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

Pet owner celebrates the Year of the Sheep by inserting their cat into ridiculous costume

2015 is the Year of the Sheep! If you live in Japan or in the vicinity, that means your life is going to get flooded with sheep-themed merchandise for the next 12 months. We’ve already gotten Disney sheep stuffed animals, sheep ice cream, sheep stamps, and there’s plenty more to come.

But there’s one item that rarely gets the Chinese zodiac-themed touch each year: cat costumes. Thankfully Japanese Twitter user @hizashi414 put an end to that by creating a sheep outfit for their cat and taking plenty of pictures to prove it.

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Legendary violinist upstaged by eight-year-old son’s ridiculously cute gift to Santa

Even if you don’t recognize the name Taro Hakase, you’ve probably heard his world-renowned violin music before. Ever flown All Nippon Airlines (ANA)? Then you’ve heard him. Ever been put on hold? You’ve heard him. Every played Final Fantasy, watched anime, or heard of Celine Dion or Ariana Grande? Yep, you’ve heard him.

But this time around it’s not one of Taro’s masterpieces, but instead one made by his eight-year-old son Mantaro, that’s getting people excited online.

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New Japanese karaoke parlor welcomes Muslims by introducing traditional halal menu

Anyone with dietary restrictions who has been to Japan will know that it can be quite frustrating. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll be shocked to hear that the fish head in your miso soup “isn’t meat.” And if you don’t drink, well, good luck at the nomikai (drinking parties).

For Muslims who follow a halal diet of no pork, alcohol, and other restrictions, it can be extremely difficult. Pork-broth is very common in Japan, alcoholic mirin and sake are often used in cooking, and in Japan animals who have been slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines are about as rare as a mosque. But thanks to a halal-friendly karaoke parlor that’s just opened in Tokyo’s Yotsuya, Muslim customers finally have a place to kick back, belt some tunes, and not worry about dictionary-checking every ingredient.

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Becoming Sailor Moon now as easy as saying “moon prism power, make-up!” (and opening your wallet)

Sailor Moon has taken the anime world by storm this past year with the revamped Sailor Moon Crystal. Ever since it premiered this summer, we’ve gotten Sailor Moon lingerie, tortilla chips, and even a holy grail air freshener, but it’s only recently that we’re finally able to do the one thing we’ve wanted all along: become a sailor scout ourselves.

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Dedicated railroad otaku creates the digital swiss army knife of Tokyo Metro maps

This past year the Tokyo Metro has been brought to life in many different ways, ranging from a spaghetti-alien map to, well, a 3-D spaghetti-alien map. But it’s the latest re-imagining of the Tokyo Metro in the highly versatile SVG format that’s currently causing a lot of commotion online.

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Latest evolution of Pokémon cafe to open in Shibuya this January

To celebrate the release of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, “THE GUEST cafe & diner,” a restaurant inside the Shibuya Parco building, will mega-evolve into a Pokémon-themed cafe for a limited time starting this January. They will offer a wide variety of meals, desserts, and drinks to fully restore the HP of all Pokémon trainers and their loyal Pokémon friends.

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Beautiful Kinkakuji temple even cooler under blanket of snow

Over the past few days Japan has been battered by nonstop snowstorms. Parts of Niigata have gotten over two meters (6.5ft) of snowfall, with surrounding prefectures getting nearly just as much, extending as far north as Hokkaido and south as Kyoto. This has unfortunately already resulted in eleven deaths and hundreds of canceled flights, and even more snow is expected over the next several days.

But always one to look on the bright side, Japan has recently been reveling in just how darn pretty the famous Kinkakuji temple in Kyoto looks with freshly fallen snow.

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Sailor Suit Old Man’s mobile game just as cute and fun as the man himself

After learning about the famous Sailor Suit Old Man, the first thing any normal person would want to do is find him so they can hang out and be kawaii together. That used to mean buying a plane ticket to Japan and getting strange looks from people when you asked where “the old guy dressed in a schoolgirl outfit” was. But now, thanks to a newly released free mobile game, you can have fun with him from the comfort of your own smartphone.

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Real-life Olaf takes Twitter by (snow)storm

Whether you sing Let it Go as a daily ritual, or just the thought of hearing that song one more time gives you brainfreeze, you can’t deny the pervasive popularity of Disney’s 2013 hit movie Frozen. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Japan, where Frozen can be found on everything from water bottles and chips to reasons for divorce.

For some people though, that’s not enough: they need to recreate Frozen with their own hands.

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The double-cheese-mayonnaise-melon-bread is a mouthful in more ways than one

When the humbly named “World’s Second-Most Delicious Ice Cream Melon Bread” bakery in Kanazawa blessed the world with its ice cream-filled melon bread this past year, it was a massive hit. The creamy fusion was so popular that its makers opened up another shop in Shibuya in July so that even more people could fall in love with the creamy lumps of guilty goodness.

If you thought the bakery was satisfied with giving customers just one new way to enjoy melon bread, though, think again. They’ve recently put out a new, more mysterious item dubbed the double-cheese-mayonnaise-melon-bread.

What on earth could it possibly taste like? And what does its absurdly long name even mean? We went to find out for ourselves.

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