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.
Nov 17, 2014
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!
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.”
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.
Nov 12, 2014
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…
Nov 7, 2014
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!
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!
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
Nov 5, 2014
In the past few days, professional pick-up artist Julien Blanc became the source of tremendous ire after footage was shared online of a man identified by net users as him grabbing women on the streets of Tokyo, manhandling a convenience store clerk, and pushing girls’ heads down into his crotch while posing for the camera.
This kind of conduct, it would seem, is not dissimilar to the kind of advice Blanc gives to men during his “training sessions” on how to pick up women, as the recently shared video shows him talking about how easy it is for white men to grab Tokyo girls as they please and advising them to “just yell ‘Pikachu’ or ‘Pokémon’ or ‘Tamagochi’ or something” while doing so.
Scott R Dixon
Nov 4, 2014
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.
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!
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!
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.”
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.
Oct 29, 2014
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!
Oct 28, 2014
Growing up, every year as Halloween approached, I could feel a sense of dread creeping up on me. It wasn’t the prospect of being hunted by werewolves or getting lost in a haunted house that frightened me, though.
I was terrified that someone would give me raisins when I went trick-or-treating.
Honestly, I understand that some people don’t approve of eating nothing but candy on Halloween, and there’s a valid point in trying to balance out your diet on All Hallows’ Eve. Do you have to do it with something as soulless as raisins, though, especially when you could use our recipe to whip up some tasty and jack-‘o-lantern steamed buns instead?
Oct 25, 2014
There’s a collection of photos making its way around the Internet which attempts to point out a huge difference between Chinese and Western travelers in airports. Whereas the latter are content to relax or read a good book, the Chinese can’t seem to take their eyes off their electronic gizmos. Haha! Isn’t China wacky, guys?
Honestly, I like a cheap laugh as much as the next guy, but just like how there’s a certain price point you shouldn’t go below when buying underwear, there’s such a thing as a laugh that’s too cheap. When you really stop and take a look at what’s going on in these photos, trying to draw any sort of broad conclusions about the Chinese character from them makes about as much sense as slipping on a pair of burlap boxer shorts.
Oct 24, 2014
Earlier today, Nintendo released a very special video listing 50 facts about the upcoming Wii U version of chaotic brawler Super Smash Bros. The 35 minute-long video contains a wealth of information for fans of the series to drool over, but perhaps the most exciting announcement of all is the fact that up to eight players can now take part in the same battle.
Time to buy some extra controllers, folks!
This compilation of the makeup transformations of Japanese girls has sparked debate on whether anyone shows their ‘real’ face on the internet any more, and just what counts as a ‘real’ face these days anyway. Read on to see more of the startling power of makeup and good lighting, and find out the point these women are trying to make.
Oct 24, 2014
Toyama Bay (Toyama-wan, 富山湾), nestled between Toyama and Ishikawa Prefectures in the Hokuriku region of Japan, was formally inducted into the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club on October 19. The bay is only the second place in Japan following Miyagi Prefecture’s Matsushima to be officially recognized by the global association. After doing some digging, we’ve discovered the incredible charms that the bay has to offer. Love mountains? Check. Love seafood? Double check. Keep reading after the jump to fall in love with Toyama Bay for yourself!
- ISIS-inspired gang kills middle school boy: “We’ll cut off your head while you’re still alive!”1
- Staggering servings of salmon roe are waiting for you at these four Tokyo restaurants2
- D Free: a new wearable device that gives you a 10-minute warning to find a toilet 【Video】3
- The 11 Cat Islands of Japan 【Photos】4
- Online seller pulls cruel trick, sells pencil lead photographed alongside Nintendo 3DS XL5
- Boys’ turn: The top 10 most common shonen manga scenarios, according to Japanese fans6
- Kitties keeping the gods company: Check out these photos of cats in Japanese shrines!7
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby8
- Korean MMORPG redefines character customization with adjustable wrinkles, bone structure9
- After Obama’s otaku outing, images surface of Love Liver Joe Biden getting cozy with anime idols10
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby1
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens2
- Time to quit your job – Company in Japan now hiring for the position of Ninja Master3
- Fan film ‘Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope’ – two years in the making, but well worth the wait【Video】4
- Creepy news: Estimate a complete stranger’s breast size with this new plastic folder!5
- Pretty kitty says “Good morning” in Japanese, not just a doting owner’s imagination!6
- Revenge bento show us it’s a dish best served cold (and boxed) with insults and hidden chilies7
- “Hell on Earth” as Tokyo subway station floods with sewage8
- Malaysian girl who got famous for holding things has a beautiful sister【Photos】9
- Here’s a newly-revealed character list for the 2015 Dragon Ball Z movie to geek out over10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby2
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】3
- English hot spring manners poster is so thorough, even Japanese people are learning from it4
- Meet Asuna, the hyperreal android that will leave your jaw hanging 【Video】5
- Keanu Reeves tries to be a tourist in Akihabara, gets mobbed by fans instead6
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens7
- Man beats up woman for not looking like “goddess” he spent thousands of dollars to meet8
- This amazingly detailed theme park map is what Tokyo Ghibli Land would look like9
- The number one thing that foreign men find “not so kawaii” about Japanese women10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby3
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin4
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】5
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”6
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing7
- Historic Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings8
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】9
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones10
- Boys’ turn: The top 10 most common shonen manga scenarios, according to Japanese fans
- Kitties keeping the gods company: Check out these photos of cats in Japanese shrines!
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby
- Korean MMORPG redefines character customization with adjustable wrinkles, bone structure
- After Obama’s otaku outing, images surface of Love Liver Joe Biden getting cozy with anime idols
- American man’s dramatic nine-second snow struggle captivates Japanese netizens 【GIFs】
- Here’s what happens if you buy all the drinks in the combini and mix them together 【Video】
- Japan’s rarest cars, from exotic sports coupes to Toyota’s answer to the Hummer
- Is Metal Gear Solid V finally getting a release date? Mysterious countdown appears on website
- Dutch restaurant’s odd ramen with soybeans has one ingredient we didn’t expect, lacks one we did
- “Hell on Earth” as Tokyo subway station floods with sewage
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens
- This Japanese island is filled to the brim with felines!