I’ve been watching The Simpsons ever since I was a kid and I’ve enjoyed Hayao Miyazaki’s movies for just as long. So you can imagine my delight at discovering this Simpsons tribute to the newly retired director of Studio Ghibli. The minute and a half long clip, uploaded to YouTube by the Fox Network, is merely a sneak peak at this Sunday’s upcoming episode, but the animators manage to flawlessly incorporate aspects of the two imaginary worlds of Matt Groening and Hayao Miyazaki in such a short amount of time.
Jan 11, 2014
We’ve seen way too many beautiful guys who look like girls. Hell, some of them even look prettier than real girls. We know some of you are starting to get bored with looking at “traps” all the time, so here, the tables are turned this time! This handsome face belongs to a girl! It’s still some time before April Fool’s Day so you can be assured that we’re not kidding you!
Jan 11, 2014
Welcome to the weekend, boys and girls! Feels good to be here, doesn’t it? But before you run off startling donkeys and eating moon pies, we have to check that you’ve been paying attention and swatting up on our weird and wonderful news from Japan and Asia.
Suspicious dogs, kindly couples, adultery and the afterlife all feature in this week’s multiple choice quiz based on our favourite bits from the last seven days’ stories. So click the link and let’s find out just how much you went outside this week.
Last November, a man enlisted in the Republic of Korea Armed Forces was serving his final day before he was scheduled to be discharged. He just had one last order: clean his personal combat equipment – including his firearm – for inspection.
Apparently feeling burdened with this final duty, he must have been looking for a quick fix when – perhaps thinking “Why not kill two birds with one stone?” – he decided to wash his gun in with the laundry. What could possibly go wrong?
Jan 10, 2014
Strolling up and down the aisles of any supermarket in Japan, you are bound to come across several items in sealed vinyl retort pouches. Retort pasta sauce, retort rice porridge, and retort cat food can all be found freshly sealed and ready for quick heating if needed.
Now, all the hassle of landing a boyfriend or girlfriend has been removed, thanks to Retort Boyfriend (Retoruto Kareshi) and Retort Girlfriend (Retoruto Kanojo). Sounds great, but the new product has caused some, like the manager of the Village Vanguard shop pictured above, to become “worried about the future of Japan.”
Jan 10, 2014
It’s common knowledge that in order to mail something, you’ll need to know the name and rough address of the recipient, even if you’re lacking a couple of minor details. But what if, let’s say, the intended mailing destination is not in a building, but on some random corner of a street? Chances are, your mail is going to be left undelivered. Unless, it seems, you live in Japan!
Japan Post’s dedicated workers successfully delivered mail to someone whose location was “on the street”, leaving Japanese netizens in awe of their dedication and skill! But how did they do it?
Jan 10, 2014
Shiro-A have been around for over 10 years now, but it’s surprising how few people have actually heard of them. Combining technology, music, dance and comedy to create visually spectacular shows, they continue to wow audiences all over the world, and the snippets we have for you today are bound to leave you wanting more.
The group members perform in front of (or was it behind!?) a series of screens, onto which numerous graphics are projected while live DJs create an accompanying soundtrack. The performances always begin relatively simply, but soon explode into what we can only describe as perfectly choreographed visual chaos, with pumping beats accompanying splashes of colour as group members appear to be physically manipulating the digitally mapped images in real-time.
Be sure to check these guys out!
Jan 10, 2014
Last year, Japan was thrust into the international spotlight after Tokyo won the 2020 Olympics and traditional Japanese cuisine was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO (only the second national cuisine after France’s own!). With all of this increased attention on the global stage, one Japanese corporation was curious to know what thoughts Japanese children harbored about their own country. Keep reading to find which things about their country Japanese kids liked and disliked the most.
In Japan, while most of us foreigners are complaining about the bitter cold, Japanese farmers and fishermen across the nation are putting that dry, frigid air to good use. Although a somewhat rare sight in large cities, in rural areas, it’s not uncommon to witness strange bodies of floating tentacles or long curtains of noodles swaying in the winter breeze.
“Cold wind drying” is a traditional method of food preservation that is still practiced today. This simple, economical way to prevent fresh foods from spoiling also gives rise to some breathtaking, bizarre and somewhat otherworldly scenes. Let’s take a look at some surprisingly beautiful photos from Japan of fish and vegetables hanging out to dry.
On January 7, McDonald’s Japan started rolling out its new American Vintage menu items, with the first batch inspired by the diners of the 1950s. Our recent taste test of the fast food giant’s Classic Fries with Cheese left us less than impressed, what with a cheese sauce that didn’t taste like cheese and their ineffective “bacon flavored topping,” which McDonald’s is at least kind enough to admit isn’t the genuine article.
Still, the Golden Arches managed to lure us back to give its American Vintage menu another shot with a very persuasive offering. Two very persuasive ones, actually, in the form of the two beef patties in its Diner Double Beef burger.
Jan 10, 2014
As Japan’s densest foreign enclave, Tokyo’s Roppongi neighborhood is a study in contrasts. On the one hand, the district is home to some of the country’s finest dining and most luxurious hotels, which attract the well-heeled and powerful from around the globe. At the same time, Roppongi’s backstreets are teeming with run-down bars and strip clubs, several of dubious legality in both their business licenses and working practices.
But while it’s common knowledge that Roppongi is the place to go for either a pricey bottle of Dom Perignon or a budget-friendly lap dance, you might be surprised to find that you can also receive consummate, compassionate medical care at the clinic of Dr. Evgeni Aksenoff, who’s been treating Tokyo’s international residents and guests for over 50 years.
Jan 10, 2014
Being a manga addict, Japan’s manga cafes are hands down my favorite hideout in the country. Manga cafes (also known as internet cafes) provide you with personal space, internet connection, a free flow of drinks, and of course, a wide selection of manga to read at very reasonable prices. But with strong competition in the business, it seems the basic functions alone aren’t enough to satisfy customers nowadays.
Check out these manga cafes that have silently evolved with better services and facilities!
Here’s a shocking fact: Despite decades of gender stereotypes insisting that men are disgusting pigs that would gladly hump anything without too much back hair even if they’re already in a relationship, recent studies suggest women are cheating about as much as men (presumably also provided there’s not too much back hair).
One reason for the persistent stereotype may be that women are just a bit smarter and better at hiding their affairs than men are. While a cheating man is liable to show up to his SO’s house with a pair of panties on his head, cheating women are apparently much more discreet, a Japanese survey of 50 unfaithful women reveals. The Niconico News survey also offers a few tips for girls who are currently cheating or who may be considering a little love on the side in the future:
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Jan 10, 2014
What’s in a name? In Japan, those with a strong understanding of kanji, those pesky Chinese characters that are always tripping up language learners, can immediately understand the significance of anyone’s appellation.
Although the most common surname in Japan is “Sato,” it turns out that there’s a far more popular name combination that doesn’t include our quirkiest reporter‘s last name. Let’s take a look at the most common given and family names in Japan and the meanings behind them.
Be it movie, TV show, or book, whenever something achieves a certain level of popularity people begin to create their own stories surrounding them and urban legends are born. Japanese media is no different. Rumors spread and before you know it JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure accurately predicted the September 11 terrorist attack in New York.
The following is a collection of urban legends surrounding some of the most famous works in Japanese pop culture. Remember, most of these are not facts, just theories. Otherwise, about 80 percent of our most beloved anime characters are actually dead and just don’t know it yet.
Jan 10, 2014
I recently took a few days off to visit my hometown in California. In keeping with Japanese norms, I spent most of my time there eating and loafing around my parents’ house (in my defense they have a really nice couch, and the soba noodles my wife makes at New Year’s are amazing).
Reenergized from a week of rest and relaxation, I arrived back in Japan and went to sleep, fully intending to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn and get right to work. But when I woke up around 5:30 a.m., I stopped to reconsider my plan. Given the near-freezing temperature, was crawling out from under my warm blankets really the best choice, health-wise? Shouldn’t I take it easy for a day and make sure I was over my jet-lag? I could always get serious about work the next day, right?
It turns out that not only is New Year’s procrastination common, there’s even a calendar for it, with solid excuses for nothing doing anything printed right there on it.
About two months ago, we reported to you that 2014 was going to be a special year for Hello Kitty. That’s right, the busiest cat in the world will be hitting the big Four-O on November 1 this year. Lucky for her, she doesn’t have to worry about crow’s-feet or gray hairs — she just seems to become more popular and wiser (some would say more business-savvy) with age.
Now, when we heard that our favorite feline entrepreneur had started off the new year with a 40th anniversary sales event at Tokyo Station, we of course had to go and see what special goodies may be on offer. As it turns out, we weren’t disappointed, as there were plenty of goods to be seen and bought! Read More
Jan 9, 2014
The iPhone4S finally arrived in Japan today, and thousands of people lined up outside their local Softbank or AU store, eager to get their hands on the phone when it hit the shelves at 8 am.
The most appealing new function of the iPhone4S for many people is the integrated voice interface, Siri. Apple claims that Siri enables you to easily send messages, check the weather, schedule meetings, and take care of a number of other traditionally text-based tasks just by using your voice.
Though it is currently not compatible with Japanese, the program is still available for use on Japanese iPhones. I made my way to an Apple Store to see if Siri would respond to my heavily-accented English but I had no luck. In fact, my broken attempts to inquire about the weather in English were interpreted so far off that I couldn’t help laughing.
Take a look at my techno-lingual struggle below.
Jan 9, 2014
Just a day after we brought you news that China had temporarily lifted a 14-year ban that prevented foreign companies such as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony from selling their consoles in the country, homegrown telecommunications company Huawei has unveiled a brand new games console of its own at the CES 2014 trade show.
Jan 9, 2014
Japanese marketers love a good crossover product. We recently covered the very strange Mountain Dew-corn chip mashup, a Pizza Hut-Evangelion pairing, and any number of Hello Kitty crosses. But even weirdness-loving Japanese may be put off by news of the latest crossover collaboration between Circle K-Sunkus convenience stores and menstruation-tracking website Luna Luna: a pink steamed bun.
- Man revives woman with AED, branded a “pervert” for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads1
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked2
- Learn Japanese from YouTube: Amp up your listening skills with this four-step guide3
- At least a few of these packaging “fails” from around the world had to be intentional4
- Why are some Japanese preschools banning awesome, adorable character bento?5
- U.K. man sentenced for prohibited images of ‘manga’ children6
- Three Chinese men arrested in Japan for buying too many diapers7
- We still don’t feel bad for you, Emperor: Photos of actors and their historical counterparts8
- Watch time go by with 70,000 beautiful Japanese women, that’s 48 girls a minute every day!9
- “2.5D Mask” lets you spend the day as an anime character, frighten pets and small children10
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked1
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls2
- Man revives woman with AED, branded a “pervert” for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads3
- We still don’t feel bad for you, Emperor: Photos of actors and their historical counterparts4
- Video of guy giving pandas medicine is insanely cute, unless you’re the guy5
- Why does Engrish happen in Japan?6
- The 10 best anime of the fall season, according to Japanese otaku7
- Worst date ever! Japan’s ladies reveal the top five date ideas to avoid8
- Beautiful old footage shows “God of Judo” Kyuzo Mifune gracefully defeat young challengers【Video】9
- Robot rebellion begins with a cranky Roomba, Internet users too busy laughing to fight back10
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】1
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China2
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked3
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea4
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked5
- Watch liquid turn into food at Japanese sample food factory 【Videos】6
- Japanese mothers react to being called by their first names after years of just being “Mama”7
- “Beautiful foreigner walking a polar bear” spotted at Shibuya’s famous crossing8
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls9
- Thai schoolgirl uniforms poised to edge out traditional Japanese ones in Japan?10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star2
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】4
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China5
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later6
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady10
- U.K. man sentenced for prohibited images of ‘manga’ children
- Three Chinese men arrested in Japan for buying too many diapers
- We still don’t feel bad for you, Emperor: Photos of actors and their historical counterparts
- Watch time go by with 70,000 beautiful Japanese women, that’s 48 girls a minute every day!
- “2.5D Mask” lets you spend the day as an anime character, frighten pets and small children
- Video of guy giving pandas medicine is insanely cute, unless you’re the guy
- The craziest small arms maneuvers by South Korean SWAT, in 9 GIFs
- Anger online as tweeting tech guru Takeshi Natsuno slams Sendai for rejecting IC card
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker
- Domino’s Japan offering discounts to customers who pound the wall, show mementos from old flames
- Worst date ever! Japan’s ladies reveal the top five date ideas to avoid
- East meets West in the Pacific-centered version of the world map
- Poor little dog is driven into corner by owner’s terrifying new house guest