Nine steps to enjoying an outdoor Japanese barbecue

Of course there are outdoor barbecues in Japan, but with very little front or backyard space to work with, the grill and everything that goes on it has been shrunk down. Devoid of any fancy knobs, racks, or even a lid, and easily packed away in a storage shed for use during the summer, these small grills are deceptively simple, but can churn out some delicious grub.

Let’s take a closer look at the tradition of grilling meat outdoors in Japan and we’ll also show you how to enjoy your own Japanese-style barbecue.

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Gangnam Style tops Billboard chart again in 2014, continues to toy with PSY’s emotions

It was back in the summer of 2012 when “Gangnam Style” was released. Thanks in part to YouTube, the single transformed South Korean rapper PSY into a worldwide pop phenomenon. But nothing lasts forever, and although it had a remarkably good run on the charts, general interest in the mega-hit gradually waned.

Since then, PSY has been hard at work coming up with other singles such as “Gentleman” and “Hangover”, but neither have captivated the public’s interest to the same degree. It’s a hard degree to surpass, however, as in just the past week, “Gangnam Style” reached number one again on the Billboard charts. This surely comes as bittersweet news to PSY who by now has got to be completely burnt out on performing that song over and over… and over again.

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Chinese tech startup asks women to send in photos of themselves for a chance to buy a smartphone

Chinese tech company OnePlus is holding a contest requesting that women send in photos of themselves in order to score an invite to purchase its wildly popular phone, the OnePlus One.

As part of the contest, women must either write the OnePlus logo on their body or hold up a piece of paper showing the company’s symbol. Only women are permitted to enter the competition, and the entrant with the most likes on her photo wins an invitation to buy the $300 OnePlus One.

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Uniformed heroes having their wedding photos taken at work is on the rise in China

Weddings are one of the biggest events in one’s life, and many would stop at nothing less than perfection for their once-in-a-lifetime (supposedly) wedding photo shoot. Couples spend thousands of dollars on their pre-wedding photo shoots, some even cross oceans to get the perfect backdrop for their memorable shot. But not every couple has the financial ability to drop a bomb on overseas wedding photos taken in France, Hawaii or the Great Wall of China. Want something unique, inexpensive yet meaningful for your wedding photos? Look no further, workplace wedding photos might be a blooming trend.

Lately, wedding photos of civil servants taken at their workplace in their uniforms have been the talk of town among Chinese netizens. Check out these grooms in their smart uniforms and their beautiful brides!

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The world of the future, according to North Korean architect

The interconnectedness of today’s world has been a real boon to artists, scientists, designers, futurists, and pretty much anyone who thrives on the free exchange of ideas. If you asked a kid from South Africa to draw the city of the future, it would be equally likely and unsurprising for her to design futuristic skyscrapers reminiscent of the Burj Khalifa or hobbit hole-like underground eco-houses.

But what if you were from North Korea? What if you didn’t have Internet and had never left your own country? What would the city of the future look like to you?

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Goku as a gorgeous girl? Artist reimagines iconic manga’s male hero minus his Dragon Balls

In the past, we’ve seen budding artists draw inspiration from some pretty unusual sources as they look to create cute anime-style girls. But with a bevy of big-eyed beauties already representing things such as video game hardware, PC operating systems, nations competing in the World Cup, and even history’s most notorious dictators, eventually the muse well was going to run dry.

Perhaps that’s why someone decided to use his artistic talents to produce a female version of Goku, Dragon Ball’s muscle-bound protagonist.

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Owner walks Segway dog… or Segway dog walks owner?

While the dog you owned in your childhood may have been a total idiot that barked at its own farts, super smart dogs aren’t all that uncommon, and the Internet has done a beautiful job of giving us a one-stop shop for viewing all the glorious tricks and people-things canines are capable of.

Some dogs on the Internet are so smart, in fact, it’s hard to tell who is the owner and who is the pet. Such as this jogging man with casually Segway-riding dog that was spotted in China recently.

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At long last, Sailor Moon’s Inner Senshi get their own line of pens

Sailor Moon owes a lot of its success to the way the franchise blended earnest drama and self-knowing comedy, plus its generous injection of action into the magical girl formula, but a large part of its appeal also comes from its strong ensemble cast. Because of this, it was a little puzzling that this year merchandiser Bandai has released high-quality pens for its entire group of heroines except Sailor Moon’s first four companions.

So while Bandai had you covered if you were a fan of the titular character herself, if you instead respected Sailor Mercury’s intelligence, Sailor Mars’ fiery determination, Sailor Venus’ air of sophistication, or just had the well-developed taste to realize what an all-round great gal Sailor Jupiter was, you were out of luck. Until now, that is, as Bandai has thankfully filled this hole in its product lineup with a new set of pens that fully represents the Inner Sailor Senshi.

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Two men die in apparently separate suicides after jumping in front of the same train

Komabatodamae Station was the scene of a bizarre suicide yesterday as two men who seemingly had nothing to do with each other took their own lives by leaping in front of the same train.

At around noon on 11 August, an express train struck and killed the men after they jumped into its path about 20 meters apart.

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Sparkles! Hearts!! Personal loans? Okinawan bank’s approach to advertising is a little different

With the greater acceptance among adults that animation has in Japan, it’s not unusual to see anime characters pop up in advertisements and other endorsements. Usually, though, there’s at least some sort of connection linking the message and the characters, though, either in tone, back story, or demographic appeal.

For instance, convenience stores get a lot of young customers who’d rather be spending their time watching anime than cooking, so a tie-up with Attack on Titan makes sense. Likewise, hanging in my local train station is a public safety poster from the Kanagawa Prefectural Police asking citizens to be on the lookout and report crimes, which also feature the giant law enforcement robot from Patlabor.

So the fact that two anime-style magical girls have been created for a series of TV ads isn’t so surprising. What is weird, though, is the product they’re pushing: bank loans.

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Console wars get real with new transformers figures

Toymaker Takara Tomy took the previous console rivalry of Sega Genesis (known as Mega Drive in Japan) and Sony‘s PlayStation One and literally transformed it. The seemingly run-of-the-mill replicas are actually Transformers. The PSOne turns into the Autobot’s leader Optimus Prime while the Genesis turns into the Decepticon’s Megatron. Both figures were on display at earlier this month at the Summer Hobby Maker Joint Products Exhibition.

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Hi, perverts! If you’re one of those people that’s been on the lookout for a hyper-realistic sex doll to call your own, then look no further – Japanese company Oriental Industry, which specializes in life-size silicon sex dolls, has you covered.

The dolls, which are somewhat racistly/sexistly called “Dutch Wives” in Japan are apparently so realistic, Japanese media is convinced that if you buy one you’ll never need a real girlfriend again.

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Pics of Pikachu packs from a day of Pokémon hunting in Yokohama【Video】

A few weeks ago, the handlers of the Pokémon franchise announced the Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu, or “An Outbreak of Pikachus” event. First they brightened our day with a TV ad showing the adorable Pocket Monsters hanging out in a shopping mall. Then they teased us with a photo of the electrified rodents landing on the dock.

And now, they’re here!

We grabbed our cameras and went Pikachu hunting in Yokohama, and we were not disappointed. We were, though, almost completely paralyzed by the awesome overdose of cuteness that comes from a parade of a pack of 20 Pikachus.

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Table tennis greats serve up incredible 41-shot rally at Commonwealth Games

The 2014 Commonwealth Games were held in Glasgow from July 23 to August 3 with 71 nations competing in 18 different sports, table tennis among them. If you’ve never watched table tennis before, then you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s not particularly exciting. Think again.

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Speak like a samurai with these four antiquated words

The age of the samurai makes one of the best thematic settings for any Japanese movie or TV show. There are so many great historical figures to profile, and even more fictional characters to imagine ourselves as! We might have the look, but how did they talk? What words did they use?

The Japanese language has a word for this “samurai language” called monofu-go. An accidental de gozaru (samurai for “to be”) and a parting katajikenai (samurai for “grateful” or “indebted”) is only the beginning of being “old school” cool. Well fear not, RocketNews24 brings you level two! Here are four more phrases and words that were used back in the day that will help you expand your monofu-go vocabulary!

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Japanese cucumber glows in the dark, sparks concern from internet

One netizen in Japan created quite a pickle recently, after posting these photos online in an internet chat forum. The accompanying thread, titled “the pickled cucumbers my mum made are glowing in the dark”, caught the attention of hundreds of users, who began discussing possible causes for the mysterious luminescence. Speculation ranged from light-hearted banter, questioning whether the dawn of cognitive vegetables had finally arrived, to more serious concerns about radiation. What do you think caused the unique phenomenon?

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South Korean military under fire after severe hazing leaves private dead

More details have emerged of the abuse suffered by a private in the South Korean Army who died after intense physical bullying from fellow soldiers, and photos of his body reveal it to be black and blue with bruises. The incident has sparked outrage and concern for other young soldiers who may be suffering hazing or other problems during their intense mandatory two-year conscription.

Warning: This post contains graphic imagery and descriptions of violence.

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The Great Obon Disaster: A fable of cicadas, dancing, and cats

Obon is a great time to be in Japan–the summer festivals fill the country with nights of folk music, stall food, and, of course, dancing. While the cops may not approve of you tearing it up in a club, surely no one could complain about the traditional circle dances of Obon.

But it turns out there’s a critic for everything!

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Pencils, watermelons, and talks with anime legends – All part of the hiring process at Ghibli

They do things a little differently at Studio Ghibli. Given the feast or famine realities of life in the anime industry, many production houses take on as many projects as they can, but part of the philosophy behind Ghibli’s founding was that if the staff felt like making something, they would, and if they didn’t, they wouldn’t. That’s not to say Ghibli’s animators don’t give maximum effort though, which the higher-ups recognize and reward with weekly massages on Saturdays.

Ghibli’s uniqueness isn’t limited to its artistic ideologies and rub-down policies, though. Its interview process for new animators is pretty unorthodox, too, with applicants being asked to complete such tasks as sharpening pencils and slicing up watermelons.

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Fighting like cats and dogs? Not these cute little guys! 【Photos】

Sometimes just keeping up with the news makes you despair for humanity. Between all the war, racially motivated killings, ethnic strife, and general meanness, you have to wonder if we will ever be able to get along.

It’s been one of those days and I needed a pick-me-up, so here is a collection of photos of dogs and cats getting along. Because if they can manage to overcome their differences, maybe we can too.

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