Become Superhuman, Japanese-Style

Illustration for article titled Become Superhuman, Japanese-Style

In Japanese, the word urawaza means "secret tricks," like knowing that Superman is vulnerable to kryptonite or that certain moves will lead you to the song at the end of the game Portal. Now io9's Lisa Katayama has a whole book of Japanese tricks to turn your everyday life into science fiction, just like in William Gibson novels. The book is called Urawaza, and aside from some practical stuff like how to keep your elbows clean, it also contains obscure Japanese wisdom on a few superpowers.


For example, if you buy this book, you'll learn things like how to run faster and how to keep wounds from reopening (wait, is Wolverine reading this?). And you'll get secret tips on even stranger things, such as how to make a tiny piece of soap big again and how to revive a dying ballpoint pen. I think somebody on Heroes actually had that soap power.

Every chapter is arranged into a series of dilemmas, accompanied by the urawaza solution. Want to cure your runny nose? Lisa has the answer:

Simply cut the top fronts off two green onions, stick the remaining thick white root sections into your nostrils, and let your new nose plugs do their thing. Your sinuses will magically clear up — plus, you don't have to deal with drippy boogers.


Now I really do feel superpowered.


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Annalee Newitz

@MaxTwice: Is LA the source of "animal-style"? I mean, I grew up near LA but maybe I was too provincial out there in Irvine to know about this?