Amazing shows of craftsmanship to make you feel woefully unaccomplished

Amazing shows of craftsmanship to make you feel woefully unaccomplished

It’s our opinion that everybody needs at least one good hobby that they can really devote themselves to. Being good at something other than sitting at a desk and banging out Excel spreadsheets will not only make you feel more whole as a person, it’s also pretty sexy when you can whip out a guitar and casually riff out “just something you thought up over the weekend.”

The sexy part doesn’t really apply to, say, basket weaving, but hey, if it fulfills you personally, have at it.

Of course, we wasted our innate writing talents on weird Asia news and useless listicles instead of polishing up our young adult vampire novel writing skills, so when we saw this huge collection of people who are really, really, really good at one particular craft, it sort of made us feel a deep existential sadness as we reflected on what we could have been doing if we’d just applied ourselves.

So, beware, unless you’ve already mastered an impressive hobby yourself, these amazing shows of craftmanship will probably make you feel like a horrible waste of flesh:

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Nine reasons why Japanese men hesitate to say “I love you”

Nine reasons why Japanese men hesitate to say “I love you”

Whenever someone asks me, “How do you say ‘I love you’ in Japanese?” I’m always at a loss for what to say. In short, there is no good Japanese equivalent. Textbooks and other resources will tell you to say ai shiteru, but in reality this phrase is used very rarely due to cultural and linguistic differences. You would never throw it around casually throughout the day to your friends or family in the way that English speakers use “I love you.” More appropriate perhaps is the phrase suki da, which translates roughly to a strong “I like you” in a platonic or romantic sense. Either way, the specific connotations of each saying get lost in translation.

Enter Sugoren, a Japanese dating advice site. Earlier this year they conducted an online survey asking 165 bachelors in their teens and twenties to provide reasons why they don’t say ai shiteru to their girlfriends. Based on the results, they were able to compile a list of nine common patterns that prevent men from saying ai shiteru. If you’re dating a Japanese man and have yet to hear the fabled words, you may find yourself in one of the situations below!

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Trailer released for live-action version of street gang anime Tokyo Tribe 【Video】

Trailer released for live-action version of street gang anime Tokyo Tribe 【Video】

This year is shaping up to be the year of live-action anime adaptations. First up is the second installment of samurai action series Rurouni Kenshin, which opens August 1 and is followed in rapid succession by the trilogy’s finale on September 13. August 30 sees the long-awaited return of the band of thieves from Lupin III, which hasn’t been attempted with live actors for three decades.

And now there’s one more group of manga-originating criminals coming to the big screen — the live-action version of ultra-violent gang story Tokyo Tribe.

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Nintendo celebrates its roots with traditional art of their most famous characters

Nintendo celebrates its roots with traditional art of their most famous characters

With global phenomenon like the Mario and Pokemon franchises under their belts, it’s easy to forget about Nintendo’s humble beginnings as a producer of traditional Japanese playing cards. This year the company goes back to their roots in their 2014 company brochure with beautiful artwork that celebrates both the old and the new.

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A tale of two tonkatsu burgers – We pit McDonald’s pork cutlet sandwich against Mos Burger’s

A tale of two tonkatsu burgers – We pit McDonald’s pork cutlet sandwich against Mos Burger’s

Here at RocketNews24, we’re all about forming stronger connections between Japan and the rest of the world. Incidentally, we’re also all about burgers and fried foods.

Sometimes, the planets align just right, and we get to check all three boxes at once, like we did today with our taste-test of McDonald’s new pork cutlet burger, a Westernized version of Japanese dish inspired by Western cuisine. And since the only thing better than a fried pork sandwich is two fried pork sandwiches, we’ll be comparing it to the nearly identical menu item from hometown hero Mos Burger.

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Taxi driver arrested after slipping female passengers drugs so he could watch them pee

Taxi driver arrested after slipping female passengers drugs so he could watch them pee

A taxi driver in Osaka has been taken into police custody after it was discovered that he had given snacks laced with a powerful diuretic to as many as 50 of his female passengers and refused to let them exit the vehicle so that he could watch them squirm, and in some cases urinate, in the back of his cab.

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Kagawa’s “Udon Generator” begins pumping out the most delicious kilowatts you’ve ever tasted

Kagawa’s “Udon Generator” begins pumping out the most delicious kilowatts you’ve ever tasted

Actually never mind that, tasting any wattage isn’t really recommended, despite my own preference for licking 9V batteries. Nevertheless, a power source fueled largely by Japan’s girthy noodles called udon is now currently in operation in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture.

Although generating power from bio-organic sources is nothing new, it seems this plant-based plant has found a way to be sustainable using a peculiar quirk of Kagawa’s udon rich culture.

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We eat the Attack on Titan instant curry, plus make our own edible Titans

We eat the Attack on Titan instant curry, plus make our own edible Titans

Sometimes, you don’t realize how much you’ll miss something until it’s gone. A few months back, hungry Attack on Titan fans could get both hamburgers and bento boxed lunches inspired by the hit series. They were only available for a limited time though, and both are gone now, leaving us without a way to simultaneously satisfy our cravings for giant-fighting anime and a quick, hot meal.

That is, until the release of a new line of Attack on Titan instant curry. We got our hands on a pack, then created a batch of edible Titans to go with it.

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Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the baldest of them all? Japan top for male baldness in Asia

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the baldest of them all? Japan top for male baldness in Asia

There are a number of theories regarding the causes of male pattern baldness. Some suggest that one’s diet and stress levels play key roles. Others feel that regular exercise will help keep locks thick and plentiful until well after retirement. Most would agree, though, that our genes hold the most sway, and if a man loses his hair then chances are his son, too, will have increasingly more face to wash as he ages.

Baldness affects some more than others, however, and a survey by Trip Advisor Japan has revealed the countries where male baldness is most common, with Japan found to have more bald men than any other Asian country.

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Cultural differences spoiling the sing-along version of Frozen for some fans

Cultural differences spoiling the sing-along version of Frozen for some fans

Disney’s Frozen is a big hit in Japan, where it’s known as Anna and the Snow Queen. It’s not such a big surprise, as Japan’s always had a soft spot for Disney and stories about the power of friendship and family, and the film’s lack of dramatic, showy romance also fits in nicely with Japanese narrative sensibilities.

So when Disney decided to bring the sing-along version of Frozen to theatres in Japan, a country where you’re never more than a few minutes from a place to sing karaoke, you’d think it’d be an amazingly enjoyable experience for moviegoers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s always the case.

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Osaka criminal forgets the most important part of armed robbery: stay armed

Osaka criminal forgets the most important part of armed robbery: stay armed

In any endeavor, you can’t overstate the importance of making preparations in the proper order. For example, it’s best to plan out what you’ll say for your sales pitch prior to sitting down face-to-face with your customer. Likewise, even if you’ve made dinner reservations and meet your date at the exact time the two of you agreed upon, your courtesy and punctuality won’t be particularly appreciated if you neglected to put on a pair of pants before arriving at the restaurant.

Also, should you want to knock over a convenience store, you should actually secure a weapon before you threaten the clerk and ask for the money. Otherwise, your victim might not even realize she’s being robbed, which is what happened to one would-be criminal mastermind in Osaka.

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If you want to explore the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea, there’s an app for that

If you want to explore the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea, there’s an app for that

For everyone dreaming of the chance to visit North Korea, you’re in luck. There is now an app for that

The North Korea Travel app, released on Wednesday, promises to be the most comprehensive guide ever created for tourists to the Hermit Kingdom.

The app, which will be available through both the App Store and Google play, will feature information on over 350 locations throughout the country. Each location will feature “Tour Guide Tips” provided by Simon Cockerell, who works in the North Korea travel industry and has visited the country over 120 times.

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Less than 10 percent survived the first Attack on Titan Real Escape Game

Less than 10 percent survived the first Attack on Titan Real Escape Game

The first first Attack on Titan-inspired “Escape from a Certain Fortress Town” Real Escape Games took place this past weekend at Yokohama Stadium. Of the 1,600 participants who signed up for the event, only 120 “escaped” within the allotted one-hour time limit.

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Karate’s long fight to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

Karate’s long fight to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

Question: Which of the following is not an official Olympic medal sport? Is it A) Judo, B)  Taekwondo, or C) Karate? If you guessed C) Karate, then you answered correctly.

It may come as a surprise to you that karate is not an official Olympic sport, despite its widespread popularity throughout the world. In fact, karate has been rejected by the International Olympic Committee on three separate occasions. However, the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics have created a new movement for official adoption, along with a new strategy.   

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27-year-old in Japan arrested for 3-D printed pistol, says he didn’t know it was illegal

27-year-old in Japan arrested for 3-D printed pistol, says he didn’t know it was illegal

We live in a brave new world where cars wash themselves and a customized 3-D figure of your very likeness can be bought for just under US$100. It’s also a world where anyone can literally download 3-D printer plans for automatic gun parts–which, depending on which side of the barrel you’re standing on, might not be such great news.

But while printing off a full assault rifle still isn’t quite within the realm of possibility, it looks like you can use a 3-D printer to make a revolver strong enough to fire actual bullets. Which, in Japan at least, is completely illegal. One 27-year-old Kanawaga resident found this out the hard way when he was arrested this Thursday for doing just that.

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What type of girlfriend are you? Wait a minute, let me check your bangs

What type of girlfriend are you? Wait a minute, let me check your bangs

When you’re a little unsure about your love interest, what or who do you turn to for advice? Most of us have read one of those horoscope love readings at least once in our lifetime. In Japan, many people believe that a person’s blood type has influence on their personality traits. This may sound slightly silly, but blood type is a factor some Japanese consider when choosing a date.

Recently, however, a new personality prediction trend has been getting popular among girls in Japan. It seems that the way a girl styles her fringe (or bangs) gives away hints about her relationship personality! Guys, you might want to pay more attention to your love interest’s hairstyle from now on!

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【TBT】Learning language through nonsense – Japanese author of “Unusable English” speaks

【TBT】Learning language through nonsense – Japanese author of “Unusable English” speaks

Fantastic octopus wiring!

My brother has been observing the slugs since he got divorced.

Let’s start from where we left off yesterday. Get down on all fours.

No, these aren’t the ramblings of a man with concussion; these are genuine excerpts from Twitter feed and study guide “Non-essential English Vocabulary: Words that will never come up in tests”, a language resource for Japanese students of English that presents entirely useless but infinitely memorable phrases.

With more than 40,000 Twitter followers so far, Twitter feed curator and author Nakayama-san (otherise known as @NISE_TOEIC)’s cheeky tweets are clearly resonating with English learners here in Japan, but why, when the rest of the nation is busy with earnest study, would someone take the time to create a Twitter account dedicated entirely to unusable English? Japanese website Excite Bit sat down with the Nakayama-san to pick up a few study tips and learn little more about the thinking behind the bizarre project.

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Baskin Robbins Japan gets into the FIFA World Cup spirit — with colorful Brazilian-themed sherbet!

Baskin Robbins Japan gets into the FIFA World Cup spirit — with colorful Brazilian-themed sherbet!

So, is everyone excited about the FIFA World Cup in Brazil coming up next month? While Japan is practically on the opposite end of the world from Brazil, there’s sure to be plenty of devoted soccer fans here who will be watching the World Cup games intently. And just to make sure everyone in Japan gets even more excited about the event than they already are, Baskin Robbins Japan is coming out with a new, colorful sherbet flavor — the “Trio de Janeiro“!

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Go fly a (humongous) kite: Zama’s Odako Matsuri【Photos】

Go fly a (humongous) kite: Zama’s Odako Matsuri【Photos】

If someone in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, tells you to go fly a kite, don’t be hurt. They are probably just inviting you to the Odako Matsuri or Giant Kite Festival! And with hundreds of years of history, 13-meter paper and bamboo kites, and a bonfire using said kite as the finale, you’ll be glad you were invited.

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“3 bottles available” – Life’s Good when you can mail your fridge to ask if there’s any beer left

“3 bottles available” – Life’s Good when you can mail your fridge to ask if there’s any beer left

Electronics giant LG has announced that its line of “HomeChat”-enabled appliances — a refrigerator, washing machine, and Lightwave oven that can be communicated with and operated via messaging service Line — is now available to buy in its native South Korea.

By using the popular smartphone app, users can chat with their various gizmos as if they were ordinary human contacts, asking them questions as well as providing additional information to alter their functions. Thanks to the technology built into the appliances with which the app communicates, it’s possible not just to remotely check the temperature inside the fridge or put on a load of laundry, but to find out how many beers you have or delay your usual wash cycle by 30 minutes simply by telling the machine you’ll be home late.

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