Internet

The Great Obon Disaster: A fable of cicadas, dancing, and cats

The Great Obon Disaster: A fable of cicadas, dancing, and cats

Obon is a great time to be in Japan–the summer festivals fill the country with nights of folk music, stall food, and, of course, dancing. While the cops may not approve of you tearing it up in a club, surely no one could complain about the traditional circle dances of Obon.

But it turns out there’s a critic for everything!

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【Monday Kickstart】Beat the weekly grind with these adorable ‘jamming baby owls’

【Monday Kickstart】Beat the weekly grind with these adorable ‘jamming baby owls’

Who‘s got to go to work, you ask? Not us!, is what these two adorable owlets seem to be saying as they lazily bob back and forth in this YouTube video. These fuzzy little guys have even been popping up on Japanese websites, so we thought we’d spread the kawaiiness some more. No matter how dreary your Monday may be, keep calm and ‘jam’ with these owls!

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Someone’s mother carved this Love Live! watermelon art, left the Internet applauding

Someone’s mother carved this Love Live! watermelon art, left the Internet applauding

There is, obviously, an unending supply of anime available for your viewing pleasure in Japan. Whether you want giants, cyborgs, or balls from dragons, there’s something for everyone. But one of the most popular shows right now is the high-school-idol series Love Live!. The anime has proven so popular, it even inspired a bizarre recruiting tweet from the Japan Self-Defense Forces last year and this massive back-piece tattoo earlier this summer.

Recently, a main character of the show, Honoka, had her birthday, and a dedicated Japanese Twitter user’s mother carved this surprisingly detailed piece of watermelon art in celebration.

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Lego models of Ghibli characters pay tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

Lego models of Ghibli characters pay tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

It’s been an emotional week for fans around the world after news broke about the possible closure of Studio Ghibli’s production department. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki thankfully cleared up some of the misconceptions out there, and while we’re still left with many unanswered questions, his words left us with a glimmer of hope that even the great Hayao Miyazaki himself may be back to make a short animated film in the near future.

Miyazaki himself has publicly stated that last year’s The Wind Rises would be his final feature-length film, even if he continues making short films after retirement. So how do you pay tribute to a man whose career spans decades and who created some of the most beloved movies around the world? Well, one fan’s idea to build Lego models of his famous characters and a bust of the master himself seems like a good start!  

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Hello Kitty producers appear to be losing touch with reality

Hello Kitty producers appear to be losing touch with reality

For around four decades Sanrio has been pumping out character merchandise at an increasing rate. Headlined by Japanese kawaii icon Hello Kitty, they boast hundreds of characters, some of which thrive and others that just kind of hang around.

Indeed, the company has never faltered in their mission to continuously create cuteness for our amusement and expendable cash. However, to do so must require long hours at the drawing table penciling in adorable black pupils in just the right proportion to fit the squishiest round face you ever gosh darned seen.

In doing so they seemed to have forgotten what an actual human head looks like adrift in their ocean of chubby puppies and fruit-eared kitties. That has to be the only reason to explain this cardboard cutout posted on Twitter recently in which no person’s face could possibly fit properly.

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Finally guys can get the support they need at night with the Floral Goodnight Bra

Finally guys can get the support they need at night with the Floral Goodnight Bra

Men’s undergarments that were traditionally used by women such as bras shouldn’t be shocking news if you’re a regular reader of this site. However, there appear to be many still surprised by them according to the recent popularity of the Frills & Ribbons Men’s T-Back Shorts on Twitter in Japan.

While we were looking into this particular pair of trending lacy lavender thongs with ribbons for guys, we found something even better. It’s called the Floral Goodnight Bra (Kahei Oyasumi Bra) and gives men the much-needed support as they sleep resulting round-the-clock chest protection.

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From samurai to waterfalls: Some of the best places online to check out old photos of Japan

From samurai to waterfalls: Some of the best places online to check out old photos of Japan

If you’re anything like us, you love old stuff from Japan. The temples, shrines, centuries-old festivals, and museums are some of our favorite things to check out when we have free time. There’s just something absolutely captivating about all the relics of the past that live on in Japan–but they’re just not quite as good as time travel! Come on, scientists, we want to hang out with Nobunaga! Well, while we’re waiting for Doc Brown to get back with the DeLorean, we can still at least look at old photos of Japan.

Though you might think there aren’t many–after all, it wasn’t like the samurai were running around with smartphones, snapping selfies–it turns out that there may be quite a few more than we realized! After a few hours clicking around the Internet, we’ve come up with our six favorite sites for finding old photos of Japan. Be sure to check them out and see what life was like over a hundred years ago!

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Yamaha releases engine-to-Japanese translation app, we peer into the minds of celebrity cars

Yamaha releases engine-to-Japanese translation app, we peer into the minds of celebrity cars

Translation apps are very popular for people visiting foreign lands. With only internet access and a tap of the finger you can convey “I swallowed a june bug” in any number of languages like Spanish (Me tragué un error junio) and Hatian Creole (Mwen vale yon ensèk mwa Jen). I’m pretty sure those are both wrong, but still better than I could do by myself with no knowledge of either language.

Now Yamaha has brought the translation app beyond the boundaries of humanity and into the realm of the machine with their engine revving translation app, RevTranslator. As the name suggests, this app will listen to an engine and deliver its message in Japanese.

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This is what happens when you give a Ghibli character a typical anime haircut

This is what happens when you give a Ghibli character a typical anime haircut

With all the recent rumors about Studio Ghibli possibly shutting down or being bought out by another media company – which, thankfully, turned out to be a hoax – we’ve  been taking a lot of time out to take stock of what it is that makes Studio Ghibli and studio founder Hayao Miyazaki so special.

Certainly, Miyazaki’s films are at least a cut or two above other critically acclaimed anime films and are far and away higher in both visual and narrative quality than most of the anime you’ll see on TV.

But one Japanese Twitter user with a copy of Photoshop thought most anime does at least one thing better than Ghibli: anime hair.

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This new convenience store isn’t so convenient for the blind…

This new convenience store isn’t so convenient for the blind…

One thing that has always stood out about Japan for me personally is the sidewalks. No matter where you are, you’ll almost always have a little yellow brick road to skip along–though it’s not actually an ode to The Wizard of Oz. In fact, it’s not an ode to anything at all: Those yellow, bumpy tiles are actually guides for the visually impaired. It’s a simple but clever solution–you can easily feel the bumps even through your shoes and they’re even easier to find with a cane. That way, even if you can’t see, you can still be sure you’re walking safely on the sidewalk and know when you’re coming to a turn or crossing.

Well, unless you’re trying to get to this newly built convenience store…

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Try not to eat your fingers while wearing these realistic sushi nails

Try not to eat your fingers while wearing these realistic sushi nails

We’ve seen a lot of cute and especially strange nail art from Japan, but we’ve never seen any that looked this delicious! Ebi, tamago, sake, and many more of our favorite sushi toppings grace the tops of this young woman’s nails, in what will probably make it even harder for chronic nail biters to kick the habit.

More up-close pictures and even more kinds of sushi nails after the jump!

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Now you too can imprison a wizard with real-life “Frozen” handcuffs

Now you too can imprison a wizard with real-life “Frozen” handcuffs

Frozen is really big in Japan – perhaps even more so than in the West. It’s big enough that not only are there multiple Japanese versions of the film’s biggest hit song number, “Let it Go” – to cover a variety of different regional dialects – but at least one obsessive Japanese fan went to huge lengths and poured a ton of money into recreating the special wizard handcuffs that film lead Elsa is briefly entrapped in during the movie.

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Beat the kabe-don trend: Japanese Twitter users moving on to mata-don

Beat the kabe-don trend: Japanese Twitter users moving on to mata-don

Now that you’ve been acquainted with kabe-don, the most talked about romantic situation in Japan at the moment, and the ways to fend off unwanted kabe-don, here’s the latest variation to the wall-pounding approach – mata-don.

“Mata” refers to the crotch, and similar to kabe-don, mata-don involves one person sandwiching another between themselves and a wall, but this time with an additional move of putting their knee or foot between the other’s thighs. We can already imagine some guys cringing at this nerve-wracking pose. If your heart is still feeling fine, read on to get a glimpse of what mata-don commonly looks like!

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This cat on a cat on a mat is adorable!

This cat on a cat on a mat is adorable!

Aww, look at that cute little kitty!

No, we’re not talking about the white one comfortably sleeping on its pink polka dot blankie. We’ve got our eyes on the all-black one that shares its tail.

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New father dresses like iconic pop culture characters and takes baths with his kid

New father dresses like iconic pop culture characters and takes baths with his kid

Normally I pride myself on being able to come up with at least somewhat clever headlines for my articles, but this story is so bizarrely specific, I ran out of space just trying to come up with a comprehensible title.

What you’re looking at is a new father who got the idea to pose with his daughter in the bathtub every couple of weeks to record her growth from gross poop machine into vaguely human infant. The man’s wife apparently proposed that they add a little makeup to dad’s face to make things interesting and then the situation, as you can see, kind of escalated from there.

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Internet wishes Attack on Titan’s Reiner a happy birthday, things get just a little weird

Internet wishes Attack on Titan’s Reiner a happy birthday, things get just a little weird

While some may dread their birthdays, we like to think everyone deserves the chance to have their existence celebrated. Heck, even if you’re not a real person, you still deserve to have a happy birthday, right? Especially if you’re a shape-shifting titan!

That’s right, in case you missed it, August 1 was none other than Reiner Braun’s birthday! And considering how popular Attack on Titan is, it’s no surprise that adoring fans pulled out all the stop to celebrate. Though we have to admit, we think they probably could have left a few stops in place…

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Scammer aborts mission as trolling Line user offers to send cash intended for mother’s operation

Scammer aborts mission as trolling Line user offers to send cash intended for mother’s operation

Last month, we brought you news of a scam wherein users of Line, a free messaging application popular in Japan and South Korea, were being tricked into buying prepaid cards on behalf of friends whose accounts had been hacked. Thankfully, Japan’s Line users were just as wily, and set to trolling the hackers in return, sending goading messages, irritating emoticons and even nude pictures, but the scamming still continues, with the app’s makers struggling to stamp it out.

But as these hackers descend to new levels of douchery, legitimate Line users are levelling up their troll powers, like this Twitter user who managed to get the scammers to abort by feeding them a tale of woe.

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Fending off unwanted Kabe-don: A guide

Fending off unwanted Kabe-don: A guide

As we’ve talked about before, kabe-don is the trendy new way for Japanese bad boys to soft sexually assault their crush. It consists of a guy approaching a girl he (presumably) has a thing for, who is ideally leaning against a wall, then suddenly smacking the wall with their palm and getting in reaaaaalllly close so the girl can smell his garlic breath.

Oddly enough, a lot of Japanese girls go absolutely wild for the idea of the kabe-don, in the same way guys love the idea of owning a Weird Science-esque sexbot; It’s sexy and cool on paper, frightening and creepy in real life.

Luckily for any girls who find themselves the unwilling recipient of an ill-advised kabe-don, someone has created an illustrated self-defense guide:

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Jerome Le Banner walks old lady across the street even though it would’ve been easier to toss her

Jerome Le Banner walks old lady across the street even though it would’ve been easier to toss her

Jerome Le Banner is one of K-1’s most prominent fighters. The 190cm (6’3″) and 120kg (265lbs) mountain of muscle is intimidating looking to say the least. With nicknames such as Hyper Battle Cyborg, you might expect him to pump ice water through his veins as he knocks out opponents in pursuit of numerous kickboxing titles.

However, while training in Japan the fighter recently won the hearts of Japanese people everywhere when he showed great compassion by tenderly holding the hand of an elderly woman as he helped her cross the road.

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BABYMETAL plays first ever US show, bootleg videos leave us wowed

BABYMETAL plays first ever US show, bootleg videos leave us wowed

Continuing their meteoric rise to international stardom, BABYMETAL has checked off another box on their world conquest to-do list: Playing a headline show in the US!

The show this weekend has even made waves in Japan thanks to a fan video uploaded to YouTube shortly after the group’s LA tour. Check it out below!

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