Sharp’s Ocha-presso brings traditional Japanese flavor to your kitchen

Coffee and espresso drinks are quite common in Japan, but green tea will always have a special place in Japanese hearts, as evidenced by the availability of green tea flavored doughnuts, ice bars, beer and even curry. Now, Sharp has announced a new machine for home use that makes perfect matcha (green tea made from powdered tea leaves). They are calling it the Healsio Ocha-presso (or Healthy-o Tea-presso, if you prefer).

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Real, functional Attack on Titan swords: This man’s year-long project will blow your mind

As popular as Attack on Titan is, it’s hardly surprising how many great cosplay outfits have been made by fans. And with a live action movie in the works, we wouldn’t be surprised if the level of pure awesome of AoT cosplay explodes a few hundredfold.

But it’s going to be tough to top these real, functional swords one university student made in his free time over the course of a year. The best part is, he might even make a pair for you!

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Tohoku man honors brother killed in tsunami with hundreds of blue carp streamers

In an empty field in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, where many homes stood before a tsunami swept them away, there are hundreds of blue carp streamers floating in the breeze. Kento Itoh, 21 years old, has collected them from all over the country in honor of his brother Ritsu, killed in the March 11 disaster when he was just five years old.

On that day, Kento was in Sendai, his middle brother was at school and his father was in the hospital, so none of them were at home when the tsunami struck their small town. Ritsu, his mother and his grandparents were carried off by the surging waters. Only Ritsu’s body was ever found. The rest are still officially missing.

With his father ill, it fell to Kento as the oldest son to identify his brother’s corpse at the morgue and to search among the ruins for his missing family. He did not find them, but among the mud and muck, he did find something: Ritsu’s beloved blue carp streamer.

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Video game mash-up! What your favourite characters would look like in other games

Wouldn’t Nintendo characters look cool dressed up as other game characters? Take a look at these brilliant illustrations that prove just how great an idea it is.

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“It came out of nowhere!” Traffic cam catches poorest excuse ever【Video】

Who is the scariest driver out there? The people who drive 50 over the speed limit? The one who swerves through all the lanes? The slow guy who can’t go any more than 20 under the limit causing you to swear up a storm? Or how about those people who drive the giant trucks, who can’t see anything around them? Yeah, those are pretty scary, and a new video from China shows what happens when those big trucks don’t pay attention!

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“If I don’t download free music, I’ll get bullied!” – IT worker’s experience with net-using kids

The internet has completely changed the way we work and live, but for those of us having children it can be hard to understand how different life has become for them as information technology natives.

Having some shoes that could be pumped full of air was the deciding factor of our social status in school at one time, but what are kids thinking about today? Kakurega Komyo is an IT worker in Japan who caught a glimpse of this life while setting up the internet in someone’s house.

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How to win at rock-paper-scissors: A three-step guide

Rock-paper-scissors. Scissors-paper-stone. Roshambo. Elephant-man-ant. Whatever you call it, chances are you’ve played it at some point. In Japan, the game is known as janken, and is used to settle any kind of dispute or awkward situation, from who gets the last cookie to which parents have to sit on the PTA that year.

It’s not hard to see why janken is so popular in Japan: it’s simple, and everyone knows how to play. It’s also efficient (particularly if the thing being decided is trivial anyway). Decisions made by janken are stuck to religiously: in three years teaching Japanese schoolkids I never once saw a student complain about the result or demand a rematch. It’s seen as a fair way to make decisions, because the game is based on luck.

Or is it? A group of researchers from Chinese universities has published a paper that shows sure-fire ways to win at rock-paper-scissors. Join us after the jump as we explore how to outsmart small children at their own game!

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Son’s “I love you” phone call to mother has the entire class in stitches

Mother’s Day is just around the corner for people who live in countries such as Japan, America, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia and China, among others. A Taiwanese high school teacher recently made the students call up their mothers, encouraging them to verbally express their love and appreciation.

What should have been a touching and precious moment, however, turned out to be a hilarious situation when one mum hurled some vulgarities back at her son instead!

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Saitama man robs 7-Eleven with knives, steals 3 onigiri

A 7-Eleven convenience store in Kasukabe City, Saitama Prefecture was the scene of a daring late-night armed robbery earlier this week as an unidentified young man held clerks at knife-point and made off with a total of three onigiri rice balls, whose combined value came to approximately 300 yen (US$2.94).

He’d have gotten away with too, if it hadn’t been for the bread delivery guy…

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Ultra-cute moe pilgrims embark on Shikoku’s 88-temple journey in new TV show

2014 marks the 1,200th year since Buddhist monk Kukai made his holy journey to 88 temples on the southern Japanese island of Shikoku. The Shikoku Pilgrimage now attracts people from all over Japan as well as the world to visit the same temples along the 1,200 km-route.

Now, a new TV series, Ohenro, is out to appeal to a new generation of religious travelers and features three female pilgrims stylized in the ever popular moe fashion of super-cute anime characters.

But Japanese netizens, eager to soak up all things moe, are wondering if they will have to make their own “holy trip” since only four broadcasters are airing the show!

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No chopping board? No problem! Genius device makes food prep a walk in the park, woods, hills…

One of the best things about camping is gathering around the fire at the end of the day to cook, eat and drink with friends and family. Free of the trappings of our modern life, we’re able to focus on the food, the nature around us, and – a something of a rarity in our paradoxically lonely social network-obsessed world – each other.

But cooking out in the wilderness can be a fiddly affair. With none of our modern kitchen appliances or shining stainless steel countertops on which to prepare meals, doing something as simple as chopping up an onion for the pot can be a real pain, least not for the poor soul who has to carry a wooden chopping board and knife in their backpack.

This genius device from India, however, does away with the need for a knife and chopping board altogether making campfire cooking an absolute breeze.

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Newsflash: Attack on Titan 3DS game to get North American release?

A few months ago, we brought you news that Japanese developer Spike Chunsoft was bringing manga and anime smash Attack on Titan to Nintendo’s popular portable, 3DS. Up until now, the game seemed destined to remain a Japan-only affair, but rumour has it that its makers are searching for a publisher to bring the game to Western audiences. Get hype, kids!

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KFC mystery meat leaves us puzzled, kills our appetite

While KFC Japan recently unveiled their newest menu item featuring a collaboration with soccer player Ronaldo, KFC China has (accidentally) unveiled a somewhat different item: Horrific chicken wings.

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Smooching survey: Finding out what age Japanese women had their first kiss

Your fist kiss is sure to be a memorable event. It might even be the most memorable event in your life for decades if all goes well…or if it turns into a proper disaster. At least, that’s what we learned from teenage comedies–and Hollywood never lies, right? But even though it’s such a big event in any young person’s life, everyone’s first kiss seems to come at different ages.

We’ve discussed kissing in Japan before, but a new survey reveals the average first-kiss age of Japanese folks broken down by prefecture, showing which prefecture’s women were the fastest and kissiest in the country! Who do you think came in first place? And who’s bringing up the rear as the “slowest to their first kiss?” Find out below!

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This gorgeous remake of the classic Nintendo System is like nothing you’ve ever seen before

The nostalgia of a classic Nintendo Entertainment system is like nothing else.

I remember when I first got a Nintendo. I didn’t get the bundle with the gun, so no “Duck Hunt” for me, but that didn’t stop me from playing “Super Mario Bros.” for hours with my friends. Then I’d go to their houses and play for hours more. It was the first real game system I had (before that I had a Commodore VIC-20 — don’t mind me as I date myself) in a long line of game systems that followed.

I think back on those games and that system fondly, but I never considered buying one today, or even one of the mods people have made, such as this one, called the Hyperkin Retro 5.

Usually it’s because the graphics on these systems is pretty weak compared with what we’re used to from systems like the Xbox 360, and especially newer systems like the PS4 and Xbox One.

Until now, that is.

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We know the human names of Dragon Ball’s Androids 17 & 18!

When I was in middle school, I used to watch Dragon Ball Z every single day. I’ve seen all 291 episodes of the series and without a doubt can say that my favorite story arc begins with the arrival of future Trunks until the end of the Cell Games. Why? Because the villains are awesome, of course (sorry, Frieza)! Everyone loves Cell and the attractive-but-deadly android siblings, known as Numbers 17 and 18.

Speaking of the androids, Akira Toriyama, the author of Dragon Ball, has recently released an interesting bit of trivia for the first time ever – Number 17 and 18’s true names! Even cooler is how their names combine to create something new. Do you have any guesses?

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We try out the upcoming R2-D2 virtual keyboard projector!

A couple of months ago, we wrote about a set of Star Wars-themed notebooks sold over at the online shopping website Run@town. Much to everyone’s surprise, the fandom those little books stirred up caused a massive run that led them to being sold out within an single hour.

Now, Run@town is hoping that the force with strike twice with a new product that could tickle the fancy of Star Wars fans everywhere even harder. It’s an R2-D2 virtual keyboard projector! You read that right–a tiny droid beams a keyboard onto any flat surface for you to actually type on.

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Super-intelligent Chinese chinchilla cat’s giant eyes will eat your soul【Photos】

Hey Rocketeers! Any idea how many cats RocketNews24 has featured so far? To be absolutely honest, we have no idea either. We stopped trying to keep track a long time ago, but here’s one more to add to the list!

We’ve seen fat cats, mohawk cats, and even cats who are capable of taking selfies, but this is probably the cat with the most intense eyes we’ve ever seen! He always looks so energetic and robust with his large eyes and powerful gaze, it wouldn’t be surprising even if someone mistook him for a toy!

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Create your dream share house and win a chance to live there rent-free for two years

In these cash-strapped times, wouldn’t it be great to move into a brand-new house and not have to pay security fees or rent for two years? Wouldn’t be even better if it were a house built entirely to your specification and tastes?

Home building agency SuMiKa and employment website Wantedly are working to make that a reality for three lucky people with a unique promotional event. Anyone who enters could win a chance to design a house and live in it rent-free for two years.

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New Godzilla clips identify flying monster

A new series of movie clips and screenshots for Gareth Edwards Godzilla remake film began streaming on Friday. A clip confirms that the previously shown flying monster is known as a “MUTO” or “Massive Unidentified Terrestial Organism.” Another video shows Godzilla set to do battle with it.

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