Five more Japanese words we’d love to import into English

Sometimes, the Japanese language is a pain in the butt. Seriously, how is it that in the millennia over which it evolved, no one ever said, “Hey, guys, why don’t we come up separate words for ‘leg’ and ‘foot’?”, which are both ashi in Japanese?

But speaking Japanese isn’t all frustrating head-scratchers. As we’ve talked about before, it also has some handy, expressive terms and phrases that don’t have direct English equivalents. So today we’re dipping back into our Japanese dictionaries for another batch of words we’d love to import into English.

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Rest in peace, Tama – Japan’s stationmaster cat passes away at 16, company funeral to be held

It wasn’t long ago that we were wishing a happy birthday to Tama, the adorable feline that was given the title of Ultra Stationmaster by Wakayama Electric Railway. Having just turned 16 in April, Tama, who lived at Kishi Station in Wakayama Prefecture and delighted travelers on a daily basis, was incredibly young for a stationmaster.

16 is a fairly advanced age for a cat, though, and the sad news has just come that Stationmaster Tama has passed away.

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Hayao Miyazaki may be retired, but these Studio Ghibli tattoos will last forever 【Photos】

It’s kind of ironic that even though director Hayao Miyazaki regularly expresses his distaste towards obsessive fandom, fans obsess over his films like no one else’s. And it’s not just anime loyalists, either, who find watching his works to be a life-changing experience, since they’ve also won the hearts of millions who just love animation or strong filmmaking in general.

There even seems to be a sizeable overlap between people who admire Miyazaki’s movies and body art. So while the anime legend himself might not personally approve, today we’re taking a look at a collection of impressive Studio Ghibli-inspired tattoos.

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You might not believe it, but this cute Korean “kid” is actually 26 years old 【Video】

Hyomyun Shin might look like a teenager, but he’s actually a 26-year-old adult. His permanently youthful features are a result of Highlander Syndrome, an extremely rare condition that causes the body to age at a drastically reduced rate.

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We try Japanese desserts made with bits of tuna. What could go wrong? 【Taste test】

Okay, Japan, I’m trusting you on this one. There have been a lot of times in the past when I was skeptical about your foods, and repeatedly you’ve proven me wrong.

You hit a home run with the raw fish thing. Pasta with spicy cod roe and seaweed? Now one of my go-to choices for a quick, hot meal. Grilled chicken cartilage? Stuff is delicious.

And now you want me to try desserts made with tuna? Sure, let’s do this.

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New mosquito-repellent clothing SCORON claims to stop bugs in their tracks

As summer approaches and the weather warms up, people across Japan will be stocking up on sprays, incense and special clothing in the hope of repelling mosquitoes.

The buzzy, bitey flying insects aren’t just a source of irritation – they are also the carriers of rare but serious diseases such as yellow fever and dengue fever. Japan had its first outbreak of dengue fever in 70 years last year, after an outbreak connected to Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park. Dengue fever has no vaccine, and the best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites altogether.

Japanese clothing company Foxfire hopes to capture a corner of this insect-repellent clothing market with their new fabric which they claim stops mosquitoes getting anywhere near your skin.

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Rolling suitcase with built-in desk is perfect for mobile businesspeople and cosplayers alike

Modern technology makes it easier than ever for people to work anywhere, not just in a traditional office setting. But every telecommuter or creative type knows the frustration of grabbing your laptop and any other necessary items, then carrying them to your local cafe, anxious to punch in and get some projects done, only to discover there’re no available seats.

Sure you might not need a whole office, but not even having a small desk to work on can really hurt your productivity. Here with a solution is ambitious and creative design house Bibi Lab, which is now selling a wheeled suitcase with an attached desk and chair that’s not only great for mobile professionals, but for artists, cosplayers, and all sorts of other people on the go.

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Wargo Nippon and One Piece team up for the perfect “one piece” to keep your hair up

Move over Sailor Moon, it’s the age of pirates! While there have been a huge influx of Sailor Moon related products to promote the new Sailor Moon Crystal, everyone knows that in a battle between sailors and pirates, the pirates will win. Accessory maker Wargo Nippon has a new collaboration with One Piece to give all the fans a special way to show off their pirate pride. If you’ve got long hair and have been waiting for a stylish way to keep it out of your face, the wait is over.

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Time to say “I doodle!” Wedding guests RSVP with cute sketches and drawings

Everyone loves weddings, don’t they? A Western-style Japanese wedding usually involves a fancy (though usually fake) church, tons of great food, and multiple dress changes for the bride. In short, it’s excellent entertainment! Some potential wedding guests in Japan have been getting so excited at the thought of attending a wedding, they’ve been gleefully doodling all over their RSVPs! Let’s take a look at some of these cute sketches!

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Full trailer for Boruto –Naruto the Movie- hints at difficulties of raising a ninja son 【Video】

It’s shaping up to be an exciting summer at the theaters for anime fans. This week brings the second Attack on Titan animated feature, and in July we’ll be seeing the latest project from Summer Wars director Mamoru Hosoda.

In August, though, the big anime event is the premiere of Boruto –Naruto the Movie-, featuring the newest generation of ninjas in manga creator Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto franchise. But many kids fight with their parents while growing up, and it doesn’t look like shinobi families are any exception, as the film’s first full trailer shows that new protagonist Boruto doesn’t exactly get along with his famous father.

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Zoo reports increase in visitors as Japan’s women fall for this “handsome” gorilla【Photos】

What do we like best about male models? Is it the chiseled facial features? Or is it the stoic and strong look of someone who can shield us when things go wrong? Maybe it’s the kind and soulful eyes that tell you there is more to the model then just good looks.

Whatever reason you can come up with, we’ve found a new model that has all of these in spades. Beauty comes in many different packages and today that package is a gorilla! Take a look at the “strong but silent” model who is making waves in the animal kingdom and the Internet.

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Bandai booth babe’s gachapon toy vending machine outfit is bizarrely suggestive

The generally accepted way to market a product at a trade show in Japan is pretty simple. First, hire an attractive model. Second, dress her in a sexy outfit that has some connection, however spurious, to whatever you’re promoting.

But after decades of adhering to this strategy, it can be hard to make your model stand out in a sea of skimpy bikini tops and miniskirts. That’s why Bandai decided to try something different, and put their Tokyo Toy Show model in a pair of overalls that actually seems pretty modest…at least until you look at where they attached the prize-dispensing dial from their toy vending machines.

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“Skeleton” flower turns transparent when wet

They say spending time on social media rots your brain, but today, just because it was making the rounds on Twitter, I discovered a really neat flower native to both Japan, where I live now, and the States, where I was born. See, who needs to leave the house?

Meet diphylleia grayi, sometimes called the skeleton flower, a humble white woodland blossom that turns transparent when it rains!

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Maru the celebricat is done playing with boxes, now wants to become a box himself

Box-loving Japanese kitty Maru has been delighting cat fans for years with his love for cardboard containers of all kinds. Despite being a fluffy chubster, Maru seems to constantly underestimate his own size, leading to much hilarity as he attempts to squeeze his podgy body into boxes and containers that are just way too small for him.

But now, Maru’s taking his act to the next level. No longer content just to squeeze himself into boxes, he’s now embarking upon a transition process to become a box himself

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Turn rice balls into rice kitties with this adorable omusubi kit!

The Japanese words omusubi and onigiri are usually translated as “rice ball,” but there’s no rule that they have to be round. Walk into any convenience store or supermarket in Japan and you’ll find the shelves stocked with triangular versions, plus plenty that look closer to a soft-edged hockey puck than a perfectly spherical ball.

What we’re saying is that when it comes to omusubi design, your options are wide open, and with this kitty-shaped omusubi kit, they’re adorable as well.

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A beautiful and glittering Kyoto confection perfect for enjoying a starry summer’s night

If you’ve never tried traditional Japanese sweets, you will find that they are certainly very different from those in the west. They are not as sweet and are often made of mochi, azuki bean paste, nuts and fruits. Known as wagashi in Japanese, there are thousands of shops in cities all over Japan that sell these kinds of desserts. One such shop in the old capital, Kyoto, is showing off its history and creativity with a limited-edition summer sweet: “A night full of stars”.

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How a Hibari Misora classic became a cowboy-themed ska song with an Irish flavor

Scientifically speaking, sounds are simply vibrations that spread through the air for anyone’s ears and brain to pick up on and interpret. Sometimes, if those vibrations are just right, they can seem to travel much farther and deeper than anyone could imagine.

In that same way, a song can spread around the world when it hits people just the right way. That’s perhaps why a Japanese folk song by the legendary Hibari Misora from the 50s ended up as a British ska tune in the late 80s. Here’s the evolution of that song based on an explanation by Tsuyoshi Sato of music website Tap the Pop.

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93-year-old Chiba man on trial for killing wife at her request

A somber case is currently making its way through the Japanese legal system as a 93-year-old man goes on trial for killing his wife, apparently at her request. This heartbreaking case has made headlines in Japan and evoked a gut-wrenching testimony from their eldest daughter.

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Celebrate Usagi-chan’s birthday at the Sailor Moon Crystal café that’s open for four days only!

Every year on June 30 there’s one particular girl who receives birthday messages from thousands of people around the world. Rather than respond to them all personally on Facebook like most of us would, this young lady gives back the love by protecting the planet in the form of Sailor Moon.

This year, a special cafe will be opened in her honour for a four-day long birthday party featuring themed drinks, desserts and even a special birthday cake for visitors to enjoy. We take a look at what’s in store for Usagi-chan’s birthday party after the break.

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Traditional sake brewing has never looked this cool 【Video】

We’ve written a lot about nihonshu, also known as sake, here at RocketNews24, but it’s not (just) because we love all things alcoholic. Nihonshu is an integral facet of traditional Japanese culture and, although it may be going through a bit of a rough patch right now, it’s still very much a part of Japanese society today.

Nowhere blends the old and the new better than Japan and, while of course technological advances have made production safer and easier, many breweries still mainly use traditional techniques to preserve the special flavour of their beverages. This video gives a glimpse into the production process today at Matsumoto Sake Brewing Co. in Kyoto, which has been making sake since 1791.

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