Pulling up the Sewol could take six months and cost US$98,240,000

Pulling up the Sewol could take six months and cost US$98,240,000

It is now approaching one month since the passenger ferry Sewol sank off the coast of Jindo, South Korea. The whole world has watched the death toll rise to an official count of 275, with several dozen people still missing. Compounding the catastrophic loss of life is the fact that the majority of the victims were mere high school students on a field trip to popular Jeju Island.

Many South Korean citizens are lambasting the government for its response to the disaster. Several crew members, including the captain, have also been arrested during the ongoing criminal investigation.

In light of these events, one question that is currently on everyone’s mind is how on earth is the ship’s operating company going to handle the financial burden of this disaster? Join us as a lawyer knowledgeable about shipwrecks gives his preliminary monetary estimates.

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Doraemon anime’s visual & script changes for U.S. TV detailed

Doraemon anime’s visual & script changes for U.S. TV detailed

The Oricon Style website reported on changes that the Doraemon television anime is undergoing before its American television premiere this July. The Disney XD channel will run 26 episodes of the quintessential Japanese anime about a robot cat. The anime has been adapted for American culture and customs, as well its strict guidelines on violence, depictions of discrimination, and depictions of sexual content.

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Japanese fast food chain Lotteria continues shoving noodles where they don’t belong

Japanese fast food chain Lotteria continues shoving noodles where they don’t belong

Our long-time readers will remember Lotteria’s famous–or possibly infamous–ramen noodle burgers last May. We even set Mr. Sato off to try out an extra-massive ramen noodle burger and were amazed by his ability to consume gargantuan amounts of food. As strange as the combination of noodles and buns seemed at the time, it apparently earned the company a lot of happy customers, since Lotteria will be bringing back noodle burgers at the end of this month, with a few new twists…

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This couple is waaaaayyyy too happy about their mediocre lot in life

This couple is waaaaayyyy too happy about their mediocre lot in life

In any other country this advert where two people proudly announce: “Our total annual income is 3.55 million. We bought our mansion!” would be one of those pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams that many young professionals could only dream of.

However, in Japan this ad has left people feeling despondent about the future of the country and thinking to themselves, “I wouldn’t be smiling so much, if I were them.”

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Kids today get all the best toys! “Sketch Aquarium” turns doodles into lifelike swimming fish

Kids today get all the best toys! “Sketch Aquarium” turns doodles into lifelike swimming fish

Remember all those toys you had as a kid that seemed so cutting-edge at the time? They probably don’t seem quite as exciting any more with all the advances in technology over the years. In fact, you’ll be willing to trade your Furby in a heartbeat once you see what these Japanese kids get to play with nowadays!

Take the “Sketch Aquarium” for example - a play area where children can foster their creative skills by designing a fish and then interact with it in a virtual tank. I wonder if adults are allowed in, too…

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Chinese student asks for cooked sushi at Sukibayashi Jiro, gets flamed by Chinese netizens

Chinese student asks for cooked sushi at Sukibayashi Jiro, gets flamed by Chinese netizens

By now Sukibayashi Jiro is probably the most famous sushi bar in the world, not just due to its exposure from the well-known documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, but also thanks to President Obama’s praise for the bite-sized delicacies prepared by the legendary sushi master, Jiro Ono.

But even the best sushi in the world can’t satisfy everyone, it seems. A Chinese student studying in Japan recently wrote about her dining experience at the famed establishment, complaining that the food was terrible and that she got into a heated argument with the staff, seemingly hoping that by badmouthing the restaurant online her fellow countrymen would laugh along with her.

Instead she was met with a fierce backlash of comments calling her a disgrace to the country. What exactly did she do to ruffle the feathers of the Chinese netizens? More details after the break!

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Make your boyfriend hate you with these Line stickers designed for pushy, clingy girlfriends

Make your boyfriend hate you with these Line stickers designed for pushy, clingy girlfriends

The social messaging service Line is a huge hit in Japan. It’s easy to use, free, and even lets you decorate your messages with stickers to add a personal touch.

All of this makes Line great for keeping in touch with your friends or dating partner. As a matter of fact, it might have just become a little too good at keeping you connected to your significant other, with a new set of stickers specially designed for clingy girlfriends.

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The little test that’s blowing Japanese netizens’ minds

The little test that’s blowing Japanese netizens’ minds

While many Japanese people might not get “American jokes,” they do seem to be enjoying some certain English memes. For example, “The Little Test That Blows Your Mind,” which recently reappeared online, was translated and posted to a Japanese website, garnering over 1,500 comments.

If you’ve already taken the test, you’ll definitely want to see how your answer stacks up against these Japanese commenters. And if you haven’t taken the test yet, be sure to give it a try!

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People in Japan are going crazy for straw art

People in Japan are going crazy for straw art

A lot of unusual art trends have been popping up in Japan lately. From lattes to nails, dextrous Japanese artists are continuing to impress us with creative touches that take things to a whole new level. Now drinking straws are taking centre stage, with their colours and curves twisted into lifelike animals, mythical beasts and cute animated characters.

We take a look at some amazing designs and see how it’s done with an easy-to-follow video tutorial.

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Big in Japan: 25 insightful musings from a self-proclaimed “fatty”

Big in Japan: 25 insightful musings from a self-proclaimed “fatty”

It’s not easy out there for people with weight issues when even fictional monsters are criticized for being too pudgy. But a popular Japanese Twitter user with more than 45,000 followers is pushing back on society’s fat-shaming and telling the world how great life is when Ramen Jiro is your “afternoon snack.”

E_Debu, who says he is “the fatty who has a high consciousness,” has been musing on his observations about life as a big person. He enlightens his online audience on some of the hardships as well as the benefits of coming in a larger size. Click below to read 25 thought-provoking observations from one of the most popular “fatties” on the Internet.

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The Pissing Tanker: Fighting public urination in India one spray at a time【Video】

The Pissing Tanker: Fighting public urination in India one spray at a time【Video】

India has a public urination problem. And one vigilante group has taken matters into their own hands. Riding the streets of Mumbai on top of a bright orange tanker, masked members of activist group The Clean Indian patrol the city, giving anyone they find relieving themselves in an inappropriate place a public drenching with a water cannon.

In a video released by the group, who declare that the solution to public urination is public urination – “by the Pissing Tanker”, members of the public are seen laughing delightedly as the men get a shock soaking. It’s an extreme and apparently effective solution, but some have criticised the group, branding their actions too harsh, and accusing them of focusing on the perpetrators rather than the root problem.

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Why is sushi outside of Japan so happy?

Why is sushi outside of Japan so happy?

We’ve already gone over a few signs that you might not be in a real Japanese restaurant, including the location’s name. We can’t say with certainty, but we’re pretty sure there aren’t any “Happy Sushi” restaurants in all of Japan. So why are there so many abroad? Japanese website Naver Matome wondered the very same thing and compiled a list of the most elated raw fish from all around the world. It just makes us wonder, why does the world associate sushi with being happy?

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Mayoterrace to open this month, may well be the tangiest place on Earth

Mayoterrace to open this month, may well be the tangiest place on Earth

For most of my life, I’ve never been much of a mayonnaise fan. It went well on burgers and stuff, but really if the world’s supply had suddenly vanished I don’t think my life would have skipped a beat. That is until coming to Japan and discovering the beauty that is Kewpie brand mayonnaise.

Kewpie Mayo’s taste can best be described as waking up on a lazy Sunday morning to the gentle breath of a kitten by your face as you lay next to your model lover. We’re talking print model not runway – runway is more like Kenko brand mayonnaise.

And so, Kewpie Mayo has become an indispensable condiment to my daily dining routine as it has to millions of others in Japan. However, where can us devoted lovers of the sweet sauce go for information on the history and development of mayonnaise? Mayoterrace, that’s where!

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Grab some tissues: Beloved cat lost in Tohoku disaster comes home over three years later

Grab some tissues: Beloved cat lost in Tohoku disaster comes home over three years later

The Tohoku disaster of March, 2011 continues to impact the daily lives of the people of the region even to this day. We have no doubt that its effects will linger in Japan for decades to come, so it’s easy to see why nearly every story related to the disaster leaves us teary-eyed. This story will also likely have you reaching for the tissues, but at least they’ll be happy tears.

On Friday last week, one elderly couple in Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture was reunited with the beloved cat they’d lost in the 3/11 disaster — just over three years since the adorable feline went missing and was presumed dead.

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Food by Fujitsu: Rise of the super veggie!

Food by Fujitsu: Rise of the super veggie!

With Vermont becoming the first state in the US to require labels for genetically modified organisms, more and more people are turning towards natural, organically grown food. People want to know where their food comes from and they want to have the choice to choose foods that don’t use pesticides. But genetically modified food has been paramount to feeding every mouth on this planet. What if there was a way to combine the benefits that science provides but still ensure a natural growing environment with no pesticides used? Fujitsu is taking great strides towards that goal and their first product has been making its way to consumers.

And yes, we really are taking about food by Fujitsu.

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Meet the most unmotivated Sanrio character ever — Gudetama, the lazy egg!

Meet the most unmotivated Sanrio character ever — Gudetama, the lazy egg!

We’ve introduced an anthropomorphized food character from Sanrio before on our site, but we now have another one that we’re keen to share with you, just because his personality (although we’re not quite sure if that word applies even when the subject isn’t a person, or even an animal) is so unconventional and unexpected. That’s right, if you thought all Sanrio characters were good and cheery, you may have to think again. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gudetama, the lazy egg who doesn’t seem to want to do anything at all!

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Good news, Nara residents! You’re in the middle of a huge upside-down pentagram!

Good news, Nara residents! You’re in the middle of a huge upside-down pentagram!

The pentagram is a simple shape with deep meanings. No matter what faith or race we come from that little star seems to conjure up thoughts and feelings more than mere circles or dodecahedrons could ever do to the masses.

So when someone tweeted an image from Google Maps with a pentagram laying upside-down over much of the Kansai Region of Japan, it generated quite a bit of buzz along with 13,000 retweets. It was created by joining several religiously significant locations in the area and has Japan’s ancient capital of Nara smack dab in the center.

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Let’s learn Japanese through terrible “American jokes”

Let’s learn Japanese through terrible “American jokes”

If you’re an English-speaking foreigner living in Japan and are prone to cracking jokes, it won’t be long before someone responds to something you’ve said with a shrug of the shoulders and the phrase “American joke”. This used to confuse me immensely (“but, but, I’m not American!”) before I realised that an Amerikan Jōku doesn’t have to be told by an American, or be related to the United States in any way. It’s just what you say in Japan when you have the feeling the person you’re talking to is making a joke, but you don’t really understand what’s funny – and want to avoid the potential awkwardness of explicitly saying so.

Today we bring you 10 “American jokes” posted to Japanese website 2channel. Impress and appall your Japanese friends in equal measure by trying out one of these painful puns on them. Who says humour doesn’t translate?

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Easy peasy lemon squeezy: Our writer attempts to make salted lemon

Easy peasy lemon squeezy: Our writer attempts to make salted lemon

Did you know that salty things have gotten really popular in Japan in recent years? The Japanese word for salt is shio, and these days you can find shio yakisoba (buckwheat noodles), shiokouji (a kind of condiment), shio nabe (hotpot), and the new fad shio tomato. And now it’s even extending into the world of sweets with shio vanilla ice cream and shio chocolate. I’ve had sea salt chocolate before, and I can tell you it’s actually much better than it sounds! The latest addition to the ranks of salty goodness is shio lemon, which you can make at home yourself with just two basic and obvious ingredients.

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Who do Japanese women want to care for them when they get sick? (Hint: it’s not their boyfriends)

Who do Japanese women want to care for them when they get sick? (Hint: it’s not their boyfriends)

As the new business and academic year takes its toll and Japan collectively sniffles with a case of the May blues, people all over the country are hiding under their blankets and calling in sick (probably using paid vacation days rather than actual sick leave, but that’s another story). When you’re feeling under the weather, it’s always nice to have someone to fluff up your pillows, cook you comfort food and generally feel sorry for you.

Japanese website My Navi Woman surveyed Japanese women in their 20s and 30s, asking them: “When you get a cold, who do you want to be by your side looking after you?” You may – or may not – be surprised to hear that boyfriends came in at a measly third place, with only 22 percent of women saying they’d want their man to care for them.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the rankings, and at what reasons Japanese women gave for wanting (or rejecting!) someone’s love and attention.

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