Japan

【Video】 These Japanese Dolls Are Creepy, but They Sure Can Dance

Most humanoid robots are made to look either as lifelike as possible, or as machine-like as possible; that is, similar to the robots we know from science fiction.

After seeing the “Dancing Dolls” made by YouTube user RozenZebet, we have a feeling we know why: anything in between would be absolutely terrifying.

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Hand-made Pussy Palaces Require a One-Year Wait

It’s too late for this Christmas, but if you want to pamper your pet next December, this might make the perfect gift!

Made from soft inewara rice-straw, these neko chigura (lit. cat cradle) are made by a 30-strong team of weavers in the town of Sekikawa, Niigata prefecture on the northwest coast of Honshu, Japan. The weavers are known simply as the neko chigura kai (cat cradle committee) with each cradle taking around a week to put together.

Demand for the cat beds have exceeded even the creators’ wildest dreams, however, when thousands of orders flew in during recent weeks, creating a 12-month backlog.

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Siri Puts the “Ass” Back into Personal Assistant with Her Japanese Record Debut

Japanese independent musicians IOSYS (ee-oh-she-su) have a treat in store for us this Christmas.  They created a concept album titled Teach me Shiri Sensei! starring everyone’s favorite virtual assistant who only knows what you’re saying half of the time, Siri.

You might be wondering from the image above why anthropomorphic moé Siri (yes, that’s her) has a severe case of plumber’s crack. It’s not just pervy for the sake of being pervy. In Japanese, there isn’t really a “see/si” sound. Instead, it’s a “she” sound.

First, this can make it very funny when a Japanese person asks “May I take a seat?” Second, this changes the pronunciation of Siri to “Shiri”, which is the Japanese word for “buttocks.”  This word play is a major theme in the album.

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[Hobby News] Choco Egg Collectable Figurines Return to Steal all of Japan’s Loose Change

If there’s one thing Japanese people like to do it’s collect things. And when those things are small, cute or quirky characters, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll fight to get the entire set!

In the land of gachapon (onomatopoeia for the sound of a turning mechanism followed by the drop of a ball or capsule) capsule toys and free collectable figures, mobile phone charms and stickers, confectioners Furuta are well known for their Choko Eggu (choco egg) series that include a collectable toy inside the chocolate shell, not unlike Kinder Surprise eggs sold in Europe and Canada.

Since 1999, the company has produced collectible figures including Disney, Marvel and Nintendo characters as well as scale models of automobiles and cars. The figures are always of incredibly high quality and, with the chocolate eggs being sold for just a few hundred yen each, they’re a big hit with children as well as adults. In 2006, however, the company’s animal figure series, which features everything from cute rabbits to ferocious-looking dinosaurs disappeared from shops, much to the disappointment of collectors.

But now, to delight model fans and kleptomaniacs alike, Furuta’s figures are being brought back to the market as stand-alone models, and Japanese collectors are already going nuts.

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Evil Villain “Colonel Muska” Leaves Japanese Orphanage Stacks of Goodies

Here’s a news story that managed to warm even our cynical, Internet-jaded hearts to the core.

A man going by the name of Colonel Muska, the nefarious villain from Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky, has made a surprise donation to an orphanage in Tokushima city on the island of Shikoku, Japan.

The mysterious stranger left a pile of expensive leather school backpacks as well as a copy of the Ghibli feature film on DVD outside the orphanage, along with a letter simply saying “Please think of this as an early Christmas present. Yours, Colonel Muska”

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Homo Toys Raise Issues of Meme Trademarks and Corporate Coopting of Them

Awhile back we ran an article about the US Navy’s latest robot resembling a Japanese Twitter meme called Homo.

Originally created to mock the homoerotic anime-loving Japanese female (fujoshi), homo is a somewhat humanoid creature the crawls along on all fours and utters “homooooo” as it searches far and wide for gay porn.

On twitter this little guy/gal/thing is represented by the ASCII characters ┌(┌ ^o^)┐, however several artistic depictions can be found on twitter or if you check our previous article.

The cute little whatever has found a following among the Japanese internet to the point that some are trying to profit from Homo.  A reporter from Byokan Sunday recently encountered a capsule machine with a line of Homo figurines, but is this legal?

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Japanese Politician Takes a Stand Against Parents Naming their Children Pikachu

It’s not easy being a kid. If you’re fat the other kids make fun of you; if you’re skinny the other kids make fun of you; if you get good grades they make fun of you… Kids don’t need a genuine reason to be tease their peers; they can make one up just as easily.

But when your parents name you after their favourite thing – be it the weather on the day you were born, the place you were conceived or their favourite snack food – things get awkward for poor little Windy Latrine Butterfinger.

Although authorities have been known to intervene when parents try to call their child things like Akuma, meaning devil in Japanese, and @ as once rejected by authorities in China, the vast majority slip through the net. Since kanji, the Chinese characters used in the Japanese writing system, are based on meaning and can be read in a variety of different ways, parents giving their child a kanji-based name (some choose phonetic kana script, but this is usually just for girls) are able to choose both their child’s name and how it will be written.

For the most part, parents choose names that convey their love or hopes for their offspring, but in the land of otaku nerdism, sometimes parents just can’t help but get carried away.

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【Miracle Video】 Ichiro Defines the Term “Sick Skills” for New Japanese Commercial

Let’s be clear here: I’m no a baseball fan. I’ve never even watched an entire game, and I genuinely don’t understand the appeal of the sport, but by Zeus’ beard that Ichiro guy has got some skills.

As part of a television commerical for Japanese health tonic Yunker, Ichiro performs a few tricks, showing the world what true talent really looks like and leaving us all open-mouthed as he pitches with speed and accuracy that many players could only dream of.

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Experience 3D Space Travel in Tokyo at the Star Cruise Planetarium!

 

From November 23rd 2012 until February 11th 2013, you can experience interstellar travel right here in Tokyo!

With the opening of Star Cruise Planetarium in Roppongi Hills, you can travel to a station on Saturn and see the Earth 137 light years into the future thanks to a wide-screen 3D display and a moving model of the solar system.  It all happens at the Mori Arts Center Gallery, in the Mori Tower on the 52nd floor of Roppongi Hills. Read More

Who Needs Photoshop? Instantly Apply Makeup to Any Photo With This Amazing Camera!

Ladies, have you ever taken a picture that you absolutely love, but wished you were wearing a bit of makeup at the time?  Ever had to take a headshot for a job application but were too lazy to throw on a bit of eyeshadow and lipgloss?

Now there’s no longer any need to spend hours in front of the mirror putting your face on.  With the Panasonic Lumix FX80 camera, makeup application is simply a click away. 

Also, fellas, we know you’ve been secretly wondering what you look like wearing makeup but were too embarrassed to actually put some on…this is the camera for you!

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New North Korean Sneakers Bear More than a Passing Resemblance to Japanese Brand

North Korea isn’t exactly renown for its footwear industry, but the recent appearance of a new pair of sneakers on North Korean television has caused quite a stir in the Asian media.

Featuring an “extra-supportive heel section” and a red design with a series of white stripes, the North Korean design bears a striking resemblance to Japanese company Asics’ own model.

Is this a simple coincidence or are we looking at an all-out rip-off?

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How to Make the Geekiest Drink Ever: #c0ffee. No, not coffee, #c0ffee!

Have you ever heard that stoner question: “What does like, yellow taste like man?”

Recently a group of guys in Tokyo developed a recipe for a color called #c0ffee.  Those who don’t use computers heavily may assume it’s a brownish color but…

It’s actually a light turquoise, like this.

#c0ffee” is a hexadecimal color code, which is basically a combination of letters from a to f and numbers that web pages interpret as a specific color. Hexadecimal color codes are denoted by a hash tag so the little magic elves running the internet know that it’s not a string of nonsense. For example: #FFFFFF indicates black, #FF0000 indicated red, and #c0ffee indicates that light turquoise color above.

So how did they create a beverage the same color as #c0ffee? Is there even any real coffee involved?

Not in the least! The recipe for #c0ffee consists of sardines, cabbage and milk.  What’s surprising is that after crating the recipe and putting on Cook Pad, Japan’s most popular recipe-sharing website, a couple of people actually tried it and said it was “delicious.”

Finding it hard to believe a bluish-green drink made from fish could be delicious, I set out to whip up a batch and try it myself!

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Curry Udon Topped With Whipped Cream!? It’s Better than You Think!

The dish in the photo above looks like a dessert, something sweet to eat after a meal. But wait!  It is the meal!  It’s udon noodles in curry sauce and topped with whipped cream, to be exact, and it is absolutely delicious!

According to our trusty reporter Mr. Sato (Food Queen Sato, as he calls himself on Twitter), that is, who went to the noodle shop Shodai in Ebisu, Tokyo to taste this revolutionary spin on curry udon.

Curry udon is a standard noodle dish that can be found at just about any udon shop in Japan. It mixes the flavor of udon and curried rice by ladling curry sauce over a bowl of udon noodles. Simple, yet effective.

Throwing whipped cream into the mix doesn’t sound like it would end well.  Usually these kind of things don’t. But what did Mr. Sato think about this unlikely combination?

Check his full report below! Read More

We Take Our New Wii U for a Ride on a Bullet Train, Works Like a Charm

The Wii U — Nintendo’s first new home console in six years — may not be available until next Saturday here in Japan, but that didn’t stop our team getting hold of a North American unit and getting stuck into some quality gaming early.

Gamers among you will already know a little about Nintendo’s newest baby, but for the uninitiated, here it is in a nutshell: the Wii U combines the remote-wielding mayhem of everyone’s favourite Nintendo system with a unique new controller featuring a touch screen that can be used with or without a TV set, all topped off with a layer of gorgeous high-definition visuals. The idea is that the player uses the screen to interaxct with their games in a new way or, as we did here, use the gamepad screen in place of a TV set.

Sounds good, right?

But until we got our hands on a Wii U, we never fully appreciated just how much of a game-changer it was. We’ve played Sony PSP and Nintendo DS consoles on the go for years now, but imagine being able to take your actual home games console out on the road. Or how about on a high speed train…

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Japan Tourism Agency Photo Contest Offers Awesome Prizes for Photos of Japan

The Japan Tourism Agency invites you to share your WOW! moments from your time in Japan by entering their Japan Photo Contest.  Photos will be voted on by other users and those with the most WOW!’s (the facebook equivalent of likes), have a chance to win some fabulous prizes.

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US Sailor Arrested in Yokohama, Admits Peeing on the Floor but Denies Nudity

A US Navy sailor has been arrested by Japanese police after wandering around naked and urinating in a manga cafe near Yokohama station, Kanagawa prefecture last Friday.

The incident comes just weeks after the US Military imposed a curfew between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. after two soldiers were arrested for the alleged rape of a woman in Okinawa, causing outcry in the Japanese media.

According to reports, the sailor admits that he urinated in the cafe, but absolutely draws the line at the despicable act of stripping off in a public place…

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Looking for Work Fellas? How about a Job Where You’re Always Surrounded by Women? Nursing!

As the global recession trudges along, unemployment rates remain high leaving many young men laid off or graduating without job prospects. Luckily a new avenue of employment for men has opened up in Japan.

Up until not long ago, nursing in Japan was exclusively done by women. Even as more and more women took on careers as doctors, the idea of a man being a nurse was about as absurd as a cow being one. However, nowadays more and more Japanese men are beginning to follow in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale.

So what are the pros and cons of becoming a male nurse?

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How to Make Gundam Completely Out of Electrical Plugs (and other stuff too!)

The electrical plug.  Most of you probably handle one of these at least once a day and you probably have a few spares lying around.  Why not gather them all together and turn something boring into something awesome!  A

blogger in Mie prefecture created some amazing figures made completely out of electrical plugs.  By combining these everyday household items together, he was even able to make a robot!  Check out his story and the process he went through to create this awesome Gundam-style robot and other animals and objects made completely out of electrical plugs.

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Japanese Plastic Figure Stop Motion Videos Look Amazing, Make Little Sense

This might be what Toy Story would look like if it were made by Japanese nerds: amazing, fluid animation, incomprehensible story line. There’s even an appearance by Hentai Woody

Check the video, called “The Worst Thing”, below:

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