Japan

Transform your cat into DJ Scratchalot this holiday season

If the thought of a cat spinning tracks fills your heart with immense joy, then this will be the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

With a rotating turntable and a deck covered in trash-talking stickers, even demure felines can try their paw at scratching tracks, thanks to this hilarious cat DJ deck. Now any cat can be the cool cat who makes all the humans smile and all the kittens bounce.

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Cats are ready to burst out of your smartphone with these cool suction-cup stands

If you’re a proud cat owner, odds are you’ve got pictures of your favorite feline on your smartphone. We also know that plenty of people like to keep up on the latest developments on cat-related cuteness by surfing the Internet with said devices.

But if that’s still not enough, now you can keep your electronics upright with an adorable cat coming out of your smartphone.

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Life hack! Make your own “Louis Poulsen” light fitting with nothing but paper plates and bowls

Apartments in Japan are a bit strange. Most don’t come with furnishings, which isn’t all that uncommon, but many also don’t even come with light fixtures. It comes as a bit of a surprise for foreigners in Japan when they walk into their brand new rental and aren’t able to turn on the lights…because there are none.

It’s not so bad when you have been living in Japan your whole life, and thus take the light fixtures with you whenever you move, but often times, it’s an extra cost of moving that you didn’t factor in. Since you own these lights, it seems like a good place to invest in something unique that will stand the test of time and it’s a chance to show some individuality in your own personal space.

For some, that means going the “eco” route and forking out the money for some really expensive, but long-lasting LED lights. For others, it might mean purchasing that stylish but expensive fixture you’ve been seeing in all the home decor magazines. But who says you have to spend a lot to be trendy? Here’s a handy DIY instruction guide for making your own Louis Poulsen PH 5 hanging light!

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New Guess ad campaign features Japan in all her stunning glory

If you’ve ever visited Japan and fallen in love with its beauty and culture, prepare to be swept off your feet again with the latest ad campaign from Guess.

Shot by famed Chinese photographer Chen Man, the photos take us on a journey through cherry blossoms and tea houses, featuring girls with samurai swords and parasols.

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1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours

On March 15, 2013, the Shibuya Station Toyoko Line above-ground train quietly shut down for good, to be replaced with a new section of subway track connecting Shibuya Station and the nearby Daikanyama Station. Converting the line from above-ground to underground was a massive operation, requiring a grand total of 1,200 engineers and countless man-hours.

But, even if you’d been living in Tokyo at the time, you probably wouldn’t have noticed the construction, because it all occurred during the train line’s off-hours… over the course of one single night.

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Win an adorable Pikachu hooded blanket and more in upcoming Pokémon lottery campaign

Beginning on December 20, residents of Japan can participate in a special Pokémon-themed lottery campaign at participating stores throughout the country. Although the event is officially targeting young adult women, we don’t see how anyone could resist the cute goods that are just waiting to be snatched up!

What was that famous saying again? Oh yeah–”Gotta catch ‘em all!”

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Talented fan artist reimagines 50 famous manga heroes as 8-bit Mega Man characters

If you’re a gamer who’s too young to remember when Sega made consoles or having six buttons on a controller was a big deal, you might look back on 8-bit video game artwork and chuckle. With everything made out of blocky pixels, it’s impossible to create the sort of fine details that modern hardware easily renders to differentiate one character from another, isn’t it?

Maybe not, as one fan has put his old-school pixel art skills to use to recreate 50 different famous manga heroes, all in the style of the original Mega Man.

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Knock ‘em dead on the battlefield with this cute military cosplay corset

Girls, have you ever been put off from the army because their uniforms just aren’t cute enough? Well here’s your answer: a KanColle-inspired corset that’s made–to–order!

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Snoopy and Woodstock, ordinarily inseparable pals, getting separate themed restaurant in Tokyo

Japan is always up for a little entertainment with its meals. As a result, dotted around Tokyo you’ll find restaurants where you can dine on food inspired by cute and cool characters from animation, video games, and the like.

Usually, these fictional icons are Japanese in origin, but it turns out that Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang have enough of a following for not just one, but two new restaurants collaborations in Tokyo.

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The West can only dream of Japan’s level of ‘failure’

Shinzo Abe’s critics have their knives out on Tuesday: The Japanese prime minister has called a snap election for the country’s lower house.

The decision comes pretty much straight after some dreadful GDP figures for Japan. So there’s been no shortage of people declaring that Abenomics has failed.

Here’s why they’re wrong.

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Controversial pick-up artist breaks silence as campaign against him continues

Recently, we’ve been bringing you updates on controversial pick-up artist and dating coach Julien Blanc who has attracted anger around the world for purportedly purveying aggressive attitudes towards women. After a video was posted online of him appearing to harass women in Japan by pushing their heads towards his crotch, several campaigns were set up against him by activists in America, Australia, Britain, and Japan. These campaigns have so far been successful in helping to raise awareness of the “pick-up seminars” hosted by Blanc through his company RSD (Real Social Dynamics). Now, Blanc has broken his silence to offer an apology to those he has offended, which campaigners have rejected for its seemingly disingenuous nature.

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New Dragon Ball Z movie bringing back an old villain on April 18

In 2013, perhaps the most famous of anime’s many spikey-haired protagonists,
Dragon Ball Z’s Goku, returned after a 17-year hiatus. While the film, subtitled Battle of Gods, didn’t really stray from the pattern of wacky hijinks and super-powered martial arts battles Dragon Ball Z had already established in its hundreds of TV episodes and dozen-plus movies, fans in general were happy and satisfied just to be able to spend an hour and a half with a group of old animated friends.

They’ll have the chance to do so again soon, and an ad for next year’s Dragon Ball Z movie shows that rejoining the cast of familiar heroes will be one of their most memorable foes.

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Nintendo and Niconico are looking to pay you to use their copyrighted material

People who post game demonstrations such as walkthroughs and speed runs on video websites certainly put in a fair bit of effort in them. And for some part they’re acknowledged by those who view the videos. Heck, thanks to them I could find every pigeon in GTA:IV and finally get back to my busy life of eating pudding.

As such it’s not unreasonable to say they deserve some compensation for their efforts – just as long as it doesn’t come out of my pudding budget. But because they are working with copyrighted source material, it’s not always easy for these creative game enthusiasts to get paid.

Now, game-maker Nintendo and video site Niconico Douga are working together in the Creators Incentive Program in which rather than punish those who infringe on copyrights from holders like Nintendo, they will be given incentives based on the number of views they can rake in with their works.

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Author insinuates Hayao Miyazaki isn’t right in the head, says The Wind Rises is full of lies

In listening to people talk about anime director Hayao Miyazaki, there’s a collection of words you’ll hear over and over. Genius. Visionary. Legend.

So it was a little surprising to hear the man behind one of Japan’s most popular films from the last year instead voice his suspicions that Miyazaki isn’t quite right in the head.

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Burger King Japan’s new Premium Berry burger may sound awful, but it tastes fantastic

The moment it was unveiled earlier this week, dozens of English-language blogs and news sites slammed Burger King Japan’s new seasonal offering, suggesting that the very notion of a hamburger topped with berries and slathered with a sweet pink sauce sounded about as appetising as a sweetfish hotdog served with a side of sick.

Aside from the occasional slice of pineapple, it is indeed rare to find fruit slipped between a hamburger’s buns, but knowing how well meats like turkey and pork go with sweet and sticky glazes and sauces, we at RocketNews24 remained optimistic that Burger King was not in fact trying to kill us with its latest creation, and headed down to try it for ourselves.

And as it turns out, the Premium Berry burger is actually kind of awesome.

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Mayo: Just as good for shiny, healthy hair as it is for sandwiches, say Japanese beauty tips

Which is worse, hair in your mayonnaise or mayonnaise in your hair? Assuming you haven’t actually eaten any, hair in your mayo is actually a pretty easy problem to rectify. You either toss the jar out, or you make lunch for any of your sworn enemies who’d accept a surprise sandwich from you despite your less than friendly relationship.

Mayonnaise in your hair, on the other hand, means you yourself are dirty though, and you’ve got to stop whatever you’re doing (such as crafting diabolical plots against your aforementioned enemies) to go and shampoo, right?

Actually, you don’t, according to people in Japan who say spreading a little mayo on your hair is actually good for it.

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Japanese high school students show us the importance of calculus with poop

Who says high school calculus has no real-life applications? It has been years since I graduated from high school and so far I have found nowhere else in my life outside the classroom where I would need to wreck my head over calculus. However, some Japanese high school students have found a great way to put what they have learned to use – by formulating the hypothetical volume of a pile of poop. 

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Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world

Studio Ghibli’s films are known for being whimsical and beautiful to look at. But with all the action going on on-screen, it can sometimes be easy to take for granted the beautiful background drawings that provide the setting for each individual story. Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of Studio Ghibli’s most talented background artists, Naohisa Inoue, and take a look at the incredible methods behind his masterpieces.

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Youkai Watch set to embrace modernity with new “Youkai Pad” accessory

Okay, so Youkai Watch is a cultural juggernaut in Japan these days, capturing kids’ hearts and enslaving them like so many collectible youkai monsters. But despite the brilliant marketing behind the franchise (how about something exactly like Pokémon… but with… traditional Japanese Youkai?! Genius!) we’ve often thought that the concept of using a common watch as a crux to base the whole thing on seems a bit, hmm, old-fashioned. Who even wears a wristwatch anymore, when we all have the time displayed on our various smartphones and other electronic devices? Well, it seems that the people pulling the strings have now decided to switch their merchandising focus from watches to tablets, taking inspiration from the “Youkai Pad” used by supporting character Whisper to call up information on various Youkai. (No, no, it’s nothing like a Pokédex. Honest.) The brand-new “Youkai Pad” is set for release early next year, and already fans have begun to slaver over it like hungry dogs at a barbecue.

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Cat got your tongue? 10 unusual Japanese phrases that use the word ‘cat’

Cats. Where to begin? They’re cute, cunning, easily offended, happy with or without us and we could never imagine our lives without them. They are rich in mystery and surprise and it’s no wonder the Internet is flooded with pictures and videos of them.

Japan also has a long history of interactions with cats, from believing they can foresee natural disasters to being creatures of vengeance, out to kill humans. Because of this, there are some great Japanese words that use “neko” (猫), the word for “cat,” in combination with another character. Learn some Japanese, and fall even more in love with cats through our list of 10 “catty” Japanese words.

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