Check your doors: Japan’s most popular door locks disabled by pink ribbons

If you live in Japan chances are you have one of these things pictured above attached to your front door. These U-shaped door latches provide an extra lock to your door but also allow you to prop it open to let a cool breeze through your home on a sweltering summer day.

Many Japanese people while sleeping or napping rely on these simple devices to safely crack their doors for comfort, but probably shouldn’t. As we will soon show you, these latches are actually about as secure as a stick of warm butter. In fact, in a demonstration video uploaded to YouTube, you’ll see that even the most amateur of criminals can bypass them in seconds.

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Badass art: Ono Gaf and his giant metal turtle

There is no doubt that life as an artist is difficult. From struggling to hone your craft to fighting for the respect of your peers and the attention of an audience, it’s often seen as a career only pursued by the obsessed. While we’re certain that you don’t need to be insane to be a successful artist, we’re also pretty sure that it doesn’t hurt to be at least a little compulsive in your dedication.

When it comes to driven art, Ono Gaf may fit the archetype to perfection. And if you disagree, you can take it up with that giant, hand-built turtle standing over him! Read More

Someone’s mother carved this Love Live! watermelon art, left the Internet applauding

There is, obviously, an unending supply of anime available for your viewing pleasure in Japan. Whether you want giants, cyborgs, or balls from dragons, there’s something for everyone. But one of the most popular shows right now is the high-school-idol series Love Live!. The anime has proven so popular, it even inspired a bizarre recruiting tweet from the Japan Self-Defense Forces last year and this massive back-piece tattoo earlier this summer.

Recently, a main character of the show, Honoka, had her birthday, and a dedicated Japanese Twitter user’s mother carved this surprisingly detailed piece of watermelon art in celebration.

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Genius Chinese college students use indoor inflatable pools to beat summer heat

I thought summers in America were hot, until I moved to Asia and learned firsthand what a hot summer is really like. In Japan, China and other parts of East Asia, the summer can be brutal to the point that people flock to public pools by the thousands, risking other people’s disgusting mud butt and possible drowning by crowd crush just to enjoy a few moments in the tepid water.

But a number of enterprising Chinese college students have apparently figured out a genius workaround: Just put a pool in your own dorm room.

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Twitter user shows us how to make your own pet Japanese giant hornet

It’s summer again in Japan which means it’s time for nature’s little nightmares to come pay us a visit. I’m talking of course about the Japanese giant hornet (ōsuzumebachi) a four-by-six-centimeter (1.5 x 2.4 inch) poisonous flying insect which kills a handful of people every year and has a generally bad demeanor.

This is great news for those who enjoy making alcohol out of them, and bad news for those who have encountered them before and probably still require counseling. However, this year, one Twitter using bug enthusiast is showing us to stop worrying and love the deadly bugs by making one their own pet on a string.

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They made anime back then? Five old-school anime that we still love today

Do you have a favorite anime? Nowadays, especially with so much information and videos available on the Internet, we’re surrounded by so much anime of every genre conceivable that it’s easy to forget works that haven’t had significant recent exposure. But as you may well be aware, Japanese anime has been around for a long time. So today, we thought we’d take you on a trip back in time to share with you five of our favorite anime from more than 20 years ago, which we still think are awesome even today.

Whether you’re a long-time anime fan or a relative newcomer, come take a look at our selection and see what you think. (And by the way, the anime are listed in no particular order, since it was too hard to decide which anime we like the best!)

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Ghost in the Shell Arise #1-2’s English dub cast announced

Funimation announced the English dub cast for Ghost in the Shell Arise episodes one and two at its Otakon panel on Saturday.

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Malaysian artist overcomes dyslexia, creates art to inspire the world

Childhood can be difficult–dealing with homework, classmates, teachers, parents, and sweaty, screaming gym coaches is enough to frustrate anyone. But add a learning difficulty like dyslexia to that mix and “difficult” becomes a drastic understatement. For many, the frustration of being mislabeled as lazy or simply shunned for having difficulty in school can turn into a lifetime of trouble–but that doesn’t need to be the case. In fact, with just a little understanding and some patience on the part of teachers and family members, young dyslexics can turn into extremely successful and talented adults, as Malaysian artist Vince Lowe so ably proves!

Despite his unhappy school days, Vince has gone from a “bad kid” to a well-respected professional with art skills that are simply amazing.

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Singaporean guy looking for a girlfriend pins his hopes on YouTube, dances to thank viewers

There are dozens of matchmaking websites and mobile apps these days that help bring people together. Which means you don’t even have to step out of the house to meet someone new, all you need is an internet connection and a computer, tablet or smartphone. It’s easy to hide behind an online profile, but in order to take a budding cyber romance to the next level, you’ll eventually need the guts and sincerity to meet your love interest in real life.

Instead of relying on matchmaking services, this Singaporean guy mustered all the courage in him and conveyed his sincerity in a YouTube video he made in an attempt to find himself a girlfriend, winning praise from YouTube viewers and local citizens. Check out the date plan he has for his potential girlfriend after the jump!

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Yo-Kai Watches selling out everywhere, resourceful kids and parents make their own instead

Japan doesn’t have the hectic Christmas shopping season of adults head-locking and price-gouging each other for the season’s hot toy. Still, every once in a while an item gets so huge that a sudden rush can break out at any time of the year.

This time it’s Yo-Kai Watches from the manga/game/anime series Yo-Kai Watch that are flying off the shelves. These watches don’t tell time unless it just happens to be 2:53 when you look at them, but that isn’t stopping people from lining up by the hundreds and shops from charging exorbitant prices for one. However, when the going gets tough, the tough get creative and fashion their own Yo-Kai Watches out of whatever is available.

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Hello Kitty takes to the stage for the Sanrio musical【Photos】

We recently paid a visit to Sanrio Puroland, the Tokyo amusement park dedicated to the characters created by the company that gave the world Hello Kitty. After arriving, our first order of business was grabbing an adorable Kitty-chan burger and My Melody stack of pancakes.

But cute character-based food is only half of the recipe for a successful theme park in Japan. The other is live shows, so we grabbed a seat for the park’s Hello Kitty musical, where we snapped pictures and even recorded a couple videos.

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Nine things the US does better than Japan (according to our cosplaying Japanese reporter)

After a long week of Comic-Con and coming down off the high of crossdress cosplaying as Sailor Venus, our intrepid Japanese reporter, Yoshio, settled back into life in his home country and has taken some time to reflect on his trip. Yoshio has been to the US nearly a dozen times, but there are always several things that impress him. The following is a translation of his impressions and the nine things he thinks the US does better than Japan.

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Lego models of Ghibli characters pay tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

It’s been an emotional week for fans around the world after news broke about the possible closure of Studio Ghibli’s production department. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki thankfully cleared up some of the misconceptions out there, and while we’re still left with many unanswered questions, his words left us with a glimmer of hope that even the great Hayao Miyazaki himself may be back to make a short animated film in the near future.

Miyazaki himself has publicly stated that last year’s The Wind Rises would be his final feature-length film, even if he continues making short films after retirement. So how do you pay tribute to a man whose career spans decades and who created some of the most beloved movies around the world? Well, one fan’s idea to build Lego models of his famous characters and a bust of the master himself seems like a good start!  

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New Japanese restaurant named はな毛 (nose hair), sighted in Germany, actually has a Japanese owner!

If you’re located outside of Japan, think of some Japanese restaurants around you and chances are their names contain easily recognizable, if uninspired, nouns like “sakura,” “Tokyo,” or “Fuji.” For instance, near me are eateries like Umi, Kaze, Samurai Boston, and countless Teriyaki House’s. One even contains my name, requiring me once in a while to explain that no, I’m not related.

Now, imagine the surprise of one Japanese Twitterer who stumbled upon an okonomiyaki restaurant in Berlin, Germany called “Hanage (はな毛)”, or nasal hair. Mmm, scrumptious!

At first glance, you’d think that this is simply another case of unfortunate word choices by a non-native speaker, like some kanji tattoos or English directions on Asian food packages. Almost as surprising as the bodily reference, however, is the fact that this restaurant was opened by a Japanese woman! To quote one Twitter commenter, “Why? Why? Why?”

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Miffy found trapped in vending machine, may need help from ninja frog to escape

On the surface, being a beloved children’s character might seem like it’s all hugs and smiles. In the harsh world of reality, though, being so soft and cuddly, with no offensive capabilities, can have its downsides.

It was only a week ago, for example, that Sesame Street’s Elmo was discovered tied to a stake in the hinterlands of Japan, his mouth wide open as, we assumed, he screamed for help. Next on the list of cute captives: Dutch storybook bunny Miffy, who was found trapped inside a vending machine.

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Don’t get your lips stuck to this Coke bottle made entirely of ice

In an effort to convince all of Japan to enjoy an ice-cold Coca Cola during the hot and humid summer months, Coca Cola Japan has created a campaign giving anyone the chance to win a Coke bottle made out of ice. Click on to find out how they’re made, how to get your hands on one, and how not to enjoy a solid block of ice!

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LadyBeard is stirring up a storm with a “dangerous” new tweet! 【Photos】

LadyBeard is certainly making a name for himself in Japan. RocketNews24 has covered some of his antics before, here and here. His popularity in Japan continues to grow and grow as evidenced by his Twitter account which has almost 45,000 followers! One of his latest tweets has been shared across the twitterverse over 1,000 times! What in the world could this be about? The answers and more, so much more, after the break!

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Social experiment in India reveals smokers’ true feelings about their lethal habit

Cigarettes. They’re awful, stinking things that do nothing but make you want more and give you cancer. Yet millions of people continue to smoke, putting their lives even more at risk every time they light up.

But as this video from Indian youth entertainment channel YTV Network shows, when a kid approaches and asks for a cheeky cig, pretty much every smoker will refuse to give them one and immediately starts lecturing them about the dangers of smoking.

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Hello Kitty producers appear to be losing touch with reality

For around four decades Sanrio has been pumping out character merchandise at an increasing rate. Headlined by Japanese kawaii icon Hello Kitty, they boast hundreds of characters, some of which thrive and others that just kind of hang around.

Indeed, the company has never faltered in their mission to continuously create cuteness for our amusement and expendable cash. However, to do so must require long hours at the drawing table penciling in adorable black pupils in just the right proportion to fit the squishiest round face you ever gosh darned seen.

In doing so they seemed to have forgotten what an actual human head looks like adrift in their ocean of chubby puppies and fruit-eared kitties. That has to be the only reason to explain this cardboard cutout posted on Twitter recently in which no person’s face could possibly fit properly.

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Get ‘em while they’re cold! Tokyo restaurant has chilled chicken skewers in collagen blocks

Japan takes skin care pretty seriously. Aside from all the parasols, cosmetic-grade sunscreens, and arsenal of lotions stocked at every drug store, some people look for a skin-beautifying boost in the foods they eat.

Collagen-rich dishes are particularly popular, especially when cooked in a hot pot. But what if you don’t just want food that contains collagen, but globs of it that contain food? Then this Tokyo yakitori restaurant has just the thing with its chicken skewers inside blocks of collagen.

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