Keyboard Cat 2.0! Gorgeous cat reduces hoomin productivity by using hilarious drunk face【photos】

Even before the days of YouTube and news blogs, we humans all knew that cats, whether directly or indirectly, have a propensity for disrupting whatever activity you’re trying to focus on. Of course the internet helps with this too, A LOT. Heck, this article is probably keeping you from work right now!

Take Setsu-chan for example, a former stray who was adopted by doting Twitterer Mino (@mino_rs). Photos of this blue-eyed beauty acting cute, distracting his owner, and well, being a cat, are fast becoming an online hit. One serendipitous photo belies his natural exquisiteness, however, and this rib-tickling shot has been retweeted over 15,000 times. How does this cat from Japan manage to look like your proverbial wasted business man on the Yamanote line?

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12 amazing creations people have built in the game ‘Minecraft’

“Minecraft” is a huge, open-world sandbox game, which was released for the PC in 2009. Since then, it’s been released on other platforms, and as of February 2014, it has sold over 14 million copies on the PC, and 35 million across all the other platforms.There are various activities you perform in the game: combat, exploration, crafting, gathering items, and building things. There are no specific goals to accomplish, but there are different modes. For example, there’s Survival mode, where players have to craft items in order to build certain things. There are baddies that come out at night, and there’s a health bar that you need to check up on.

Then there’s Creative mode, in which players have the freedom to use their imaginations and build things, without worrying about health meters and bad guys.

Building in “Minecraft” is easy. You get tools, like shovels and axes, to chop down trees and cut through stone. And without a time limit or a place to go, some players have taken their creative freedom to the next level.

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Over 2,000 Saitama residents to get refunds from the police for “erroneously” issued tickets

For those who woke up in Saitama Prefecture this morning, you might have noticed something particularly pleasant in the air, like the entire region just got a little happier. That’s because on 22 May the Prefectural Police announced that they would be giving refunds and apologies to 2,400 people who were given tickets and demerit points because of an improperly conducted eight-year crackdown on driving violations.

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France vs Taiwan: Which country has more warm-hearted and helpful citizens?

Earlier this month, YouTube user NorniTube uploaded a controversial video of a social experiment which looked at how a person’s appearance can affect the responses they get from the general public. One two different days, he pretended to collapse on a Paris street to see if anyone would come to his aid, on one occasion wearing shabby clothes, on the other dressed in a smart suit. (We’ll leave you to watch the video to find out how it went!)

After watching NorniTube’s video, YouTuber Hei Nan decided to test the reactions of his fellow Taiwanese citizens by doing a similar experiment on the streets of his city. Were the Taiwanese more or less likely to help out that the Parisians in NorniTube’s video? Find out after the jump!

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A man’s wrist – Japan’s male version of a strip of exposed thigh?

In general, men have a very simple formula they use when determining how much female skin they like to see on display: the more, the better. This of course leads to the corollary, even more skin = even better.

One notable exception to this, however, is Japan’s love of knee-high socks, which leave a small patch of skin on display them and the hem of the skirt. Known as zettai ryouiki, or “absolute territory,” it’s become such a cultural phenomenon that it’s led to the creation of a smartphone game and not one, but two special days celebrating the look.

Now, one Twitter user in Japan claims to have discovered the male version of zettai ryouiki.

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Is Japan’s Cat Island in danger of turning into the Island of Fat Cats?

There’s a Japanese proverb, “Neko ni Koban,” that translates as “Giving a gold coin to a cat.” It’s a metaphor for offering something of worth that the recipient either doesn’t need or can’t understand the value of, but it’s also a telling example of how hard it is to win a cat’s favor. Cats have no use for our money, they’re not impressed by our fashion trends, and even if they appreciate our modern sense of humor they’re too proud to let it show by openly laughing.

With so few options, in an attempt to curry favor, some people offer stray cats food (although not, in fact, a bowl of curry). But might this be causing a problem to the residents of one of Japan’s famous cat islands?

We dispatched our Japanese-language correspondent, Meg, to find out (and also pet some kitties while she was at it).

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Who earns more: cat lovers or dog lovers?

Following on from yesterday’s compromise between dogs and cats, today let’s take a look at some of the differences between the owners of these popular pets. It’s said that dogs will stay loyal to you through thick and thin, while cats will stick up their noses at you if you so much as look at them wrong.

They each have their own special appeal, and it makes sense that there’d be some differences to be found between dog lovers and cat lovers, other than the suspicion that cat owners are slightly masochistic.

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New J-drama ‘Kol Kimono': Brought to you from…Thailand!

Elegant kimono, cascading wisteria blossoms and the stunning scenery of Kyushu, Japan’s most southwesterly island. If this sounds like an archetypal scene from the land of the rising sun, you’d be half right – new drama ‘Kol Kimono’, which hits TV screens in December, is definitely set in Japan. But you won’t find it broadcast there just yet – only in Thailand!

In Thailand, interest in Japanese culture is at an all-time high. Thanks in part to relaxed visa regulations, the number of Thai visitors to Japan has doubled in the last three years. The new primetime drama, which started filming on location in Kyushu last week, also stars Thongchai “Bird” McIntyre, one of Thailand’s biggest names, in his first leading role in 17 years.

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Kiss Day in Japan inspires awkward smooch illustration battle

We love all of the unofficial holidays in Japan. From Fundoshi (also known as Japanese loincloth) Day to Cat Day, people all over the country have special events (and discounts) to look forward to all year round.

But May 23 marked Kiss Day in Japan and netizens all over the country celebrated the seemingly romantic occasion with some decidedly strange drawings in a bizarre illustration battle on Twitter.

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Nago mayor says US bases “a legacy of misery” in Okinawa

Nago is located in northern Okinawa, a tourist town with beautiful beaches and a pineapple park. Its waters are home to gorgeous coral and seagrass beds that serve as the feeding grounds to Japan’s last remaining population of dugong, an endangered sea mammal related to the manatee. Nago is also the site of the proposed relocation of Futenma airbase, the US Marine complex that is at the core of a controversy between the Okinawan, Japanese, and US governments.

The mayor of Nago, Susumu Inamine, was in New York last weekend to deliver speeches and have informative discussions regarding the issue.

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We try the new 7-Eleven premium popcorn that everyone in Japan is going wild about

Earlier this week, netizens in Japan started going nuts about a new range of popcorn on sale at 7-Eleven. Unlike in some countries, 7-Eleven Japan takes great pride in regularly launching new, limited-edition snacks, and more often than not they’re surprisingly tasty. The response its latest product garnered, however, was ludicrously enthusiastic.

When netizens got wind of the “amazingly delicious” new caramel and (curiously) cheddar cheese flavoured popcorn on sale at their local Sebun, people apparently started bulk-buying, resulting hundreds of tweets going out bemoaning a lack of stock and pestering 7-Eleven – who then added fuel to the fire by acknowledging that the snack was indeed hard to come by – and demanding to know where they could get it.

Curious to find out what all the fuss was about, we procured a couple of bags and sat down to conduct a little taste test. I can tell you right off the bat, though, that the super-amazing mecha-delicious popcorn pretty much everyone in Japan – including our own Japanese staff – is raving about really isn’t worth all the hype.

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Rodman’s Japanese successor? Pyongyang to host international wrestling tournament

Move over Dennis Rodman–it looks like you’ve got a serious Japanese successor for all of your sports diplomacy. North Korea’s state news agency announced on May 19 that Japan’s Antonio Inoki, a retired Japanese professional wrestler, will be teaming up with officials in the reclusive totalitarian state to host an international professional wrestling tournament in Pyongyang this August. The tournament will also include athletes from two nations that have never participated in a wrestling event in North Korea under Kim Jong-un’s leadership. Find out how all this came to be after the jump.

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Japan’s Left 4 Dead arcade edition includes a schoolgirl and a bartender

As we announced earlier this month, Japan will get its own version of Left 4 Dead at four selected arcades beginning this weekend. However, the Square Enix and Valve collaboration will look a little different once Japanese gamers deposit their 100 yen coins into the machine. Although Left 4 Dead’s zombie apocalypse is still set in the United States, the undead exterminating main characters take the far less intimidating form of a schoolgirl, university student, bartender, and tour guide.

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Big Hero 6 gives Japan its first Disney hero 【Video】

After the huge success of Frozen, Disney fans are eagerly awaiting the next Disney project! Well, Japanese fans have a really good reason to rejoice! Walt Disney’s Animation Studio’s new movie, Big Hero 6, will feature the first Japanese protagonist!

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What do Snoop Dogg, Avril Lavigne, and Kanye have in common? They’ve all canceled on Japan

The recent announcement of Paul McCartney’s illness and subsequent cancelation of concerts in Japan has disappointed many of his fans. But hey, the guy is 71 years old and still rocking out so we all shouldn’t be too hard on him. The sudden cancellation did, however, make some netizens realize just how often this sort of thing happens when it comes to Paul’s concerts (he has a whopping 51% cancellation rate in Japan to be exact). It also reminded many Japanese concert-goers of other foreign artists who have decided to not perform at the last minute…and there’s been a lot of them recently.

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New Sailor Moon’s premiere event excludes men — Unless accompanied by women

The official website for the 20th anniversary of the Sailor Moon franchise announced on Friday that there will be an advance premiere screening event for the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal anime series. The women’s fashion magazine ViVi is collaborating on the June 30 event to celebrate the heroine Usagi’s birthday.

The “birthday party” will feature ViVi models and “secret guests.” The Zepp Diver City facility in Tokyo will host the screening of the new anime’s first episode on June 30 at 7:00 p.m. However, the staff caution that the time is subject to change. Moreover, male attendees will not be allowed — unless accompanied by a female attendee.

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Why are smartphones making people chew less gum?

Part of the reason smartphones have become so popular is the way in which they combine the functions of so many other devices people used to lug around instead. With the ability to browse the Internet, listen to music, play games, and take high-quality photos, it’s becoming increasingly harder to convince people they need to shell out the cash for a dedicated camera, handheld video game system, or music player.

But why is it that as more people buy smartphones, fewer of them are buying chewing gum?

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“The Man Who Was Slashed 50,000 Times” gets his first starring role in upcoming film

Since the 1950s, Seizo Fukumoto has been a fixture of seemingly any Japanese production involving samurai. However, you probably wouldn’t recognize his face as he tends to be given the role of “guy who gets killed.” Although he has occasionally taken work outside of period pieces, his constant roles as “soon-to-be-dead guy #2″ has earned him the industry title: The Man Who Was Slashed 50,000 Times.

Having enjoyed a long and bloody career in cinema slightly off center-stage, Fukumoto has finally been given his chance at a starring role in Uzumasa Limelight, a new film hitting Japanese theatres this summer.

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No time to cook? No problem! Three easy ways to improve instant curry

Even though it’s pretty easy to make, there are times when you just can’t be bothered to whip up a regular batch of curry. While the individual steps might be simple, the total process of peeling, chopping, and boiling all those ingredients can take a long time, so often people who are busy, lazy, or bachelors take the easy way out and just microwave a pack of instant stuff.

Convenient as it may be, though, instant curry isn’t always the tastiest version of the dish. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of ways to spruce it up.

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Japanese netizens are ready to visit a Final Fantasy world, and you can go too!

RPGs like Square Enix’s Final Fantasy take us to faraway worlds with extraordinarily picturesque locations; places that couldn’t possibly exist on this planet. Mother Earth would have to be a scenery designer to create locales as visually stunning as RPGs do.

But Earth is a much stranger place than we can imagine, and some of the craziest “must be photoshopped” places turn out to be just the simple strangeness of our planet. Luckily for us, if you ever wanted to visit a place that would fit perfectly into a Final Fantasy world, Earth has you covered. Watch yourself when you stand up, because your jaws are about to be all over the floor.

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