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

Hitachi invents “happiness meter” which monitors your every move (and then tells your boss)

Have you ever been unsure about whether or not you were happy? Maybe you thought, “Gee, it sure would be nice if I could wear a device around my neck that would tell me how happy I am.”

Well you’re in luck! Japanese technology company Hitachi has come up with a “happiness meter.” It’s a device that you wear around your neck, letting it pick up little signals that measure exactly how happy or unhappy you are. Best of all, it’s designed for use in companies, so that your boss will know exactly how happy you are all the time. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

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Blue Bottle Coffee opens in Japan to two-hour lines; Mr. Sato gets impatient, goes somewhere else

Would you be willing to wait two hours in line just for a cup of coffee? That’s how long it’d be if you went to the grand opening of Tokyo’s Blue Bottle Coffee, a fancy cafe that prides itself on only using the freshest roast coffee which they make themselves.

For some, like RocketNews24’s own Mr. Sato, that’s just too long a wait for a glorified cup of joe, so after being impressed with how long the lines were, he just went somewhere else for coffee instead.

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Man beats up woman for not looking like “goddess” he spent thousands of dollars to meet

We’ve seen the magical transformative powers of makeup many times before. All it takes is a few puffs or creams and a flattering camera angle to turn someone into a completely different person. This can all be in good fun when it’s just for some tweets, but when someone in a relationship is pretending to look like a completely different person online, then disaster can strike when they actually meet up.

Unfortunately this is exactly what happened when one man in China spent thousands of dollars to meet the woman he’d found online, only to discover that she didn’t look anything like the “goddess” in the pictures he’d seen.

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From crim to cute: Japanese “Hooded Girls” transform the once-feared hoodie image 【Pics】

Up until recently, the hood was mostly a taboo clothing item in Japan. The common thinking was that only criminals and people who had something to hide would wear a hood over their head while out and about on a perfectly clear day. Anyone who bought a hoodie or sweatshirt was doomed to leave the hood unused, dangling lifelessly behind them.

But thanks to the power of the internet, a new trend in Japan is spreading: “hooded girls,” basically just photos of girls wearing hoodies with *gasp!* their hoods up. Because nothing turns something from kowai (scary) to kawaii (cute) faster than pretty girls on Twitter.

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Artist creates incredibly lifelike 3-D models of anime characters (and Sexy Rilakkuma)

Have you ever imagined what your favorite anime characters would look like in real life? While there’s some talented cosplayers out there who can make that dream come true, sometimes they end up more like hilarious nightmares instead.

But thanks to the computer graphics artist Naoto Ikeda, now there’s another way for us to see anime characters brought to life in three dimensions: through his jaw-dropping digital artwork.

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Men of Japan becoming worringly enamoured with pair of 13-year-old Taiwanese twins

Japan’s love for the women of Taiwan has been skyrocketing recently. There’s been everything from the dressed-up McDonald’s employees in Taiwan, to that “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei, to a random Taiwan news reporter, to the borderline creepy Taiwanese schoolgirl photo album.

The most recent Taiwanese girl craze is definitely part of that last “borderline creepy” category. It’s a pair of 13-year-old Taiwanese performers known as “Sandy & Mandy” who have over a million likes and followers on Facebook, and now, seemingly just as many Japanese men falling in love with them as well.

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Think Japanese news is boring? Try it with some cats!

Sometimes the news can get a little heavy-handed. Topics like terrorism or tax hikes can raise blood pressure, cause grumbling about the horrible state of the world, and eventually get to the point where it’s just so boring that you shut it off.

But one news show has figured out a way to keep viewers interested, even during the difficult parts: just have a cute cat walk around the news desk and be generally adorable while everyone is talking about serious subjects.

We’re not kitten you, it’s fur-real.

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The internet can’t figure out why the snow melted in this pattern – Can you?

Take a look at the photo above. Yes, I know it’s just a picture of some melting snow, but take a closer look. Notice anything strange about it?

There’s only snow remaining on every other square tile. It’s melted into a snowy checkerboard, and no one has any idea why. There are no heaters or sewers or anything involved here, just good old-fashioned science, and some hypotheses are more science-y than others.

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Does your cereal bowl need some love? Try a Tower of the Sun capsule toy!

Fuchiko the gachapon capsule toy office lady seems to have a knack for always getting herself into strange situations. She’s wrapped herself in sushi, fooled around with Tuxedo Mask, and has been caught red-handed… sitting in some fold-up chairs.

Of course Fuchiko is not the only cup/bowl caddy that you can get out of a capsule toy dispenser. The company that makes her has teamed up to do collaborations before, and their most recent one is by far their most unusual. Instead of choosing another anime or manga character, they went with the bizarre Tower of the Sun building from Osaka.

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“Can you help meow-t here?” Twitter user discovers why his bread clock was constantly wrong

Even in the era of having the sum of human knowledge to date in your pocket, there’s something to be said about using a sweet novelty clock. If you’re in Japan, you have lots of options. There’s Zelda clocks, beautiful-women clocks, clocks that come for free in magazines. But that’s just scraping the surface, because apparently there’s such a thing as bread clocks too.

One Twitter user recently posted that he’d been having problems with his bread clock constantly telling the wrong time – until he found out the reason why. And no, it’s not because the clock is a piece of bread – the real reason is far more adorable than that.

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Traditional wood-carved guitars prove Japan is the most metal

Japan is known throughout the world for finding harmonious ways of combining traditional design and aesthetics with modern ideas and technology. You can see it everywhere: in Japanese architecture, eating utensils, even smartphone/tablet cases and pop music.

So it should come as no surprise then that there’s Japanese electric guitars that have been hand-crafted out of wood following traditional carving techniques. Oh, and did we mention that you can order them online?

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Unreal “animation dancer” makes Japanese salarymen breakdance with the power of magic sunglasses

If you’re a fan of the internet, then chances are you saw this YouTube video a few years back of Marquese Scott, otherwise known as NONSTOP, performing his mesmerizing “animation” style of dance. It may look like fancy camera tricks, but nope, he can actually just dance like he has no bones.

Thanks to that video, NONSTOP is now world famous, and he recently traveled to Japan to do a collaboration with the entertainment group Team Black Starz. Together they created something beautiful: a video of NONSTOP going around Japan, inspiring salarymen, old dudes, and homeless people to breakdance with the power of his magic sunglasses.

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Japanese food blogger makes fried chicken poodles: “They’re too cute to eat!”

Whether our parents like it or not, food is an art form. Playing with food is awesome, and we’ve seen some spectacular examples of shaved-ice masterpieces, printed designs onto food, or corgi omelets.

But if you’ve been looking for a quick, easy artistic recipe you can do at home, look no further. Get ready to make the cutest little appetizers you’ve ever seen: fried poodles.

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Like anime and video game mashups? Here’s 900 amazing ones!

Who doesn’t love a good mashup? We’ve seen some great ones before: Pokémon turned into Godzilla monsters, Doraemon turned into Dragon Ball, even Crayon Shin-chan turned into Attack on Titan.

But when it comes to sheer quantity of mashups, the clear winner is MOUNTAIN GRAPHICS, a company that sells t-shirts and other goods with cute and cool designs on them. They have over 900 pictures on their Twitter and Instagram account of mashed-up characters from video games, anime, and more.

Ever wanted to see Mario and PaRappa the Rapper fused together? Or Bomberman and Hello Kitty? Hoe about Bowser and Cthulhu? Well today’s your lucky day!

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Man attempts to create ancient moss-covered Gundam ruins: “It’ll only take a few years.”

Japan has an interesting relationship with moss. From the “Moss Covered Forest” that inspired Princess Mononoke, to the marimo “moss balls” found in Hokkaido, to MOS Burger that has tragically deterred foreigners for decades by its name alone.

But it’s one man’s quest to use moss in a new way that has recently piqued the interest of the internet. In the hopes of creating realistic figurines that look like they’ve been abandoned for centuries, he wants to get them covered in moss the old fashioned way: by waiting for years.

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Mari-chan the sensational Shiba Inu actress is back and cute as ever

Mari-chan might be “the meanest dog in Japan,” but we still can’t help but love her. We’ve seen her before “helping” her master study by spraying him with water, comically refusing his desperate advances for doggie kisses, and even going so far as to nonchalantly knock away his crutches and life preserver rope.

But now Mari-chan has decided to move on: she’s gotten a real job, as a construction worker. Her latest YouTube video shows her first ten days as the newbie at work, learning the ropes and causing plenty of adorable mischief.

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New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time

Digital drawing tablets, despite their best efforts, have always felt different from the real thing. For many artists, note-takers, or expert doodlers, nothing beats the feeling of putting actual pen to actual paper.

But now, thanks to iSketchnote, you can write on a real piece of paper using a real pen, while still digitizing it in real-time on a tablet or PC as you draw.

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2014 suicide rates in Japan down, suicide in men still twice that of women

Even though Japan may not have the highest suicide rate in the world, unfortunately it’s still quite common. Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in Japan, and the most popular place to commit suicide in the world, Aokigahara Forest, is located in Japan as well.

The Japanese National Police Agency and Cabinet Office recently released statistics on the suicides that occurred in 2014, and while they’re continuing the downward trend of the past five years, they’re still quite high compared to other countries.

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Insanely cute sushi gifts now available for Japanese travelers to buy for their foreign friends

You know the feeling: you’re a busy Japanese salaryman going on a business trip overseas, waiting for your international flight at Narita Airport, when suddenly you realize that you forgot to buy a present to take to the foreigners you’re going to visit.

Thankfully, now there’s a solution to that problem: sushi t-shirts.

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Man detained for 2013 Hakata Station threats now filming himself sticking toothpicks into snacks

Back in June 2013, RocketNews24 ran an article about the threats of attack on Fukuoka’s Hakata Station. The perpetrator was subsequently caught and sent to a juvenile detention center, but now less than two years later, he’s back to making YouTube videos of himself stealing from stores and destroying merchandise.

His latest “prank” video shows him sticking a toothpick inside some unsuspecting customer’s snack and is currently under investigation by Tokyo police.

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