Japan

Japanese Netizens go crazy (again) for this gorgeous Taiwanese woman

Japan has long had a saying that Taiwan has a disproportionate ratio of incredibly beautiful women.

While there may or may not be truth to that (science is surprisingly light on “hot girl ratio” studies), one Taiwanese teen came to be known as the poster girl who proved the saying right among Japanese Netizens back in the mid-2000s.

And now, thanks to social media, Taiwanese beauty Chen Xiaoyu is back in the Japanese spotlight – all grown up now and making the rounds again now that hungry Japanese Netizens have found her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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Slow news day special: Pigeons who think they’re people spotted in Japanese McDondald’s

Another slow news day, another bird-themed Japanese Twitter picture making the rounds.

To put it lightly, Japan’s major cities have a bit of a pigeon problem. According to Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies, the pigeon (or, holy crap, technically the “feral rock dove”), is an invasive species to the Japanese mainland that now inhabits essentially every speck of land, including, even, some distant islands belonging to Japan.

As with invasive pigeons in other cities throughout the world, Japanese pigeons have largely adapted to an urban environment, losing their instinctive fear of humans, nesting in and among buildings and, apparently, even frequenting McDonald’s.

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New Tokyo hotel lets you sleep in a bookstore

Bookstores are really relaxing places, particularly since many Japanese ones have responded to the rise of digital publishing by merging with cafes and creating inviting places to hang out and peruse the goods. With the quiet babble of background noise and a squishy chair to sink into, you may find your eyelids drooping over the new Murakami. However, a comfy chair is not a bed and the stores are generally not open 24 hours, so if you give in to sleep, you’ll probably find yourself turfed out at closing time with a crick in your neck.

If this has been a problem for you in the past, you’ll want to reserve a spot at Book and Bed, a new hotel in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood that invites bibliophiles to sleep in the stacks.

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In any industry, it’s important to keep innovating to stay one step ahead of your competitors. That’s true even for comic artist Okayado, whose stock-in-trade is sexy 2-D characters.

Okayado has been tapping a new market with his manga Monster Musume, also known as Everyday Life with Monster Girls, and its currently airing anime adaptation. As a true professional, though, Okayado knows that merchandising is the lifeblood of a successful franchise, and so he’s designed an anime girl pillowcase featuring Monster Musume’s female lead.

So far that’s par for the course for a hit among otaku, but what makes this pillowcase special is that it’s a shocking seven meters (23 feet) long!

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Short clip shows us what it’s like to ride the train or subway in Japan in a wheelchair 【Video】

As our winner of the Japan Wish contest is currently living her dream in Japan, we continue to believe that everyone should visit at least once. It’s such an interesting and unique country that people who want to experience Japan, even those with disabilities, should definitely take the time to get here. Wheelchair access, though, isn’t always guaranteed everywhere you want to go, which can make planning a trip difficult.

A well-traveled electric wheelchair user has compiled a huge bank of information regarding accessibility in Japan. One of his videos clearly lays out the experience someone in a wheelchair will have when riding the train or the subway here. To quickly summarize, “All aboard!”

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Conan the Barbarian’s “Wheel of Pain” now available for Japanese toddlers

You might not recognize the name Wheel of Pain, but it’s a TV trope so common you’ve certainly seen it: struggling slaves push a giant capstan around and around under the watchful eye of the slavemaster, who is clearly a capital-b Bad Guy for using such a brutal method of… well, of doing something.

You expect to see the Wheel of Pain in pretty much any historical or fantasy movie with human chattel. You don’t expect to see it in a children’s toy catalog.

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Chill out with a tasty shaved ice treat from Mercedes-Benz’s ICE MONSTER tie-in shop

We’re not even halfway through summer here in Japan yet, and already we’ve seen a number of strange collaboration combinations, including barley and eel soda and soft-serve sushi.

This time we’d like to introduce another curious combination, in the form of a new Mercedes-Benz x Ice Monster shop that recently popped up in Roppongi, Tokyo. But what do luxury car makers know about making the perfect frozen ice treat? Our ever-popular reporter Mr. Sato heads out to investigate.

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Facial correction app makes the world’s money funny

They say the most expressive part of your face is the eyes. The rest of the face might be saying “happy times”, but if you focus on the eyes, you might see “sad times,” or vice versa.

Purikura machines, or sticker picture machines, have long had an eye enhancement option, so it only makes sense for an application on your phone to have one as well. Many of them can even be used on everyday objects that have people’s faces on them, like the money resting in your wallet. But how do the respected and historical figures on cash look when you manipulate the size of their eyes? Is some secret emotion going to be revealed? Let’s find out after the jump.

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Yellow Shinken Sentai ranger Suzuka Morita transforms into swimsuit model

Many teenage boys and young men across Japan were probably sitting at the edge of their seats waiting for July 20. That day marked the release of a special DVD featuring photographs of the idol turned TV super-hero Suzuka Morita as she leaves behind her yellow ranger outfit for some skimpy bikinis.

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Japanese reporter interviews college students to find out why anyone would study Japanese

Why do we love Japan so much? What drives us to obsess over its culture, language, food, and everything else? Why do we keep coming back day after day to read articles about a country that, for many of us, is on the other side of the planet? For some the answer is easy, but for others, not so much.

One group for whom foreigners’ love of Japan is especially difficult to comprehend is the Japanese people themselves. Many of them have no idea why so many of us would bother to take an interest in Japan, much less learn its intimidating language. In an effort to try to figure this out, one of our RocketNews24 Japanese writers who lives in England did some investigate journalism and interviewed three students studying Japanese at the University of Cambridge.

Do their reasons for loving Japan match yours? Read on to find out!

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The surprisingly classy secret of where Godzilla’s roar comes from

Awesome as Godzilla may be, in most of his best-loved appearances it’s pretty easy to tell that the world’s most famous kaiju is being portrayed by a guy in a rubber suit. What’s less obvious, though, is how the creature’s unmistakable roar was created, and it turns out there’s actually a rather high-brow origin to the King of the Monsters’ signature sound effect.

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How to get your anime-loving kids to come home before curfew: Attack their posters

Being a good parent is a constant balancing act. Kids need a chance to prove that they can be responsible and independent, but it’s also important to set boundaries for them, which is why children have curfews.

Of course, there’s no point in putting rules in place without consequences for breaking them. One Japanese Twitter user was recently disappointed by her anime-loving daughter staying out past curfew, and decided to compel her to come home ASAP by placing the punishment where she knew it would hurt most: the posters of her daughter’s favorite animated heartthrob.

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Mr. Sato discovers the band of his dreams: this small box

Hardcore readers of RocketNews24 may have caught the very few instances where Mr. Sato has pulled out a guitar and started playing. It’s easy to miss, though, as Mr. Sato is what’s known as a bochi gitarisuto (lonely guitarist) who plays alone at home solely for his own satisfaction.

But now our reporter is all too eager to show of his guitar stylings after discovering the Trio Band Creator by DigiTech. It looks just like a normal effects pedal but actually adds an automatic bass and drum accompaniment based on your own playing.

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Want to be a manga artist, but can’t draw backgrounds? Website has environments you can download

If you’re a budding manga creator, odds are you spend most of your time working on your character artwork. That’s probably a wise choice, too, as most famous comic artists focus on drawing their stories’ leads, and hand off work on other details, such as background art, to a team of assistants.

Of course, another reality of being a budding manga artist is that you probably don’t have a publisher bankrolling your comic and paying for the abovementioned team of assistants. But thankfully there’s now a way for you to pour your efforts into story and character art and still produce something that looks polished, thanks to a new Japanese website that sells ready-to-use manga backgrounds.

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Japanese Ghibli fan spends four years perfectly recreating Castle in the Sky in Minecraft 【Video】

We’ve featured a lot of incredible Minecraft creations before here on RocketNews24. There have been video games, entire cities, and whole countries, but never before have we seen an entire world.

Japanese Minecraft player Mocchi Hajikura recreated the entire world of the Studio Ghibli film Castle in the Sky… taking an incredible four years in order to complete it. You can see his creation via some spectacular videos that he’s created, making it feel like you’re really there.

Hardcore fans of the film, prepare to cry blocky, 3-D tears of joy.

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Japanese Twitter users can’t help but respond to suggestive-looking starfish with crude humor

It’s hard being an adult sometimes. Once you become a grown-up, the world starts expecting you to possess a certain level of maturity, which includes things like powering through your Aunt Virginia’s special turnip casserole without gagging, not engaging your Uncle Ted about his uninformed political views on Facebook, or trying not to turn everything you see or hear into something sexually suggestive.

But there are some situations where the lattermost just can’t be avoided. Like when Japanese Twitter user Kojiro decided to take a trip to his local aquarium and came across this curious-looking starfish that, no matter how you look at it, looks like a certain part of the male anatomy. Well, to some dirty-minded folk anyway…

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Sweet frog hat-wearing pup is a totally edible yuru-kyara available from one place in Japan only

Yuru-kyara, or regional promotional mascots, are so ubiquitous in Japan it can sometimes be hard to recall which one’s which, where they’re from, or even what type of brand or product they’re promoting.

Over 1,000 mascots represent different regions in Japan, which means the need to leave a lasting impression is a constant driving force in the creation of cute products like the sweet puppy above. Can you guess which region he represents and the even more unusual place where he can be found?

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Would you eat a pig-shaped fried pork cutlet?

Japan is known around the world for its immaculately presented cuisine. So when this photo appeared on Twitter a couple of days ago, people were instantly shocked and confused.

Could this be a new dish from a little-known restaurant out in the deep reaches of the countryside? Or could it be a hoax; the result of some fiddling on Photoshop to add a pig’s head and trotters to an everyday piece of fried pork cutlet?

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It’s a Beach Day miracle as even landlocked Japan swears it can smell the sea

Japan may have an image as an all-work and no-play sort of place, but you’ve got to give the country credit for coming up with Umi no Hi. Observed on the third Monday of July, Umi no Hi literally means “Ocean Day,” but “Marine Day” and “Beach Day” would also be acceptable translations. It’s a national holiday expressly created to give everyone a day off to go have fun at the beach, and it just might be the greatest socially accepted reason ever for blowing off work.

This year, Japan got so into the spirit of the holiday that even people in prefectures with no coastline swore they could smell the sea. But was this just a summery olfactory hallucination, or a legitimate Umi no Hi miracle?

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Japanese government recognizes equal salon rights, men now “permitted” to get haircuts in them

A huge victory in the metrosexual rights movement was made last week when the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare decided to abolish a guideline which stated that “men should not be able to get haircuts at beauty salons.”

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