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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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to star in upcoming run ‘n’ gun video game based on his life

We are all of course familiar with the story of how North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, single-handedly defeated the entire US military with the aid of his magical flaming unicorn and 12-foot vertical leaping skills. I don’t know about you all, but every time I hear about it, I can’t help wishing I could be as bad-ass as he is and experience the same such heroics.

Now the wishing is over, however, thanks to Glorious Leader!, an upcoming game for PC and smartphone by indie developer Moneyhorse. In it, players pilot the plump despot through seven levels of hard running, hard jumping, hard shooting, and hard unicorn riding action.

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New Japanese pro-wrestling members are too pretty for words 【Photos】

They’re skinny, have floppy hair and are kind of pale. They’re also coming soon to a wrestling tournament near you. Well, if you live in Tokyo, that is. And there you were thinking Japanese wrestling was all about those big sumo guys!

These are bishōnen  – beautiful young men. The first kanji character of bishōnen (美少年) is 美 meaning “beauty”, and the last part 少年 is “young man”. Bishōnen puroresu is the latest addition to Japan’s burgeoning puroresu (pro wrestling) scene.

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Jojo’s sneakers not as bizarre as the anime adventures, still definitely unique

A while back, anime fans looking to combine their hobby with a penchant for fashionable footwear got the chance to do just that when a line of Evangelion loafers went on sale. But while Eva is one of the most popular animated series to ever come out of Japan, it’s not every anime fan’s cup of tea.

Some prefer their stories a little more red-blooded, or their character designs a little beefier. We also imagine a preference for shoes with laces was a sticking point for some shoppers.

Thankfully, you can check off all three of those boxes with these new Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure sneakers.

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No digital ink here – Yokohama tattoo parlor churning out amazing anime art

At the very first anime convention I ever went to, one of the guests was Go Nagai, creator of numerous manga, including Devilman, Mazinger, and Cutey Honey. During his autograph signing session, while most fans came up to Nagai’s table with comic books or posters for him to sign, one attendee rolled up his sleve and asked him to sign his Cutey Honey tattoo, which the artist good-naturedly did.

But while many dedicated overseas anime fans have offered their bodies as canvases for their favorite art form, the practice hasn’t completely caught on in Japan. Recently, though, there’s been an upswing in anime tattoos, which some have taken to calling ita-tattoos.

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Here’s how the military would actually fight Godzilla

When “Godzilla” roars into theaters this Friday, cinema’s greatest monster will go up against the world’s largest military, the U.S. armed forces.

But how much of a chance would the U.S. military actually have against a 355-foot tall radioactive Godzilla?

To find out, we spoke with the film’s Military Technical Advisor, retired Sgt. Maj. James Dever and asked how the U.S. military would hypothetically take on the monster, and, more importantly, whether they could do it.

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Left 4 Dead arcade edition to be trialled at four sites in Japan between May 23-25

Gore-splattered heads up, zombie fans! Left 4 Dead Seizonshatachi, or “survivors”, arcade magnate Taito’s riff on Valve and Turtle Rock Studios’ hugely popular first-person zombie shooter, is not only ready to tear through the population of Japan but is about to be trialled at four selected arcades beginning May 23.

Details and videos after the jump.

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1,500 yen will get you all the plum wine you can drink, may or may not make you cuter

Japan is a great place to be a drinker, and not just because of the excellent public transportation and lack of social stigma about enjoying a beer in the park. The selection is also fantastic, as the country produces dozens of brands of tasty beer, sake, and shochu.

If you’re still looking for more variety, Japan also makes a plum wine called umeshu, which has a uniquely rich sweetness. Umeshu isn’t as quite as prevalent as other kinds of alcohol, though, so if you’re in need of a primer, we found a restaurant in Tokyo that’ll let you sample as many varieties of the drink as you like during a two-hour stay for just 1,500 yen (US$14.70).

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These seven witty Japanese Twitter users will put a smile on your face

One of the best parts of Twitter is the comedy. Though the microblogging service is filled with high-profile comedians who can easily delight fans with hashtag humor, some of the funniest tweets come from its less famous users. The Japanese twitterverse isn’t much different, with many of the most highly retweeted and favorited posts coming from relative unknowns. Which makes Twitter not only a great way to practice reading Japanese, but also a great way to relax by having a laugh!

So, to help you get through the rest of your week and give you enough energy to get to the weekend, here are seven of our favorite funny tweets from the Japanese twitterverse!

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