New music video by LADYBABY here to rock your world (in more ways than one) 【Video】

Few could have imagined that a bearded man dressed in a girl’s school uniform would prove to be big a hit. Even fewer perhaps would have guessed that putting said individual in a J-pop group alongside a couple of Japanese teens would be something people would actually want to watch, but watch they do, and LADYBABY is currently taking Japan by storm.

In the music video for their first upcoming single release, “Tokyo Manju”, Japan’s most curious trio takes to the streets of Tokyo to show you all the wonderful things we love about Japanese culture.

When Gackt said the Cool Japan campaign needed a revamp, I don’t think this is quite what he had in mind…

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Goku’s new adventures begin! Dragon Ball Super begins airing amidst huge anticipation from fans

Back in April, we brought to you the news that an all new Dragon Ball anime series was going to start airing on TV in July. Well, the day Dragon Ball fans have eagerly been waiting for finally arrived.

The very first episode of the new series, titled Dragon Ball Super, was broadcast last Sunday, and of course, we checked it out to witness the start of Goku’s new adventures. Dragon Ball fans, get ready for a brand new chapter in the timeless saga that has become a manga and anime classic around the world!

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10 Japanese words you know now that irritate some Japanese businessmen (because they’re English)

One day in college, my business operations management professor was talking about Japanese automaker Toyota, and about the huge impact of its production processes and corporate culture on the business world. “Toyota owes much of its success to its kaizen system,” he told us, and while I largely agreed with what he was saying, I didn’t really agree with how he was saying it.

See, while Toyota’s ideal of continually looking for better, more efficient ways of handling tasks is nifty and all, there’s nothing particularly special about the word kaizen, which just means “improvement.” Even as someone who’s spent most of his life looking for excuses to speak Japanese, insisting on using the word kaizen, when otherwise speaking English, has always seemed a little odd to me.

Oddly enough, though, right now there’s probably a Toyota employee sitting at his desk and scratching his head over one of his Japanese coworker’s penchant for using foreign loanwords, many of which might be on this list of the top 10 commonly used English business terms that Japanese businessmen wish their colleagues would use Japanese for.

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Cute video of cat attempting to drink from a faucet deals blow to species’ integrity 【Video】

Cat owners might notice that their beloved pets often carry themselves with a certain air of importance and superiority. It really can’t be helped when they watch us serve them food, scratch their itches, and dispose of their bodily waste, day in day out.

So if your feline is feeling a little full of itself lately, try showing it this video of a cute kitten trying – and failing – to take a drink from a faucet which was posted on Twitter recently. It ought to take them down a peg or two.

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All aboard Japan’s crazy pro wrestling and electronic dance music trains! 【Videos】

By many criteria, Japan’s trains are just about perfect. They’re clean, safe, reasonably priced, and almost always on time down to the exact minute.

It’s hard to find a better way to get from Point A to Point B, as long as you’ve got a book to read, music to listen to, or smartphone to play with. Actually, you might not even need something to pass the time with, since some train operators recently made their service not only punctual and reliable, but exciting, too, as they turned their trains into a wrestling ring and full-on dance club.

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Vlogger walks us through a traditional Japanese handicraft fair 【Video】

Although the world is becoming more and more technologically advanced every day, many people in Japan are holding fast to the traditions of the past. While robots and machines can do a lot for us, they will never take the place of the men and women who carry on many of Japan’s traditional crafts, such as woodwork and sword-making.

Last weekend, YouTuber Sharla in Japan paid a visit to the Arakawa traditional handicraft festival in Tokyo and made a short video briefly showcasing a variety of these traditional goods.

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Chinese artist personifies pictures of cats and dogs into captivating traditional paintings

Have you ever wondered what your pets would look like as humans?

We’re no stranger to personification illustrations since the Japanese enjoy turning all sorts of things from battleships to swords to computer systems and even poop bacteria into human anime forms, but perhaps this is the first time our humble website has seen real animals portrayed as human figures. Check out these beautiful Chinese paintings of personified cats and dogs after the break!

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Forget tech or medicine, invention most Japanese are proud of is instant ramen

Japan’s best minds have contributed quite a few important inventions to the world over the years. Did you know that the portable ECG machine was invented in Japan, for example? So were electric rice cookers, DSLR cameras, CD players, Blu-ray discs, and gaming systems. Really, the list of Japanese tech that has become integral to our daily lives goes on and on.

However, if you ask Japanese people which invention their country should be proud of, it turns out a far humbler product jumps to mind for most: instant noodles.

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Giant robot fight is on! Suidobashi accepts Americans’ challenge, wants to “punch them to scrap”

Like a lot of people, up until a few days ago I’d never heard of MegaBots, despite the fact that the California-based company has apparently created a pretty amazing (and armed) giant robot. That all changed, though, when the designers of the MegaBot Mark II released a video challenging Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industry, the makers of the Kuratas robot, to a duel.

It definitely got MegaBots plenty of attention, and now it’s gone beyond just a cagey PR move. Suidobashi has accepted the challenge, and is spitting back some fighting words of its own.

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Star Wars and classic Japanese things aren’t done mashing yet! 【Photos】

Those who’ve tried Lotte’s Bikkuriman love it for two reasons: beacuase it’s a cheap but delicious waffle peanut and chocolate snack, and, more importantly, because of the sweet stickers that come with it. These collectible stickers featured devils, angels and protectors that kids could trade and swap to assemble the whole set. What made them unique at the time was that there were also rare stickers that had a sparkly holographic design which made them more valuable to collectors.

This new collaboration between Star Wars and Bikkuriman is definitely desirable, but is it something that is worth your money? Which characters show up and which ones are shiny? No need to worry because we bought the whole set and we are definitely impressed.

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Death Note drapes? Fans spot TV drama’s curtains in their home, keep them shut to block out Light

The Death Note franchise is proving to be ironically long-lived. Starting off as a manga in 2003, the saga of Light Yagami and his supernatural notebook that allows him to kill whoever he wants just be writing down his or her name has been adapted into an anime series and trilogy of live-action films, and there’s even a Death Note musical in the works.

This last Sunday saw the debut of a brand-new Death Note Japanese TV drama, and you can read our personal impressions of the show right here. In the meantime, it looks like the general viewing public was really excited by the premiere episode, but not because of its casting or changes to the original story, but because of a set-decorating coincidence.

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Aomori’s fabled Nebuta Festival 2015 to feature Star Wars floats

Aomori Prefecture’s legendary Nebuta Festival – which takes place in early August every year – has always been one of those big festivals on my Japan bucket list.

Even though the festival is one of the prestigious few festivals to receive the staggeringly long designation of Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan, we’re willing to bet the festival is largely overlooked by Western visitors. This is, probably, largely due to Aomori’s fairly remote location; it’s a real pain to get to from Tokyo, Osaka or any of the other major cities outside of Sapporo.

But then, what if that wasn’t the biggest reason foreigners aren’t totally aware of this great festival? What if the real reason was the festival’s lack of Star Wars characters?

Luckily, whether or not that’s the real case, that sore lack of Star Wars characters at the Aomori Nebuta Festival is going to change this year.

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Burger King Japan unleashes red burgers and Angry Sauce on my stomach 【Taste test】

When Burger King Japan first brought out its black burgers, more than a few people were shocked, and even a little intimidated, by their sinister appearance. After diners got over their fear and tried them, though, they discovered they were pretty tasty, and they’ve now become a welcomed, sporadically appearing item on the chain’s menu.

Seeing how well that gamble played out, Burger King has decided to spin the roulette wheel once again, but this time they’re betting on red with two new sandwiches with crimson buns and cheese. So how do they taste? We decided to grab the pair and try them for ourselves.

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Wait, just what exactly have they done with the new Death Note drama? 【Impressions】

We think Death Note is a pretty cool manga and anime series. The delicate artwork is beautiful to look at (you have to admit, the protagonist Light is one fine-looking character, even if he turns out to be, well … seriously psychotic), the Death Gods look creepy in an awesome way and the story expertly combines a fierce battle of the minds with elements of the supernatural to create an engaging and entertaining plot.

Judging from the hit the franchise has become, including two successful live action movies, we’re apparently not the only ones who feel this way, and it’s understandable that  fans were excited when it was announced back in April that Death Note was going to become a TV drama. However, just last week, newly released information about the drama caused concern among fans about what exactly the creators of the TV version were doing with the well-loved series. And so, when the drama’s very first episode aired this past Sunday, we checked it out to see for ourselves whether fans’ worries were unfounded or not.

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Need life advice? The Turtle Talk attraction at Tokyo DisneySea may be your best bet

At Tokyo DisneySea, there’s a special theater-style attraction called Turtle Talk where you can ask questions in real time to Crush, everybody’s favorite East Australian Current-surfing sea turtle from Finding Nemo. 

Sounds fun, if not a bit like a generically staged Q&A session, right? However, audience members during a recent talk were in for a bit of a surprise when Crush shared an unexpectedly profound piece of wisdom in response to a young woman’s question.

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Does the way you eat ice cream say something about you? Japanese Twitter users compare styles

In Japan, it’s common to try to pinpoint a person’s personality type based on a variety of factors, from the more traditional blood type theory and looking at first names to analyzing nail shape.

In a new trend, Japanese Twitter users have been comparing the way they eat ice cream with one another and musing what that says about them as people. Sadly, while no one has created an infographic yet depicting what the different types mean, it’s still fun to marvel at all the eating styles out there. Where do you fit in with them all?

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Shibuya Station 2019: one step closer to the Neo-Tokyo of our dreams

If you’ve been to Shibuya Station recently, you’ll have seen one area in particular that’s filled with crowds, noise and trucks; and it’s not the meeting place around the famous statue of Hachiko.

It’s the massive redevelopment project currently underway to revitalise the district and deliver a completely new-looking Shibuya by 2027. Latest pictures of the next high-rise in the pipeline reveal just how amazing life in Neo-Tokyo will be.

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One-of-a-kind Ultraman violin to be sold this November

Coming to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Theater Concert Hall on 2 November is the Ultraman Symphony Concert 2015. At this event music from the high-culture tokusatsu masterpieces of Ultraman and related shows will be performed by a full orchestra.

It’s sure to be a luminous evening of sci-fi splendor, but to mark the occasion a single Ultra Violin, the only official Ultraman violin in existence, will be sold to one lucky buyer.

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This “natural planetarium” island could have Japan’s most beautiful view of the stars

Next week, people across Japan will be celebrating Tanabata, the age-old festival dedicated to the folk-tale of two lovers separated by the Milky Way, being reunited only once a year, on July 7th.

While in this romance story the Milky Way is nothing but an obstacle for the lovers, for the people of Aogashima, an island south of Tokyo, the Milky Way is an important part of their life and happiness. The uniquely shaped island has been gaining popularity lately, being dubbed a “natural planetarium.” Needless to say, the view of the night sky from Aogashima is outstanding.

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Even more interesting facts to complete your Hello Kitty knowledge!

Hello Kitty was a hot topic for a while last year when news suddenly broke that Kitty-chan wasn’t a cat! Of course that subject was cleared up by Sanrio representatives, but it got us wondering, what other sordid secrets does Hello Kitty hide behind that cute veneer? One of the writers for our Japanese-language sister site Pouch is a huge Hello Kitty fan and she’s compiled a list of factoids about the lovable Kitty-chan. You will definitely learn something new after reading this 33-item list!

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