The sleek metropolis of Tokyo welcomes most foreign visitors to Japan, but bustling, friendly Osaka is making a bid to be a major international gateway and attraction for foreign visitors in its own right. With that goal in mind, they’ve just announced a Japanese pop culture event to be held in March of next year called the Osaka Pop Festival, and they’re looking for a few good designers and the best cosplay get-up you can muster.
Earlier this week, we brought you news that voting was open for the “natural” round of this year’s Miss-Con, or rather the Kanto region’s Miss Cutest High School Girl.
Comments came in ranging from the generous (“They’re all beautiful!”) to the cautionary (“Jailbait!”) here and on our dedicated Facebook page, and for a while it looked like we might never agree on who was the cutest of the nine finalists, but we can finally reveal that the winner is none other than…
Upcoming Nintendo 3DS title Gyakuten Saiban 5 (known in the English-speaking world as Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies) may still be a couple of months away from release in the West, but gamers in Japan are already charging their portable consoles in preparation for its launch this Thursday.
Developer Capcom, too, is helping fans get back into detective mode after their brief hiatus by asking visitors to the official Phoenix Wright website to investigate a crime scene and spot the contradictions in three witness statements. Those who can successfully solve the puzzle will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 50 ‘blood pillows’ designed to transform any sleeping gamer into the victim of a grizzly cartoon murder.
Earlier this month, McDonald’s Japan announced the grand prize winner of its Big Mac Award Art Contest. The results inspired a great deal of online debate, as is often the case with topics as subjective as art and design. What the judges see as artistic and inspired might look like a mess to the greater masses. Read on for a taste of the juicy reactions to this creative burger art. Read More
Yuki Jirushi Coffee is a brand that pretty much everyone in Japan is familiar with. Available in supermarkets, convenience stores and even vending machines all over the country, Yuki Jirushi (lit. “snow mark”)’s sweet and creamy café au lait has been delighting coffee lovers for 50 years.
In celebration the country’s undying love for the chilled caffeinated beverage and wanting to spruce up its familiar yet somewhat uninspired packaging, Yuki Jirushi Coffee’s makers have teamed up with pixiv to launch a contest asking fans with a passion for doodling to come up with a mascot character to adorn the coffee cartons.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are joining forces on the Global Precipitation Measurement Project (GPM Project).
Now that all the abbreviations are out of the way, the two space agencies are holding a manga character contest to find some 2-D spokespeople (or spokesthings) to represent this project in promotional and educational materials.
Yahoo! Auction in Japan has been used in creative ways before, but now we are seeing an auction that’s not even an auction at all.
The item in question is a set of 10 vintage 80s Nintendo games, but this auction isn’t about the item. It’s a contest that would require some keen detective work to solve. The person who can correctly identify the location where the games were photographed will get them all for free. To spice things up, the “seller” also put up some hints and further photos of the area. Think you can figure it out?
Gadget-laden robot cat from the future Doraemon is something a national treasure here in Japan. Since the appearance of the original manga of the same name back in 1969, the subsequent TV series has been watched by multiple generations and is still on the air today. As well as remaining popular with adults and kids alike, the Japanese Foreign Ministry once declared the mechanical time-traveller the country’s official “animé ambassador”, meaning that the earless mechanical cat is sure to be around for a long time to come yet.
Perhaps the thing that people love most about Doraemon, though, is his seemingly bottomless pocket, from which the character produces all manner of gadgets and inventions in order to assist his human pal Nobita. Although the “dokodemo doa” (lit. “anywhere door”) is often given as the answer to the age-old conundrum “Which of Doraemon’s gadgets would you most like to have?”, it doesn’t stop people imagining what else could buried deep down in there.
In that vein, Yahoo! Japan recently announced the winner of its 2012-2013 Adults Only Doraemon Contest, in which contestants were asked to come up with an invention that they’d like to pull out of Doraemon’s pocket and use in real life, with the top prize being awarded to 50-year-old Rieko Honjou for her “Pee Baton”.
Kentucky Fried Chicken is getting into the holiday spirit with the All-You-Can-Eat Chicken Tour. From now till midnight on 20 December you can enter as often as you like to win a trip to Osaka where you can eat your fill of unlimited free KFC!
The photos above are the contestants for the upcoming Kanto Miss JK Contest, a beauty pageant to be held on December 27 in Shibuya, Tokyo to decide on the cutest Japanese high school girl in Kanto, the region on the main island of Japan encompassing Tokyo and the prefectures around it.
Before we say anything too malicious, we’d like to acknowledge that perceptions of beauty—or “cuteness”, in this case—can vary greatly among different cultures. However, as many Japanese netizens have pointed out, a thick mask of makeup and hair dyed brown or blonde is hardly representative of a typical Japanese high school girl, let alone a cute one.
If no-one ever copied anyone else, fire would have died along with the first humans to create it. Social creatures that we are, human beings copy, modify and improve what has gone before in order to succeed; it’s just a part of life.
But when it comes to artistic creation, borrowing ideas from another person’s work isn’t usually looked on quite so favourably.
In September this year, a group of students from a Tokyo university received the first prize in the Shinjuku Creators Festa 2012 for a short film that shares more than a passing resemblance to Pixels, a video created by French film creator Patrick Jean in 2010.
Whether intentional or not, the similarities between the two creations are startling, land have led to an online debate, with many calling the young team’s work “a simple rip-off”…
With weather having turned cold, our intrepid Hyper Cool Biz Gentlemen Mr. Sato and Mr. Tashiro can finally put away their mankinis and start to pig out again. It’s good timing seeing as Pizza Hut and Evangelion are joining promotional forces to give Eva fans a chance to win never before seen merchandise.
From now to 16 December, if you buy Pizza Hut’s new “Hut Onebox” pizza combo with chicken nuggets and fries you get a chance to win Evangelion goodies such as a cushion shaped like an entry plug.
※“Entry plug cushion” might sound disgusting to non-fans. An entry plug is the capsule that people control the giant Eva cyborgs in.
Follow our gentlemen as they excitedly order their pizzas like two kids in a… pizza and Evangelion shop. What will they win?
The 52nd Miss International Beauty Contest was held last Sunday in Naha city, Okinawa, with Japan taking the top prize for the first time since the contest began in 1960.
The contest, which is said to be judged on “friendship, beauty and intelligence”, sees women from around the globe aged 19-29 compete against each-other to “promote worldwide peace, goodwill and understanding.”
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