Chinese netizens call for education reform after seeing Japanese test question

Chinese netizens call for education reform after seeing Japanese test question

The above question allegedly taken from a children’s test in Japan was posted on Chinese social networks recently. It’s a question that not only teaches us the proper way to use a scale but also a little something about the way we educate our youth.

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Japan votes on the musical act they most want to see in the Olympic opening ceremony

Japan votes on the musical act they most want to see in the Olympic opening ceremony

With the Olympic Games slated to return to Tokyo in 2020 a lot of prep work needs to be done. And as facilities are being planned and developed there’s also the difficult task of providing entertainment, particularly in the opening ceremony. China’s powerful and impressive ceremony raised the bar for what’s expected of a country in terms of presenting their culture in a fun and meaningful way.

To get the ball rolling, the Japanese Olympic Committee held a survey asking everyone which musicians they would most like to see appear at the opening ceremony. A total of 143,394 people responded and the following top twenty artists were recently announced.

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Meet Les Romanesques: The most famous Japanese people in France

Meet Les Romanesques: The most famous Japanese people in France

This is Tobi and Miya. Together they make up the music duo, Les Romanesques, whose intriguing stage performances have made them a huge hit in France. Their appearance on France’s Got Talent became the most watched YouTube video in all of France, and the 4th most watched video worldwide. Since then, they’ve appeared in French TV commercials for Mazda, and even helped promote the Paris International Film Festival with Jane Fonda and the Mayor of Paris. Their entertaining performances and music videos have just the right mix of talent and zany Japanese appeal that’s got audiences around the world asking for more.

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Giant rubber duck arrives in Osaka!

Giant rubber duck arrives in Osaka!

Rubber ducks invoke a sense of bath-time fun and childhood wonder no matter how old we get. Their bright colours and kind expressions are so pleasing that one artist has super-sized the fun by creating giant, inflatable versions that travel around the world.

One of these has recently taken up temporary residence in Nakanoshima, Osaka, where it will be appearing for one week only. To add to the excitement, a local hotel is serving up limited numbers of ‘rubber duck plates’ featuring the cutest rice creation you’ve ever seen!

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Puzzle & Dragons + Attack on Titan = ??? China’s creative copycats strike again【Photos】

Puzzle & Dragons + Attack on Titan = ??? China’s creative copycats strike again【Photos】

What’s better than a ripoff of a top-selling game? A ripoff of a top-selling game featuring characters ripped off a top-selling anime!

If you own a smartphone and occasionally (or heavily) dabble in mobile games, you should have come across Puzzle & Dragons, one of the top grossing puzzle games available on both iOS and Android platforms. The Japanese developed mobile game’s tremendous success worldwide has led to many envious game developers producing “inspired” games of a similar genre.

Now, it is almost common knowledge that the Chinese are geniuses at creating imitations of anything and everything, so everyone would have expected them to make a pirated version of the monster-battling puzzle game eventually, but they have yet again managed to exceed expectations, incorporating characters and themed events based on one of the year’s hottest anime, Shingeki no Kyojin: Attack on Titan.

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Japanese customers are raving about a bath mat made from soil

Japanese customers are raving about a bath mat made from soil

This bath mat is so popular that it’s sold out on many of its retail websites. The reason for its popularity? It’s said to feel so good and absorb moisture so well that it surpasses anything that’s come before it. Oh, and it’s made entirely from soil.

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F1 driver visits Japanese game arcade, burns pixels on Mario Kart

F1 driver visits Japanese game arcade, burns pixels on Mario Kart

In case you hadn’t heard, F1 racing has come to Japan this weekend, and people are excited! Couple the race with a three-day weekend, and you can believe that a ton of people are heading out to Mie Prefecture to catch the big event. Though not quite as popular as soccer or baseball, it’s impossible to deny the draw the motorsport has in the country.

It also means all of the non-Japanese drivers are checking out some of the local culture. Like Red Bull Racing team driver Sebastian Vettel, who made a stop in Tokyo that has become a big hit online thanks to a video showing the German checking out a Japanese game arcade and trying his hand(s) at arcade Mario Kart!

Now, the million dollar question is: Do his real-world driving skills translate to a big win in the game world??

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Legendary mecha designer dreams up the future of Japan’s fire trucks

Legendary mecha designer dreams up the future of Japan’s fire trucks

Fire truck manufacturer Yoshitani Machinery Co. recently approached mechanical designer Kunio Okawara and asked him to draw the next generation of fire engine. Of course, when you ask an artistic talent behind the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise and other giant robots to make a fire truck, you’re in for a treat.

Behold, The Next Yoshitani Rescue Vehicle!

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Obachan power strikes again as middle-aged women buy giraffe for local zoo

Obachan power strikes again as middle-aged women buy giraffe for local zoo

Obachan are a powerful force in Japan. While the term literally means aunt, it commonly refers to middle-aged women who have done their time in the lower ranks of the female order and are finally at an age where they can do and say as they please. Stories of strong-willed obachan are not uncommon in the news, with some forming their own political party and others even starting their own rock groups. Proving that nothing is out of their reach, one group of obachan in Hokkaido have now done something that no one ever imagined they would: They raised over 54 million yen (US$548, 000) and bought a giraffe for their local zoo.

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Real-life GTA missions: Yakuza member charged with trespassing after chasing boss’s cat

Real-life GTA missions: Yakuza member charged with trespassing after chasing boss’s cat

Everyone loves cats–this is the basic premise of that the Internet is built on. From bored housewives to hyperactive teens to exhausted business people, no one is immune to their soft, fuzzy bellies and adorable eyes. Not even yakuza bosses!

In fact, one yakuza member run afoul the law after running over a shopping arcade roof, chasing after an escaped cat on his boss’s command.

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Drool-worthy: Beautiful bodybuilders of Korea strut their stuff at NABBA/WFF Korea 2013

Drool-worthy: Beautiful bodybuilders of Korea strut their stuff at NABBA/WFF Korea 2013

Recently on stage at Korea at the 2013 NABBA/WFF Korea Championship… tanned, toned and oiled goddesses flowed across the stage, flexing their sinuous musculature to compete for the Bikini and Sports Model categories. One would be chosen as their queen, but who would it be?

These images combine superhuman abs and rockhard thighs with other areas of alluring softness. Like fine bronze sculptures, these women (and men!) have made their bodies their art.

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Welcome to Kasahara Elementary School, also known as “The Dragon’s Palace” 【Photos】

Welcome to Kasahara Elementary School, also known as “The Dragon’s Palace” 【Photos】

 

Japanese schools tend to be giant concrete boxes with all the personality of a rock on a leash. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course; they get the job done and generally seem to hold well up over many, many years without needing too much maintenance. And most of the students don’t seem to mind either–after all kids can play pretty much anywhere when the put their minds to it.

But have you ever wondered if there are any fun schools in Japan? Or at least something with a bit more character?

Well, if so, you’ve come to the right place! Kasahara Elementary School in Okinawa has more than enough for the entire country.

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Shinkansen stopped and searched by police because of passenger who really had to pee

Shinkansen stopped and searched by police because of passenger who really had to pee

No matter what language you speak, words can sometimes have a way of landing us in trouble. Sometimes we exaggerate for the sake of making a sentence simpler by saying things like “just a sec.” Other times idiomatic phrases like “talk someone’s ear off” can lead to absurd literal translations.

And then there are times when a simple turn of phrase can inadvertently lead to a major incident involving the police and talk of a potential terrorist attack.

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Fukushima Corporation unveils new mascot with an unfortunate (but hilarious) name

Fukushima Corporation unveils new mascot with an unfortunate (but hilarious) name

Meet the newest mascot at Fukushima Industries! This cute, winged egg is the perfect face for a company that manufactures the kind of industrial refrigerators, blast chillers, freezers and refrigerated showcases that you might find in a restaurant or a supermarket.

The name they chose for this little egghead, though, probably needed a bit more work…

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Illustrator from Italy stuns netizens around the world with his hyper-realistic artwork

Illustrator from Italy stuns netizens around the world with his hyper-realistic artwork

If someone were to tell you that they struggled to tell the difference between hand-drawn art and photography, you could be forgiven for thinking that they were long overdue a visit to their optician. Well that was until the rise of hyperealism, an art style that challenges existing concepts of free-hand drawing. Put simply, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between these drawings and a real object, there’s just so much detail and attention to lights and shading.

Italian illustrator and graphic designer Marcello Barenghi is just one of a handful of artists garnering a lot of attention online with his hyper-realistic drawings. Barenghi’s work include everything from decks of cards and potato chip bags to fried eggs and paper money that will have you doubting your own eyes. Join us after the jump for a selection of this artist’s fantastic, ultra-realistic work.

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“Share a Coke” arrives in Spain! First Coca-Cola campaign in 60 years

“Share a Coke” arrives in Spain! First Coca-Cola campaign in 60 years

The Coca-Cola Company recently launched a branding campaign in Spain, allowing consumers to personalize a Coca-Cola can or bottle with their name on it.

The global brand has achieved numerous marketing successes over the years, so it’s no surprise that the campaign received overwhelming response in just a couple of days. In fact, this award-winning “Share a Coke” campaign has been launched in several countries including Denmark, Australia, France and the UK, so some of you lucky people out there might already own one of those shiny red cans with your name on it. Nothing new, you might think, but there is a little twist behind the scenes this time.

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Japanese electronics chain K’s Denki credits success to “not working so hard”

Japanese electronics chain K’s Denki credits success to “not working so hard”

K’s Denki is a nationwide consumer electronics chain known for their large-scale stores offering reasonably priced goods. Since its founding in the 70s, K’s Denki has grown to over 3,000 outlets and was awarded “Japan’s Most Respectable Company” earlier this year.

This steady and continued success is attributed to K’s Denki’s original style of retail which includes principles such as, “The customer is not king,” and “Don’t work too hard.”

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Hilarious stories of computer fail: Turns out not everyone in Japan is tech savvy

Hilarious stories of computer fail: Turns out not everyone in Japan is tech savvy

When it comes to technology, Japan is thought of as one of the world’s leaders in quality and innovation. Japanese cell phones, televisions and cameras have long been considered some of the best in the world. But what about personal computers? How many people whom you know would pick a Fujitsu over a Mac or an HP?

The truth is that Japan is a bit behind when it comes to using home computers. Most of the functions that a computer serves can also be performed using cell phones and word processors, so a lot of Japanese people fail to see the point of owning one, and may only gain an introduction to computers if their work requires it. Many schools do not have computer labs for the students to use, and many households do not even have so much as a home computer for the family to share. This means that many Japanese people do not come into contact with computers until they are well into their adult lives. This can lead to some strange misunderstandings, as the things we consider to be common computer knowledge become amusingly misunderstood.

Naver Matome collected a fun sample of stories from people whose friends and family had trouble with their computers. Their ignorance is our bliss in this amusing collection of computer fail.

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Wine-fueled mayhem in Japan’s Napa Valley: Katsunuma Wine and Grape Festival

Wine-fueled mayhem in Japan’s Napa Valley: Katsunuma Wine and Grape Festival

When you think booze and Japan, wine is probably the last thing that comes to mind, and not without good reason. This is a country where the average wine list can be summed up as “red or white?”, both of which will come probably from an ancient box in the back of the fridge and chilled to near-zero temps.

The country is not without its fans of wine culture, though. In fact, Japan even has a wine-producing region, home to 31 wineries and an original grape variety! Katsunuma, sometimes called the Napa Valley of Japan, is tucked into the mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture, just an hour and a half from Tokyo.

RocketNews24 went to check out this grapey paradise on the occasion of the Katsunuma Wine and Grape Festival, where rumor had it 500 yen would get you unlimited wine for the day.

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Eight tracks from JRPGs that Japanese gamers just can’t stop listening to 【Videos】

Eight tracks from JRPGs that Japanese gamers just can’t stop listening to 【Videos】

Play an RPG from start to finish and it often feels like completing a heroic journey. With some modern games taking 30+ hours to complete, that journey is vastly longer than the average movie, so it’s not surprising that players often become emotionally attached to the characters they met along the way and the game world they explored, and hearing a song that has some association with that game can bring memories and feelings flooding back. Japanese role-playing games are known for their somewhat epic qualities, and like to tug at players’ heartstrings like few other genres would ever dare, striving to evoke feelings of attachment, empathy and nostalgia in the player to the point that they begin to associate certain games with particular periods in their life.

With that in mind, here’s a list of eight songs from JRPGS – with videos no less – that Japan’s gamers say they will never tire of listening to and have a special place in their hearts.

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