Preston Phro

Preston Phro (or simply Phro as most know him) is a Coloradoan attempting to fit in in Tokyo. (Surely, he would succeed if not for his unruly hair.) He puts his master's in classical Japanese literature to good use by writing silly stories and articles for the Internet. Having lived in Nara, Osaka, and Yamaguchi before moving to the Kanto area, he's quite happy to finally have a place to call home! When not writing, he enjoys annoying his wife by plucking at his shamisen (a three-stringed Japanese instrument not entirely unlike a banjo) and pestering her with questions about Japanese history. He also occasionally attempts to remember all the stuff he's forgotten since university.

All Stories by Preston Phro

Konsei Matsuri: The giant penis riding festival in Iwate

Konsei Matsuri: The giant penis riding festival in Iwate

Wow, Japan, is that a giant wooden phallus in your hot springs, or are you just happy to see m–oh. I see. Well, uh, I’ll just be on my way then. Um…maybe one quick photo…

As you are surely already aware, Japan has quite a few unusual, phallic festivals allegedly intended to be fertility rites for couples hoping for children. They’re also great attractions for curious tourists or anyone who wants to try frosted penis-bananas. Iwate Prefecture, perhaps not wanting to be left out, has a phallus festival of its own. Its standout feature? The phallus riding event! And, great news, ladies, they’re taking applications!

(Before clicking below, use your best judgement about whether or not this is something you should be reading at work.)

Read More

Attack on Lotteria! Get your burger with a side of Levi and Eren

Attack on Lotteria! Get your burger with a side of Levi and Eren

Do you love burgers and enormous, skinless giants? How about sexy studs Eren and Levi from the super popular Attack on Titan? If you answered yes to any–or all–of those questions, then you better get to your nearest Lotteria this Friday, because supplies for the limited-edition mini-towel and plastic file are…uh…limited!

Also, we’d really like a milkshake while you’re there.

Read More

Photos of women with and without make-up show that reality is what you make it

Photos of women with and without make-up show that reality is what you make it

While cosmetic surgery is the certainly one of the most dramatic ways to change your physical appearance, not everyone is willing to spend the money–or lose the flesh–for a new look. And if you happen to be a bit indecisive, going under the knife probably isn’t a very good idea. Fortunately, there’s always that ancient magic that humanity has used for millennia: make-up!

There’s no doubting the power of make-up–it’s one of the oldest human institutions and widely used in nearly every known society. And even today, it still manages to maintain a slight allure of mystery–there’s something almost scandalous about seeing someone “without their face on.” Which makes finding this huge compendium of before and after photos all the more fascinating!

Read More

Japanese Twitter users and the tale of the broken battery

Japanese Twitter users and the tale of the broken battery

One of the benefits of living in a modern society is letting other people worry about building all the stuff we use–like cars or blenders or cell phones. After all, do you really know what’s going on inside an internal combustion engine or how your juicer works? Well, okay, actually, you might know, but even so, it’s fair to say that the average person probably doesn’t have a very clear idea of how all their appliances–kitchen or otherwise–were actually put together.

And there’s nothing wrong with that! That’s the whole point of living in a society–DIYers and insane survivalists aside–specialization is what lets us have so much cool stuff. But sometimes our ignorance can lead to certain, um, embarrassing situations, as one Japanese Twitter user recently learned.

Read More

Climbing cats: The cuteness that rises to the occasion

Climbing cats: The cuteness that rises to the occasion

Though it’s not exactly the first thing that springs to mind when we think of cats–that would be cheeseburgers–our furry feline friends are certainly excellent climbers. While they can’t hold a candle to a mountain goat, their built-in climbing hooks, indomitable sense of curiosity, and incredible flexibility make them extraordinary climbers. Just ask anyone who’s tried to remove a cat after it’s scaled half way up their leg–these little cuties will stick to anything.

The above photo, which has been retweeted well over 6,000 times in the last day alone, is a perfect example of feline desire to go up!

Read More

Doraemon meets Dragon Ball in the weirdest mash up we’ve seen today

Doraemon meets Dragon Ball in the weirdest mash up we’ve seen today

Writing for RocketNews24, we get to see some unusual stuff nearly every day. The Internet, in all its infinite wisdom and fluffy kittens, can get pretty weird sometimes, as you are all probably very well aware. And that’s fine! When you’re tapping into the collective consciousness of the whole globe, you should expect to find the unexpected. But sometimes you really hit the wacky gold. Like this cartoon of Doraemon mashed together with Dragon Ball, complete with strained voice acting, over-the-top sound effects, and the most painful battles we’ve ever seen. It’s…look, you should just go ahead and click to read more now.

Read More

Our Japanese staff try British cup noodles, didn’t completely hate the experience

Our Japanese staff try British cup noodles, didn’t completely hate the experience

Throughout the world, Britain is known for many things–great music, excellent literature, and sexy men. One thing the country isn’t known for, though, is their good food. In fact, if you ask nearly anyone what they think of British food they’ll probably stick their tongues out and make gagging noises.

It’s a bit unfair, but even in Tokyo–where you can find restaurants serving cuisine from all over the globe–the closest you’ll find to British food is a pub. Although, we have to admit, our friends from the Queen’s country at least know how to serve a good drink.

Recently, though, Mr. Sato and Yoshio, both writers for the Japanese side of RocketNews24, got their hands on a carton of Pot Noodle, a brand of instant noodles so awful “it was voted the ‘most hated brand’ in the UK in a 2004 poll.” And what did our Japanese colleagues think of these awful noodles?

Read More

Monster parents evolve: The unbelievable demands and complaints made by parents in Japan

Monster parents evolve: The unbelievable demands and complaints made by parents in Japan

‘Monster parents’ aren’t anything new in Japan–the complaints by and about overbearing, demanding mothers and fathers have been on the increase for nearly a decade. But thanks to a report by the FujiTV program Nonstop, the issue has catapulted squarely back into the public conscious.

The show posted some of the crazier complaints allegedly made by these loudmouthed parents to schools and their kids’ teachers, sparking angry and bewildered comments online. We’ve collected some of the best (worst?) below.

Read More

Vine Boin Bounce: In which we start a new dance craze and have a punny good time

Vine Boin Bounce: In which we start a new dance craze and have a punny good time

While most of the articles you find on our lovely site are about Japanese news–be it current events in the anime world or photos a hundred years old–sometimes we like to just kick off our shoes and have some fun too.

For example, four of our colleagues from the Japanese side of the site (great for reading practice in case you’re studying the language!) decided to make these, shall we say unique Vine videos. We won’t say that they’re the weirdest thing you’ll see today…but only because we never know when some deep sea divers are going to find new, bizarre fish.

Read More

BABYMETAL invasion of the West marches on, everyone welcomes new kawaii overlords【VIDEOS】

BABYMETAL invasion of the West marches on, everyone welcomes new kawaii overlords【VIDEOS】

It’s been less than a year since we interviewed BABYMETAL and prophesied their coming domination of the globe, and in that time they’ve released a new, full-length album, racked up over five million views on one video alone, and made plans to invade England. While the UK probably isn’t the best target for a military attack–we hear they get pretty grumpy and call the RAF on you–the country seems particularly susceptible to cultural aggressions, making the group’s British debut at Sonisphere Festival UK the perfect opening offensive!

But the group’s popularity isn’t limited to the metal community. They’ve gotten attention from major media outlets around the world–it’s only a matter of time before we see the girls jumping around on Oprah’s coach, declaring their love for chocolate.

Read More

Hamster babies steal our hearts, leave us begging for more

Hamster babies steal our hearts, leave us begging for more

Everyone loves hamsters. From the Internet masses cooing over their adorable keisters to snakes who refuse to eat them, there’s something about their furry round bodies that reduces us to piles of squealing glee. They’re just so cuuuuuuuute!

And what’s the only thing cuter than a hamster? Well, if you said “Baby hamsters,” then you are clearly psychic! We’d tell you to get out of our heads, but we’re too busy “awww”ing over these photos.

Read More

What men and women are REALLY saying, according to Japanese Twitter users

What men and women are REALLY saying, according to Japanese Twitter users

Men and women. Even when we’re all speaking the same language, it seems like we’re saying completely different things. If you’ve ever grumbled to a friend about not understanding what women and/or men really want, then you will definitely be able to sympathize with this one. Here are 10 tweets from Japanese Twitter users explaining what they think the differences between what women and men mean…even when they’re saying the exact same things! After reading this, you’ll probably have a better idea of why it often seems like the sexes just can’t understand each other. You’ll also probably be no closer to figuring out what they’re telling you…

Read More

Do not try this at home: Man threads rubber cord into penis, lodges it in bladder

Do not try this at home: Man threads rubber cord into penis, lodges it in bladder

Men aren’t exactly known for making good decisions when it comes to their penises. Now, normally that just means that guys will take absurd risks to impress someone they fancy, but sometimes their idiocy can run a bit deeper. And if you add boredom into the mix, all bets are off! It’s impossible to say what a guy wont try to stick inside his little fella.

Wait, inside? Yep, you read that correctly! As much as you probably don’t want to know more…well, you still definitely want to know more. Click to read all the cringe-worthy details below!

Read More

Japanese netizens react to Action Movie Kid on YouTube

Japanese netizens react to Action Movie Kid on YouTube

One of the worst things about being an adult is not getting to play pretend anymore–or, at the very least, getting angry looks from grumpy old neighbors when you do. Your boss is almost guaranteed not to be amused by you shouting, “The floor is lava!” and then leaping onto your desk. We suppose that’s the best reason to have a kid–no one will complain about you playing pretend with your son or daughter!

Well, one parent has taken their pretend playing with their kid to an entirely different dimension. Thanks to computer graphics skills honed through working at freaking DreamWorks, this guy has made his son’s pretend play into reality and wowed netizens across Japan while doing so.

Read More

This is what three years of boogers dumped under your bed looks like

This is what three years of boogers dumped under your bed looks like

Cleaning sucks. There’s no gentle or polite way to say this–cleaning is boring and tiresome and we always have better stuff to do. Like rewatch every episode of Breaking Bad for the sixth time. But, as our mother’s told us, it is important to keep your home clean–a dirty room invites all sorts of creepy, crawly things. Ew!

Still, it can be hard motivating yourself to get cleaning, but if you wait too long, the results go far beyond gross and enter gruesome territory, as one Japanese netizen proved last week by uploading the most bizarre photos we’ve seen in a looong time.

Read More

Tuffy Rhodes, all-star baseball player in Japan, wows basketball crowd with kindness

Tuffy Rhodes, all-star baseball player in Japan, wows basketball crowd with kindness

As many of our readers probably already know, baseball is incredibly popular in Japan–in fact it sometimes seems as if Japanese folks love the sport more than people from the US. Japanese fans can be truly fanatical and they gladly follow everything from the local team to the major leagues, which makes it no wonder that so many Japanese players eventually make their way to the US.

Of course, it’s not uncommon to see players going the opposite direction across the Pacific, with MLB players coming to Japan to play professionally. One of the best example has to be Tuffy Rhodes, who played for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox before moving to the Nihon Professional Baseball league in the mid-1990s. Tuffy recently became a bit of an Internet sensation thanks to his good will and kindness at sports games. The weird thing was that it wasn’t even a baseball game!

Read More

The Real Barbie Army grows larger with the appearance of a Chinese recruit【Photos】

The Real Barbie Army grows larger with the appearance of a Chinese recruit【Photos】

There must be something in the water…or maybe in the atmosphere? Well, whatever it is, the ranks of the “Real Barbie” army seem to only be growing faster! All across the world, new recruits keep appearing, one after another, in the most…peculiar of forms.

Our most recent example hails from China and has garnered quite a bit of attention in her native country–and has gotten noticed in Japan as well. But what will her role be in the Real Barbie plans for world conquest?

Read More

So that’s what they mean! SWAT hand signals as explained by a working Japanese mother

So that’s what they mean! SWAT hand signals as explained by a working Japanese mother

If we had a 100 yen for every action movie that showed scenes of SWAT teams sneaking around waving hand signals at each other, we’d probably have, um, a lot of yen. At least enough to buy a Happy Meal or something. But have you ever looked closely at those hand signals? For most of us, they could be making it up on the spot and we’d probably never know! Fortunately, this is the Internet and everything you could ever want to learn about anything is probably available online.

And that includes hand signals! For a few years now, charts explaining the hand signals that sneaky tactical groups use to communicate silently have floated around on the web, though their explanations have always been a bit…straightforward. “Stop.” “Look over there.” “Holy crap, they’re shooting at us!” All pretty standard fare, we suppose. But standard fare is never good enough for the Internet, and thus “Hand signals commonly used by mothers with babies” was born!

Read More

Fear and haunted houses in Japan: An interview with ScareHouse sociologist Margee Kerr

Fear and haunted houses in Japan: An interview with ScareHouse sociologist Margee Kerr

It’s almost summer and that means a lot of stuff in Japan—Golden Week, brain melting humidity, Obon, and of course, horror movies and haunted houses. While many people in the west binge on horror flicks and spooky attractions as Halloween nears, Japanese people tend to get their fright on during the summer months.

We recently caught up with Margee Kerr, a sociologist who studies fear and helps the world famous ScareHouse terrify their patrons—in a good way of course! Margee was in Japan studying how fear works across different cultures and we were excited to learn about the similarities and differences in the reactions between Japan and America to horror. Check out our interview with a true master of fear at one of Tokyo’s scariest bars: Yurei Izakaya in Kichijoji!

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. ...
  9. 21