Rare Rodin sculpture with articulated joints discovered, should be called ‘The Mover’

It may be one of the most famous statues in the world, but that doesn’t mean ‘The Thinker’ is unique. There are actually around 28 versions of Rodin’s masterpiece bronze sculpture, and those are just the ones we know about.

That list of Thinkers is about to get a little bit longer, as a research team in Japan has just unearthed a fully flexible, articulated version of ‘The Thinker’. Coming in at less than a tenth of the size of Rodin’s original(s), this incredible bendable figure is only 15.5cm tall!

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Osaka man wipes away millions in owed taxes by deducting losing horse race tickets

It’s often said that nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes, but for one Osaka resident, that maxim was little more than an old wives’ tale.

One day, the taxman came calling to the tune of 816 million yen (US$7.7M) over years of unreported winning horse race bets. However, in a game where the house always wins, this guy managed to flip the script and knock down the money owed to a relatively modest 67 million yen ($635,000).

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Ultra-premium green tea pudding costs more than a steak, is probably worth it

One of the first English lessons I taught in Japan was about how to use words like “everywhere” and “nothing.” As part of the class, the students had to practice making sentences with “everyone,” and one woman stood up and gave hers, which was “Everyone likes pudding.”

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a truer statement. Pudding is universally popular. Even the very wealthy love it, which is why one company in Japan is now selling matcha green tea pudding made from such high-quality ingredients that it costs more than most meals that could precede the tasty dessert.

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Rain? No Problem! Not even impending typhoon can keep away fans of J-POP singer Nicholas Edwards

This past Monday was a holiday in Japan, Sports Day to be specific, which meant many of us had a three-day weekend. Unfortunately, it was also the second weekend in a row that Japan was hit by a huge typhoon, causing torrential rain, flooding and disrupted air and land transportation throughout large parts of the country. And while the Tokyo area was by no means the worst affected part of Japan, we still had huge amounts of rain and our share of canceled flights as the typhoon made its way across Japan.

So, Monday, October 13 really wasn’t ideal timing for a certain J-POP singer to be giving a live mini concert outdoors. Well, the singer scheduled to perform that day just happened to be Nicholas Edwards, the American singer who moved to Japan from Oregon, whom we introduced on our site last year. Apparently, his fans were in no way deterred by the approaching typhoon — they weren’t about to miss a chance to see him perform up-close. And we wanted to share with you just how loyal Japanese fans can be!

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Louvre masterpieces heading for Japan for first time in six years

Every year, a small number of Japanese tourists in Paris are struck by an extreme form of culture shock. This psychological distress, caused by the gap between the idealised, romantic image of the French capital, and the reality of the noisy, dirty city, is known as “Paris Syndrome”, and at one point, the Japanese embassy was even running a 24-hour hotline for distressed citizens requiring assistance.

Next year, however, Paris comes to Tokyo, as some of the finest masterpieces of the Louvre museum are to be shown at the National Art Center, Tokyo. The exhibition is entitled ‘Louvre Museum: Genre Painting – Scenes from Daily Life’, and will be the first Louvre exhibition in Japan for six years.

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Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked

In many cases, less is more, and that rule perhaps now applies to tattoos too. Minimalistic designs seem to be all the rage among young Koreans, and their passion for simple beauty extends to the permanent art they ink themselves with. Heavily shaded dragons and skulls are so passé, youngsters these days are getting themselves miniature tattoos that are simple and chic, and probably won’t cost a bomb to laser away if they decide they don’t want it anymore. Seoul-based tattoo artist Seoeon, in particular, seems to be gaining some popularity with her neat “line tattoos”. Check them out after the break!

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Kiso Town: Stuck between a volcano and a hard place

A few weeks after the sudden and tragic eruption of Mt. Ontake, search-and-rescue teams have gradually become simply “search teams” and many families still await increasingly certain bad news.

Beyond loved ones, disasters like this often have a reverberating effect which reaches far out to places we don’t often see. One such place is Kiso, a highland town located roughly 10km away from Mt. Ontake which suffered no adverse effect to business or life during the eruption.

As a town which relies on tourism, the people of Kiso would like to tell you that their town is perfectly safe and just as beautiful as ever. But with so many still mourning the loss of life at Mt. Ontake, every time the people of Kiso try to make it plain that they’re open for business, people call them “despicable” and “heartless.”

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Seven fantastic furikake flake flavors to liven up your bowl of white rice

In Japan, almost every traditional meal is served with white rice. Sometimes, though, even Japanese diners find themselves craving something a little more flavorful, and when they do, they reach for a container of furikake (lit. “sprinkle over”) flakes to liven up their rice.

Dried fish like salmon or bonito are the most common kinds of furikake, but just like every region of Japan has its own special Kit-Kats, different parts of the country also have their own unique furikake, and today we’re taking a look at seven of the most tempting.

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Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls

Back when Japan was still at the mercy of the midsummer heat, a group of…creative anime fans tried to cool off with bowls of shaved ice. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be so weird, except that they set up their strawberry syrup dispenser to look like their treats were being flavored by an anime girl’s menstrual flow. (Yeah, gross.)

But hey, what’s the alternative to anime fans getting excited over 2-D characters having their periods? Anime fans getting excited about 2-D characters not having periods! Otaku around Japan have been sharing retouched pics of animation stars showing off pregnancy test results, and the trend isn’t limited to anime’s ladies.

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Five manga characters join Japan’s national baseball team for PR campaign

The Baseball Federation of Japan recently recruited five manga characters to the “Samurai Japan” national team roster—Takao Taniguchi from Captain, Tatsuya Uesugi from Touch, Gorō Shigeno from Major, Ren Mihashi from Big Windup!, and Eijun Sawamura from Ace of Diamond.

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Return to the golden age of arcade gaming at the Japan Game Museum

Located in the countryside of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture is a one-of-a-kind museum that houses an enormous collection of old-school video game cabinets and mechanical arcade games, not to mention what is purported to be the world’s leading pinball machine collection.

But the best thing about this museum is that you don’t have to just look at the arcade exhibits; you can also actually play them! And what’s more, the only price you’ll pay is the entry ticket, meaning you can enjoy all the machines to your heart’s content without having to carry a giant bag of change.

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Mermaids: The one time Japan passes on cute for straight-up terrifying

Some days, it seems like everything’s cuter in Japan. After all, this is the country where some construction crews feel if they have to shut down part of the street, the best barricades are the ones shaped like a procession of purple and pink kimono-wearing princesses.

There’s an exception to this rule, though, and it’s mermaids. In the West, they’re portrayed as enchanting beauties of the deep. In Japan, though, they were traditionally treated like yokai, ghostly monsters, as this collection of Japanese mermaid paintings has a few that would be better stars for horror movies than kid-friendly animated musicals.

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The 10 best anime of the fall season, according to Japanese otaku

Just like it does every year, autumn brings red leaves, cooler temperatures, and a new season of TV shows to Japan. This is especially good news if you’re an anime fan, as tons of new series have debuted in the last few weeks.

As a matter of fact, this might be too much of a good thing, as there’s so much new anime available that it’s hard to find time to sample all of it. So if you don’t know where to start, you might want to consult a list of the hottest currently airing shows, made by the people who love the medium best: Japanese otaku.

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Why does Engrish happen in Japan?

Over the years, Japan has earned a reputation for its awkward command of English, with results ranging from the perplexing to downright hilarious. The country’s translation screw-ups are so common that they’ve even earned their own collective name, “Engrish.”

But for all the sites that poke fun at Engrish, it’s almost impossible to find one that talks about why it happens. So today we’re offering a bit of explanation along with the laughs, as we look at a sign in Japan that informs English-reading passersby that “Today is under construction.”

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Cosplay as you cook with new Sailor Moon aprons!

If you’re a woman in her late twenties in Japan, chances are you grew up obsessed with Naoko Takeuchi’s “Magical Girl” manga series Sailor Moon and its accompanying anime. Given Japan’s love of natsukashii (nostalgic) cuteness, it’s really not that shocking that there’s now a thriving market out there for adult-appropriate Sailor Senshi outfits and accessories – we’ve even recently seen a trend for grown women wearing Sailor Moon undies. Not content with mere ribbon-bedecked panties? Well, now you can replace your dingy old curry-stained cooking apron with a stylish and colorful Sailor Moon version! In the name of the Moon… let’s get cooking!

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Me-ow! Cat-inspired lingerie for feline lovers

Starting on October 14, the online shop Felissimo’s Nekobu (cat club) began selling “flufeel” lingerie designed to let the wearer essentially cosplay under their clothes every day, with friends and coworkers none the wiser.

The “luxurious” set has a bra designed to look like a pair of cat ears, and panties which come with… a detachable tail!?

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Chinese politician says kung fu movies show why umbrella protesters must be stopped

A lawmaker in Hong Kong who supports the Chinese government reportedly cited Kung Fu movies as a justification for the violent crackdown on the protesters who have become known as the “Umbrella Revolution.”

According to the South China Morning Post, the politician, Leung Che-cheung, told his colleagues on the Hong Kong Legislative Council the umbrellas protesters have been using to block tear gas could be used as an “aggressive weapon” and necessitated a violent response by police officers. To prove his point, Leung cited martial arts movies.

“It is basic common sense that an umbrella can be an aggressive weapon, but many lawmakers are just completely ignorant about history,” Leung said.

Hong Kong police have been battling the anti-government protesters since last month with tear gas, pepper spray, and alleged beatings.

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Anime and real-world basketball collide with Nike’s Slam Dunk Air Jordans

While most popular sports anime are about baseball or soccer, creator Takehiko Inoue’s basketball story Slam Dunk is one of the most popular series of all time. Beginning as a manga in 1990 before making the leap to animation in 1993, Slam Dunk played a huge role in boosting basketball’s popularity in Japan.

Slam Dunk’s print and TV run also coincided with four of NBA legend Michael Jordan’s professional championships. Now, the two icons are teaming up with Nike to bring sneaker fans Slam Dunk Air Jordans.

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Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire demos are coming! Here’s how to get your hands on them!

One month before the commercial release of ‘Omega Ruby’ and ‘Alpha Sapphire’, The Pokémon Company has announced demo versions – available next week!

To get your hands on that demo, you’ll need a special code – and depending on where you live, your options for getting hold of one are a little different. Join us after the jump to find out more!

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Want your own Attack on Titan 3-D maneuver gear? You can order a life-size replica now!

Last January, fans got hit with a mix of awe and envy at an Attack on Titan event in Osaka where the heroes’ 3-D maneuver gear was on display. Looking over the intricate harness and paired swords, it was hard not to find yourself wanting a set of your very own.

Soon enough, that anime daydream can come true, as preorders have now started for life-size replicas of Attack on Titan’s iconic giant-killing battlefield technology.

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