Cara Clegg

After discovering anime in her early teens, Cara decided she wanted to live in Japan. Of course her parents thought it was just a fad... but 11 years, a university degree in Japanese Studies, and a whole lot of culture shock later, here she is. She currently works a day job whilst writing and translating otome games in the evenings. Her hobbies include anime, manga, sci-fi & fantasy TV shows, and starting countless things that will never get finished.

All Stories by Cara Clegg

‘Power harrassment’ in Japan’s police force blamed for officer’s suicide

‘Power harrassment’ in Japan’s police force blamed for officer’s suicide

An investigation into the suicide of a police officer in a Tokyo police station has found that harassment from a superior contributed to his death. While the chief is now facing disciplinary action, it has again highlighted the problem of abuses of authority in Japanese workplaces, also known as ‘power harassment’, or pawahara in Japanese.

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Do actually useful prizes suck all the frustrating fun out of those UFO catcher crane games?

Do actually useful prizes suck all the frustrating fun out of those UFO catcher crane games?

Japanese UFO catchers give the best prizes – if you’re talented or lucky enough to grab them. (Personally, I think it’s all about luck because after many hours and probably hundreds of yen down the drain, I’m still not any better at winning.) But the euphoria of a win is usually quickly forgotten, and you’re left with one more piece of tat to cram into your room. So what about if UFO catchers actually dished out useful goodies? Wouldn’t that be a real win-win situation?!

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Questions raised over the mental state of Korean ferry captain

Questions raised over the mental state of Korean ferry captain

Rescue efforts for the passengers of Korean passenger ferry the Sewol that sank in the Yellow Sea off the tip of the South Korean peninsula on the 16th are still ongoing, and more information continues to emerge about what exactly went on on board the stricken vessel. There has been an outpouring of shock and anger from the families of the passengers after learning that the captain and some of his crew were among the first to abandon the sinking ship, and many are now questioning what he was doing in command of the huge vessel in the first place.

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Kimchi cocktail offers a taste of Korea that no Korean would actually endorse

Kimchi cocktail offers a taste of Korea that no Korean would actually endorse

You’ve probably heard of a Bloody Mary, a popular cocktail with a base of vodka and tomato juice, plus a host of other weird and wonderful flavourings such as Worcestershire or Tabasco sauce, horseradish, celery, pepper, salt, lemon juice, and so on. It may not sound appetizing but it has plenty of devotees, although that may be more to do with its reputation as a ‘hair of the dog’ hangover cure rather than its taste. But if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try the even more exotic flavours of a spicy Korean kimchi version?

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Cute and talented Taiwanese singer is actually a boy, Netizens no longer find this shocking

Cute and talented Taiwanese singer is actually a boy, Netizens no longer find this shocking

The most popular images on the ‘Net are probably cats and cute girls, and the latest lovely ‘lady’ to draw the appreciative gaze of netizens is Lao Wan, the lead vocalist of a Taiwanese band called Green! Eyes. But of course, nothing is ever quite as it seems. Prepare to leave your gender preconceptions at the door.

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Real-life barbie bares real-life face in minimal makeup selfies【Photos】

Real-life barbie bares real-life face in minimal makeup selfies【Photos】

Real-life Barbie Valeria Lukyanova, regular fixture of blogs worldwide, has caused another stir, but this time it’s not because she’s said something offensive or downright ridiculous. After making virtual waves with her outrageous makeup, fashion, and philosophy, Valeria’s now making a splash by taking it all off.

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Otaku pro wrestler Tomoyuki Oka makes no apologies for blurring the nerd/jock boundary

Otaku pro wrestler Tomoyuki Oka makes no apologies for blurring the nerd/jock boundary

Tomoyuki Oka, Japanese pro-wrestler and all around tough guy, has already captured the hearts of an unlikely otaku audience by being very open about the fact that, despite appearances, he’s actually one of them. He’s recently released a promotional video where we can see the contrast between his  tough, physical side and his completely nerdy, anime-obsessed personality, but also find that there’s more synergy between the two aspects than might be expected.

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Adorable puppy hasn’t quite got the hang of drinking milk, but that’s not stopping him

Adorable puppy hasn’t quite got the hang of drinking milk, but that’s not stopping him

It’s the weekend! And one of these things is not quite like the others…

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Living with ghosts: The rising popularity of ‘death rooms’ in Japan

Living with ghosts: The rising popularity of ‘death rooms’ in Japan

In Japan, places where people have died are considered bad luck, so unsurprisingly apartments where there has been a suicide, murder, or other death are rented at much cheaper prices than usual due to a lack of demand. However, real estate agencies are seeing a surge in people specifically seeking these kinds of ‘death rooms’. That may sound horribly morbid, but usually it’s not out of a desire to be close to death. Rather, for those who can put aside their culturally-ingrained reservations, it’s a way to  save money during tough times.

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Where can you find the most academically robust children in all of Japan? Hint: it’s not Osaka…

Where can you find the most academically robust children in all of Japan? Hint: it’s not Osaka…

Which prefectures produce the best kids?

On April 2 the Kyoritsu Research Institute announced their findings of where the ‘best’ kids in the country are brought up, based on an analysis of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)’s 2013 ‘National Aptitude Test and Education Survey’.

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Experience the ultimate moe flight with Asian Air x Mirai Airlines

Experience the ultimate moe flight with Asian Air x Mirai Airlines

Danny Choo, founder of Culture Japan and inexhaustible ambassador for all things moe, announced the collaboration between his mascot Mirai Suenaga and the Thai airline Asian Air on his website this week. Read on to find out just how far their plans for anime-themed air domination go.

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Everyone’s favourite giant penises will be popping out again at this year’s festival of phalluses

Everyone’s favourite giant penises will be popping out again at this year’s festival of phalluses

It’s that time of year again! Spring is in the air, the cherry blossoms are blooming, and everyone’s feeling a little bit randy. What better way to celebrate life than with the Kanamara Matsuri, better known as the Penis Festival, to be held on April 6th from 11am to 6pm.

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Yup, it’s time for another “Korean plastic surgery” picture post【Photos】

Yup, it’s time for another “Korean plastic surgery” picture post【Photos】

I’m not going to lie, I love transformation shows – home improvement, weight loss, makeovers, you name it. But plastic surgery shows are one of those that I keep on the down low, even more of a guilty pleasure than the others. They make the changes their participants go through seem like a piece of cake, often skipping over the majority of the long and painful process with snazzy montages and cut scenes.

Opinions are divided on plastic surgery, but whether you’re pro or anti-scalpel, you can’t fail to be amazed by some of the almost magical work these surgeons can perform. And of course some of the most dramatic changes are coming out of South Korea, one of the world’s hotspots for plastic surgery. Check out these photos; we promise we won’t tell anyone you did.

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Build your own smartphone in just 10 years with innovative new kit from au!

Build your own smartphone in just 10 years with innovative new kit from au!

You read that right: in just 10 years you can have your very own hand-made smartphone with the brand new weekly make-your-own-smartphone kit from Japanese mobile provider au! For anyone who’s a fan of weekly collect ‘em magazines (who isn’t?), tech, or wasting their money, then this is for you.

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Banish the Monday blues with bunnies! 【Monday Kickstart】

Banish the Monday blues with bunnies! 【Monday Kickstart】

Yep, unfortunately it’s Monday again. It just doesn’t take the hint, does it? It’s like that kid no one ever wants at the party, but who just keeps turning up anyway.

So to ease you on your way into the week, we’ve got some cute little bunnykins who are all dealing with the dreaded Monday in their own special ways.

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A look at Asia’s schoolgirl uniforms【Photos】

A look at Asia’s schoolgirl uniforms【Photos】

Uniforms are worn all over the world by many different groups of people to visually proclaim their association. There’s military uniforms, nurse uniforms, fireman uniforms, flight attendant uniforms, and the one that many people probably have personal experience with – school uniforms. We take the uniforms we see in our own countries for granted, but of course with different cultures come different dress codes. Some countries want their students dressed traditionally, others allow a lot of freedom for them to express their own styles. So read on to take a look at some of Asia’s schoolgirls – eyes on the uniforms, please!

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Japanese man suffering from dementia could lose house after forgetting about court hearing

Japanese man suffering from dementia could lose house after forgetting about court hearing

As Japan’s population continues to grow older, the nation is having to change to cope with the challenges that come with this aging demographic. The following story is just one unfortunate example of how current systems can fail to meet the needs of the elderly.

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China ready to enter console wars with home-grown device?

China ready to enter console wars with home-grown device?

Could China finally be ready to make its long-delayed entry into the console wars? It was only a matter of time since the 14-year ban on video game consoles was lifted in January of this year, and a collaboration between two companies has now announced that we could see a new China-exclusive device out sometime this month.

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Never agonize over your fast food decisions again – Pizza-Burger is here!

Never agonize over your fast food decisions again – Pizza-Burger is here!

Ever had that terrible indecision between pizza and hamburger? Japan’s got your problem solved! It’s not quite as out-there as the bizarre creations we’ve become used to – in fact, maybe this time they’ve actually got things right.

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China’s polluted rivers can be surprisingly pretty, but might turn you into a mutant

China’s polluted rivers can be surprisingly pretty, but might turn you into a mutant

It’s well-known that China’s struggling with some serious air pollution, but perhaps less talked about is the toll being taken on their rivers. According to a recent survey conducted by Chinese media, 96% of respondents felt that not a single river around them was clean enough to swim in. And judging from these photos, anyone who did decide to risk a dive would probably come out looking worse than the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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