Taxi driver’s tip to stay safe: “The one thing you should say if you run into yakuza”

When one of our Japanese-language reporters stepped into a taxi the other day, the driver suddenly turned to him and asked, “Sir, do you know what you should say if you have a run in with some yakuza?”

Our man was a bit taken aback by the sudden question out of nowhere, but he answered, “Shouldn’t you say you’ll call the police?”

“That’s the usual response, but there’s an even better one,” the driver replied. He then proceeded to share a bit of advice which an actual yakuza whom he had once driven had secretly shared with him. 

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Leiji Matsumoto begins project to build real Galaxy Express 999

It’s been nearly 40 years since the Galaxy Express 999 first departed for the Planet Prometheum and all of the emotional existential adventures in between. It became a manga and anime series that filled viewers’ heads with fantasies of romantic space travel on a locomotive.

Now it seems series creator Leiji Matsumoto is tired of dreaming and is readying to construct a real Galaxy Express 999. Before you ask: No, he’s not high.

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New K-pop video features dance number with hilarious, unintentional Attack on Titan reference

Attack on Titan and K-pop are both making huge cultural waves in Japan right now. Attack on Titan, presumably, because of its inherent badassness (plus its currently screening and upcoming movies), and K-pop because men and women alike find the melodies extremely catchy and, let’s face it, the girls and guys in the videos extremely pleasing to the eye.

So it was, of course, only a matter of time before these two pop cultural, ahem, titans clashed in one way or another. And while we were expecting, eventually, some kind of official collaboration between the anime franchise and, say, KARA – the K-pop band largely credited with kicking off Japan’s current K-pop boom – it turns out the first piece of Internet ephemera to, accidentally, hilariously, combine the two is just so, so much better.

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Super cute cosplaying Shiba Inu duo is here to make your day 2x happier! 【Pics】

We’ve heard that too many cooks spoil the broth, but we’ve never heard of anyone complaining about having too many cosplaying dogs, especially not when they’re as adorable as these happy pooches.

Cosplaying Shiba Inu, and there’s two of them to boot. Need we say more? More pictures after the jump!

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Back in the cold days of winter, weather forecaster Yuko Nakagawa gave men across Japan a little summery fantasy when she made her bikini-modeling DVD debut. But while Nakagawa certainly has the figure and facial features for that line of work, what set her DVD apart from the scores of other swimwear video collections is that at 43, Nakagawa is old enough to be the mother of many of her competitors.

Japan has an expression, though, Bijin ni toshi nashi, literally “A beautiful woman has no age,” asserting that an attractive woman’s looks aren’t diminished by her numerical age. So if Nakagawa can pull off wearing a tiny bikini at 43, more power to her, fans said, and now she’s back again with a second DVD in which she wears a sailor suit school uniform for the first time in decades.

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From shady trash collectors to “compensated dating” – 5 crimes peculiar to Japan

Japan is often perceived as a safe country. The nation of 127 million people boasts some of the lowest rates in the world for serious crimes such as murder, robbery, and rape. In addition, Japan continually ranks high on the Global Peace Index. And while it may sometimes seem like stalking and crime against children is rampant in Japan (the stalking rate hit a record high of 22,823 this year, up from 21,000 in 2013), this perception comes largely from widespread media exposure. In the U.S., for example, it is estimated that 6.6 million people are stalked per year.

While serious crime may not rank as high as in other developed countries, there are plenty of the other offenses that Japan excels at, and the country has its share of unscrupulous nationals. These are the things you probably haven’t heard so much about. Today we look at five crimes, some of them strangely Japan-specific.

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100 fuzzy, friendly foxes fascinate foreigners at Kitsune Mura aka “Fox Village” 【Videos】

Rachel and Jun are a Japanese-American couple who make informative and adorable videos about their life together in Japan. Recently, they visited Kitsune Mura – aka Fox Village – which is home to around 100 adorable and friendly foxes which you can play with for only 1,000 yen.

“I can’t even believe a place like this exists,” gushed Rachel, (who visited the park along with some fellow YouTuber friends), and we have to agree – but luckily for us, they all made several videos all about their trip!

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Attack on Titan: Lost Girls novel gets manga adaptation

The August issue of Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shonen Magazine is announcing on Thursday that Ryōsuke Fuji will adapt Hiroshi Seko’s Attack on Titan: Lost Girls novel into a manga series. The manga will debut in the magazine’s next issue, which Kodansha will publish on August 9. The manga will have a color opening page.

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Soccer star Ronaldo is at it again, now starring in ad for weird Japanese ab device 【Video】

There are a lot of things about Cristiano Ronaldo that we know to be true. He is objectively a very attractive man. He is objectively a fantastic soccer player. He objectively very rich. He is – and we say this without irony – “big in Japan.” He is objectively in great shape.

He will also, objectively, endorse near any damn thing. Like this weird ab device.

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Do old eggs really float? We test this common “lifehack”

Listen guys, unless you have a huge surplus of pants hangers, Q-tips, dental floss and whatever weird detritus that’s often recommended, a lot of so-called “lifehacks” – those hobo techniques for saving money and/or accomplishing some inane task with “readily available” household objects – are a bit impractical, if they even work at all.

But there’s one, at least, that seems like it could perfectly epitomize the intended convenience of the lifehack: Testing the freshness of eggs by just dropping them into a cup of water. We’ve all got water and a cup on hand and, so long as you’re a sentient human being and not, like, a family dog reading this on your owner’s tablet after you taught yourself English.

But does this egg trick really work? Impressed at having actually found a real, potentially useful lifehack, we took it upon ourselves to test it out. Here’s what we found.

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Anime tombstone would let fans keep loving <em>Love Live!</em> even in death

A while back, we took a look at the top 20 anime that fans want to be watching as they leave the mortal realm. But what if it’s not enough to spend the last moment of your life watching your favorite series?

Then maybe what you need is a way to express your love of Japanese animation from beyond the grave…and through the grave, for that matter, with an anime tombstone like the one this craftsman made.

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Salmon-flavored Puccho candy – disgusting or delightful? 【Taste test】

Japan is well-known for its creative flavors when it comes to soda, snacks, and candy. Some are epically delicious. Others not so much. And this latest collaboration between Japanese candy company UHA and Hello Kitty’s Sanrio probably falls into the latter camp.

For those unaware, Sanrio has a wide variety of characters other than Hello Kitty, including KIRIMI-chan, a cute slice of sassy salted salmon. We’re not sure why an anthropomorphic fish fillet was chosen to be made into a UHA Puccho flavor, but it’s already happened so there’s nothing we can do but try it!

To see if this flavor is tasty or trash, we assigned our own brave RocketNews24 reporter P.K. Sanjun to try a few pieces for posterity. Does he savor the salty salmon goodness or does he spit it out? Read on to find out!

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Who needs fast food? Tokyo tempura totaling less than 10 bucks

Here at RocketNews24, two of the things we love most are delicious foods in our bellies and cash in our wallets. Unfortunately, those two things don’t always go hand-in-hand, especially in the Michelin star-studded culinary landscape of Tokyo.

But in a city as big as Tokyo, you can find just about anything with a little searching. Even if you’re totally bereft of folding money, you can still get a great meal in Japan’s capital, and you don’t have to settle for eating at a fast food chain either. On the menu today: a nine-piece tempura meal in the heart of Tokyo for less than 1,000 yen (US$8).

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Uniqlo introduces special range of “modest clothing” for Muslims in Singapore and Malaysia

We’ve spoken a little before about how Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo has (arguably) kind of a dorky image in Japan. But you can’t fault the brand’s dedication to functional fashion, as well as their market savvy. By bringing out a range of Muslim-appropriate clothing for its stores in Singapore and Malaysia, Uniqlo has demonstrated once again why they should be everyone’s go-to place for stocking up on wardrobe essentials.

Let’s check out the new range!

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Hanoi man lets dog drive motorbike, police say “Bad boy!”【Video】

The SPCA has taught me that dogs can technically drive. But that doesn’t mean we should be handing them the keys and making them designated driver for Katy’s hen do. I mean, besides the fact they don’t even have thumbs, lovably distractable dogs are likely to veer off the road in pursuit of squirrels, other dogs’ butts, a weird shadow and pretty much anything they can put in their mouths. They’re clearly a hazard to other drivers.

And that’s why the police in Hanoi are looking for a man filmed speeding down the road at night letting his dog steer the bike.

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Soaring temperatures put pressure on China’s power lines, cause TVs to explode

Soaring summer temperatures can bring more dangers than sunburn and heatstroke. In Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province, TVs, computers and fans simultaneously caught on fire in 50 apartments when the voltage of the electrical supply suddenly surged above the standard level.

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Another Japanese celebrity faces discrimination in France, this time netizens not so sympathetic

Back in April we saw legendary Japanese singer Gackt face discrimination while abroad in France. He managed to handle a frustrating situation with class, and his incident sparked a conversation online about racial discrimination.

Emiko Kaminuma, a well-known Japanese media personality, found herself in a similar spot while in France. She faced discrimination in a Paris restaurant, and she has been making a huge deal about it on her TV shows. However, her story seems to be a little different from Gackt’s….

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Venus de Milo gets her arms back thanks to Japanese figure company

Even if you know nothing about classical art, there’s a good chance you’ve at least seen photos of the Venus de Milo, the Greek statue of a lovely woman without arms. With a height of 203 centimeters (6 feet, 8 inches), the statue is larger than life in every sense of the phrase, save her missing limbs. What happened to her appendages remains a mystery to this day, and, we imagine, it will likely continue to be that way for approximately forever.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine what the sculpture looked like! And thanks to FREEing, a Kanagawa-based company, we won’t even have to stretch our imaginations too much, as they’re producing a “Venus de Milo” figure…with arms!

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Watching the Death Note TV drama? Then death god Ryuk just might be watching you

The brand-new Death Note TV drama just made its debut, and it left us feeling a little lukewarm, what with its rushed pacing and less-than-compelling changes from the manga and anime source material. Still, we probably shouldn’t be too harsh in our criticisms. After all, at just one episode in, there’s still plenty of time for the newest live-action adaptation to turn it around and deliver a portion of the thrills the original Death Note did.

Plus, we’d like to stay on the good side of the series’ death gods, since this creepy photo has us worried that maybe they can manifest in real life, and might even be watching us right now.

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New Yokai Watch movie’s spoof infomercial claims miraculous benefits 【Video】

Whether you’re Team Youkai Watch or Team Pokémon, there’s no denying that the Youkai Watch phenomenon is currently taking Japan by storm, and looks like it’s here to stay. That said, Pokémon managed to find its niche among a wide range of age groups, however Youkai Watch’s popularity appears to mainly be with Japanese youth.

Naturally this is something that producers of the series’ second movie would like to remedy, so in order to appeal to older audiences, this Youkai Watch infomercial was uploaded last weekend to the movie’s official YouTube channel, and has been making waves across the internet since. A promotional ad for Youkai Watch Enma Daiou to Itsutsu no Monogatari da Nyan!, it features a handful of respondents championing the benefits they’ve received since getting their hands on pre-sale tickets, which are slated to go on sale July 25.

Are these claims all they’re cracked up to be? You’ll have to watch and see!

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