Japan

Yamagata high school baseball team becomes Twitter sensation with their impeccable manners

Yamagata high school baseball team becomes Twitter sensation with their impeccable manners

The 96th National High School Baseball Championship, better known as Summer Koshien, is now underway in Hyogo Prefecture. In other words, Japan is once again swept up by baseball fever.

The championship takes the form of a single elimination tournament between the regional champions from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures (Hokkaido and Tokyo are both allowed two teams each). One of the teams this year, which hails from northern Japan’s Yamagata Prefecture, has become an especially hot topic online, even though they were recently knocked out in the third round. The reason for their popularity is not only because of their skill, but also for their unbelievably well-mannered conduct off of the field. Introducing the team that has now become known as the most polite high school baseball team in all of Japan.

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Amazing real-time projection mapping technology blurs line between fantasy and reality 【Video】

Amazing real-time projection mapping technology blurs line between fantasy and reality 【Video】

Projection mapping is a technology we seem to be hearing about quite often these days, and you may have seen it being used at various events or amusement park shows. But the video that we’re sharing with you today makes use of a highly unexpected and unusual surface to create a series of projection mapped images quite unlike anything we’ve seen before. In fact, the technology used in the video is so visually convincing that it seems to blur the line between reality and fantasy, and once you see it, we think you’ll be impressed by it too!

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Foodies in Japan can’t stop freaking out over how good peaches and mozzarella tastes

Foodies in Japan can’t stop freaking out over how good peaches and mozzarella tastes

Twitter and Instagram has been buzzing about a new dish to hit Japanese kitchens: sweet peaches mixed with mozzarella cheese. And based on the reviews written by social-media-loving cooks in Japan, it’s the greatest dish in the history of food. Let’s take a closer look at how to rustle up this interesting grub and read some glowing reviews.

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Pizza Hut in Japan is now run by four bossy felines in new adorable campaign

Pizza Hut in Japan is now run by four bossy felines in new adorable campaign

In Japan, there’s the phrase “neko no te mo karitai” (literally “want to borrow even a cat’s hand”), meaning that you’re so busy, you even want the cat to help. Well, Pizza Hut took this idiom to heart in its new campaign, hiring four rough-and-tumble cats to manage a franchise called Pizza Cat! As you’ll see in the dramatic “movie trailer,” these cats are fired up and can’t wait to rescue people who’re too busy to prepare dinner.

Read on to learn more about the comical and kawaii campaign, and to watch a few of the 15-second promotional videos that reveal what would happen if cats really lent a paw. Plus, if you live in Japan you may even have a chance to win a Pizza Hut hat for cats. So are felines one opposable thumb away from world domination, or are we slowly approaching a utopia in which pets will fetch us pizza? And hey, didn’t Samurai Pizza Cats already get started on both?

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Boys love posing book shows you how to draw two guys frolicking by that legendary pool!

Boys love posing book shows you how to draw two guys frolicking by that legendary pool!

I’m no expert, but I’m guessing that one of the reasons why manga is so huge in Japan is not only because the Japanese have been creating manga in all sorts of genres that appeal to various audiences, but also because they have a spread of guidebooks and reference material available to aid budding manga artists along the way.

I mean, there are even illustration guidebooks that specifically teach artists how to draw men’s butts, what else isn’t there? Well, if you’ve ever wanted a posing reference for drawing two men frolicking by the pool, they have a book for that. Just in case you were wondering, that’s just one of the various kinky situations featured in said book!

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Want to read manga and eat ice cream for free? Give blood in Akihabara

Want to read manga and eat ice cream for free? Give blood in Akihabara

When I was in high school, every year there was an on-campus blood drive. It always saw a pretty good turnout, with a large number of generous and socially conscious students willing to part with their home-brewed hemoglobin to help others. The organizers even sweetened the deal by holding the event in the middle of the day, meaning that you could get out of a period of class by participating. And while that’s a pretty nice incentive, I think it’s been one-upped by a blood bank in Tokyo that offers a bookshelf of free manga to read and ice cream to munch on.

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Otaku generation gap – Fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s reveal what got them into anime

Otaku generation gap – Fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s reveal what got them into anime

Fans of Japanese animation are quick to point out that it’s not just for kids, with less of the stigma attached to its Western counterpart. Still, even anime tends to be heavily youth-oriented, and fan favorites can quickly fade into obscurity.

For a quick example, ask an anime enthusiast about Bubblegum Crisis. Depending on their age you’ll get a description of either the 1987 direct-to-video series, the 1997 TV reboot, or directions to the closest convenience store where you can buy a pack of Bazooka.

As further proof, in a recent poll people in Japan revealed which shows turned them into lovers of anime, with completely different top five lists for fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s.

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Not quite ready for ochazuke, rice with green tea? You might want to try using cola instead

Not quite ready for ochazuke, rice with green tea? You might want to try using cola instead

In Japanese cuisine, one of the easiest dishes to prepare is ochazuke, or a bowl of rice mixed with tea. While you can spruce it up with things such as plum, salmon, or spicy cod roe, the rice and tea are really all you need.

But while almost all Japanese people enjoy an occasional ochazuke session, some foreigners find it a little unnatural to pour what’s generally a beverage over their food. The whole thing becomes even less attractive if you’re not a particularly big fan of the Japanese green tea that’s normally used.

So if you’re interested in gradually easing yourself into ochazuke, maybe you’d prefer to start with a less astringent beverage, like cola.

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Japanese man fails at writing a love letter, builds machine to do it for him

Japanese man fails at writing a love letter, builds machine to do it for him

Relationships in Japan start a little differently than ones in other countries. In many places, the interested party may strike up a conversation and barring any incredibly awkward small talk, might suggest another meeting at a future agreed upon time. However, if anime or manga is anything to go by, the process doesn’t usually go like that in Japan. Rather, one person likes the other from afar and becomes utterly infatuated with the girl or boy of their dreams. It all builds until a private meeting where one finally declares “I like you. Please go out with me!”

One industrious man decided to put his own unique spin on the confession in hopes of gaining the love of his life! Let’s take a look at what he did!

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Sailor Moon getting another sequel, this time to its lingerie line

Sailor Moon getting another sequel, this time to its lingerie line

While the entire franchise gets collectively called Sailor Moon, the anime version of Japan’s most successful magical girl saga is technically divided up into a string of year-long sequel series. The initial 1992 season, Pretty Solider Sailor Moon, led directly into Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon SuperS, and finally Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, before the whole thing was rebooted with this year’s Sailor Moon Crystal.

So really it’s only natural that the now sold-out line of Sailor Moon lingerie is now getting a follow-up, with upgrades for the core cast of five Sailor Senshi and what appears to be a few new friends joining them.

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Singing Love Songs to Angels? No Tomorrow for Us? More movies that got weird Japanese titles

Singing Love Songs to Angels? No Tomorrow for Us? More movies that got weird Japanese titles

Regular RocketNews24 readers will know doubt have seen our articles documenting some of Japan’s weirder translations of Western movie titles (Malkovich’s Hole, anyone?), or perhaps caught our collection of English movie posters remade using their Japanese titles. But today’s list of 10 adapted movie titles was nominated by none other than Japanese movie watchers themselves, who felt that the new names their country had given to these feature films were actually pretty cool.

Let’s take a little look, shall we?

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Japanese CEOs take on the ice bucket challenge

Japanese CEOs take on the ice bucket challenge

The ice bucket challenge has gone viral this summer with everyone from your average Joe to celebrities and business moguls such as Oprah, Charlie Sheen, and Bill Gates getting on board. Now it’s even spread across the pond to Japan, and started circulating among the business bigwigs over here. Yesterday Toyota President Akio Toyoda took on the challenge with a brave face, while also keeping the charitable spirit alive.

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Japanese convenience store clerks ready to fight crime by hurling giant paint balls 【Video】

Japanese convenience store clerks ready to fight crime by hurling giant paint balls 【Video】

For the most part, Japan is an extremely safe country. Still, that doesn’t mean the country is completely crime-free, with convenience stores being one of the most likely targets of individuals who’ve been driven to extreme measures by their desire for cash (or a light snack).

Occasionally these crimes are diffused by clerks who are quick-thinking, daring, or possibly deliberately obtuse. On the occasion that a robbery does go down, however, victims in Japan do have one last resort: chucking a giant paint ball at the criminal.

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Two members of the Goat Weeding Corps believed to have been abducted in Gifu while on duty

Two members of the Goat Weeding Corps believed to have been abducted in Gifu while on duty

On the morning of 10 August, two goats working with the Goat Weeding Corps disappeared suddenly while on duty in Minokamo City, Gifu. The Goat Weeding Corps (GWC) is an elite team of 20 goats employed by the city to eat weeds in parks and woodlands. The managers of the GWC at Gifu University are treating this as a theft and have reported it to the police.

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Hiroshima, 1958: Everyday life captured on camera 【Photos】

Hiroshima, 1958: Everyday life captured on camera 【Photos】

The French actress Emmanuelle Riva is best known for her role in Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima, Mon Amour, an innovative 1959 drama that explores memory and loss against a background of the after-effects of the Hiroshima bombing. While filming on location in Hiroshima, Riva also took these striking photographs of the city and its people, which provide a fascinating peek into everyday life in Japan back then.

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Toronto Film Festival to host North American premiere of Princess Kaguya, Ghibli documentary

Toronto Film Festival to host North American premiere of Princess Kaguya, Ghibli documentary

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will host the North American premiere Isao Takahata‘s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and director Mami Sunada’s The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness documentary about Studio Ghibli next month. Princess Kaguya will premiere with English subtitles on September 5 with Takahata present for the screening. The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness will premiere on Monday, September 8.

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Shimane Prefecture’s shrine-headed mascot is now an adorable rice field

Shimane Prefecture’s shrine-headed mascot is now an adorable rice field

We saw absolutely gorgeous rice field art up in Aomori prefecture just a few months ago, but we’ve never seen rice that looked this cute! Shimane prefecture’s very own mascot character has been turned into a smiling rice field; you’re going to want to take a closer look at this one!

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Limited edition Kirby t-shirts on sale at this year’s Tokyo Game Show

Limited edition Kirby t-shirts on sale at this year’s Tokyo Game Show

Heading to Tokyo Game Show this year? We certainly are, and with just under a month to go, we’re itching to try out the newest games and watch the exclusive previews that exhibitors are no doubt already preparing. But there’s one other thing (yes, besides the booth babes) that we’re excited to get a look at: the video game merchandise!

And this year, there are a couple of items we already have our eye on: a pair of limited edition Kirby-themed t-shirts, which have just been revealed by makers San-ei Boeki.

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Monsters of Shamisen: New music for an old instrument 【J-Tunes】

Monsters of Shamisen: New music for an old instrument 【J-Tunes】

When it comes to Japanese music, one of the most iconic sounds is that of the tsugaru-jamisen. We’ve written about musicians playing the folk instrument before, but today we have a group with a traditional, but decidedly unique, approach: the three-man group Monsters of Shamisen.

From heavy metal to traditional Japanese music and throat singing, there’s sure to be something here for everyone!

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Anna and Elsa ready to visit homes in January with Frozen New Year’s osechi meals

Anna and Elsa ready to visit homes in January with Frozen New Year’s osechi meals

In Japan, it’s customary to celebrate the New Year with osechi, meals made of a large number of painstakingly prepared and beautifully presented small dishes. Traditionally, women would prepare all of the osechi for their families ahead of time, setting aside New Year’s Day itself for feasting leisurely.

Of course, the price for that relaxation on January 1 is a frantic bout of cooking at the end of December. Hoping to avoid that, more and more households have begun buying pre-made osechi, either to replace or supplement a smaller quantity of home-cooked food.

Mass-produced osechi doesn’t come cheap, though, so we imagine some people might scoff at the idea of buying Frozen osechi, until you realize that it’s Frozen with a capital F, as in Disney’s runaway computer-animated hit.

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