Let’s talk about cleavage: A mini Japanese lesson for the weekend【Photos】

Have you been neglecting your Japanese studies recently? Maybe you’ve been struck down with a case of the May blues? We have just the ticket to get you right back on track!

We’ve scoured the dark depths of the Japanese internet to bring you this brand new mini-lesson: how to talk about boobs in Japanese on internet forums. Don’t worry, reader – just like last time, there are pictures too. Just to double-check your understanding, of course.

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Darth Vader makes Japanese pro baseball debut with killer home run 【Video】

Darth Vader is a multi-talented guy. From choking subordinates with an invisible force to performing impromptu amputations on members of his family, he can perform all kinds of amazing feats. But did you know he’s also a major league slugger?

It’s true! As part of a collaboration between Lucasfilm and Japan pro-baseball’s Pacific League, Vader stepped up to the plate to show how the game should be played: with light-saber bats!

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Thumbs up! Extend your thumb with totally lifelike silicon digit

Extend your thumb by 15 millimeters! Why? So you can use your phone more easily! With its completely life-like design, no one will even notice! Rakuten is currently offering this stylish thumb made by Rare Mono for just 1,480 yen (US$14.50). It could change your life.

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Elsa comes to the world of Minecraft in Japanese fan’s shot-for-shot Frozen video

Years after its first version was released, Minecraft is still captivating gamers around the world. By giving players access to a plethora of Lego-like building blocks, plus a consistent set of rules for how materials interact with one another, the title simultaneously challenges and inspires its fans, who’ve gone on to recreate both real and fictional locations within the game.

Now, one Minecraft enthusiast in Japan has combined his skills in the game with his love of Disney by recreating an entire scene from the animated hit Frozen.

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Enjoy the perfect glass of beer anytime, anywhere with the “Premium Beer Server GOKUREI”!

Do you love nice, cold beer? If, like us, you’re not averse to enjoying a frosty glass of beer now and then (if not more often), then this gadget may be something you’d want to check out. Takara Tomy A.R.T.S, a subsidiary of major Japanese toy and children’s products manufacturer Takara Tomy, proudly presents the super-cool “Premium Beer Server GOKUREI“. While a beer server may not exactly seem like a conventional product to come out of a toy company, the GOKUREI (literally meaning “extreme cool”) will ensure that you can have the perfect glass of beer at anytime, wherever you are!

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Lotteria’s new gum-flavored drink — refreshing treat or over-adventurous experiment?

We recently brought to you the news that fast food chain Lotteria will be offering their new Tsukemen Burger (dip-in-the-sauce noodles burger) later this month. Now, they’re following with another, shall we say … unique creation. This time, it’s a gum-flavored shake, and it comes in a bright green color!

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Imōto Paradise! 2 manga to be restricted as ‘unhealthy’ in Tokyo

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government decided on Monday to designate the Imōto Paradise! 2 manga as an “unhealthy publication,” and the resulting restrictions will go into effect on Friday. The title was designated under the revised Youth Healthy Development Ordinance due to its “glorification of incestuous acts.”

The publication will be the first to be formally restricted as such by the government since Bill 156 revised the law in 2010.

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Company’s smoking regulations cover all bases with math, technology, psychology, and courtesy

While progress has been slow and begrudging, anti-smoking movements are finally starting to gain traction in Japan. For example, smoking is largely banned in train stations, except for in designated enclosed smoking spaces, and even many of those are being removed.

Likewise, when smartphone advertising firm Adways moved into a new office, management saw it as a chance to rethink how to make the workplace more comfortable for nonsmokers, and came up with a solution that uses a mix of technology and simple common courtesy.

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Time to procrastinate! A cat fights its way through a door and other videos

Oh cats, how we love you. We would try to count the ways, but we know you have better stuff to do than listen to us…like taking a nap in the sun, taking a nap on the couch, or taking a nap in a nabe. So, we’ll just say that of all the reasons we have to adore your fuzzy faces, perhaps the top one is your intractable nosiness. While we’re not entirely convinced that curiosity killed the cat–it might have Schrödinger for all we know–we are certain that watching our feline cuties get up to no good is one of the best ways to kill a few minutes while putting off work. So if you have a big project looming or some housework you’d rather be ignoring, check out these six adorable cat videos!

After all, you really don’t need to do that work today, do you?

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Adult and occult books given government support as part of Tohoku restoration project

Back in 2012 the Japanese government earmarked one billion yen (US$9.8 million) for the Kindigi project which grants subsidies to publishers so that they can digitize their works to sell online. The ebooks are intended to allow people in regions affected by the Tohoku Earthquake to get easier access to information. As an added bonus it was hoped this would give Japan’s ebook market a shot in the arm all over the country as well.

However, one year after the digitization of 64,833 works was completed with tax money having paid for half the cost, a group of people involved in the publishing industry have been distributing flyers and organizing meetings over the handling of Kindigi. They found that among the thousands of ebooks were several that they deemed controversial including 100 “erotic” works such as Aan… Ecchina Kaikan Ai (Ughnn… Dirty Pleasure Love).

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Earn up to $5,000 per month with a side business in ‘independent’ vending machines

Vending machines are ubiquitous in Japan. You’ll find them on most street corners, outside office blocks, lined up at bus stops, and even on the top of Mount Fuji. Prices vary, but the lowest you’ll find in Tokyo is usually the ‘one coin’ machines where everything costs just 100 yen (US$0.98). How can they sell them so cheap? Are they actually profitable? The answer is yes, and many ordinary business-minded folks are taking advantage of the opportunities they offer to put away a nice chunk of cash each month.

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Perv caught pleasuring self in front of dead girl’s photo at a morgue【TomoNews Video】

A man surnamed Chen from Taiwan’s tech center of Hsinchu has allegedly had been spending the wee hours of the morning sneaking into a local morgue so he could ‘choke his chicken’ in front of a pretty picture of a deceased girl.

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Nosebleeds, food, and fear: How a popular manga became the centre of a debate about Fukushima

In the West, comics are often considered predominantly for younger audiences, and adults who spend more time scrutinising the contents of speech bubbles than printed paragraphs might be looked down on by some. But in Japan, comics are considered a perfectly acceptable pastime whatever one’s age.

More often than not, comics, or manga to use the Japanese term, provide their readers with a break from reality, much like a TV drama or soap, and allow readers to peek into the kinds of worlds that they might not ordinarily be able. But there are times when fiction and reality come together, and real-world events become fodder for a writer’s imagination or in some case the main focus of a story. In the case of popular manga series Oishinbo (美味しんぼ), one particular plotline has raised not just eyebrows but objections on a national level, and what was once just a comic about food has become the centre of a debate about health, radiation, and whether the Japanese government is telling the truth about Fukushima.

Today, we delve a little deeper into the “Oishinbo Nosebleed Problem”, as it has become known, and consider whether, after the resulting backlash, this controversial topic is one that the manga’s writer perhaps ought to have left well alone.

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Attack on Titan creator says he didn’t write crazed, raunchy rant in manga’s latest chapter

This week, we brought word of a half meaningless, half vulgar message that sharp-eyed Attack on Titan fans found hidden in what looked to be a mass of scribbles. Owing to artist Hajime Isayama’s creation being the hottest serialized comic in the world, the news quickly spread around the globe. Confused and concerned parties looked to publisher Kodansha for an explanation, and now it seems they have one.

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Pandas as pets?!? That’s impawsible!!!

Fads come and go, changing “what’s cool” every few years, sometimes even as quickly as a few months. As far as pets go, we’ve gone everywhere from ant farms and sea monkeys to pet rocks and tamagotchi. It’s also become acceptable to dress up our pets in clothing and costumes; even turning your animal another shade isn’t that unusual either.

But this next fashion that is all the rage in China right now is creating quite a panda-mic!

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【TBT】10 common phrases that stump Japanese students of English

Learning a second language is never easy, especially when there are so many things like context, nuance, and cultural connotations standing in the way. The key to conquering these hurdles, though, usually lies outside the pages of a textbook, and the Japanese Government addresses this issue by employing thousands of foreigners to assist English teachers in its education system every year. So where would a foreigner start when correcting a student on the finer points of English as a second language? One of the easiest ways would be to take a look at this collection of commonly misused phrases and their simple fixes, put together by David Thayne, the head of AtoZ English.

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Japan had its very own version of Spider-Man in the ’70s, and of course it included a giant robot

While the recent announcement that Disney will begin broadcasting Doraemon in the U.S. this July was good news for fans of the prolific anime, many were just as quickly disappointed at the extensive changes being made in an effort to make the show more accessible for Americans in its target preschool and elementary-school age brackets. Many have said that if so much tinkering has to be done, why not just make a new series from the ground up?

After all, that’s exactly what Japanese production company Toei did when they brought Marvel’s Spider-Man to Japan in the 1970s.

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Aizuchi: The Japanese art of grunting your way through conversations

Chances are, if you’ve ever had a conversation in Japanese – or even any other language – with a native Japanese person, you might have been slightly disconcerted by their constant interjections.

That’s because nodding along, saying things like “I see” (naruhodo), “Oh really?” (sou desu ka?) and just plain grunting is considered a polite way to indicate to a speaker that you’re following along in a conversation.

This technique is called “aizuchi” in Japanese and, sure, it seems common sense in any culture to occasionally give a nod of the head or look up from your riveting game of Candy Crush Saga to indicate you have at least a passing interest in what’s being said, but the Japanese really turn it into an art form.

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Upcoming Vita game Murasaki Baby is delightfully dark and cute in equal parts 【GIFs】

There’s a word in Japanese that people use to describe things that are at once cute and grotesque: kimokawaii. Upcoming side-scrolling adventure game Murasaki Baby is just that. Featuring an adorable protagonist with an upside-down face and a world populated with enemies like giant, hairy-nostrilled noses and razor-toothed bunnies, the game is a blend of the kimochi warui, or gross, and kawaii cuteness, and is due for release sometime this year.

Ahead of the E3 trade fair, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has revealed a series of animated GIFs showing off the game’s otherworldly visuals, which we can only describe as a mix between The Nightmare Before Christmas and merciless indie platformer Limbo.

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River in China’s Huizhou turns crimson, earns unflattering nickname

China’s Huizhou can count several water-based tourist stops within its expansive city limits. Nearby Daya Bay is dotted with islands and beaches, and the town’s hot springs’ mineral contents are said to soothe a number of ailments.

Recently, Huizhou’s waters once again attracted attention, although not necessarily of the positive sort, when one of its rivers suddenly turned a vibrant hue of red.

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