Blind high school girl injured after being kicked from behind in Saitama Prefecture station

Blind high school girl injured after being kicked from behind in Saitama Prefecture station

Net users in Japan are in shock today after reading the news of how a blind high school girl in Saitama Prefecture was injured after being viciously kicked by an unknown assailant while making her way to school. This news comes just weeks after it was learned that a guide dog was stabbed three times by a passenger on a crowded train in the same prefecture.

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English fail or win? Japanese actress loves gardening, hates bullshit (according to her T-shirt)

English fail or win? Japanese actress loves gardening, hates bullshit (according to her T-shirt)

Japanese TV personality Yuko Ito has been working in the entertainment industry for almost 20 years now. Having been at turns a swimsuit model, actress, and pitchwoman for Sapporo Beer, Nissan, and telecommunications provider NTT, we imagine she’s run into more than a few disingenuous showbiz types while paying her dues and building a career for herself.

Now, it looks like she’s done putting up with their two-faced double-talk, assuming she can actually understand the English on the T-shirt she wore during a recent TV appearance, which implored those watching, “Protect me from all your bullshit.”

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Mega Burger Pizza rises from its cheesy grave, available again for a limited time

Mega Burger Pizza rises from its cheesy grave, available again for a limited time

This year, one of our favorite Japanese monsters has returned. Gigantic and terrifying, we still can’t help but cheer at its reappearance, even as we realize it’s likely to destroy us.

Are we talking about Godzilla? No, our dark idol is far tastier: the Mega Burger Pizza.

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Adorable three-year-old Filipino boy absolutely kills it on the drums【Videos】

Adorable three-year-old Filipino boy absolutely kills it on the drums【Videos】

Martin Cruz hails from Iselin New Jersey, is a killer at playing church music on the drums, and is just three years old! Watch four videos of this little guy owning that kit after the jump.

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10 tips to stop you from embarrassing yourself in China

10 tips to stop you from embarrassing yourself in China

Moving or traveling to a foreign country, especially one with a culture very different to your own, can be a nerve-wracking as well as exciting experience, especially with a country like China which has a long history of tradition. There’s so much that could go wrong and so many unintentional faux pas to make. Wouldn’t it be handy if someone put together a helpful list of the top ten things someone coming to China should know…? Read on to find out what conversation topics are as awkward as talking about hemorrhoids and why you should never give someone a green hat.

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Haneda Airport’s ramen rice bowl is here to save indecisive fliers who hate airline food

Haneda Airport’s ramen rice bowl is here to save indecisive fliers who hate airline food

For the most part, I have very few complaints about air travel. Maybe I’m just incredibly lucky, but usually when I fly, I get through the check-in and security lines fairly smoothly, and while I’d never choose to outfit my living room with seats from an airliner, I can generally put up with them until I reach my destination.

I’ve even largely made peace with the unappetizing flavor of airline food, often sidestepping the issue by picking up something else to eat before I get on the plane. Selecting my last tasty meal for the next couple hours can be tricky, though, and sometimes I’ll find myself waffling between two options, such as ramen or a rice bowl.

Thankfully, a new to-go item at Haneda Airport eliminates that dilemma, though, with a ramen-flavored rice bowl from one of Tokyo’s most popular noodle emporiums.

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China’s latest military robot looks like a grotesque mutant, attracts the attention of cynical Japanese netizens

China’s latest military robot looks like a grotesque mutant, attracts the attention of cynical Japanese netizens

This mutant robot was featured at the 2014 Beijing International Emergency Rescue Expo and was described by Chinese media as ‘eye-catching’. It certainly is that, but we wouldn’t say it is exactly pleasing to look at. As you can see, the robot looks like a bizarre combination between a mutated four-legged spider and the dried squid I am having with my end-of-summer beer.

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A guide to public bathhouses, the newest hot spot for tourists in Tokyo

A guide to public bathhouses, the newest hot spot for tourists in Tokyo

When coming to Japan, there’s a wealth of things to do and see–even just staying within the Tokyo city limits, you’d be hard pressed to enjoy everything available in a week. On the other hand, if you just stick with the big sightseeing spots, you’ll be both crushed by crowds and probably bored in a few days. This has left a lot of overseas tourists with time–and incentive–to look for new or unique activities.

One of the things apparently gaining popularity is sento, or public bathhouses. While not quite as much fun as hanging out in hot springs in the mountains with monkeyssento still provide a fun and different activity for anyone just looking to relax. The warm waters are especially welcome after a few days running around Tokyo! But you might want to check this handy guide before you head out for a soak in order to avoid annoying other bathers.

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Construction warning sign only gets stranger the more you stare at it

Construction warning sign only gets stranger the more you stare at it

The signboard above was posted on Twitter recently and piqued the interest of thousands with its unusual presentations. Japan has a history of construction warning signs that might seem odd in other countries, with roly-poly penguins notifying us of gas line maintenance or a cuddly panda stopping us from falling into an open manhole.

This one, however, has even Japanese people scratching their heads. At first glance the sign appears to have a frisky looking construction worker telling you about his project with a saucy wink. However, the more one looks at this image, the deeper the rabbit hole goes.

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Five of our favorite blogs about Japan

Five of our favorite blogs about Japan

There’s a lot of information about Japan floating around on the internet, so finding a really great site can seem like a never-ending endeavor. As self-proclaimed Japanophiles, we have more than a few sites we frequent to get our daily dose of anything about our home away from home. It was hard to choose, but here are five of our favorite blogs about Japan.

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Our intrepid Japanese team tests out the air purifier at work…using flatulence

Our intrepid Japanese team tests out the air purifier at work…using flatulence

One of the most talkative and hardworking members of the RocketNews24 Japanese editorial team in Tokyo is none other than a Sharp air purifier.  

Not to be outdone by their mechanical coworker, our fellow (human) staff members recently decided to test out whether she was really pulling her weight in work or if she was just slacking off (we say ‘she’ because the machine is capable of speaking in a female voice). But to test an air purifier, you need dirty air…and what better way to make some quick, homegrown dirty air than to produce it in-house through farting! Will the air purifier actually respond to our team’s zany idea??

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Japanese artist creates manga inspired by her cats, gets bothered by them daily【Photos】

Japanese artist creates manga inspired by her cats, gets bothered by them daily【Photos】

I’ve never had a pet cat, but my friends who do are always posting pictures of their cats getting in the way of their studies and work, asking for attention at the most untimely moments and making themselves comfortable in the oddest places.

It’s not hard to imagine why a manga artist would be inspired to create a manga about cats, especially if they had not just one, or two, but four cats sprawled all over their work space all the time. Check out the four playful felines that are always inspiring and getting in the way of Japanese manga artist Keito Yoshikawa’s work!

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Watch Hello Kitty shape-shift before your very eyes with this insanely cute Rubik’s Cube

Watch Hello Kitty shape-shift before your very eyes with this insanely cute Rubik’s Cube

Now that she’s hit the big 4-0, Hello Kitty has been getting up to all sorts of mischief. She’s posed for the god of manga, been caught in hotel rooms and even joined the mile-high club.

However, Ms Kitty once had more cerebral pursuits in mind, having conquered the Rubik’s Cube by becoming one with it…literally. We take a look at the unique Hello Kitty puzzle – an awesomely cute mind-bender that offers a great sense of accomplishment to those who want to reconstruct the deconstructed cat.

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Chibatman called in by police, receives their official approval

Chibatman called in by police, receives their official approval

A few weeks ago, a handful of motorists in Chiba Prefecture witnessed a sight few of us will ever be fortunate enough to see: a man dressed as Batman riding a customized trike, speeding down the expressway. Chibatman, as he soon came to be known, quickly caught the attention of not only comic fans around the world, but also the local police, who recently called the Caped Crusader in for a little chat.

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Video game giant Square Enix to launch game streaming service for iOS and Android in October

Video game giant Square Enix to launch game streaming service for iOS and Android in October

A complaint that some video game fans have with the current crop of mobile titles is their unambitious scale. Designed to played in short bursts, their aim is often limited to providing a way to enjoyably kill a few minutes of spare time, which can leave those looking for a more engaging experience feeling cold and uninterested.

But everyone who’s shunned mobile gaming for that reason might have to rethink their stance come October, with the launch of a new cloud gaming service from Square Enix, Japan’s most storied developer of grand adventures.

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McDonald’s Japan offers Yo-Kai Watch cards with Happy Meals, traffic jams and giant lines ensue

McDonald’s Japan offers Yo-Kai Watch cards with Happy Meals, traffic jams and giant lines ensue

Last weekend, McDonald’s Japan launched a new Happy Meal, or “happy set” as they’re known here. As with all of the fast food giant’s kid-centric food boxes, these sets come bundled with a gift guaranteed to appeal to children so much that they’ll bug their parents incessantly to take them to the Golden Arches.

This time, however, the bundled gift was a little bit more special than usual, with McDonald’s securing a deal to offer sets of arcade cards for anime sensation Yo-Kai Watch. While that name not (yet) mean much to anime and Happy Meal fans in the West, this collaboration pretty much allows McDonald’s Japan to print money, and there were lines out of the door at dozens of locations from the moment the sets went on sale.

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A year of beer at Tokyo restaurant offering all-you-can-drink Asahi for 12 months

A year of beer at Tokyo restaurant offering all-you-can-drink Asahi for 12 months

One of the most common questions that comes up about life in Japan is, “Is it expensive?” Often, the answer depends on a number of factors. For example, is beer expensive? Well, if you want to go hopping from bar to bar, where you’ll get charged a separate cover at each, then yeah, you’re probably going to find your wallet hurting before your liver.

On the other hand, at most izakaya, the pub-like restaurants that serve a wide variety of alcohol and food, shelling out an extra 2,000 yen (US $19.80) or so will allow you to upgrade your meal to include unlimited booze. It can save you some serious cash if you’re looking to do some serious drinking, with the only downside being that most come with a two-hour time limit.

That is, unless you sign up for a plan that gives you unlimited beer for an entire year, like one restaurant in Tokyo is offering.

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Cuddly Sega Mega Drive plushie, Dreamcast hoodies and more on sale at this year’s Tokyo Game Show

Cuddly Sega Mega Drive plushie, Dreamcast hoodies and more on sale at this year’s Tokyo Game Show

If you’re an old-school Sega fan (and, let’s be honest, old-school Sega is pretty much the only Sega that counts any more) then you won’t want to miss this year’s Tokyo Game Show.

Due to go on sale in Japan next month, this insanely cute Sega Mega Drive plushie and a number of other Sega-themed goods ranging from mugs to hooded sweatshirts will be available to buy early at the game-tastic convention next week.

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Scholars confirm first discovery of Japanese sword from master bladesmith Masamune in 150 years

Scholars confirm first discovery of Japanese sword from master bladesmith Masamune in 150 years

Should you visit a history museum in Japan, and, like I do, make an immediate beeline for the collections of samurai armor and weaponry, you might be surprised to notice that Japanese swords are customarily displayed with the stitching removed from the hilt. Visually, it sort of dampens the impact, since the remaining skinny slab of metal is a lot less evocative of it actually being gripped and wielded by one of Japan’s warriors of ages past.

The reason this is done, though, is because many Japanese swordsmiths would “sign” their works by etching their names into the metal of the hilt. Some craftsmen achieved almost legendary status, becoming folk heroes whose names are widely known even today.

The most respected of all, though, was Masamune, whose reluctance to sign his blades has made identifying them difficult. But difficult and impossible are two different things, and for the first time in over a century, a sword has been confirmed by historians as being the creation of the master himself.

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Join these haters and take your clothes off instead of accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Join these haters and take your clothes off instead of accepting the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Almost as soon as the ALS Ice Bucket challenge emerged as a massive, viral trend, the haters began to bemoan the waste of water and public showboating. While it’s easy to understand the position–whose Facebook feed hasn’t been filled with posts of friends taking a nice splash this summer?–one thing you can say for the challenge is that it’s raised quite a bit of money. This has left the conversation open to the counterattack “Nee-ner nee-ner nee-ner!” and the charge, “Why don’t you come up with something better?”

Well, look no further, haters, because this daring group of Chinese financial analysts has you covered…by getting uncovered themselves.

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