Barbie, the popular fashion doll from America, has been a style icon ever since her creation back in 1959. Now, at the age of 55, the controversial bombshell is hitting the streets of Harajuku – quite literally – this time inside the clear soles of some amazing, if kind of creepy, shoes.
Nov 17, 2014
With November half over, it’s time to start worrying about the big holiday this season: New Year’s! While Christmas might be the big winter holiday in many countries, for those in Japan, the changing of the calendar is a far bigger event and everyone from school kids overworked salarymen gets a row of days off.
In addition to lazing about and eating way too much food, January first also means nearly mandatory New Year’s postcards in Japan. Next year is the year of the sheep (or goat, depending on who you ask), and the Japanese postal service has revealed their special postcard stamps featuring an adorable four-legged wool giver just for the occasion. However, eagle-eyed patrons with a good memory have noticed something special about the stamps…
Nov 17, 2014
A few weeks ago, we saw a cat that could walk backwards on two legs like it was no big deal. At the time, we jokingly wrote it off as just another quirky cat thing that cats do, because cats.
But now that we’ve seen this video of another feline lying prone, belly-up, staring into the abyss as though it’s seen into the eyes of Cthulhu, we’re starting to wonder if maybe there’s some sort of strange otherworldly madness slowly destroying the minds of Japan’s cats:
Another Side of Japan
Nov 17, 2014
If you’re a regular RocketNews24 reader, then chances are you’re already a fan of Japan and Japanese culture. But ask the average person on the street to tell you what they know about Japan, and most likely all you’ll hear are things like “geisha,” “sumo,” and “anime.”
With that in mind, today we’d like to share with you a selection of videos from our special website, “Another Side of Japan” from NHK World, which feature three of Japan’s little-known wonders and demonstrate the importance of perspective when looking at not just Japan but the world in general. The video tour starts after the jump!
Nov 17, 2014
Locals, citizens, and politicians continue to clash regarding the proposed relocation of a U.S. military base to the Henoko (辺野古) district of Nago City, Okinawa. A recent movement to oppose the base sought to gain support from famous Japanese people, including (sort-of) retired Studio Ghibli Director, Hayao Miyazaki.
Nov 17, 2014
We recently had the opportunity to attend the delightful reception “Celebrating Worldwide Recognition of Washoku and Rice” aimed to present the appeal of rice and its importance in Japanese cuisine (washoku). In our first article covering the event, we gave you a round-up on the talks and demonstrations made by three guest speakers during the first part of the evening’s program, including the serving of a traditional Japanese meal prepared by a master chef. Now, it was time for us to get active and try our hand at a bit of sushi rolling!
In this, the second and final article in this two-part series, we’ll attempt to create a special futomaki sushi roll known as Futomaki Matsurizushi (“thick roll festival sushi”) like the one made by Ms. Eiko Ryuzaki, president of the Chiba Traditional Local Cooking Study Group, in one of the presentations earlier that evening.
Okay, so we weren’t going to be able to create an entire plate of colorful festive futomaki rolls like the display in the picture above, but we were excited about the chance to make even just one pretty little roll! So, were we ready to get our hands sticky with rice? You can bet we were!
Give any kid a piece of chalk, and they’re likely to draw some quick doodles on the board. Some stick figures; the logo of some group or team they’re especially fond of; perhaps even a wang or two if there are no adults around. But some kids will use that same piece of chalk to create veritable masterpieces that are so good, you’ll never want to erase them.
You won’t want to miss this collection of impressive chalk art after the jump! Here’s celebrating the talented work of artistic Japanese students.
Nov 16, 2014
If asked which traditional Japanese arts are female-only, the first thing that comes to mind for most foreigners is probably geisha. Following that, most people might guess tea ceremony, ikebana (flower arrangement) or calligraphy. But tea ceremony and ikebana had connections to Buddhism and were started in Japan by Buddhist priests. Still today many masters in these two disciplines are men. Calligraphy was brought over from China and both men and women practiced by copying Chinese letters. Only later did Japan develop its own form of calligraphy which is still practiced today by both sexes.
In this article, we introduce five strictly female Japanese arts, a couple of which you may have never heard of before. In addition to everyone’s favorite, the geisha, we introduce the world’s only all-female revue, naginata swords for women, itako female fortune-tellers and the mysterious naked sea nymphs: the ama pearl divers.
As an adult, I never really find myself attached to one particular hairstyle. Every time I get a cut, that’s a one or two-month commitment at best before I get to change it around all over again. But for kids, the barber can apparently be a pretty harrowing experience. After all, especially for younger kids, they’ve been rocking the same ‘do for almost their entire lives. Also, it probably takes some learning to overcome the instinctual aversion to sharp objects being brandished near your face.
Not that I have kids or anything, but I’ve heard taking them to the hair salon can be… let’s just say a bit of a handful.
That’s why many Japanese salons have decided to go the extra mile and give kids the VIP treatment:
Walking down the street in Tokyo, you never know what you might bump into, especially if you happened to have been around Aoyama Itchome Station in Minato Ward on 14 November. During the afternoon, a masked palm civet was seen darting around the streets by several witnesses.
The masked palm civet was connected to the SARS outbreak about a decade ago and unleashes an anal spray when threatened. But that didn’t stop passers-by from trying to get the best photos for their Twitter feeds… Not at all.
Nov 16, 2014
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Japan currently has a pretty severe butter shortage and it’s been going on for a long time. For months grocery stores around the country have been limiting customers to one box of butter at a time, and even then, people are paying hugely inflated prices.
Generally, Japanese cooking doesn’t really use that much butter, so what is all of this stuff being used for exactly? Cakes and cookies. With Christmas just around the corner, and the butter shortage expected to continue for the foreseeable future, a new and very important question has arisen: Will we still be able to eat Christmas cake?!
Hatsune Miku has been portrayed in nearly every way imaginable, from highly detailed Final Fantasy-esque character model to gorgeous anime-style re-imaginings. She’s also one of the more popular characters for cosplaying, with results that range from the adorable to the slightly insane, so if you want to show your love for the animated singer, you’ll need to put in a bit of extra work to stand out. But don’t worry, we have just the thing to help the next time you plan to don a teal wig: A glowing Hatsune Miku skirt!
It’s hard not to love onigiri, those handy little triangular parcels of rice and seaweed stuffed with tasty fillings ranging from plum to fish to chicken and more. Onigiri are a ubiquitous snack in Japan, available at every convenience store in a range of varieties for the cost of a few coins. But even though conbini onigiri are usually fresh and tasty, it’s also nice to run across smaller stands and stores selling hand-made onigiri sometimes. Unless you happen to stop by this establishment inside Shinagawa Station in Tokyo – because their onigiri leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to presentation. That is unless you like eating something with a big fish butt hanging out of it…
Nov 16, 2014
For a Westerner in Japan, breakfast is just incorrect. If North Americans living in Japan had to pick the one thing they miss most about home, a lot of them would probably scream, “Breakfast food!” Traditional Japanese breakfast is completely different and usually consists of rice, fish and miso soup. It’s boring, lacking in any real taste and basically good for you, unlike our favorite breakfast dishes. Of course, some places serve a “Western-style” breakfast, but that usually includes ham that they call “bacon”, in other words, facon! Get outta here you fake bacon!
So when 7-Eleven dropped this “Eggs Benedict Sandwich” onto its shelves, we figured it couldn’t possibly be worse than any other breakfast food out there, or could it? Better prepare yourself Eggs Benny, we won’t play nice. Get ready for the toughest food review yet!
Nov 15, 2014
Does the name Kanna Hashimoto ring a bell? Last November, photos of the “once-in-a-thousand-year” idol from the Fukuoka-based idol group Rev. From DVL were an online sensation, capturing the hearts of thousands of Japanese netizens overnight with her angelic looks.
A year later, the name Kanna Hashimoto popped up again on Japanese forums, though this time the spotlight is not on Kanna, but on JingYi Ju from SNH48, the Shanghai-based sister group of Japan’s biggest idol girl group, AKB48. Internet users have been raving that JingYi looks exactly like, if not even prettier than Kanna, and have even gone to the extent to hail her as a “once-in-four-thousand-year” gem of the entertainment industry. If, even for a fleeting moment, you thought that was a photo of Kanna Hashimoto, you need to take a closer look at this SNH48 cutie after the jump!
Nov 15, 2014
Tokyo is so massive and bustling that sometimes it’s hard to remember that it doesn’t have a monopoly on urban splendor in Japan. Take Osaka, for example. Long Tokyo’s rival, in everything from business to baseball to samurai warfare, Osaka is known for its economic ambitiousness, comedic sensibilities, and tasty grub, but there’s one thing that’s often overlooked in media coverage of Osaka.
It looks absolutely beautiful at night.
Nov 15, 2014
On 13 November, a tweet went out from Kyoko Shimbun which read “AAAAAAAAAAAAA!” Generally, such single-letter interjections don’t yield much of a response, but in this case they got over 400 retweets.
That’s because on this day, Kyoko Shimbun which translates to “Fabricated News” learnt that their fictional Infojar, a next-gen rice cooker with several smartphone capabilities, was in the research and development phase by the very company they were spoofing at the time, KDDI.
Everybody wants to be a cat. You get to lie around all day, eat tuna brought to you by your human minions, and generally get worshiped and adored. And the best thing is that you don’t even need to be a pedigree show kitty to raise a few “aww’s” – even fugly kitties are still cute! That’s the premise behind Canon Japan’s Busakawaneko (cute-ugly kitty) Grand-Print photo competition. Cat owners from across Japan sent in photos of their adorably ugly balls of fluff in the hopes of scooping the grand prize of a holiday worth 100,000 yen (US$10,000). The winner and the runners-up will all be displayed on the JR Yamanote line train in Tokyo for around two weeks, starting on November 18. Or, you could also check them out right here!
Nov 15, 2014
There are two important things to bear in mind regarding Japanese fashion. First is that, since so many people use public transportation, they almost always need some kind of a bag or backpack to carry their stuff in when they go out. Second, after spending all week wearing a mandated uniform or bland business suit, come the weekend, some people are overcome with the urge to express their individuality to the fullest with their clothing and accessory choices.
With that in mind, just about the fastest route away from your button-down Monday to Friday look is to slip on a backpack that’s the exact shape and size of a tiger’s head.
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!1
- Japanese mothers react to being called by their first names after years of just being “Mama”2
- Tokyo adding free Wi-Fi to 143 subway stations for foreign travelers3
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so4
- Anime-loving mum takes kyara-ben to a new level with these well-drawn anime bentos5
- The newer, cheaper Kakureya II: The perfect secret fort/box for studying, drinking, or napping6
- Zelda hero Link’s other blade, the Fierce Deity Sword, brought to life in awesome video7
- Online survey reveals the types of guys elementary school girls DON’T want to date8
- Doting owner builds cosy kotatsu for cats, faces the sting of feline rejection【Photos】9
- Pretty Russian sports fan lets loose animal roar to support her team, terrify humanity 【Video】10
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours1
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer2
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute3
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters4
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick5
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world6
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!7
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so8
- Can you spot the problem that led to the recall of this otherwise cute Japanese New Year’s card?9
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises5
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit6
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make7
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message8
- Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】9
- Just a bunch of adorable cats riding on trains in Japan10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher3
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”4
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】5
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea10
- The newer, cheaper Kakureya II: The perfect secret fort/box for studying, drinking, or napping
- Zelda hero Link’s other blade, the Fierce Deity Sword, brought to life in awesome video
- Online survey reveals the types of guys elementary school girls DON’T want to date
- Doting owner builds cosy kotatsu for cats, faces the sting of feline rejection【Photos】
- Pretty Russian sports fan lets loose animal roar to support her team, terrify humanity 【Video】
- Laser-cut, 360-degree “book” lets you bring Mt. Fuji into your home
- Shimotsuki Matsuri: The extraordinary winter festival that inspired Ghibli’s ‘Spirited Away’
- Women at World Wushu Championships attack each other at the speed of light
- Creepy or cute? Feel the Panda Train’s intense gaze before sightseeing in resort town Shirahama
- Visit Japan without ever leaving home with these eight beautiful videos
- Yokohama restaurant serves fried axolotl, along with giant isopod, camel, and crocodile
- 3-D green tea latte art adds a splash of whimsy and color to your cup
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick