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

Big dudes CAN jump: Frolicking sumo means it’s officially springtime again in Japan!

It’s been a rather hard winter, with some areas up north experiencing heavy snowfalls and other parts with hard-hitting low temperatures. But, as heralded by the ume and cherry blossoms, spring has finally sprung.

And what could be a better symbol of these sunny days coming to Japan than some scantily clad sumo taking advantage of the pleasant warmth.

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“We should apologize” – Authors Murakami and Hyakuta engage in war of words over words of war

Haruki Murakami and Naoki Hyakuta are two of Japan’s most popular writers. Murakami is the author of such international bestsellers as Norwegian Wood and 1Q84 and is currently a prolific and outspoken blogger on a range of topics from the meaning of life to nuclear power. Hyakuta, on the other hand, is the writer of domestic hits such as Eien no Zero (The Eternal Zero) and Monsuta (Monster) and currently a passionate Twitter user putting out 140-character quips on everything from masturbation to Asian international relations.

Hyakuta also had some sour tweets aimed at Murakami following an interview which at one point dealt with the issue of Japan acknowledging and apologizing for its actions during World War II.

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“Pink Pussy” up for sale in Hyogo Prefecture

While perusing Japanese restaurant website Tabelog recently, I came across a little cafe in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, called Pink Pussy. Quite what it was I don’t know, but something about the place really appealed to me so I hopped on a train over there. It was a bit of a journey but I’ve traveled farther to get some, and you can’t put a price on a good cup of coffee.

However, when I arrived I was shocked to find that Pink Pussy had been put up for sale.

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Raw eggs may lead to heads as bald as eggs

One of Japan’s most beloved dishes is tamago kake gohan which is simply a bowl of rice topped with a raw egg and a splash of soy sauce. While the thought of consuming raw egg might be off-putting to some people, here a TKG is about as commonplace as a PB&J would be in America.

In fact raw egg is used as a garnish for many other dishes as well, which might make you wonder why everyone in Japan isn’t constantly kneeling over a high-tech toilet bowl. Actually the problem of bacteria has been licked quite some time ago, but now a new danger in raw egg consumption looms: it’s thought to cause hair loss.

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Shiba inu way too proud of its new pee pad

A Twitter user recently reported their pet dog as being overly pleased about its acquisition of a new pee pad. The shiba inu was reportedly swaggering around the toilet-device and looking “a little too full of itself” according to witnesses.

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McDonald’s Japan faces largest deficit ever, closing 190 stores and retiring 100 HQ staff

We have said it many times: 2014 was not a good year for McDonald’s in Japan. Ever since being involved in an expired chicken scandal last summer, the Japanese public at large has held a grudge so deep against the restaurant you’d think Ronald himself left a flaming bag of dog poop on everyone’s doorstep and keyed their cars on his way off the premises.

Now as the new fiscal year in Japan begins we can see that this anger wasn’t limited to mere online whining either. Japanese people seem to have united and hit McDonald’s where it hurts most: the bottom line.

In an announcement on 16 April, McDonald’s Holdings Company Japan President Sarah Casanova announced that the company currently sits on the largest deficit ever at a super-sized 38 billion yen (US$319M).

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Chinese company Ninebot buys out Segway

It’s hard to imagine life before 2002 when the Segway standing scooter thing hit the scene completely revolutionized the way we get about, just like everyone predicted it would.

Its staggering success has made it an American institution. Like many of you, I have fond memories of making out with that special someone in the back of my Segway at the Segway-in movies during those hot summer nights.

But now, the vehicle we have all welcomed into our lives is entering a new chapter having been bought out by Beijing-based Ninebot Inc. I guess we won’t be able to use the old cliché “it’s as American as a Segway” anymore.

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Eat like a supermodel with Rola’s Apple and Avocado Dishes 【Recipe】

One of Japanese most popular TV personalities is Rola, a fashion model of mixed Bengali, Japanese, and Russian descent. If you live in Japan you’ve undoubtedly seen her on TV or billboard advertisements numerous times. But who knew she was also harboring delicious and easy recipes?

Not only are they stylish looking but Rola’s Apple Fried in Coconut Oil and Avocado Scrambled Egg Toast and surprisingly simple to make…so we did. But can we really trust a model when it comes to delectable home cooking?

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Fly a Nimbus and launch a Kamehameha at the “Dragon Ball in Science” exhibition coming to Tokyo!

Last summer the Dragon Ball in Science exhibition hit Nagoya amid much fanfare and celebration. Participants were encouraged to immerse themselves in the world of Dragon Ball as reproduced by modern science and technology such as piloting a Flying Nimbus with their minds or communicating telepathically with Goku on King Kai’s planet.

It was a big success, but many complained that they couldn’t attend with it being held out in Nagoya. So now, Dragon Ball in Science is coming to the people of Tokyo during Fuji TV’s Spring Fest 2015 LIFE !S LIVE.

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The legality of adding free green onions to your ramen

Lots of restaurants offer condiments for customers to use freely, but how “freely” are they actually meant to be used. For example, one ramen shop in Japan had a poster offering to let customers take as much green onion as they want, until someone came in and did just that.

The patron piled on about two bowlfuls of diced scallions per single bowl of soup, because apparently that’s the way he likes it. After a few repeat visits the staff interceded and asked that the customer cool it with the onions.

So, who is in the right? Was the gluttonous customer abusing the kind offer of the restaurant, or should the shop stand by its explicitly written offer? Japanese legal website Bengoshi News called in a lawyer to find out.

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They just don’t make Japanese food delivery people like they used to

Times always change. New things come and old things fade away. Depending on your age and location you may have some fond memory of milk being delivered by a horse-drawn carriage or going to a so-called “vi-dee-oh store” to rent a moving picture etched onto some weird magnetic tape or disc.

And some Japanese people may reminisce about the Showa period of Japan when food delivery men would ride around on bicycles carrying an absurd amount of food on a single shoulder.

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River in China turned into carpet of green leaves

This beautiful yet unsettling scene took place in Huizhou City recently as countless little green plants began rapidly sprouting up in the river giving it the appearance of a lush green meadow.

This is actually an annual occurrence in the city and officials are at a crossroads of how to deal with it this plant which may luckily turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

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Father develops simple method to make cranky toddlers into productive little go-getters

Any parent knows that getting children to stick to a basic daily routine can be difficult. Sure you might occasionally find an infant who for some reason just loves brushing their teeth or waxing the car, but for the most part it can be downright impossible to get them to do anything productive except sprint into a wall and laugh hysterically about it.

However, one Japanese dad by the Twitter nickname of Mr. Q believes he has found a simple and effective way to convince a child that brushing teeth and changing clothes are in their best interest.

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Three foreign tourists arrested for molestation in Japan after thinking it was normal behavior

Given the size and longevity of the adult entertainment industry, it’s safe to say that such products serve a purpose in societies everywhere. However, one purpose for which adult videos should never be used is as travel guides for visiting other countries.

You might think that would be common sense but apparently we can’t stress the point enough after there has been a recent spate of molestation committed by foreign tourists who claim to have thought it was normal behavior in Japan after watching Japanese adult videos.

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Man avoids hit-and-run on way to mother’s house, later discovers victim was his mother

Karma struck China’s Wuhu City last weekend as a man who made the fatal decision to flee the scene of an accident later discovered that his victim was his own mother. Sadly, by the time he had made the discovery, his mother had already succumbed to her injuries.

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Haisu Tian paints gorgeous rolling hills and streams with rolling skates

Haisu Tian is a Chinese artist based in the USA where she studies for her master’s degree in fine art. Originally from a strict background in Chinese traditional painting, she has since begun to branch out into several other techniques. The most unique of these is a pair of inline skates fitted with some ink cans which she uses to craft large and elegant landscapes. It’s a technique that she calls “landskating,” and we find absolutely intoxicating.

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Guangzhou City to allow co-workers and neighbors to give consent for other people’s organ donations

On 3 April Guangzhou City in Guangdong Province, China, announced some changes to their organ donation laws. These changes will allow people beyond the immediate family to give permission to harvest a deceased person’s organs.

This is expected to be bad news for Guangzhou’s paranoid population, who must now expand their sphere of people likely to murder them in their sleep well beyond their wife and kids to include co-workers and other members of their community.

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This Chinese PSA is an unsettling head trip

I was a little bummed to learn today that David Lynch was pulling himself out of the new Twin Peaks series. Luckily, at the exact same time I came across something to satiate the macabre void left by that announcement.

The following is a public service announcement from China’s CCTV which was posted on YouTube on 4 April. We think you’ll agree that a casual viewing will leave you with more questions than answers.

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Kung-fu rugby invades Hong Kong Sevens 2015

I have fond memories of going to the old Harlem Globetrotter games to watch all the sports-themed hijinks and hilarity of Curly, Twiggy, and the rest of the gang. Even though my father would later lose all of my college savings on ill-advised Baltimore Rocket bets, those games still hold a warm place in my heart.

And so, it’s great to see that this tradition of comedic sports entertainment lives on in 2015 as this brief video showing some highlights from a kung-fu rugby game during the Hong Kong Sevens tournament at the end of March.

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We try some chicken ramen-flavored ice cream at Chikira-House in Osaka

Alongside Kit Kat bars, carbonated beverages, and potato chips, ice cream is one food Japanese flavor engineers love to monkey with. In the past we’ve seen frozen desserts flavored with great tastes such as scallops, vegetables, and pork.

This time we caught word of a little shop in Shin-Osaka Station offering travelers the cold and creamy taste of chicken ramen-flavored ice cream. So we hopped a train over to check it out and grab a self-heating chiki-bento while we were at it.

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