Chinese bank teller becomes internet sensation for belly laughing at knife-wielding robber【Video】

Chinese bank teller becomes internet sensation for belly laughing at knife-wielding robber【Video】

A bank teller in Shanghai kept a cool head when a would-be robber threatened her with a huge meat cleaver. Without showing even a hint of fear, the bank teller can be seen laughing and pointing at the man, as his bungled robbery ends in him being taken away by security guards.

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More marshmallow girls, but will we be calling them marshmallows for much longer?!

More marshmallow girls, but will we be calling them marshmallows for much longer?!

Recently, in what we might call the ‘marshmallow movement’, we’ve seen chubby girls start to shed some of their stigma in Japan. A chubby Japanese idol group has already arrived on the scene, and now we can also introduce a dedicated plus-size magazine. And as if marshmallows weren’t enough, they’re apparently also pushing for a new, and rather creative, label.

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Let’s toast to our feline friends — Five cute and tasty cat-themed alcoholic drinks

Let’s toast to our feline friends — Five cute and tasty cat-themed alcoholic drinks

Annual Cat Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating all things feline, does it? That’s right, as fond as we are of cats, we don’t really need a reason to express our affection for our feline friends, and in that spirit, some of the lovely reporters at our sister site Pouch decided to get together and come up with a list of the best cat-themed alcoholic drinks around. Cats and alcohol, now that sounds like a dangerously attractive combination!

To get their hands on some of the fun and tasty cat-themed drinks out there, our reporters used the services of major Japanese online liquor distributor Kakuyasu. Let’s see what their top five pics were.

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Ghibli’s The Wind Rises earns US$306,000 on opening weekend

Ghibli’s The Wind Rises earns US$306,000 on opening weekend

The Box Office Mojo website reports that Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film, The Wind Rises opened in limited release this weekend in 21 theaters with an estimated US$306,000. Those box office receipts gave the film a per-screen average of US$14,571, the second highest among all films in the United States this weekend (after Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me‘s US$15,000 average on two screens).

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Okami cosplay: It’s for the dogs!

Okami cosplay: It’s for the dogs!

Dogs are some of the best pets you can have. They’ll play with you when you’re bored, they’ll snuggle with you when you’re sad, and they’ll be just plain adorable whether you want them to or not. And, if you’re really lucky, you can even get them to play dress up with you!

But just what character would you want your dog to cosplay as? There aren’t too many options, but here’s the one that should be obvious: Amaterasu’s wolf form from Ōkami!

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When Ladybeard meets “Sailor Suit Old Man”, it’s an explosion of manly cuteness【Photos】

When Ladybeard meets “Sailor Suit Old Man”, it’s an explosion of manly cuteness【Photos】

Perhaps you remember Ladybeard from our previous post a couple of weeks ago introducing the cross-dressing bearded pro-wrestler, performer, heavy metal singer and party rocker. Well, it would seem that Ladybeard recently met up with another iconic cross-dresser in Japan, the “Sailor Suit Old Man”.

A hairy burly man and a balding old man in schoolgirl uniforms may sound like an absolute turn off, but they looked so happy, we couldn’t help but think they actually look somewhat cute. Here’s the most epic schoolgirl combi in history!

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Jesus joins Japanese and African distance runners in Tokyo Marathon

Jesus joins Japanese and African distance runners in Tokyo Marathon

Last Sunday, the eighth iteration of the Tokyo Marathon was held, with Kenyan Dickson Chumba and Ethiopian Tirfi Tsegaye setting new men’s and women’s course records, respectively. In fact, the two African nations dominated the race, with citizens accounting for the top seven male finishers as well as the first five women to cross the finish line.

However, somewhere farther back in the pack plenty of attention was given to a Japanese runner dressed as one of history’s most famous natives of the Middle East: Jesus.

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Why do Japanese people wear surgical masks? Part 2: Men’s edition

Why do Japanese people wear surgical masks? Part 2: Men’s edition

We recently ran down a number of reasons why so many people in Japan will strap on a surgical mask even if they aren’t feeling sick. One of the most common reasons is that for women, slipping on a mask is less of a hassle then carefully applying makeup, but the cultural phenomena of perfectly healthy Japanese wearing masks isn’t strictly a female thing.

Today, we present the testosterone-packed follow-up to our previous report, as we explore why healthy Japanese men wear masks.

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Senpai Club, Swedish-made, anime-inspired, Japanese-speaking animation, is back! 【Video】

Senpai Club, Swedish-made, anime-inspired, Japanese-speaking animation, is back! 【Video】

Last month we laughed along with the Swedish animators Olivia Bergstrom and Eric Bradford as we watched the first scenes of their anime-inspired creation Senpai Club. Now the pair, collectively known as makebabi.es, is back for another round of parody featuring dangerously pointy anime chins, ostensibly handsome upperclassmen, and just maybe even more stealthy bilingual gags with Senpai Club Episode 1 Part 2.

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Kodansha’s 1st sales jump in 18 years credited to Attack on Titan

Kodansha’s 1st sales jump in 18 years credited to Attack on Titan

Japanese publisher Kodansha reported its financial results for the 2013 fiscal year (December 2012 to November 2013) on Thursday. The company garnered 120.272 billion yen (about US$1.173-billion) in revenue, a 2.0% increase from the previous fiscal year. The publisher’s profits increased by 107.3% to 3.214 billion yen (US$31.346 million). This is Kodansha’s first revenue increase in 18 years and its first increase in both revenue and profit in 19 years.

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Osaka man caught after teaching junior high for 15 years without a license

Osaka man caught after teaching junior high for 15 years without a license

Back when I was applying for my first Japanese work visa, there was a thick stack of paperwork I had to submit. Most of the items made sense, but one that struck me as weird, though, was my college diploma. I knew that Japanese law required a college education for the visa I was applying for, but wouldn’t sealed, authenticated transcripts make more sense than a personal diploma, which could be easily forged for 20 bucks at any print shop, or even with a high quality home-use printer?

Nope, I was informed, it had to be the diploma. That’s the paperwork they give you when you graduate, right? After all, from the standpoint of honest and by-the-book Japanese society, who would be so dishonest as to provide false educational credentials?

How about a man in Osaka, who taught junior high school for 15 years without ever obtaining his teaching credential.

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“We came all the way to see THAT?!” The top disappointing sightseeing spots in North America

“We came all the way to see THAT?!” The top disappointing sightseeing spots in North America

Ah, the joys of international travel. You shell out the majority of your paycheck for a ticket and spend sleepless nights counting down the days to your adventure of a lifetime. Then the day of departure finally comes and you board the plane, arriving hours later at your destination and trembling with anticipation. Camera in hand, you journey to the first famous place on your list that you’ve been dreaming about for weeks on end. Finally there, you take a quick look around, eyes widening in surprise, and blurt out, “…that’s it?!” 

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Girl who lost father in last year’s deadly Hokkaido blizzard pens heart-wrenching thank-you letter

Girl who lost father in last year’s deadly Hokkaido blizzard pens heart-wrenching thank-you letter

While Tokyo’s recent blizzard showed us the lighter side of natural disasters with amusing snow sculptures and insane images of overly panicked urbanites, these kind of storms have the potential to be very deadly and serious if you are caught outside. Last March, a violent storm hit the northeast part of Hokkaido and took the lives of nine people.

One of the most tragic stories to come out of this storm was a young girl who lost her father after he used his own body to protect her from the freezing temperatures and strong winds. On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, the girl asked one of Japan’s biggest newspapers, the Yomiuri Shimbun, to publish a heart-breaking letter thanking the country for the huge outpouring of support over the past year.

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Take notes in the name of the moon with new line of Sailor Moon pens

Take notes in the name of the moon with new line of Sailor Moon pens

As fans the world over continue to wait for the upcoming newest installment of the Sailor Moon franchise, merchandising giant Bandai has been releasing a steady stream of goodies from the hit anime. Recently, we’ve seen compact mirrors and even lingerie inspired by the twin-tailed magical girl and her cohorts, and now comes a line of Sailor Moon pens.

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We try chucking our lunchtime bento into a pan of soup, result is doubly delicious

We try chucking our lunchtime bento into a pan of soup, result is doubly delicious

The cutesy home-made lunches that lucky Japanese children take to school are famous worldwide. For the time-pushed or culinarily challenged among us, though, store-bought bento (boxed lunches) can offer great value for money. Convenience store bento, which are hugely popular all over Japan, contain all kinds of delicious goodies like fish, meat, stewed vegetables and pickles, along with rice. When one bento-loving Japanese university student threw caution to the wind and sunk her entire lunch into her miso soup, she discovered that the resulting soupy concoction was even more tasty than she could have imagined! Thus, convenience store bento soup was born!

Here at RocketNews24 we love to try out rice-augmenting recipes and other wacky food combinations, so when a writer from our Japanese sister site heard about this amazing invention, made by heating the entire contents of a convenience store lunchbox in a pot of miso soup, she just had to give it a try! Let’s see how she got on.

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Heroes in Japan post harsh reviews for a Hero’s Sword on Amazon Japan

Heroes in Japan post harsh reviews for a Hero’s Sword on Amazon Japan

Tales have oft been told of the mythical items to be found when journeying through the maze of shopping aisles in Japan’s online realm. From unusual manga characters to riot shields, it seems anything might be possible once you’ve entered through the magical portal known as Amazon Japan. Now it seems that visitors who stop by to make purchases are just as interesting as some of the items on offer, as self-proclaimed heroes and brave warriors from across the nation are buying swords from the marketplace and providing feedback on the efficacy of their items. Latest reviews are aimed at an innocent-looking plastic sword, which is said to be under-performing when it comes to vitality levels and magic ability.

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Japanese netizens praise Starbucks’ move to promote 800 temp workers

Japanese netizens praise Starbucks’ move to promote 800 temp workers

With just over 1,000 stores covering practically every prefecture, Starbucks is a coffee powerhouse in Japan. Since opening its first store in Tokyo in 1996, the company has managed to adapt its business model to suit Japanese tastes with seasonal flavors, expanded (alcoholic) menu options and utilizing Japan’s unique architecture. Last week, Starbucks went one step further in its Japanese expansion plan by announcing that it would promote 800 temp workers to full-time positions, which netizens applauded as a move to create pressure on the Japanese market to provide better benefits to workers.

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Autopsy of deer in a Chinese zoo reveals startling cause of death

Autopsy of deer in a Chinese zoo reveals startling cause of death

While the silly news last year about a Chinese zoo trying to pass a dog for a lion made headlines around the world, the story this time is a lot more disturbing. A zoo in Xiamen (also known as Amoy) on the southeast coast of China reported earlier this week that one of its male fallow deer had suddenly died. As if its death wasn’t already tragic enough, upon conducting an autopsy, workers were surprised to discover the unexpected cause of death, something that could easily have been prevented. Keep reading to learn the unfortunate details.

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Is Japan overworking its teachers? One exhausted educator says, “YES!”

Is Japan overworking its teachers? One exhausted educator says, “YES!”

Japan has a reputation for overworking its employees, though it’s hardly the only country! But when it comes to education, you’d expect Japanese teachers, whose students often score among the top in the world on standardized tests, to be solely focused on their classroom materials. But you might be wrong!

One public middle school teacher has recently gotten a ton of attention online for a blog post about her impossible-to-manage duties as a “club leader” and her desire to actually change occupations due to the intense schedule. Read about her experience and the intense reactions below.

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Celebrate the release of live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service with these limited edition treats!

Celebrate the release of live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service with these limited edition treats!

With the live-action version of Kiki’s Delivery Service set to hit cinemas in Japan on March 1, it’s time for the celebrations and tie-in promotions to commence! Japanese bakery chain, Little Mermaid, is one of the first to step up to the plate, paying homage to the movie with this collection of delightfully cute offerings. Available only for a limited time, the three new baked varieties are named in honour of Kiki, her black cat Jiji, and Ms Osono, Kiki’s mother-figure and resident baker. Can you guess which design is which?

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