Microsoft to launch real-time translation through Skype

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the company plans to launch a real-time translation tool for Skype before the end of this year.

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Sushi train restaurant serves up caramel banana sushi and caramel mayonnaise corn sushi!

Starting from today, sushi train chain restaurant Kura-zushi will be serving up two incredibly unique, limited-edition delicacies. Thanks to a sweet collaboration with Morinaga Milk Caramels, customers will now be able to order caramel banana sushi. And that’s not all – caramel corn mayonnaise sushi will be on the menu too.

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Frozen fan gets hot under collar when husband asks what the big deal is, asks for divorce

I’m fortunate in that my wife and I have fairly similar tastes in movies and TV shows. We both agree that Modern Family is funny, seeing the Hulk beat up Loki in The Avengers is deeply satisfying, and that the anime Escaflowne is an extremely compelling take on the standard plotline of “boy meets girl, girl falls in love with other boy, and by the way both boys pilot giant robots.”

At the same time, we’re also mature enough to respect each other’s opinions when they do diverge. Unfortunately, not all spouses can agree to disagree when it comes to entertainment, as is the case with the woman in Japan who’s looking for a divorce because her husband isn’t a fan of Disney’s Frozen.

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Tennis coach forces his students to draw elephant heads on their penises【TomoNews Video】

A tennis coach in Tainan banned his students from dating. Anyone who broke the rule was forced to have an elephant drawn on their privates.

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American singer to perform theme song for newest Studio Ghibli film 【Video】

A recent scandal in the Japanese entertainment world may have delayed the release of the announced box set of the works of retired anime director Hayao Miyazaki, the latest offering from the production house he helped found, Studio Ghibli, is still on track for its planned July premiere. With the big day coming up fast, producers have released a short teaser of the anime film’s theme song, which is being performed by American folk singer Priscilla Ahn.

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Where do idol events go from here? AKB48 attack forces rethink on how handshake events are held

In the wake of the saw attack on two members of AKB48 and one man working with the venue, many readers of the news couldn’t help but think, “It was just a matter of time before something like this happened.”

Handshake and high-five events give fans and idols a daring level of closeness compared to pop stars in other countries. However, for years they have gone on relatively incident-free, which is surprising considering the thousands and thousands of people who participate around the country.

Despite the nagging feeling that something could go very wrong, these promotional events were hugely lucrative in an otherwise stale music industry. But now the company behind AKB48, as well as those handling other idol units who rely heavily on these events, have to find a way to ensure their stars’ safety without losing the sense of intimacy they’ve had with their fan-bases.

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What was this Attack on Titan giant doing at a protest in Hong Kong?

We knew Attack on Titan was crazy popular with an incredible 36 million volumes in circulation and a huge fanbase that stretches from Japan to the English-speaking world and beyond, it’s also been translated for audiences in Korea and China (Taiwan). Next year things will reach new heights with a full length live-action film starring Haruma Miura in the leading role.

When we saw these photos apparently showing a Titan from the series taking part in a demo in Hong Kong, we just had to find out more. “The Red Giant” is a piece of protest art made by Hong Kong based artist Kacey Wong, and pictures from the demo have been doing the rounds on Japanese online message boards this week. At once among the crowd and separate from it, the looming bright red figure is a powerful symbol of what Wong sees as the threat posed to Hong Kong by mainland China’s rapid growth as an economic superpower.

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Bones of mythical Japanese water demon to go on public display

Every Japanese person knows about kappa, the tricksy and sometimes dangerous, yet strangely polite, water demons from ancient folklore. But how many have actually seen one in real life?

Next month, people will have the chance to, when parts of a supposedly real kappa go on display in all their mummified glory.

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The Ozashiki Cafe — Japanese restaurant offers chance to spend time with real-life geisha!

Have you ever fantasized about the world of geisha? Even for most of us Japanese, the beautifully made-up and richly adorned geisha is an object of fascination and mystery, simply because the world they live and entertain in is so exclusive. Since it’s quite rare for the average Japanese person to have the opportunity to be entertained by professional geisha, many of us don’t really have an idea of what goes on in the tea houses (ochaya) and traditional restaurants (ryotei) where geisha perform, which is why the ryotei Miyakodori has come up with a one-day event called the “Ozashiki Cafe” to offer us a glimpse into the hidden world of geisha!

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China to remove six million cars from its roads in an effort to make city air breathable again

Chinese cities have featured a lot in the news over the past few years. With the country experiencing rapid economic growth and its industries going into overdrive – though often with scant regard for the environment – the air quality in some cities has deteriorated to the point that health organisations have warned against spending too much time outdoors. The country’s rivers, too, bear the scars of progress as factories pump tons of waste into them, in some cases turning the water dark red.

Thankfully, though, the Chinese government has pledged to address the situation, and has this week announced plans to remove as many as six million vehicles from its roads in an effort to detoxify city air.

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Noodle maker does everything you can’t: make noodles!

The other day we brought you news about Brazilian style cup noodles and as the saying goes, you eat with your eyes before your mouth and we’re sure many of you became suddenly hungry after looking at the picture. Even though you knew it was Cup Noodle, that didn’t stop you from salivating at the words “BBQ” and “Brazilian spices”. Seeing instant ramen undoubtedly brings the thoughts of, “I wonder if I could make my own ramen noodles myself, instead of whatever is in this Styrofoam cup.” Starting from July, you can and this new product from Waganse is just as easy as “making” a Cup Noodle and probably a whole lot healthier too.

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Take a peek inside a Hong Kong cat cafe

Many foreign tourists who come to Japan make sure to check out one of the country’s ubiquitous cat cafes before heading home. After all, if you’re a cat lover, what better way to relax in the middle of your busy schedule while still doing something distinctly “Japanese”?

But did you know that cat cafes are springing up in other parts of the world, too? Take Hong Kong’s Ah Meow Cat Cafe (阿貓地攤), for instance. Located in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong’s major shopping district, the cafe is always jam-packed with curious customers. We wanted to share with you some photos from popular Canadian blogger La Carmina’s visit to the cafe, so sit back, gather up your feline friends, and start purring!

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Things Japanese girls do that make foreign guys run for the hills

Are you a Japanese girl? Are you terrified that your implausibly popular foreign boyfriend might run off after one of those other girls that are constantly throwing themselves at him? Japanese website Madame Riri has come up with a whistle-stop guide to things Japanese girls do that make foreign guys back off. Avoid these pitfalls, and you too can have a fairytale ending with your Price Charming… Apparently. Let’s see what they came up with!
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16 tourist spots that China ripped off from the rest of the world

A replica of the Statue of Liberty in Shenyang, Northeast China, has been making the rounds on Twitter this morning.But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen large-scale replicas of global tourist destinations in China.

The Asian giant with a rich cultural heritage of its own, has also incorporated architectural styles from around the world and in some instances tried to replicate Paris and towns in England.

Shanghai rolled out a “One city, Nine Towns” scheme with small towns built in a different international style.

We compiled 16 spots that China ripped off — admittedly, some of these are part of larger theme parks.

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Our writer tries out Hong Kong’s ‘killer sushi’, lives to tell the tale

For some of our Western readers, just the idea of raw fish might be enough to turn stomachs. Now imagine the kind of sushi that even Japanese folk can’t handle. We’ve previously introduced Hong Kong’s ‘Myosho sushi’ store, nicknamed ‘killer sushi’, on our Japanese site, but in the name of journalism we decided that a hands-on report was necessary. And so we sent our brave and strong-stomached writer out into the field.

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Disney’s Frozen joins the ranks of highest-grossing films of all time in Japan

Not that we didn’t see it coming, but it was announced on Monday that Disney’s Frozen has officially surpassed 19.8 billion yen (US$194.6 million) in total box office revenue in Japan. Released on March 14 in Japan as アナと雪の女王 (“Ana and the Snow Queen”), months behind its original stateside premiere, the film has held onto its number one position for 11 consecutive weeks. 

So how does that stack up with other successful films in Japanese box office history? Keep reading to find out its current ranking plus a list of the highest-grossing films of all time in Japan!

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“Brazilian” coffee cola released in Japan

From the country that brought you carbonated espresso comes a coffee and cola drink claiming to be Brazilian that’s described as a “delicious Carnival.” Wait, what?

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Artist gives anime and comic characters stained-glass look — with stunning results!

Now, as a site that features a large amount of quirky news from Japan, we have a feeling that a fair number of our readers may be interested in anime and comics. As such, it is always a pleasure to share on our site beautiful artwork inspired by anime or comics in various forms. This time, we’ve found a collection of stunning work that combines modern anime/comic characters with a bit of antique taste — in the style of stained-glass windows! But these aren’t actual windows, although they certainly look lovely enough to be made into real works of colorful glass. They’re prints that look like stained glass, and there’s a whole lovely series of them!

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Japanese netizen teaches us how to make awesome sausage isopods for bento lunches

Packed lunches in Japan, or bento, are arguably more exciting than an anywhere else in the world. While such delicacies as cheese sandwiches, chips, and so-not-real-food-it’s-scary “snack packs” reign supreme in the West, typical bento lunches in Japan almost always involve things like rice, vegetables, fish, fried chicken, and potato salad. You name it, if it’s decent food it’s in there, and very often crafted into some cute character or artistic arrangement by a loving parent or spouse.

Today, thanks to a Twitter user in Japan, we’re going to learn how to turn the humble wiener or cocktail sausage into something far cooler: a mini version of a giant isopod.

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“Sudden desire to eat ice cream may indicate cancer” – Author of book on the disease

The other day I was craving one of those delectable Cream Puff Gari Gari Kun ice pops from my local 7-Eleven with their sweet milky ice crystals coating a rich custard sauce center. So you know what I did?

I went right down to my local hospital for a colonoscopy, that’s what. Normally I’d actually eat the delicious snack, but after hearing about the latest book by Japanese author, Munetetsu Tei, I learned that it might actually be cancer trying to trick me.

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