KK Miller

Writer After falling in love with Totoro and always thinking how delicious Satsuki’s bento looked, KK Miller continued to study about Japan all the way through university. Frequent time was spent between learning about Japanese history and rereading Harry Potter for the bajillionth time. A year abroad in Japan only cemented her decision to live in Japan, so she moved here right after completing her degree. Dressing up as a Harry Potter character every Halloween since being in Japan, KK continues to spread the magic and her love of Totoro and Harry Potter to everyone around her. While Satsuki’s bento turned out to consist of all the Japanese foods she doesn’t like (umeboshi, dembu, and whole grilled fish), she continues to enjoy Japan through traveling, photography and writing.

All Stories by KK Miller

River overflowing? Got to get to school? Don’t forget your plastic bag! 【Video】

Bad weather holidays were the greatest reason for not going to school. Sometimes, though, the severe weather isn’t quite enough to force a closure. The wind isn’t quite strong enough or the rain or snow isn’t dangerous enough. So, if the school says classes are on, you do what you can to get there. A city in Vietnam has “schooled” everyone with the incredible lengths they will go to get students to their classroom.

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Poll confirms the most common reason why people start to play the guitar

Ah, the guitar; the soulful, six-stringed beauty that opens the way to a person’s heart and soul. It’s one of the most popular instruments people want to learn. Learning it can’t be that hard…you just move your fingers across the strings with one hand and strum away with the other, right?

So, what’s your reason for picking up this acoustic (or perhaps electric) beauty in the first place? And when you’ve had enough, what was your reason for quitting? A picture floating around Twitter has the answers for you and you’ll laugh at the results.

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Japanese book blows up and the internet goes crazy…kinda【Video】

YouTuber David Douchecovny, or just “The Douche,” is a fan of putting explosives on things and then shooting them. He films these explosions and posts them on YouTube. But a recent video might have gotten him into a bit of hot water as it features a product from Japan.

The Douche says he won this book in a giveaway from another YouTuber, with an attached note that read, “have fun blowing this up.” Join us after the jump to see whose book it is and whether or not it survives the explosion.

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More animals grace the backs of Japanese students

How far would you go to be the epitome of cool at your high school? Growing up, you had to have all the right accessories, slap bracelets, JanSport backpacks, and Gap sweatshirts to be “in”. You would think the days of bright colors and zany patterns used just to stand apart from the crowd were gone the way of the 90s. Now, brand names and “style” rule the hallways. But Japan proves again that gaudy and garish aren’t negative qualities.

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Aomori? Here! Fukushima? Here! Saitama? Here but I have a cold…

Homeroom, that fateful time of day before real classes start where the teacher calls roll to see which kids successfully rolled out of bed that morning. Some countries don’t have an official “homeroom”. They just call your name and classes begin. But in Japan, homeroom is a whole different beast. And the surprise of one Twitter user at how homeroom is conducted in Saitama Prefecture versus the rest of the country makes for a good laugh, especially because of the comments from other people around Japan.

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Judge sets new line for adultery in landmark case, and it doesn’t involve intercourse

Cheating and adultery are one of the leading causes of divorces and break-ups. No one wants to be cheated on, and for those who do the cheating, the thrill of sneaking around and trying not to get caught is sure to spur some adulterers on. However, at what point is what you are doing considered cheating? For most people, sex is certainly cheating, and kissing someone other than your partner is crossing the line. But is having dinner with someone cheating? Is having lunch? Is spending significant time with someone cheating?

An Osaka judge has drawn a new line in the sand for what is considered adultery in Japan, with one woman suing not her husband but his “mistress”, despite the fact that there was no intercourse involved.

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Japan continues to invent items it thinks you want!

In the States, the only time you would normally see a moist towelette is if you are eating a plate of Buffalo wings or ribs. Everyone knows those napkins are a life saver when it comes to getting that sticky sauce off your fingers. But then there are those other times when you think, “WHY AREN’T THERE ANY WET NAPS?!?” Chips, Cheetos, fresh juicy fruit, spilled ice cream, baby messes, the list goes on and you need a wet nap NOW!

Wet napkins are much more common in Japan, and the CCP Co. Ltd. (a subsidiary of the Bandai Namco Group) has made it so you may never be more than an arm’s length away from a wet tissue!

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“Daaangerrrr!” Fukuoka town experiments with new road markings

Road signs are a dime a dozen out there. The typical driver usually only focuses on what is directly in front of their car, oblivious to almost everything else. Advertisers know though, that it is possible to catch the eye of the driver. They choose strange images or bold words to catch their attention. It really works! How many times can you remember looking at a sign because it was abnormal?

A small town in Fukuoka Prefecture has been taking notes and have come up with their own unusual traffic signs to help slow down cars on some of their dangerous roads.

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Revisiting Songkran: the best water festival EVER!!!

From the ball drop in America, to the first shrine visit in Japan, each culture rings in the New Year in their own special way. Thailand’s Songkran, or commonly known as the water throwing festival, may be the most carefree and fun tradition though. RocketNews24 has brought you the story from last year’s festival, but we couldn’t resist sending a crew back this year. Click on through to see if they were able to avoid getting wet this year, and the plight of their electronic equipment!

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Brutal four-panel comic explains why Japanese salaryman are trapped in their jobs

“Salaryman” is the Japanese term that refers to an office worker in Japan. No matter the company, the term is all-encompassing because every salaryman’s situation is the same. While maybe not known to the rest of the world, they are characterized as employees who work overtime, are highly obedient and can often be found binge drinking with colleagues and clients, whether they genuinely want to be there or not.

Leave it to the Japanese netizens, though, to so succinctly air the problems of life as a salaryman in comic form, taking us into the realms of “it’s funny because, sadly, it’s true.”

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Brilliant dad fulfills his daughter’s dreams…and then!?!?!

Every child dreams about becoming their heroes when they fall asleep, they cover their walls with pictures and posters, and day dream about the day they build a suit of armor that turns them into a super hero. Well now one Japanese girl can become her hero before she even closes her eyes thanks to her creative dad. However, her own father takes it one step further with some arguably weird results…

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A ribbiting new style for an age old item

Ask any group of Japanese people what animal they don’t like to touch, and overwhelmingly the answer you get back is going to be…frogs! Which is why it may seem very strange that costume maker @Shin_1223 has designed a unique backpack that is made to look like this wet and slimy creature.

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Internet shows the best way to get nothing done!

Oh, the bean bag chair, the classic college seat that can be used for so much more than just sitting in. Most of us are familiar with the black hole of productivity that these chairs create, but leave it to Japan to make it so much more.

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Eat like the judges and lawyers of Japan at this theme restaurant in Kumamoto

Eating out at a restaurant is as common as being asked “can you use chopsticks?” But with so many restaurants vying for your patronage, how does each restaurant separate itself from the rest?

We’ve brought you stories about them before, from the pop culture themed, Gundam Cafe, AKB48 Cafe, Square Enix Cafe, and Resident Evil restaurant, to the ubiquitous maid cafes, Lock Up restaurant, robot restaurant and ninja restaurant. Theme restaurants don’t just rely on popular culture to bring in the customers though. RocketNews24 has written about the restaurant that serves you the food that prisoners eat. Click on through to find out about another unique restaurant giving you a glimpse of how somebody else eats.

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Want more Attack on Titan? Make sure you’re in Japan winter 2014!

Reports from Eiga.com News and Bessatsu Shonen Magazine confirm that an exciting new exhibition will open at The Ueno Royal Museum this winter. Fans of the extremely popular manga Attack on Titan will be in for a treat where they can get up and close with some exciting art and other paraphernalia.

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Professional selfie tips from a selfie professional 【Photos】

How do you take the best selfies on your phone? In Japan, for girls especially, pulling down your chin, turning up your eyes and giving your best duck lips is said to be the standard technique for photographing the most beautiful you.

BUT! This time we want to overthrow the established theory and introduce the ULTIMATE selfie technique. The person providing these tips today is a Japanese TV and movie star who’s a pro at taking flattering pictures of herself. So, directly from the star herself, the way to take the ultimate selfie is…?!?!?!

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Return of our favorite cat duo: Maru & Hana starring in “Box and Cats 15″【Video】

We all know Maru. We love him, watch his videos on YouTube and then wonder how we can make our own animals as amazing as he is. This time around, Maru and his companion Hana find themselves with a new box. The newest challenger is long and rectangular with a perfect circle cut out of one end. What will happen next?!?!?! Drum roll please!!!!

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Hidden gem in Tokyo: Black water hot spring hotel

Tokyo may be the largest city in the world, but Tokyoites still long for the comforts of rural Japan. While the less populous cities don’t have all the luxuries of a major metropolitan city, what they have in spades are hot springs. Hot springs remain one of the most popular getaway destinations for the busy Japanese worker. Day trips, short weekend trips, everyone longs for the chance to relax in the soothing waters of a hot spring.

But where do you find a nice, relaxing hot spring within the 23 wards of Tokyo? Is it really possible to find one that is reasonably priced? Can you find one where people respect the rules? Where guests won’t immediately enter the bath before washing themselves which makes the water dirty and suspicious? Where you won’t have to wonder what that thing floating in the water is? The answer is a resounding yes and it’s closer than you think!

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Mom gets BIG surprise with help from Nissan 【Video】

Kids do amazing things sometimes. They stun you with their simple creativity and boggle you with questions you never had thought of. Their sensitivity is also to be remarked upon. One little boy though, has shown Japan his amazing sensitivity and thoughtfulness and has given his mother the surprise of a lifetime.

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Watch out! Pokémon Fusion gets a lot more real with some wicked fan art【Photos】

Back in June 2013, talented programmer Alex Onsager brought us Pokémon Fusion, showing us what would happen if two Pokémon were to…ahem…get it on and…um…put the head and color scheme of one Pokémon on the body of another. While the combinations turned out to be pretty cool and cute in sprite form, fan artists have taken these new Pokémon to a whole different level. If this Cuchan is any indication, you gotta “check-out-the-rest-and-try-out-your-own-combinations-to-see” ’em all.

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