Words of wisdom and humor from 12 Buddhist temples (and… Cameron Diaz!?)

Words of wisdom and humor from 12 Buddhist temples (and… Cameron Diaz!?)

It’s quite common in the United States for churches to post weekly messages on the signs standing on their front lawns. The public texts can run from deeply religious sentiments to pleas for more tolerance, though it’s also not uncommon for a careless mistake to lead to messages with multiple meanings–hilarious or unfortunate, depending on your perspective.

While Japan certainly does have its fair share of churches–perhaps more than one might expect–it is primarily the Buddhist temples that fill the role of making public, semi-religious proclamations. Like their Western counterparts, these messages can leave passers-by nodding their heads thoughtfully–or perhaps just chuckling. Check out these 12 posters that left a big impact on Japanese netizens! We never knew Buddhist Monks took so much notice of what Western celebrities had to say…

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The best night views in the Maldives are on its magical shores

The best night views in the Maldives are on its magical shores

The Maldives has always been a popular honeymoon destination, known for its crystal clear waters, gorgeous beaches and glamorous, resort-style accommodation. As if the area wasn’t romantic enough, at night there’s a breathtaking natural phenomenon that transforms its shores into glimmering waves of iridescent blue. One visitor who stumbled on the unbelievable sight likened it to the starry night skies of the Milky Way and took to the internet to find out the cause of the mysterious occurrence.

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‘Miss Korea’ ladies in the 1970s looked different, beautiful long before Photoshop existed

‘Miss Korea’ ladies in the 1970s looked different, beautiful long before Photoshop existed

Last April, a case of overdose on Photoshop caused a group of ‘Miss Korea’ contestants to look like cloned beauties produced by the same plastic surgeon. Though it is now clear that the ladies were not high technology clones created to take over the pageant, the incident made some of us feel that beauty pageants these days are geared towards finding a certain type of beauty standard, rather than celebrating the beauty in different women.

Is it really necessary to “enhance” the beauty of these already stunning women? Let’s take a look at the Miss Korea pageant ladies before the era of Photoshop and cosmetic surgery!

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Aichi fertility festival surprises everyone with gigantic membership

Aichi fertility festival surprises everyone with gigantic membership

Every year on 15 March in Komaki City, Aichi the Honen Matsuri (Harvest Festival) is held. Unlike other harvest festivals this one is to celebrate all forms bounty from crops to cash to family.

Also unlike other harvest festivals, this one has a 2.5m wooden phallus that gets paraded through the city during the afternoon. It’s called “Ooowasegata” (lit. big guy stem figure) and this year it drew a crowd of 190,000 spectators according to a Tagata Shrine announcement.

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Japanese netizens put reality on hold for a moment, fall in love with new attorney general of Crimea

Japanese netizens put reality on hold for a moment, fall in love with new attorney general of Crimea

As the situation in Ukraine goes from unstable to about to completely fly off the rails, Japanese Interent users couldn’t help noticing something about the new attorney general appointed in Crimea. While the 33-year-old Natalia Poklonskaya is, without a doubt, holding one of the most difficult jobs in the world right now, netizens in Japan quickly took to the forums to praise for being…so beautiful?

Check out the powerful woman whose captured 2Channel users’ hearts, and some of their comments, below!

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We test the taste of the King’s Dog from Burger King

We test the taste of the King’s Dog from Burger King

And now, due to popular demand, we have the taste test you’ve all been waiting for: the King’s Dog from Burger King. Ever since news of the hot dog offering from the fast food burger chain was released, we’d been anticipating its arrival. Boasting an extra-large sausage 2.5 times the thickness of a regular Burger King hot dog, we bought one of each to really see how the King’s Dog weighs up.

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You’re not seeing things, that’s a cat selling roasted sweet potatoes

You’re not seeing things, that’s a cat selling roasted sweet potatoes

It’s a common sight to see hot dog stands in America. In Singapore, ice cream stands are a lifesaver in the sweltering hot weather. In Japan, however, you’re more likely to find a yaki-imo (roasted sweet potato) stand on the streets, especially during winter. If you’re lucky enough, you might even meet the legendary cat that sells stone roasted sweet potatoes in Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture!

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Bandai Japan releases hugely impractical “sprout” desk accessories, catchy jingle

Bandai Japan releases hugely impractical “sprout” desk accessories, catchy jingle

In the world of capsule toys, there’s always room for newcomers. Part of the reason so many people buy gashapon is the tiny thrill of excitement they get as they hear the capsule drop down into the dispenser and excitedly grab it to see whether they were lucky enough to get the toy they really wanted.

The toys themselves are often quickly forgotten about, doomed to a life of rolling around in the bottom of a bag or lining a windowsill turning a weird shade of yellow in the sun. But these new “desktop accessories” from toy maker Bandai, if their accompanying commercial video is to be believed, are designed to make their presence felt at every possible occasion, to the point of making your emails indecipherable.

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Nature is awesome: Ethereal fog turns Kobe bridge into a path to the unknown

Nature is awesome: Ethereal fog turns Kobe bridge into a path to the unknown

Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, often referred to as “Pearl Bridge”, was completely engulfed in thick fog on Thursday, creating an otherworldly scene. The featured image above has been retweeted over 5,000 times and reminds many netizens of the movie, The MistIt also has everyone wondering just what is hiding in the thick clouds.

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Never agonize over your fast food decisions again – Pizza-Burger is here!

Never agonize over your fast food decisions again – Pizza-Burger is here!

Ever had that terrible indecision between pizza and hamburger? Japan’s got your problem solved! It’s not quite as out-there as the bizarre creations we’ve become used to – in fact, maybe this time they’ve actually got things right.

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Why increased thyroid cancer rates in Fukushima kids isn’t necessarily a cause for concern

Why increased thyroid cancer rates in Fukushima kids isn’t necessarily a cause for concern

A “cancer cluster” detected in kids near the Fukushima disaster is probably due to the increased examination of these children, not because of the disaster itself, according to epidemiologist Norman Kleiman of Columbia University.

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Five of the cutest otter videos from Japan

Five of the cutest otter videos from Japan

Otters are adorable, there’s no doubt about that, but how often do you actually get to see one in person? Sure you could go out and watch one at the zoo, but we wish there were a way for us to get closer. Although owning an otter is out of the question for most people, we can at least live vicariously through these residents of Japan who are able to live in close proximity to those cute river animals. Take a look at these five otter videos and prepare to say, “Awww!”

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Made in China with love: Dad crafts an Iron Man-inspired suit for his little boy

Made in China with love: Dad crafts an Iron Man-inspired suit for his little boy

What’s the coolest gift you’ve ever received from your dad? A game console? A puppy? Or perhaps a car? How would you like an Iron Man suit?

A loving father in Zhejiang Province, China, spent a month to hand-make an Iron Man suit for his superhero-loving son. And the cost of making it was merely 300 Chinese yuan (US$49)!

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NHK TV worker woken by earthquake, gives viewers a show by accident

NHK TV worker woken by earthquake, gives viewers a show by accident

As you already know, the third anniversary of the 3/11 Tohoku disaster was remembered this week through a variety of activities, including a fundraiser by Yahoo! Japan which saw the company donating roughly $250,000 to charity. The anniversary was also marked by a powerful earthquake off the coast of Kyushu at around 2 am on March 12, injuring about 14 people and wrecking havoc on innocent anime figures.

It also brought grins to all of the NHK viewers and Twitter users who happened to catch the public broadcaster’s footage of a confused-looking man running around an office in his underwear!

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Buttery and flaky goodness — Mister Donut Japan to sell original Croissant Doughnuts

Buttery and flaky goodness — Mister Donut Japan to sell original Croissant Doughnuts

Many of you have probably heard about the croissant doughnuts that have been all the rage in New York, so much so that buying them for people apparently has become a business on its own. Well, we’ve heard about the delectable pastry here in Japan too, and we already have some bakeries and even a convenience store chain selling the sweet, flaky treats. Now it looks like Mister Donut in Japan is going to be the newest member to join the Cronut bandwagon. From April 1, the major doughnut chain will be offering their own version of the treat, which they’re calling the Mr. Croissant Donut. And we have to say we’re quite happy with the news, because frankly, New York is a bit far for us to go and buy pastries, but these, we can’t wait to try right here in Japan!

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Rilakkuma rims add 16 bearpower to your car

Rilakkuma rims add 16 bearpower to your car

Generally, customizing cars is a guy thing, and most guys are into power. When it comes to aftermarket wheels, the two biggest camps are those who want performance-boosting lightweight versions, or the largest, most blinged-out set available to advertise the driver’s financial status.

Now, though, there’s a third option beyond looking sporty or wealthy: cute wheels.

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Osaka medical association warns against angering the gods through marijuana use

Osaka medical association warns against angering the gods through marijuana use

Drugs are bad, mkay. We know this. But apparently someone at the Osaka Pharmaceutical Association felt that the message would be better delivered by two shirtless men made up to look like (we think) Jesus Christ and Buddha…

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New Sailor Moon Crystal anime will take a stylistic cue from the original manga

New Sailor Moon Crystal anime will take a stylistic cue from the original manga

They’re here!!! Details about the new Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, are finally here! Toei Animation has just released the first key image for the new series, revealing that the animation will look completely different than the first anime that has captivated millions of fans around the world. Staying true to the style of the Sailor Moon manga created by Naoko Takeuchi, Sailor Moon Crystal promises to be visually stunning. Click on for more information!

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M6.3 earthquake hits Japan, anime fans rush to tweet photos of damage to figure collections

M6.3 earthquake hits Japan, anime fans rush to tweet photos of damage to figure collections

Japan was hit by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in the early hours of Friday morning which injured 14 people and caused a brief power outage in some areas. The quake, which struck off the coast of the southern island of Kyushu at 2:07am local time, caused only minor damage, but the third anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake this week served as an important reminder of the devastation that can be caused by major earthquakes and tsunami.

Japan is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, and as such its people tend to be extremely well-versed in what to do in the event of a natural disaster. Take cover, turn off the gas, open the door to secure an escape route. These collectors of anime figures, however, had a different idea about what to do in the moments after this morning’s quake – check up on their action figures, and immediately catalogue the damage on Twitter.

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Toyota’s official anime itasha car finds a home

Toyota’s official anime itasha car finds a home

Itasha, the painfully nerdy, anime-decal-plastered cars you can spot running around Japan, generally arrive in that state due to an individual fan’s passion and vision (or obsession). The owner buys a regular car from the dealer, then once he’s slapped enough stickers on his ride, presto! He’s got his very own itasha.

Last year, though, Toyota took the uncommon step of not only creating its own itahsa, but selling it as well. The car has finally found a buyer, who had to go through a number of challenges to sit behind the wheel of his one-of-a-kid sports coupe.

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