Japan

【Monday Kickstart】Video of adorable puppy jumping into person’s arms goes viral

Is it love at first sight for this puppy and its human visitor?

Surprise, surprise! Another animal video on the internet has gone viral! The short clip appears to show a woman visiting the dog section of a pet shop. After she picks up an adorable white Pomeranian puppy, it seems to be smitten with her and jumps into her arms over and over again, no matter how many times she places it back in its case.

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All-female Takarazuka Revue set to perform Rurouni Kenshin musical early next year

In early 2016, the beloved Rurouni Kenshin series will be getting its first musical adaptation by the Takarazuka Revue, Japan’s all-female musical theater troupe! If you’re a fan of the manga and singing, check out when and where the musical will be performed and start planning accordingly.

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Full cast revealed for the third Black Butler musical – did the butler do it again?

You know something is popular when it starts getting adapted into anime, drama CDs, movies and games. But maybe one of the biggest and strangest adaptations is the musical. Oddly enough, staged musicals are popular enough in Japan that plenty of series get live-action singing and dancing versions performed for ecstatic fans in packed theaters. If you’re not convinced that a musical means a popular title has hit the big time, how about a third musical?

That’s right, Black Butler is set for its third musical and the final cast photos have been released!

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Regionally themed cat socks are insanely cute, great souvenirs, even educational

I love socks. Not your boring old gym socks and stockings, though. I like ’em bright and patterned, the more obnoxiously the better. If it doesn’t look like something a child should be wearing, I’ll pass.

Two other things I love are Japan and cats, so you’ll understand why my squees of delight filled the aisles of popular bargain chain 3 Coins when I spotted this huge rack of cat socks with designs inspired by each of Japan’s 42 prefectures and regions. 

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Toy or cake? These mochi-like seal and bird figures are so soft and cute, you’ll want to eat them

Mochi rice cakes, made from glutinous rice, come in all shapes and sizes. They’re soft and filling, and they can be enjoyed as a dessert or a meal, depending on how they’re prepared. What’s not to like, right?

And now it looks like someone’s created these insanely adorable animal-shaped cakes out of mochi…but wait, is that what they really are? Would you believe us if we told you these are actually soft toy figures that look and feel like mochi? Well, whatever they are, these little critters are sure to elicit delighted squeals of “kawaii!”

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Weird, cute fish wants to be your friend, and to figure out what the heck he is

We’ve seen a lot of strange discoveries from the waters of Japan here at RocketNews24. Some of them are creepy, some are creepy and edible, and some are still creepy even when immortalized as little plastic toys.

For possibly the first time however, a sea creature has been found that is not creepy-looking at all. It’s even, dare we say, a little cute? Take a look at the pictures for yourself so you can see how adorable it is, and perhaps even help us figure what it is in the first place.

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Deco-curry 101: How to make “Rilakkuma bath-time curry” at home

When it comes to food, presentation is everything, especially in Japan. You only have to stroll through a department store’s food floor to see how beautifully packaged and arranged everything is. And DIY food decorating is something that a lot of people really get into, whether it’s kyara-ben, deco-nabe, or artfully arranged curry rice.

And speaking of curry rice, here’s how to create an eye-catching deco-curry featuring one of Japan’s most beloved and cuddly mascot characters, Rilakkuma!

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Samurai Toothpicks with bite-sized language lessons will help you look and sound like a swordsman

If you watch a lot of samurai movies or TV shows, you might have noticed that a toothpick is about as common a costume accessory as a set of paired swords. The reason isn’t because samurai were particularly fastidious about dental hygiene, though. Many fictional samurai stories re set in the Edo period, when the end of Japan’s centuries of civil war caused the warrior class’ power and prestige to begin slowly but surely eroding.

The samurai were a prideful bunch, though, and were loath to admit the new societal reality that swordsman had suddenly become a far less lucrative profession. So even if they couldn’t afford to regularly fill their stomachs, many would still lodge a toothpick between their teeth to give the impression that they’d just polished off a lavish meal fit for a man of high rank.

Of course, it takes more than just a toothpick to transform yourself into a samurai. You’ll also need to talk the talk, which is why these traditionally made Japanese toothpicks come individually wrapped with period-correct samurai phrases, and even helpful English translations and pronunciation guides.

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U.K. gamebook’s redone cover tells you everything you need to know about Japanese fantasy RPG art

A fundamental difference in the way Japan and the west approach fantasy role-playing games is how much more optimism Japanese creators tend to apply to the genre. Consider the most common opening scenarios for the two regions. How many western RPGs start with a group of grizzled and profiteering adventurers, brought together in a shady tavern by tales of riches waiting to be claimed? About as many as there are Japanese ones that begin with some plucky, clean-cut childhood friends leaving their bucolic village on a quest to see the wonders of the world and help strangers along the way.

The gap even extends to visual designs, with much western fantasy art looking like it’s covered with a thin film of dust, blood, or mead. Japan, on the other hand, likes to believe that everything can look sleek, freshly scrubbed, and even sexy in a medieval setting.

One of the founding fathers of fantasy gaming, though, isn’t right pleased about that aesthetic.

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Teacher rejects student’s declarations of love through comments on class worksheets

I’m sure we all harboured a secret crush on a school teacher at least once during our formative years. The operative word here being ‘secret’, mind you.

Spare a thought for this poor Japanese teacher who was faced with open declarations of love, and even a marriage proposal, from one of her students, but who responded to them all with real aplomb.

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RocketNews24 Japan writer gets haircut in Cuba, gets more than he bargained for

What do you like to do when you travel? Eat local cuisine? Visit famous landmarks?

Sure, those are all fine. But for me, one thing I always look forward to doing whenever I travel somewhere new is getting a haircut there. I know it sounds crazy, but each place really does have its own distinct style, different atmosphere, and unique way of getting your hair from head to floor.

Wasai, one of our Japanese writers, is a man after my own heart. He recently went on a trip to Cuba, and while he was there, one of the top items on his to-do list was to get a haircut. Did it end up as a failure or fabulous? Read on to find out!

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Super Mega Important Debate: Do you shower before work or before bed? 【Poll closed】

In Japan, the majority of people bathe at night before going to bed. Even if they don’t stick to the traditional routine of rinsing off before soaking in a hot bath, most Japanese find the idea of climbing into bed without having at least hopped in the shower first supremely icky – almost as icky as walking around your home while wearing your outdoor shoes.

In the west, however, many of us prefer to shower before leaving the house in the morning. No matter how well you slept the night before, the thought of not washing prior to putting on work clothes and heading out for the day seems pretty gross to most of us.

So for this week’s Super Mega Important Debate, we’re asking you to answer this one simple question: Do you bathe before bed or before work each morning?

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Get your own angry mob of medieval Japanese peasant farmers with these collectable sets!

Fictional depictions of Japanese medieval warfare tend inevitably to focus on samurai, the military nobility. Whether the medium is cult movies or collectible models, Japan’s common foot-soldiers barely get a look-in compared to their samurai masters.

Ukrainian company Redbox, however, aims to buck this trend by producing plastic figurine sets of the Japanese peasant infantry.

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Wagakki Band announces second album, due to be released this September

We have great news for all our Wagakki Band fans: The group has officially announced their second album! To be released this September, the record will be titled Yasouemaki and will feature 14 tracks, including some new original songs by the band. Hardcore fans will want to be sure to get a first printing too, as it will included an extra limited-edition song. Read on for more information!

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Humanity comes one step closer to real-life Transformers with this transformable, drivable robot

Listen up, people–in just a couple of years, we’ll seeing the closest thing possible to a realization of Transformers in real life.

Japanese firms Brave Robotics and Asratec, along with the support of toy manufacturer Takara Tomy, have teamed up with the joint goal of creating a 3.5-meter-tall (11.5 feet) humanoid robot that is capable of transforming itself into a drivable car. While the project, which is titled J-deite Ride, won’t come to fruition until sometime in 2017, the collaborative team has already produced a similar transformable robot on a smaller scale–and the video of its transformation sequence is pretty awesome.

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As the weather gets hotter, the girls’ skirts get shorter. Although, to be fair, there are plenty of girls in Japan who strut around in tiny skirts even in the freezing depths of winter. But be it in winter or summer, one thing that comes with mini skirts is the risk of panty shots.

There are shorts designed to be worn under skirts to prevent such situations, but some girls don’t want to wear them, instead running the risk of giving the random guy an eyeful of their undies when they’re climbing up the stairs, running after a bus, or just standing in the way of the wind.

Apparently, such accidental upskirt situations are so common that it provides enough inspiration and case studies for an illustrator to start drawing a series of sketches on Twitter.

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Natto Boys want to take their smelly beans to Africa, but they need your help

Natto Boys (Natto Danshi) are a group whose sole purpose is to share the ancient and traditional Japanese food natto with the world. However, with its acrid smell and texture of an alien autopsy subject, those are some high hopes.

Already in about half a year, the Natto Boys have established a website featuring over 100 serving suggestions for the fermented soy beans to help promote the food at home. Now, they want to take the next step into the world’s second largest continent, Africa, and to do this they have turned to us for help via crowdfunding.

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Clever bathroom graffiti explains why smoking in the boys’ room is grossly inconsiderate

At my old job, my coworkers and I shared bathrooms with a half-dozen or so other companies that had offices in our building. For the most part, the men’s room stayed relatively clean, but about once a week, I’d walk into one of the stalls and find a pile of cigarette ashes on the floor.

Frankly, it was disgusting and exasperating, especially since the building had a smoking lounge. But hey, I guess the perpetrator who couldn’t resist the self-pleasing siren song of simultaneously taking a puff and a dump didn’t see what the big deal was. Here with a handy explanation, though, is some surprisingly wise Japanese bathroom graffiti.

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Sailor Moon facial powder gets a sequel with this beautiful Crystal Star Compact replica

A while back, we took a look at a replica of Sailor Moon’s Transformation Brooch which held cosmetic powder formulated to give you the look of anime-like perfectly unblemished skin. Die-hard fans, however, know that the brooch breaks shortly after the end of the anime’s first major story arc.

Early in Sailor Moon R the brooch is upgraded to the Crystal Star Compact, and if you’re looking to keep pace with Sailor Moon herself, now you can order a faithful recreation of her second transformation item that’s also filled with facial powder.

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If anyone understands your short people problems, it’s this bunny

I always hear of these so-called “short people problems“. Things like never being able to reach the top shelf; having to jog to keep up when walking with people who are taller; people using your head as an arm rest…

While I can’t personally sympathize, maybe this rabbit can, as he tries so hard to get a good view out the window, but just can’t quite reach.

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