Meg Murphy

Born in the southwest United States, Meg exchanged eternal summers for eternal rain when she relocated to Seattle in 2007. After finishing school, she decided to try and put her degree to good use- coming to Japan in April 2011 with no solid plans, and has been here ever since. An avid traveler and adventurer, always up for a challenge. A vegetarian for most of her life, on a quest to find delicious, non-meaty eats. She'd like to think she's creative and artistic, but that's up for debate. She also enjoys normal people things too, like music, movies, and cats. Because there can never be too many cats in one's life.

All Stories by Meg Murphy

Man fed up with Love Live fans at subway station in China, pours water on them

The popular anime series Love Live has won itself diehard fans, both within Japan and throughout the world. You might remember the subway cars in Shanghai last year decorated with Love Live idols that literally brought fans to their knees. Well, Chinese fans are at it again, as the idols have made a reappearance on subway cars in the city of Chongqing.

One commuter, however, seemed to have had enough of the homage-paying fans as he rained his watery wrath down over their heads.

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93-year-old Japanese woman gifts ambulance worth 2.7 million yen to local fire station

When you’re ill or your life is in danger, it’s natural to feel gratitude towards those who aided your recovery or saved your life. But what do you do to show your gratitude?

One elderly woman from Nara Prefecture, Japan, felt so grateful to the ambulances who often help her, that she decided to donate a brand new ambulance to her local fire station. And it wasn’t just any ambulance – this was a top-of-the-line model worth 2.7 million yen (over US$22,000)!

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The latest pet fashion trend in Japan: The scrunchie collar【Photos】

For most pet owners, our pets are our children. We love doting on them and spoiling them just as much as (or perhaps even more than) any other parent does their child. In Japan in particular, it’s not unusual at all to see people pushing their precious pups around in dog strollers, or to find stores completely dedicated to cute clothes and accessories for feline and canine fur babies alike.

For those feeling a bit more creative, however, there have also been some trends for do-it-yourself fashion for cats and dogs which we’ve shared with you before. Today, we bring you the latest “in” DIY fashion item trending on Twitter: the scrunchie!

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It’s a trap! Police car meant to reduce accidents is not quite what it seems

Speed traps, or cops hiding it wait to catch speeding or reckless drivers who pose a threat to others on the road, are nothing new. Even when manpower is lacking too much to have a police officer lying in wait, a conveniently placed police car can even do the trick, making drivers rethink their actions and go easy on the gas. This particular police car, however, deserves a second glance, as it’s even more deceptive than you might think.

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All censor, no sense: Recent cover-ups in Jojo anime are laughably bad, kind of pointless

Anime fans are used to all sorts of censorship going on in the foreign releases of their favorite shows, from painting over revealing outfits, to changing characters’ genders and relationships to “mask” themes of homosexuality, to even removing entire scenes or episodes deemed inappropriate.

But the Japanese release of a recent episode of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has been censored even before being aired abroad. Not only is the reason for the coverups confusing, but the terrible job they’ve done has viewers wondering what the point of censoring was to begin with.

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New solo grill, perfect for when you next ditch work and run off into the woods

Spring has sprung in Japan, and the cherry blossoms will soon be in full bloom. A favorite spring pastime of many Japanese is hanami, or “flower-viewing”, where friends, family and coworkers gather together to have picnics and barbeques under the blooming cherry blossom trees, as a way to welcome the end of winter and enjoy the nice weather and floral display.

Just in time for the season, DOPPELGÄNGER OUTDOOR has released their new solo barbeque grill, just perfect for… all those lone hanami-goers out there?

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Father and son turn car parts into profit by building amazing, enormous, Transformer models

What do you do with a background in fine arts, an empty factory, and used car parts? Make realistic models of Transformers, of course! At least, that’s what this father-son duo in Hunan Province, China decided to do, and they’re making a very lucrative living do so.

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Enjoy your sushi with a dash of Star Trek flare with a U.S.S. Enterprise sushi set!

With the recent and unfortunate passing of the wonderful Leonard Nimoy and Harve Bennett (rest in peace you two), I’m sure Star Trek fans out there could use a lift right about now. So, we’d like to introduce to you this awesome sushi set designed after the U.S.S Enterprise, complete with warp-trail chopsticks!

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Teacher attempts to show hamsters’ innate abilities, hamster has other plans

When most of us think of hamsters, we imagine cute little balls of fluff running in their exercise wheels, stuffing their cheeks full of food, or burrowing in people’s sleeves. Yes, they’re adorable and make great pets, but hamsters can also be found in the wild, and are burrowers by nature.

One teacher tried to show her class how flexible hamsters can be, telling them that if a hamster goes the wrong way into a tunnel, it can easily twist its little body around and come back out. But this particular hamster just wasn’t having it that day…

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Super Hero Soccer: A match of epic proportions 【Video】

Ever wonder what would happen if all your favorite superheroes got together to battle it out in a game of soccer/football? While we regret not thinking it up first, the folks over at Ronnie Street Stunts ran with their brilliant idea, bringing together heroes from comics, video games, and novels alike and pitting them together in the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny. Good guys, bad guys, and explosions all included!

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Eggs served with a side of biceps? Check out the Macho-Cafe opening next month in Tokyo

If you visit Japan, you’re bound to come across any of a number of establishments catering to men, from maid cafes, to “girls bars” and hostess clubs. But not to worry, ladies, there’s lots of fun to be had for you too, and you’re especially lucky if you have a fondness for men with a bit more in the muscle department, because next month a Macho Cafe will be opening in Tokyo, and it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be.

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Girl enlists the help of a Bangkok ladyboy to prank her sleeping boyfriend【Video】

Who doesn’t love a good prank? Well, it might not always be so great being on the receiving end of the joke, but it sure is a lot of fun for the viewer. This Czech girl also seemed to have a lot of fun tricking her boyfriend into thinking he had slept with a ladyboy one night during their vacation in Bangkok.

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Charge your phone with Mickey: Cute new Disney USB cables now on sale

You can recite nearly every Disney movie by heart. Disneyland is your second home. You’ve got Mickey and all of his friends adorning nearly every item you own. No doubt about it, you’re a Disney fan. Now there’s something more to add to your collection and let you show your love of the mouse: these cute new Mickey ear USB cables!

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Are you holding your chopsticks correctly? Chopstick Man will show you how 【Video】

For many of us born outside of Asia, eating with chopsticks is not a skill we’re taught from a young age, and is something many people may go their whole lives without mastering. In Japan, however, kids are started on chopsticks from as early as a year old, and whether or not a person holds their chopsticks correctly reflects on that person’s upbringing (because only a lazy, incompetent parent would allow their child to hold chopsticks like a heathen!).

Not to worry though–foreigners in Japan are given a lot of slack in the chopstick department, since it’s generally assumed that chopsticks are pretty much non-existent in the west. But even if you don’t know how to use chopsticks doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn how, and if you can use them, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re doing it correctly. That’s where Chopstick Man comes in, with his tutorial on the proper way to hold your hold your chopsticks!

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Is smartphone pinky the new text claw? Overuse of mobile devices found to cause finger deformity

For many of us, mobile devices are an inescapable part of daily life. But for all the convenience they bring, we have to remember that there is such thing as too much of a good thing. The spread of smartphones and other mobile devices has brought with it a slew of ailments caused by overuse.

You may have heard of – or even currently suffer from – “text claw,” which is the pain you get in your wrists and hands from constant use. In addition to this and other increasing ailments is what is being called “smartphone pinky“, which is classified as pain and even temporary deformity of the pinky finger from, you guessed it, excessive smartphone use. If you’re reading this on your phone now, you may want to adjust the way you’re holding your mobile device.

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Everything you ever needed to know about Hello Kitty… and some things you didn’t

The world’s most favorite mouthless cat recently turned 40 last year, but despite being around for four decades and having her likeness reproduced on nearly every item of clothing, stationary, and household good imaginable, there is a lot more to know about Hello Kitty than you probably realized, like her real name, her family members, and the fact that… she’s not exactly a cat after all?

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7-Eleven Japan opens first stores in Kouchi Prefecture, nationwide domination almost complete

Convenience stores are easily a part of everyone’s daily lives in Japan. So long as you’re in an urban area, you’re probably never more than a five-minute walk away from one. More commonly known as “conbini” in Japanese, they really are just as handy as their name suggests. Need to pay a bill or for an online purchase? Do it at the conbini. Want to print some photos or scan something? Get it done at the conbini. Late-night alcohol- or munchies-run? TO THE CONBINI!

While some convenience store chains can only be found in certain regions, others can be found nationwide. After opening its first stores on Friday, March 6 in Kouchi Prefecture, 7-Eleven only has three more prefectures to go until they’ve got the entire country covered.

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McDonald’s Japan introduces Hawaiian-inspired menu, netizens can’t get over the pancakes

Most anywhere in the world you go, you’re likely to find the familiar golden arches somewhere nearby. For foreigners living in Japan, McDonald’s can provide a quick and inexpensive taste of home, while at the same time giving more adventurous eaters new and exciting twists on the classic McD’s taste with seasonal treats like the pink sakura or black squid-ink burgers. Currently, the chain is offering up some Hawaiian-themed eats, like its barbeque pork burger, banana milkshake, and mixed berry pancakes.

When the craving for pancakes strikes, McDonald’s might not be the first place to come to mind, but Japanese netizens have been pleasantly surprised at just how good the Hawaiian pancakes actually are.

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Tofu sushi? Our writer samples an unusual Dutch take on a Japanese classic

When one country’s cuisine finds its way overseas, things are often lost in translation, either due to the limited availability of certain ingredients or because of differences in local tastes. Japan is just as guilty as any country for offering “foreign” foods that would never be found in the countries they originated from, but Japanese food has not escaped the same type of butchering, as the likes of sushi and ramen gain popularity around the world.

Just as any American is likely to be surprised by some of the things Denny’s and McDonald’s in Japan have on offer, one of RocketNews24’s Japanese writers got a bit of a surprise when he checked the menu at a sushi restaurant in the Netherlands.

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Osaka man ends up with both broken teeth and bike, takes manufacturer to court

A 27-year-old man from Osaka, Japan, has taken a bicycle manufacturer to court after a freak accident last year had him kissing concrete at high speed, resulting in eight chipped and broken teeth.

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