Hand-washed pandas look adorable, melt our hearts【Video】

Two Chinese panda cubs giggle and coo as a zoo staff member cuddles and bathes them with a washcloth.

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Edo-period ukiyoe woodblock prints of animals and mythical beasts now available for free online

Lovers of art, history and animals are celebrating the release of an exclusive set of ukiyoe woodblock prints from 1857 that are now free to download and share online.

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Japan’s phenomenally handsome gorilla getting nationwide DVD release

A DVD of Japan’s “hottest primate” is set to go on sale nationwide in December.

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Hamster hides in glass bottle during earthquake in Japan 【Photos】

We’ve been taught to shelter under tables when there’s an earthquake, but this little hamster in Japan chose to hide in a glass bottle instead.

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Cow herd gathers and mourns after fellow bull hit by a car in Hong Kong

With much of the world’s population being separated from the farming process these days, it’s easy for us to forget that the hamburger we just ate came from a living, breathing, thinking, and possibly even emotionally engaged cow.

Pictures and videos emerged in Hong Kong last week after a motorist struck a bull. While that is sad in itself, what gained media attention is that the rest of the bull’s herd gathered around to push him to safety and then mourn the tragedy. 

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Fashion brand gets ballsy with their latest accessory theme: cat testicles

With so many cute character designs and accessories out there, it can be hard for new Japanese artists to come up with something that is sure to make a splash. But perhaps one label has come up with a purr-fect way to get noticed, by incorporating a common sight any cat lover is sure to be familiar with as the focus of their latest fashion-forward accessory. No, not the sight of your cat hawking up a hairball on your favorite sweater, but one of a certain area you’ve probably been flashed more than once by your neighborhood tomcat or your very own feline friend.

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Watch this chill cat groove to the beat of “Hotline Bling”【Video】

We’ve all got that song that really moves us, gets us caught up in its beats and has us tapping our feet or nodding our head. But are the pleasures of music limited only to the human species? Most would argue that yes, music is an art unfortunately lost on animals. Or, at least, that they can’t enjoy it on the same level as us Homo-sapiens.

To you nay-sayers, hold that thought, because we found one groovy cool cat who begs to differ!

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Japanese cat becomes blanket, warms sleeping baby’s tummy and our hearts 【Photos】

Japan may not be cold enough for a three-dog night yet, but the season is just right for a one-cat nap, as these heartwarming photos prove.

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Farting sheep set plane’s alarm bells ringing during flight to Malaysia

We all have different ways of getting through long flights, like settling down for some inflight entertainment, reading a good book, or possibly trolling fellow passengers. But one thing everyone tries not to think about is what might happen if the plane were to suddenly experience an emergency while thousands of feet up in the air.

For one unlucky group of passengers last month, they experienced just that, and for what might be the strangest reason we’ve heard yet: some very gassy sheep.

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Adorable prairie dog traffic jam wins the hearts of Japanese Twitter users

Depending on where you grew up, prairie dogs might be nothing more than hated, pesky varmints you just wish would go away. But in Japan, they are adorable little creatures deserving all your squeals of “kawaiiiii” — especially when they end up in a traffic jam!

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Tanuki teamwork! Japanese raccoon dogs’ cuddly communal nap is too cute to miss 【Photos】

During these crisp, cool days of autumn, the leaves are changing color to vibrant reds and yellows. Along with that change in the scenery comes a shift in fashion, as people step out in sweaters, coats, and other cold-weather attire.

But while you or I can put on a heavy jacket to help ward off the chill, that’s not an option for Japan’s woodland animals. Don’t worry, though because while these tanuki can’t put on additional layers of clothing to keep warm, they can add additional layers of tanuki by sleeping in an adorable bunch.

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Japanese cat gets in on trick-or-treating fun without saying a word thanks to clever idea【Video】

As Halloween gets increasingly popular in Japan, “Trick or treat!” is becoming part of the country’s extensive lexicon of popular foreign phrases. After all, just saying the words instantly legitimizes your reason for cosplaying and gets you some free candy.

Of course, you don’t actually have to know the phrase to celebrate Halloween. This cute kitty, for example, is getting in on all the fun of dressing up and eating treats, even though it can’t say a single word, thanks to its clever owner.

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Photos of scrawny-looking lion and tiger raise concerns for Beijing Zoo’s big cats

Zoos bring the thrill of being able to observe wild, exotic animals up close that we normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to see. For young and old alike, seeing one’s favorite animal just a few meters away can be a magical experience, but sadly for the animal involved, the experience may not be a happy one.

With news like the deer who died from plastic consumption and the lonely “headbanging” bear, it seems that recently there are an increasing number of sad stories coming from zoos. Unfortunately we have yet another to add to the list, as photographs of a couple of Beijing Zoo’s big cats surfaced on the internet this past week that beg the question of how well these animals are being taken care of.
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Japanese “lottery ticket booth” robbed by literal cat burglar, thief makes off with our hearts

If there’s one rule of the Internet, it’s that cats make everything cute: kimonosheadbandsair freshenersand apparently even stealing things too.

Case in point: a kitty-sized lottery ticket booth was recently broken into by one greedy cat, and the owner caught the animal red-handed, posting the adorable evidence on Twitter. Stealing is bad, but these cats make being a thief look so cute!

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Happy Java sparrow Day! Pet owners celebrate their adorable birds on Twitter【Photos】

October 24 may be seven days before Halloween to most people, but for those in Japan with a Java sparrow (called buncho in Japanese), it’s the day to celebrate your cute little buddy.

Last year the hashtag #文鳥の日2014 (#buncho no hi 2014) was trending and owners all over the country shared pictures of their pet birds. Luckily, this year we were treated to even more pictures of Java sparrows as proud owners wanted to share their joy with the Twitterverse.

Enjoy the best selection of these adorable little guys, after the jump.

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Maru the cat enthrals us with his adorable animal costumes【Video】

Gearing up for Halloween, we’ve already seen our share of humans dressing up like cats, but how about some costuming felines? Of course, as we’re sure all you cat people out there already know, getting kitty dressed up in a ridiculous outfit is a lot easier said than done.

…Or is it? Turns out the owner of Maru, “the most famous cat on the internet” has devised an easy way to get even the most stubborn of felines to get into the Halloween spirit with these cute animal costumes.

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Japan is so polite that even this adorable raccoon dog gives thank-you presents

There’s an annual autumn event in Japan called Shichi-Go-San, which is a celebration for children aged three, five, and seven. My brother-in-law’s youngest daughter is seven this year, so on the special day my wife and I gave her a small monetary gift. Sweet kid that she is, she immediately thanked us, but as we left the party my brother-in-law handed us a small cake to express his appreciation as well.

This pattern of giving someone a gift to say thank you for the gift they previously gave you is fairly common in Japan, where gracious manners are always held to be of the utmost importance. As a matter of fact, it’s such a part of life in the country that apparently even one animal, a thankful tanuki, is following the custom.

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【Monday Kickstart】Guinea pigs heading home for the night are delightfully darling

The children’s petting zoo section of Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo is home to a variety of fluffy, domesticated critters that visitors can get up close and personal with. Among the perennial favorites is a group of guinea pigs which have an impressive routine for when it comes time to (literally) hit the hay.

We bet you never thought that a group of rodents could be as well-behaved as these furry little guys!

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Japan has rabbits that cosplay each fall…as other rabbits?!? 【Photos】

I think we can all agree that rabbits are already pretty adorable, right? And they’re much beloved in Japan, where they’ve got their own cafes and even an island.

But still, bunnies’ popularity regularly lags behind that of cats and dogs, so we could understand if they felt the need to step up their cuteness game. As a matter of fact, right now one breed of Japanese rabbit is winning new fans by appearing to cosplay…as another rabit?!?

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Kitties wrestle before bedtime in their cat-sized futon【Video】

Cats have a reputation for being solitary creatures, but that isn’t always the case, as proven by a recent video uploaded to popular Japanese video-sharing site, Niconico Douga.

Taken by a proud cat parent, the video, which features two kitties turning in for the night in a cat-sized futon, is sure to put a smile on your face.

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