Japan

Vagina artist Rokudenashiko and store owner arrested for “obscene” art

When artist Megumi Igarashi, better known as Rokudenashiko, was arrested for distributing 3-D printer data to make molds of her vagina this summer, we knew it was only a matter of time before the artist ran into trouble with the law again. Though for a while it seemed that the Japanese police had finally found a hobby, it wasn’t enough to keep Rokudenashiko out of jail.

The 42-year-old artist and one other woman were arrested for an “obscene” art display…featured in a sex shop in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo.

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Japanese Twitter user claims to have achieved “Perfect” sound on iTunes, we investigate

We all love going into our iTunes player and manually adjusting the equalizer settings, am I right?

Alright, well, I for one make sure to readjust the equalizer bands for each song that comes up, which is why I don’t really accomplish much in a given day. However, a Japanese Twitter user by the handle of Hisagi claims to have found the ideal settings which have been dubbed simply “Perfect.” They claim that this setting will improve the quality regardless of what speakers you use.

This announcement has brought other contenders for the crown of “Best iTunes Equalizer Settings” out of the internet woodwork as well. So we decided to test them all out to find the champ… or to realize that it’s better to just leave the equalizer alone in the first place.

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Make your business memorable with a license plate phone number

There’s a lot to be seen and learned from your car seat while driving on the roads around Japan. While cat-patterned tail-lightsunique modes of communication and building your own Batman bike are some of the more obvious ways to get noticed, there are also more subtle yet equally effective ways to create an impact in traffic, and do a bit of advertising while you’re at it!

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Tokyo’s Christmas displays offer dazzling rebuttal to calling Paris the City of Lights 【Photos】

Spring in Japan belongs to the cherry blossoms. Summer is all about the country’s amazing fireworks shows. And in fall, there’re the beautiful fall colors to look forward to.

In winter though, Christmas decorations take center stage. Specifically, it’s the lights covering the urban landscape, called “illuminations” by the locals, that really bring out the crowds. So if you’re looking to do a little prep work for your Christmas Eve date, the following collection of Tokyo Christmas display snapshots should help you choose which one will best set the mood, and is also a chill-free way to get into the holiday season for those of you more comfortable at home with a hot mug of cocoa than braving the elements outdoors.

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Anime fans vote with their pervy wallets, crowdfund gigantic strap-on penguin boners

Crowdfunding, in its most idealized and theoretical form, should optimize the way financial resources get used. Projects that embody things held to have value should succeed, and things that society feels it can do without shouldn’t.

In practice, though, sometimes frivolous initiatives succeed even as noble causes die on the vine, because real-world economics often have more to do with wants than needs. But even while we understand that principle, what we can’t quite wrap our heads around is how a crowdfunding project for strap-on anime dongs got enough pledges to meet its goal.

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5 amazing health and beauty benefits of eating wasabi

Ah, wasabi, the pungent root that adds spice to sushi and gets up the noses of over-enthusiastic consumers, leaving many a watery eye and a burning palate. It seems that you either love wasabi or hate it, with wasabi-lovers clamoring for a touch of the green stuff in a variety of forms including Kit-Kats and potato chips, and wasabi-haters strictly stipulating to sushi chefs that they require their sushi sabi-nuki de, or sans wasabi. But did you know that the wasabi-lovers actually get to enjoy a host of health and beauty benefits that are denied to those who shy away from this miraculous wonder root? Read on as we unveil the five surprising health effects of regular wasabi consumption!

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【TBT】Japanese manga plates bring food to life

Most Japanese children have likely been scolded at least once for bringing manga to the dinner table. However, we’ve found a creatively designed set of plates that make comic books an integral part of any meal.

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“The cold never bothered me anyway!” Can you handle this Frozen inspired challenge?

It’s no secret that Japan loves Disney’s recent hit Frozen, known in Japan as Anna and the Snow Queen. With the thermometer hitting the single digits (Celsius) in Japan, it’s getting pretty chilly outside these days, leading to a new Frozen related trend.

The trend, which combines lyrics from the Frozen hit “Let It Go” and the winter weather, is both stupid and oh so entertaining. Believe me, you’ll want to do it too.

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Get Disney treats at FamilyMart this winter — including Olaf-shaped chocolate steamed buns!

It looks like Disney fans may have something to look forward to when they visit Family Mart stores in Japan this winter — especially if they have a sweet-tooth. That’s right, for a limited time, Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart is offering some delightful-looking desserts in collaboration with Disney’s mega hit film Frozen and their newest release (or soon to be released in the case of Japan) Big Hero 6. And as if that doesn’t make us happy enough, they even have a campaign going on where you can win special goods tied in with the two movies.

Let’s see what Disney sweetness is being served up at FamilyMart stores across Japan!

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Humbug! Japanese wives in international marriages share what they hate about Christmas overseas

Christmas. Depending on who you are, it can be a time for getting together with family and friends, attending religious services, or maybe just drinking a lot of egg nog. But while all of those are activities of profound cultural and spiritual importance, not everyone has a song in their heart at this time of year.

For a certain set of Japanese women in international marriages and living overseas, ‘tis the season for venting about how Americans and Europeans spend Christmas, and here’s their list of grievances.

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It seems like everyone in Japan wants this pillow featuring a famous sumo wrestler’s butt

In the past year, sumo wrestler Endō Shōta has been busy outside the ring, showing up in special edition photo booths and using his muscular arms to carry contest winners like a princess. Now, this 24-year-old rising star has been making his way into Japanese homes in the form of a pillow. Featuring Endo in his work attire, this limited release pillow was only given out to five thousand lucky winners, who weren’t shy about showing off their love for this young man’s backside.

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Mikan flavored potato chips sound gross, but may actually be genius marketing

We recently brought you a round-up of some of the weirdest snack foods available in Japan, and now we’re about to add another one to the bag – Mikan (Japanese Tangerine) flavored potato chips! Such a flavor may seem shocking, even deviant to some of us western folks, but there’s a clear marketing strategy behind these new tangy treats that’s bound to result in success in the Japanese market. See if you can guess what it is, then join us after the jump to find out if you were right!

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All we want for Christmas is a 1/6 model Spider-Man to take photos with

They say a dog is man’s best friend. But if these pictures are anything to go by, Spider-Man’s best friend is a cat.

Not only does this 1/6 scale Spider-Man come with a puffer vest, he’s also the perfect size to take all kinds of adorable pictures. Join us after the jump for Spider-Man hanging out with pets; tucked up in a cat bed; and showing what an awesome dad he is.

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Most popular pet names in Japan for 2014 suggest owners obsessed with food

Earlier this week, we looked at popular baby names making the rounds this year in Japan and now we’ve discovered some data on what Japanese named their pets in 2014. The little guy above may be right to look concerned because almost every name on the list is food-related

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Where the ninja magic happens – Naruto creator gives interview, peek into his manga studio

The serialized nature of manga means booming success can really sneak up on artists and publishers alike. When Masashi Kishimoto turned in his pages for the very first chapter of his new series Naruto back in 1999, he probably didn’t know he was about to create one of the most popular manga ever, but that’s exactly what he did.

Kishimoto didn’t just earn himself 15 solid years of steady work, though, but also the continual march of tight deadlines that come with writing and drawing a hit manga. Despite being one of the biggest names in the industry, Kishimoto had only found time to give one TV interview during Naruto’s serialization, but now that the series has finally come to a close, he’s appeared before the camera again, in a special interview held in the studio where he put pen to paper and brought one of Japan’s most beloved comics to life.

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Japan’s awesome drinkable cookies in a can mean there’s no need to pour yourself a glass of milk

For the most part, cookies in Japan are crunchy little things. One very notable exception, though, is confectioner Fujiya’s Country Ma’am line, which are soft, chewy, and also absolutely delicious.

What makes Country Ma’am cookies so good is how moist they are, and now confectioner Fujiya is taking that one step further by turning them into a drink! We got our hands on a few cans of this miraculous beverage, and while it’s still early in our relationship, we think we may be in love.

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In Hokkaido there’s weed, weed everywhere, but not a drop to smoke

Japan tends to be a very drug-shy country. Most people you talk to will say that they’ve never gone anywhere near substances like marijuana, and according to a Public Library of Science survey, 98 times out of 100 they’re telling you the truth.

And yet you might be surprised to hear that there is an abundance of cannabis growing wild all over the northern island of Hokkaido. But before you go booking a ticket, you may want to learn why.

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Hello Kitty now makes 90% of her money abroad

After 40 years of hard work, Japan’s precious Hello Kitty character (affectionately known as Kitty-chan in Japan), has brought Japanese “kawaii” to all corners of the globe. It hasn’t been all fun and games for her though; she has had to work really hard to keep her parent company, Sanrio, afloat.

But now, thanks to Kitty-chan’s popularity overseas and her success branching into other markets, Sanrio isn’t just floating, it’s positively surfing on waves of international profit.

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Treats for the sweet! Kitties paw-litely beg for fishy snacks 【VIDEO】

One of the first things every new pet owner learns is to never feed your furball at the table. You only have to give in once, and you’ll spend the rest of your days fending off kitty with a fork and spitting fur out of each mouthful as your adorable pet gets a little overinvolved in your meal times. In my house it’s got to the stage where I can’t even butter a slice of bread without one of my kitties attempting to lick the knife, and I’ve had to remove the other cat’s head from the refrigerator before closing the door so many times it’s beyond a joke. But what are you supposed to do when your pet looks up at you with those big, round eyes and begs you for a treat? Just see if you can watch this video of kitties begging for fishy snacks without melting!

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Popular TV show’s awe-inspiring Mario dance number is geektastically cool

Quick, what is the geekiest thing you can imagine ever possibly happening? Is it four grown adults dressed like Mario characters dancing a Mario-themed, choreographed dance to classic Mario music, on a stage replete with several thousand-dollar Mario-themed props, in front of a crowd that is only passively aware of the Mario franchise at best, plus those guys from Duck Dynasty and some shirtless guy?

Well, if you were thinking of that oddly specific scenario, you are way off base, because one couple on Dancing with the Stars just made Mario-themed dancing about the coolest, most mainstream thing around with a beautifully choreographed routine that is proving a major YouTube hit.

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