Japan

Japan weird news!!

English-learning smartphone app teaches Japanese students to say “I just took a dump”

English-learning smartphone app teaches Japanese students to say “I just took a dump”

While the English edition of RocketNews24 is primarily focused on Asia in general and Japan in particular, our Japanese-language sister site, Pouch, covers stories from around the world. Sometimes, the source information they work with is in English, so Pouch’s team members are always on the lookout for ways to brush up their language skills.

So we weren’t shocked to hear that one of Pouch’s writers, Marie, had recently gotten really into a new English-learning smartphone app. What did surprise us, though, was when we took a look at the phrases she was learning, including such nuggets as, “I just took a dump.”

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Overall attendance down as number of games go up at 2014 Tokyo Game Show

Overall attendance down as number of games go up at 2014 Tokyo Game Show

The Tokyo Game Show for 2014 closed its doors this past weekend, and a record number of game companies showed up to display four times as many titles as last year. As always, the ever popular cosplay was a big hit and thousands of people came to buy the unique goods sold there. But what about the show itself? Was it the best attended TGS in years? Did it smash attendance records all around the world?

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Stylish new cat café in Asakusa would be nice even without the kitties, is awesome with them

Stylish new cat café in Asakusa would be nice even without the kitties, is awesome with them

Cat cafes have established a pretty solid foothold in the Japanese dining scene. That said, some of them deliver more on the “cat” than the “café” part, with pretty unimpressive interiors and menus.

That’s not a problem at Monta, though, a cat café which recently opened up in Tokyo’s Asakusa neighborhood. With stylish and colorful furnishings and delicious food, we’d be tempted to stop by even if it didn’t have a half-dozen cats running around inside.

Those cute kitties, though, sure helped seal the deal and get us through the door, though.

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Squirt hand (job) guns – Weird trigger placement on animal-shaped toys promise a dirty deluge

Squirt hand (job) guns – Weird trigger placement on animal-shaped toys promise a dirty deluge

When you stop and think about it, designing squirt guns is actually a pretty hard job. In an era where people have smartphones, video games, and the wonders of the Internet to keep them entertained, how do you get people to seriously consider shooting tiny sprays of tepid water at one another a viable entertainment option?

One idea is to go for a unique design, like the company that decided to model its guns after bears and leopards. That’s playful, unexpected, and eye-catching right? Unfortunately, guns and four-legged animals ordinarily have very different shapes, and in this case, trying to mash the two together meant the trigger ended up in a place you really shouldn’t touch a grizzly unless you’re looking to get mauled. 

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Secrets of the sushi shops: 10 tips and tricks the chain restaurants don’t want you to know

Secrets of the sushi shops: 10 tips and tricks the chain restaurants don’t want you to know

With major restaurant chains hit by food safety scares, and a factory worker jailed last month for lacing frozen foods with pesticides, consumer confidence in the food industry in Japan is at an all-time low. Writer and food safety campaigner Hirokazu Kawagishi’s latest book is a timely contribution to this renewed skepticism about the food we eat, where it comes from, and whether it is what it claims to be. In Gaishoku no uragawa (literally, “the other side of dining out”), Kawagishi reveals the secrets behind Japan’s restaurant trade.

In an extract published in Toyo Keizai this week, Kawagishi lifts the lid on Japan’s kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) with 10 pro tips to help you decide which restaurants are worth your time — and which to avoid.

Let’s take a look at what he recommends, including why you should always take a closer look at the squid; the secret significance of the hole in the soy-sauce pourer, and more tips to make sure you don’t get scammed at the sushi counter.

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

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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These traditional Japanese hairpins may be too beautiful to wear

These traditional Japanese hairpins may be too beautiful to wear

The traditional Japanese kanzashi hairpin is usually an elaborate affair meant to be worn in the hair when donning a kimono or yukata. Intricately detailed and beautiful, they’re like Japan’s answer to the corsage. But these particular kanzashi may just be too beautiful to ever wear at all on account of directing all the attention away from your kimono.

Sakae, a kanzashi specialty manufacturer, makes each kanzashi by hand from colored glass that’s been melted down and coated in resin to prevent breakage – and lord knows you wouldn’t want one of these shattering into a thousand pieces in your hair.

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Soft, squidgy and irresistible — these beautiful jelly soap balls have to be popped open to use

Soft, squidgy and irresistible — these beautiful jelly soap balls have to be popped open to use

Who doesn’t love brightly colored and irresistibly soft objects that you can jiggle, poke and burst, right?  Well, once again, the lovely ladies at our Japanese sister site Pouch have found a delightful item to share with you, and this time, it’s something that’s not only fun to look at and touch, but cleansing as well — quite literally.

It’s the colorful Hiruan-dama soap ball that comes packaged in a small balloon which you have to burst to take out the soap, and the jelly-like texture is as hard to resist as the softness of a newborn baby’s cheek!

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Rule 34 in action: Ryutaro Nonomura’s sobbing and ear-cupping immortalised in adult video parody

Rule 34 in action: Ryutaro Nonomura’s sobbing and ear-cupping immortalised in adult video parody

Rule 34 of the internet states that, if something exists, so too does a porn version of it. Take any subject matter you like: household appliances, hamsters, Yoshi from Nintendo’s Super Mario series (no, seriously), and, as the saying goes: “If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.”

While we’d never dream of questioning the Internet Gods’ omnipotence, we have to admit that we genuinely never saw this newest entry in awkward adult entertainment coming. Yes, gentle reader, there now exists porn based on the antics of shamed politician Ryutaro Nonomura, the government official who shot to fame earlier this year when he sobbed uncontrollably through a press conference where he was asked to account for vast sums of money he maintained he had spent on travel.

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Opera AOI blends the old and the new with vocaloids and bunraku puppets

Opera AOI blends the old and the new with vocaloids and bunraku puppets

The use of vocaloids, artificial singers programmed on a computer, has created its own niche in online art. Thousands share their individually crafted songs using one of the dozens of synthetic voices available posting them to sites such as Niconico for the fun and entertainment of all.

Their popularity has risen to the point of vocaloids getting adopted by highly acclaimed musicians and artists. The figurehead of vocaloids, Hatsune Miku, has collaborated with Louis Vuitton, Lady Gaga, the Japanese Self Defense Force’s Central Band, Pharrell Williams, and Isao Tomita to name a few.

This time, however, artificial performers of the present will be merged with artificial performers of the past in Vocaloid Opera AOI with Bunraku Puppets. I love it when a name perfectly explains what something is so I don’t have to, so let’s get right to looking at trailer for this human-free opera.

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Attack on Titan’s creator estimates manga will end in three years

Attack on Titan’s creator estimates manga will end in three years

There are a lot of questions fans of anime and manga mega-hit Attack on Titan want the answers to. Where did the series’ naked, man-eating giants come from? What did protagonist Eren’s father hide away in the locked cellar he gave his son the key to? And when are we going to see the next portion of the story adapted to animation (in more specific terms than “eventually”)?

But series creator Hajime Isayama did reveal something a lot of fans want to know, as he recently told reporters his personal estimate as to when Attack on Titan’s manga serialization will end.

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10 things foreigners do that Japanese people find amusing

10 things foreigners do that Japanese people find amusing

Ah, the wonders of learning a second language. There’s much to be said for the sense of satisfaction and achievement that comes from communicating effectively in another tongue. There’s also much to be said about the head-scratching and sense of humility that comes from tripping up and sounding like a buffoon.

We’ve found 10 tweeted tales of confusion from Japanese people who’ve had amusing encounters with foreigners in Japan. Some strike such a chord with Japanese that they’ve been retweeted and shared hundreds, sometimes even thousands of times.

So what is it that we foreigners do that’s so amusing?

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Häagen-Dazs Japan announces azuki bean ice cream, net users go wild

Häagen-Dazs Japan announces azuki bean ice cream, net users go wild

Ice cream is one of those foods that is so delicious, people tend to eat it year round regardless of the plunging temperatures around them. So for the past 15 years, Häagen-Dazs has been releasing special fall/winter flavors in Japan, such as the extremely popular rum raisin. But this year, the beloved ice cream maker has an azuki bean-flavored variety coming out in early October, and Japanese netizens are already clearing out space in their freezer to stock up.

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Japanese team wins Ig Nobel prize for confirming that banana peels are in fact slippery

Japanese team wins Ig Nobel prize for confirming that banana peels are in fact slippery

They feature so prominently in our Saturday morning cartoons and Charlie Chaplin movies that mankind has simply taken it as gospel that stepping on a banana peel will cause you to comically slip and fall with such a force that birds and stars will circle your head.

But did you know that until recently this was only a theory, unproven by a peer-reviewed scientific study? Thanks to the hard work done by Kiyoshi Mabuchi and his team at Kitasato University who were able to apply a frictional coefficient, we can unequivocally say that banana peels really are slippery when you step on them. Little wonder the group was awarded the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics.

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What your favorite sushi says about your income

What your favorite sushi says about your income

There are so many things you can learn about someone simply by observing them. You don’t have reach out of your comfort zone and ask them directly because so much can be learned by their fashion, their posture, their body language and the way they cut their nails. This is especially handy in Japanese society when being direct can be seen as extremely rude.

So how do you find out about really personal things? Certainly the best way to acquire hidden information is by asking innocuous questions that reveal way more than they should! Take the latest tip from an elite business man, who says you can guess about how much a man earns in Japan by asking him one simple question: “What kind of sushi do you like?

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Exciting promotional campaign offers chance to win horrifying cat figure

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】

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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Sailor Moon, Outer Senshi are ready to watch over your phone with earphone jack accessories

Sailor Moon, Outer Senshi are ready to watch over your phone with earphone jack accessories

While Sailor Moon’s first four companions, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus, get most of the attention, the lunar heroine also picked up a few more allies in her 200 anime episodes. The Sailor Moon B-team has been getting a lot of love from merchandiser Bandai recently, including their own sets of lingerie.

Now, for everyone who wants to show your love for the Outer Sailor Senshi without showing off their undies, Bandai is releasing a five-piece set of smartphone earphone jack accessories, including accessories used by Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

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

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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The cosplay of Tokyo Game Show 2014 【Photos】

The cosplay of Tokyo Game Show 2014 【Photos】

The Tokyo Game Show opened up to the general public this Saturday, and we were right there in the midst of the crowds of attendees from all over the world.

With the event spread across the huge Makuhari Messe exhibition centre it was quite a workout getting from one end to the other while navigating meandering queues of gamers waiting for a chance to play exclusive demos, but somehow we managed it and lived to tell the tale.

While there were plenty of gorgeous booth babes around inside, I headed out to the cosplay area where amateur enthusiasts show off their home-made outfits, and often plenty of skin too.

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