Woman on train groped by two men at once, suspects apparently unrelated

Japan is known for many great things from its delicious food and unique culture to its abundance of anime, manga, and video games. Unfortunately, it has also earned a reputation for being packed with skeevy perverts, which is actually an extremely unfair characterization–the average Japanese citizen is no more perverted than the citizens of any other country. But that doesn’t change the fact that many women still have to put up with both discrimination and sexual harassment, as a story that broke on Friday demonstrates.

A young woman in her twenties was allegedly groped while riding the train. That on its own would be bad enough, but this woman was allegedly molested by two different men at the exact same time.

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Miranda Kerr’s newest photoshoot for Vogue Japan stirs up controversy

Geisha, samurai, manga. Those are the three themes that Peruvian photographer Mario Testino used in his recent photoshoot with Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr for the special 15th anniversary November issue of Vogue Japan. While Kerr is no stranger to Japanese television commercials (need laundry detergent, anyone?), her recent photos have been stirring up controversy due to the ‘vaguely ethnic-looking style’ of the fashion used in the shoot.

Take a look at the photos and then decide for yourself what’s going on here–is it cultural appropriation, or cultural appreciation?

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McDonald’s Japan celebrates Halloween by joining the dark burger revolution

It’s been just over a week since the release of Burger King’s two pitch-black hamburgers, which might have left some fast food fans in a bit of a bind. On the one hand, they’re definitely eye-catching and intriguing, but their buns owe (and cheese) their sinister shade to an infusion of bamboo charcoal.

While it’s perfectly edible, we imagine some people are just a tad averse to eating charcoal. So if your palate isn’t quite that wide, but you’re still adventurous enough to eat squid ink, McDonald’s has got you covered with their own dark burger.

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On a serious note: Here are middle-aged Chinese men jumping rope while wearing padded bras

If I might have a moment of your time, I’d like to explain to you why this picture of two balding Chinese men jumping ropes while wearing padded bras is something worth thinking about.

These two shirtless men with their spare tires jiggling about represent something that has or will likely affect someone you care about at some point in your life: breast cancer.

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Photobook of cats in Japan goes beyond kawaii, beautifully captures many sides of feline life

For those of you who need a little break from Japanese cute culture and pampered internet stars from the animal kingdom, French photographer Alexandre Bonnefoy’s photobook may be just the ticket. Neko Land: Une vie de chat au Japon (A cat’s life in Japan) reveals the many faces of street cats, communally owned cats, pets, and cat café residents found all over Japan, from Okinawa to Hokkaidō.

Read on to view a large sample of the elegant and expressive work that resulted from his two-year stay, which portrays cats from many walks of life in a frank, but no less loving, manner. As Bonnefoy gives equal importance to their unadorned surroundings, let these felines guide you and immerse yourself in the often overlooked nooks and crannies of the varied communities around Japan.

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Creative problem solving: Vending machine dispenses cans with 5 yen coins taped to them

One cool thing about living in Japan is that, whether you’re in a bustling city or the open countryside, you’re never too far from a vending machine. True, you won’t find any canned ramen in many machines outside of Akihabara, but so long as there’s power to run one, you’re pretty much always within a few hundred metres of a machine selling both chilled and hot drinks.

We’ve seen some unusual things turning up in Japan’s vending machines over the years, but cans of peach juice with money taped to them is definitely a new one.

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Adorable miniature sewing tools inspire the craftmaker in all of us

I have never thought I’d be gushing over sewing tools, but here I am, 30 minutes into staring at pictures of this new set of gashapon toys titled “The Shugei Miniature Mascot” (The Handicraft Miniature Mascot) because they are simply too adorable. Who would’ve thought you could turn things typically associated with grandmothers into such desirable collectibles by shrinking them to palm-size? Click to see more of these super cute toys!

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12 fabulous tights from Japan

Now that the summer shikke (humidity) has died down, it’s time to bust out your tights! Squeezing our legs into sheer pantaloons was the last thing any of us wanted to do in August, but now that September is nearly over and fall is right around the corner, we’re starting to like the idea of extra warmth. What better way to welcome in autumn than with a legging shopping spree? Check out these 12 fabulously crazy, colorful tights from Japanese artists and designers to add to your cool-weather wardrobe!

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Online “Population Decrease Map” of Japan paints a bleak, womanless future for the country

There has been a lot of discussion over the shifting demographics in Japan with the average age steadily rising and birthrate slipping year by year. These changes leave people wondering what will happen in the decades to come.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun website posted an interactive map of Japan which provides among other information the changes in the female population in Japan 26 years into the future. If you can’t tell by the scorched Earth color-coding used above, it doesn’t bode well for the country. In fact, it’s causing some analysts to predict the “annihilation” of 896 municipalities (a little over half of them) by 2040 due to depopulation.

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Tokyo ice cream stand’s colossal eight-flavor cones might be the biggest we’ve ever seen

Tokyo’s Nakano Broadway is mainly known for its anime specialty shops, but that’s not all you’ll find if you make your way to each corner of the shopping center’s labyrinthine interior. Inside you’ll also come across an old-school video arcade, suit tailor, watch store, and painting workshop for tabletop role-playing game lead miniatures.

But what we’re talking about today is what awaits visitors in Nakano Broadway’s basement: just about the biggest ice cream cones we’ve ever seen.

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In Japan, a wide variety of bento, onigiri and other ready-cooked food are commonly available in convenience stores and supermarkets, in addition to the vast selection of instant and frozen choices. With such food readily available at wallet-friendly prices, not to mention they taste rather decent too, it’s little wonder why there is an increasing number of Japanese youngsters who don’t or can’t cook.

As seen in previous attempts, cute illustrated girls are effective in gaining the interest of the younger generation. Combining cute illustrated girls in skimpy lingerie and suggestive poses, with girl-on-girl action and hints of incest, and matching said illustrations with cooking instructions, however, would probably not appeal to the wide masses. Bizarre as that may sound, such a cookbook does in fact exist. We’re just not sure if the illustrations are actually supposed to whet or kill our appetite.

As you might expect, some of the illustrations are NSFW…

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Awesome treehouse café in Yokohama satisfies our longing for bagels, beer, and nature

Not too long ago, I ate ramen from a can on a Tokyo backstreet. It didn’t taste half-bad, but between the barkers for maid cafes and the homeless guy raiding the surrounding vending machines’ recycling bins for cans, it really didn’t make for the most elegant dining ambience.

But the great thing about Japan is the contrasting extremes you can find, and if eating in the middle of Tokyo’s concrete jungle by the soft glow of neon signs isn’t to your liking, you can always come on down to Yokohama, which has a café with plenty of natural sunlight thanks to the restaurant actually being an awesome treehouse.

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Japanese buzzwords and regional dialects keep Kumamoto drivers safe 【Photos】

Japan loves its popular trends. They will grab a hold of something that is gathering steam and spread it all over the country. This is especially true in TV. Millions of viewers tune into variety programs to see the current comedy darlings and their catch phrase over and over again. Generally these phrases are popular for a while until the next “funny” punch line takes over. You have to milk your 15 minutes of fame for as long as you can! Just ask Kojima Yoshio or Tanoshingo.

One prefecture is using these popular phrases in a more noble way…to get drivers to pay attention to traffic safety signs! If you ignore these signs it’s dame yo~ dame dame!

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Kirin promotes new alcohol by filming rural people with pigeon-shaped drones… because they can

Japanese brewery Kirin unveiled a new campaign for their Off White brand of imitation beer products known as happoshu. To help promote their cheaper beer substitute, Kirin will be dispatching six drones painted like pigeons to fly around and record the people of Taketa City in Oita Prefecture.

We can’t promise you we’ll succeed but we’re sure as heck going to try and find a link between drones, a rural community, and an alcoholic beverage produced to take advantage of a tax loophole.

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Tokyo’s sushi spirit shrine, where the souls of seafood slumber

The other day, I woke up and immediately had a craving for sushi. In and of itself, that’s not really anything remarkable, since “Man, I could really go for some good sushi,” is one of my first fully formed thoughts on just about any given morning.

Not one to deny my heart its truest desires, I headed to Tokyo’s Tsukiji, home of the world’s biggest seafood market and some of Japan’s best sushi restaurants. I ducked into one and polished off a bowl of sliced tuna and salmon, and, still wrapped in the lingering effects of my food coma, went for a rambling stroll around the neighborhood.

Since I wasn’t looking for food anymore, my eyes ended up being drawn to a shrine I’d never noticed before. I stepped onto the grounds, where I found a monument to the souls of all the fish whose lives supply Japan with sushi.

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Okonomiyaki Wine: Japan’s savory pancakes just got a new sidekick

Fans of all things delicious, rejoice! Japan has been blessed with a bottle of wine to pair with delectable rounds of grilled whatever-you-want goodness. We’re of course talking about okonomiyaki, the Osaka/Hiroshima specialty that consists of batter mixed with a variety of seafood and savory mix-ins. And although the dish traditionally goes down best with an icy cold beer (with just the right amount of foam), we’re already getting really excited for this new combination.

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Chinese cadet is beautiful enough to make you want to join the army

It is often said that female idol groups are the saviors of excitement-deprived male soldiers toiling in the army. In China, however, it seems like the army has gotten its own idol this time. Joyin, a new member of the Chinese army, caught the attention of netizens and gained international fame when her pictures were uploaded on social media. Click on the full article for more of a different kind of ‘uniform girl’.

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Japanese athletes brighten up our day with new sport of ‘extreme shaving’

Athletes devote their lives to fully unleashing the potential of their bodies and pushing the limits of how far they can go every single day. But what happens when top-performing athletes take something as mundane as shaving seriously? We’re not sure if this is something normal people even wonder about, but Japanese electronics maker Philips already has the answer for us.

To promote of its electric shavers, Philips came up with the “Extreme Shaving Tournament” featuring a number of top athletes from Japan. And guess what? The top shaver gets to shave in outer space!

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Japanese people list 10 ingredients they never, ever want to find in their miso soup

Miso soup is a staple food in pretty much any Japanese household. Served morning, noon or night, this thin, slightly salty broth is tasty, filling, and, as you’ve probably already realised, is the perfect accompaniment to rice. It is so deeply ingrained in Japanese culture that in some areas of the country there even exists a joke that a man may indirectly propose to a woman simply asking, “Will you make my miso soup for me every morning?”

But one person’s idea of a perfect bowl of miso soup can be another’s salty soy nightmare. With so many ingredients that go, or at least seem to go, well in a bowl of Japan’s favourite broth, it can be difficult to find a bowl that ticks all the boxes, and there are some ingredients that – depending on one’s upbringing, personal tastes or geographical location – are considered simply unacceptable.

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Is it another creepy Japanese iPhone case? No, it’s a multicoloured hermaphrodite lobster!

You have to feel sorry for the uglier animals of this world. While kittens and bunnies inspire a universal chorus of “awwwwwww”, if you’re unlucky enough to be born a crustacean or insect, chances are people don’t think you’re so cute.

The Japanese spiny lobster, or Ise-ebi, is a bumpy, spooky-looking creature at the best of times. This one, which was caught off Tōshi-jima in Ise Bay this week, is a gynandromorph – one side of its body is male, the other half is female. Mainichi Shimbun reports that the creature is truly one in a million!

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