Japan

These Adorable Japanese Curry Dishes are Sure to Curry Your Favor

The curry and rice combo is to Japanese college students what spaghetti is to their American counterparts. It’s cheap, tasty, easy to make, and you can throw in lots of veggies so the next time your mother asks if you’re eating healthy, you can answer “yes” with a clean conscious.

But just because curry is simple to make, that doesn’t mean it has to look simple as well. Below is a collection of quirky Japanese curry arrangements that turn Japan’s go-to meal for the cheap and lazy into (for the most part) adorable platters of art.

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Japanese Babies Daydream Too! Creative Infant Art a la Mila’s Daydreams Sweeps Japan

Being a new mom is tough (this is just speculation; I haven’t birthed one my own yet). Taking care of a baby is a full-time job, and after an intensive session of feeding, burping, changing, wiping and playing, those few hours of peace that children reward their mothers with during naptime are truly precious—so why not have a little fun with them?

Adele Enersen, a former ad copywriter and full-time mother who lives in Finland, thought to do just that when she created Mila’s Daydreams, a photo blog where she shares the whimsical dreams of her daughter, Mila, as she naps peacefully on canvases of colorful fabrics and household objects.

The blog went viral back in 2010, and in January 2011, Enerson compiled some of the best photos from the blog into her first book, When My Baby Dreams. Now, thanks in part to a similar book published by a Japanese mother, the daydreaming baby photo craze has hit Japan.

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Japanese School Lunch Fail【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

When I first got to Japan, I made a goal to try any food that was offered to me.  Sea snails (freshly cracked out of their shells and still alive), check.  Sea cucumber, check.  Shiokara (fermented salty squid), check.  I’ve encountered some of the grossest edible things I’ve ever seen, but stuck to my goal, tried not to think about the slimy mess in front of me, and ate the new food.

To up the ante on my food challenge, I told myself that I would eat every dish  that was served in kyuushoku (school lunch).  The main reason I took this challenge is that I think it sets a good example for the kids, who are made to sit at the lunch table until they finish every bite of their food.  Usually, completing my goal isn’t a chore at all.  I’ve had some of the most delicious meals I’ve ever encountered in Japan served to me in the lunchroom at school.  But it hasn’t all been easy.  I’m not a fan of shishamo (pregnant smelt fish) which are eaten with head, eyes, tail, bones…everything, intact.  As unappealing as shishamo is to me, I still manage to eat all of them when they are served in the school lunch.

Unfortunately, my undefeated school lunch record has come to an end.

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Chinese Media in Japan Sends Message Home: “Nothing Much to Report Here!”

With the debate over the ownership of the Senkaku islands remaining heated, tensions continue to run high across mainland China. There have been numerous instances of attacks on those being seen to support Japan, and Japanese-owned businesses have been hit hard, with many, including world-famous fashion store Uniqlo, ordering their Japanese staff to remain at home for the time being.

On this side of the water, however, both Japanese and Chinese alike are going about their daily lives with relatively little conflict or stress… Read More

McCoffree!!! McDonald’s Japan Offering Free Coffee All Next Week!

Hot on the heels of its free hamburger campaign, mind-bogglingly successful hamburger chain McDonald’s Japan has just announced a new offer that’s sure to be a big hit with all you early-morning sleepy-heads: free coffee for all.

Wishing to celebrate the fact that autumn/fall/aki has finally arrived in Japan and we’re now able to enjoy a cup of hot coffee without breaking into a sweat after the first sip, the fast food giant is offering customers a completely free cup of coffee every day next week.

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A Mini Car You Can Ride On: My 7-year-old Self Rejoices!

When I was a kid, my dad’s 300 gallon fish tank overflowed and dumped a quarter of its contents onto my mother’s clean kitchen floor. Like any logical child would do, I stripped down buck naked and had a slip n slide party in the kitchen. It was awesome.

While insisting that my sister push me in a baby doll stroller, the dang thing snapped in half and I was rewarded with a metal rod scraping the length of my shin.  I still have a scar to prove it.
Having outgrown my white, teal, and bright pink roller blades (ah, the 90’s), I tried strapping the neighbor boy’s Playskool dump truck and school bus to my feet, attempting, in vain, to find a substitute.

Forever on a quest to find the newest and funnest (hey, Microsoft, funnest is a word!) mode of transportation, the seven-year-old in me wants to go out and do everything in her power to find this amazing mini car that a full grown adult can ride on!

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Rocksmith’s Japanese Commercial Seems to Defy You to Buy It, Employs Aki Toyosaki

After mastering Guitar Hero years back, I was left with an empty feeling.  I had taken my plastic 4-button guitar controller out on the street to perform One by Metallica but no one paid any attention to me.  In fact, passersby seemed to be intentionally avoiding eye contact.

This is why I was excited to find Rocksmith would be released in Japan on October 11.  The game that actually lets you practice a real guitar in a fun way so you can walk away from it a better person with an entertaining skill!

However, my excitement took a bit of a hit when I saw the first Japanese commercial for it.

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Miscommunication at Cake Shop Leads to One Fugly Birthday Cake

We here at RocketNews24 have been delighted to share some of Japan’s finest cake creations representing either cute birds or your favorite anime characters.

So when one Japanese woman requested a “character cake” for her child’s birthday she felt assured she would end up with a nice, pretty Mickey Mouse or Pokemon design.

What she got was this big-nosed beady-eyed mouth breathing character you see before you.  I guess she should have been more specific.

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Junior College Establishes Idol Department, Courses Include Make-Up and Dancing

 

The post-secondary education business has entered dire straits in Japan.  With the ever declining birth rate, schools across the nation are struggling to keep enrollments up.

In Fukuoka, Nishi-Nippon Junior College believes it has an attractive solution to this problem: the “Department of Media Promotion,” more casually referred to as the “Idol Training Department.

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Chinese Trio Dress Up Like Japanese People and “Apologize” to Buddha Over Senkaku Islands

In a refreshingly mellow demonstration held on 23 September in Lushan County, Henan 3 people donned Japanese style costumes and silently knelt in front of the Spring Temple Buddha.

Kneeling side by side the two men and one woman held up a banner reading “Daiyou Islands [Chinese name for Senkaku Islands] belong to China.” with a picture of one of the disputed islands and a ridiculously enormous Chinese flag flying above it.

And you know, in spite of all this I’m not entirely sure they are supporting China.

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Unique Home-Made Hachune Miku Steamed Buns – Far From Picture Perfect But Filled With Mom’s Love!

It seems there’s no shortage of news when it comes to world-famous digital diva, Hatsune Miku. Just recently, we were amazed that an avid fan was willing to shell out 369,000yen (US$4738) for a Hatsune Miku walkman with a premium serial number. Now, we’ve found a shockingly funny picture of, shall we say, an unique recreation of the “Hachune Miku” steamed buns which went on sale from convenience chain Family Mart in August. Read More

No Voice for the Poor: 77,000 US Dollars Just to Stand for Election in Japan

Want to be the next political leader in Japan? We hope you’ve got deep pockets!

It was revealed by internet-condensing extraordinaire Naver this week that, in order to put themselves forward for election, aspiring political leaders much first make a mandatory deposit of six million yen (77,000 US dollars / 59,000 euros) into the legal system, making Japan the most expensive country in the world to announce one’s candidacy. Read More

Life-Saving Multitasking Made Possible: Massage Your Face While Playing Nintendo DS Games!

Have you ever wanted to increase your productivity? Do you, like me, save time by brushing your teeth in the shower, ironing a shirt while eating toast, or taking your horses out for a morning canter while penning a poem about clouds?

Today’s your lucky day!

Japan Trust Technology (JTT) is now marketing a time-saving, relaxing beautification tool that every Nintendo DS owner should have- The Germa Roller Touch Pen! Read More

Hilarious Comic About Room-Sharing Jesus and Buddha, “Saint Onīsan”, to Become Animated Movie

It was revealed yesterday that Saint Onīsan, quite possibly this writer’s favourite manga right now, is to become an animated feature film.

For the unfamiliar, Saint Onīsan (lit. Saint young man), is Hikaru Nakamura’s serial comic that tells the tale of Jesus and Buddha, who come down to Earth from heaven for a little rest and relaxation, setting up camp in a small apartment in Tachikawa, Tokyo.

Constantly on a budget but always keen to explore, Jesus and Buddha do their best to keep their true identities secret while experiencing as much everyday human life as possible. Doing everything from experiencing local festivals to shopping for a rice cooker, the pair often find themselves getting into genuinely hilarious mishaps. Read More

The Question Dividing Japan: Which Girl Would You Rather Date?

I don’t know about other guys, but even if I’m in a healthy relationship I will sometimes encounter a girl who completely grabs my attention and doesn’t let go.

Maybe she’s stunningly beautiful, maybe she exudes charisma and style; whatever it is, there’s just something about her that captivates me—but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m romantically interested.

It’s like I’ve been trying to tell my wife for the past three hours while she’s locked herself in the bathroom with my wallet and phone: there are some girls you want to date and there are some girls you just want to look at.

Just take a look at the illustration above, which sparked an online debate over ideal girlfriends vs. ideal eye-candy after being poster to Twitter earlier this week.

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RocketNews24 Original Scatch and Sniff: Aaah, That New Game Console Smell!!!

At 00:00 a.m. on March 1, 1997, a 14-year-old version of this writer- extremely lanky and awkwardly dressed- was standing outside a videogame store alongside his mother and a few slightly bedraggled-looking young men, clutching the pocket-money he’d saved for nearly 18 months, absolutely desperate to give it away.

This was undoubtedly the nerdiest moment of my life, and I’ve never since gone to a midnight launch of a videogame console, despite owning about a dozen since. But when I’d waited more than a year for the UK launch of the Nintendo 64, and, having convinced my infinitely-patient mother to drive me into town in the middle of the night, I was excited. Incredibly excited. Perhaps more excited than a night before Christmas with Santa, Willy Wonka and a dozen sugar-rushing puppies, even.

Back at home, opening my new console on my bedroom floor (it’s called “unboxing” now, and people post painfully long videos of it online…), I was hit by that curious smell of new electronics. But not just any old electronics smell; this was the smell of a new Nintendo 64. Clean, new, professional, yet somehow extremely welcoming…

Up until now, I had thought I was the only one who noticed these things- that videogame consoles, new mobile phones, whatever- had a distinct smell of their own, not just ‘electronics’.

But over at our Japanese site, Mamiya-san has written a great little article about his own experiences with much-loved games console the PC Engine (perhaps known to some as TurboGrafix-16), and, in particular, its own very special smell. Since the machine remains relatively unknown outside of its native Japan, I can’t help but share his experiences with our English-speaking readers. Read More

When Fandom Gets Silly: Hatsune Miku Limited Edition Walkman Sold at Auction for Insane Price

It’s not unusual for fans and enthusiasts, regardless of the object of their love and devotion, to lavish a significant amount of their income on merchandise and branded goods. To a fan, an item is often worth much more than the asking price, and, rather than think about how much something costs, they simply focus on how they can obtain it.

Few people lining up on day one to buy an artist’s newest album, or the latest iPhone or games console, are ever heard to remark “gosh this is awfully expensive; I hope it’s worth it!” They just want to get their hands on the thing and make it theirs.

But know this, boys and girls: there’s a limit. Read More

Tokyo’s Top 14 Weird Theme Bars

Japan has more than its fair share of the delightfully bizarre. If you are looking to experience some of it first hand, with a frosty beverage in hand to help you embrace the weird, of course, check out this list of Tokyo’s top theme bars. Read More

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