A ribbiting new style for an age old item

A ribbiting new style for an age old item

Ask any group of Japanese people what animal they don’t like to touch, and overwhelmingly the answer you get back is going to be…frogs! Which is why it may seem very strange that costume maker @Shin_1223 has designed a unique backpack that is made to look like this wet and slimy creature.

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Doraemon in Nirvana: Chiang Rai’s White Temple like a beautiful, bad pop culture pipe dream 【Photos】

Doraemon in Nirvana: Chiang Rai’s White Temple like a beautiful, bad pop culture pipe dream 【Photos】

Approaching Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai’s so-called White Temple, is a surreal experience. It looks like a massive sculpture of ice and snow shimmering through Thailand’s tropical heat. But that effect barely scratches the surface of the weird at this Buddhist wat, where Doraemon hangs out with the Buddha, bushes are decorated with the decapitated heads of Freddie Kruger and Pinhead, and the penalty for smoking is eternal damnation.

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We try Wazen, Suntory’s new beer specially designed to drink with Japanese food

We try Wazen, Suntory’s new beer specially designed to drink with Japanese food

Eating and drinking are two of our favorite necessary life functions, since they’re both so much more fun than sleeping and breathing. So when we heard, back in January, about a new beer from Suntory that’s specially designed to go well with Japanese food, our three months of anxious waiting until it was scheduled to go on sale started right away.

Well, spring is finally here, and we’ve just recently experienced the joys of stepping outside without an overcoat and admiring the cherry blossoms, so now it’s time for the last item on our checklist of vernal pleasures, as we sample a can of Suntory’s new Japan-centric brew, the all-malt Wazen.

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The extreme lengths Samsung must go to make sure your Galaxy phone works perfectly

The extreme lengths Samsung must go to make sure your Galaxy phone works perfectly

The last thing you want when you drop a few hundred bucks on a new phone is for it to fail on you within a few days.

That’s why manufacturers go through lengthy testing processes to make sure every aspect of their devices work. Samsung does the same with its Galaxy line of phones, including the new flagship phone the Galaxy S5.

We visited Samsung’s testing facilities at its headquarters in Suwon, South Korea. There, engineers test everything from how well phones can survive a fall to how many times you can push the home button before it breaks.

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Who needs a ship in a bottle when you can have a kitchen in a bottle!

Who needs a ship in a bottle when you can have a kitchen in a bottle!

That’s right, you read that title correctly. While some people enjoy constructing ships inside bottles, it seems that popular beverage company Kirin has taken up a new hobby- building unbelievably tiny kitchens inside of plastic bottles! In a new advertisement for a line of soft drinks, Kirin showcases some incredible craftsmanship at a minuscule level. You’ll be blown away by the minute details of these models!

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Chinese celebrity caught cheating on his wife triggers rush for “love insurance”

Chinese celebrity caught cheating on his wife triggers rush for “love insurance”

We’ve heard of celebrities and famous athletes spending insane amounts on insurance for their body parts, but it would seem that in China, the trend now is to buy insurance for love.

Recent reports of the infidelity of popular Chinese actor Zhang Wen not only set flame on Chinese social media networks, they also triggered off a rush for “love insurance”, generating more than a thousand new clients solely in Xiamen of Fujian Province. How does this “love insurance” work? Details after the break!

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Adorable puppy hasn’t quite got the hang of drinking milk, but that’s not stopping him

Adorable puppy hasn’t quite got the hang of drinking milk, but that’s not stopping him

It’s the weekend! And one of these things is not quite like the others…

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Sad breakfasts the morning after a fight【Photos】

Sad breakfasts the morning after a fight【Photos】

“Never let the sun set on an argument”, they say, but we’re all guilty of going to bed angry sometimes. And what if, on waking up the next morning, you want to show your loved one you’re still really, really mad… but you also need to ensure they go to work on a full stomach?

It’s this awkward situation that’s led to one unfortunate soul in Korea getting up the morning after an argument to find one of these hilariously miserable meals for one waiting on the breakfast table. Join us after the jump for breakfasts that say “I love you – but I hate you a little bit, too”.

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Sega’s video game consoles to live again as cute anime characters in Sega Hard Girls

Sega’s video game consoles to live again as cute anime characters in Sega Hard Girls

Perhaps it says something about the fundamental goodness of the human heart that once someone is no longer with us, we tend to remember the good things about him or her. Even though the memories of petty differences and irritants tend to fade with time, the happy moments often remain with us, sometimes picking up an even warmer aura as nostalgia colors them.

The phenomena doesn’t just happen with people, though, but video game hardware too. This partially explains why Sega, which discontinued its most recent console well over a decade ago, is seeing a new anime being produced in which the main characters are cute, anthropomorphized versions of the company’s defunct video game systems.

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We finally get to meet Goku’s mother — and we think she’s a real cutie!

We finally get to meet Goku’s mother — and we think she’s a real cutie!

As many of our readers are well aware, the powerful and spiky-haired Goku from Akira Toriyama’s manga and anime series Dragon Ball is one of the most recognizable icons of Japanese culture not just in Japan but across the world. Since the manga first appeared in the magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1984, Goku’s entourage and family have grown to include an impressive number of unique and memorable characters. It so happens, however, that in all that time, we have never seen Goku’s mother in any of the stories — until now.

Yes, Dragon Ball fans were delighted with the news earlier this month that Goku’s mother would be making an appearance for the first time in the 30-year history of the series in the new comic by Toriyama, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Now that the comic has been released, we’ve finally been able to come face to face with the mother of the superhero we’ve come to know so well, and we think she’s a real cutie! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gine, wife to the Saiyan warrior Bardock, and of course, Goku’s mom.

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Hiyoriyama newly crowned as Japan’s Shortest Mountain

Hiyoriyama newly crowned as Japan’s Shortest Mountain

Osaka has many sights and attractions to boast about. To name a few, there’s the robot drummer clown, the big robot crabs here and there and of course Tenpozan, Japan’s shortest mountain. Standing at 4.53 meters above sea level, it was a tourist draw leading to the creation of an aquarium shopping complex and giant ferris wheel.

However, now it appears Tenpozan has been relegated to second place following a recent survey by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI). Hiyoriyama in Sendai is now the nation’s lowest summit at a reevaluated height of three meters. Normally, the Osaka resident in me would demand a recount and ask for a discount on it, but considering how Hiyoriyama came to be this way, I’ll humbly congratulate the new record holder and wish them all the best.

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Star Wars “Cos-Me” hangers now on sale in Japan – Turn your coat into Vader’s cloak!

Star Wars “Cos-Me” hangers now on sale in Japan – Turn your coat into Vader’s cloak!

A few weeks ago, online shopping site Run@Town began selling a series of special edition Star Wars themed notebooks. Although they were basically just a standard-issue school notebooks with jackets featuring images from the original three films, they sold out in the blink of an eye, and there are people still waiting for new stock to arrive. This week, the same online store announced another Star Wars tie-in, this time offering wooden hangers featuring busts of Yoda, C-3PO, a Stormtrooper, and smokes-20-a-day villain Darth Vader.

The best part is, by slipping them over the hanger, you can have the cast of characters wear your clothes, allowing you to create all kinds of weird mash-ups. And would you believe some of them actually look pretty cool? We have a feeling these are going to be Run@Town’s next sell-out item.

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Dirt cheap all-you-can-drink sake sampler in Tokyo saves us money plus a trip to Akita

Dirt cheap all-you-can-drink sake sampler in Tokyo saves us money plus a trip to Akita

Sake is often referred to as “rice wine.” Some would argue the term is misleading, since unlike wine, sake is brewed, but Japan’s traditional spirit does have something in common with the world’s favorite grape-based alcoholic beverage. As with wine, depending on the ingredients and exact production process, two different types of sake can have very different flavors.

This can make searching for one that suits your palate a complex, if not unpleasant, task. There’s also the fact that most of Japan’s best-tasting sake is produced far outside of its major urban centers, which is why we were surprised and thrilled to find a restaurant in downtown Tokyo offering a sampler of sake from distant Akita Prefecture for just 500 yen (US$4.90). Our excitement only grew when we found out that the deal is also all you can drink.

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Test your (crude) Japanese slang skills: Why is this sign getting so many laughs online?

Test your (crude) Japanese slang skills: Why is this sign getting so many laughs online?

There are some Japanese words that, no matter how many textbooks you read, you’ll simply never encounter. As we’ve seen, the Japanese love a good pun, and cheesy wordplay on TV and the media in general is far more commonplace than it is in English. So it’s surprising that the owners of this Tokyo-based computer school didn’t choose the name of their establishment – and the wording on their sign, for that matter – a little more carefully.

If you can already see why so many Japanese netizens are chuckling, then congratulations – you’re clearly a Japanese slang master. The rest of you? We’ll see you after the jump.

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Internet shows the best way to get nothing done!

Internet shows the best way to get nothing done!

Oh, the bean bag chair, the classic college seat that can be used for so much more than just sitting in. Most of us are familiar with the black hole of productivity that these chairs create, but leave it to Japan to make it so much more.

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Pulchra’s new Mikasa figure dodges hand of Titan

Pulchra’s new Mikasa figure dodges hand of Titan

April 8 was the spring edition of the biannual Miyazawa Model Exhibition, an industry-only exhibition of the latest figures and their prototypes. Pulchra displayed a prototype 1/7-scale Mikasa figure from Attack on Titan, which shows her in mid-leap over part of a Titan’s hand.

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Nankai Railways and Gundam combine their love of mobility to create the Gundam train

Nankai Railways and Gundam combine their love of mobility to create the Gundam train

In a way, it’s slightly ironic that Gundam, Japan’s most venerated giant robot, is honored with a huge statue that stands in the Odaiba district of Tokyo. The original series in the franchise was titled Mobile Suit Gundam, but that 18-meter (59-foot) isn’t going anywhere since not only is it incapable of walking, Odaiba is an island and we’re pretty sure it can’t swim, either.

Coming soon, though, is a more logical wat to pay homage to the franchise: a Gundam train.

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That scene from “Frozen” and 10 other fascinating jobs that have gone extinct

That scene from “Frozen” and 10 other fascinating jobs that have gone extinct

Long before we had color television, microwave ovens, mobile phones and the all-mighty Internet, many things had to be done manually and took more time and effort to accomplish. While you may be reading RocketNews24 on your computer or mobile gadget now, the latest news and information used to be only available on handwritten sheets many moons ago.

In many cases, improvement and changes to traditional methods bring greater convenience to the masses, but gone with the olden ways of things are fascinating jobs that once existed to make life easier for the people of their era. How do you think people woke up on time for work before alarm clocks were invented?

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Up-and-coming band combines traditional Japanese instruments with pop metal and awesomeness

Up-and-coming band combines traditional Japanese instruments with pop metal and awesomeness

These tattooed badasses are not, in fact, extras from that bafflingly misguided 47 Ronin movie. They’re the members of the newly-signed Wagakki Band, which combines the chunky guitar chords and shredding of pop metal with traditional Japanese instruments for a totally awesome sound.

While the name Wagakki Band (Literally, “Traditional Japanese Instrument Band”) isn’t going to win any awards for creativity, the group’s head banging videos are a spectacle to behold; Sure to please fans of J-Pop, metal and old-timey Japanese imagery at once.

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Cosplay fever spreads to Hokkaido, students leave pants at home

Cosplay fever spreads to Hokkaido, students leave pants at home

Twitter user higedi (Ryūta Kitamura) racked up more than 10,000 retweets with this picture of incoming students who were refused entry to Hokkaido University’s entrance ceremony. The students are generally expected to wear formal clothes for the ceremony, so naturally they got out their best cardboard, body paint, and fundoshi (traditional Japanese underwear). That’s just one more way Ronald McDonald is unsettling.

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