Dazzle us, Ms. Kitty! Hello Kitty is purrr-ly magnificent in her new jeweled look

Dazzle us, Ms. Kitty! Hello Kitty is purrr-ly magnificent in her new jeweled look

We’re quite aware that Hello Kitty, the most famous feline in the world, has turned herself into some pretty exclusive high-end products in the past, like a limited edition pink car or even a jewel-studded platinum doll complete with a one carat diamond on her signature ribbon worth approximately US$150,000. But now, it looks like Ms. Kitty’s latest collaborative effort is about to top all of that!
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15 heartwarming Japanese Twitter posts about good ol’ grandma

15 heartwarming Japanese Twitter posts about good ol’ grandma

The Chinese have a saying: An elderly person at home is like having a treasure in the family. It can sometimes be exasperating having to repeat what you said five times before grandma hears you, or put up with her forgetting your name for the hundredth time, but deep down inside she’s an irreplaceable source of peace and her smile always manages to chase the blues away.

We can’t quite put a finger on what’s so fascinating about our own wrinkly old ladies, but these posts from Japanese Twitter users have convinced us that grandmothers are special people regardless of which country they come from!

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We celebrate Pocky Day by sharing Japanese candy with the Maasai people of Kenya

We celebrate Pocky Day by sharing Japanese candy with the Maasai people of Kenya

Along with having a pleasing smell, one of the essential requirements of being part of the RocketNews24 team is a certain measure of eloquence. I can proudly say that the rest of the crew writes really, really good (they also help me out a lot, quite obviously).

But sometimes, words aren’t quite enough. How can mere prose do justice to the subtle hues of a cherry blossom, or the reverberations of a temple bell? Sometimes, in order to properly carry out our mission of spreading the simple joys of Japanese culture, we have to carry it with us and head out into the world, which is just what we did recently while traveling Africa.

Unfortunately cherry blossom season is still about five months away, and we couldn’t fit our cast-iron bell in the overhead bin, so we settled for the next best thing: bringing boxes of the chocolaty snack Pocky to share with the Maasai people of Kenya.

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Too hot to be a nerd? We visit the fabled Animate worker who has the ladies of the Internet talking

Too hot to be a nerd? We visit the fabled Animate worker who has the ladies of the Internet talking

You’ve already been introduced to Yuya Uchida, the attractive worker at the Osaka Nipponbashi branch of Animate, a chain of anime and manga stores in Japan. He has inspired countless Internet debates regarding his status as both an otaku and a hottie, prompting one user to comment, “Hot guys should be banned from watching anime.” We knew we had to go out to Osaka to find this mythical hotaku™ and see for ourselves if he really is as irresistible as the Internet makes him out to be.

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Nerd crime: N00b online gamer stabbed in real life by L337 Hackz0r

Nerd crime: N00b online gamer stabbed in real life by L337 Hackz0r

In a slightly convoluted tale of intrigue and betrayal, a Saitama man was arrested for stabbing his online gaming buddy after the two got into an argument about a lack of gaming skills.

The two apparently met at a game arcade over a decade before the incident and had been keeping in touch, dabbling in multiplayer matches of a Gundam-themed online game together. After one apparently teased the other about his lack of skills, the two decided to settle the debate in person.

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They’ll see London, maybe visit France, but young Japanese guys aren’t into seeing ladies underpants

They’ll see London, maybe visit France, but young Japanese guys aren’t into seeing ladies underpants

Pop quiz, fellas! You’re standing on the street and a very attractive woman is walking across a subway grate when, wouldn’t you know it, a gust of wind blows her skirt up revealing her underwear. Would you consider this an especially good day?

If you answered “yes” then guess what? You’re old!

At least that’s what a survey conducted by a Japanese erotic game company is suggesting, and I’m inclined to trust them since their livelihoods depend on this kind of info.

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Hafu: Telling the story of Japan’s mixed-race minority and changing attitudes in society【Q&A】

Hafu: Telling the story of Japan’s mixed-race minority and changing attitudes in society【Q&A】

For such a small word, “half” carries an awful lot of weight here in Japan. Adapted to fit the syllabary, the word is pronounced “hafu” in Japanese, and describes a person who has one Japanese – and of course one non-Japanese – parent. More often than not, the word carries certain connotations, and many Japanese have preconceived, often erroneous, notions that hafus have natural English ability, have spent time abroad, and possess many of the physical characteristics Japanese associate with Westerners. At the same time, the word is immediately indicative of something very un-Japanese, and many hafu – even those who have never set foot outside of Japan and speak no other language – are never truly accepted by society as a result.

The Hafu Project was begun in 2009 as an initiative aiming to promote awareness of racial diversity in Japan and the issues facing those of mixed heritage. It was after becoming involved with the project that two filmmakers, Megumi Nishikura and Lara Perez Takagi, began a collaborative work that would eventually become a full-length feature film titled, simply, Hafu.

Three years in the making, Hafu was completed in April this year, and has been screened at independent cinemas everywhere from Madrid to Tokyo. After checking out the film for ourselves when it came to Shibuya recently, RocketNews24 talked with Megumi and Lara to learn a little more about the making of the film and how in their opinion attitudes in Japan are evolving.

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Chinese man’s “hideous” face causes woman to fall and break four teeth

Chinese man’s “hideous” face causes woman to fall and break four teeth

While looks may not kill, a woman in Dalian City, China found out last month that some guy’s ugly mug can scare you enough to make you to lose your balance and break four teeth. Although the beauty-deficient man said he was merely asking directions, the woman was apparently so frightened by his visage that after falling off her bike and hurting herself, she rushed to the police where she pressed charges.

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The nine best onigiri fillings as chosen by an American

The nine best onigiri fillings as chosen by an American


Onigiri is a popular Japanese food. Although it’s a simple combination of a ball of rice filled with some other delicious meat, fish or vegetable, it takes some experience to get to know this snack deeply in all its combinations. Of course, Japanese people all know what they like when it comes to onigiri, but how much could a foreigner get into this kind of food?

To get a sense of this, we met with an American named Chris who is visiting Japan to do some surfing, and gave him a taste test to rank his nine best onigiri fillings. Read More

This old man’s hairdressing skills are smoking hot!

This old man’s hairdressing skills are smoking hot!

Some of us like experimenting with hair colors and styling methods, while others prefer finding a look that suits them best and sticking with that signature style throughout. Whichever category you fall into, the traditional Dahuojia (fire-heated clamps) hairdressing method might be something you would want to put on your bucket list. The ancient hair styling technique involving red-hot metal clamps is a dying trade though, so don’t wait too long to get to it!

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Why you should eat wasabi with your sushi – the secrets behind 10 Japanese food pairings

Why you should eat wasabi with your sushi – the secrets behind 10 Japanese food pairings

Traditions are taken very seriously in Japan, and one of the most noticeable examples is Japanese food. Certain foods and seasonings are always paired together, and while it may be tempting to dismiss this as just another example of the cultural homogeneity of an island nation, in several cases there are legitimate health benefits to these standard combinations.

Following are 10 culinary collaborations that won’t just fill you up and satisfy your taste buds, but leave you a little healthier, too.

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Hunting: The newest growing hobby of Japanese women

Hunting: The newest growing hobby of Japanese women

As you probably know gun ownership in Japan is quite rare, but it certainly does exist. The main reason for people to own firearms (almost always rifles or shotguns) is hunting–which is still mostly dominated by old men. However, one demographic is growing even as the overall number of hunters is shrinking: Young women!

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Feel the charm of Moon Prism Power — while putting food in your mouth!

Feel the charm of Moon Prism Power — while putting food in your mouth!

Remember when you had a favorite TV/comic/game/storybook character you couldn’t live without, and you just had to have some toy or other connected with it close to you at all times? Well, if you’re a fan of Sailor Moon, you’ll be delighted to hear that toy manufacturer Bandai has just announced a line of products that may just let you relive some of that giddy excitement. And while these products may have the sparkly appearance of a toy, they also have a very practical use too, as you’ve probably been able to guess from the picture. Yes, folks, get ready to enjoy some Moon Prism magic — at your dining table! Read More

Nissan to release new Skyline for the first time in seven years…and it’s a hybrid!

Nissan to release new Skyline for the first time in seven years…and it’s a hybrid!

A representative for Nissan announced the company will release a new hybrid version of their Skyline in Japan. This marks the first design change for the coveted sports sedan since 2006. We’re hoping this new version will be able to be imported to the US…

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Squirrel loses nut, goes totally nuts

Squirrel loses nut, goes totally nuts

This is a squirrel absolutely freaking out – adorably – about dropping a nut from a high place. The little guy must have been fantasizing about that nut all day. He must have been saving it for a rainy day; one of those particularly stressful days after whatever squirrel equivalent to a desk job he was doing.

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Japanese product promotion invites women to snuggle up with foreign hotties in bathrobes

Japanese product promotion invites women to snuggle up with foreign hotties in bathrobes

Women in Japan were feeling a little left out when the charity breast squeeze event came into town this past summer. Sure, some women like to squeeze a boob every now and then, but there was never any naughty public happening created with ladies in mind. That is until now.

For a limited time only, the women of Japan can enjoy sandwiching themselves between two bathrobe-clad foreigners without having to donate a single yenny.

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Searching for Senyu Ryuka, the Japanese woman people call “God”

Searching for Senyu Ryuka, the Japanese woman people call “God”

You’d think finding a god would be easy. Now, I don’t mean that in the born-again “finding God” kind of way. I mean actually finding someone who hundreds maybe even thousands of people consider a god and who walks among us.

It all started one sunny day as I was out pencil shopping along a busy street. A little old lady with a kind smile handed me the paper pictured above. The title read, “The message from the world of spirits: William Shakespeare.” Thinking, “Now, that’s a name I can trust!” I read on.

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Vocaloid’s fandom evolves beyond the music and becomes the face of young Japanese otaku

Vocaloid’s fandom evolves beyond the music and becomes the face of young Japanese otaku

Last month, we posted an article capturing the changes in anime art style over time. These adjustments in overall style can come on so slowly, but when laid out side-by-side, they become so blatantly apparent, it’s amazing that such a large breadth of drawing styles could all come under the umbrella of Japanese anime. It would seem that with every passing decade there comes an attraction to a different art style.

In the special interest magazine, Febri volume 19, there is an interesting report called Portrait of a Modern Otaku, which classifies these trends in popular Japanese anime according to “generations,” starting with Space Battleship Yamato and all of its fans falling into generation one. Generation two is represented by Gundam, while fans born of Evangelion and erotic dating simulators belong to generation three. Today’s twenty-somethings likely identify with the fourth generation of fans frontlined by The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. And finally, the youngest bunch, teenagers and below are classified together with none other than Kagerou Project.

But wait. How could it be that an offshoot of Vocaloid, the computer voice simulator, is the poster child for this most recent generation of otaku? The development of Vocaloid fandom itself, holds the answers.

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Nintendo to release album of 8-bit theme songs to celebrate 30 years of NES

Nintendo to release album of 8-bit theme songs to celebrate 30 years of NES

For those of us that find it hard to believe that the NES (called “Famicom” in Japan) turned 30 this year, Nintendo is putting out an album of 26 of the best theme songs from classic games like Super Mario BrothersThe Legend of Zelda and Metroid. The two-disc album comes out December 4, making it the perfect holiday gift for that person in your life that loves the simple 8-bit tunes of yesteryear.

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These one-minute sex ed videos are proving to be a big hit in China 【Videos】

These one-minute sex ed videos are proving to be a big hit in China 【Videos】

Every parent would agree that kids ask the toughest questions, albeit purely out of curiosity. The all-time-favorite question, “Where do babies come from?” can instantly send a mother into panic mode. She of course knows the answer, but the challenge lies in providing one that can satisfy the little tot’s thirst for knowledge, while censoring the details they simply aren’t ready for.

Nutcracker Studio, a creative team hailing from Beijing, China, produced three one-minute videos that could very well be a lifesaver for first-time parents. The three clips addressing sex education issues such as “Where do babies come from?”, “Why are boys and girls different?”, and “How minors can prevent sexual harassment”, instantly rocketed to fame, getting over a million views on Youku, China’s version of YouTube, and ranking in 2nd among hot queries on Baidu, China’s largest search engine.

All three videos after the jump!

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