Tiny ninjas, lazy shellfish, and neglected children: It’s time to choose Toho Cinema’s new mascot

If you live in Japan and love movies, there’s a good chance that you’ve been to a Toho Cinema at some point. One of the largest cinema chains in Japan, they show all the domestic and international blockbuster films you could possibly want. They also allow you to reserve a seat when you buy your ticket, so you can be sure to have a perfect view of Captain America’s pert derrière when the next Avengers movie comes out.

In addition to picking your seat, you now also have the opportunity to help choose the theater chain’s new mascot. With lazy shellfish, neglected children, and the absolute cutest ninja you’ll ever see, it may take you a while to choose–so it’s a good thing you can vote online!

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Japanese couple celebrates wedding with cake shaped like a sliced-up, possibly bloody tuna

When it came time for my wife and me to put together a menu for our wedding reception, I tried to sound out her opinions before jumping in with my own. That is, until we got to the cake selections, and I immediately blurted out, “Let’s get the triple chocolate one!”

Thankfully, by that point she’d already made her peace with my many flaws which extend far beyond my cake preferences, and she smiled and acquiesced to the non-traditional, pitch-black (and completely delicious) choice.

Somehow, though, I don’t think things would have gone so smoothly if I’d done like the recently married man in Japan who suggested serving a wedding cake shaped like a sliced up, possibly bleeding tuna.

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Why, hello there, crow! How may I be of service?

In many Western cultures, the owl is often regarded as a symbol of wisdom. But when you stop to think about it, wouldn’t a more fitting bird for that title be the crow?

If you’re not convinced now, we’re pretty sure you will be after seeing what clever strategy this particular crow uses to crack open an acorn! 

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Japanese nerds pick the feudal warlord they’d most like to be their boss

Sometimes you just have to take a survey for the sake of taking a survey, no matter how seemingly random or inconsequential the contents of the survey may be.

For example, we now have the results of this survey, which we’re pretty sure no one asked for, that gauges which feudal warlord Japanese geeks would rather be working under. We presume this means in an office setting and not, like, on an old-timey Japanese Warring States-era battlefield.

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Cat spotted seemingly being sucked face-first into car

This picture brings up a lot of questions, the biggest one being: “Where is your face, cat?!” Followed closely by: “What the heck is going on?!” Even one of his ears is folded the wrong way! Maybe he actually is being sucked into the car…?

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Raunchy manga title isn’t quite what it seems…or it is?

We often say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but that’s precisely what many of us do when scanning the shelves of a book shop or comic store looking for a new read. With so many titles to choose from, how do you know what is going to be worth your time? Perhaps the cool cover art is what catches your eye, or maybe an interesting title?

Manga writer Onta Sakai clearly felt that the latter was the best way to get his newest manga series noticed. Opting to go with the title “Ane no onaka wo fukuramaseru no wa boku” or “It is me to fill the stomach of the sister” in its slightly awkward English form, this highly suggestive title already has tongues wagging and could only be about one thing…

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“Wait…what?” That’s not Japanese! Clever American car commercial tricks viewers 【Video】

Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mazda; American car companies have always had fierce competition with their Japanese counterparts. But the American car company Chrysler is trying to change that with the recent release of a very clever commercial for their 2015 Chrysler 200 that respectfully acknowledges Japanese quality while at the same time turning heads in their own direction.

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Just a bunch of adorable cats riding on trains in Japan

Sometimes, after a long day of napping and begging for treats, a cat’s just gotta get out of the house. And what better way to get around than by Japan’s famously on-time and impeccably clean railway? If you’re still walking or taking taxis to your desired destination, take a lesson from these street-smart felines and hop on a train!

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Nikon repairs deceased Mount Ontake hiker’s broken camera, returns photos to family

The unexpected eruption of Mount Ontake on September 27 claimed the lives of 56 hikers, leaving family members to try to understand why their loved ones had been taken so suddenly. But out of this tragedy comes a heartwarming gesture, giving the family of one victim the chance to get back a small piece of their father who never made it down the mountain that day.

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Somebody call mall security! Grown man dressed as little girl shows off for shoppers

Last weekend, shoppers at Q’s Mall in the Abeno district of Osaka were treated to an appearance by this (unidentified) middle-aged man dressed in the typical garb of a Japanese junior school student. Unfazed by the public gaze, he posed for pictures and smiled for shoppers who paused to take in his… unusual choice of attire.

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We think he’s purr-fect! Meet Monty, the cat born without a nose bone【Photos】

Monty is a four-year-old rescue cat who’s amassed fans from all over the world. He suffers from a rare chromosomal abnormality causing him to be born without a nasal bridge. And Monty’s owners are hoping their cat will show the world that ‘looking different doesn’t mean you can’t be fantastic!’

Join us after the jump for more adorable photos of this happy little chap!

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All hail the mighty “muggle magic tape”! 24 awesome ways to use duct tape like magic

We’re sure you know that duct tape is not just for taping ventilation ducts. With its superb adhesion and strength, duct tape works like a magic spell for holding things together, and is a savior around the house as a quick repair solution.

If you’re an avid duct tape user, or haven’t realized what else you can do with duct tape besides fixing pipes and ducts, here are some creative (and some outrageous) ideas for using the powerful tape!

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Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises

In marketing, it’s important to deliver on the various components of the expectations you create. For example, if I advertise an apartment as having a toilet and shower, but after you move in you discover it actually only has one of those, you’re going to be pretty upset, right?

Likewise, we imagine a lot of people were excited when they heard about this video spreading around the Japanese Internet, where it’s been described with the lead-in, “The sexy ice cream stand girl in Taiwan that everyone’s talking about!” After all, ice cream and sexy people are two of the most popular things on the planet.

But it turns out that breathless description is only half-true.

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Pretty anime boys are here to save the world, and they brought a wombat

The “magical girl” anime trope is well-established in Japan. Usually, a high-school girl discovers she has magical powers and bands together with her classmates who also have magical powers in order to save the world from evil forces. But what if, instead of pretty magical girls, we had boys instead? Pretty, magical boys? Well, new series Binan Koukou Chikyuu Boueibu LOVE (Pretty High School Boys Save The World Club LOVE) is here to break down gender stereotypes (or just pander to the female love of pretty boys) with their brand-new anime show which launches in 2015 (and, oh, there’s a video game, too…)

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In wake of meat scandal, McDonald’s Japan losing not only customers, but employees, too

It’s been a pretty rough year for McDonald’s in Japan, in the same way that getting hit by a bus on your way to work would make for a rough morning. Following a widely reported scandal in which the chain had been supplied with expired chicken by a meat processing facility in China, McDonald’s has been trying everything it can think of to lure diners back, such as giving away Chicken McNuggets for free, replacing the meat with tofu, and trying to take our mind off the incident entirely by pulling our attention towards pork cutlets instead.

After all, a restaurant chain can’t survive without customers, right? There’s one other thing you need to run a business though: employees, and these days McDonald’s is finding itself losing those, too.

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Tokyo Station lists departing train’s destination as…New York?!

Foreign visitors and residents who haven’t yet gotten far off the beaten path in Japan might not recognize all of the final destinations of trains that depart Tokyo Station. Some of the various lines that intersect at the rail hub lead to places like Takao, Choshi, and Kurihama, none of which are exactly world-famous (even if the last one does have an awesome Godzilla slide).

The other day, though, one of the platform displays at Tokyo Station announced a train destination plenty of non-Japanese passengers are familiar with: New York.

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First nuclear power plant set to restart in Japan after 2011 meltdown

Against much public backlash, two reactors at a nuclear power plant in Sendai are scheduled to be restarted. These will be the first to restart operations after all the country’s nuclear plants were shut down indefinitely following the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011. 

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Travel through time with these old maps from the Zenrin Virtual Museum

While the average human has not yet come unstuck in time, it doesn’t mean we’re completely at a loss when it comes to time travel. Yes, we may only move in a singular direction, but at least have artifacts from the past to help us look back! Everything from old photos to old pottery help us dig through our murky cultural memory to see how things used to be.

And, thanks to Zenrin, a Japanese mapping company based in Oita Prefecture, now you can travel internationally with their collection of digital maps from the Edo and Meiji periods. Whether you think England is a conspiracy of cartographers or you know the name of every mapmaker since Babylonia, there’s something here for everyone!

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Coral in Japan’s Ogasawara Islands being threatened by Chinese poaching ships

While the vast majority of Japan’s population is crammed onto its four largest islands, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Hokkaido, the country’s territories extend much farther out to sea. For example, if you head about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) south of downtown Tokyo, you’ll come to the Ogasawara Islands, one of Japan’s most remote settlements.

We’ve talked about the Ogasawaras before, and how their beautiful ocean scenery has been helping to attract tourists (and perhaps even a new chef), to the archipelago. Recently, though, the islands have been seeing an increasing number of extremely unwelcome visitors, in the form of ships coming from China to poach coral.

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Top 10 Japanese women throughout history 【Women in Japan Series】

Every nation has women who are remembered throughout history for the impact they had on their country. Today we present you with 10 Japanese women–game changers, if you will–who fundamentally altered the way the nation sees or experiences the world today. Most of these women have achieved fame abroad as well, another hallmark of success in Japan.

Many names you’ll recognize, but a few may be a surprise. But they are all well-known among the Japanese and are looked up to and praised by women and men throughout the country. Ready to test your knowledge of influential women in Japanese history?

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