Master Blaster

Writer / Translator

Master Blaster is the two-man translating team of Canada’s Steven Le Blanc and Japan’s Masami M, a pair who in addition to writing work are in English education and created the StudyNow app for Japanese students of English.

Together they have written somewhere around 1,500 articles for RocketNews24 covering such diverse topics as Chinese men selling sanitary napkins to each other and a Japanese guy dragging an ear of corn around the Tokyo train system. A few of these were actually good, but don’t take our word for it! Here’s what our beloved readers had to say:

“One isn't always in the mood for bold tastes. But when I'm in the mood for bold flavor I turn to you.”
“Stupid article. Who cares what the Japanese think it's cool. You don't call a monkey, "gorilla".”
“You know, this is about the most cogent explanation of how a turbocharger works that I have ever seen in the non-motorsports world.”
“Thanks for the article peter!”
“It's people like you who make exploitation possible.”
“It looks yummy and the story was great. Thank you for the smile.”

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All Stories by Master Blaster

So hungry you can eat a horse? This rest stop will satisfy you figuratively and literally

Akita Prefecture is a northern region known for its rice production and other agricultural pursuits. However, our reporter Nakano went out with a different goal. He heard rumors of a village that served a superb donburi (rice bowl) with horse meat.

It doesn’t take much more than that to get one of our reporters on the move, so Nakano booked a ticket and packed his bags to head out to the snow-laden town of Kamikoani. His mission: to try some of their legendary banikudon (horse meat rice bowl).

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Indonesian police proclaim pandaporn PJs prohibited

On 18 February the Indonesian National Police issued a warning to citizens about some harmful matter which may be circulating amongst the public. The article in question is a child-sized cotton top which features images of two cartoon pandas engaging in numerous positions of sexual intercourse.

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Possible ISIS threat appears to target Taiwan, infringes on copyright

On 24 February a Twitter account named @KhilafahTimes posted a threatening message to the world apparently on behalf of the extremist group known as ISIS, ISIL, or Da’ish. Although it doesn’t directly name a city, the accompanying image depicts the city of Taipei with the landmark Taipei 101 in flames and several other smoldering buildings.

Also troubling is that despite the brutal acts of violence this group has become known for, their list of offences has just grown even longer. Now they are also guilty of the worst crime known to the MPAA: unauthorized usage of another’s work.

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Old execution grounds become popular place to tell someone “I love you”

When taking big steps in relationships, like confessing your true feelings to a friend or asking someone to marry you, the setting is important. You want to set the mood, and getting the right atmosphere may mean the difference between delighted acceptance and “Where did that come from??”

Among some high school girls, this statue in Tokyo is considered a great place to take an amorous risk. It might not look like the most romantic place, located on a rather busy intersection and nestled between the NHK Broadcast Center, Shibuya Tax Office, and Amway Japan, and in fact this very spot is actually the memorial of a bloody attempt to overthrow the Japanese government. Nevertheless it is said to have a “supernatural” ability to create strong couples.

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Osaka shop owner in trouble for advertising “100-yen Molotov cocktails”

Police paid a visit to an eatery in the America Mura area of downtown Osaka after several images of a restaurant advertising improvised incendiary bombs known as Molotov cocktails began floating around on Twitter.

Sure enough, in front of the restaurant sat a plastic box with eight beer bottles stuffed with cloths and a sign that read Molotov Cocktails: One for 100 yen (US$0.84).

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A road runs through it: China’s first over-water highway almost complete

If you’re like me, you’re probably more accustomed to seeing bridges cross rivers rather than run along their length. But this stretch of highway which was recently completed in Xingshan County of China’s Hubei Province does just that. Are the bridge’s creators crazy, or crazy like an ecologically minded fox?

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We did it! Japan develops tomato-feeding robot for runners 【Video】

Particularly in the past century mankind has achieved some great feats propelling our entire world into new realms of possibility and prosperity. We’ve built ever more gigantic structures for living while also condensing elaborate technology to unbelievable compactness. We’ve cured diseases and gone exploring beyond the heavens.

But now, we’ve really done it. We’ve made a wearable robot that feeds you tomatoes while you run.

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Japan: Where even milk and toilet paper are courteous

Enough has been said about the level of customer service found in Japan that its reputation pretty much speaks for itself. But did you know that even the packaging your food comes in contains a message of appreciation for the customer?

If not, you’re not alone. In fact, many Japanese people might be surprised to find that their cartons of milk or box of chocolates contain hidden words of thanks, especially because these sentiments may not reveal themselves unless you eat everything or recycle the package properly.

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Utsurobune: The UFO (unidentified floating object) of 19th Century Japan

The image above is one of many illustrations of the Utsurobune no Banjo incident that happened in Japan in the early 19th century. Although there are various accounts of the event, it is believed by many to have been an encounter with extraterrestrials, and not just because the vessel fishermen found in the ocean looks like a flying saucer.

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Mr. Sato visits the Retro Space Saka Hall, full of syringes, Mediocrity, and bittersweet memories

While visiting the city of Sapporo, our adventurous reporter Mr. Sato stumbled upon this bizarre looking complex called the Retro Space Saka Hall. The whole place looked incredibly sketchy, but that was right up his alley.

Little did he know, however, that this dingy-looking industrial complex nestled in snow would almost move him to tears.

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10 things foreign tourists do that annoy Chinese people

With it being the season of Chinese New Year, there are many tourists both leaving China for other lands and many people heading into China to enjoy the festivities. Perhaps that’s why the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper chose now to release an infographic on their website highlighting various incidents of rude behavior done by foreign tourists in China.

They broke it down in an easy-to-follow top-10 list of things foreigners were spotted doing around the country so we can all learn what not to do when visiting.

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Study shows average age of Chinese millionaires’ death to be just 48 years old

Last week saw the execution of Chinese millionaire Liu Han. He was the president of Hanlong, a mining company that seemed to borrow their mission statement from Corleone Family, what with being involved in government corruption, weapons smuggling, murder, and dabbling a but of mining here and there.

He was also at one time named the 148th richest person in China according to Forbes Magazine. At the time of his death, this fact had inspired media in Chinese to conduct a millionaire mortality study which claims that the average age of death for a Chinese millionaire is a startlingly young 48 years old.

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Parents, get ready! Yo-kai Watch to ship worldwide in 2016

On 13 February, American toymaker Hasbro announced they will begin shipping merchandise based on the anime/manga/game/toy phenomenon Yo-kai Watch all over the world next year.

This is fantastic news here at RocketNews24 because now we know how to spell the damn thing in English, but for many parents around the world it’s something to be concerned about.

Soon, you might wonder why your little one suddenly needs $300 to buy a plastic watch that holds pogs while also having a keen understanding of Japanese folklore. So, why not get ahead of the game and study up a little before it comes to your country and possesses your children. As a father who has lived through this I’ll try to share some tips in a brief parent’s guide to Yo-Kai Watch.

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Idol group’s collaboration with blackfaced performers sparks controversy in America

J-pop-cum-doo-wop group Rats & Star have been active for decades in Japan singing soul tunes and doing the occasional electric slide. It’s a style of music that they have embraced whole-heartedly. In fact they are so into the sound that they paint themselves black during shows to look the part.

Their act had continued without major incident for quite some time until one of their singers Yoshio Sato posted a promotional image of them with idol unit Momoiro Clover Z on Twitter for an upcoming TV appearance, nearly all with faces painted black.

As you might expect, many Americans are up in arms over the image, but what do Japanese people have to say about this?

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China’s Valentine’s Day sabotage may be the best thing to happen to the holiday

Recently in parts of China a movement has been growing online where groups have been pooling funds to buy up all of the odd-numbered seats in movie theaters to prevent couples from going during peak hours of Valentine’s Day.

While this might seem like simply a spiteful act by single people during a day devoted to couples, the Chinese media and others are beginning to see it as much more. These motivated individuals may be tearing down preconceptions of the holiday and creating something more even love-inspiring than it ever had been.

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As the Sapporo Snow Festival ends, the Sapporo Demolition Festival begins!

As sad as we are to say it, the 66th Annual Sapporo Snow Festival has now come to a close. In case you missed our coverage this year, this is when people from around the world come the snowy city of Sapporo, Hokkaido to create massive and gorgeous works of art out of ice and snow.

However, a lesser-known festival has been spreading around Twitter recently. It’s the unofficial Sapporo Demolition Festival, where excavators come in and mercilessly rip apart these massive and gorgeous works of art. While it doesn’t have the same international drawing power of the Snow Festival, many people have been on hand at the Demolition Festivals past and present to take plenty of video and images of the fun.

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Yakuza-Vampire movie, Yakuza Apocalypse, release date set

Takashi Miike’s long-awaited film Yakuza Apocalypse (Gokudou Daisensou) has been given a release date of 20 June. The movie follows a yakuza who bites other people and turns them into yakuza…or vampires. We’re not really sure which, and maybe neither is the film itself, but it looks pretty cool.

The cast line-up has also been announced including Hayato Ichihara (Rainbow Song, God’s Puzzle), Riko Narumi (The Great Yokai War, Ikigami), and someone in a bright-green frog suit.

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How to take a photo looking like someone important, it’s all in the “mokkore”

In these days of social networks many of us have come up on the problem of which profile picture to use. Scrolling through all the photos you’ve reluctantly let people take of you, it’s hard to find one that relates your true inner beauty. It would be nice if we all had one of those mid-interview shots where people look really interesting.

Sadly though, chances are you haven’t been professionally interviewed and so don’t have one. Don’t worry though, because our crack team of photogenic writers and editors has found a way to easily simulate a photograph that can make anyone look like a truly interesting person. All you need is the magic word: Mokkore! Let’s try.

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Tekken 7 intro movie released

Ohhh I can feel it. It’s that time again: time to piss experienced players of the Tekken franchise off by mashing buttons wildly and winning! This will be the seventh time I have done it, and I’ve become exceedingly efficient at it.

That’s right Tekken 7 is about to hit game centers across Japan and to get people into the fighting spirit Bandai Namco Games has uploaded the game’s opening movie to YouTube. Let’s watch!

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Our writers trade kamehamehas at Dragon Ball event in Tokyo, Sato goes Super Saiyan!

Previously on RocketNewsZ, tensions flared between our reporters Yuichiro Wasai and Mr. Sato after Wasai used Mr. Sato’s mankini and returned it without washing. The two were just beginning to levitate off the ground and fight when the chief editor told them to take it outside so as not to damage the office’s complete collection of sushi cat figurines.

Knowing who pays the bills around here, both complied and went down to Shibuya Parco in Tokyo where an event was being held inviting fighters such as these two to compete by hurling kamehameha energy blasts at each other. Will these two settle their differences before it’s too late? We’ll soon find out after they manage to flag down a cab.

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