Cute kitty double act takes on drawer, sort of wins

All cat owners are aware of the kind of mischief the lovable little furballs can get up to when we’re not around (and there’s probably also plenty of mischief we’re blissfully unaware of). Thankfully in this age of mobile phones, cameras, and YouTube, we can now keep a close eye on what the little rascals are up to, which often results in some cute comedy gold.

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Want bigger breasts? Just paint them on, says Japanese fashion magazine

While some have argued that a woman can increase her bust size by eating a bunch of hamburgers or copious amounts of frog fallopian tube, not every woman who’d like to project a more voluptuous image wants to reach that goal by changing her diet.

Some instead turn to visual subterfuge, such as buttoning their shirt out of order to create the illusion of having a larger chest. That technique won’t help you much once swimsuit season rolls around, though, which is why one Japanese fashion magazine is suggesting a non-wardrobe related way to give yourself larger-looking breasts: paint them on.

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Everything you think you know about your washlet toilet is wrong

Here at RocketNews24 we love a good toilet story, whether it’s the health benefits of old-school squatters or a visit to a long drop. And the washlet toilet, with its wash-and-blow dry function, noise-masking function and hilariously perplexing control panels, is one of Japan’s most famous inventions.

But what if, just like Napoleon’s height and the Vikings’ spiky helmets, the ultimate icon of technological wizardry is also surrounded by misconception and mystery? What if (almost) everything we know about super-toilets is wrong?

Think you know your washlet? Think again.

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Smellogram! Reconnect with friends through limited-edition scented letters

Smells do funny things to our brains. They connect us to memories and moments in a way that something visual never could. Just as interestingly is the effect smells have on our moods. Have you noticed that smells like lavender and vanilla give you a calming effect while a smell like coffee or citrus will perk you right up?

Now, Japan has combined the excitement of receiving a letter with the power of different scents to create a world first in letter sending. This service is available for only a limited-time, so try it before the letters (and smells!) are gone with the wind.

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Anime cosplay models encourage us to try a new energy drink, we happily comply

Two of the simplest, most effective ways to craft a marketing campaign in Japan is to cram your promotions full of either anime characters or girls in bikinis. But what if you’re rolling out a particularly important product? Is there a way to make absolutely sure you grab the attention of potential customers?

Sure there is. All you have to do is double your efforts by combining the two eye-catching methods mentioned above by dressing up a bunch of spokesmodels in skimpy anime cosplay outfits, like when we spotted Lum from classic anime Urusei Yatsura passing out samples of a new energy drink.

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Some words about cafe camping, a bully with a comb-over, and a man in a blue sweater vest

Back when I was still living in the UK, I would have never dreamed of spending an entire afternoon working on my laptop in a cafe. Places like Starbucks or homegrown coffee chain Costa are places to go, pay slightly too much for caffeinated beverages, leaf through a book or newspaper, then be on your way. They’re not for doing your homework or earning a living.

Thanks to the birth of WiFi and ultra-light laptop computers, however, the sight of people commandeering tables for hours on end is no longer such a rarity, and I, it has to be said, am one of them. Which is where I witnessed an unusual little episode involving a grumpy old man with a comb-over, his quiet, sweater vest-wearing friend, and a young woman who may or may not have been a matcha-drinking guardian angel.

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Hundreds of fish take over abandoned shopping mall in Bangkok

In a dark, dilapidated building in Bangkok’s concrete jungle there’s a secret wildlife haven not many people know about. Though the place has been abandoned by people, it’s now embraced by nature in the most spectacular way, with hundreds of fish swimming peacefully around pylons and under escalators in what was once a bustling, four storey shopping mall.

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A star is born: Twitter users have a field day with Assemblyman Nonomura’s teary defense

We generally paint politicians as a strange mix of arrogance and charm that seems to allow them to navigate through a variety of scandals. Through double talk and an almost sociopathic ability to ignore facts, an elected official caught red-handed lying or worse can somehow convince the public that maybe we’re the ones who made a mistake.

And then there’s Ryutaro Nonomura who seems to have turned the politician’s playbook on its head with his move of crying and shouting non-sequiturs in the face of accusations regarding use of public money. It seems to be working though as Twitter users are far less concerned about misappropriation than they are about how to best turn him into a lolcat.

The following is a selection of tweets featuring the people’s take on the assemblyman that became an internet sensation through photo altering, music, and latte art.

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Bath noodles — Do you know about this strange Japanese bathing custom?

As soon as my husband started building an iwaburo rock bath in our house, curious neighbors poked their heads in and asked, “When are we going to eat udon?” This is local parlance for: “When will the bath be finished?”

Japanese is said to be a vague language and thus difficult for foreigners to understand, but this was rather extraordinary. Why such a strange way to ask when a bath will be completed?!

This unusual pairing, I soon learned, can be traced all the way back to Shikoku, one of Japan’s four main islands, and an island famous for its udon noodles. Kagawa Prefecture, known as udonken (the udon prefecture) is particularly well-known for its delicious thick, starchy noodles. And we can thank Kagawa for a very strange custom: that of eating udon while sitting in a new bathtub!

Now, you probably want to know why they would do such a thing. And why udon? Wouldn’t beer and peanuts be more logical? Or, if you’re going to celebrate a new bathtub, why not go all out and have a pig roast in there? Our intrepid bathing reporter tells you why and oh, so much more about Japanese baths.

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【TBT】Tokyo’s Pico Pico Cafe: Where video games meet coffee

Despite having visited the town of Kichijoji in Tokyo on a near daily basis for over a year, it wasn’t until I sat down with video game developer James Kay and started chatting about our mutual love of pixels and coffee that I learned about Pico Pico Cafe, a cosy corner perched at the top of a eight-storey building just minutes from Kichijoji station.

After dropping the staff a line, RocketNews24 headed over for a coffee and a chat. We hadn’t gone two steps inside, however, before we found ourselves completely enamoured with the unique cafe’s warm, homely interior and – perhaps most of all for this life-long gamer – the subtle dashes of video game culture in every other nook and cranny.

Tons of cool photos after the jump.

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Tokyo dating event needs guys who like girls who like anime about guys who like guys

No matter how deeply you respect someone’s core values, or how physically attractive you find them, it’s hard to build a successful romantic relationship without some common interests. So it’s really no surprise that an upcoming singles party in Tokyo’s anime mecca of Akihabara is looking for men and women with a shared love of animation.

This isn’t the only romantic anime event coming to Tokyo, though. On the other side of town, organizers are in the process of assembling a quorum of guys who’d be happy dating women who’re fans of male homosexual anime and manga.

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PSA: Electronics hate hot cars too – don’t leave your smartphone locked in this summer

Like much of the Northern Hemisphere, Japan is now entering into the deep summer and the unbearable heat and sunlight that come along with it. This means that it’s time again to remind people not to leave their loved ones – human or animal – inside the car on a hot day, as even over a relatively short period of time the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to lethal levels.

Electronics, too, have a particularly strong aversion to the summer heat, as proven by a car-related mishap reported on 2-channel yesterday. This technologically tragic tale doesn’t have a happy ending, but hopefully it will save others in the future from suffering a similar fate.

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Waiting for beauty: Photographer Ji Yeo shines a light on women recovering from cosmetic surgery

We’ve featured so many “before and after” cosmetic surgery photo collections here on RocketNews24 that I’m personally starting to lose count. And yet there’s something so undeniably compelling about images of the selfsame people looking markedly different after going under the knife that it’s hard not to look.

Rather than comparing pre and post-surgery photos, though, today we’d like to share with you a collection of images from acclaimed photographer Ji Yeo, which focus solely on the painful, decidedly lonely period that occurs between the two. Yeo’s “Beauty Room Recovery” collection shows a handful of South Korean women who have opted to change their bodies through surgery and, after waking up bandaged and sore, begin the process of recovery and transition into the version of themselves that they have long wanted to be.

Join us after the jump to check out these haunting, intimate images.

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What’s that emoji? Let’s take a look at Japanese culture with these texting emoticons!【Part 1】

LINE is a free instant-messaging and voice-call application that’s almost a necessity in Asia; for many, it’s cheaper than texting through their mobile plan, and the app’s astounding collection of oversized emoticons called stickers and sticons (short for sticker emoticons) makes chatting with your friends that much more fun and cute! However, Japanese users recently noticed a puzzling sticon that had found its way into the pool. The image, which we’ll be looking at later, is based on a worldwide fad that didn’t seem to catch on in Japan, so it’s no wonder that people were confused.

This prompted me to wonder, “Which emoji are gathering dust because some people don’t quite know what they are or what they mean?” Since emoji (literally meaning “pictographs”) originated in Japan and later became incorporated into Unicode, it makes sense that many are emblematic of that country’s culture. After asking a few friends, choices were narrowed down to the above six emoticons, available on most smartphones. In Part 1 we’ll be examining the three food-based emoticons, so if you’re not familiar with that geometry lesson on a stick or the origins of that brown circle, read on after the jump!

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Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!

What does it take to become a winner in life? Some may say money is the key, while others may think that good looks can take you places. Let’s not forget the romantic ones who swear that love conquers all.

People often lament that life is unfair. Well, life really is unfair because while many of us are struggling just to get one of the abovementioned factors fulfilled, this lucky lady in China has it all, and she’s only in her twenties! Chinese netizens have unanimously agreed that this is probably what it looks like to be a true winner in life!

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Four Chinese women strip down to protest government corruption

Recently, streaking and naked demonstrations have increased in popularity in China. The benefits are clear, as having pictures of naked women (and to a much, much lesser extent men) is a pretty solid way to get attention for your cause. It’s also a more peaceful form of expression that can gain sympathy from the public.

I’d gladly take my political messages from a few people who are standing naked in a park rather than say… driving around shouting through a megaphone while blasting patriotic music at full volume. On the flipside, naked protests also carry the risk of the message getting lost in a sea of people shouting, “Hey! Boobs!”

It’s a dilemma that sociologists aim to tackle at the 18th symposium of Politica…“Hey! Boobs!”

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AKB48 resumes handshake events with new security measures

Idol group AKB48 will resume hosting handshake events starting on July 5 with a large handshake event at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center. The official website for the group explained that because staff were addressing operational concerns and security issues, they decided to postpone all handshake events in June. The staff have been working with security firm JSS, and preparations are now complete on the new security measures for handshake and photographing events.

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Japanese girls mysteriously collapse at school, rumors say it’s the work of a ghost

The Japanese internet is exploding after a succession of high school girls in Fukuoka Prefecture disturbingly collapsed during school hours on Monday. Students who were at the scene took to their Twitter accounts to post updates as the bizarre spectacle unfolded.

While the most likely explanation for the mysterious series of events is that the girls were induced into a state of mass panic after the first girl collapsed, some are attributing it to a vengeful spirit. Feel free to draw your own conclusions from the details, but either way, this is one creepy happening.

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We’ve just discovered the origin of the kanji for “umbrella”

Kanji is the biggest pain in the behind when it comes to learning Japanese. Sure, the grammar structure is a challenge and figuring out how and when to use the honorific form is a headache-inducing task, but deciphering those little scribbles scrawled across the nation of Japan is downright upsetting for new students of the Japanese language. Sometimes, you get lucky and the kanji characters sort of look like their meaning if you squint and turn your head to the left.

山 : Ok, we can see how that looks like a mountain.
目 : One of those squinty-left-tilty kanji, but sure, it looks like an eye.
凹 : Yup, that’s definitely concave (and a kanji that always makes us chuckle).

But most of the other two thousand or so kanji in daily use require learners to have a lot more imagination if you really want to find a meaningful picture amongst the numerous strokes. For many of them, a related image is just not going to happen (we’re looking at you 鬱). However, to our surprise, one Twitter user just recently uploaded a photo that makes the somewhat strange character for umbrella (傘) a little easier to understand.

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Otaku impresses Twitter with simple way to spice up your clear files

Otaku often have more anime merch than they know what to do with, which can lead to them coming up with novel ways to use it. Also never underestimate their power to find creative ways to be strangely pervy.

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