High art or crime scene? More photos of passed-out salarymen 【Pics】

A late-night stroll through the streets of Shinjuku or some other lively Tokyo neighborhood usually involves flashing neon signs, groups of people heading to and from drinking parties, and cries of “Otsukarasamadeshita!” (“You’ve worked hard!”) between red-faced coworkers as they part ways. As the evening wears on, a new creature makes its entrance onto the scene. Curled up on the sidewalk or spread eagle on a bench, it’s that curious big-city phenomenon, the passed out salaryman.

Photographer Kenji Kawamoto recently shined a new light on these hard-working, hard-partying company men with a series of photos depicting their various states of repose. While the result is surprisingly artistic, context really is everything; more than a few of these look like shots of crime scenes. 

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Japan sees America’s Double Down, raises it a crazy deep-fried “sandwich” of its own

As an American living in Japan, I often get comments to the effect of, “People in your home country love fried foods, don’t they?” And really, I can’t argue otherwise. After all, the United States is the birthplace of such culinary contributions as the Double Down, the KFC menu item that replaced the bread in a fried chicken sandwich with two more pieces of fried chicken.

Of course, Japan loves fried foods too, even if it doesn’t eat them with the same frequency, or in the same volume, as America does. As proof, people in Osaka are proving that they can put air quotes around their breadless “sandwiches” too, in the form of the croquette sandwich, which comes wrapped in a fried outer layer.

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Hay fever got you down? Cheer up, you get to eat some yogurt with orange peels!

Ah, spring: that season which is supposed to be a pleasantly warm and sunny break from the bitter cold instead makes millions of allergy sufferers feel like they have invisible daddy longlegs of fire crawling across their faces 24/7.

From masks to medicine, there are plenty of products on the market to combat the symptoms and reduce exposure to the evil, evil pollen, but they all encumber your freedoms by blocking your vision or clouding your mind. However, a new, all-natural method of subduing allergic reactions was presented at a meeting of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology and Agrochemistry, and best of all it uses easy to find ingredients: Yogurt and mikan (tangerine) peels.

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Win the chance to have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!!

Hello everyone! Thanks as ever for your loyal readership of RocketNews24. Today we have an exciting project that we want to share with you all, and we think it’s one that will make you very happy. Presenting: “Have your Japan wish granted by RocketNews24!

We’re sure that many of you have dreams of visiting Japan and fulfilling long-held wishes. But perhaps you haven’t quite been able to save up the cash for a plane ticket or didn’t know anyone in Japan to help you out once you got here, so you’ve been unable to realize those dreams.

If that sounds like you, then we’d like to help! If you have a wish you’d like to have granted in Japan then we invite you to enter our competition. RocketNews24 will use our funds and knowledge to make your dreams a reality here in Japan.

Join us after the jump for more details!

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Urinal privacy curtains at rock festival make us think organizers don’t get how peeing works

It’s probably safe to say that no one buys tickets to a punk rock music festival because of all the posh creature comforts such events usually provide. So when attendees showed up for the final day of the Punk Spring 2015 tour at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe, we’re guessing that most of the guys who had to take a leak didn’t mind being directed to a row of outdoor urinals.

Being the kind of classy place that also regularly hosts non-punk related trade shows and technology expos, though, the Makuhari Messe staff even set up sightline-blocking curtains on the urinal booths, providing just a bit of extra privacy for their occupants. Except, looking at the curtains they chose, we’re not sure they quite understand how peeing works.

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Dragon Ball Z’s Frieza meets own doppelganger at handshake event, gets thunder stolen

Handshake events – meet-and greets which give members of the public the chance to meet their idols in person, however briefly – are hugely popular in Japan. But they aren’t just for trembling super-fans of button-cute pop stars to get a chance to caress the digits of their favourite singers. No, kids are also regulars at handshake events featuring their TV and video game idols. (Okay, so it’s just some guy in a suit, but don’t tell the kids that, you monster!)

But something very weird, not to mention awkward, happened at a recent Dragon Ball Z handshake event when series villain Frieza came face to face with his own, um, face when an adult fan showed up in a matching costume. Friezeception!

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New smartphone game lets lonely gamers blow up, unleash other misfortunes on lovey dovey couples

The expansion of the modern mobile game market has been a boon for romance games. The genre usually doesn’t require particularly powerful hardware specs, and the larger profit margins that come with purely digital distribution mean that even niche titles in what’s already a niche segment of video gaming can make money for their developers, all of which lets creators keep on creating and players keep on playing the virtual field of dating partners.

But there are two sides to every coin, and if the success of mobile romance games is the shiny penny’s unblemished face, what about its bitter, jaded backside? That’s now taken care of too, with a new game that gives players the power to make lovey dovey lovers explode, plus meet with a host of other unexpected tragedies.

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Cheeky crows pluck panda’s fur to line their nests at Ueno Zoo, panda doesn’t seem to mind

Pandas have such a cute and innocent image. All they seem to do is sit around, eating bamboo and being adorable. (When they’re not beating the stuffing out of each other in panda Fight Club, that is). Recently at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, sneaky crows have been documented abusing the panda’s easy-going nature by harvesting their fur to take home to line their nests!

Check out these adorable (and kinda of sad) pics and videos of a hapless panda being shamelessly robbed of its fur!

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Spear of Longinus crowdfunding project now accepting international backers

The “Project to Pierce the Moon With the Spear of Longinus” crowdfunding campaign opened an English page for international backers. Backers not residing in Japan can select rewards in the 5,000 and 50,000 yen tiers, including having your name inscribed on the spear, an Evangelion Unit 01 Set (poster by Ikuto Yamashita, sticker, and blueprint of the lunar payload releasing machine), a Rei Ayanami Set (poster by Hidenori Matsubara, sticker, and blueprint of the lunar payload releasing machine), shirts, and having digital files of your choosing sent to the moon.

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Vanishing Japan: Five things to see before they disappear completely

Call us nostalgic, but we at RocketNews24 hate to see traditional Japanese culture slip away. From ancient pilgrimage paths to geisha and kamishibai, we love Japan’s oldest traditions as much as the anime favorites and cosplay trends of today. We just adore Japan and hate to see any of it disappear.

Today we introduce you to five icons of Japan that you need to see now before these few vestiges are completely lost!

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Haruki Murakami answers the question, “What is the meaning of life?”

For the last few months, internationally celebrated writer Haruki Murakami has been fielding questions about, well, just about anything on his personal website. A lot of the inquiries sent his way are, predictably, about the creative writing process, but Murakami has also shown an amicable willingness to chat about such myriad subjects as romance, cats, baseball, and donuts.

From the beginning, though, Murakami said he’d only be keeping the question and answer portion of the site running until the end of March. With the project winding down, one fan decided to write in with a fittingly comprehensive query: What’s the meaning of life?

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How would you feel about peeing in one of these “voyeurinals”?

If you’re a man and you someday find yourself eating at a restaurant in Shanxi Province, northern China, be very careful about going to the bathroom, because you never know who–or what–is watching you! 

NOTE: As you can probably discern from the title, this article contains some images that may be NSFW.

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Top 10 things Japanese people do that puzzle us (but we still want to hang out together)

“Wow you can use chopsticks?” “Your Japanese is really good!” “Geez, you’ve put on weight recently.” “It’s only 8:00 p.m., why are you going home?

Anyone who’s been to Japan before has probably been bombarded by something similar to the above. Every country is going to have different cultural norms, but we decided to blow cultural sensitivity out of the water and just go ahead and list the top 10 things Japanese people do that puzzle us (but for some reason don’t stop us from thinking they’re still awesome to be around).

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KanColle anime character’s catchphrase “poi” is POIsed to take over the world! POI POI!

Remember that Swiss otaku with a penchant for Yuudachi Kai Ni, the upgraded version of a character from the Kantai Collection (KanColle) anime/video game franchise who’s been made famous by her ubiquitous catchphrase, “poi?” He decorated every square inch of a bathroom with pictures of the moe girl’s face making her signature poi pose, only to apparently be overcome with emotion a few snapshots later and proceed to rip them all down in a fit of poi-ful rage.

It turns out this man isn’t the only one riding the poi train, because this particular catchphrase is currently experiencing a wave of popularity outside of Japan, poi–much to the bafflement and amusement of Japanese folks. POOOI!!

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Japan’s newest models are all about their busts: Classical statues reimagined as fashion idols

From hyperactive pear fairies to gross mushrooms, it seems that Japanese consumers have an appreciation for the unusual. Of course, it can be hard to predict exactly what will win hearts and minds, but that won’t stop people from trying to kickstart the newest craze.

Kadokawa, a publishing company among other things, Zarigani Works, a toy and merchandise production company, and Holbein, an arts materials company, have teamed up to turn classical statues into the latest hot items. They still haven’t revealed all the items they’ll be producing and it remains to be seen just how many people actually want products with Hermes’s statuesque face emblazoned on it, but you can’t blame them for trying!

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Monjayaki, the popular Tokyo dish you’ve probably never heard of 【RocketKitchen】

When people think of Japanese food, most think of sushi, sashimi or even some of the more popular Japanese comfort foods like okonomiyaki or udon noodles. If you’re a tourist, however, you’ve likely never experienced one of Tokyo’s most popular dishes: monjayaki. But don’t feel bad; even some Japanese people who don’t live in the Tokyo metropolitan area (75 percent of the population) have never tasted it. This is one reason why Tsukishima Monjadori, a street with over 100 monjayaki restaurants, ranks in the top five sight-seeing spots in the capital for Japanese tourists (FYI, the other four are Harajuku, Tokyo Disneyland, Odaiba and Tusukiji Fish Market).

Monjayaki is simple but complicated: it has just a few easy ingredients and can be made in under three minutes yet it requires instructions to make, and even eat, properly. It helps to know, for example, that monja is not usually eaten with chopsticks, and that there’s a good reason why.

Read on to learn more about this unexpectedly delicious fare: watch a how-to video showing you how to make it, check out photos that show you how to eat it, and get tips from a master monjayaki chef.

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Naruto’s not over yet with new manga chapters, anime series coming soon!

Even though the manga that started it all ended last November, there’s been no shortage of things for fans of ninja franchise Naruto to enjoy since then. In addition to new episodes of the continuing TV anime adaptation, there’s been an animated movie and stage show, and you’d better believe plenty of people are looking forward to the upcoming Naruto Exhibition at art museums in Tokyo and Osaka.

Even if you’re of the mind that all the related events in the world can’t take the place of new comic content, there’s good news, as publisher Shueisha has announced a new, bonus installment of Naruto manga as it gears up for a shift in its anime focus.

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We sample blue Drift Ice Curry from the India of the Okhotsk Sea

Earlier this month our reporter Mr. Sato paid a visit to the northern land of Hokkaido and their Adashiri Prison Museum. There he sampled of their pickles and prison beer but also found a bevy of other souvenirs for the region.

One item in particular stood out among those various trinkets and snacks. Its name is Drift Ice Curry and it was inspired by the tranquil beauty of ice that flows through the Okhotsk Sea from mid-February to early March. It’s a phenomenon that’s you’d probably least expect be depicted in a curry, which is exactly why Mr. Sato had to try it.

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New Sailor Moon cafe in Tokyo has live public anime viewing and themed food and drinks

Last year, we brought to you all the excitement surrounding the broadcast of the Sailor Moon Crystal anime, coming some 22 years after the original series it rebooted was released. The new anime has so far been streaming on Japanese video sharing site Niconico, but starting April 6, Sailor Moon Crystal will finally air on Japanese TV.

To commemorate the TV broadcast of the new anime, a Sailor Moon themed cafe will appear for a limited time at the Anion Station, a unique cafe and bar located in Shinjuku that caters to fans of anime songs. For one month, the Sailor Moon cafe will be offering special treats and drinks inspired by the anime, as well as  live public viewing of the TV broadcast. Now, that’s bound to attract some ardent Sailor Moon devotees!

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Nine of our Japanese writers share the restaurants they absolutely must visit again!

Have you ever had a meal so good that you decided you absolutely had to come back at least once before you kicked the bucket? It might have been some tiny restaurant on a beach or a five-star establishment in Shinjuku, but we imagine lots of people have some special place where the food was just freaking perfect.

So, we asked our Japanese writers what those places were for them and compiled the answers. You’re welcome! Click below to find out the ten places (someone cheated) they absolutely must visit again and see if your favorite eatery made the list.

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