Japan

Japan weird news!!

Seijiro Nakamura as Chris Redfield? Resident Evil stage play’s cast is entirely Japanese

I’m never really sure what I should call the zombie action series that began as a hit PlayStation game in 1996. Resident Evil, its internationally used name, is a lot more colorful than Biohazard, its Japanese one, but only the first of the many games takes place primarily in a home. What’s more, the source of the trouble is science run amok, not dark magic, so the “evil” part seems a touch melodramatic.

On the other hand, there are now five films in the franchise, with a sixth on the way, all of which are produced in English and usually come to Japan only after already premiering overseas, so score one point for Resident Evil.

But in the case of its upcoming stage adaptation, set to open in two months, I really think Biohazard is the most appropriate name, because it looks like every single member of the cast is Japanese.

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What do Magic: The Gathering and Idolmaster have in common? Apparently, quite a bit!

Internet memes are an incredibly strange and malleable beast, and you can never tell what the next meme that pops up will be about. Some memes are so strange that you would never believe there is a thriving community of people who keep them alive like, “draw yourself as a high school boy” or the reverse, “draw yourself as a high school girl”.

There is a meme right now that is so oddly specific, you have to wonder where they came up with the idea. It crosses The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls and Magic: The Gathering, and it might just blow your mind.

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The cafe with a kabuki twist  — we visit Tully’s Coffee at the Kabukiza Theater

Kabuki is a traditional Japanese performing art that has been enjoyed by the masses since the 17th century  and is known for its unique make-up as well as its distinct, exaggerated poses and expressions. Kabuki is performed exclusively by male actors, and some of the more famous ones enjoy celebrity status in Japan, appearing in movies, TV dramas and commercials.

So, while it’s not nearly as big an attraction in this day of 4-D movies and theme parks as it used to be in the Edo Period, kabuki is still an established entertainment genre. And the Kabukiza Theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district, which was newly rebuilt in 2013, is still a mecca for kabuki fans. Today, one of the reporters from our Japanese sister site Pouch introduces the Tully’s Coffee shop located in the Kabukiza Theater for a look at a modern cafe that serves a menu item with a kabuki twist!

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PlayStation Japan asks kids if they’ve finished their summer homework, kids respond appropriately

As a kid, the end of summer was always the worst time of the year. It meant that your days of sleeping in late, playing video games and riding around outside on your bike were coming to an end, and the new school year was right around the corner.

So who better to remind all the kids in Japan that summer vacation is almost over than the official Japanese PlayStation Twitter account? When they sent out a tweet asking “Have you finished your summer homework?”, they got some pretty hilarious, and rightly deserved, responses.

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Totoro, Levi, and beautiful flowers – All part of the edible world of okonomiyaki art 【Videos】

If you’ve never had the pleasure eating okonomiyaki, you’re missing out on one of Japan’s greatest culinary treats. Sometimes referred to as “Japanese pancakes” or “Japanese pizza,” Okonomiyaki is a circular crepe filled with cabbage and other vegetables along with meat, seafood, or whatever else you want to put in it.

The whole thing gets topped with a sweet, reddish brown sauce which not only tastes great, but can also serve as a great canvas on which to create awesome-looking and edible okonomiyaki art!

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American English teacher in Japan takes a moment to remind student that anime is not real

Spend enough time teaching a foreign language, and eventually you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to stop and ask yourself whether your job, which ordinarily involves correcting how your students speak, also includes correcting what they’re saying. For example, I once had a teen pupil declare that “Being good looking is the only thing that’s important.” After a moment of consideration, I decided that trying to fix that shallow philosophy was above my pay grade, so I told her, “OK, nice grammar” and left it at that.

Still, when working with kids, it’s nice to impart a useful life lesson when the opportunity to do so relatively gently presents itself, as it did for one expat in Japan who reminded his young English-learning student of the difference between anime and real life.

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Nintendo fans, get your sewing machines ready! Official Nintendo fabrics now available to buy

Have you ever wanted to lounge around in your own pair of Legend of Zelda pajama pants? How about snuggling up with a Mario Kart or Donkey Kong pillow? Well now thanks to Jo-Ann Fabrics, all of your Nintendo-related craft dreams can finally come true!

The U.S.-based arts and crafts retailer is now offering more yards of Nintendo-themed fabric than you can shake a Master Sword at. From Mario to Donkey Kong, Zelda to Pokémon, they have it all. Who says fully-grown adults can’t make their own homemade Pikachu PJs?

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Japanese library offers itself and its manga collection as refuge for emotionally troubled youths

Though summer vacation is a lot shorter in Japan than it is in the U.S., most tudents here aren’t exactly itching to go back to school once it’s done. Even worse, since it falls in the middle of the Japanese school year, the end of summer break is also the start of the second, and more demanding, semester.

Needless to say, a lot of kids would rather blow off school and kick back with a good manga, which is exactly what one library in Japan is encouraging them to do. The reason, however, is far more important than just finding out what happens to their favorite fictional characters .

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Japan’s newest hot spring springs forth…from the center of Kobe!

In movies, there’s never anything good hidden in the earth under a structure. It’s all Native American burial grounds, Egyptian mummies, and other assorted other corpses of non-specific ethnicities.

In real life, though, there are all sorts of desirable things waiting beneath the surface, such as oil and gold. An excavation crew in Kobe was looking for something just as good as those two valuable commodities, though: a hot spring, and they found one right in the heart of the city.

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Digital artist brings traditional Japanese ukiyo-e to life as animated GIFs, adds lasers and UFOs

When someone mentions GIFs, it usually calls to mind one of two things; funny TV show clips posted as responses on forum threads, or a burning desire to assert to anyone and everyone that it’s definitely g-if and not j-if, no matter what the creator says.

However, despite their usual inanity, these sputtering animations can actually be mini works of art in their own right. One Japanese ‘gif artist’ has used modern-day computer wizardry to bring to life traditional ukiyo-e scenes in humorous and entrancing ways.

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Tokyo’s Nakano to be transformed into cosplay heaven this Halloween for MAG Festa 2015

We’ve got the info on an upcoming event in Nakano, to be held on Saturday October 31; in other words, Halloween. The event will turn the area around Nakano Station, which includes Nakano Broadway, and Nakano Sun Plaza shopping areas, into anime heaven for the day. You’ll be able to get into the spirit of the holiday by dressing up in cosplay, snap some great photos of other people’s intricate cosplay creations, or just be content with watching the various costume parades and shows on offer.

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Did someone say squid pigs? We make Russia’s cutest recipe ever

Russia is a fascinating country for many reasons, but food tends not to be one of them. For example, how many of us have a Russian restaurant in our neighborhoods? It’s not surprising as dishes with names like “borscht” don’t exactly electrify the taste buds.

But not so fast! One Russian dish has been trending online recently not only for its delicious taste but its adorable appearance as well: Squid Piglets! As you might imagine they are little pigs made out of squid and other delicious stuff.

Or, if you’re struggling to imagine such a thing, join our reporter Meg as she shows us how to make these squiggly wiggly little squid-piglets.

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You’ll never guess what this fan-made Evangelion model is made from!

Small talk is one of the worst concepts of social interaction. Most of the time, neither party has something worthwhile to say, but society requires them to talk to each other because it makes everyone seem like nice, approachable people. Why can’t people just be happy with the sound of silence?

The absolute worst is when you are caught in a situation where you can’t avoid the small talk, like when you are in a taxi or when you are getting your hair cut. You are unfortunately immobile and at the whim of a stranger, because really…how well do you know your barber? Probably not as well as you think, as it turns out a casual bit of small talk revealed this one barber’s unbelievably amazing hobby.

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French artist gives us the best of both worlds with Dragon Ball, superhero fusions!

In Dragon Ball Z, two characters of roughly equal size and power level can fuse together to create a new entity stronger than either character individually. But is this fusion phenomenon limited only characters from the Dragon Ball universe? This French artist doesn’t seem to think so, as he took the liberty of fusing DBZ characters with American comic book heroes, and the results are—you guessed it—OVER 9,000!

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Nintendo’s Yarn Yoshi Amiibo is back, now bigger (and cuter) than ever!

Back in the spring, we got all weak in the knees when Nintendo decided to forgo hard plastic and instead craft an Amiibo figure of its loveable dinosaur Yoshi out of soft, cuddly wool. But while the yarn Yoshi can help you play through the game and look adorable perched on the palm of your hand, he’s a little too small for a proper cuddle.

So for those gamers who want to give Yoshi a proper squeeze, Nintendo is releasing a jumbo-sized version.

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Otaku ita-bag contest winner a painful sight to behold: “Is it even a bag anymore?”

You’ve probably heard of itasha before, otaku-owned cars that are so laden with designs of anime girls that they are almost painful to look at. Whether you’re a fan or a hater, you have to admit the owners of itasha are extremely dedicated to their passion. There’s only problem: you can’t flaunt your passion when you’re not in your car.

Thankfully there’s a solution! Ita-bags—bags that are so weighed down with anime girl pictures and merchandise that they may cause sudden pain in the beholder. And ita-bags are not a niche interest either; they everywhere. There was even an ita-bag contest held in Tokyo recently, and you have to see the winning bag to believe it.

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Teen fashion brand Cecil McBee releases range of educational books, makes studying kawaii

In the west, there’s a wide range of stores selling affordable and cute fashion marketed towards teens, such as H&M, TopShop, Zara and Forever 21. But in Japan, one of the most popular places for picking up cute clothes is the interestingly named chain store Cecil McBee. With a name seemingly pilfered for some bizarre reason from Tulsa-born jazz musician Cecil McBee (he even tried to sue, but was unsuccessful), the chain has stores across Japan, with a main store located inside the trendy 109 shopping centre in Shibuya.

Now, however, the chain is branching out from fashion to release a range of educational books aimed at junior high school girls with adorably kawaii covers and illustrations. After all, you still want to look cute while you’re studying, don’t you?

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This cat looks hilariously like a sleeping anime character

There’s a lot of anime shorthand that, while perhaps a little hard for Westerners and non-nerds to decipher (just kidding, we love anime as much as the next guy), actually works really well to convey a scene’s mood once you understand the visual jargon.

One such shortcut we’ve talked about is the random spewing of blood from a character’s nose, which is used to represent lecherousness and lust, especially in male characters; probably because a comical boooiiing! and a sudden pants-ripping erection crowding out the rest of the screen is both a little too obvious, even for Japan.

Another is ubiquitously used to show a character sleeping and we’ll be damned if this real-life Japanese cat doesn’t nail it.

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Japan raises the bar for weirdness, produces fan-made magazine devoted to male nipples

Male nipples get a bad rap. Not only are they often proclaimed as “useless,” many Japanese people think they’re pretty gross too. What’s a mipple to do in such a hate-filled world?

Thankfully Japan has the, well, a solution: a magazine devoted to showing the beautiful side of male nipples, appropriately titled “I Love Everyone! Man’s Nipple.” What exactly is inside this revolutionary magazine and where can you pick up your copy? Read on to find out!

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The difference between a fat woman and a plump one, according to one Japanese Twitter artist

Like any language, Japanese has multiple words that have more or less the same meaning, but which help to put a finer point on exactly how the speaker feels. For example, pocchari and debu both refer to someone with a higher than average proportion of body fat, but pocchari doesn’t have quite the same harshness that debu does.

If we were looking for English equivalents, debu would be “fat,” while pocchari would be the softer-sounding “plump.” But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and one Japanese Twitter user recently posted a sketch diagraming, in his mind, the physical differences between a pocchari woman and a debu one.

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