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This old Nintendo game quadrupled in price in just a week

Earlier this month, a hacker discovered that an old Nintendo game from 2011, called “Cubic Ninja,” could be used to hack into the company’s 3DS handheld game system.

Using the game, hackers could install “homebrew” software onto the 3DS. Nintendo quickly pulled it from the digital download store, according to VentureBeat. That made the game hard — but not impossible — to find.

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Bonsai treehouses look like something out of Howl’s Moving Castle 【Photos】

Even without adornment, a well-done bonsai is a sight to see. It’s amazing how something as massive and powerful as a tree can be hemmed and trimmed to create a delicate, miniature version of itself. But for some, that level of artistry doesn’t go far enough.

Now bonsai artists are adding fantastical tree houses and other structures around their vegetative creations, resulting in multi-level, gravity-defying feats of architecture that still fit under a garden cloche.

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100 Days of Tele and His Red Ride – One cute little boy’s Action Cam adventure 【Videos】

We know that readers of RocketNews24 are big fans of “teh cute,” so today we’d like to share with you a very special project of our own. A series of episodes shot with Sony’s Action Cam about a two-year-old boy’s 100 days with his STRIDER balance bike, 100 Days of Tele and His Red Ride documents little Tele’s first ever two-wheeled adventure, and the results are super cute.

Essential viewing for moms, dads, and fans of cuteness alike, join us after the jump as we cheer for this adorable tyke on his tiny red bike.

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Self-defense tip: Dealing with unwanted kabe-don

With the aggressive pick-up tactics of Julien “the most hated man in the world” Blanc all over the news this week, it only makes sense that we here at RocketNews24 do our part in educating readers about self-defense. And being as this is Japan, we thought we should start with a method for dealing with that particularly Japanese act of violence-infused wooing: the kabe-don.

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Katakana is cool: Designers take inspiration from Japan’s least popular writing system

Remember the Chinese character phase? Back in the early 2000s you could see Chinese characters everywhere from T-shirts to tattoos. While the trend still continues to some extent today, once people started realizing that you should probably double-check the meaning before going out in public, it has definitely slowed down.

Maybe Chinese symbols have a sort of stigma now, but that is not stopping major designers from branching out into the other styles of Japanese writing, namely katakana. This new trend is being used by brands all over the world, from Adidas to Stussy.

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Controversial pick-up artist breaks silence as campaign against him continues

Recently, we’ve been bringing you updates on controversial pick-up artist and dating coach Julien Blanc who has attracted anger around the world for purportedly purveying aggressive attitudes towards women. After a video was posted online of him appearing to harass women in Japan by pushing their heads towards his crotch, several campaigns were set up against him by activists in America, Australia, Britain, and Japan. These campaigns have so far been successful in helping to raise awareness of the “pick-up seminars” hosted by Blanc through his company RSD (Real Social Dynamics). Now, Blanc has broken his silence to offer an apology to those he has offended, which campaigners have rejected for its seemingly disingenuous nature.

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Celebrating washoku and rice — an evening with master chefs and sushi roll creators (Part 2)

We recently had the opportunity to attend the delightful reception “Celebrating Worldwide Recognition of Washoku and Rice” aimed to present the appeal of rice and its importance in Japanese cuisine (washoku). In our first article covering the event, we gave you a round-up on the talks and demonstrations made by three guest speakers during the first part of the evening’s program, including the serving of a traditional Japanese meal prepared by a master chef. Now, it was time for us to get active and try our hand at a bit of sushi rolling!

In this, the second and final article in this two-part series, we’ll attempt to create a special futomaki sushi roll  known as Futomaki Matsurizushi (“thick roll festival sushi”) like the one made by Ms. Eiko Ryuzaki, president of the Chiba Traditional Local Cooking Study Group, in one of the presentations earlier that evening.   

Okay, so we weren’t going to be able to create an entire plate of colorful festive futomaki rolls like the display in the picture above, but we were excited about the chance to make even just one pretty little roll! So, were we ready to get our hands sticky with rice? You can bet we were!

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One of the hottest video games has some hilarious glitches

The latest game in Ubisoft’s flagship “Assassin’s Creed” series, “Assassin’s Creed Unity,” was released this week. And so far, it’s been anything but smooth sailing.

Right away players reported a bunch of glitches which almost made the game unplayable.

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The weird reason why video games are released on Tuesdays

It wasn’t easy being Sega in the 1980s and ’90s. It had to compete with one of the best-known companies on the planet, Nintendo, which was responsible for bringing back the video game market from the dead.

But Sega had some tricks up its sleeve. Namely, releasing a 16-bit console, the Genesis, before Nintendo could release its version, the Super Nintendo.

Sega also had an amazing idea for how to hype up the sequel to its biggest game.

The original “Sonic the Hedgehog” was released in 1991, and was an instant hit. When it was time for the sequel, which introduced Sonic’s sidekick Tails to the world, Sega knew it needed to do more than just release the game. It needed to make an impact.

In the book “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation,” which is based on more than 200 interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Blake Harris describes how Sega’s crack marketing team of Al Nilsen and Madeline Schroeder decided to celebrate the launch.

They needed something “Sonic-worthy.”

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Campaign against pick-up artist who harasses women gathers global momentum

Recently, we reported on professional pick-up artist/dating coach Julien Blanc, who has begun to attract the public’s attention worldwide after a video was uploaded showing him seemingly choking, grabbing and harassing women in Japan, and conducting seminars teaching others his methods. A campaign to block Blanc’s actions was swiftly set up by twitter user @JennLi123 with the creation of the hashtag #TakeDownJulienBlanc and a petition on Change.org helping to raise awareness.

As of this writing, the original petition has 45,829 signatures, and backlash has forced Blanc to cut short his Australian tour after multiple venues cancelled his events. Now, concerned residents of other countries on Blanc’s tour itinerary (including Japan) have begun to take action, as well.

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Aerial athletes compete in the 2014 Wingsuit World Flying Contest in China

Introducing wingsuit flying, perhaps the most daring, adrenaline-inducing extreme sport ever to be performed on this planet.

“Wait, that kind of thing actually exists? Where can I join in the fun?” is what some of our more adventurous readers may be thinking right now. Well, we can confidently say that the sport exists – and already has quite the following, for that matter – though we’re not so sure about the fun part. Either way, you may want to check out just how crazy the competition is before you sign up for next year’s world event…

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We try new gourmet popcorn from Cinnabon — Yes, it’s as addictive as their cinnamon rolls!

Many of our readers have probably figured out by now that we’re quite fond of tasty sweets here at RocketNews24. Now, that means we (well, this writer at least) are big fans of the international cinnamon roll bakery Cinnabon. I mean, the rich smell of their rolls alone is enough to drive me mad with craving! So when we heard that Cinnabon came out with a completely new product last month, you can bet our interest was definitely piqued. And to our delight, we recently had the chance to try the new item. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the Cinnabon Gourmet Popcorn, a treat that is so far only available in Japan!

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【TBT】From My Neighbor Totoro to Ninja Turtles: Anime food in real life!

Few things could delight kids (and big kids!) more than mimicking their favourite TV shows, movies and videogames, and sitting down to the exact same meal that their heroes enjoy.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles always had the most mouth-watering pizza; Ponyo and Sousuke had home-made ramen noodles; Pop-eye had canned spinach… OK, so maybe not every cartoon meal is the greatest, but putting together food that looks exactly as it did in our favourite shows is sure to inspire even the most kitchen-shy of us to have a go, not to mention encourage fussy eaters to try something new.

If it’s anime-inspired food you’re looking for, cooking website Bistro Animeshi (a combination of “anime” and “meshi”, meaning rice or food) has everything from the fish pie delivered by Kiki herself in Kiki’s Delivery Service to Naruto’s favourite ramen noodles. As well as providing step-by-step recipes for each dish, the food blog makes every effort to match the original dishes as much as possible. We’re sure that you’ll be blown away by what they have to offer.

Plenty of tantalising food photos after the jump!

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Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit

You may be familiar with oysters as the delicious seafood best eaten raw (or as ice cream) and served in months ending in “r,” but did you also know the little guys have impressive filtering skills that can clean even the dirtiest water?

Eating its fill of plankton and other particles floating around, a fully grown oyster can filter more than 50 gallons (189 liters) of seawater in one day. After seeing a few videos demonstrating this cleaning ability, some Japanese netizens started to question just how appetizing this made the once delicious-looking oyster.

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18 Japanese words understood around the world

If you’re an enthusiastic linguaphile like myself, you probably spend a good part of each day A) Thinking up ways to make your friends groan yet again with all your linguistic knowledge (e.g. dressing up as a “dead language” for Halloween), and B) Getting super excited whenever you discover the etymology of a new word (also, C) Debating which flavor of ice cream to buy based solely on how witty its name is).

One of my favorite linguistically related topics to contemplate is the constant borrowing of words and shifts in meaning that takes place among the world’s languages. Students of Japanese are often surprised to discover the huge inventory of ‘loan words’ in Japanese that were borrowed from English which have often either changed drastically from their original pronunciations or are combined in different ways to create new, Japanese-made English terms.

But how about the flip side of that–Japanese words that have been imported into other languages? Join us after the jump for a look at some of them!

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Here’s wishing you a Happy 40th, Hello Kitty!!

Exactly 40 years ago today, on November 1, a very special mascot character was born. The cat with an adorable oversized head, named Hello Kitty, has since been an excellent ambassador for the Japanese “Kawaii” culture, and as we all know, has come to be loved around the world. And in honor of what can arguably be called Japan’s most famous export ever, we wanted to wish Hello Kitty a heartfelt Happy Birthday on this special day. Plus, we even have a delightful little video from Sanrio to share with you that takes you through 40 years of Hello Kitty’s history! 

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You guys, Donut Selfies are totally the next big thing

If there’s one unwritten, universal rule of the Internet (other than Rule 34), it’s that you can’t purposefully make something “go viral.” As you read this, there is almost certainly a team of marketing people in a boardroom somewhere trying to figure out a way to leverage that crazy “Shibe Doge” into an ad campaign that will almost certainly never succeed.

But one former Microsoft employee apparently thinks she can buck the trend with her new invention, the “Donut Selfie.”

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Panasonic may change the world with upcoming product…SAND!

When you think of the multinational electronics producer Panasonic, “sand” probably doesn’t immediately come to mind. However, if a new product they are looking to release meets its full potential, this new kind of sand may completely change the face of the Earth as we know it.

The picture above is not Panasonic sand, but you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at it anyways. Actually even if you examine their grains of soil under a microscope you wouldn’t see a difference. So let’s start by looking at what makes this dirt so special and how it could help everyone in one way or another.

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Costco may just have turned your childhood fantasy into reality — with a 93-inch stuffed bear!

Did you as a child ever fantasize about snuggling up to a soft stuffed toy bigger than your wildest dreams? I certainly did! (Heck, a part of me probably still does even now, when I’m old enough to be on the wrong side of … never mind, I really shouldn’t go there, should I?) So, anyway, for anyone who’s ever had an interest in cute stuffed toys, international retailer and warehouse club chain Costco brings you this amazing plush bear that’s larger than life – the 93-inch (2.36m) HugFun Bear! That’s right, he’s absolutely HUGE, and if the idea of a giant teddy bear hasn’t already won you over, they’ve even made a darling video which is guaranteed to melt your heart. Just take a look and see if you don’t fall utterly in love! And lucky for us, the bear happens to be available in Japan too!

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