Japan

Thai schoolgirl uniforms poised to edge out traditional Japanese ones in Japan?

Thai schoolgirl uniforms poised to edge out traditional Japanese ones in Japan?

It looks like Japanese girls can’t get enough of schoolgirl uniforms these days. Once loathed by their wearers as stuffy, boring and a symbol of conformity (pretty much kryptonite to teenagers), Japanese girls have – over the last few decades – come to embrace the schoolgirl uniform as a sexy, fashionable and customizable wardrobe choice in and out of the classroom.

The problem, though: It looks like it isn’t Japanese schoolgirl uniforms that girls really want nowadays. What they really want are Thai schoolgirl uniforms.

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Biker assaulted by iron bar-wielding Nara innkeeper, not the other way around

Biker assaulted by iron bar-wielding Nara innkeeper, not the other way around

The are many pleasant sights and sounds to be found around Japan. One of the most famous is the exaggerated revving of groups of motorbike engines at all hours of the day and night. They’re often referred to as bosozoku which although often translated as “biker gangs” can be misleading as that would imply the use of at least somewhat cool bikes. Bosozoku kids, contrastingly, often ride scooters customized for peak annoyance of all those around, and some of them don’t actually ride their bikes at all.

Despite efforts by law enforcement, this trend continues all over Japan. So it comes as no surprise when people take the law into their own hands. In the case of one Nara resident, “the law” came in the form of an iron bar which he used to break the knee of an allegedly noisy biker.

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Child’s Mobile Cute Gundam entertains parent and moves Japan

Child’s Mobile Cute Gundam entertains parent and moves Japan

When you think of plastic models based on the giant weaponized robots of the Gundam universe, “cute” isn’t a word that often comes to mind. But it’s hard to not give a big, gushy “aww” at one homemade Gundam model gifted to Twitter user Chal by their daughter.

The story as outlined by Chal on their Twitter account and retweeted thousands of times begins with a mysterious paper package with something written on it in crude Japanese. Mini… Gasodam? Mini Garidamu? No. This was a “Mini Gundam” and Chal, an experienced model hobbyist, was up for the challenge.

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Cat man from Kyushu walks nine cats in a stroller, draws crowds in Tokyo

Cat man from Kyushu walks nine cats in a stroller, draws crowds in Tokyo

Japan is known for having a unique culture that perfectly balances two extreme worlds of tradition and fun. From cat cafes to cosplay-clad posers in Harajuku, it’s the light-hearted, anything-goes attitude on the streets of Tokyo that brightens the serious, traditional side of society which likes to rein in anything different and out of the norm.

It’s little surprise then, that people have been drawn to one of the newcomers to the street scene in Tokyo, a recently retired man who goes by the name “Kyushu Neko Ojisan” (lit. The Cat Man from Kyushu). Retirement for this gent means he’s now free to walk his nine adorable cats in a baby buggy around Tokyo. And his crowds of admirers are growing with every stroll he takes.

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What? Pokémon Breeder Girl is evolving! Congratulations! She has evolved into a…

What? Pokémon Breeder Girl is evolving! Congratulations! She has evolved into a…

Since the release of Pokémon X and Y a year ago, players in Japan were enamored by the comely pokémon breeder Tsuzumi. Her sparkling brown eyes, bright smile, and huge bucket of what appears to be crap had melted the hearts of many an aspiring pokémon master.

However, in an appearance in the anime version of Pokémon: XY Tsuzumi seems to have undergone an evolution of sorts. If the Twitter users who pointed this out are correct I’d have to tip my hat to the producers for adding a gritty touch of reality to an otherwise out-there plot.

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Tokyo Disney’s pitch-black Halloween snacks look even weirder in real life

Tokyo Disney’s pitch-black Halloween snacks look even weirder in real life

Remember that jet-black hot dog Tokyo Disney Sea announced for Halloween this year? Well, we’ve unearthed some pictures of the actual product, and boy, are they nasty.

What’s more, the Black Sausage has been joined by another, even more distressing item – the Black Gyoza Dog, a hot snack so hellish-looking we can’t believe it made it past the product testing phase. It looked pretty weird in Disney’s promotional shots (above), but it looks even more disturbing in real life!

Join us after the jump for a closer look at the reality of this year’s Halloween Disney food. It’s even more shudder-inducing than we expected!

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23 “postcard photos” of Japan from the late 1800s

23 “postcard photos” of Japan from the late 1800s

Postcards and commemorative photos at modern souvenir shops in Japan usually feature full-color high-res images of Tokyo Tower or Mount Fuji framed by cherry blossoms. At around 50 yen (US$0.50) a piece, they’re an inexpensive way to show off your recent trip or give someone a gift. Flashback nearly 150 years and those same souvenir photos start to look a little different. Let’s take a look at 23 hand-colored albumen silver prints of Meiji Era Japan that were sold abroad and to foreigners visiting Japan.

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Mister Donut becomes … Mister Cupcake? Not quite, but we can’t wait to try their new offering!

Mister Donut becomes … Mister Cupcake? Not quite, but we can’t wait to try their new offering!

All right, we should have seen this coming, especially after Mister Donut Japan came out with original croissant doughnuts earlier this year. But that doesn’t mean we’re any less thrilled with the news — this coming week, Mister Donut will be releasing their very own cupcakes! And hey, even if “Mister Donut” is selling something that’s not a doughnut, we’re definitely not complaining. In fact, we’ll be waiting in line to get a taste of the colorful cupcakes. Let’s see what tempting flavors will be available!

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Always wanted to try a romantic Kabe-don? There’s now a cafe for it!

Always wanted to try a romantic Kabe-don? There’s now a cafe for it!

We previously introduced Kabe-don, the romantic wall pound that has sent Japanese girls swooning. For guys that want to show off their tough love, this is the way to do it. In fact, it became so popular in Japan that even cats were found to have jumped on the Kabe-don bandwagon. Nevertheless, this writer has never experienced Kabe-don nor seen anyone actually do it. If you also long for a Kabe-don moment yourself, there is now a cafe in Harajuku, Tokyo that helps you do just that! The catch is, the Prince Charming of your Kabe-don is in fact a…life-sized figure.

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Stay right on top of Typhoon 19 with beautiful and highly useful online weather services

Stay right on top of Typhoon 19 with beautiful and highly useful online weather services

As of this writing Typhoon 19 is just about right on top of Okinawa. Classified as a “Super Typhoon” by NASA it is far greater in size and power than last week’s storm. The typhoon also goes by the name Vongfong, which we assume is Chinese for “killjoy” because of its incredibly bad timing.

If Typhoon 19 veers East and moves across most of Japan, it will do so right over the long weekend. With all the destruction and at very least wet nuisances brought by typhoons, the one sliver of light had always been that they often brought days off work and school with them too. Not this weekend, however, and many wait to see whether the weather will dash their holiday plans or not.

Luckily there is a plethora of online weather services for us to watch Typhoon 19 in near-real-time that are all both very informative and gorgeous enough to make you want to refer to them even after the storm has passed.

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After a long day of work, Japan wants ice cream…and alcohol!

After a long day of work, Japan wants ice cream…and alcohol!

Nothing welcomes a three day weekend more than an extra glass of wine or an extra scoop of ice cream. Most of us likely enjoy these two things separately, but why not enjoy them together? Japan has taken to sharing their best pairings of alcohol and ice cream, and if you are in the mood for a tasty new combination, you might just find a brilliant suggestion here that you haven’t thought of yet.

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You can buy this huge sunfish at a supermarket in Japan

You can buy this huge sunfish at a supermarket in Japan

What looks like an alien laid out for experimentation is actually a sunfish up for sale at a supermarket in Japan. The sign next to it reads, “OK to touch, OK to photograph,” which gives us the impression that dozens of grubby little fingers have been run all up and down the body of that sunfish. That gray blob of a fish needed all the help it could get to appeal to people’s empty stomachs, and the addition of finger germs isn’t doing it any favors.

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Naruto’s birthday is October 10, along with dozens of other characters

Naruto’s birthday is October 10, along with dozens of other characters

There’s something about October 10 and the appeal of seeing 10/10 that makes it a particularly popular character birthday. Like CLAMP‘s reuse of April 1, plenty ofcharacters were “born” on October 10 and the day has only gotten more popular since the spread of moe and the day’s unofficial recognition as “Moe Day” (10 October (十日十月), stacked, resembles the character for moe: 萌).

One character’s birthday this year is especially bittersweet. Naruto Uzamaki, everyone’s famous ninja, is celebrating his last birthday this year since his manga run is ending in just a few weeks.

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Hard Ku**mon is here to put lazy mascots out of work with his creepy latex hugs

Hard Ku**mon is here to put lazy mascots out of work with his creepy latex hugs

Over the years the mascot industry in Japan has swelled considerably. An uncountable number of people in big-headed costumes currently represent the nation’s prefectures, cities, government offices and private companies. Then on top of all that we have independent mascots running around too like Funasshi and Teruhiko.

However, the editors at RocketNews24 feel they have come up with something that will bring the entire mascot world down to its knees. His name is Hard Ku**mon and he is prepared to do something that no other mascot has done before: actual labor.

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Travelers pick the top three destination restaurants in Japan

Travelers pick the top three destination restaurants in Japan

Between the country’s natural beauty and historic sites, there are plenty of things to see on a trip to Japan. Eventually, though, you’re going to have to take a break from sightseeing in order to eat, and even then you’re in luck, since Japan is a foodie’s paradise.

But while it’s true that Japan is filled with great restaurants, only one can be at the top of travelers’ dining wish list, as decided by users of travel website Trip Advisor in a recent ranking of where they want to eat in Japan.

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Audi celebrates 200,000 likes with (almost) traditional sentō mural

Audi celebrates 200,000 likes with (almost) traditional sentō mural

To celebrate 200,000 likes on Facebook, Audi commissioned sentō (public baths) artist Mizuki Tanaka to paint a mural that could be enjoyed while relaxing in the hot water of natural springs. Our photographer went to check it out.

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Protest song featuring Hatsune Miku gets love from Hong Kong

Protest song featuring Hatsune Miku gets love from Hong Kong

Nearly two weeks into the Occupy Central protests and things have hit a bit of a malaise. The Hong Kong government has cancelled previously promised talks and protester numbers have been on the decline. Organizers are hoping for a surge in support soon to maintain the demonstration.

Meanwhile, a song produced by Toshiharu Mineoka has helped to energize people featuring the vocaloid stylings of Hatsune Miku. Titled “Umbrella Revolution,” it has been generally well-received in Hong Kong and Taiwan since its posting on 1 October. The video’s YouTube page has been inundated with messages of thanks from people in Hong Kong such as “I cried when I first heard the song (and I don’t even know Japanese).”

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Just bought an iPhone 6? Keep it safe and stylish with a Sailor Moon case

Just bought an iPhone 6? Keep it safe and stylish with a Sailor Moon case

Last month, Japan was part of the first round of the iPhone 6 release, and we were as psyched as anyone. However, now that the excitement has died down, a sobering problem is sinking in for early adopters around the world: Their iPhone 5 cases are suddenly obsolete.

So if you’re on the lookout for a way to keep your iPhone 6 safe, why not hand the task off to a team that’s been protecting the earth for the last 23 years with a Sailor Moon case.

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“The Gaijin Nod” or “Ron, I’m so sorry about what happened yesterday”

“The Gaijin Nod” or “Ron, I’m so sorry about what happened yesterday”

I come before you today, readers of RocketNews24, with a confession. What I am about to tell you may shock you, but it’s eating away at me and I need to get it off my chest. You see, yesterday afternoon on my way to lunch, I did a fellow foreigner–a fellow gaijin, if you will–a tremendous injustice. It was not my intent to do so, but at the very moment this gentlemen, this benevolent stranger, put himself out there and sought to make a minor connection with another foreigner, I turned away.

That’s right, gentle reader, I accidentally ignored a Gaijin Nod.

Allow me to explain.

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Pokémon goes old-school cool with hanafuda playing cards, wall scrolls, and more

Pokémon goes old-school cool with hanafuda playing cards, wall scrolls, and more

A few days ago, we took a moment to appreciate the amazing combination of Japanese digital entertainment and traditional clothing in the form of the Super Mario kimono. The platforming hero isn’t the only Nintendo character being reimagined along classical Japanese artistic principles, though, as now the creatures of Pokémon have been reborn as hanafuda playing cards, resulting in adorably old-school designs appearing on fans, towels, tea cups, and more.

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