Since I first came to Japan, there have been many characters and brands that I have become addicted to. One of my favorites has got to be the strange, but adorable, bean-dogs called mameshiba (豆しば). They are not really beans, nor are the dogs, but I suppose you could say that they are closer to beans than they are to dogs. They are SUPER adorable and have the magical power of making any person they come across lose their appetite because of the anecdotes they tell. What types of words of wisdom do they share? Oh, just things like “the inside of a kangaroo’s pouch smells really bad” or “when you kiss, 200 million bacteria are passed on from mouth to mouth each second.” A similar type of product is the mamegoma franchise.
What I found interesting is that the original meaning of mameshiba was used to refer to a baby Shiba dog. The word mame・豆 means “bean” and can also sometimes mean “small.” This “bean dog” idea was then linked to mame chishiki・豆知識, a Japanese phrase which literally means “bean knowledge” (not “knowledge of beans”), which is used to indicate any random trivia or miscellaneous knowledge. Thus, these adorable bean dogs were born･:ﾟ*.:･｡（ｏ♥Д♥）ﾉ゛.:*ﾟ･;*:
Mameshiba have commercials on TV often and I find them all to be hilarious. Some of the humor may be a little on the Japanese side, but you should still check out all the videos. They are all in Japanese (except for one done in katakana English and one in Spanish), but the official mameshiba site has subtitled all the videos in English for your viewing pleasure! Check them out!