Could you eat a horse… raw? Try home-made horse sashimi straight from the butcher!

Could you eat a horse… raw? Try home-made horse sashimi straight from the butcher!

Basashi is raw horse meat cut into slices–”horse sashimi”, and a delicacy consumed in some parts of Japan. The most famous place to experience basashi is Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu, southern Japan.

You can order a plateful of the stuff in Japanese pubs (izakaya), and it’s said to go incredibly well with nihonshu, but our intrepid RocketNews24 reporter Mami Kuroi couldn’t find any horse meat in Tokyo supermarkets to slice up to make her own basashi to try at home. Eventually, she happened to be visiting Komoro City in Nagano Prefecture and stumbled on a butcher who stocked it. There was even a poster outside proclaiming that the shop sold the “best-quality basashi“! Seizing this once-in-a-lifetime chance for home-made horse sashimi, she bought some, sampled it and wrote about her horsy adventure for us to enjoy. Of course, it was totally raw!

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10 handy products – The best 1,000 yen you can spend at the 100 yen store

10 handy products – The best 1,000 yen you can spend at the 100 yen store

Like many people who immigrated to Japan, for my first few weeks in the country, almost every day involved a trip to the local 100 yen shop. Setting up a new home requires a big investment of time and money, but at the very least, in Japan you can largely outfit your kitchen with a handful of 100-yen (US $1) coins.

And it’s not just dishes and silverware you can pick up on the cheap, but a variety of handy things to make your home life easier, as featured in a recent ranking of the top 10 convenient items from the 100 yen shop.

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We get a sneak peak at stew-flavored Garigari-Kun popsicles! Tastes great with rice!

We get a sneak peak at stew-flavored Garigari-Kun popsicles! Tastes great with rice!

Since a picture was leaked online last week, Japan has been all abuzz with rumors of the latest in the “rich” flavor line up of popular Garigari-kun brand popsicles. Their previous corn potage flavor was deemed a rousing success and now it appeared they were topping themselves this with a potato stew version.

The good news is a release date has been set for 29 October. The even better news is that we already got to take some Garigari-kun Potato Stew bars for a test taste at a presentation in Tokyo two weeks early!

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Asahi Shimbun writer’s birdstrike ignorance evokes wrath of Japanese netizens

Asahi Shimbun writer’s birdstrike ignorance evokes wrath of Japanese netizens

A writer’s tweet that seemed to doubt the seriousness of a birdstrike enraged Japanese netizens last week, who mocked the author for a “shameless” display of scientific ignorance. According to the Asahi Shimbun writer’s story, two roundtrip flights were canceled on the low-cost carrier Peach Aviation’s Sapporo to Kansai International route on October 12 when a bloodstained 40 centimeter-long dent was discovered on one of their plane’s wings. The airline said it was investigating a possible birdstrike, which the caused the writer to question “can a bird really cause a dent like that?”

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Wear your love of Madoka Magica to work with these discreetly nerdy neckties

Wear your love of Madoka Magica to work with these discreetly nerdy neckties

Being an anime fan in a Japanese business environment can be rough. Due to the terrible stigmas still surrounding otaku, being open about one’s two-dimensional interests can sometimes lead to discrimination in the workplace. Luckily, for those hard-working anime lovers who wish to wear a symbol of the series that they adore without attracting unwanted attention from their office peers, Cospa has a new line of anime-themed neckties, which capture one’s true otaku spirit while putting up a professional front.

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Images depicting the life of Jesus in Korea rile Chinese Internet users

Images depicting the life of Jesus in Korea rile Chinese Internet users

There seems to be a long-running debate over whether Jesus was white or African (as opposed, to, you know, Arabic, as most people born in the Middle East tend to be).

Apparently concerned that the squabble doesn’t have enough sides, a participant in a Chinese Internet forum has come forward with images suggesting yet another theory: Jesus was Korean.

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Keep warm and confuse your cat this winter with this wearable feline blanket

Keep warm and confuse your cat this winter with this wearable feline blanket

We’re so jealous of cats. They get virtually all of the attention on the Internet, they’re allowed to lounge around convenience stores day and night like they own the place, drinking cat wine, and generally being doted on.

Finally, though, Japan’s obsession with cats and cat paraphernalia is making it possible for us to become the cat. Behold, the hooded cat blanket from online retailer Felissimo.

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Kiss’ spicy steamed meat buns are Hotter Than Hell

Kiss’ spicy steamed meat buns are Hotter Than Hell

Chinese style steamed dumplings are a staple of convenience stores all over Japan. Known as nikuman in Japan (or other name ending in “–man” depending on the fillings) their round shape allows for a lot of cross marketing creativity. In the past we’ve seen Spiderman, Monsters Inc., the Dragon Quest Slime, Hatsune Miku, and random cute animals all rendered in dumpling form.

What better way for the hard rocking and hard merchandising titans of Kiss to commemorate their Japan tour in the latter half of this month than with the Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman? But can a steamed dumpling capture the rock and roll spirit of Kiss? Mr. Sato went on the day of their release to find out.

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This Japanese island is filled to the brim with felines!

This Japanese island is filled to the brim with felines!

About eight miles off the coast of Ozu City in Japan’s Ehime Prefecture, there lies a tiny landmass, less than a mile wide, which is completely overrun by cats! This little island is home to only 15 human residents, all of retirement age, but houses more than 100 kitties! These frisky felines have been multiplying like mad over the past 10 years or so, but only in the past couple weeks has the island caught the attention of the Internet, immediately becoming a hit tourist attraction, in spite of not having any hotels, restaurants, or even vending machines! Keep reading to see what locals and visitors alike have to say about the island’s “catty” conditions.

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Random manga character blows our minds with IQ score of 500 MILLION

Random manga character blows our minds with IQ score of 500 MILLION

How high is your IQ? It is said that most people score between 85 to 114. Scores exceeding 140 are considered to be quite high, but you only get your “Genius” badge if you’ve managed 160 or more.

Albert Einstein had an IQ of 160. Issac Newton was scored at 190. Barack Obama is said to be at 130 while Madonna is a 140. Go figure. Some people consider IQ to be the best measurement of intelligence, while others think otherwise. Whichever it is, this list of fictional braniacs is sure to blow your mind.

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A pear running from explosions: Video of Funasshi fleeing fireballs cracks Japan up【Video】

A pear running from explosions: Video of Funasshi fleeing fireballs cracks Japan up【Video】

Despite whatever else you might say about them, Japanese variety shows certainly try to live up to their reputation. Though you may argue about their success, one thing the shows do well is hidden camera/surprise segments. From aliens bursting out of walls to random Godzilla attacks, damasareta (“fooled” or “tricked”) gags can get almost anyone laughing–Japanese or otherwise.

And when you have a guest as spectacular as the hyperactive Funnashi, you’re almost guaranteed to dig up some comedic gold! Especially if explosions are involved.

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Pikachu kisses his audience in Pokémon XY anime opening, gives glimpse of another dimension

Pikachu kisses his audience in Pokémon XY anime opening, gives glimpse of another dimension

In case you’ve been trapped under a giant boulder for the last few weeks, Japan – nay, the world – is currently once again gripped by Pokémon fever. Along with the new Pokémon X & Y titles for Nintendo 3DS, the new animated TV series is currently being lapped up by fans.

But one eagle-eyed viewer in Japan has spotted something both cute and a little odd in the show’s opening credits. In typically adorable fashion, a few seconds after the show’s opening song begins, everyone’s favourite pocket monster, Pikachu, gives the camera a friendly little kiss. But what on earth is going on inside his mouth!?

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84-year-old senior citizen learns to do some amazing things with his new smartphone

84-year-old senior citizen learns to do some amazing things with his new smartphone

For many senior citizens, getting to grips with smartphone technology can sometimes prove problematic. For a start, the small on-screen text is often difficult to read and the multitude of features and functions can lead to mistakes during operation. However, one elderly man turned this rule on its head when his phone was suddenly upgraded from a basic no-frills smartphone to a fully-featured smartphone at his local phone shop. But instead of being overwhelmed by the functions, he took on the challenge of getting to grips with the additional features and, within a matter of months, had learned some amazing things.

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Japanese police officer sentenced to prison, found guilty of attempted extortion to settle his gaming debt

Japanese police officer sentenced to prison, found guilty of attempted extortion to settle his gaming debt

When Takahiro Ueyama was a boy he dreamed of becoming a police officer like his father. Rain or shine, even on holidays, he would remember his dad rushing out to help people when needed. Ueyama studied hard to achieve his goal and in 1989 he was finally able to be like his old man. It didn’t stop there either, up-and-coming Officer Ueyama continued to work hard and eventually outperformed his father in police work, earning an award in the process.

Takahiro Ueyama told all this to the Kobe District Court last month where he stood trial for extortion. By this time his crime had become widely publicized as it was carried out in order to pay off his mounting mobile phone game bills of 500,000 yen (US$5,000).

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Kid putting off college to play video games all day? Just give up on him, Gundam creator says

Kid putting off college to play video games all day? Just give up on him, Gundam creator says

There’s never been an easier point in history to waste time than now. Especially with the advent of video games and their gradual evolution into slot machine-like addiction engines, more and more kids are electing to forgo homework, jobs and even college to sink more time into their favorite title.

And parents should let them go ahead and keep doing it, according to Yoshiyuki Tomino, creator of the epic space opera anime franchise Gundam.

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Man arrested after rice cooker found plugged into neighbor’s home

Man arrested after rice cooker found plugged into neighbor’s home

In Kawazoe, Saga Prefecture, a 48-year-old homeowner received a shock when he found a rice cooker plugged into an exterior outlet on his house. He immediately called the police and reported the meal which was being prepared in his yard without his consent. Knowing that time was of the essence, police rushed to scene.

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Popular new Japanese love pillows seem dirty but promise to smell clean

Popular new Japanese love pillows seem dirty but promise to smell clean

Well, wouldn’t you know it? Just because app developers are releasing a program which would allow otaku the interactive experience of sleeping next to Hatsune Miku doesn’t mean that Japan’s commonly found love pillows are losing any ground. In fact, two of Animate’s most recent pillow case and perfume sets sold out within a day of release! There’s nothing about this item set that isn’t to some extent creepy.

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Anpanman creator Takashi Yanase dies at age 94

Anpanman creator Takashi Yanase dies at age 94

Takashi Yanase, renowned manga artist and creator of one of Japan’s most widely beloved children’s characters, Anpanman, passed away in the early morning hours of October 13 at a Tokyo hospital. A spokesman named heart failure as the cause of death.

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Japanese company unveils “Nyan Nyan Nouveau” red wine for cats

Japanese company unveils “Nyan Nyan Nouveau” red wine for cats

Cats have been working on us humans for years now, using the internet to their advantage and doing whatever it takes to look adorable. And now it seems they’ve taken a significant step towards their ultimate goal of world domination: a Japanese company has manufactured wine especially for felines. 

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Japanese psychologist explains what the seat you choose in a theatre reveals about your personality

Japanese psychologist explains what the seat you choose in a theatre reveals about your personality

There are a couple things that make going to the movies in Japan different from in the US. First and foremost there’s the price. General admission at just about every first-run theatre in the country is a whopping 1,800 yen (US $18.40).

Helping to take a little bit of the sting out of that, though, is the fact is that all seats are reserved. There are two advantages to this system. First, you never have to deal with the annoyance of one guy, sitting by himself, who’s saving the dozen seats prime seats next to himself for his friends, who will totally be here any minute.

Secondly, the seat a person uses can reveal things that give you a glimpse into their personality.

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