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Japanese people list 10 ingredients they never, ever want to find in their miso soup

Miso soup is a staple food in pretty much any Japanese household. Served morning, noon or night, this thin, slightly salty broth is tasty, filling, and, as you’ve probably already realised, is the perfect accompaniment to rice. It is so deeply ingrained in Japanese culture that in some areas of the country there even exists a joke that a man may indirectly propose to a woman simply asking, “Will you make my miso soup for me every morning?”

But one person’s idea of a perfect bowl of miso soup can be another’s salty soy nightmare. With so many ingredients that go, or at least seem to go, well in a bowl of Japan’s favourite broth, it can be difficult to find a bowl that ticks all the boxes, and there are some ingredients that – depending on one’s upbringing, personal tastes or geographical location – are considered simply unacceptable.

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Tasty art brought to life — enjoy unique recreations of illustrated food at the Pixiv Festival!

Some of our readers may be aware of Pixiv, the popular Japanese online community that provides a forum for artists to share and receive feedback on their illustrated works. Well, we certainly think such a community is a meaningful use for the Internet, and now, we’re even more excited to hear that Pixiv will be putting on a real-life festival! It’s the “Pixiv Festival – where drawing is fuuuuuuuuun!!!!!!!!!!!!” scheduled to be held in Roppongi next month, and while the event is sure to provide plenty of opportunity for artistic action, it seems there’ll also be some very interesting food options available as well — yes, you’ll be able to sample dishes that have actually been recreated from illustrations shared on the site, so let’s take a closer look at some of the unique culinary creations that have been brought to life especially for the festival!

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Belly photos from underneath are the next big trend in hamster cuteness

It seems that hamster trends come and go on the ‘Net: earlier this year hamster butts were totally in, and before that flat hamsters were all the rage. Now the hot new thing is hamster bellies! And not just their fluffy bellies, but specifically their underside seen from below.

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We troll a scammer online, make him wish he’d never tried to take our money

When the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly, asking for help, you help, right? Well if you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you know emails from a far away member of any royal family will obviously lead to some kind of scam. Unfortunately, those types of emails seem to pop up in our inboxes every other month. Don’t you just wish there was a way to get back at these people for trying to leech off of us honest, hard working folks?

Well, we’re happy to report that our Japanese reporter, GO, found a way to get sweet, sweet revenge on one scammer he encountered online, trolling so hard that the scammer gave up in a fit of rage. This is his story.

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The 30 most ‘romantic’ lines that women want to hear (well, according to the Japanese internet)

OK, ladies: imagine you’re taking a moonlit walk with the object of your affections. Or maybe you’re dining at a fancy restaurant with your dream date, or cuddling together on a blanket in a field with no one else in sight. All of a sudden, your crush leans in close, looks deeply into your eyes, and whispers, “You’re mine.” What do you do?

If you’re the type who would immediately blush and feel your heart beating at a quickened pace, you’ll probably enjoy the following list of 30 things women want to be told. The list has recently been circulating around Japanese social media sites recently, leaving sparkly, flower petal-filled puddles of shojo manga sappiness oozing in its wake. If, however, you’re of a slightly more cynical disposition, you should also enjoy the compilation, but instead for its value to induce a good chortle.

Don’t worry, because whichever type you are, we promise not to judge!

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Sad 3DS user wants Gamecube peripheral for Smash Brothers, genius tinkerer provides

There are few things in life more competitive than Super Smash Brothers (and, like, hot dog eating contests with hamsters). So, even though you can now Smash Brothers on the go with the new 3DS version, truly competitive players don’t want to settle for the 3DS’s inferior, cramped D-pad and button layout.

A clever Japanese Twitter user recently openly dreamed of a better way to Smash Brothers on his 3DS by connecting an old-school Gamecube controller to the portable handheld and, shockingly, another even more genius Twitter user responded with a real-life prototype he made with plentiful engineering skills, his own two hands, and what appears to be a bunch of fresh spaghetti.

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Ghibli anime inspires beautiful cosplay from across the seas 【Photos】

While the works of Studio Ghibli are widely loved in Japan, they exist in a sort of special realm outside ordinary anime fandom. Totoro, Kiki, and their kin may be universally respected, but they’re so much a part of the country’s shared pop cultural heritage that they don’t inspire the same sort of passionate, individual connection that you see with newer animated characters with a narrower target market.

Things are a little different in the west, though, where for many people, the films of Japan’s most hallowed animation are a more recent discovery. That new-found enthusiasm sometimes provides the spark of inspiration that leads to some amazing expressions of fans’ love for the characters, as shown in this collection of beautiful Ghibli cosplay.

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Sleepy kitty snuggling with a stuffed animal is the most adorable thing you’ll see all day

Meet μ [the Greek letter mu], a four-year-old Scottish Fold female cat who enjoys all the typical feline hobbies of catnapping, meowing for treats, coughing up hairballs, and sitting down on your laptop while you’re trying to work. But μ has another hobby which is a bit more, shall we say, atypical in nature. Like many human children (and adults!), μ likes nothing better than to cuddle up with her favorite pink stuffed animal when she falls asleep!

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Oh Boy, That’s Pretty Racist (Part Two): Japanese woman explains why Taiwanese girls suck

Earlier in our thankfully extremely sporadic series, “Oh Boy, That’s Pretty Racist,” we covered a Japanese “comedian” (I use this term loosely) who posted Vine videos as a poorly acclimated Indian guy living in Japan, complete with racist accent and affinity for curry, of course.

For our second installment, we have a Japanese woman living in Taiwan explaining the reasons people should choose Japanese women over Taiwanese women using broad cultural stereotypes that at best unfairly pigeonhole Taiwanese ladies, and at worst are outright false. Let’s take a look:

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Weird disappearing picture fades to nothing, leaves us with existential angst

This “disappearing picture” is a neat optical illusion we’ve never seen before. If you stare at it long enough, it disappears! Now to me, that sounds suspiciously like the time during my first year of middle school when the teacher sent gullible little me to ask the teacher next door for a “long stand”. (Incidentally, did you know the l’s are silent? The correct pronunciation is goo-ible.)

But I digress. This disappearing picture trick is pretty cool, and it really does work! All you need is your eyes and a little patience.

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Norwegian rocker with insane vocal range covers anime songs and more【Videos】

PelleK is a Norwegian rock and metal singer who doesn’t just limit himself to screaming about death and darkness, and uses his amazing vocal talents to cover anime songs and more, uploading them to YouTube for everyone to enjoy. Check out his awesome voice and performances in the videos below.

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Burger King Japan’s black burgers look unbelievably gross in real life

Burger King recently launched two new hamburgers in Japan that feature black buns and cheese with matching squid ink black sauce. Ads, like the one above, made the burgers look pretty unappetizing. But the burgers, known as the Kuro Diamond and Kuro Pearl, look even worse in reality.

Here are some examples:

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Exciting promotional campaign offers chance to win horrifying cat figure

When it comes to science fiction technology made real, 3-D printing is one of the most exciting. While we might all say we wish we had jet packs, the fact is that 3-D printing had 96.6 percent fewer leg burn injuries in a direct comparison that we just made up and is totally not real. But putting fake statistics aside, 3-D printing not only enables for cheap, efficient manufacturing, it also allows us to make figures out of nearly anything we want with little more than photos and some software.

And to prove it, Ima Topic and DMM.make, the web-based 3-D printing division of web-retailer/video-on-demand company DMM, are offering what can only be described as a horribly awesome campaign: A chance to win a figure of Setsu, the gorgeous, blue-eyed house cat who looks like roadkill when she sleeps. This is one contest you will almost certainly regret winning!

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Can you unlock your new iPhone 6 Plus with your nipple? We can! 【Video】

When it comes to iPhones, our Japanese writing team might be the biggest fans on the planet. Or at least the strangest. And while Mr. Sato had a busy week waiting for and getting the first iPhone sold in Japan, the rest of our Japanese writers haven’t been sitting around wasting time.

Nope, they’ve been testing vital features like the new iPhone’s hand-shake compensation and security features. We already know what happens when you tape an iPhone to a massage wand…but what happens when you try to lock and unlock it with your nipple?

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Japanese Salaryman vs. American Salesman: Are they really this different?

With many different unwritten rules and an emphasis on customer service, it can sometimes be difficult for foreigners to assimilate into Japanese work culture. Steve over at YouTube channel Steve’s POV スティーブ的視点 put together a video that showcases just how different Japanese and American workers can be. But is it accurate to depict the Japanese salaryman as hardworking, diligent and impossibly polite and the American salesman as comparatively rude, rushed, and sloppy? Take a look at the video and decide for yourself.

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Makeup transformation experts move to character impersonations【Photos】

We’ve previously seen the creative cyber citizens from the Philippines use their amazing makeup techniques to instantly transform themselves into superstars such as Brad Pitt and Miley Cyrus.

Well, things have gotten slightly out of hand since then and makeup transformation enthusiasts have apparently attained the ability of turning themselves into non-human forms. It’s totally bizarre! Check out their super transformations after the break!

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Kid’s video of whirlwind Japan tour reveals otaku paradise, pervy action figures

Everybody’s got that story. The story of why they decided they wanted to go to Japan in the first place. Unsurprisingly, for a lot of people it’s manga, anime and even J-Pop. For a lot of guys, it’s the girls. For (comparatively fewer) girls, it’s the guys. Some like the food. Some like the “Old Japan” feel of Kyoto and Kamakura. A few even go for the outdoor activities.

And some go for the pervy action figures.

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Twitter users report large groups of Chinese buyers in line at Apple Store in Ginza

With the release date of Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus still unconfirmed in China, buyers from the world’s largest smartphone market have been finding other means of procuring the much anticipated devices. It’s reported that Chinese resellers snatched up pre-order iPhones within hours on Apple’s Hong Kong website, hoping to sell the phones in China for as much as four times the retail price.

According to reports by Twitter users, buyers from China have also made their way to Japan with the goal of smuggling the iPhones back into China for resale. At the Ginza Apple Store, it’s estimated that as much as 90 percent of the more than 400 people waiting in line to buy an iPhone 6 are Chinese.

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Japanese national anthem delights foreigners, Japanese commenters have no idea why

Depending on your travel and Olympic games viewing habits, you may not get the chance to hear national anthems that aren’t from your own country very often. Which is kind of understandable…the songs are supposed to be inspiring, but it seems like at lot of them are either about killing everyone or marching. Marching might be a great way to burn calories, but we could do without songs about it.

However, it turns out that Japan’s national anthem, the incredibly short “Kimi ga Yo,” is a bit of a hit with folks from everywhere but Japan…a fact that’s left quite a few Japanese Internet commenters thoroughly confused.

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Japanese gamers reminisce about the good old days of the NES

For most children of the 80s, video games mean the Nintendo Entertainment System, or Famicom in Japan. Even if you didn’t have one in your home, you surely had a friend with one of those enchanting boxes. Ah, the thrills of 8-bit action, midi music, and blowing frantically on cartridges!

Though many parents might have written the devices off as mere toys, there’s an undeniable shared experience that the NES provided for children in many countries around the world. But have you ever wondered how your experiences with the system compared to those of kids in Japan, the console’s home? Well, wonder no more!

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