Oona McGee

All Stories by Oona McGee

Japan unveils Laundroid, the world’s first laundry-folding robot

If there’s a menial task that takes up a substantial amount of time, you can bet Japan is developing a robot for it. So far we’ve seen gems like the 24-fingered hair-washing robot, the floor-cleaning bot and the robot that feeds you tomatoes while you run.

Now, a new generation of self-automated robotic assistance is set to make life easier for families in the very near future, with an amazing new machine that folds your laundry.

Read More

Amazing drone footage captures jaw-dropping traffic jam in China 【Video】

If you ever thought you’d been stuck in a traffic jam, you may want to think again.

Aerial footage taken yesterday in China shows what happens when thousands of people arrive at a toll booth at once as they head home after a week-long national holiday. With cars stretching as far as the eye can see and 50 lanes of vehicles, this is one traffic jam you don’t want to be in.

Read More

The top five Ghibli sequels that Japanese moviegoers would like to see

It’s been 30 years since Studio Ghibli began producing the adorable characters, inspiring storylines and amazing animated scenes that we all know and love. The warmth of the animation house’s distinctive style has created worlds so captivating it’s almost as if our favourite characters might continue on their journey after the credits finish rolling to live in an alternate animated Ghibli universe alongside our own.

So what if there were a way to catch up with all our Ghibli friends to see how they’ve been getting along? Which stories would fans like to explore further, decades after they were originally created? If semi-retired director Hayao Miyazaki ever needed a reason to come back to making movies full-time, he might like to consider the following list of five Ghibli sequels Japanese moviegoers would most like to see.

Read More

Japanese artisan keeps traditional culture of yabumi alive with this adorable arrow letter set

From carrier pigeons to messages in bottles, there’s something uniquely appealing about using the forces of nature to carry a passage of prose between two human beings. With Japan’s long history of archery, messages once travelled through the air in the form of yabumi (lit. arrow text), a folded letter attached to an arrow that acted as a speedy delivery service between individuals or warring clans.

Sadly, the culture of yabumi dwindled and gradually disappeared as we moved slowly towards the world of much less dangerous (though sometimes just as impactful) emails and instant messaging. One traditional artisan is keeping the culture alive though, with a new letter set that contains everything you need to create your own yabumi, this time with adorable, user-friendly arrows.

Read More

Five beautiful pylon designs that belong in Japan

Whenever we see something that’s cute, huge and blows our minds, we generally look to Japan as the source behind the creation. While they’ve proved they can be design innovators in oversized sushi, and the creation of fluffy giant cats, there’s one area where Japan has a lot to learn from other countries, and its something that exists around the country in abundance: power lines.

Often seen towering over rice fields, propped up on the side of mountains and jutting out beyond the high rises, wouldn’t it be significantly more amazing if the ordinary-looking transmission tower had the occasional smiley face or pair of gigantic arms like a colossal Titan? We take a look at some amazing electricity pylon designs from around the world, in the hope that one day, Japan will turn its keen design eye in their direction.

Read More

Lexus pays homage to its Japanese workers by building a driveable origami car out of cardboard

Lexus has always admired the skills of the craftsmen and women who work on their production lines in Japan. Known as takumi, these highly trained Japanese production workers hone their dexterity skills by learning to fold an origami cat in 90 secondsusing only their non-dominant hand.

Now, Lexus UK has unveiled a stunning tribute to these skilled workers by creating a life-sized replica of the Lexus IS, using 1,700 pieces of laser-cut cardboard in what they’re calling the “Origami Car”. Complete with an electric motor, the cardboard vehicle can actually be driven. With the cardboard seats and interior, it won’t be an entirely practical, or legal, ride, but it would certainly be a memorable one!

Read More

Robot cellphone makes calls, walks, talks, projects, dances and will be your new BFF【Video】

As Japan’s human population decreases, its robot population steadily rises. From the giant, rideable KURATAS to SoftBank’s domestic robot, Pepper, there’s diversity in their numbers but from next year, one smart mechanical biped aims to outdo them all.

It’s the adorable RoBoHoN from Sharp, who’s set to crush the cellphone market with an array of impressive features and an equally charming character. To see just how amazing this little guy is, come with us as we take a look at his exclusive introductory video after the break.

Read More

Saitama now offering free SIM cards to foreign tourists

Japan is well-known for its unique hospitality culture, which partially stems from the concept of “ichigo-ichie” (lit. “one time, one meeting”), the tea master’s philosophy that every encounter is a once-in-a-lifetime moment to be cherished.

Now, Japan is flexing its hospitality muscles in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by rolling out new services and products to help visitors and reduce the stress that comes with travelling in a country where things can sometimes get lost in translation. The latest display of impressive hospitality comes from Saitama City, where the city council is offering free SIM cards to its foreign visitors.

Read More

Turn your cat’s toilet trips into day-spa visits with this adorable “onsen” litter box

While dogs have no trouble emptying their bladders and bowels on busy streets in broad daylight, proudly locking eyes with you as they let rip right there on the pavement, members of the feline world are much more reserved when it comes to answering the call of nature. Even in the comfort of their own homes, kitties need their own space to do their business; no self-respecting cat would want the eyes of their human on them while they’re trying to go.

So it’s no wonder this clever new idea is getting a lot of attention in Japan. It’s the cat onsen, which houses your pet’s kitty litter box and comes complete with a cute spa-style noren curtain to provide some much needed privacy. Once your cat finishes using the kitty litter “sand bath” inside, they’ll emerge looking as fresh as a daisy!

Read More

Kimutaku to star in Blade of the Immortal live-action film directed by Takashi Miike

When one of Japan’s most controversial directors teams up with one of its sexiest actors to make a film about the manga world’s most cursed samurai, the ripples of excitement that usually surround a live-action movie announcement turn into a veritable tidal wave.

The upcoming film adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s manga Blade of the Immortal is set to be one of the most anticipated films of 2017. Until then, fans of the original manga series will have to wait to see what lies in store when 42-year-old boy band member and heart-throb actor Kimutaku takes on the role of a masterless samurai living in an immortal body.

Read More

Sword Art Online anime movie announced, will feature all-new storyline from creator Reki Kawahara

Japanese fans of the Sword Art Online light novel series know all about the importance of attending the seasonal Dengeki Bunko festivals in Tokyo. This is the main stage on which Japanese publisher ASCII Media Works and its Dengeki Bunko imprint make all their big announcements regarding the series, and it was no different at the Dengeki Bunko Autumn Festival held in Akihabara on Sunday, where it was revealed that Sword Art Online will be made into a new anime movie, with an all-new storyline from its creator Reki Kawahara.

Read More

New Evangelion lingerie and roomwear range features five favourite characters and a penguin!

The world of intimate apparel has taken an animated turn recently, with online fashion retailer SuperGroupies creating bra and panty sets inspired by the female pilots’ plugsuits from Neon Genesis Evangelion and popular lingerie and women’s apparel brand Peach John releasing Sailor Moon lingerie.

Now Peach John is coming out with its own Eva-inspired line of roomwear and intimates, featuring matching bras and panties with gorgeous Evangelion details, a nightie and even a Pen Pen onesie to lounge about the house in.

Read More

Cute shoe range from Sanrio features bejeweled loafers and pumps with My Melody armchair heels

There are shoes, and then there are SHOESdainty little works of art that adorn your feet, turning heads as you walk by and acting as conversation starters with complete strangers. In Japan, of course, fashion gets taken to the next level of cuteness and never more so than with the new range of My Melody showstoppers from Sanrio.

Read More

“Miyako” – one of the most beautiful, feels-inducing Japan videos you’ll ever see【Video】

If you’ve ever visited Japan, chances are your first stop in the country has been a big, bustling metropolis like Osaka or Tokyo. While the enormous flat screens, heaving intersections and impressive skyscrapers make for some memorable photo moments, it’s the serene, picturesque country towns that really hold the true essence and beauty of Japan.

For those of us who can’t make a trip out to soak in the serenity of the countryside, there’s a short, three-and-a-half minute film that will transport us there. If you loved Chihiro’s tranquil train ride in the Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away, you’ll love this touching video, which introduces us to a stationmaster called Miyako, who waves at all her departing passengers—and keeps waving until they disappear into the horizon—showing us just how moving a simple gesture can be.

Read More

Evangelion Shinkansen service takes off on November 7 with life-sized Eva cockpit on board

As far as joint collaborations go, the Shinkansen Evangelion Project is set to go down in the annals of history, with Japan Rail West joining up with the hit anime franchise to make our wildest dreams a reality, by bringing out a special Eva-themed bullet train to shuttle customers from Osaka to Fukuoka and back on the Sanyō Shinkansen line.

Since the announcement of the project, we’ve been waiting on the edge of our seats for more details, and finally JR West has come through with news of the launch date, along with never-before-seen images of the train’s interior, which includes Eva-themed seats and window blinds, and a designated “cockpit room”.

Read More

New range of futons for cats feature traditional Japanese patterns, made with tails in mind

One of the great pleasures of visiting Japan is the chance to sleep in a futon, traditional Japanese bedding that’s freshly laid out on the floor every evening. When you’ve got a nice thick mattress pad, a fluffy, quilted duvet cover and a compact buckwheat pillow, a night sleeping on tatami straw floors is a night few foreigners forget.

Now you can share the traditional Japanese bedtime experience with your feline friends, with a gorgeous new range of futons created especially for the discerning four-legged customer. From the gorgeous Japanese prints to the matching pillow and the ergonomic, tail-friendly design, this is the best chance yet for obliging humans to finally reclaim their beds!

Read More

If Darth Vader owned an iPhone, he’d probably keep it in a stunning wooden ukiyoe Star Wars case

There’s always been a strong connection between Japan and the George Lucas-helmed Star Wars franchise. From the samurai-influenced Darth Vader and Stormtrooper costume designs through to the film’s storyline, which borrows heavily from Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film Hidden Fortress, Lucas himself is the first to admit he owes a lot of his creative inspiration to the Land of the Rising Sun.

So it’s nice to see that Japan is reciprocating the love with a number of Star Wars creations of their own. From samurai-styled figurines to ukiyo-e woodblock prints, these Japanese-styled homages to the epic American film franchise are the perfect way to get ready for the December 18 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And now you can carry the force wherever you go, with a gorgeous wooden iPhone 6 case that’s so beautiful even a Sith Lord would stand in line to buy one.

Read More

Giant black cat appears in Shinjuku Station, gives gifts in exchange for nose rubs【Pics & Video】

You never know what you might find when you’re walking the streets of Tokyo. You could stumble upon nine cats in a stroller along the Omotesando shopping strip or enjoy a chance encounter with costumed meerkats on a sunny street in Ginza.

But it’s beneath the city where the big surprises lie. For the rest of this week, deep within the underground labyrinth of passages, shops, and platforms that make up Shinjuku Station, you’ll find a huge black cat. And this particular feline is especially spectacular as it responds to a nose rub by opening its mouth and dispensing presents to passers-by.

Read More

The surprising and little-known Japanese art of gyotaku: culinary prints made with real fish

Japan has a fascinating art history. From early cord designs on clay vessels in the Jomon period (c. 11000–c. 300 BC) through to picture scrolls, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and the distinctive style of animation that exists today, people in Japan have always found unique ways to capture the world around them for the rest of the world to see.

One little-known art technique from the 1800s is now making a comeback, and while its roots are firmly planted in Japan’s traditional history, it’s a method of printing that people all around the world can enjoy. All you need is paper, some paint and a nice-looking fish.

Read More

Ready for a dose of feels? Grab the tissues because this daughter’s love is beautiful【Video】

We here at RocketNews are a soft bunch at heart. We’ve been affected by tear-inducing, feel-good videos from countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand, and now it’s Singapore that’s got us by the feels with a touching new clip.

Based on a true story, this commercial plays more like a short art film, with atmospheric shots and superb acting that seems too real to be rehearsed. Come with us as we take a peek into the life of a graduating high school girl who looks after two younger siblings and her widowed, wheelchair-bound father, as she sacrifices her education and future for her family. Oh, and bring that box of tissues with you – you’ll be needing it!

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. ...
  9. 19

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 21,305 other followers