Snake being pickled to create healing liquor awakens after 3 months and bites woman

Snake being pickled to create healing liquor awakens after 3 months and bites woman

Shejiu is a traditional type of liquor that is made by pickling a venomous snake in a bottle of alcohol such as baijiu. The venom of the snake is neutralized by the liquor and, thanks to the essences of the serpent, is said to have energizing and healing properties.

It is widely drunk in various parts of Asia to treat problems or maintain health, but for one unlucky woman in one of China’s most northeastern cities, brewing the drink ended in a trip to the hospital when the snake awoke after three months and attacked.

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Saga Prefecture broadcasts its appeal by dancing to AKB48 【Video】

Saga Prefecture broadcasts its appeal by dancing to AKB48 【Video】

Saga Prefecture lies in the northwest corner of Japan’s island of Kyushu. This past week, in an unusual attempt at self-promotion, the Saga Prefectural Office uploaded a video of hundreds of workers from its various divisions happily dancing to the new AKB48 single, Koi Suru Fortune Cookie (Love Fortune Cookie). With more than 480,000 views on YouTube so far, the up-beat video certainly beats a boring old poster campaign!

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The amazing disaster relief equipment of Japan’s Self Defense Force

The amazing disaster relief equipment of Japan’s Self Defense Force

Although Japan hasn’t had a full-fledged military since the end of World War II, the nation does maintain a strong self-defense force. Part of the organization’s duties is providing relief to disaster victims, whether that means meals for the hungry or simply a place for refugees to bathe. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) recently gave the public a peek at some of the clever gear it uses to accomplish this mission. And it is awesome.

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Need a little help with your bags or the housework? Rent a middle-aged man for $10 an hour!

Need a little help with your bags or the housework? Rent a middle-aged man for $10 an hour!

Japan is well known for its vast array of escort services that cater to every societal niche. You can find flashy girls and guys at hostess bars and host clubs who pose as your conversation and drinking partners for however long your money lasts. Butler and maid cafes have also found a market with the slightly less seedy (but no less obsessed) crowd who are willing to pay money to be served tea by snappily dressed attendants as they chat you up.

But what about the people that aren’t interested in the overly fashionable, intimidating bar workers? What if you don’t want some cute maid young enough to be your daughter, or a stoic butler the same age as your little brother at your beck and call?

Japan has got just the thing for you! Introducing rent-able middle-aged dudes!

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We’re not in Kentucky anymore – KFC Japan offering chicken-flavored rice balls

We’re not in Kentucky anymore – KFC Japan offering chicken-flavored rice balls

Recently, the American expat staff here at RocketNews24 felt a twinge of shame when we heard that KFC’s Japanese division had leapfrogged its US counterpart by developing fried corn soup. The embarrassment we felt at being beaten in fried food innovation, something we’d always assumed America did better than anywhere else, was quickly replaced by simple joy when we tried some for ourselves and found out just how good it is.

Now, KFC Japan is showing they can do Japanese standards too, with their new chicken-flavored rice balls.

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Sky cycling: The newest way to relieve constipation

Sky cycling: The newest way to relieve constipation

Japan loves amusement parks. And who can blame anyone for that? The rides, the food, the long lines of screaming children. Okay, nothing’s perfect, but amusement parks certainly are a great way to spend the weekend, right? And the best part, of course, is the rides!

But not all rides are created equal. Just look at this photo of the “Sky Cycle” ride at Washuzan Highland, a Brazilian-themed amusement park in Okayama Prefecture. Doesn’t really seem very thrilling, does it? But wait…

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Japanese coffee brand announces the winner of its Yukiko-tan mascot competition!

Japanese coffee brand announces the winner of its Yukiko-tan mascot competition!

Regular readers and those familiar with Japan’s much-loved Yuki Jirushi brand of coffee will no doubt be aware of a contest to find a new mascot character for the drink that began back in April. After receiving hundreds of entries, the work was then whittled down to six potential designs, which were in turn put to a public vote for best character between July and August. To spice things up a little, some very cute girls in the cosplay/idol group Steam Girls also dressed up as the six finalists’ designs in a promotional event that caused quite a stir.

Looking at the effort involved and level of detail in each of the six designs, we here at RocketNews24 knew that choosing an overall winner would be tricky. We’ve been counting the days for the results to be announced, and today we’re thrilled to give you the full lowdown! Come and meet the Yukiko-tan crew!

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“Study Cube” combines prison cell and latrine… for kids!

“Study Cube” combines prison cell and latrine… for kids!

Everyone hated studying when they were kids. Hell, everyone hated studying in college. That’s why you sat up on the top floor of the dorm with both a textbook and a beer open and somehow convinced yourself that studying drunk was totally cool as long as you were also drunk while taking the test.

But now a South Korean company has made it possible for kids and college students alike to get some hardcore studying done by creating a study prison that you may also be able to poop in because it totally looks like an old-timey latrine.

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Japan loves the new iPhone5C case! Now they can grate radishes anytime, anywhere

Japan loves the new iPhone5C case! Now they can grate radishes anytime, anywhere

With the unveiling of the next iteration of iPhones, the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C a lot has been said about the iPhone 5C’s official protective case. I won’t bore you with all the details, but the words “aesthetic train wreck” tend to get bandied about.

People in Japan, however, get it very much. They see the brilliant functionality that helps them with a daily chore which an app could never fulfill. It helps them garnish their dishes with grated daikon, for instance…

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Sony explains decision to delay PlayStation 4 in its homeland, Japanese gamers not happy

Sony explains decision to delay PlayStation 4 in its homeland, Japanese gamers not happy

It’s been two days since Sony delivered the shocking news that its newest console, PlayStation 4, won’t be launching in Japan until February 2014, despite the fact that it will go on sale in America, Europe and Australia this November. Now that the dust has settled and Sony has had chance to make some further clarifying statements via press releases and on its PlayStation Blog, Japan’s gamers have a much better idea of what to expect when the console eventually rolls out in its homeland.

Sony’s main reason for delaying the highly anticipated console, it maintains, is in order to provide a stronger software lineup when it eventually launches. Comments from Japanese gamers, however, suggest that they are neither convinced that this is the real reason for the delay, nor especially happy about being sent to the back of the queue.

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Japanese pro boxer condemns the law for classifying him as a dangerous weapon

Japanese pro boxer condemns the law for classifying him as a dangerous weapon

On September 9, Hozumi Hasegawa, a second-division professional boxer competing successfully at a world level, made a very angry post to his blog condemning the nation’s laws for preventing him from raising his hand against anyone outside of work, regardless of the circumstances.

We’ve probably all heard the story in unspecific terms: rumor states that a trained fighter must register his own fists as lethal weapons. It would then stand to reason that any scuffle involving that person would put him on the receiving end of severe charges for battery and assault with a dangerous weapon. Could it be that all the hearsay is actually true?!

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TV staffer makes hilarious walk-on appearance during live news segment

TV staffer makes hilarious walk-on appearance during live news segment

There’s nothing quite like a good live TV slip-up, be it a weatherman sneakily playing an online video game in the background or a pair of monkeys at the zoo getting down to a little R-rated action despite the presenter’s best attempts to hide it. And this one, which took place on Japan’s national public broadcasting network, is an absolute a doozie.

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It begins! First Tokyo iPhone5S buyer lines up for phone 10 days before it goes on sale

It begins! First Tokyo iPhone5S buyer lines up for phone 10 days before it goes on sale

It’s become an annual ritual. Every year, Apple releases a modified version of a product already available and people begin to migrate towards the glowing white apple in their cities to congregate and await its glorious arrival.

This year, however, one Japanese iPhone5S user-to-be may have jumped the gun on his pilgrimage to the Apple store in Ginza, Tokyo. Arriving 10 days before its release, he sits patiently waiting for it to come.

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Canadian Micaela Braithwaite sworn in as new Kawaii Ward Mayor

Canadian Micaela Braithwaite sworn in as new Kawaii Ward Mayor

Fukuoka City’s virtual administrative district Kawaii Ward welcomed its newest mayor yesterday, Canadian Fukuoka resident Micaela Braithwaite. Braithwaite will be the second mayor of the “cute district” following former AKB48 member Mariko Shinoda who left the post earlier this year.

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Chow time, bachelors! Nissin now offering microwavable curry rice in a cup

Chow time, bachelors! Nissin now offering microwavable curry rice in a cup

My first time apartment hunting in Japan didn’t go so well. I ended up in a bunker so cramped that the only fridge I could fit inside could hold a carton of milk, a carton of orange juice, a tube of wasabi, and honestly not a whole lot more. By necessity, I subsisted on a cornucopia of non-perishables, often microwavable rice, topped with the contents of a pouch of instant curry from the convenience store down the street. It wasn’t gourmet, but it was a hot meal I could prepare in about the time it took to take off my suit and hang it up nicely.

But as simple as that was to make, Nissin Foods now has something even easier: instant curry and rice all in the same container.

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Crossover coming between Tetris and beloved Sega puzzle series Puyo Puyo?

Crossover coming between Tetris and beloved Sega puzzle series Puyo Puyo?

Every now and again, a video game comes along that’s such a big hit that it creates its own, oftentimes oddly specific, genre. Super Mario Bros. begat a plethora of titles where characters run from left to right and jump on platforms. Street Fighter created a wave of games in which martial artists always settle their battles in best two out of three fashion, even if many of them are supposedly fighting to the death. And from Tetris, the category of “arranging things as they fall from the sky” was born.

Most of the puzzle games attempting to cash in on Tetris’ success, such as Columns, Dr. Mario, and Baku Baku Animal, didn’t make anywhere near as much of a splash. The lone exception is Puyo Puyo, originally from developer Compile. Puyo Puyo has been going strong for over 20 years, and its current caretaker, Sega, has plans to kick things up another notch, according to some cryptic messages from the franchise’s official Twitter account.

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Unique plates to entertain your guests, hide your culinary fails

Unique plates to entertain your guests, hide your culinary fails

If you’re like me, cooking is less an art form and more a begrudging chore that you participate in purely out the need not to starve. Which is my clever way of saying that I am the exact opposite of “good at cooking.” But let’s be honest, normally it isn’t a big deal–that’s what 7-11 is for! But maybe you have a special someone coming over and you’d like to impress him or her with your hospitality. You might be tempted to order take-out, but nothing’s quite as impressive as a home-cooked meal, right?

So what’s a kitchen dunce to do? Just keep ‘em dazzled and distracted with these unique and arty plates!

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Set fire to the presses! Japan impressed by Canadian cosplay shop’s smoking dragon hoodie!

Set fire to the presses! Japan impressed by Canadian cosplay shop’s smoking dragon hoodie!

Ever felt like you just really needed to be a dragon for a day or two? Maybe wish you could look the part when on a rampage at the office or in your school quad? Calgary Cosplay is here to help with their newly-released dragon suit specially designed to make your dreams a reality!

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First ever taxis installed with lost property detectors to go into operation this year

First ever taxis installed with lost property detectors to go into operation this year

How many times have you come home in a taxi after a great night out, only to later realise that you’ve left your phone, bag or wallet in there when you jumped out? When you’re running low on fumes, or perhaps a leaking a few of your own after a heavy drinking session, checking for forgotten items is usually the last thing on your mind, but it can really put a dampener on an evening when we realise we’re missing something valuable.

Thankfully, help is at hand! Japan’s Kokusai Motors announced on September 9 that it is currently researching and developing a lost property detector system for use inside taxis as part of a joint venture with IDEA CROSS INC. The system is scheduled to enter trial stages this month and is expected to go into widespread use sometime this year.

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Japan’s shopkeepers get tough with petty thieves, threaten death, man-on-man action

Japan’s shopkeepers get tough with petty thieves, threaten death, man-on-man action

Be it a show of bravado, the result of peer pressure, or a misguided act of teenage rebellion, shoplifting – or manbiki as it is known – is a crime that thousands of kids across Japan commit each year. Most, no sooner have they pocketed some trinket or other, regret their actions immediately and are terrified to return to the scene of the crime lest they be apprehended by the store owner or a SWAT team lying in wait. A few, though, make a habit of stealing little odds and ends from stores, and before long it becomes a serious problem.

Rest assured, though, that Japan’s shopkeepers are on the lookout for sticky-fingered school kids, and are giving them fair warning of the terrible things that will happen should they be caught pilfering, with promises to hunt down, and in some cases physically violate, petty thieves.

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