Scott Wilson

After getting bored with high school French, Scott came to a crossroads in life whether to study Japanese or Native American Mohawk instead. Mohawk's lack of kanji was its ultimate downfall, and Scott hasn't looked back since. After years of non-stop sweating while working as a translator in sweltering Okinawa, he moved back to his native, delightfully frigid Massachusetts to work as a private Japanese tutor. His hobbies include re-reading One Piece for the hundredth time, dreaming about Shakey's Pizza, and getting feedback on stories he's written from both his wife and cat.

All Stories by Scott Wilson

Evangelion and Attack on Titan directors team up to create 2016 Godzilla movie

Do you like Evangelion? Do you like Attack on Titan?

Well then good news! It’s just been announced that the directors of both those movies, Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, are working on the upcoming 2016 Japanese Godzilla reboot film. With both of them having plenty of experience creating huge mechs and huge Titans, we can only expect that this Godzilla movie is going to be… well, huge!

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Are you a control freak, baby, or tough guy? Find out what your sleeping position says about you!

Think about how you slept last night. You probably rolled around a little, found a comfortable spot, adjusted a bit, then eventually slipped into sweet slumber in that position. If you’re like most people, every night you probably choose a similar sleeping position. And the position you choose can say a lot about your personality, your subconscious, and even your deep-seated fears.

We have a list of eight common sleeping positions along with the typical personality traits of each. Are the predictions spot-on for you, or were the psychologists sleeping on the job when they dreamed them up?

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Top 10 things Japanese people do that puzzle us (but we still want to hang out together)

“Wow you can use chopsticks?” “Your Japanese is really good!” “Geez, you’ve put on weight recently.” “It’s only 8:00 p.m., why are you going home?

Anyone who’s been to Japan before has probably been bombarded by something similar to the above. Every country is going to have different cultural norms, but we decided to blow cultural sensitivity out of the water and just go ahead and list the top 10 things Japanese people do that puzzle us (but for some reason don’t stop us from thinking they’re still awesome to be around).

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Woman loses an eye from foul ball at Sapporo Dome, sues team for millions of yen

Imagine you’re sitting in the Sapporo Dome, cheering for the Nippon Ham Fighters home team, when suddenly you hear the unmistakable crack of a bat. You look up to see where the ball is, only to have it come crashing down right in your eye. Quite the painful end to your evening, sure, but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg; you’re now blind in that eye.

That’s exactly what happened to one woman back in 2010 when a foul ball hit her full in the face, blinding her in one eye. And after years of deliberation, the Sapporo courts have finally reached a decision on her case against the stadium and team.

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We bought 21 packs of roasted shellfish to try to find a pearl – but did we get lucky?

Did you know that FamilyMart sells 108 yen (US$0.90) packets of “roasted shellfish strings?” They’re made from Hokkaido-raised scallops, and just like clams and oysters, scallops can produce pearls underwater. Even the packages come with this warning: “please be careful not to swallow any pearls that the shellfish may have produced while you eat them.”

Well that’s a challenge if we ever heard one! We bought 21 packets of roasted shellfish strings and went on a pearl diving adventure. Did we end up finding one? Read on to find out!

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Have ridiculously expensive tastes? Set your wallet on fire with these Andy Warhol candy tins

Sometimes Japan produces things that are totally worth the high asking price if you really want them: like the US$16,000 wood-carved dragon guitar, or the $1.4 million golden Godzilla. But then there are the things that make you laugh out loud when you see the price: like $18 per cup Geisha Starbucks coffee or $100 rainbow-colored tissues.

A set of 30 newly-released candy tins based on the artwork of Andy Warhol definitely falls into the “excuse me what?!” category. Sure they’re beautifully made and come inside lacquered medicine boxes, but you won’t believe how much they asking for them.

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Japanese tourist injured in Tunisian terrorist attack also attacked by Japanese media in hospital

On March 18, three terrorists attacked and took hostage patrons at the Bardo National Museum in Tunisia, killing 21 people and injuring about 50 others. Among those injured was Noriko Yuki, a Japanese tourist visiting Tunisia with her mother.

Ms. Yuki sustained a gunshot wound in the attack and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. There, shortly after her surgery, she was immediately bombarded by Japanese media looking to interview her, with some members of the press apparently going so far as to tell the Japanese ambassador watching over her that he did “not have the authority to stop us from interviewing her.”

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Which do you like? Twitter asks if you prefer girls naughty on the inside or outside

We’ve seen a lot of comparisons between different types of women here at RocketNews24. First there was girls you want to look at vs. girls you want to date, then women who attract chikan vs. those who don’t, and fashion model vs. gravure idol.

The latest “girl comparison” to take Twitter by storm is the most bizarre yet: girls who look innocent but aren’t vs. girls who don’t look innocent but actually are. I’m not quite sure how we got here, but hey! There are cute anime girls to pick from so let’s get choosing!

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Thai celebrity posts video ranting about Chinese tourists turning orderly line into free-for-all

Here at RocketNews24 we’re no stranger to hearing reports of Chinese tourists acting inappropriately abroad. Of course there are jerks from every country who can incite even the most good-natured natives, but only in China do you get the government putting out an official statement for their citizens about how to act when abroad.

Still, fair or not, the perception of rude Chinese tourists is so strong that it recently sent one Thai woman overboard at Jeju International Airport in Korea. While waiting in line, a group of Chinese tourists allegedly came over and turned the once-orderly queue into a madhouse of shoving and yelling, some of the which was the video taker’s own…

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First trailer for the live-action Attack on Titan movie just as smokin’ as the Colossal Titan

It’s been months since we’ve heard anything about the Attack on Titan live-action remake. Last we saw, the movie posters were just coming out, and they mostly just left us hungry for more.

But finally the first trailer for the movie has been released! There were some titanic expectations going into it, and so far the response has been… well, you can watch it and decide for yourself!

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Japanese teens dress differently from usual for graduation; people freak out, call police

Since the Japanese school year starts in April, graduation ceremonies usually happen around mid-March. There are tearful speeches, young adults dressing up in traditional graduation outfits, and of course only the most heartfelt thanks and gratitude given to teachers, parents, and everyone else in the community.

But not in Okayama City. For the past few years there’s been an unofficial tradition of the recent middle school graduates gathering outside Okayama Station and wearing *gasp!* long jackets. And not just that, but they’re wearing them in different colors! The horror was so much that police officers were immediately dispatched to keep an eye on all the horrible delinquents.

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Group of ISIS-inspired kids abuses, attempts to kill a goat as “practice for killing a person”

Earlier this month we saw what was beleived to be the first ISIS-inspired murder in Japan when a group of teenagers brutally killed a fellow classmate. However it has recently come to light that in the middle of February, a different group of Tokyo middle school students broke into an elementary school with the intent of murdering the school pet goat as “practice” for killing a fellow human being.

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Test your Ghibli knowledge: Can you identify the films by these minimalist fan-made posters?

Last month we saw one artist’s interpretation of Studio Ghibli films as super-detailed movie posters. This month though we’re feeling a bit more minimalist, so we want to showcase the work of artist Jackman Chiu. His simple yet impactful poster designs of the Ghibli movies are eye-catching, mysterious, and best of all make for a really good game of Guess That Ghibli Film!

So put on your Ghibli fanboy/fangirl hats and get ready to tally some points and see how many minimalist movie posters you can match with the correct title!

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Seven facts about Japanese chopsticks to help you win friends and influence people

We’ve been seeing a lot of articles recently about how to use Japanese chopsticks correctly. For those of us who grew up using forks and knives, it may seem a bit silly to obsess over holding two sticks at the correct angles. If you plan on visiting, living in, or especially working in Japan at some point, though, it may be a good idea to get out a protractor and practice those angles to save yourself a lot of embarrassing moments with friends and coworkers later.

To help you out, we here at RocketNews24 have compiled seven facts about chopsticks to help you along in your quest for perfect Japanese table manners. Even if you’re a seasoned chopstick expert, you may learn a thing or two from our advanced-level tips.

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Popstar nun Sister Cristina tries Japanese potato chips for first time, ranks them for us

Sister Cristina the nun popstar first came to Japan just the other day to promote her new album, give a small concert, and of course bestow some spiritual advice to questions taken from the audience.

One of those questions was about a man’s addiction to potato chips, and what he could do to overcome it. In suave sister-style, Sister Cristina advised him to try eating some other foods, and perhaps limit his chip intake, though she did mention that she is a fan of potatoes in all forms herself.

That set off a lightbulb in our heads, and we here at RocketNews24 wasted no time in sitting down with Sister Cristina to ask her the real hard-hitting question that everyone wants to know: would she be willing to try some Japanese chips and rank them for us? Watch the video after the jump!

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“Otoko no ko” Satsuki tells her story, explains how Japan’s hospitals aren’t trans-ready

We’ve seen several gender stereotype-destroying otoko no ko (girl-boys) recently, from Kaoru Ishima who models as both a man and a woman, to Nong Poy the stunning transgender Thai actress.

The latest otoko no ko to take the internet by storm is Satsuki, a transgender woman who has a large online following, and has undergone sex reassignment surgery – a rarity in Japan. She blogs about her experience transitioning from a man to a woman, explaining her conflicts with Japan’s medical system, and how she eventually abandoned it altogether.

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Singing nun in Japan gives heavenly concert, also spiritual advice to mothers of otaku

Have you heard of Cristina Scuccia? She’s a 26-year-old Italian nun with a gift for singing, famous for winning The Voice of Italy in 2014, then going on to release an album including a music video to her own rendition of “Like a Virgin.”

Recently, she came to Japan to give a performance, and we were lucky enough to visit for ourselves. We have pictures and the full video of not just the sister singing in her divine voice, but also her giving a “mini confessional” by listening to problems from the audience and giving life advice.

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Let’s play “Typical Cute College Student Bingo” with Japan’s latest social media crush/obsession

We’ve seen a lot of women getting attention online for unspectacular reasons recently: for playing soccer, for running in a marathon, and even for being someone’s sister. Sure they’re all good-looking and probably nice people, but how does that translate into thousands of followers?

The latest in the “cute girl attracting attention online” is possibly the most confusing yet. Ayaka Yokota is simply a Japanese college junior who won a beauty contest at her school last year. And… that’s about it! Nevertheless, she’s been getting lots of praise online recently simply by posting things every college student does, which is apparently more than enough for her legions of fans.

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Magazine illegally publishes name and photo of underage ISIS-inspired killer: “[It] was justified.”

We’re fairly sure the majority of our readers remember the story the we published earlier this week about an apparently ISIS-inspired gang that killed schoolboy Ryota Uemura and threatened to upload the footage for all to see. Perhaps as you were reading that article you were wondering why there were no pictures of the high schoolers who were arrested for the brutal murder. Well, the reason is because according to Japanese law, it is illegal to release the names and photos of minors arrested for crimes.

But one Japanese magazine, Shukan Shincho, seemingly didn’t care about the law in this case as they published the real name and photographs of one of the boys arrested regardless, stating that doing so was “justified” on this occasion.

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Tokyo ramen shops trying serving “boob ramen,” ends up looking like “phallic ramen” instead

Japan, like most of the world, loves boobs. Sure there are disagreements over whether or not anime breasts are too big, or real-life breasts are too small, and sometimes the whole boob-obsession can borderline on creepy, but at least for the most part it’s usually pretty easy to tell what is and isn’t supposed to be a breast.

Except now. To celebrate the latest release in the Senran Kagura cute girl-ninja fighting game series, ramen shops all over Tokyo are serving special, limited-time only bowls of “boob ramen.” While that may sound awesome and hilarious at first, unfortunately the reality is quite different. Just take a look at what they’re offering.

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