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Limited Hayao Miyazaki figurines created for Tsunami Relief

Limited Hayao Miyazaki figurines created for Tsunami Relief

Martin Hsu and Bigshot Toyworks have teamed up to create a limited run of “Miya-san” figures modeled after acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki.

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Polar vortex solves #1 cat dilemma: Inside or out?

Polar vortex solves #1 cat dilemma: Inside or out?

This winter has seen some astonishingly low temps and heavy snow even in places that normally enjoy mild winter weather. In fact, the chilly weather has even stopped one finicky feline from pursuing her favorite pursuit: meowing to be let out and then meowing to be let back in.

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Talented artist imagines what Game of Thrones would look like in feudal Japan

Talented artist imagines what Game of Thrones would look like in feudal Japan

Having learned the hard way that some TV series exist simply to keep viewers hanging for years (yes, Lost, I am looking at you), I have to admit that I gave the TV adaptation of Game of Thrones a wide berth for quite some time after it first aired. A few months and the contraction of a very nasty cold later, I found myself in bed with a heap of medication, a DVD box-set and little else to do. By the time I was back on my feet, I was a huge fan of the series (and may have run “Game of Thrones blonde girl” through Google a couple of times) and swallowed, along with the last of the medicine, my usual stubborn pride by telling friends that I was ready to join in their nerdy conversations and even read the books that they had all finished with years ago.

Little did I know, though, that the TV show could be made all the more awesome by recreating some of its more memorable scenes in the style of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints, with all of my favourite characters looking like they reside in feudal Japan rather than Westeros.

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Hacker group “Anonymous” takes down Japanese prefecture’s website to protest dolphin killing

Hacker group “Anonymous” takes down Japanese prefecture’s website to protest dolphin killing

International hacking group “Anonymous” has stated that it breached and shut down the official Wakayama Prefecture website earlier today as a taste of what may come should local fishermen continue to hunt dolphins. The prefecture is home to Taiji, the coastal town that shot to infamy in 2010 following an exposé in the film The Cove, which documented the mass slaughter of thousands of dolphins that takes place in the area each year.

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“I think I love you…”: Romantic confessions from around the world

“I think I love you…”: Romantic confessions from around the world

Declaring your love, or even just your like, for a boy or a girl in Japan can be a pretty big deal. While we don’t think most people’s stories are quite as dramatic as in anime, with characters struggling for seasons just to admit their fond feelings for another, it’s certainly true that many Japanese people are pretty shy about asking each other out.

While it’s kind of cute and kind of frustrating if you’re used to a more forward culture, is it really that different from other countries?

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Japanese experts and expats react to parenting norms from around the world

Japanese experts and expats react to parenting norms from around the world

I was on the subway one morning during one of my very first trips to Tokyo when I spotted two unaccompanied elementary school-age girls riding through downtown together. How could two kids who weren’t old enough to drink even a sip of coffee without freaking out be traversing the country’s densest urban center all by themselves?

In Japan, though, very young kids commuting to school without any kind of adult supervision isn’t anything unusual, and as such no one paid the two unaccompanied tykes any mind.

Likewise, sometimes things that seem like the most natural way of raising kids to parents overseas might seem totally bizarre to Japanese adults, as this collection of reactions to parenting around the world by Japanese experts and expats shows.

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One Piece’s Chopper stars in 5-minute stop-motion “Cry Heart” short

One Piece’s Chopper stars in 5-minute stop-motion “Cry Heart” short

Some diligent animators took Banpresto‘s “One Piece Cry heart ~Fuyujima ni Furu Sakura~) (One Piece Cry heart ~The Cherry Blossoms That Fall on Winter Island~) line of crane game prize figures and created a five-minute stop-motion short last month. The “One Piece: Cry heart~” short recreates the famous “Hiluluk’s Cherry Blossoms” scene from Eiichiro Oda‘s manga and anime:

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Catch a movie in bed…at the theater! Four awesome theaters from around the world with beds for seats

Catch a movie in bed…at the theater! Four awesome theaters from around the world with beds for seats

We love movies. That’s not really a surprise or a secret, but it certainly is true! Whether it’s some kung-fu cop action or the latest from Ghibli, we would be hard-pressed to decline a trip to the theater. But even we have to admit that not all theater seating was created equally. Sure most of it isn’t bad, but sometimes we just wish we could bring the projector and screen home so we could lie in bed in our jammies with a bowl of popcorn and really relax. Too bad we can’t bring our beds to the theater…

Or can we??

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The weird and wonderful Quiz of the Week: Round 3

The weird and wonderful Quiz of the Week: Round 3

Welcome to round three of our weekly multiple-choice quiz!

It’s been another fun week, with plenty of weird, wow and “WTF?” news stories from Asia, so it’s time to recap and, as well as see who’s been paying attention, give you a chance to discover some of the best stories that have emerged over the past seven days. Plus, if you can get 10 out of 10, Mr. Sato promises to lose the loincloth, or at least cover his nipples.

Mongoose taunting, chocolate massage and nostril flaring all after the jump.

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Hypnobirthing: A way to give birth without fear or pain that is gaining popularity in Japan

Hypnobirthing: A way to give birth without fear or pain that is gaining popularity in Japan

Have you ever heard of the term “hypnobirthing“? And no, it doesn’t involve hypnosis in the traditional use of the word. It’s a trend that has recently been catching on with mothers-to-be in Japan. Read on to learn more about this technique which aids women in having a more comfortable childbirth, as well as some comments from Japanese women who have tried hypnobirthing for themselves.

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The adorably worst hide-and-seek players ever, a photo journey

The adorably worst hide-and-seek players ever, a photo journey

All over the world, Hide and Seek is a staple of childhood play teaching kids the valuable skills needed for a job in either the bounty hunting or escaped convict fields. Also, being one of the earliest games children can play, it begins to show them that not everyone possess the same inherent skill-set. Knowing this, it’s not so bad to say that some kids just plain suck at hiding.

The following twenty images show such concealmentally-challenged children in action. Don’t worry about feeling bad laughing at these kids either, as it’s possible to lead a rich life without the ability to hide in a house. In fact, we can statistically assume that at least 20 percent of world leaders were hopelessly stuck being “it” as children.

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Think you know your weird news from Japan and Asia? Take our weekly quiz and find out!

Think you know your weird news from Japan and Asia? Take our weekly quiz and find out!

Welcome to the weekend, boys and girls! Feels good to be here, doesn’t it? But before you run off startling donkeys and eating moon pies, we have to check that you’ve been paying attention and swatting up on our weird and wonderful news from Japan and Asia.

Suspicious dogs, kindly couples, adultery and the afterlife all feature in this week’s multiple choice quiz based on our favourite bits from the last seven days’ stories. So click the link and let’s find out just how much you went outside this week.

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Japan’s unfaithful women share tips on how to cheat without getting caught

Japan’s unfaithful women share tips on how to cheat without getting caught

Here’s a shocking fact: Despite decades of gender stereotypes insisting that men are disgusting pigs that would gladly hump anything without too much back hair even if they’re already in a relationship, recent studies suggest women are cheating about as much as men (presumably also provided there’s not too much back hair).

One reason for the persistent stereotype may be that women are just a bit smarter and better at hiding their affairs than men are. While a cheating man is liable to show up to his SO’s house with a pair of panties on his head, cheating women are apparently much more discreet, a Japanese survey of 50 unfaithful women reveals. The Niconico News survey also offers a few tips for girls who are currently cheating or who may be considering a little love on the side in the future:

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Naruto’s fictional apartment valued at $100K

Naruto’s fictional apartment valued at $100K

Real estate brokerage Movoto generally focuses their interests on, you know, real estate, but every now and again, they’ll also post their estimates on fictional properties. Most recently, they turned their interests to Naruto Uzumaki’s apartment in Hidden Leaf Village. Factoring in location, furnishings, size, and market, they came up with $100,000.

Here’s the listing they whipped up:

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Japanese food presentation: Pro tips on making dishes you can devour with your eyes and mouth

Japanese food presentation: Pro tips on making dishes you can devour with your eyes and mouth

Japanese food has been gaining in popularity all over the world, and with the induction of traditional Japanese cooking, or washoku, as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, locals are expecting interest to rise further.

If you’d like to branch out a bit from your usual sushi rolls and try your hand at some washoku recipes, not only taste but also presentation is key. We’ve collected a handful of simple tips from the pros on how to make your Japanese cooking look as good as it tastes.

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Samsung offers us TV the way it’s meant to be seen: on a 110-inch monster screen

Samsung offers us TV the way it’s meant to be seen: on a 110-inch monster screen

You know that feeling when you’re watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and think to yourself, “this is great, but I really wish I could see Lisa Vanderpump’s face seven times its actual size”?

As luck would have it, just a few days ago, Samsung began selling a 110-inch UltraHD4K monster of a TV. That means your dreams can be a reality as long as you live in the right place and have the necessary funds–and we have a feeling it’d be totally worth it because as well as boasting amazing picture quality, this thing is absolutely enormous.

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10 anime scenes that puzzle non-Japanese fans

10 anime scenes that puzzle non-Japanese fans

Besides cars, electronics and a unique culinary culture, Japan’s other global export is its anime industry. Hugely popular around the world, anime is often many people’s first look into Japanese culture and can even inspire people to make the leap to move to Japan and start a life there. But while anime mainly focuses on universally recognized themes like love, friendship and robotic cats from the future, there are still many scenes that confuse non-Japanese viewers. Read on for 10 common anime tropes that can get lost in translation!

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You’ll be surprised to learn the history of the ice cream emoji

You’ll be surprised to learn the history of the ice cream emoji

Did you know that the ice cream emoji is just the poop emoji re-purposed?

In honor of the Emoji Art Show in New York City, creative agency 5Loom created a timeline of emoji development that points out this and other pivotal moments in emoji history.

Check it out:

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Some of the best Studio Ghibli cosplay we’ve ever seen 【Photos】

Some of the best Studio Ghibli cosplay we’ve ever seen 【Photos】

Cosplayers mimicking the characters from Studio Ghibli’s timeless animated creations is nothing new, but the following photos, which were shared by Japanese compilation site Naver Matome and are generating a lot of heat online today, simply blew us away. Covering Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke and more, these high-quality photos show how Ghibli cosplay really ought to be done, and with their vivid colours and incredible costumes are a true pleasure to behold.

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Merry Christmas from the RocketNews24 team!

Merry Christmas from the RocketNews24 team!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s Christmas Day! And while that may not mean much to the majority of Japan and people go about their day like it’s any other Wednesday in December, we at RocketNews24 are taking it easy and spending some quality time with our friends, families, and of course lots and lots of food – be it traditional roast turkey or fried chicken courtesy of Japan’s most beloved Christmas cook, Colonel Sanders.

Although things will be slowing down here a little over the next few days, you can rest assured that we’ll still be around to bring you enough weird and wonderful news from Asia to keep you going until the new year – we wouldn’t want you to go hungry!

So have a great day, thanks for stopping by our humble site, and merry Christmas from the entire RocketNews24 team!

Photo via Stripes

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