Philip Kendall


Hailing from Liverpool in the UK, Philip Kendall made Japan his second home in the summer of 2006 after dolefully abandoning his childhood dream of becoming a ghost buster. Setting up camp in beautiful Fukushima prefecture, he brought joy to literally hundreds of junior high school children as ‘that tall, handsome teacher’ or more often ‘the one with the big nose,’ before relocating to Tokyo at the end of 2011.

Writer, foodie, gamer and eternal student of the Japanese language, Philip now works as a freelance writer and translator, submitting to Tokyo Weekender magazine and website and Learn Japanese Pod, as well as co-running Suds, Grub & Joe- a website dedicated to all things beer, food and coffee-related in Tokyo. Follow his ramblings on his personal blog or on twitter.

All Stories by Philip Kendall

The 21st century Game Boy we wish Nintendo were working on【Pics】

We’re sure Nintendo is busy creating something new and exciting to release into the world, but we kind of wish this is what they were working on…

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10 badass four-character phrases to add to your Japanese language toolkit

With enough hard work, anyone can learn to speak and read Japanese. But you know you’ve truly made it as a Nihongo master only when you can effortlessly break out a few yojijukugo, or four-kanji idioms. Join us after the jump for 10 of our favourites!

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Muji enters the tiny house game, showcases its line of wonderfully minimalist ‘Muji Huts’

Japan does small better than pretty much any other country in the world. From intricate origami to beautiful bonsai to sushi made with barely a dozen grains of rice, the Japanese people are known for their dexterity and attention to detail.

It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that Japanese retailer Muji is now getting into the tiny house movement and recently showcased its range of prefabricated ‘Muji Hut’ minimalist homes and hangouts.

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London mayor Boris Johnson takes out 10-year-old Japanese kid during fun rugby match【Video】

It’s not every day that an enormous blonde-haired bear of a man comes to your school, agrees to play a quick game of rugby with you and then proceeds to knock you on your 10-year-old arse rather than let you win the ball.

But then, it’s not every day that London mayor Boris Johnson is visiting Japan…

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20 of the best outfits seen at this year’s New York Comic Con 【Pics】

As the more worldly wise of you will no doubt already know, New York City is not in Japan. Nor is it in any other part of Asia. But as you’re probably also aware, we at RocketNews24 just can’t pass up a bit of quality cosplay when we see it, especially when much of it is based on characters from the island many of our team now call home.

Sadly, our bosses refused to pony up the cash for a plane ticket to the Big Apple so we could check out New York Comic Con 2015 for ourselves, but our friends over at Pixable (you do know we’re on Pixable now, right?) were there with cameras in hand, and they were good enough to share their photos with us.

Check out 20 of our favourite cosplayers at New York Comic Con 2015, after the jump.

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Attack on Titan fans left “waiting”, start tweeting, as subtitles freeze during first screenings

With part one of the live-action movie adaptation released for the first time outside Japan on Wednesday this week, fans of the hugely successful manga and anime series Attack on Titan were no doubt incredibly excited to see their favourite giant-slaying characters brought to life by living, breathing Japanese actors.

Little did then know, however, that when one of the English subtitles added to the movie for its North American release would appear on-screen, it would remain there—for a full 20 minutes—while the action continued behind it.

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Super Mario Bros. creator explains how and why he designed World 1-1 of the 8-bit classic 【Video】

Ahead of the launch of Mario-themed level-building game Super Mario Maker, video game industry legend Shigeru Miyamoto sat down with veteran game designer Takashi Tezuka to take questions from journalists and show off its features.

Before leaping into the level creation proper, however, Miyamoto took a few minutes to talk about the creative process that is involved in building a Super Mario level, talking his audience through the steps he and his team took when creating the original Super Mario Bros., and explaining why World 1-1 of the game—for many their first ever brush with Mario on Nintendo’s 8-bit system—was built the way it is.

You’ve no doubt cleared this level countless times by now, but you may not have realised the hidden genius and careful planning that went into the positioning of every block, pipe, and pit of doom.

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Five types of foreigner you’ll meet in Japan

Japan attracts all kinds of people from all over the world. Some come to work, others come to play, and thanks to its relatively low crime levels, high standard of living and abundance of delicious food, Japan is a very easy place to call home for a while. Plus, isn’t Japan where all those anime, video games and ninjas come from? It’s got to be worth a visit!

But today, instead of talking about the myriad things Japan has to offer visitors, we’re going to have a bit of fun by taking a closer look at some of the visitors themselves. You might not encounter each of these five types of people if you’re staying in Japan for just a couple of weeks, but if you’re here for work or an extended sojourn, then you’re bound to meet at least a couple of them along the way…

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Japan’s censorship of PlayStation 4 horror game Until Dawn is spectacularly bad 【Video】

Considering it’s the same country that gave us movies like Battle Royale, Tokyo Gore Police and Ichi the Killer, Japan’s method of handling violent video game content can be quite perplexing at times.

Despite being able to attack the undead hordes in survival horror beat-em-up Dead Rising with everything from ‘wet floor’ signs to katanas, decapitations were notably absent from the Japanese version of the game when it released back in 2006. More recently, Japanese Metal Gear Solid and Gears of War fans were shocked to see that numerous scenes and animations were cut from the versions released in their homeland, even though the games were clearly marked as “adults only”.

Japan’s video game censors have struck again this week, this time taking their (presumably family-friendly) hatchets to newly released PlayStation 4 horror game Until Dawn—and the method of censoring the scenes deemed too much for Japan is startlingly bad.

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The cosplay of Comiket 88: Sailor Moon, Splatoon, Love Live! and more【Photos】

Comiket 88, the world’s largest dojinshi fair, is now underway at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre. And while thousands of people are already rushing to buy some of the best and rarest anime, manga and video game merch money can buy, others were there for one thing only: cosplay.

Despite the beating sun and intense humidity that comes as standard with Summer Comic Market (you did read our Comiket survival guide, right?), the almost complete lack of shade outdoors did not deter Tokyo’s cosplayers, who stood out for photo after photo, striking their best poses and wowing our reporters with their incredible outfits.

Join us after the jump for a look at some of our favourites!

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Man bursts into wife’s lover’s office, severs penis with garden shears, flushes it down toilet

No, you read that headline right. We’re going to skip past any form of real intro here and get right into it with this one. You may want to start crossing your legs now, fellas…

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“Hang Em Hyrule” takes Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda to the Wild West 【Video】

The Legend of Zelda‘s Link has worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively. We’ve seen him as a train driver, a goat herder, sailing the high seas with a bunch of cartoonish pirates, cavorting with fairies in the forest, you name it. Never, though, have we seen him as a gunslinging cowboy.

That is, until now.

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Perfect Disney princess discovered in ice-cube by Japanese Twitter user

Whenever someone claims to have found the face of Jesus in their toast or sees the Virgin Mary in the bark of a tree, cynic that I am, my brain immediately jumps back to my old psychology textbook’s section on pareidolia, or the phenomenon of seeing familiar patterns or objects in unlikely places.

But on this occasion I’m willing to put my cynicism on hold for a moment and just believe. For I have just been shown a perfect, miniature Disney princess in an ice-cube.

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Air conditioner installation in China is for acrobats, not acrophobics 【Video】

If you’re ever had the misfortune of having to lift an air-conditioning unit, you’ll know that they’re actually pretty heavy. After all, they’re essentially big, unwieldy metal boxes filled with even more bits of metal, so you’d probably want someone to help you out if you had to install one in your home.

But not this man in China – no, he’d rather do things his own way. Even if that means shuffling along the outside ledge of an eye-wateringly high apartment building and stepping over the gap while carrying the air-conditioning unit all by himself.

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Taipei mailboxes become local attraction after powerful typhoon bends them out of shape【Video】

Last weekend, Typhoon Soudelor, a powerful storm whose winds were recorded in excess of 230km/h (142mph), tore through the island nation of Taiwan before heading north to batter Southern China. It claimed the lives of at least six people in Taiwan alone, and has left a literal trail of destruction in its wake.

Now that the storm has passed, however, people in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei have been lining up around the block for a unique photo opportunity with a couple of objects which only just survived the powerful winds…

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North Korea establishes its own time zone in order to stick it to “wicked Japanese imperialists”

Were they granted the ability to manipulate time and space, we’re fairly certain that most world leaders would choose to go back in time in order to benefit their own country somehow, replaying disastrous moments in their history and righting wrongs that would later cost them dearly. (One can only imagine a world in which the likes of Katie Hopkins and Donald Trump were never put in front of a camera…)

But today, totalitarian dictatorship North Korea declared that it would be turning the clock back by just 30 minutes, thus establishing “Pyongyang Time”, in order to mark its independence from the “wicked Japanese imperialists” who meddled with their clocks to begin with.

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Girls in Korea and Japan are rocking ‘heart hair’, but all we’re seeing are tiny bottoms

An unusual hair-styling trend known as “haato gata” (heart shape) or “haata appu mori” (heart up-set) has become the talk of the interwebs here in Japan recently.

The curious coiffure, which first sprouted in South Korea, is just what it sounds like: girls carefully style their fringe (or bangs to the rest of you) into the shape of a heart, strike a cute pose and then take a picture.

Sadly, to many of us, that’s not what the finished result it looks like…

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China’s Winter Olympics anthem bears an uncanny resemblance to Frozen’s “Let it Go” 【Video】

Despite their capital city having been chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games just five days ago, the people of China are not currently in the best of moods. Rather than being filled with messages of pride and anticipation, online message boards and micro-blogging sites in China are brimming with anger and negative comments following the release of an official Olympic anthem titled “The Ice and Snow Dance”, written by celebrated pianist Zhao Zhao.

It’s a powerful, stirring piece that elicits the kind of chills you’d expect from a musical tribute to the Winter Olympics. But when you hear the song for yourselves, we think you’ll understand why people are not entirely happy about it.

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Awesome retro faceplate turns your New Nintendo 3DS into an old-school Game & Watch

With its Super Famicom-esque face buttons, the New Nintendo 3DS is already rocking the retro in a big way. But if you’d like your portable console to look even more old-school, this fully functional Game & Watch-themed faceplate from Japanese gadget and accessory maker Colombus Circle is sure to do the trick!

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Video of 10 white globes floating in Osaka sky leaves net users wondering worldwide【Video】

A video showing 10 unidentified flying objects hovering in the sky over the Japanese city of Osaka has been making waves in Japan this week, to the degree that news sites all around the globe have begun talking about it.

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