Honest Tokyo: 3.3 billion yen of lost cash handed in to police in 2014 alone

Imagine this. You’re at a fireworks festival with almost one million people in attendance. Everyone is scrambling for a place to sit and stampeding for the exit when it’s over. In between standing in line for a tasty treat and being dazzled by the fireworks spectacle, you realize something terrible. You’ve lost your wallet. Now what?

In Japan, you just go to the nearest police box, or koban! In 2014 alone, a stunning amount of cash and lost possessions was turned into police stations around Tokyo. In cash alone, over 3.3 billion yen was turned in. That’s a whopping US$27.8 million picked up and taken to the authorities. Could that happen anywhere else in the world?

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The top 10 kinds of posts that make Japanese users want to block their friends on Facebook

Since smartphones hit Japan a few years ago, there’s been no stopping the social networking services (SNS) explosion. While there are plenty of prolific Vine and Instagram posters, the Twitter and Facebook addicts reign supreme.

Facebook has been around for quite some time now, but it’s still going strong. It’s great for staying connected with friends, “Facebook stalking” old high school boyfriends and sharing photos and RocketNews24 articles. There are downsides to Facebook though, mainly those people who post statuses that you really don’t care about and/or drive you nuts.

We questioned some Japanese people to see what kind of posts make them want to block their Facebook friends. Today we present to you the top 10 most common Facebook irritants for Japanese people.

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Lotte’s animated gum hotties are back with new post-Valentine’s-Day-short!

A little while back, we introduced you to a novel promotional concept backed by major candy manufacturer Lotte featuring cool guys based around different flavours of gum. The animated hotties appeared in a short “visual-novel” style animated commercial where they romanced the main character (a tooth) with their minty fresh appeal. Well, we’re happy to report that, post-Valentine’s-Day-chocolate-binge, they’re back with a new animated feature, but all is not right in gum land – too much chocolate seems to have made the guys go a little funny in the head!

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Hayao Miyazaki has a bone to pick with consumerism and computers (but mostly consumerism)

Anime legend Hayao Miyazaki recently offered his take on French publication Charlie Hebdo running illustrations of Muhammad. That wasn’t the only strong opinion the Studio Ghibli co-founder put forth though. Aside from having harsh words for using others’ culture as fodder for satire, he’s also got a pretty big bone to pick with computer animation and consumerism.

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US kids react to breakfasts from other countries, and it’s equal parts cute and hilarious 【Video】

One of the best parts of traveling to other countries are all the new and exciting (and sometimes even gag-inducing) food experiences that come with it. While some may turn up their nose at something like fermented cabbage, fish eggs, or animal innards – something which is strange and exotic to one culture but a completely normal food to another – these likes and dislikes really have little to do with personal tastes, and everything to do with upbringing.

I believe that it is very important for kids to be introduced to many different cultures from a young age, to help give them a better understanding of and respect for the world around them, and what better way to do that than by introducing foods from other countries? That is what the people over at YouTube channel Cut Video did, when they created their video “American Kids Try Breakfasts From Around the World”.

As we all know, kids can tend to be picky eaters, so introducing them to unknown foods is sure to bring a few sour faces, as you can see in the video after the jump!

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Tokyo Chocolate Round-up: 2015 Valentine’s Day! 【Photos】

If you love sweets — chocolate in particular — Japan in the weeks before Valentine’s Day is definitely a great place to be. Ever since chocolate makers in Japan managed to make it a widespread tradition for women to give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day, it’s become an annual event to see chocolates being sold at shops everywhere starting in late January, with numerous special promotions and appearances by “celebrity chocolatiers”  to heighten the excitement leading up to the big V-day.

Yes, for chocolate lovers, it’s a blissful time of year — there’s nothing quite like stepping into a department store and seeing a huge space filled with chocolates of all shapes and sizes while being surrounded by the rich, earthy scent of cacao. But now that Valentine’s Day is over, we may be developing a case of the post-Valentine’s blues, so to console ourselves, we’ve put together a collection of photos showcasing some of the most memorable chocolate items we saw this Valentine’s season in Japan.

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Tokyo artist creates photo-realistic drawings with colored pencils

Hey that’s a nice photograph of a peaceful oasis in Tokyo. Wait, it’s not a photograph? It’s a drawing? Made with colored pencils?!

Ryota Hayashi has been bringing the Nakano Ward of Tokyo to life for the past several years through his breathtakingly realistic colored pencil renditions. He’s recently been getting a lot of attention on social media, and it’s not at all hard to see why.

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Chinese netizens can’t keep their eyes off these cat-and-boob GIFs! (Seriously, who can?)

What’s your favorite thing to look at on the Internet? If your answer is “Cats!”, “Boobs!”, or “Cats and boobs!”, you’re in for a treat.

A series of cat-and-boobies GIF images has been a tremendous hit among netizens using Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo, and there’s no need for an explanation why, because… well, it’s cats and boobs!

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The Toyota Isis: The car with the most unfortunate name in Japan

Toyota, being the largest, most internationalized of Japan’s automakers, tends to do a pretty decent job steering clear of picking car names that sound weird or shocking to non-Japanese consumers. Sure, its product lineup briefly included the Emina, but that only sounds gross if you’re too impatient to carefully read the letters in order.

Until now Toyota hasn’t had anything as unintentionally startling as the Mazda Bongo Friendee, Daihatsu Naked, or Nissan Fairlady. But if you’ve taken a look at Toyota’s Japanese website recently, you may have found yourself doing a double-take as you noticed one of its current offerings seems to share its name with a well-known jihadist rebel group.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Toyota Isis.

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Fans petition Dreamworks to replace ScarJo for live-action Ghost in the Shell

Some fans are not happy with Dreamworks’ decision to cast Scarlet Johansson the leading lady of a possible live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation. The creators of a Care2Petitions petition, which has already received over 28,000 signatures, calls the studio out for white-washing the film.

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Kim Jong-un Golf: the game where every shot is a hole-in-one

In the online game Kim Jong Golf, players must carefully line up a moving bar in order to pull off the perfect shot. Right on the money? Hole in one! Miss completely? Doesn’t matter. Hole in one! Hang on…

Whether on a snowy mountaintop or rolling fields, players hit every shot with superhuman accuracy and grace. Then again, such things are to be expected when your character is the Glorious Leader.

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The real story of Nintendo’s Mario

Ever since Mario first appeared in Nintendo’s Donkey Kong in 1981, he has been a fan favorite in the world of video games. Over the past three decades, Mario has appeared in over a hundred titles on numerous platforms as fans grew up alongside their favorite bearded (well, most of the time) Italian plumber.

For many casual Mario players, it seems like each game is an independent story filled with action and adventure. However, the hardcore players at Scorpigator Films have put together a Super Mario Timeline using clues from the various games to tell the full biography of Mario, the hero of Mushroom Kingdom.

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We try out the scariest fashion game on the app store

We heard that there is a particularly alarming girls’ fashion mobile game lurking in the app store, so in the spirit of RocketNews24, we decided that we had to try it out for ourselves. The game in question is Mary&Ange II, an updated version of, well Mary&Ange, a simple dress-up game for iOS and Android produced by Halcon. The game seemed innocuous enough from the download page, even though reviews were mixed. However, little did we know there was a hidden secret inside…

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Lifelong SaGa Frontier fan makes real-life princess outfit that’s a true labour of love【Photos】

Late-nineties roleplaying game SaGa Frontier may have had mixed reviews in North America, where critics slammed its non-linear gameplay as lacking in focus, but the game was a huge success in Japan.

And 17 years on from the game’s original release, one Japanese fan has finally achieved her lifelong dream of recreating the dress of Princess White Rose (aka Shirobara Hime), and she’s got the pictures to prove it!

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Hayao Miyazaki on Charlie Hebdo attacks: Drawings of Muhammad were “a mistake”

Famed anime director Hayao Miyazaki may have retired from making feature films, but it’s not because he’s run out of clearly defined ideas or things to say. In a recent interview, the animation icon was asked for his thoughts about the recent terrorist attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and gave, in no uncertain terms, his opinion about the decision to publish the content cited as the trigger for the incident.

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Fake 7-Elevens across Asia: you can hide, but we’re on to you

Take a quick look at the picture above. Notice anything strange? Perceptive readers may have spotted something out-of-place right away. If you didn’t, well, no worries, but you’ll probably want to facepalm yourself when you take a second look.

Like this Chinese “7-Twelve,” there are a number of fake, localized versions of popular convenience store 7-Eleven scattered throughout the Asian continent. They may think they can slip through the cracks, but perhaps it’s only a matter of time before a lawyer comes knocking at their doors. We have to hand it to them, though–they score high on creativity for coming up with some amusing names.

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These gross ukiyo-e pictures showcase enterprising uses for really huge tanuki balls

Ukiyo-e, or woodblock prints, are a celebrated art form in Japan with a long and distinguished history. But you’d be mistaken if you thought it was all serious art and depictions of beautiful things. There’s also a lot of ukiyo-e out there that’s a bit, well, weird and gross, like that one picture of the dudes farting at each other. Today, we’d like to share with you one such bizarre collection from famous artist Kuniyoshi Utagawa depicting one of Japan’s most beloved national animals, the tanuki, aka raccoon dog – notorious for having really, really huge testicles.

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Want to see anime singer Hironobu Kageyama, or rising idol Azusa Todokoro, perform live? 【Event】

Aside from protagonist Goku’s voice actress Masako Nozawa, it’s pretty hard to find a performer who can claim to have made his or her presence felt in all of anime hit Dragon Ball’s over 290 TV episodes and dozen-plus movies. One man who can make that claim, though, is vocalist Hironobu Kageyama, who supplied the opening theme for each and every episode of Dragon Ball and its successor series Dragon Ball Z, plus 12 of its 13 movies to-date (and even the most recent film used a cover of his iconic hit “Cha-La Head-Cha-La”).

Now in his 50s, no one would blame Kageyama is he said he didn’t have the energy for live performances anymore, but the tireless singer isn’t ready to retire yet. Aside from being the front man for anime song supergroup JAM Project, next month Kageyama will be performing for TV program Anison CLUB!, and anime music Internet portal animeloLIVE! is giving away tickets to the event.

And don’t worry if Dragon Ball was before your time, because animeloLIVE! is also looking for fans to come out and support up-and-coming voice actress and idol Azusa Todokoro at yet another event to be held in March.

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New “drag queens and cross-dressers” locker room and changing facility opens in Shinjuku

By day you’re just another hard-worker in your Japanese office, donning the same, typical business suit as every other salaryman in the city. But by night, once work is over, you need to shed that suit and all that’s associated with it, put on a dress and some makeup, and let the other you take over.

Well, if you’re living in Tokyo, there’s a place just right for your needs in the Shinjuku neighborhood – Josokko Kouishitu, a locker/changing room especially for drag queens and cross-dressers!

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Two years’ worth of free pencils swiped from Korea’s first ever IKEA in just two months

The flat-pack furniture superstore IKEA means so many things to so many people. To students, it’s a great place to buy budget tableware, furniture, and bedding when they are setting out on their own for the first time. To families, it means affordable but nice looking furniture. To the unlucky assembler, it’s infuriating builds when pieces just don’t fit together. And to the rest of us, it means Swedish meatballs and ice cream!

Strangely, at the first IKEA store in Korea, which only opened about two months ago, it means something no one has thought about before: free pencils, and they’re apparently being swiped from the store in their thousands every single day.

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