Monkey princess? Debate erupts over Japanese zoo naming baby macaque after new British princess

Japan’s always had a soft spot for the dashing, regal couple of the U.K.’s Prince William and wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The warmhearted admiration got kicked up a notch when the prince (who’s also a duke, just for good measure) made his first trip to Japan this spring, and the infatuation went into overdrive this week with the news of the birth of the couple’s second child.

That exuberance has manifested itself in many ways, including visitors to an animal park in Oita Prefecture deciding that the facility’s newborn baby should share the infant princess’ name, Charlotte. 

Not everyone agrees that’s such an honor, though.

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Taylor Swift arrives in Tokyo, gets mobbed by fans, burned by hot shrimp 【Video】

Judged by certain objective measures, Taylor Swift has a better life than I do. She’s richer and more musically talented than I’ll ever be, and I’m pretty sure that if we were both in the hospital and in need of a kidney transplant, the lineup of willing donors for her would be far longer than the one for me.

But there’s one thing in life that strips away all the advantages conveyed on a person through wealth, fame, and popularity. I speak, of course, of the great equalizer: the challenge of eating a really hot shrimp with chopsticks.

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Kitakyushu’s spectacular wisteria tunnel is blooming! You don’t want to miss it!

You guys, it’s May, so that means you can finally go see the beautiful wisteria tunnel that we told you about last October! If you find yourself anywhere near northern Kyushu or have time for a weekend getaway, head to Fukuoka Prefecture’s Kitakyushu City. If you think we’re exaggerating or doctoring the pictures to make them more beautiful (we’re not), at least trust the opinion of the Japanese Twitter users gushing over the wisteria’s beauty! 

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Crayfish claw mistakenly eaten whole becomes huge pain in the ass

On 17 April, a man whom the Chinese media is referring to as Zhang headed for the toilet to perform a crucial part of his morning routine. There would be no chance to catch up on the sports section of his paper this day, however.

During his bowel movement the man in his 40s experienced a severe pain in his anus. It wasn’t until the pain grew so intense that he could barely walk that Zhang decided to seek medical help.

And so begins a lesson on chewing your food properly.

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What do you call this sitting pose? Japanese netizens polled to find differences in dialect

Even when speaking with fellow English speakers, sometimes you realize that the same thing can be called a variety of names. (Try calling soda “pop” in most of the US and enjoy the funny looks you get.) The same is true in Japan, where, thanks to regional dialects, some people have a hard time being understood when they leave their hometowns.

One Twitter user recently brought regional dialect differences to the forefront of the Internet when he surveyed over a thousand people about the word they would use to describe a certain way of sitting. Collecting and plotting the data on a map of Japan, the results have been surprising people from all regions!

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Digimon Adventure tri. anime gets release date, revealed as theatrical feature in six-part series

So there’s some good news and some bad news about Digimon Adventure tri., the follow-up to the phenomenally popular Digimon Adventure anime that’s set 15 years after the events of the original. The bad news is, contrary to early speculation, Digimon Adventure tri., isn’t going to be airing on Japanese TV during either the spring or the summer.

The good news is, the latest installment in the franchise is a theatrical feature, just the first of six parts of the new series, and we now know when we get to see it!

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Japanese Twitter user’s comics depicting office-lady life will hit you right in the feels

The life of a Japanese salaryman or OL (office lady) can be a thoroughly depressing one. Waking up early, working all day, staying out late for (mandatory) drinks with clients and coworkers, and then catching a few hours of sleep if you’re lucky, only to repeat it again and again and again until you finally hit retirement age.

Japanese Twitter user @black9arrows managed to capture this lifestyle perfectly in comic form. While many of the comics are funny, most of them are so dead-on you’ll cry right along with the poor OL protagonist.

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We try deliciously meaty US-style “Inside-Out” ramen burgers at Ramen Burger Tokyo

It seems that when Japanese food makes its way over to America, something gets lost in translation and the food winds up inside-out. Just look at California rolls, for example.

And now, here’s another example of Japanese food being flipped: “Ramen burgers” which usually consist of a bun filled with ramen noodles, have been reborn in the US as, um, “ramen burgers”, but with a twist – the meat patty is sandwiched between two “buns” made of tightly packed noodles!

We sent our resident office culinary “expert” Mr Sato down to the first “US-style ramen burger” joint in Japan for a taste test!

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These three Kyoto sushi restaurants target women, but we think everyone will enjoy them!

Sushi is one of those foods that really grabs the imagination. Whether you’re in a kaiten-zushi joint in Akihabara or one of the $300-a-meal restaurants you read about in the news, there’s something almost captivating about the ritual of it all.

Of course, anyone is welcome at pretty much any sushi restaurant, but these three Kyoto-based restaurants have received a bit of attention online for specifically targeting women. From do-it-yourself sushi to tiny, round delights, these places have really piqued our curiosity. Check out some photos below and start making your plans for a trip to Kyoto now!

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Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? Part 2: Please refrain from using the bathroom alone

It’s time once again for an episode of Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? If you missed the first installment (which we really should have given a clever name like Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? ~Unexpected Opening to the Truth~) you can check it out here.

Today, we’re taking a look at a hotel in Japan that seems to be clamping down on solo peeing, with a sign posted in its lobby that requests visitors “Please refrain from using the bathroom alone.”

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Watch dad’s hilarious interpretations of Smash Bros characters 【Video】

Nothing can enhance the mood of a party quite like a raring round of Super Smash Bros. The chaos that breaks out in these free-for-all battles is bound to bring out the competitiveness in anyone, and there are dozens of characters to choose from, each with their own unique strengths and special attacks.

Those of you who own the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros have probably seen each character’s own taunting animation, but seeing a grown man perform them is nothing short of magical. While not as synchronized as this little Bruce Lee‘s nunchaku mimicry, this dad’s Smash Bros imitations are arguably better than the actual thing!

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Beefy My Love Story!! cosplayer shows anime characters can be large and in charge 【Photos】

Earlier this year, a clever idea caused waves in the anime community when one cosplayer hit upon the idea of using strap-on breasts to give yourself the sort of expansive bust so common in the world of Japanese animation. But while you can strap on costuming accouterments to add volume to your body where needed, that’s not an option if you’re instead going for the sort of exaggeratedly slender build of a male lead from a girls’ manga.

But even if a mix of genetics, diet, and exercise have given you a square jaw and a thick trunk, there is one leading man of shojo manga you can easily take on the appearance of, as shown in these spot-on My Love Story!! cosplay photos.

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North Korea appears to be on fire again, smoke begins to reach Japan

On 23 March, reports came out of a large fire that had broken out near the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. The south is claimed that the fire originated in the north and blew over to their side.

The blaze was dealt with on South Korea’s side, but a month later, according to images released by NASA, it appears that now a good chunk of North Korea’s eastern coast is becoming engulfed in flames as well.

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Are you too chicken to eat a chicken comb?

Chicken legs, drumsticks, wings, breasts, feet, and now the comb? What will they think of next?

Letting no part go to waste, the latest food trend that people are crowing about is the chicken’s comb (cockscomb) or crest (the red mohawk-like fleshy part of a chicken’s forehead). But are you too chicken to try it?

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Skiing samurai shreds the slopes with katana ski pole

Every ski season in Japan brings with it an army of skiers and snowboarders keen to make tracks in fresh, world-class powder snow. But how can you make your mark when you’re surrounded by hundreds of people decked out in ordinary ski jackets and snow goggles?

One keen warrior-loving skier found a solution to this problem by donning some heavy samurai armour on the slopes. And just to make sure he had everyone’s attention, he decided to forgo the ski poles for a long, single-edged sword known as a katana.

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Gunkanjima and 22 sites of Japan Meiji Industrial Revolution up for World Heritage award

Congratulations, Japan; you’re on your way to being awarded yet another UNESCO World Heritage honor!

This time around the honor will be going to “Sites of Japan Meiji Industrial Revolution,” which includes Nagasaki’s legendary (and awesomely spooky) “Battleship Island” among others, granted it passes the final approval stage.

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Japan celebrates Children’s Day by flying beautiful carp streamers 【Photos】

While people in Japan put up decorations to celebrate different holidays, most of them are placed inside the home, such as the dolls for Girls’ Day/Hina Matsuri in March or the vegetables displayed during Obon in the summer. Out in public, though, though, you’d be hard-pressed to tell one Japanese holiday from another, with the exception of Children’s Day/Kodomo no Hi on May 5.

That’s because when Children’s Day rolls around, all you have to do is look up at all of the beautifully awesome carp streamers flying overhead,

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Listen to Idina Menzel, the original voice of Elsa in Frozen, sing “Let It Go” in Japanese!

Disney’s Frozen is, of course, mega-popular in Japan, as it is in many other countries around the world. But over here it’s known as Anna and the Snow Queen, and the movie’s famous song “Let It Go” is known as “Ari no Mama de” (“the truth/as I am”).

Obviously, we’ll always have a soft spot for the original version no matter how many times we hear it, but of all the many versions of the song in different languages, the Japanese version is especially beautiful. Sung by hugely popular veteran actress and singer Takako Matsu, “Ari no Mama de” is a slightly sweeter, softer around the edges version with some perfectly translated lyrics, which, as in the original, are all about self-acceptance.

But what would it sound like if “Ari no Mama de” was sung by the original English-language version’s voice of Elsa, Broadway actress Idina Menzel?

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Jealous elephant inexplicably hates couples, will fling grass and snot, warns Ishikawa Zoo

They say that an elephant never forgets, so we’re guessing that Sunny, the Asian Elephant who lives at Ishikawa Zoo, has gone through some sort of traumatic breakup in his past. A sign near his enclosure warns visitors that Sunny can’t stand happy couples and will fling grass, water, and snot at anyone he spots canoodling…

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Condom Day! And other oddly kinky anniversaries in May

You may have been aware that this week was, and technically still is, Golden Week here in Japan, but did you know that it’s Condom Day today?

And the frisky business doesn’t end there. It may be pure coincidence, but there are various anniversaries in May that happen to be related to love relationships in one way or another, although some of these special days appear to be slightly odd – apparently you could risk losing your life if you had sex on one of these days! Read on to find out when!

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