The Robot Restaurant in China’s Heilongjiang Province is a conventional restaurant in every sense, save the glaring exception that the food is prepared and served entirely by an army of 20 robots with just a modicum of human oversight.
More often than not when we come across photos of China’s rivers or sea these days, they are accompanied by tales of environmental destruction and depressing statistical data on recent pollution levels. So for once, it’s nice to see some photos being shared online here in Japan that show China looking pretty.
And it doesn’t get much prettier than a beach sparkling a magical blue at night.
- Fran Wrigley
Apr 26, 2014
Videos of people attempting an acrobatic move that starts in a somersault and ends in a kiss have been sweeping across Chinese microblogging site Weibo this week, prompting an official warning from the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.
The so-called “somersault kiss” has spawned compilation videos of couples putting a bit of acrobatic excitement into their relationship by trying out the move in bedrooms, dormitories, and car parks – resulting in plenty of falling over, inadvertent head-butting, and other amusing results. The Ministry of Public Security went so far as to post a warning message on one of its official Weibo sites, telling people not to imitate the risky move.
The concept of women envisioning and writing male homoerotic stories has been around for quite some time. Around the 70s, it seemed to have taken a hold both in America where it became known as “slash” and seemingly independently in Japan where it acquired the name “yaoi” and its writers took up the nickname “fujoshi” or “rotten girls.”
Both arts take male characters which are living, completely fictional, or derived from other popular fictional works, and place them in romantic or erotic situations. All throughout the genre’s evolution, it has found trouble with the general public around the world, and this time it appears a group of fujoshi have run afoul of the law in China, where such works are called “dan mei”, and are looking at possible prison time for violating the country’s decency laws.
Plenty of people collect things; anime figurines, model trains, coins, stamps, and the list goes on. It almost seems like human instinct to amass piles of similarly useless objects together. Some people have incredibly unique collections that reflect and combine their own personal interests. And then there are those odd collections that crop up that amaze you, not only for the sheer dedication of the collector to his or her passion, but for the fact that someone out there could actually be so crazy for that particular thing. Like bras.
Being an international pop star like Canada’s Justin Bieber is certain to have its share of pitfalls. Scandals such as unfortunate comments at the Anne Frank house and more recently charges of drunk driving and egging a house have continued to dog him.
So this Easter weekend, the award-winning performer made a trip to Japan to get away from it all. After all, what could possibly go wrong here?
- Philip Kendall
Apr 24, 2014
Japan’s Hitachi Corporation has announced that it is manufacturing elevators that will reach speeds of 72km/h (45 mph) for a giant high-rise being built in Guangzhou, China.
- Master Blaster
Apr 23, 2014
This stylish chain of stores has seen branches popping up all over China and boasts “Japanese brands” and “100% Japanese quality” all for the reasonable price of 10 yuan (US$1.60). It’s called “Meiso” in its native language of Japanese where it is said to have found major success… which is interesting because there doesn’t seem to be a single Meiso outlet in the whole country of Japan.
Well, actually that’s not completely true. Much like how the spirit of Santa Claus lives in every child’s heart, the spirit of Meiso can be found in three of Japan’s largest retailers – Uniqlo, Mujirushi Ryohin, and Daiso – in it’s eerily similar design to all three. And that’s just the tip of the weirdness iceberg.
- Fran Wrigley
Apr 22, 2014
As consumers, we are surrounded by adverts and marketing, and as we get better at tuning them out, companies come up with ever more ingenious methods of making us pay attention to what they have to say.
Plenty of marketing involves attractive young women, but one Chinese advertiser has taken the idea to a new level – literally – by hiring a girl to bob around 3 meters above the ground on a giant bendy pole. Instead of standing on the street trying to convince people to take her flyers, she floats above the crowd and chucks leaflets at people from above. Why didn’t we think of that already?
- Joan Coello
Apr 22, 2014
Recent reports of popular celebrities embroiled in illicit love affairs may have caused many Chinese netizens to lose hope in love, but a devoted couple on “iDream of China”, a television program that gives common people a chance to fulfil their wildest dreams, touched the nation with their heart-wrenching story and rekindled the people’s hope in true love.
Get your tissues ready because the story of Ying Feng, a 23-year-old diagnosed with a fourth-degree brain tumor, and her loving husband is likely to bring a tear to your eye.
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.
Alibaba, the enormous Chinese e-commerce company, is about to file for an IPO in the U.S.
The two most popular Alibaba websites — Taobao and Tmall — are Chinese marketplaces and rather inaccessible if you don’t know the language, but there’s also Alibaba.com, an English site for sales between importers and exporters in more than 240 countries.
Alibaba.com has been known to sell different types of well-disguised counterfeit goods. Not only that, but a lot of the stuff on the site is just straight up bizarre or oddly labeled (we found quite a few normal products that for some reason had the phrase “hot” or “girl” tacked onto them).
We dug around Alibaba.com, and here are some of the gems we found:
Chinese “porn identification officer” has seen over 600,000 adult videos, threw up after watching some
- Joan Coello
Apr 21, 2014
Some guys might think that the best job on earth would be to watch adult videos all day and get paid for it. Well, the good news is, there really are such jobs out there. The bad news is, these jobs might not be as fun and easy as you think.
At 59 years old, Chunqi Liu has been working as a professional “porn identification officer” for five years, assisting police investigations on cases involving illegal distribution and possession of pornographic materials in China. He has seen over 600,000 adult videos to date. That averages out to about 329 videos per day! Does that sound like an awesome job to you? He says it makes him throw up.
- Joan Coello
Apr 20, 2014
There are many grownups who still love plush toys and I have to admit, I’m one of them. Plush toys are cute, soft and cuddly, what’s not to like about them, right? I sometimes even hug a plushie as I work, as it makes working more comfortable and helps to take off a little bit of stress.
However, a lady in Hubei Province, China, takes her love for plush toys to a whole new level. Not only does she bring a Snoopy plushie with her every time she goes on a date with her boyfriend, she makes him buy a ticket for Snoopy when they go to the movies, and even orders meals for the plush toy when they go out for dinner!
- Angelina Lucienne
Apr 18, 2014
One Weibo user has attracted a lot of attention overnight by posting her unconventional fashion designs. She has already gained nearly 75,000 followers, even though she has only been a member for 42 days. While some think it’s all a big joke, she may just be ahead of her time.
The designer doesn’t say much about her work; most of her posts are simply captioned “my design.” She models her own works, but her face is usually expressionless. It’s not surprising, as her designs - which mostly involve balancing computer keyboards, rocks, plastic bottles, and vegetables on her head - speak so loudly.
I can’t even remember the last time I “said Grace” before a meal. It must have been before my teens, when my parents realized I was a Godless, hopeless heathen that shoveled food into my mouth so fast I couldn’t even taste it.
Which, I guess, puts my manners one level below four Chinese dogs that dutifully bow and lower their heads as their owner/trainer says a few words of thanks for their meal.
Ever felt like you’re not getting the respect you deserve at your workplace? Personally, I’ve been lucky and never had to bear the brunt of any serious sort of disrespect at work, though I did encounter a co-worker who was always too eager to speak; he kept interrupting before I could finish saying something. One evening while working overtime, he did it again and I snapped… that guy left the company one week later. I’m pretty sure he didn’t quit because I snapped at him, though I did feel slightly guilty for losing my cool.
Some people have it harder though. A male teacher in Jiangsu Province, China, felt that he wasn’t getting enough respect from his colleagues and decided to vent his anger by urinating in his colleagues’ mugs and tumblers. Eew!
- Joan Coello
Apr 16, 2014
Japan has never ceased to fascinate us with their truckloads of girl idol groups, gravure idols and, well, just cute girls in general. The Japanese population seem to be rather satiated with their ever-increasing troops of idols too. However, there has been some hype on some Japanese websites recently, with netizens uploading photos of a Chinese girl whom they think is “too cute”.
And the good news is, no “traps” are involved this time!
- Joan Coello
Apr 12, 2014
We’ve heard of celebrities and famous athletes spending insane amounts on insurance for their body parts, but it would seem that in China, the trend now is to buy insurance for love.
Recent reports of the infidelity of popular Chinese actor Zhang Wen not only set flame on Chinese social media networks, they also triggered off a rush for “love insurance”, generating more than a thousand new clients solely in Xiamen of Fujian Province. How does this “love insurance” work? Details after the break!
China is going through a pizza renaissance.
Because Chinese consumers see pizza as an iconic part of the American diet, demand for the food is expected to continue surging, writes David Stringer at Bloomberg.
China’s biggest cheese supplier, Fonterra, predicts demand for mozzarella cheese will surge 20% in the next two years because of the trend, according to Bloomberg.
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