Kaguya Hime no Monogatari (The Tale of Princess Kaguya) is quite unlike any Studio Ghibli offering that has gone before it. There are no benevolent forest spirits or spritely young witches to be found here; no soft, familiar faces or bright-eyed heroes with a passion for adventure; no piles of mouth-watering street food or freshly baked bread to drool over. This is a tale set in far simpler times, and although – with its thick, bold brushstrokes, muted colours and incomplete lines – it is quite the departure from the Ghibli releases many of us know and love, it still manages to be one of the studio’s most visually striking and emotive creations to date.
On 21 November, Japanese pharmaceutical company Rohto announced they will be releasing a line of eye drops which promise 60 percent the viscosity of regular drops. To retain the eyes tears and keep them moist longer, Rohto uses a combination of hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, and sesame oil.
That last ingredient in particular, which is generally used in Asian cooking for its notably bold taste, has caught the attention of netizens in Japan drawing comments such as “My eyes! My eyes!”
Yarisugi is a Japanese word that means overkill or something done to excess. It’s the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the realistic replica of the Christopher Nolan-era Batmobile announced by Premium Bandai this week. Not because they’ve copied the vehicle in minute detail, as you can see in the image above, but because it is, in fact, an iPhone case.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: McDonald’s Japan has the best Happy Meal toys. In case you haven’t heard, the fast food chain created Mario toys for their “Happy Set” kids meals and they’re awesome. Lucky for those abroad, Japanese fans of the franchise have already uploaded videos of their McDonald’s Happy Meal Marios (say that five times fast). Take a look at just a few!
Ever wished you could snuggle up and be totally enveloped in your cat’s warm embrace, or just lie on them like a sofa? If only cats were big enough for that. Wait… if cats were that big, you’d feel mouse-sized. Which I think is a little creepy. Still, you could achieve the impossible dream… to sit on your cat, and not the other way round.
Here we have a giant cat sofa to snuggle up on. I don’t know, I imagined it a lot furrier, more like a Persian longhair, and less limp. Cattiness aside, how many cat couches are out there? This is the first one I’ve seen.
Normally known for a spot to get a sugar-fueled caffeine fix, Starbucks recently opened a new outlet in Tokyo that is serving alcohol. The new coffee shop is part of a concept line of cafés the company is establishing in Japan to offer customers something a little different from the usual Starbucks experience. In addition to serving upscale coffee drinks and homemade desserts, this shop will be selling wine and beer after noon in the fashionable Shimokitazawa neighborhood.
Over the course of a year, we humans can accumulate a lot of mucky emotions. We inevitably forget the dangers that certain fiery passions, like anger and envy, can do to our psyches. In order to remind ourselves to retake control of these troublesome fires that burn within us, we must take a walk through physical flames and let the fear of literal fire burn away our emotional impurities.
At least, that’s the idea behind Fukugonji’s annual firewalking festival! Each year, on second Sunday of December, this Zen Buddhist temple in Aichi Prefecture invites all members of the public to step across their scorching coals and reclaim inner purity at the Fukugonji Akiba Grand Festival. This year, the festival promises to be particularly entertaining, as well as spiritual and somewhat scary, as one might expect from firewalking.
As a kid, I remember watching reruns of Mighty Mouse on TV with my dad. It was a fun little show, but what made it really special was knowing that he enjoyed it when he was growing up, and that he was sharing his memories and at the same time he was making new ones with me.
Likewise, it’s been a couple decades since Japanese animation gained a steady foothold internationally, and we’re starting to see overseas fans of the medium having kids of their own. But how to pass on that anime passion to your kids? You could go the direct route and administer a severe beating each and every time they ask to watch say, Disney’s forgettable 2000 CG film Dinosaur instead of something with more artistic merit, like Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky.
Or, like one couple, you could go with the gentler option of painting an awesome mural of Studio Ghibli characters in the nursery, letting their quality speak for itself.
The beach can be a great place to go to get away from it all. From listening to the gently rolling waves to smelling the ocean air and picking up seashells, there is nothing quite like a relaxing visit to the shore. Usually the most surprising thing found in the sand or water is a strange-looking sea creature, but one man stumbled upon a record-breaking 80 kg of cocaine on November 19 off the shores of Yokosuka City in Kanagawa Prefecture. Police say its street value is about 4.8 billion yen (US$47 million) and they are now looking into whoever was wishing for an apparently very white Christmas.
Some people take fashion very seriously. They wouldn’t think of putting a foot outside the door without being perfectly made up, coiffed and dressed. This obsession isn’t restricted to homo sapiens, though. Cookie the Shiba Inu simply refuses to go for walkies in this indignity of a polka dot sweater.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been out in North America for over a week now, and is finally heading to Europe this coming Friday. Thanks to the efforts of our game-loving staff in the US, we managed to pick up a few units, and have been tinkering with them for about a week now, so felt it was time to share our thoughts on the new hardware.
Rather than getting all techy and giving you lists of stats or focusing on frames per second, however, we decided to take a slightly more human approach, and talk about how Sony’s newest console rates in the eyes of both a self-confessed Sony fan and a long-term Xbox lover.
Let the mud-slinging begin!
Okay, we have another treat for our cat-loving readers! How would you like to take a cute kitty around with you everywhere you go? Well, it may not always be possible to carry around a real cat, but a certain line of embroidered shirts that has already gained a huge amount of attention on the Japanese Internet may be the next best thing.
Take a look at these absolutely adorable creations, and we’re sure you’ll understand why the shirts have created such a buzz. You’ll hardly be able to take your eyes off the cats on these shirts, so intricate and lifelike it’s almost hard to believe they’re works of embroidery, and done all by hand too!
It’s Monday again and you know what that means! Your Monday Kickstart video is here to get you going through another week.
This week’s video features a corgi who’s so happy he just can’t contain himself. With a short stubby tail, the little dog shows his excitement the only way he can: by wagging his entire backside. Shakira’s “hips don’t lie” and twerking jokes aside, it’s an adorable video!
Following the recent devastation that the Philippines suffered during Typhoon Haiyan, one of our brave writers from sister site RocketNews24 Japan decided to go see the damage first hand. We’ve prepared a translation of his report to help you all get a clearer perspective of the situation on Leyte.
Hotel and restaurant bathrooms have really done a number on us by introducing a new level of hospitality through toilet paper etiquette. When the next sheet of paper on the roll is folded into a neat triangular point, we’re made to feel that extra bit special, safe in the knowledge that the area has recently been attended to, as if the place was just done up in anticipation of our arrival.
One lady in the United States has taken the triangular toilet paper fold to a whole new level, incorporating traditional Japanese origami concepts to produce a book of cute, funny and surprisingly beautiful designs to dress up the toilet roll in your bathroom. From swans to candles, who knew toilet paper could be so adorable?
A recent storyline in the often controversial, always hilarious animated series South Park focuses on the run-up to the Black Friday sales, and sees the fictional town’s inhabitants turning into murderous, bargain-hunting zombies prepared to gouge one another’s eyes out if it means getting a new TV for a fraction of the normal retail price.
At the same time, a war rages between the town’s kids over which console – Xbox One or PlayStation 4 – they should band together to nab in the sales, and results in Microsoft’s Bill Gates handing out weapons to young Xbox One fans (one per child, in the name of safety) to aid them in their struggle. Not wanting to be outdone, Sony strikes back by granting the leader of the competing faction – none other than parker-wearing mumbler Kenny – the power to become a real Japanese princess, transforming him into an doe-eyed anime beauty, complete with his own Japanese theme song.
Of course, it didn’t take long for clips from the show to make their way to Japan…
You are, no doubt, aware of the enormous popularity of cosmetic surgery in South Korea. While public opinion on the procedures is still split, we definitely feel that, hey, it’s your body, so do what you want!
Nevertheless, it can be quite startling at times to see just how much a skilled surgeon can do. From the Japanese woman transforming herself into a living porcelain doll to the images of South Korean cosmetic surgery we showed you earlier this year, we are always amazed by the possibilities opened up by a carefully wielded scalpel, and the following collection of images is no exception.
As the year draws to a close and 2014 pokes its head over the horizon, Harry Potter fans in Japan are finding it harder to contain their excitement over the summer opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Osaka. Fan photos on Twitter show how the progress is going, with an awesome train service and a near-complete replica of Hogwarts Castle that looks exactly like the one on film.
Like a migratory bird made of carbon fiber and engine blocks, every two years the Tokyo Motor Show returns to give us all a glimpse at automakers’ visions of the future. RocketNews24 visited this year’s event, and we’re here to share with you our impressions and photos of the massive crowds, newest concept cars, and hottest current models (both automotive and female).
Japan is filled with interesting characters–and by that we mean local mascots and characters, not the wacky TV personalities. From rosy-cheeked bears to wild and crazy pears, there is no shortage of mascots for every prefecture, city, and company.
While Funasshi might be the one stealing the limelight right now, another older character is stirring up a storm online with her revealing outfit!
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- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour2
- The true meaning of Japanese Christmas3
- Nine unusual products from Japanese designer, Oki Sato4
- “Once-in-a-thousand-year” idol Kanna Hashimoto visiting ALOOK Tokyo and Osaka on the same day5
- Local Fukuoka idol already breaking big across Japanese internet6
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- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong8
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- Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer1
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- Gundam creator has harsh words for manga and anime hit “Attack on Titan”3
- Beautiful Chinese boy “traps” the hearts of Korean netizens 【Photos】4
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】5
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- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong8
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- Cosplay Undressed: Japan’s Newest Cosplay Trend Shows How Heroes Take Off Their Clothes10
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】1
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】2
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong3
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs4
- Thinking about plastic surgery? This ad may make you laugh – or it could make you think twice!5
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right6
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!7
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】8
- The amazing disaster relief equipment of Japan’s Self Defense Force9
- 252 of Japan’s favorite animated gifs10
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】1
- 252 of Japan’s favorite animated gifs2
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】3
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong4
- Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs5
- Thinking about plastic surgery? This ad may make you laugh – or it could make you think twice!6
- Meet the new model set to make manga artists’ lives a whole lot easier7
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right8
- When Two Amazing Worlds Collide: Welcome to the World of Cat Sushi!9
- Snake being pickled to create healing liquor awakens after 3 months and bites woman10
- Local Fukuoka idol already breaking big across Japanese internet
- Cute credit cards could send you to the slammer
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong
- Japanese mobile provider locks smartphones to prevent use while walking
- One couple, two beds – Why do so many Japanese spouses sleep separately?
- This Thai ad for popular chat application “Line” will break your heart 【Video】
- 【Thursday Throwback】Best Japanese customer service
- Finally, 2013′s list of most dateable anime characters
- Please, baby, just one time! – Japanese men reveal the costumes they want their girlfriends to wear
- 10 things Japan gets awesomely right
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea
- How much would the world miss Japan if it suddenly disappeared?
- 45 adorable pictures of animals acting human 【Photos】
- Don’t own a television? Japan’s public broadcaster doesn’t care, but still wants your money