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What’s in a name? Weird Super Mario World block prompts discussion among Japanese netizens

What’s in a name? Weird Super Mario World block prompts discussion among Japanese netizens

Regular readers will no doubt already know that I consider myself kind of a big gamer. Since a very young age, I wasted spent countless hours with my various computers and consoles finding pretty much every secret in every game I owned, and to this day my favourite topic of conversation remains video games.

I’d be the first to admit that amount of random game-related trivia in my head borders on the obsessive, but even I blanked when one Japanese netizen casually asked what the object pictured above, from 16-bit classic Super Mario World, was officially called.

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How not to choose a kanji tattoo: A guide for World Cup footballers

How not to choose a kanji tattoo: A guide for World Cup footballers

Are you a professional footballer? Are you thinking about getting an exotic-looking tattoo in Japanese or Chinese script? With this year’s World Cup players the most inked in history, it’s no wonder the players keep taking their shirts off to show off their skin. Today, we bring you a guide to getting inked as a World Cup footballer – or to be more accurate, a guide to what not to do.

Greek footballer Theofanis “Fanis” Gekas, who has been attracting online attention in Japan recently for his unusual Chinese(ish) tattoo, isn’t the only World Cup player with some not-entirely-accurate ink on his arms. Join us after the jump for photographic evidence of what your mother (should’ve) told you: “If you can’t read it, don’t get it permanently etched onto your skin.”

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Game-winning Greek penalty kick wrongly awarded because a guy tripped? 【Updated】

Game-winning Greek penalty kick wrongly awarded because a guy tripped? 【Updated】

Controversial calls during the World Cup are about as unexpected as Kanye West hysterically ranting on Twitter; that is to say, it happens a lot.  But when it comes to contested fouls in this year’s tournament, here’s one where the argument that it was bogus may just have some… legs! Get it?

At first glance, there didn’t seem to be anything fishy about the stoppage time foul against Greek striker Giorgos Samaras that gave up a penalty kick to the Greeks and sealed their win over Ivory Coast. Most early coverage of the game seems to make no mention of the controversial call, but when fans – who appear to oftentimes be more attentive than game officials – started posting replay footage online, some started to wonder whether Samaras actually tripped over his own feet and wasn’t fouled at all.

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Japanese hostel’s visitor board reveals surprisingly deep cultural differences

Japanese hostel’s visitor board reveals surprisingly deep cultural differences

We’ve always been told that stereotypes are bad, but there are certain cultural phenom that can be measured so widely that it’s safe to say that people from certain countries at least have a tendency to behave in certain ways.

The Japanese, for instance, are said to be orderly and conformist, while Americans are said to be cowboys that like to do things their own way, even if to the detriment of others.

While this survey sticker board from a Japanese hostel – which asks where visitors hail from – may actually prove the opposite about Americans, it pretty readily confirms that the Japanese are very organized.

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Need a change of scenery? 3 Japanese cities now rank in list of world’s most livable cities

Need a change of scenery? 3 Japanese cities now rank in list of world’s most livable cities

Everything has been coming up Tokyo lately. Recently ranked no. 1 on a Trip Advisor survey, Japan’s capital city has now come in at No. 2 on Monocle’s list of most livable cities for 2014. That’s two positions up from their ranking last year!

Cities across the world were ranked based on criteria such as economics, society, functionality, as well as ease of everyday living and happiness of people. But it’s not just Tokyo that’s feeling the love recently – two more Japanese cities made it onto the list of great places to live!

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Seriously a lot of people want to marry this Paraguay soccer supporter

Seriously a lot of people want to marry this Paraguay soccer supporter

You know you’re pretty famous when you have your own Wikipedia page. Sure, some people just take the shortcut of writing their own Wiki and acting like they’re a big deal (I’m looking at you, weird Dungeons and Dragons extra with suspiciously specific and in-depth Wikipedia entry), but when other people write a page all about you of their own accord, you kind of know you’re a big deal.

That’s what happened with Paraguayan model and actress Larissa Riquelme when, in 2010, a photographer caught her celebrating a Paraguay team goal at the 2010 South Africa World Cup and the globe collectively paused, sucked in their breath, and shifted awkwardly in their chairs.

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The emoji you send actually say a lot about you

The emoji you send actually say a lot about you

Sometimes words just aren’t enough to convey what you have to say.

People tend to use emoji in both normal and unorthodox ways, and the emoji you use actually says a lot about you. 

Enter Emojinalysis, a Tumblr blog that tells you what’s wrong with your life based on your recently used emoji.

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World Cup players swap shorts after match

World Cup players swap shorts after match

The World Cup, an event that brings thousands of people from all over the world together, has some beautiful moments – Neymar, of Team Brazil (who many are calling “the face of the World Cup”) busting into tears of pride at the climax of his nation’s anthem, Japanese fans cleaning their area after a losing game, and the always heartwarming tradition of exchanging jerseys after the match – to name a few.

But we’re not quite sure what to make of Ivan Rakitic of Croatia and Stephane M’Bia of Cameroon exchanging shorts after Wednesday night’s match. But we suppose we can count this as another one of those “beautiful moments.” After all, nothing says “good game, mate” like having your opponent’s ball sweat up in your nether regions. (Soccer ball sweat, you pervs!)

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30 common characteristics of people who fall in love with Japan

30 common characteristics of people who fall in love with Japan

Chances are since you’re visiting our site, you probably already have an interest in Japan or other Asian countries. But have you ever had a friend who knows next to nothing about Japan, but you just have a feeling that they would come to love the island country given the right incentive?

If so, you may recognize some characteristic qualities of that friend in the following list written by Japanese blogger and all-around-life expert Madame Riri. This time, she’s come up with some common traits of foreigners who grow to love Japan based on her own observations from time spent abroad. 

Do you find yourself conforming to any of the following patterns?

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Japanese fans are waving around blue plastic garbage bags at today’s World Cup match…

Japanese fans are waving around blue plastic garbage bags at today’s World Cup match…

Every country has their fair share of crazy fans dressed in garb ranging from carrot headdresses to scarves with the power of 1000% elephants, but the Japanese supporters are by far our all-around favorite. During their first match against Côte d’Ivoire last Saturday, they showed up with plenty of white paint on their faces and bowling pins on their heads. With Japan’s second match currently underway, we couldn’t help but notice a strange new addition to the cheer gear of Samurai Blue supporters; an item we’ve all seen before being used for its intended purpose.

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Kanji fail – Japanese World Cup fans notice Greek player’s strange tattoo

Kanji fail – Japanese World Cup fans notice Greek player’s strange tattoo

It must be tough playing in the World Cup. Not only are you representing your entire country, but every mistake you make is seen by millions of people all over the world. Poor Igor Akinfeev, the Russian goalkeeper who let a straightforward shot from Korea’s Lee Keun-ho roll up and over his head and into the goal. It was enough to make anyone want to curl up into a ball and die, and Igor’s mortified face was painful to watch, inspiring thousands of Tweets proclaiming, “Yikes!”

Japanese netizens have taken notice of another footballer faux paus, this time in the form of an unfortunate tattoo. We’ve seen it before – misinformed fans of body modification adding “Chicken Noodle Soup or “casket maker” in exotic scrawl, and Team Greece representative, Theofanis “Fanis” Gekas, has added to the list of tattoos that have piqued the interest of Japanese netizens.

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Samsung’s new Smart Bike features lane-marking laser pointers, a rear camera and more

Samsung’s new Smart Bike features lane-marking laser pointers, a rear camera and more

Cycling in the city can be a genuinely unpleasant experience at times. As well as having to breathe in exhaust fumes for the duration of your journey, our car-centric cities often leave scant room to dedicated bike lanes, meaning cyclists have to share the road with vehicles big and small, often resulting in accidents and near misses.

Thankfully, Samsung thinks it may have a solution to city cyclists’ woes: its new Smart Bike, which incorporates a bevy of technological wizardry and is being built in conjunction with one of the best bicycle designers in the world.

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It’s sweet cupcake heaven — Magnolia Bakery opens very first shop in Japan to huge crowds!

It’s sweet cupcake heaven — Magnolia Bakery opens very first shop in Japan to huge crowds!

Before we had mouth-watering croissant doughnuts and doughnut sandwiches, we had … good ol’ cupcakes! But we’re not talking about just any ordinary cupcake here. We’re talking about cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery in New York, made famous the world over by the hit TV Series Sex and the City. And yes, the TV series was an enormous success in Japan too, meaning that countless Japanese fans were left coveting not just gorgeous Manolo Blahnik shoes, but the delectable looking Magnolia Bakery cupcakes as well.

So, you can imagine how absolutely thrilled fans of the cupcakes were about Magnolia Bakery opening their very first store in Japan in the Omotesando area of Tokyo this week. And prove their enthusiasm they did, as throngs of fans showed up on opening day of Magnolia Bakery Tokyo on June 16. Now, as a passionate fan of all things sweet, as well as a devoted follower of American TV dramas — Sex and the City in particular — I knew I simply had to be there for the grand opening. And while the wait was long, the sight that greeted me in the shop was sweet indeed! But first, let us tell you just how long the wait was …

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Luxembourg-based hobbyist’s video game dioramas are epic, wonderfully nerdy, and not for sale

Luxembourg-based hobbyist’s video game dioramas are epic, wonderfully nerdy, and not for sale

“I’m from Luxembourg and I have a retro hobby. I make 3D paper dioramas of classic videogames.”

Hobbyist Wuppes’ self-introduction is refreshingly humble for someone displaying their creations online, but it hardly does them justice. Made from paper and card, these dioramas of worlds, scenes and characters from 16-bit video games are created with breathtaking attention to detail, with not a single pixel misrepresented, raising the once flat images up to give gamers the world over something new to pore over and wish they could own.

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Google sends winners of Pokémon Challenge ‘Pokémon Master’ business cards

Google sends winners of Pokémon Challenge ‘Pokémon Master’ business cards

Google Maps‘ elaborate April Fools joke got even better. On April 1, Google launched its Pokémon Challenge game, where users could search real world locations on Google Maps and catch the original 151 Pokémon to complete a Pokédex.

Players who successfully completed the Pokédex received a message from Google Maps to fill out a form for a “surprise.” It turns out their efforts weren’t for naught, as several players, including Reddit user “tinygrump” received a congratulatory letter from Google Maps software engineer Tatsuo Nomura and 10 business cards with the title “Pokémon Master.”

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The craziest fans at the World Cup

The craziest fans at the World Cup

When it comes to sports passion nothing brings out the crazy in fans more than international competitions.Now mix that with the biggest tournament for the world’s most popular sport and we end up with a show in the stands at the World Cup that is nearly as entertaining as the matches being played.

Let’s take a look at some of the fans with the craziest costumes and attire from the first six days of the World Cup.

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Were Japanese soccer fans ‘wrong’ to clean up after themselves at the World Cup?

Were Japanese soccer fans ‘wrong’ to clean up after themselves at the World Cup?

There are a number of one-word phrases in the Japanese language that, try as you might, just can’t be summed up anywhere near as succinctly in English. ‘Atarimae‘ is one of them. Used to describe a situation, behaviour or feeling that is entirely natural and obvious to all concerned, the phrase has been used with tremendous frequency this week by Japanese reacting to news that people the world over were applauding their country’s football fans for cleaning up their section of the stadium after their World Cup game last weekend. “Why wouldn’t you clean up after yourself?” people asked. “It’s atarimae.”

An article published earlier today on Japan’s WirelessWire News, however, suggests that although in Japan it is considered proper to tidy up after oneself, by doing so at the World Cup stadium these fans may in fact be putting Brazilian staff out of a job, prompting netizens to debate whether they ought to follow suit and leave their trash behind or do what comes naturally to them.

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Gamers rejoice! 500XP towards laziness level with hands-free snacking device【Video】

Gamers rejoice! 500XP towards laziness level with hands-free snacking device【Video】

Gamers know that gaming is serious business. Whether you are fragging your enemies in Halo or Call of Duty, working on your pro-rated 150 APM in Starcraft II, or slaying internet beasts in World of Warcraft, gamers know that their hands will be occupied. Ultimate pwnage requires a gamer’s full attention but a simple truth of life is, everyone needs to eat and drink!

Plenty of companies already know this. A ton of products are aimed directly at that lucrative gamer demographic, including gamer snacks and gamer energy drinks. The point that everyone seems to miss is that eating and drinking requires your hands, which is a precious commodity for the serious gamer! Beer hats and straws already work wonders for drinks, but what about hands-free food? Some industrious gamers have been working on a solution, and they have a hilarious prototype they want to show off!

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Why do I look normal in my home mirror, but hideous when I catch my reflection in a window?

Why do I look normal in my home mirror, but hideous when I catch my reflection in a window?

Have you ever had that experience where you’ve left the house in a good mood, convinced that you look great, until you catch a glimpse of yourself in a shop window or a reflective surface and then your whole day is ruined? You were sure when you left the house that morning that your makeup was done to perfection, and you looked healthy and vibrant, but now it’s like you’re looking at a different person, someone who’s about ten years older and hasn’t slept for a week.

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Sweet Charity indeed! Hello Kitty teams up with world-renowned patissier for a worthy cause

Sweet Charity indeed! Hello Kitty teams up with world-renowned patissier for a worthy cause

They say charity is sweet, but we’re pretty sure it doesn’t come much sweeter than this. Yes, it’s a charity project that involves an internationally renowned patissier, as well as the most famous mascot cat in the world, and it’s called “Macaron Day“. Even the name sounds sweet, doesn’t it?

As the name suggests, the charity features the delectable macarons created by master pastry chef  Pierre Hermé, but it’s also about raising money for children fighting serious diseases. And this year, our beloved Hello Kitty will be pitching in to help with the project — by becoming the PR ambassador for Macaron Day in Japan! Now, we know we’ve often described Hello Kitty as a hardcore entrepreneur who isn’t at all picky about the jobs she takes on, but this time, she’s all about seriously contributing to a good cause. But what kind of event is this Macaron Day, and how exactly did Hello Kitty become involved in it?

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