Kiss Day in Japan inspires awkward smooch illustration battle

We love all of the unofficial holidays in Japan. From Fundoshi (also known as Japanese loincloth) Day to Cat Day, people all over the country have special events (and discounts) to look forward to all year round.

But May 23 marked Kiss Day in Japan and netizens all over the country celebrated the seemingly romantic occasion with some decidedly strange drawings in a bizarre illustration battle on Twitter.

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Nago mayor says US bases “a legacy of misery” in Okinawa

Nago is located in northern Okinawa, a tourist town with beautiful beaches and a pineapple park. Its waters are home to gorgeous coral and seagrass beds that serve as the feeding grounds to Japan’s last remaining population of dugong, an endangered sea mammal related to the manatee. Nago is also the site of the proposed relocation of Futenma airbase, the US Marine complex that is at the core of a controversy between the Okinawan, Japanese, and US governments.

The mayor of Nago, Susumu Inamine, was in New York last weekend to deliver speeches and have informative discussions regarding the issue.

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We try the new 7-Eleven premium popcorn that everyone in Japan is going wild about

Earlier this week, netizens in Japan started going nuts about a new range of popcorn on sale at 7-Eleven. Unlike in some countries, 7-Eleven Japan takes great pride in regularly launching new, limited-edition snacks, and more often than not they’re surprisingly tasty. The response its latest product garnered, however, was ludicrously enthusiastic.

When netizens got wind of the “amazingly delicious” new caramel and (curiously) cheddar cheese flavoured popcorn on sale at their local Sebun, people apparently started bulk-buying, resulting hundreds of tweets going out bemoaning a lack of stock and pestering 7-Eleven – who then added fuel to the fire by acknowledging that the snack was indeed hard to come by – and demanding to know where they could get it.

Curious to find out what all the fuss was about, we procured a couple of bags and sat down to conduct a little taste test. I can tell you right off the bat, though, that the super-amazing mecha-delicious popcorn pretty much everyone in Japan – including our own Japanese staff – is raving about really isn’t worth all the hype.

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Rodman’s Japanese successor? Pyongyang to host international wrestling tournament

Move over Dennis Rodman–it looks like you’ve got a serious Japanese successor for all of your sports diplomacy. North Korea’s state news agency announced on May 19 that Japan’s Antonio Inoki, a retired Japanese professional wrestler, will be teaming up with officials in the reclusive totalitarian state to host an international professional wrestling tournament in Pyongyang this August. The tournament will also include athletes from two nations that have never participated in a wrestling event in North Korea under Kim Jong-un’s leadership. Find out how all this came to be after the jump.

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Japan’s Left 4 Dead arcade edition includes a schoolgirl and a bartender

As we announced earlier this month, Japan will get its own version of Left 4 Dead at four selected arcades beginning this weekend. However, the Square Enix and Valve collaboration will look a little different once Japanese gamers deposit their 100 yen coins into the machine. Although Left 4 Dead’s zombie apocalypse is still set in the United States, the undead exterminating main characters take the far less intimidating form of a schoolgirl, university student, bartender, and tour guide.

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Big Hero 6 gives Japan its first Disney hero 【Video】

After the huge success of Frozen, Disney fans are eagerly awaiting the next Disney project! Well, Japanese fans have a really good reason to rejoice! Walt Disney’s Animation Studio’s new movie, Big Hero 6, will feature the first Japanese protagonist!

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What do Snoop Dogg, Avril Lavigne, and Kanye have in common? They’ve all canceled on Japan

The recent announcement of Paul McCartney’s illness and subsequent cancelation of concerts in Japan has disappointed many of his fans. But hey, the guy is 71 years old and still rocking out so we all shouldn’t be too hard on him. The sudden cancellation did, however, make some netizens realize just how often this sort of thing happens when it comes to Paul’s concerts (he has a whopping 51% cancellation rate in Japan to be exact). It also reminded many Japanese concert-goers of other foreign artists who have decided to not perform at the last minute…and there’s been a lot of them recently.

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New Sailor Moon’s premiere event excludes men — Unless accompanied by women

The official website for the 20th anniversary of the Sailor Moon franchise announced on Friday that there will be an advance premiere screening event for the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal anime series. The women’s fashion magazine ViVi is collaborating on the June 30 event to celebrate the heroine Usagi’s birthday.

The “birthday party” will feature ViVi models and “secret guests.” The Zepp Diver City facility in Tokyo will host the screening of the new anime’s first episode on June 30 at 7:00 p.m. However, the staff caution that the time is subject to change. Moreover, male attendees will not be allowed — unless accompanied by a female attendee.

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Why are smartphones making people chew less gum?

Part of the reason smartphones have become so popular is the way in which they combine the functions of so many other devices people used to lug around instead. With the ability to browse the Internet, listen to music, play games, and take high-quality photos, it’s becoming increasingly harder to convince people they need to shell out the cash for a dedicated camera, handheld video game system, or music player.

But why is it that as more people buy smartphones, fewer of them are buying chewing gum?

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“The Man Who Was Slashed 50,000 Times” gets his first starring role in upcoming film

Since the 1950s, Seizo Fukumoto has been a fixture of seemingly any Japanese production involving samurai. However, you probably wouldn’t recognize his face as he tends to be given the role of “guy who gets killed.” Although he has occasionally taken work outside of period pieces, his constant roles as “soon-to-be-dead guy #2″ has earned him the industry title: The Man Who Was Slashed 50,000 Times.

Having enjoyed a long and bloody career in cinema slightly off center-stage, Fukumoto has finally been given his chance at a starring role in Uzumasa Limelight, a new film hitting Japanese theatres this summer.

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No time to cook? No problem! Three easy ways to improve instant curry

Even though it’s pretty easy to make, there are times when you just can’t be bothered to whip up a regular batch of curry. While the individual steps might be simple, the total process of peeling, chopping, and boiling all those ingredients can take a long time, so often people who are busy, lazy, or bachelors take the easy way out and just microwave a pack of instant stuff.

Convenient as it may be, though, instant curry isn’t always the tastiest version of the dish. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of ways to spruce it up.

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Japanese netizens are ready to visit a Final Fantasy world, and you can go too!

RPGs like Square Enix’s Final Fantasy take us to faraway worlds with extraordinarily picturesque locations; places that couldn’t possibly exist on this planet. Mother Earth would have to be a scenery designer to create locales as visually stunning as RPGs do.

But Earth is a much stranger place than we can imagine, and some of the craziest “must be photoshopped” places turn out to be just the simple strangeness of our planet. Luckily for us, if you ever wanted to visit a place that would fit perfectly into a Final Fantasy world, Earth has you covered. Watch yourself when you stand up, because your jaws are about to be all over the floor.

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Zhongshan man makes the catch of his life: a one-year-old child

For those of you who thought phys-ed class never taught skills valuable in the real world, we bring you the story and footage of one Mr. Li of Zhongshan City, Guangdong.

Upon seeing an infant at a second-story window, the man dashed below and readied himself to make the most important catch of his life.

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7-Eleven’s Premium Popcorn is apparently so good it barely even exists

We’ve already talked about Japan’s penchant for limited stock and limited-time seasonal items, but I’m starting to get the impression manufacturers and retailers are playing us for fools. Zipping down to the grocery only to find that at least some of the basic items you wanted are sold out is a common headache in Japan, as if retailers are hoping we’ll all be like, “Oh man, white bread must be really trendy right now. Guess I’ll buy five loaves next time.”

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is downright diabolical about this kind of stuff, with a constantly shifting roster of goods that seem to come and go arbitrarily, which Japanese consumers have apparently picked up on because they’re currently in a crazy purchase panic over 7-Eleven’s delicious new Premium Popcorn.

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Samurai Blue fans putting their best foot forward with cute girls in uniform!【Photos】

With the World Cup just around the corner, participating nations are getting ready to cheer on their country’s team. Japan is no different with both the men and women getting behind “Samurai Blue” and small country flags and plastic megaphones have been purchased by the Kei-truck loads.

Parked in front of the TV at home or out with friends, we fret about what the final score will be, and who the next match will be against. But what we fret about more is deciding the most fashionable way to adorn ourselves in team colors. How best to wear our team jerseys and show support but also, work it! But just how do you make the men’s style jersey look good on a woman’s body? What to do!!! Worry not ladies, fashion magazines and the internet to the rescue!

Besides, nothing says “GO TEAM!” more than a horde of cute girls in the team’s uniform!

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25 beautiful illustrations of untranslatable words

Recently we brought you a selection of Japanese words we’d love to import into English. Well, it seems we’re not the only ones that feel that way. Digital artist Anjana Iyer, a designer based in Auckland, New Zealand, is undertaking a project to illustrate 100 words that can’t be translated into English. The words she’s chosen come from languages ranging from Latvian to Inuit, and even better, we here at RocketNews24 were excited to discover that there are already seven Japanese words on the list!

Below is our pick of Anjana’s ongoing project, which is entitled “Found in Translation”.

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Sexy models of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger arrive to terrify, arouse, and confuse fans

Japan’s desire to look at attractive women is more or less insatiable. Despite having sizable swimsuit modeling, adult video, and animated pornography industries, the country still finds itself with not enough eye candy.

So now, model maker Kotobukiya has gone looking for female beauty in the most unlikely of places, by turning the iconic villains of slasher movies franchises Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street into sexy girls.

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Sailor Suit Old Man origin story revealed! Not an extra-dimensional wizard after all

When I woke up this morning, there were a few things I had expected for my day: a few gallons of coffee, a couple hundred photos of cute cats on the Internet, and a dozen more replays of Urbangarde’s music videos. What I had not expected to see was an origin story for none other than Sailor Suit Old Man.

And in case you’re wondering, no, he’s a not a grand wizard from an alternate dimension. But that might not be too far off!

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Japan’s famous all-female theater company lists the ’25 marks of ugly women’

Since its first performance 100 years ago, Japan’s Takarazuka Revue has been the country’s most respected theater company. While the troupe is known for its lavish costume and set designs, as well as its bombastic musical performances, its most distinctive characteristic is that the group is composed entirely of actresses, with women playing both male and female roles.

To their fans, Takarazuka actresses are the epitome of grace and poise. There are a lot of pitfalls that have to be avoided to maintain that pristine image, though, as shown by the company’s list of the 25 marks of ugly women.

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Sex, sushi, and suicide – Everything you need to know about Japan in infographics 【Video】

Hey, you! You’re a busy person! You have status updates to write; tweets about your lunch to send; videos of cats dressed as humans to watch. You don’t have time to read things like some kind of ridiculous, well-educated duck.

So instead watch this video, which tells you everything there is to know about Japan – covering population, annual food wastage, social awkwardness and much more – in just 10 minutes and 59 seconds.

Go! Time is of the essence!

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