Japan now has so many 30-year-old virgins its language needs a new slang term for them

Japan’s birth rate has been dropping for decades now, and while it’s possible the demographic shift is a result of couples just getting that much better at using contraceptives, you have to allow for the possibility that fewer babies is due to fewer couples doing the deed.

Lending further credibility to this explanation is the fact that the proportion of Japanese men in their 30s who still have their virginity has gotten so high that society has coined a new slang term to describe them: yaramiso.

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Indian restaurant’s unique interior appointment: corpse-containing coffins 【Video】

As with any business venture, the key to running a successful restaurant is to differentiate your establishment from its competitors. Earlier this month, for example, we talked about a pub in Kyushu called Sacrifice that accomplished this by filling its interior with creepy mannequins and props that would be right at home in any horror movie.

But for those of you who take issue with the inauthenticity of Sacrifice’s fake corpses and skeletons, might we offer this alternative: a restaurant in India where diners sit among coffins with centuries-old bodies inside.

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Cute video uses bowing, socks and smiles to teach us the right way to put on a condom

Growing up in dreary North West England and attending Catholic school, my experience of “sex education” amounted to little more than a couple of awkward encounters around the back of a local bowling alley and a guest speaker coming into school one afternoon to show us a selection of gruesome slides labelled with the names of various sexually transmitted diseases. Thankfully, with the help of (painfully slow dial-up) internet access and my surprisingly liberal parents, I managed to piece together enough info to work out what went where and how, and made it to adulthood relatively unscathed, only occasionally feeling pangs of guilt whenever I had impure thoughts about the cute presenter of youth-oriented news programme Newsround.

If only I’d grown up in Japan and had YouTube to hand; with videos like this one from Japanese NPO group Pilcon – which instructs us how to put on a condom in a manner we can only describe as “sex ed meets airline safety demonstration with extra smiles” – I could have learned so much more easily!

But what on earth is that sock thing she has in her hand?

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Barefoot Gen manga pulled from Izumisano City’s school library shelves

Copies of Keiji Nakazawa‘s Barefoot Gen manga were temporarily removed from 13 elementary and middle schools in Osaka’s Izumisano City. Nakazawa’s manga that tells the story of survival after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The copies were removed at the request of Izumisano mayor Hiroyasu Chiyomatsu for what he says are “many expressions in the manga that impact human rights,” including derogatory terms for beggars and the unemployed.

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Japanese schoolgirls celebrate birthdays like the Three Stooges with confectionaries to the face

Some of my cousins have a tradition where on their kids’ first birthday, they have two cakes. There’s a normal-sized one the whole family shares, but also a mini cake that they put in front of the tyke in his highchair for him to eat with his hands.

Cake being one of the few universally loved foods, the kid enjoys it, and the adults get a cute photo, plus a chuckle and a smile from the infant’s inherent innocence. But I always wondered, wouldn’t it be more fun to do that when you’re at an age where you can remember it?

Of course, most people old enough to not need diapers anymore would feel too self-conscious to celebrate their birthday with this kind of bare-handed confectionary decadence. So recently some Japanese high school girls, are taking it upon themselves to forcefully cram some sweets into their friends’ faces.

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Censored scene shows newest Metal Gear doesn’t pull any punches (except in Japan) 【Video】

Once upon a time, the North American video game market was incredibly squeamish about gory content. The blood and guts present in Japanese releases were painstakingly removed, most hilariously with the North American version of Neo Geo title Samurai Shodown, which retailed for $200 in 1993. Apparently the game’s producers thought their customer base was old enough to have that kind of cash in their pockets, but still too young to handle the sight of a little crimson hemoglobin, so they replaced the fountains of blood that occurred in the game’s swordfights with geysers of what appeared to be highly pressurized milk.

Eventually, everyone saw how silly this was. Gamers as a whole were getting older and more mature, and the youth of Japan, where this kind of content had been allowed for years, weren’t turning into crazed remorseless killing machines. So restrictions were loosened, allowing games like Grand Theft Auto to top North American sales charts.

Now, things have come full circle, as a side by side video comparison of publisher Konami’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes shows less graphic content in its Japanese version.

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Tokyo’s Sanrio Puroland to host special “necogirls” Grand Prix event on March 29

If you happen to be a fan of cats, have a penchant for ridiculously cute Japanese idol culture, and will be in Tokyo later this week, then there’s an event you simply have to check out! Sanrio Puroland, an indoor theme park dedicated to the characters of Sanrio (think Hello Kitty!), will be hosting a “Neco 1 Grand Prix” on Saturday, March 29 focusing on “necogirls.”

The necogirls (neko = cat in Japanese) are a group of young women who express their love for cats in their adorable and quirky fashion style, which you can bet will always include a pair of cat ears. This event will serve as PR for the girls and will include a special contest held onstage. You can even interact with them and take cutesy pictures together. Just be ready to dodge the hordes of Japanese girls screaming kawaiiiii (cuuuute!) at the top of their lungs!       

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Anime fan’s antics show the international shelf life of otaku perviness is measured in years

While in the last month we’ve seen an especially intense burst of promotional tie-ups between public transportation and anime, these kinds of collaborations actually go back a few years. In 2011, for example, Keihan Railways partnered up with the producers of hit slice-of-life/high school rock band anime K-On!, in celebration of the franchise’s then-new theatrical feature.

Despite the anime’s low-key atmosphere, though, some K-On! fans can get surprisingly, even disturbingly, passionate about their favorite members of the cast, to a point that these photos are causing a stir in China even years after they were taken.

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Subway cuts prices for two days, helps out those watching their weight and unable to cook alike

With just days left until Japan’s consumption tax jumps from five to eight percent, we’ve resigned ourselves to having to suddenly pay a little bit more for, well, just about everything. So it’s nice to know that this week brings one last hurrah for budget-based pricing, as for two days Subway is cutting us all a break by knocking the price of two of their most popular sandwiches down to almost half of what they ordinarily go for.

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Japan already makes awesome industrial robots — Here’s what happens when it looks…elsewhere

Japan’s industrial robots and non-humanoid creations are already thriving — we’ll meet some of them shortly. But we’ll also take a look at the country’s eerie robotic human analogs that foreshadow a future where it might not be so easy to tell them apart from “real” people.

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Write with the power of the moon with this pen — and enjoy a serving of nostalgia as well!

Okay, Sailor Moon fans, here’s another gadget from Toy maker Bandai for you to seriously covet, as if there weren’t enough of them already. This time, Bandai’s newest Sailor Moon offering comes in the shape of an adorable pen, and what makes it extra special is that it’s a re-creation of a toy that was sold by Bandai over 20 years ago. Now, that should provide some excitement for old-time fans!

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Restaurant in Asakusa offers up itty-bitty sushi made with just a single grain of rice!

Restaurant “Sushiya no Hachi” (すし屋の野八) in Asakusa, Tokyo is serving up some really tiny sushi. So tiny, in fact, that you might not even be able to find it on your plate!

Sushi chef Hironori Ikeno is the man behind these minuscule works of art. He has perfected his craft to the point that he can make each piece using only one grain of rice. Don’t believe your eyes? Don’t worry- you’re not the only one who needs a magnifying glass!

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Japan’s cat food restaurant is back!

In celebration of Cat Day on February 22, Nestle Purina created a cat food-themed dining experience inspired by their popular “luxury cat food,” Mon Petit. Diners were treated to a full course set meal with items that resemble the snacks you’d feed to your beloved pet. With feline waiters and plenty of kitty products, the bizarre restaurant actually turned out to be a huge success. But since it was only around for a total of four days, many cat lovers and adventurous eaters were left without a chance to dine like an animal, so Restaurant Mon Petit is now back in Tokyo for an entire month.

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“Please, tread on me!” beg anime fans

It’s no secret that some of the most obsessive anime fans develop, oh, let’s call them “intense feelings” for certain animated characters. Peer deep enough into their psyches, and you’ll find a (dirty) laundry list of things they’d like to do to, or have done to them by, their favorite anime heroes and heroines.

Usually, these desires are kept private, but when a special even at the recently held anime convention Anime Japan offered an opportunity to make one of these fantasies come true, some fans couldn’t resist the chance to be stepped on by frilly-costumed anime girls.

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Top Asian delicacies that many consider kind of gross

One of the top tourism draws around much of Asia is all the adventurous eating. East Asian countries in particular all seem to have a plethora of extreme foods that you’d never be able to get back home. These dishes run the gamut from super spicy to super sweet, may have gooey but oddly pleasant textures, or may come from some animal you’ve never heard of.

Most of the time, while exotic and possibly a little off-putting in appearance, these quirky dishes taste great. But then there are other so-called “delicacies” that a lot of locals won’t even go near, let alone doe-eyed tourists. So put down that burrito; you won’t be needing (or wanting) it, because here’s a list of stomach-churning delicacies from around East Asia:

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252 Pocky lovers gather in Shibuya to set a world record 【Video】

Who hasn’t had a daydream about being the best in the world at something? Unfortunately, most of us have already missed our chance to set the Guinness World Record for youngest professional drummer, yet are still a couple decades away for breaking the mark for oldest competing gymnast.

Thankfully, there are accomplishments that aren’t age sensitive, such as the world record for longest relay of people feeding each other, which is exactly what a group of teamwork-minded snack food enthusiasts got together to attempt in Tokyo.

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We check out Patlabor’s giant robot, plus cosplayers and anime booze galore, at Anime Japan

Last weekend the Tokyo Big Site convention center hosted the inaugural Japan Anime animation exposition, which combines the previously separately held Tokyo International Anime Fair and Anime Contents Expo.

We were drawn to the show by the promise of being able to see the giant Ingram robot being used in the upcoming live-action Patlabor motion picture with our own eyes, so we headed for Big Site and dove headfirst into the crowd of fans and exhibitors, where aside from giant robots we found amazing cosplayers and anime-themed edibles, not to mention hordes of ravenous anime song idol fans.

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Korean “Let it Go” parody is hilariously perfect

“Let it go,” the most popular song from the smash-hit Frozen, is loved not only in the movie’s country of origin, but all over the world. We’ve already seen how beautiful the song is in Japanese, now let’s take a look at the song as performed on a Korean variety show. This version is impressive, not for the vocal performance, but for how they recreated the scenes from the movie in a television studio, including Elsa conjuring snow out of thin air and her icy quick change. Watch and prepare to laugh at how perfect yet completely ridiculous this new take on a soon-to-be classic is.

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Ultraman’s family and friends join forces to pitch Hawaii for Japanese tourists

Have ever wondered what Japanese superhero Ultraman does to relax after fighting off rubber-suited lobster aliens? Apparently, everyone’s favorite defender of the universe has been vacationing in sunny Hawaii alongside his parents and a few of his mortal enemies-turned-surfing buddies.

The tropical holiday is part of a hilarious campaign by Hawaii’s tourism association to draw Japanese visitors to the islands. Click below to see some surreal pictures of the Ultraman crew lounging by the pool, learning yoga and practicing their hula dance!

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Spider-Man director to reboot horror flick The Grudge

You’ve probably read that a new Ju-On: The Grudge movie is coming to Japanese cinemas in June this year, but did you know that a new Western reboot of 2004’s The Grudge is also currently in the works?

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