Japan

Homegrown mushrooms or demonic monstrosities? Maybe both!

Homegrown mushrooms or demonic monstrosities? Maybe both!

Mushrooms are quite popular in Japan, where they have both bizarrely sexual commercials and giant bizarrely (not-quite) sexual plushies. You are also sure to find plump, white fungi in many dishes, and mushroom hunting is enjoyed by many of the country’s citizens every year

For the average person, though, mushrooms come from the store–not a mountain side. But if you’re feeling a tiny bit adventurous, you could always try growing the ‘shrooms in your kitchen, using a cheap “mushroom cultivation kit.” Just be careful not to fertilize your little fungi with the souls of the damned, as these Twitter users apparently did!

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Massive Warhol exhibit visits Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, over 600 works on display

Massive Warhol exhibit visits Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, over 600 works on display

Even before his first visit in 1956, Andy Warhol had been largely well-received by people in Japan. Pieces like “Campbell’s Soup I” are just as easily recognized here as anywhere along with other pieces of the artist’s highly prolific and vast range of work. But with this massive collection stored far away in The Andy Warhol Museum in America it’s been hard for his Japanese fans to experience it all until now.

The museum is taking its collection on a tour of Asia including a three-month stay at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo. The exhibit titled Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal boasts nearly 700 pieces of art and film as well as some other exhibits designed to take visitors deep into his world as it existed decades ago.

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Krispy Kreme Japan to release special White Day Box just for the ladies

Krispy Kreme Japan to release special White Day Box just for the ladies

Just as people in Japan have finally recovered from the horror that is Valentine’s Day, with chocolate given purely out of obligation and sweets with an added “personal” ingredient, here comes White Day to stress everyone out again. And as the custom goes, all men who received chocolate from a lady in February must give even more chocolate or other gifts come March 14th.

Luckily, Krispy Kreme Japan seems to be a fountain of White Day gift ideas, starting off with their handy guide to turning a doughnut into a beautiful piece of edible jewelry. The company has also unveiled a limited edition “White Day Box” that comes with two doughnuts. Krispy Kreme has even chosen the most popular flavors amongst women, so even if you don’t know the intended recipient, your gift will most likely be a hit…and come on, who doesn’t like sweet circles of fried dough?

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Akihabara fans vote for favorite pink-haired heroine

Akihabara fans vote for favorite pink-haired heroine

A recent poll was conducted on the streets of Akihabara to see which pink-haired anime heroine is the best. Pink-haired characters have gotten a bad rep among otaku on the internet where the phrase “Inran Pinku” (lit. Slutty Pink) is thrown around. Apparently, pink-haired characters are seen as promiscuous, so the question was are there any likeable and “pure” pink-haired anime girls? Here are the answers according to 100 fans:

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Japanese sangria is the most refreshing drink you’ll have all week【Recipe】

Japanese sangria is the most refreshing drink you’ll have all week【Recipe】

At RocketNews24, we’re all about strange alcoholic drinks. But this next one isn’t exactly strange; we’d call it peculiar. The classic Japanese rice wine beverage, nihon-shu, otherwise known as “sake” in English, is given a fun and fruity twist. There are very few drink recipes with nihon-shu as a base, but this one is refreshing and totally easy to drink. Try out this super simple recipe for what we like to call “Japanese sangria” and enjoy a flavor infusion of a traditional Japanese alcohol.

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The new product for all Japanese men who wish they were little girls

The new product for all Japanese men who wish they were little girls

Are you a guy wanting to try out makeup for the first time? Well Japan, the land where anything goes, has just the thing for you. Allow us to introduce the ‘my first makeup set’ especially for otokonoko! Otokonoko is written with the kanji character for ‘man’ and ‘young woman’ or ‘daughter’, and is a word used to describe men who look and dress like women.

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New dating simulator’s heroine is a doll….literally!

New dating simulator’s heroine is a doll….literally!

Dating simulator video games are only now starting to build a fan base internationally, but digital romance is such an established genre in Japan that it’s already evolved into several even more segmented sub-niches. Unsurprisingly, most early titles revolved around a high school boy with a harem of willing lasses circling around him. As time went on, dating simulators for girls caught on, resulting in the otome (“maiden”) game where gallant suitors compete for the leading lady’s affections.

Regardless of the protagonist’s gender, though, there have been so many dating simulators released in Japan that you have to do something pretty unusual to stand out from the pack now. We’ve seen titles where the love interest is an alpaca or pigeon, but now comes a romantic video game starring a girl who’s been transformed into a traditional Japanese kokeshi doll.

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Cheeky TV ads for ninja booby video game get full marks for honesty and humor【Video】

Cheeky TV ads for ninja booby video game get full marks for honesty and humor【Video】

Even though it was first released way back in 2012 in Japan, the rest of the world is only now getting its first taste of video game Senran Kagura Burst. The Nintendo 3DS game saw a North American release last November, and was finally made available to European gamers just days ago.

But for an 18-month-old title to attract buyers who could be playing with their shiny new PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones, Senrann Kagura Burst’s European publishers have to be very clear about what the game excels at, which is just what they’ve done with their tongue-in-cheek ads that make no bones about the game’s most distinguishing feature: gigantic bouncing boobs.

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Serious accidents from walking while using smartphone up over 50 percent in Tokyo

Serious accidents from walking while using smartphone up over 50 percent in Tokyo

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’ve certainly seen it and may have even done it yourself a few times. Walking while staring down at a smartphone has become a troubling pedestrian habit, even in Japan where it’s called aruki-sumaho. As the technology rapidly becomes more widespread, you’d expect people to get a little savvier and a little safer while using it. However, a study by the Tokyo Fire Department revealed that the number of accidents where a victim had to be taken away in an ambulance after walking while using a smartphone last year has increased to 1.5 times the number in 2010.

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New staff information officially released for upcoming Sailor Moon anime

New staff information officially released for upcoming Sailor Moon anime

Despite all the delays, fans eagerly awaiting the new Sailor Moon anime this year have reason to celebrate again! Following up last month’s initial announcement, we are pleased to report that even more staff information has been officially released. This time around, we have confirmation of the names behind the Chief Animation Director, Art Directors, and Composer.

The new anime, which is part of a 20th anniversary celebration of Naoko Takeuchi’s classic Sailor Moon manga and anime, will be broadcast simultaneously around the world starting in July via Niconico Douga, a Japanese video sharing site. The original manga and anime both debuted in 1992 and concluded way back in 1997, so it’s about time that this new adaptation gets on the air!

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How to get free healthcare in Japan without insurance

How to get free healthcare in Japan without insurance

Brace yourselves, Republicans and Libertarians: it turns out Japan’s social safety net provides free healthcare to people that need medical attention but have no money or insurance. It’s like Obamacare’s angry, ‘roided-up samurai cousin.

That’s because there’s a somewhat vaguely-worded provision in Japanese law that states the government is obligated to provide care for those with “troubled livelihoods,” at low or no cost, regardless of insurance coverage. “Troubled livelihood” is kind of a broad definition, which ensures that those without the means to pay for medical treatment – even if they aren’t necessarily poor, homeless or unable to work - can still see a doctor.

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From protozoa to tapeworms: Visiting the Meguro Parasitological Museum

From protozoa to tapeworms: Visiting the Meguro Parasitological Museum

We’ve told you before that Japan is practically overflowing with museums. Everything from ukiyo-e to prisons to Edo period buildings have been preserved for the benefit of public knowledge, and we’d say that almost every museum has something unique or fun to offer. But here’s a museum that is literally one-of-a-kind: The Meguro Parasitological Museum!

They claim to be the only museum in the world dedicated solely to parasites–and we’ve got to say that we believe them! We recently headed down to Meguro to check out their collection and learn a little bit about the critters that might living inside of you right now.

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Tokyo Tech is one hard school to get into

Tokyo Tech is one hard school to get into

Students across Japan have recently been taking their entrance exams which, if successful, will help them get into the higher level school they desire. Naturally, the more prestigious the school, the more difficult the entrance exam is.

Take these practice questions published in the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s newspaper, the Titech Press for example. In these questions, the student must rearrange the words to form a sentence with the same meaning as the Japanese one above. Even without understanding the Japanese, a native English speaker should be able to unscramble those words, right?

Why don’t you grab a pen and paper and give it a try before you read any further and see the answers? I got all of them except number three.

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Tetris gummies are the tastiest way to procrastinate

Tetris gummies are the tastiest way to procrastinate

Before silly cat videos and online quizzes, there was Tetris, the ultimate way to put off whatever it is you should have been doing. Have a report due? Sorry, gotta beat this high score. Chores? Can’t stop now, can’t even look away, these bricks are flying! Familial obligations? Get out of here, kid! Can’t you see this is serious?!

Now Japan has combined our love of Tetris and little fruity gummies into one awesome snack. If they’re just as addicting as the game, we’re in trouble…

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Joshi or josei? Japanese netizens discuss the age at which a “girl” becomes a “woman”

Joshi or josei? Japanese netizens discuss the age at which a “girl” becomes a “woman”

Back when I was an irksome, irritable teenager, I used to take issue with the fact that my mother would talk about “the girls at work” when in fact most of them were approaching 50. To me, a 14-year-old with copies of FHM stashed under his bed and enough testosterone and sexual frustration to make his eyes water, a “girl” was either someone my friends and I would whisper about at school or whichever scantily clad celebrity happened to be on the cover of said cheeky magazine each month.

Thankfully, now 31 and my hormones having settled down a bit, I’m able to appreciate that whether or not we label someone a “girl” really depends on the person in question, and dare I say it some of my mother’s (slightly younger) colleagues would no doubt get the nod of approval from both me and my old school friends if we had the pleasure of meeting them. But a recent question posted on Japan’s Oshiete! goo, a Q&A site not unlike Yahoo! Answers, asking where we draw the line between “girl” and “woman”, or rather “joshi” and “josei” in Japanese, has sparked quite the debate online, with some proposing that age 40 is the cut-off point while others believe “joshi” ends at 20.

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“January in Japan” reminds us just how special a place The Land of the Rising Sun really is

“January in Japan” reminds us just how special a place The Land of the Rising Sun really is

Having lived here for around eight years now, I sometimes forget how uniquely beautifully Japan can be. This stunning video, simply titled “January in Japan” from director and photographer Scott Gold, however, has just given me a wonderful reminder. If you have any interest in Japan whatsoever, be sure not to miss this one.

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Seven reasons to eat sushi (other than because it tastes great)

Seven reasons to eat sushi (other than because it tastes great)

Sushi already has a lot going for it. It’s tasty, one of the quickest, most easily accessible contact points for Japanese culture, and with its extensive use of raw fish, a boon for those who can’t cook anything without burning it.

Even better, almost every ingredient that goes into or is traditionally eaten alongside sushi is bursting with health benefits, right down to the cup of green tea of green tea that generally caps off the meal.

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Before and after of our reporter’s garish but gal-ish makeover 【Video】

Before and after of our reporter’s garish but gal-ish makeover 【Video】

Japanese youth trends can change in a flash. There’s a never ending boom and bust cycle for clothes, music, and even slang that’s claimed pop idol group Da Pump, platform boots, and the phrase cho beri guddo. By the way, if you can clearly remember any of those, please accept our apologies for forgetting to mail your 30th birthday card to you.

For a while, it looked like the Japanese “gal” makeup trend, with its over-the-top cosmetics and crazy coiffure, would be joining those relics of yesteryear. Apparently enough time has passed, though, that young female fashionistas are warming up to the idea of giving the distinctive look another chance and they shared their beauty tips during a gal makeover for our reporter, Kon.

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Japanese magazine’s checklist for the ideal girl has a whopping 23 points

Japanese magazine’s checklist for the ideal girl has a whopping 23 points

Japanese society prides itself on its high level of tact in dealing with delicate matters, and indeed, quite often in communication not offending the other party is given priority well above getting your point across. That said, when the system discretion breaks down, it really breaks down, and sometimes you’re faced with the linguistic paradox of candor that’s so cutting because the choice of words is so blunt.

Recently, a bit of a firestorm was set off in Japan by a male-oriented magazine spitting straight talk on what makes the ideal girl in extremely intricate detail.

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Attack your hunger with Lotteria’s 10-patty Titan burger and bucket of fries

Attack your hunger with Lotteria’s 10-patty Titan burger and bucket of fries

When you stop and think about it, the smash hit anime Attack on Titan is focused as much on eating as it is fighting. The titular Titans’ one and only ambition seems to be breaking into the walled city to eat the humans hiding within. One character is largely defined by her love of potatoes, which ties into the recurring concern about food shortages humanity faces in a world largely controlled by giant monsters.

You know what would make the whole situation less bleak? A couple of orders of fast food chain Lotteria’s 10-patty Attack on Titan hamburgers and jumbo French fry buckets to keep people nourished, plus some limited edition key chains to keep them entertained.

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