Bandai booth babe’s gachapon toy vending machine outfit is bizarrely suggestive

The generally accepted way to market a product at a trade show in Japan is pretty simple. First, hire an attractive model. Second, dress her in a sexy outfit that has some connection, however spurious, to whatever you’re promoting.

But after decades of adhering to this strategy, it can be hard to make your model stand out in a sea of skimpy bikini tops and miniskirts. That’s why Bandai decided to try something different, and put their Tokyo Toy Show model in a pair of overalls that actually seems pretty modest…at least until you look at where they attached the prize-dispensing dial from their toy vending machines.

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“Skeleton” flower turns transparent when wet

They say spending time on social media rots your brain, but today, just because it was making the rounds on Twitter, I discovered a really neat flower native to both Japan, where I live now, and the States, where I was born. See, who needs to leave the house?

Meet diphylleia grayi, sometimes called the skeleton flower, a humble white woodland blossom that turns transparent when it rains!

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Maru the celebricat is done playing with boxes, now wants to become a box himself

Box-loving Japanese kitty Maru has been delighting cat fans for years with his love for cardboard containers of all kinds. Despite being a fluffy chubster, Maru seems to constantly underestimate his own size, leading to much hilarity as he attempts to squeeze his podgy body into boxes and containers that are just way too small for him.

But now, Maru’s taking his act to the next level. No longer content just to squeeze himself into boxes, he’s now embarking upon a transition process to become a box himself

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Turn rice balls into rice kitties with this adorable omusubi kit!

The Japanese words omusubi and onigiri are usually translated as “rice ball,” but there’s no rule that they have to be round. Walk into any convenience store or supermarket in Japan and you’ll find the shelves stocked with triangular versions, plus plenty that look closer to a soft-edged hockey puck than a perfectly spherical ball.

What we’re saying is that when it comes to omusubi design, your options are wide open, and with this kitty-shaped omusubi kit, they’re adorable as well.

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A beautiful and glittering Kyoto confection perfect for enjoying a starry summer’s night

If you’ve never tried traditional Japanese sweets, you will find that they are certainly very different from those in the west. They are not as sweet and are often made of mochi, azuki bean paste, nuts and fruits. Known as wagashi in Japanese, there are thousands of shops in cities all over Japan that sell these kinds of desserts. One such shop in the old capital, Kyoto, is showing off its history and creativity with a limited-edition summer sweet: “A night full of stars”.

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How a Hibari Misora classic became a cowboy-themed ska song with an Irish flavor

Scientifically speaking, sounds are simply vibrations that spread through the air for anyone’s ears and brain to pick up on and interpret. Sometimes, if those vibrations are just right, they can seem to travel much farther and deeper than anyone could imagine.

In that same way, a song can spread around the world when it hits people just the right way. That’s perhaps why a Japanese folk song by the legendary Hibari Misora from the 50s ended up as a British ska tune in the late 80s. Here’s the evolution of that song based on an explanation by Tsuyoshi Sato of music website Tap the Pop.

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93-year-old Chiba man on trial for killing wife at her request

A somber case is currently making its way through the Japanese legal system as a 93-year-old man goes on trial for killing his wife, apparently at her request. This heartbreaking case has made headlines in Japan and evoked a gut-wrenching testimony from their eldest daughter.

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Celebrate Usagi-chan’s birthday at the Sailor Moon Crystal café that’s open for four days only!

Every year on June 30 there’s one particular girl who receives birthday messages from thousands of people around the world. Rather than respond to them all personally on Facebook like most of us would, this young lady gives back the love by protecting the planet in the form of Sailor Moon.

This year, a special cafe will be opened in her honour for a four-day long birthday party featuring themed drinks, desserts and even a special birthday cake for visitors to enjoy. We take a look at what’s in store for Usagi-chan’s birthday party after the break.

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Traditional sake brewing has never looked this cool 【Video】

We’ve written a lot about nihonshu, also known as sake, here at RocketNews24, but it’s not (just) because we love all things alcoholic. Nihonshu is an integral facet of traditional Japanese culture and, although it may be going through a bit of a rough patch right now, it’s still very much a part of Japanese society today.

Nowhere blends the old and the new better than Japan and, while of course technological advances have made production safer and easier, many breweries still mainly use traditional techniques to preserve the special flavour of their beverages. This video gives a glimpse into the production process today at Matsumoto Sake Brewing Co. in Kyoto, which has been making sake since 1791.

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Make your wedding a day to remember, by cutting the head off a tuna together

For many people, a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event. For many others it’s a twice or three-time occurrence, but still pretty rare in the grand scheme of things. As such, it’s only natural to want it to be something truly memorable for all in attendance.

And now a new business in Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture has just the thing to do that. For a rather large sum of money, they will come to your reception with a huge freshly caught fish and proceed to cut it apart in front of everyone. Of course this doesn’t happen until the bride and groom get a romantic picture taken making the first slice together with a meter-long blade.

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The top 10 funniest train happenings, as told by Japanese Twitter

What happens on the train stays on the train. Unless, of course, you decide to tweet about it.

Japanese Twitter users love to post about the crazy things they see going on during their time on the train, ranging from the slightly out of the ordinary to the downright bizarre. And now, for your reading pleasure, we have the top 10 funniest Japanese train tweets so you can see how the Japanese commute compares to your own.

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Japan’s breasts are bigger than ever, according to lingerie maker’s sales study

When you’re dealing with measurable data, it’s a good to look not at just the current conditions, but at historical trends as well. This is especially true for important scientific and sociological issues. Are pollution levels rising or falling? Has the number of people who live below the poverty line increased or decreased?

Are Japanese women’s breasts getting larger or smaller?

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Our 7 best conveyor-belt sushi restaurants in Sapporo

When you think of the Hokkaido city of Sapporo, you probably think of winter. After all, this is the city that hosts the annual Yuki Matsuri snow festival where massive ice sculptures line its bustling streets, and millions of people stop by the city every year while en route to Niseko for some ski or snowboarding fun.

But when Japanese people think of Sapporo, they tend to think summer, when the far-north metropolis boasts cool, mild weather and abundant nature in a season where much of Honshu is blanketed in oppressive heat and humidity; the kind that makes you physically angry every time you step out the door.

Anticipating an influx of Japanese tourists to the area, our Japanese sister site recently put together its top picks for the best conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Sapporo, and we thought we’d share, since, honestly, Sapporo is a really, really nice place to visit this time of year and their seafood is to die for.

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Mother teaches son life-lesson with a hilariously devious trick

Every mother wants her children to grow up to be functional, well-rounded adults, right? It’s hard to get them in shape for that if you coddle them all the time, so sometimes you just have to throw them in the deep end of real-life and hope they can at least doggie-paddle to safety.

One Japanese mother may have been a little sick of pampering her teenager and decided to toughen him a bit by playing a dirty trick on him.

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What do you say to your college-age son when he tells you he’s an official Pokémon Master?

The famous Pokémon tagline, “Gotta catch ‘em all,” really only covers half of the franchise’s theme. As any fan will tell you, after catching the adorable combatants, the next step is to train them, making them stronger and stronger until your menagerie is powerful enough that you become a true Pokémon Master, and maybe even the best in the world.

That’s the setup for just about every video game and anime in the series, and Pokémon is now such a cultural phenomenon that there are indeed national and even worldwide tournaments for the game. This raises the question, though: When a mother’s son or daughter says, “Mom, I did it! I become a Pokémon Master,” how should she respond?

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Flat tires, crumpled hoods, dented doors: These new miniature car figures come broken on purpose!

We have seen plenty of weird miniature figures over the years, and while some of them have left us scratching our heads, none of them have been quite as unusual as this, the “Haisha Collection” (“Scrap Car Collection”). Beaten, battered, dented, and crumpled, these miniature cars probably won’t be high on anyone’s souvenir list…but then again, we might be wrong!

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Iron Man Samurai is the most awesome thing you’ll see today 【Video】

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent some of your daydream time contemplating awesome collaborations like Colossal Titans morphing into toy cars, Crayolas whittled into Star Wars character heads or even cats flying through space on pieces of sushi.

While we may not have the graphic design skills to visually realise half of our crazy awesome ideas, there’s one lucky man who can. Jack Lee, an artist from Hong Kong, has successfully melded Iron Man with a Japanese samurai warrior and the image he came up with is simply amazing. We take a look at his time-lapse video to see just how much effort went in to creating the perfect Iron man samurai.

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Samsung prototype ‘Safety Truck’ uses all-weather screens to make driving safer, maybe

If you’re a driver, chances are at some point you’ve been behind a slow-moving truck or semi-trailer, trying to overtake but unable to see if there is traffic coming in the opposite direction. This can be frustrating, but it can also be deadly if you pull around at the wrong moment.

South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung may have found a solution to this problem with their prototype Safety Truck, however. It uses a wireless camera and outdoor screens to give drivers following the trucks a view around them.

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Businessman ‘wins’ 4-year battle with Singapore Airlines after being downgraded to economy class

Anyone who is a frequent traveler has probably had their share of ups and downs when flying. But just how far would you go to make an airline pay for a minor inconvenience?

One Mr. GRK Reddy, an Indian businessmen, felt that he was so damaged by Singapore Airlines’ sudden decision to downgrade him from business to economy class back in 2011 that he decided to take legal action against the airline, demanding compensation of approximately US$83,000.

Four years later, Mr Reddy has finally been awarded his compensation, but it’s slightly less than the amount he originally requested…

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Video shows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heckled by angry Okinawans at ceremony

June 23 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa, a bloody, 82-day battle which left thousands of people dead. In commemoration of this gruesome chapter of Japanese history, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared in Okinawa at the Cornerstone of Peace, a memorial to those who died in the battle, to deliver a speech.

However, it turned out that not everyone was happy to see the leader, who faced heckling by some attendees.

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