Japanese net users surprised to learn that painfully cute bento was in fact made by a teenage boy

What did you have for lunch today? If you’re anything like me, it was probably nothing special – just something to keep you going until the end of the day. Oh, how wonderful it would be to be blessed with the skills (or a skilled family member) to make outrageously accurate kyaraben, i.e. packed lunches intricately designed to look like various characters! Lunch could be so much more entertaining!

Since not all moms are adept at creating kyaraben, some kids have taken their decorative lunches into their own hands. And by kids, I don’t just mean girls…

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Don’t miss these painfully cute photos of lawless cats invading your privacy【Photos】

Your home is your sanctuary. It’s a place where you can relax and just be yourself without any distractions from the outside world. So, it should be a place that feels secure and private. But, when you own a pet, you quickly come to understand that the privacy you seek completely disappears. Even the most isolated room in the house, the bathroom, isn’t safe from your furry compatriot.

This is especially the case if you are a cat owner. As much as cats are independent animals and do things as they wish, they become really needy when their owners disappear to answer the call of nature. Find out how cats pierce the veil of privacy when their owners go to the bathroom after the jump.

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Cross-dressing talent Matsuko Deluxe: AKB opening the Tokyo Olympics “would embarrass Japan”

Larger-than-life columnist and talent Matsuko Deluxe is well-known for her sharp tongue, particularly where pretty ladies are concerned. This week the target of her ire is idol groups like AKB48.

On a radio show Monday, she slammed the idea of them performing for the Tokyo Olympics as “embarrassing.”

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Gotta buy ’em all! Whimsicott Substitute Plush Toys have taken over Pokémon Centers in Japan!

Whenever someone mentions Pokémon, the first thing that pops up in my head is Pikachu. And then there’s Charmander and Squirtle and Bulbasaur…and Jigglypuff and Snorlax… and that’s about all the Pokémon I can name among the 700 over monsters in the multimedia series.

With more than 700 characters, one would think that fans would be spoilt for choice shopping for character goods at the Pokémon Center, but as it turns out, the Pokémon Centers in Japan have been taken over by the Whimsicott Substitute Plush Toy (Elfuun no Migawari Nuigurumi) and fans are rushing in to grab them by the basket!

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Sailor Moon and team to get new adversaries in “Black Moon Clan”

Sailor Moon and team will be facing off against an all-new group of villains in the soon-to-air second season of Sailor Moon Crystal, the newest in the long-running anime and manga franchise, says Toei Animation.

The new threat for Japan’s most famous all-girl superhero team comes in the form of the sinister (we think?) Black Moon Clan, comprised of one female and three male antagonists. The team is primarily motivated by leader Prince Demande’s desire to obtain the “Silver Crystal” and Sailor Moon herself – although it’s unclear if he’s romantically interested or if he’s just following the guidelines of the Villain Trope Handbook.

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Seriously unlucky Chinese man takes an actual arrow to the knee while doing laundry

If you’re one of those people who is plagued by bad luck, then you’ll know that disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. One man from Changsha in China’s Hunan Province learned this the hard way recently when an arrow flew out of nowhere and lodged itself in his knee while he was minding his own business hanging out laundry.

Warning: this report contains an image which some readers may find squirm-inducing!

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KFC’s Double Down evolves into a fried chicken-wrapped hot dog in the Philippines

KFC launched its Double Down menu item in 2010, and after it sunk in that the fast food chain was serious about making a bacon and cheese sandwich with two pieces of fried chicken substituting for the bread, reactions were split between horrified and hungry. All agreed though that the decadent offering was in no way to be mistaken for a healthy dining option, and many commentators declared it the sort of thing that could only have been birthed in response to the extra-gluttonous fast food culture of the U.S.

Except it turns out that Americans aren’t the only ones who occasionally like to go crazy and stuff themselves with as much KFC-cooked meat as their mouths and stomachs can hold. The Double Down was also a sales success in Korea, and this week, KFC launched an evolved version in the Philippines called the Double Down Dog.

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Got a question for Haruki Murakami? Website lets you ask the author directly, and in English, too

Earlier this month, we talked about a piece of not-so-helpful advice celebrated author Haruki Murakami gave to a fan about what makes a great writer. Murakami just his write-in website this month, though, and given that he’s sort of new at dishing out direct advice to his admirers, maybe we should cut him a little slack while he’s still getting the hang of it.

Then again, we’re not sure even the most experienced advice columnists could come up with considerate and helpful responses to some of the oddball questions Murakami has been getting. Thankfully, even if he can’t always help out those who write to him, he can at least give a laugh to everyone else who reads his responses. Even better, if you act quickly, you could ask him a question of your own, even if you don’t speak Japanese.

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Filipina singing sensation Charice is back with a short clip of ‘Let it Go,’ karaoke style!

This one goes out to all our readers in the Philippines–Charice is back, and she’s telling everyone to “Let it Go!”

We haven’t heard much about Charice for about a year, so it was a pleasant surprise to see the talented singer belting out the iconic song from Disney’s Frozen in a short YouTube karaoke clip. Also, we love that short new-ish ‘do she’s sporting!

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Japanese educators call for twice monthly No Video Game Days, recommend kids go fishing

Compared to some other countries, video games enjoy a fairly high standing in Japanese society. Nintendo’s Mario is seen by many as not only a symbol of wholesome fun, but an example of how innovation and craftsmanship can lead to sustained economic prosperity. The world of Final Fantasy isn’t just a great setting for an epic quest, but for lunch or dinner, and some particularly stylish game characters even go on to leave their mark on real-world fashion.

Still, not everyone in Japan is a fan of video gaming. The Hokkaido Board of Education would rather see kids with schoolbooks or fishing poles in their hands than game controllers, and to that end is calling for parents to institute twice monthly No Game Days, and not just for the kids in the family.

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Trouble on the pot? Here are five songs our Japanese writer chose to give you dookie power!

Hemorrhoids are, apparently, a pain in the butt. Your humble writer must confess to a lack of experience in the hemorrhoid department, but I will certainly admit a great deal of sympathy for those with the affliction. However, one of our Japanese writers, a certain Mr. Wasai, is quite experienced in the painful pooping department.

Of course, hemorrhoids aren’t exactly the most glamorous physical malady, and a large number of Japanese people are certainly embarrassed to discuss it. But Wasai is here to provide support for everyone in the form of music! Here are the five songs that best reflect his dookie affliction.

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Traditional wood-carved guitars prove Japan is the most metal

Japan is known throughout the world for finding harmonious ways of combining traditional design and aesthetics with modern ideas and technology. You can see it everywhere: in Japanese architecture, eating utensils, even smartphone/tablet cases and pop music.

So it should come as no surprise then that there’s Japanese electric guitars that have been hand-crafted out of wood following traditional carving techniques. Oh, and did we mention that you can order them online?

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Russian street turned into solid block of ice as water pipe bursts in northern town【Photos】

For many people, Moscow, covered in snow, is the first thing that springs to mind when they think of Russia. But while that’s certainly an iconic image, it’s but one view of the largest country by land mass in the world. Russia stretches far from both east to west and north to south, encompassing a variety of ecosystems and climates, and not all of them look like snowy Red Square.

Some places are actually a lot colder. Take, for instance, the town of Dudinka, where a busted water main turned a street into a solid block of ice, encasing cars parked along the road like flies trapped in an ice cube.

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Steam Garden: Tokyo’s steampunk festival might be better than a Victorian time machine

Though it sometimes feel a bit like bragging, when people ask what we like best about Tokyo, we can’t help answering that it basically has everything. Now, don’t us wrong, there are some things you can’t find in Japan’s capital city, but just about everything we’ve gone looking for, we’ve been able to find. And we’ve even discovered some things without knowing we were looking for them! Case in point, about a week ago, we found out that Tokyo has its very own quarterly steampunk festival!

Dubbed Steam Garden, the first event of the year will be held next month in Harajuku, but we were dying to know more about it, so we reached out to the Tokyo Inventors Society to learn more about steampunk in Japan. Check our exclusive interview and get information about joining the fun below!

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Ninja-cats are hiding in homes around the world and we have 20 photos to prove it

When lying in bed at night, have you ever heard a weird noise — a creaking floorboard or the rustling of a piece of paper? Has food ever mysteriously disappeared? While it very well could have been a ghost, it could have just as easily been a ninja-cat hiding in the nooks and crannies of your home!

Some ninja-cats are more skilled than others, living in apartments and stealing food completely undetected by the owners. Others, however, are not so stealthy and occasionally get caught on camera. Observe!

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AKB48 founder plans Japan48 idol group for Olympics, Phillipines spinoff

AKB48 founder and producer Yasushi Akimoto announced the formation of the Niigata-based idol group NGT48 at the “AKB48 Request Hour Set List Best 1035″ event in Tokyo on Sunday. His aim in creating another local group, he says, is to ultimately form an idol group called “Japan48″ by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Japan48 will draw its members from each of the local “48 groups.”

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Terrorists release third video of Japanese hostage, say it will be his last

More than a week has passed since terrorist organization ISIS released its first video of Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto. Days later, in a second video, a voice believed to be Goto’s was heard stating that Yukawa had been killed by the terrorists.

Now, a third statement has been released, in which a man identifying himself as Goto says that he has only 24 hours left before he will be murdered as well.

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What do sumo wrestlers have in common with Tinker Bell?

Sumo wrestlers and Disney fairy Tinker Bell are not two things you would think have much in common. Yet their uncanny similarity is exactly what netizens in Japan have noticed, following a series of photos published recently on the Internet.

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Chinese social media game features a host of familiar western celebrity faces

In Japan, mobile and social networking games are a huge market, and have even begun to eclipse console games in recent years. This can perhaps be attributed to their commuting culture, which has made portable gaming a necessity, and the fact that smartphones are more accessible than portable handheld consoles. At any rate, it’s an industry that’s worth big bucks, and generally high quality is expected. Perhaps that’s why some gamers in Japan have been sniggering over this unusual game from China, which cuts corners massively by borrowing the likenesses of western celebrities in place of original content.

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Japanese netizens can’t stop balancing stuff on their pets, but this birdy and kitty aren’t amused

If you’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time on the internet over the past few years (haha, who are we kidding, of course you have), then you’ll probably be familiar with the trend of balancing stuff on your pets. It’s practically an old meme now, but for some reason it seems to be having a revival on Twitter in Japan. Two doting pet owners tweeted some choice snaps of their fuzzy buddies practically buried under a mountain of… stuff, and it’s totally squee-worthy! Join us after the jump for some very unamused but amusing pets!

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