is a big old nuclear explosion in there? interesting choice?

  59. Seriously? You guys thought the Ronald McDonald was the most distubing part? Not that the Japanese used an image of an atomic bomb explosion to echo the fall of an edamame?

  60. Nkay, it’s not really worth translating (I am Japanese and personally don’t feel that Japan has an edge on cuteness on anyone…Cuteoverload has that honour)

    Basically, the mame (bean) dog is disturbing his consumers with “mame-chishiki” (bean-knowledge), little trivia facts that make them lose their appetite. He tells the lady something unappetizing about kangaroos’ stomachs, he tells the older guy that French dandelions stink quite a bit (c’est vrai? les pissenlits, ils puent??), and creeps out the kid by informing him that kangaroo piss really stinks. He drops his spoon and calls mom for help.

    I dunno who makes these commercials (it must have cost quite a bit to animate), but I’ve never seen it on TV and can’t imagine that it sells beans (a broad product range).

    Anyhow, Cuteoverload rules my world. All hail Meg!!

  61. Oops, just to clarify, “mamechishiki” means trivia, not trivia that makes one lose his/her appetite.

    The economy’s going down the drain here…we need more Qte to kickstart our day.

  62. I KNEW I could count on fellow readers to translate. (Now I’m not sure I’m glad about that). *I* figured, because of Ronald(creepy) McDonald at the end, it was saying you need hamburgers ’cause if you only eat beans they’re going to start talking to you. BUT – man, I want those stickers too!

  63. Thanks so much to all who translated this! @Shizuka, it’s kind of you to be modest about the Japanese Mastery of Qte, but we all know it’s true! And thanks a million to Meg for providing a gathering place for all of us who are CA*.

    SIGH I would love to go to Japan, and bring some income your way. Maybe someday…


  64. If I ever have kids, all they are going to be allowed to watch is Japanese TV.

  65. :O That actually creeped me out.

    The edamame is cute, but..yeah…I’d be very, very afraid if a bean started to tell me random facts.

  66. “You may think your serial killing spree ended when you finally went Vegetarian, but in fact you were really only getting started.”

  67. Gail (the first one) says:

    Thank you Asumi, Chanpon, Shizuka (et al) for your contributions to Global Cute understanding!!!

    The little bean guy is cute!!

  68. tammytalking says:

    So is this an ad for eating the bean? I mean why would you want to eat a cute little bean that talks to you? Are they saying eat the Macdonald fries instead???

  69. Yeah, I must admit that at first I was wondering if the beans were telling the people how cruel it is to eat vegetables. 😀

    I never thought I’d see a natto bean that actually looked good.

  70. Chaque-un..

  71. catloveschanel says:

    Hmm….I just realized I’m putting Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies into my mouth from last Friday’s potluck. Prolly shouldn’t be eating those for breakfast anyhow.

  72. I second tammytalking. It looks like the ad is trying to say there is no way you are eating that for breakfast…much better eating with the clown…bhawwwaaahaha.

  73. It was much cuter/sadder? before I knew what the translation was…

    Now I’m just confuzzled.

  74. Ah, I was wondering if it was edited when I saw the Explosion in the last one, and then the little bean sounds weird.. I’m gonna go on a crazy youtube translating spree now.

  75. satinbubbles says:

    haha i so want the keychain… this kinda reminds me of the whole controversy about plants having feelings.. and to that I have always said.. the day i bite into a carrot and it says “ouch” i’ll look into it a bit more..but now it appears that instead of carrots talking to us we have beans creeping us outwith trivial facts so we dont eat them.. what a very interesting defense mechanism…..ill never look at a pea pod the same way again

  76. Natto is horrifying. I’d be hallucinating if I had to eat it for breakfast.


  77. NOT edamame.

    IS natto.

    Natto for breakfast is excellent, but you’ve got to know how to eat it. I highly recommend *chopped* natto; the smaller pieces mix better. Although many Japanese people like natto right out of the tray, I think it’s much better mixed with about a cup of hot rice. This tames the stickiness and makes a rich, almost cheesy dish. Natto has lots of umame, that flavor that gives food a “hearty” quality (but is mostly just found in meat).

    And really, which is more disgusting at breakfast — fermented soybeans or chicken embryos?

  78. Taboman, I posted translations of those ones in comments on their pages. I want to find more now..

  79. army_kitten says:

    BWAHA, this is hilarious. as is all the natto-hating.

    what’s funny is that i’m eating natto for breakfast right now—the same brand, in fact, in that article that betsy linked to above—with some brown rice, shiso fumi furikake (a kind of salty rice seasoning) and spicy chinese mustard. AND IT’S SOOO YUMMY. *nom nom nom*

    …it hasn’t started talking to me yet, though.

  80. NomTom and army_kitten cracked me up. And thanks to everyone who translated…. now I wanna know what Ronald’s saying.

  81. I’m not sure if anyone has commented about what the bean is actually saying, but i have a friend in japan who translated it a bit for me and the bean is saying some not so cute things. he is actually saying gross things to spoil people’s appetites

    Did you know that (some kind of) bacteria and (another kind of) bacteria come and go inside of a kangaroo’s pouch.

    The second is…

    Did you know that French dandelions apparently smell really bad.

    The third is…

    Did you know that a kangaroo’s (can’t hear it) smells really bad?

    silly bean!

  82. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAH love it!

  83. thanks to all the translators, but i still don’t understand why hearing these random facts causes existential despair. is it that the very fact of a talking bean throws their entire worldview into chaos?

  84. I know that when the mame says:
    “Ohayou gozaimasu.” He’s saying “Good morning.”
    And “Nani” is “What?”

    I can recognize the words, but I don’t know what they mean, in the rest of the dialogue.

  85. I think I’ll have to sit down with a Fruity Oaty Bar and think this over…


  86. There is a talking peanut pup in one of the other peanut posts, im not sure i could ever eat any kind of nut or vegetable again, for fear it will have a cute little puppy face and start telling me trivia. Glad i had porridge for breakfast…those oats will not talk once i have boiled them in milk and blasted them with microwaves..bwahahahah…..

  87. peanut post? i mean youtube…obvi…

  88. Mame chiseke (sp?), of COURSE. How could I have missed that one?


  90. I want to know what the peanut one is saying. He looks really disgusted about his girlfriend touching him after that peanut talks!

  91. Thanks to everyone who translated! I know a little bit of Japanese, but not enough to figure out all of what he was saying. Crazy little bean!

    …and I have to say, I wish that Ronald McDonald as he is in the states would dance and say “ran ran ruu!”

  92. way to post a parody mash-up to CO with complete ignorance of it’s purpose or content.
    how about from now on, you guys don’t post things when you don’t even know what they are.

  93. But we know what it is, Rae – cute. That’s the only thing that matters here.

  94. And how about from now on, you use proper grammar (its, not it’s).

  95. What does an American fast food spokes-clown have to do with a Japanese talking bean-dog? What does Ronald say at the end and WHY IS HE EVEN THERE TO BEGIN WITH!!?!

  96. I live in Japan, and that nuclear bomb thing is NOT in the original on the mame-shiba version from their website. And the words are different.

  97. Hey, someone using my rat’s name can’t come on here and nuff and use improper grammar. Rae the third would be very disappointed in you for using her name like that.

  98. and, I’m in love. *goes off to hug a can of lima beans*

  99. Lima Beans: *pleh*
    Edamame: *NOM!*

  100. speaking of vegetables…

  101. it would be better if this video was removed and the original, unaltered versions of these commercials were posted — i can already see that quite a few people are confused a lot more than they should be about what’s going on, here.

    other than that, i wish i knew of some [free] software that would let me capture-and-cut streaming video: there is this mame-shiba commercial that plays during breaks of certain anime that i haven’t yet found on you|tube; i’d post a copy of it, myself, if i knew how.

  102. Yes, please replace this with the original. The added sound effects make this much less cute – it’s missing his laugh which is the cutest part!

  103. egh. nattou makes me want to cry. <: ( what is it with tokyo-jin and their odd love of fermented soybeans?

    there are sooooo many comments that i didn’t get to read all of them, but if it hasn’t already been said, i’ll point out that the little mame-shiba is trying to disgust people out of eating it by saying weird facts.

  104. Will Von Wizzlepig says:

    hey, as for the “real” versions, it looks fairly likely that they had multiple audio tracks- maybe every time it ran it was different. youtube Japan has a ton of them.

  105. This reminds me of one the things I liked least when I lived in Japan – that “glug glug glug” swallowing sound they played in all the beer ads. Ugh. Completely gives me the willies.

  106. Just so you know, you can totally buy some of these guys.


  107. 1st one:
    It’s saying that there are 200,000,000 germs in Kangaroo’s belly.

    2nd one:
    French Dandelion is extremely stinky.

    3rd one:
    kangaroo’s bed-wetting is extremely stinky

  108. Edamame Bean of Exsistantial Despair. That actually sounds pretty normal, for the wackiness that is Japanese humor.

    I thought it was like, Horton Hears a Edamame Bean.

  109. Wtf?
    I lol’d

    Japanese stuff is so cute!

  110. Hellraiser says:

    I just came yesterday from a week vacation in Tokyo and from falling in love with these Mame-Shiba.

    They are everywhere in Tokyo right now and the range of products is huge.

    I bought this cute little keychain:

    and a couple of other products, see display in Tokyo shopping mall here:

    There are 8 videos in the mame-shiba site but you need a Japanese IP to see it. Most you see on youtube are edited with nuclear explosions and Ronald stuff, not the originals.


  111. Hellraiser says:

    … and some of the cute products here:

  112. WTF??!!It was cute until Ronald McDonald comes…….