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Along with Mt. Fuji and the Shibuya scramble intersection, a snapshot of a woman chatting on a cell phone while dressed in a kimono is one of the must-have photos from any extensive stay in Japan. That seamless blending of the traditional and high-tech is a perfect encapsulation of just what makes Japan such a compelling society.

Hmm, you know what? We forgot to include a picture of a monkey in a hot spring on our photography checklist. That’s another one of those “Only in Japan” scenes, right? But what if you’re running short on time? Is there any way to multitask and combine our subjects?

Sure there is, with this picture of a primate taking a dip in a hot spring with his very own smartphone.

In Japanese, when something is extremely simple, it’s referred to as saru de mo wakaru, or “Even a monkey can understand it.” You could apply the phrase to the design of consumer electronics, seeing as how young kids have no problems intuitively figuring out how to operate their parents’ high-tech gadgets.

Of course, saru de mo wakaru isn’t usually meant to be taken literally. No one told that to this monkey though, who’s enjoying a relaxing soak at an undetermined location in Japan.

Zooming in on the image shows that the phone in the animal’s grasp is an iPhone, thereby shattering the popular image of bananas as monkeys’ favorite fruit with the unexpected discovery of an Apple preference.

The photo of the sophisticated primate generated both surprise and envy, with Internet commentators saying the following:

“Don’t eat it! Whatever you do, don’t eat it!”
“He’s got a nicer smartphone than I do.”
“Hello? Yes, this is Monkey speaking.”
“God, I hope he’s talking to someone with Face Time.”
“Do monkeys use Skype?”

As cute as it is to imagine the little guy calling his friends or updating his Facebook page, he’s obviously not doing either. Monkeys are highly intelligent creatures, and it stands to reason that with the sudden access to mankind’s collective cultural and intellectual knowledge to be found on the Internet, the first thing one would do is immediately check out the latest stories on RocketNews24.

▼ Thanks for visiting the site, Mr. Monkey! Make sure to come back tomorrow for our features on grooming and poo throwing techniques.

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Source: Byokan Sunday
Top image: Livedoor
Insert image: Reed College