Misprinted 1-yen coin sells for US$27,500 at auction

I kid you not, dear reader, someone in Japan just paid tens of thousands of dollars for a single one-yen coin–a tiny disc of aluminium whose ordinary street value is just US$0.009.

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Five uninhabited Japanese islands you can buy right now

While living in Tokyo, or any of Japan’s big cities, it’s hard not to want to get away from the crowds every once and a while. Of course the countryside offers a considerable amount of extra breathing room, but we know you’ve no doubt day dreamed of being alone on your own private island as you were sandwiched between two sweaty salarymen on the rush hour train. For those unable to tolerate the constant congregation of city-dwellers, this list is for you. Take a look at five uninhabited islands for sale right now in Japan and start to plan your life of solitude.

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Aged vending machine in Tokyo appears to sell stag beetles

Japan is famous for “crazy” vending machines that are fabled to encase bizarre products and inappropriate wares. But for the most part, Japanese vending machines just spit out cans of cold or hot beverages, and sometimes soup. But this particular one found on a rarely traveled road in Tokyo could be a first as it seems to contain a giant beetle for sale.

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Things to put on your resume: college attended, previous work experience, favorite pop idol

Job hunting is a concentrated, intense process in Japan. In general, major companies all do their recruiting during the same, single stretch of the year, which runs through winter and early spring. Most college students try to line up a job roughly a year before graduation, and those who fail to have a doubly difficult road ahead, as not only will they have to wait a year to try again, being a year or more older than other candidates is considered a black mark against an individual.

With so much pressure on them, job hunters should be happy to learn of what may be a new secret weapon they can implement in trying to land their dream job: make it completely clear that they love idol singers.

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Free ninja robots mini-games for PlayStation 4 Camera coming later today 【Update: Now live】

As cute and fun as it is, there is not as yet a tremendous amount to do the PlayStation Camera, the motion-sensing add-on device for PlayStation 4. Every one of Sony’s new consoles comes with a copy of The Playroom, a collection of augmented reality (AR) games which, with a camera plugged in, combine real-time footage of players in their living rooms with computer-generated images to give the impression of sharing the same space. But once you’ve vacuumed up robots with your controller and played a few rounds of AR air hockey with a pal, you’ve seen most of what’s on offer.

Thankfully, Sony has just announced some additional content for The Playroom in the form of NINJA BOTS, which will be available later today and completely free. And it actually looks kind of fun.

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Ultraman pub lets you get ultra-full and ultra-drunk while having ultra fun

Among the many Japanese tales of heroes of justice battling giant monsters, Ultraman may just be the most popular. Since its television debut in 1966, hardly a year has gone by without a new Ultraman TV series or motion picture.

The franchise’s longevity means that many long-time fans who started watching when they were young kids are now full-grown adults. On the one hand, growing up means more responsibility, but it also means more freedom, including the freedom to knock back a few cold beers at a new dining and drinking establishment where Ultraman’s monstrous foes take center stage.

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Kitty takes a bath without realizing it 【Photos & Video】

I’m not even a cat person, but all of the lovable feline photos and videos on the internet are making a pretty convincing case for cat superiority, at least when it comes to cuteness. But sometimes those little fluff balls are so busy being adorable that they don’t see the big picture. Like this little cutie who doesn’t even realize he’s in water…

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Kuroko’s Basketball threat suspect admits to charges in court

Hirofumi Watanabe cites jealousy as motive & vows to kill himself when released

Hirofumi Watanabe, the suspect in the Kuroko’s Basketball threat letter case, admitted to all the charges in his first day in court on Thursday. He added that he will accept the court’s judgment and any punishment without appeal.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested the 36-year-old Osaka temporary worker on December 15 and accused him of sending threatening letters to convenience store chains and other establishments linked to Tadatoshi Fujimaki‘s Kuroko’s Basketball manga.

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Hot and sweet — these new Kit Kats are ready to be baked!

Many of our readers may be aware that Japanese consumers are quite fond of unique and creative Kit Kat products and flavors. But now, Nestle Japan has come out with what could be described as not just a new flavor but a new “species” of Kit Kat. And why are we calling it a new species? Well, it’s because you’ll need to do just a little bit of cooking to fully enjoy these Kit Kats. Yes, Nestle Japan’s newest Kit Kat offering, the “Bake ‘N Tasty Mini Kit Kats Custard Pudding Flavor” (Kit Kat Mini Yaite Oishi Purin Aji) is a Kit Kat that you heat in a toaster oven before eating! After hearing that, the only question we had was, of course, “How soon can we get our hands on some of these?”

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China’s polluted rivers can be surprisingly pretty, but might turn you into a mutant

It’s well-known that China’s struggling with some serious air pollution, but perhaps less talked about is the toll being taken on their rivers. According to a recent survey conducted by Chinese media, 96% of respondents felt that not a single river around them was clean enough to swim in. And judging from these photos, anyone who did decide to risk a dive would probably come out looking worse than the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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New high-res photos simulate aerial tour of Tokyo (helicopter noises included!)

It’s hard to get an idea of how truly massive Tokyo is without seeing it from the sky. Unfortunately, most international flights come into Narita Airport, which is over an hour away from downtown, and we haven’t quite been able to convince our bosses that RocketNews24 really needs a company helicopter.

Thankfully, the newly upgraded Yahoo! Maps lets us take an aerial tour of the city even while we’ve still got both feet firmly on the ground.

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Japan’s top 20 flowery names for baby girls: love, hearts, and dreams

In many English-speaking countries, it’s common to name children after a parent or relative. My dad, oldest brother, and nephew all share the same first name, for example, which provides a link through the generations, plus makes it easy for my mom to simultaneously call them for dinner.

This isn’t really done in Japan, though, and not being tethered to the past means that baby name trends can gather or lose momentum quickly. Recently, Japan is seeing more and more kirakira names. Kirakira literally means “sparkly,” and usually either the combination of kanji characters used to write the name, or the pronunciation itself, is flowery and unique.

But as a list of the top 20 for girls shows, kirakira names aren’t always just flashy, sometimes they’re downright sweet.

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Yahoo! Japan donates 5x projected amount to Tohoku after unexpected number of people participate

In tribute of the third anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake on 11 March, Yahoo! Japan held a charity drive pledging 10 yen (US$0.10) for every person who entered “3.11” into their search engine.

Relying on the data that Japan’s most used search engine was privy to, they hypothesized that a maximum of 5 million yen ($48,000) from 500,000 unique IP addresses would be generated and set a limit at that amount. Boy, were they wrong.

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Fare-dodging Chinese bus passenger balances karma by repaying years of delinquent fare

In one of the few instances we can think of in which crime actually does pay, a Chinese bus passenger who spent years “ride-and-dashing” to dodge paying the fare repaid her karmic debt by depositing a total of 800RMB (approx. US$130) into the till boxes of two local buses.

Drivers of both buses apparently tried to reject her offering and have her pay the standard 2RMB fare (US$0.30), but the woman reportedly insisted, telling at least one of the drivers, “You’ve always been kind to your passengers. This is to repay the fare I’ve been skipping out on until now.”

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21 breathtaking photos of Asia

We here at RocketNews24 know there’s a lot to love about Asia. With unique traditions, fascinating people and awe-inspiring landscapes, there’s a certain atmosphere and sense of beauty that has us hooked.

While it’s not always easy to translate the magic onto film, one photographer from Thailand is leading the way with an amazing collection of stunning photos and an open invitation for others to join him on his photo travels across the Asian continent. From Myanmar’s mist-shrouded temples to the quiet rivers of China and India, these photos will simply take your breath away.

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Anger as kids share photos of themselves “praying” for victims of Tohoku earthquake and tsunami

As you’re probably already aware, Tuesday this week marked the third anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, a day on which tens of thousands of people lost their lives and many more were displaced, never able to return to their homes. At 14:46 local time, the exact moment the quake struck three years ago, people across the country stopped to take part in nationwide silent prayer, or mokutou in Japanese.

Teens across the land also took a moment to pay their respects that day, although the actions of a few were perhaps a little misguided. Soon after the moment of silence, photos emerged online showing kids “praying” inside purikura sticker photo booths, which were quickly shared and “favourited”.

Netizens reacted angrily to the images, calling them disrespectful and deploring how the smartphone generation feels the need to broadcast almost everything they do.

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3D KFC: Using a 3D printer to copy fried chicken for fun and fashion

While 3D printing techniques have been around for 30 years, it’s only recently that technology has advanced to the point where the process is economically feasible. The ability to quickly and accurately duplicate three dimensional objects is set to revolutionize the engineering and medical fields, leading to easier creation of both prototypes and production versions of precision components and prosthetics.

But in mankind’s heady rush into this exciting new field, many have overlooked a potentially life-altering application of 3D printing: reproducing Kentucky Fried Chicken.

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【TBT】Badass full metal rubber band guns: We visit factory for some shooting practice

Give a young boy a rubber band and chances are he’ll try and find a way to fling it across the room. The more ingenious of them will use resources like clothespins, popsicle sticks or Legos to craft a rubber band gun (here in Japan, many of us use disposable chopsticks). And, when they’ve grown up and gained access to all the big-kid toys, some of them will make an arsenal of semi automatic rubber band firearms from aluminum and stainless steel.

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OUCH! Here’s why you should never kiss a snapping turtle, in case you didn’t know already【Photos】

There’s always someone who’s having a worse day than you. Like this poor Fujian man. When he ended up with a snapping turtle dangling from his top lip, his friends couldn’t resist putting the pictures online for the world to see.

The man certainly got more than he bargained for when he posed for these photos kissing a snapping turtle in China. The turtle latched its powerful jaws onto his lip, refusing to let go. Photos of the pair’s special moment were uploaded to Chinese microblogging site Weibo, and now even include updated “after” shots showing the poor man’s injuries.

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Woman has plastic surgery to evade police, arouses suspicion with new appearance, gets arrested

Some people will always end up regretting having plastic surgery, but perhaps none more so than this woman, whose cosmetic surgery ended up getting her arrested. The fugitive tried to evade Chinese police by having her face remodelled – but the plan backfired when her new appearance aroused suspicion at airport security, and she was taken into custody.

The 21-year-old, who has been wanted on charges of blackmail since 2012, was arrested at Xi’an Xianyang International Airport at the end of February. Airport officials said they first became suspicious because the woman did not look like the photo ID she was using as she made the journey to visit her alleged accomplice in custody.

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