“Bye-bye!” Chinese flying doll works a little too well, becomes one-use toy 【Video】

“Bye-bye!” Chinese flying doll works a little too well, becomes one-use toy 【Video】

Let’s play a little word association game. Ready? Chinese-made children’s toys.

I’m guessing “high quality” isn’t the first thing that popped into your head. You don’t have to go far to find stories of people buying knock-off dolls or action figures in China, then giving them to their kids or younger siblings, only to watch them heartbroken as they don’t work as implied by the packaging.

But that doesn’t mean all toys made in China are shoddy, because some do indeed work well. Sometimes even too well, as one Japanese father found out when he brought back a Chinese flying doll for his daughters.

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Miyako-jima’s Paantu Festival: Traumatizing small children to bring them good luck

Miyako-jima’s Paantu Festival: Traumatizing small children to bring them good luck

Say hello to your newest recurring nightmare, kids!

Held in Miyako-jima, one of the smallest of the Okinawa Islands, Paantu is a centuries-old festival which takes place during the ninth month of the Chinese calendar each year. During the festival, groups of men are elected to dress as the paantu, evil spirits covered from head to toe with mud and foliage, and are given the task of driving out demons and cleansing the island of bad luck.

Of course, like any good festival involving involving mud-covered monsters, this also means scaring the life out of small children…
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What, there’s now a specialty burrito shop in Tokyo? Of course, we had to go try it ourselves!

What, there’s now a specialty burrito shop in Tokyo? Of course, we had to go try it ourselves!

Now, Tokyo has more than its share of restaurants offering almost any and all types of cuisine, but truth be told, Mexican food is not one of our fortes. There aren’t very many Mexican restaurants to start with, and in all honesty, I personally have yet to try a truly satisfying burrito (or fajita for that matter) in Japan. Somehow, the stuff just isn’t the same as the satisfying Mexican fare filled with plenty of juicy meat and cheese that I used to have in the U.S.

So when we heard that a specialty burrito shop, apparently the first of its kind in Japan, was going to open in the Marunoichi office district of Tokyo, we knew we had to go try the food there ourselves. We headed to Marunouchi on the opening day of the new “umum good burritos!” shop to get a taste of their burritos. The eatery had been introduced briefly on national TV, and from what he had heard, they even served an interesting dessert burrito, so naturally we were excited to make our visit! 

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US Department of State announces lucky winners of green card lottery

US Department of State announces lucky winners of green card lottery

The US Department of State announced on its website the number of people from each region chosen for their 2013 visa lottery program, also known as the green card lottery. Those lucky enough to be chosen will then go through the application process to receive a visa granting them permanent residency in the good old US of A. Read on for more details about the lottery and to learn which parts of the world received the most visas.

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Chinese university students brave any weather for mandatory military training exercises

Chinese university students brave any weather for mandatory military training exercises

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the freshmen are…not snoring?

“A little rain never hurt anyone” should be the unofficial motto of these first-year university students in China who recently participated in mandatory military training exercises. The folks over at Shanghaiist shared the following photos of students braving the elements as they marched in sync under brightly colored umbrellas. Need a little motivation to get going the next time it rains? Just be thankful you’re not one of them!

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Meet Issie, Japan’s very own Loch Ness Monster

Meet Issie, Japan’s very own Loch Ness Monster

You may have thought that the Loch Ness Monster had cornered the market on fresh-water cryptids, but Japan has one of its own mythical lake beasts. There may be a monster lurking in the depths of Kyushu’s Lake Ikeda, a monster who goes by the terrifying name of… Issie-kun.

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Owner publicly shames misbehaving cat on Twitter, it regrets nothing

Owner publicly shames misbehaving cat on Twitter, it regrets nothing

“That damn cat!” Now, that’s a phrase that even the most doting cat owner has surely uttered more than once. As much as we love our kitties, they do seem to have an affinity for testing the limits of our affection–tearing up shoji and mercilessly knocking any object that dares to be close the edge of any desk, table, or counter onto the floor. Despite the best training efforts, it eventually becomes necessary to just admit that although cats may live indoors, they’re not exactly “domestic.”

Unless you’re this cat owner, who decided to shame her misbehaving cat on Twitter!

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu plays dress-up in new Nintendo 3DS ad

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu plays dress-up in new Nintendo 3DS ad

Nintendo has recruited fashion model and singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu to promote the New Nintendo 3DS game system before it launches in Japan on October 11. On a new website, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu introduces the system’s interchangeable “Kisekae Plates” (literally, dress-up plates). With these plates, players can customize the exterior design of the New Nintendo 3DS in countless ways.

In a new television commercial, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu plays dress-up by putting extravagant outfits on Mario, Link, and other familiar characters:

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Japanese sweets and giant robots combine in a new anime series intriguing the Internet

Japanese sweets and giant robots combine in a new anime series intriguing the Internet

If you’ve ever been to Kyoto, then you may know that the city’s food culture includes a rich history of traditional Japanese sweets, known as wagashi, which can be a perfect accompaniment to a day touring Kyoto’s famed temples. While many in Japan associate Kyoto with traditional sweets, a new anime series is about to take this aspect of the city’s food culture and combine it with a giant robot for a one-of-a-kind TV show.

Set in modern-day Kyoto, Domaiga D will center around a dessert shop owner who finds a giant robot beneath his shop right when the city is coming under attack by huge monsters.

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Creative mum brings amazing character bentos to the dinner table

Creative mum brings amazing character bentos to the dinner table

While some of us may recall our childhood lunches as a series of soggy sandwiches in boring brown paper bags, two lucky children in Singapore are bound to look back on all their meals as miniature worlds of cute and delicious fun.

It’s all thanks to their mother, who decided to expand her skills beyond the humble bento lunchbox, and bring the cute to any meal of the day. Check out her amazing collection of healthy meals after the jump. It’s the best collection we’ve seen yet!

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Journalism at its worst? Mt. Ontake hiker pestered for information on Twitter

Journalism at its worst? Mt. Ontake hiker pestered for information on Twitter

Being a journalist is a pretty thankless job. Especially those who report on war and conflict or disasters, these intrepid reporters risk their lives to bring us the stories. In the case of this past weekend’s volcanic eruption on Mt. Ontake, journalists scrambled to the scene to report on the situation. Or, most of them. Some took the path of least effort and leapt at the chance to do some “reporting” from the comfort of their own home, through social media.

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Make your own chocolate, cake or popsicle game controllers with these molds from ThinkGeek

Make your own chocolate, cake or popsicle game controllers with these molds from ThinkGeek

If there’s one thing that makes video gaming even more fun than it already is, it’s appropriate snack food. And while we’d never normally suggest that chocolate and controllers could possibly be a good combination (seriously, greasy controllers are a big no-no), we can safely say that you won’t find a more appropriate gaming fuel accompaniment than a plate of tiny, edible classic controllers.

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100 things to do in Japan in 100 seconds 【Video】

100 things to do in Japan in 100 seconds 【Video】

There is a great deal to do in Japan’s 47 prefectures, from visiting temples to buying saucy figures in Akihabara. But once you’ve done all the touristy stuff, there’s still plenty waiting to be experienced! How much, you ask? You’ll have to check out this video of “100 things to do in Japan” to find out!

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Time to get wet: Underwater photos of girls in sailor suits and… plastic exoskeletons?

Time to get wet: Underwater photos of girls in sailor suits and… plastic exoskeletons?

Underwater photography can produce some pretty spectacular images of everything from exotic fish to magnificent submerged landscapes. It can also give us a new spin on old ideas–like the images of girls in knee-high socks underwater that were so popular last year.

In anticipation of a new photo collection of more models underwater in knee-high socks, photographer Manabu Koga has posted more photos of an underwater model–this time wearing a school uniform.

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Holiday travelers in China get sleepy, creative and frisky on trains 【Photos】

Holiday travelers in China get sleepy, creative and frisky on trains 【Photos】

Here in Japan, we’ve still got a couple of weeks to go until our next public holiday, when Sports Day comes up on October 13. Workers in China, though, can look forward to a day off much sooner with National Day of the People’s Republic of China on October 1.

The holiday marks the founding of the nation, and many people choose to spend their time off by visiting family members. The travel rush seems to have already started, but with a country as large as China, some passengers are in for a long ride back to their home towns. But when you’re spending hours upon hours on a train how do you get some shut-eye without springing for a sleeper car? By being inventive and literally flexible, as these photos show us.

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Fan offers theory that Ghibli’s Tombo grew up to be another beloved children’s character

Fan offers theory that Ghibli’s Tombo grew up to be another beloved children’s character

While the settings of Studio Ghilbi’s anime are filled with whimsy and fantasy, their characters can at times seem remarkably real. Even if you’ve never found a forest serviced by a network of Cat Buses, for example, the emotions that Totoro’s Mei and Satsuki deal with feel so genuine that you can’t help but think of them as real people who’ll eventually grew up and continue their lives long after the movie ends.

The same goes for the cast of Kiki’s Delivery Service. But while it’s easy to imagine titular witch Kiki continuing to work in the magical courier industry throughout her adulthood, what about her friend, Tombo? One fan recently offered his theory on what the future holds for the bespectacled lad.

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Akira’s Katsuhiro Otomo to design giant mural featuring cyborg fish for Tohoku’s Sendai Airport

Akira’s Katsuhiro Otomo to design giant mural featuring cyborg fish for Tohoku’s Sendai Airport

With works like Domu and Akira to his name, screenwriter and manga-ka Katsuhiro Otomo is universally well-known and respected. He is, however, not exactly the most prolific artist in the world, often leaving fans waiting for years on end for his next project or collaboration.

So although we’re thrilled to announce his next work will in fact be completed by March of next year, you should know that it’s going to take a little traveling to get a good look at it. You see, the currently untitled Otomo public art piece will hang in all of its 24-square-meter (258 sq ft) glory in the lobby of the terminal building of Tohoku’s Sendai Airport.

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Did a Dragon Quest slime car just appear on the expressway in Japan?

Did a Dragon Quest slime car just appear on the expressway in Japan?

As fun as it is to step into the shoes of a video game RPG hero for a few hours, imagine how it would be to live your whole life, day in and day out, under the in-game rules and systems. Some of the differences would be pretty inconvenient, such as a mysterious force preventing you from ever going anywhere with more than three friends at a time. Others would be a definite plus, though, such as working hard at your job periodically making you not only more intelligent, but stronger, faster, and luckier, too.

But perhaps the weirdest change would be knowing that anytime you left your neighborhood and wanted to go from Point A to Point B, there was a chance of monsters randomly appearing, like two Japanese businessmen thought was happening to them when they spotted what looked like a Dragon Quest slime car on the expressway.

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Happy Monday! Here’s the cutest cat fight you’ll see all day

Happy Monday! Here’s the cutest cat fight you’ll see all day

As adorable as cats are, they’re aren’t exactly known for their patience in suffering the presence of fools–especially when said fools try stealing even a tiny bit of their napping space. Even if it’s a cat’s housemate and best friend, sharing is simply out of the question! And that’s when the claws and teeth come out.

And that’s exactly how this video of the greatest kitty rumble you’ve ever seen starts–though the ending is more Disney than Expendables 3.

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Woman on train groped by two men at once, suspects apparently unrelated

Woman on train groped by two men at once, suspects apparently unrelated

Japan is known for many great things from its delicious food and unique culture to its abundance of anime, manga, and video games. Unfortunately, it has also earned a reputation for being packed with skeevy perverts, which is actually an extremely unfair characterization–the average Japanese citizen is no more perverted than the citizens of any other country. But that doesn’t change the fact that many women still have to put up with both discrimination and sexual harassment, as a story that broke on Friday demonstrates.

A young woman in her twenties was allegedly groped while riding the train. That on its own would be bad enough, but this woman was allegedly molested by two different men at the exact same time.

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