If I’m crunching the numbers right, DadWagon kids are 30% Asian. Two are Hapa, two are one-quarter, and one poor DadWagon kid is absolutely not Asian at all, unless you expand Asia Minor to include Greece, which, as Xerxes learned, can be very difficult to do.
So who cares? Well, mine are the only Japanese kids, but having married into the family I did has left me with an appreciation of the beauteous oddities of Japanese culture. There’s plenty there for dads to contemplate: wine pools for kids, assless three-piece suits, the propriety of outfitting schoolboys with plush penguin backpacks.
But nobody brings the strange like Pink Tentacle. I first heard about it from Marlo M., an old friend whose ancestors come from the same town in Japan as my wife’s family. She turned me on to their collection of Meiji-era Stereoview photographs, which was awesome enough. But I just came across the Pink Tentacle Greatest Hits of 2009 list, which makes me think that maybe the Naughty Aughties weren’t so bad after all.
Number Four on the list were the 19th-Century birthing dolls pictured here. They came, apparently, in both light- and dark-skinned version (for a sense of the Japanese obsession with fair skin, consider that the doll here is the dark-skinned version). There were also meticulous fetus models from 1877, which frankly are so detailed that it makes me wonder if any of that Unit 731-style barbarism went into researching them.
The dolls are just the tip, though. Check it out: they have anatomical drawings of the sap-spitting willow witch, prints showing what to do with massive racoon-dog testicles, and the Jetsons-tastic Sanyo Ultrasonic Pod-Bath from 1970. Really, what more could you ask from the Internet?