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Japanese man fails at writing a love letter, builds machine to do it for him

Japanese man fails at writing a love letter, builds machine to do it for him

Relationships in Japan start a little differently than ones in other countries. In many places, the interested party may strike up a conversation and barring any incredibly awkward small talk, might suggest another meeting at a future agreed upon time. However, if anime or manga is anything to go by, the process doesn’t usually go like that in Japan. Rather, one person likes the other from afar and becomes utterly infatuated with the girl or boy of their dreams. It all builds until a private meeting where one finally declares “I like you. Please go out with me!”

One industrious man decided to put his own unique spin on the confession in hopes of gaining the love of his life! Let’s take a look at what he did!

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Japanese convenience store clerks ready to fight crime by hurling giant paint balls 【Video】

Japanese convenience store clerks ready to fight crime by hurling giant paint balls 【Video】

For the most part, Japan is an extremely safe country. Still, that doesn’t mean the country is completely crime-free, with convenience stores being one of the most likely targets of individuals who’ve been driven to extreme measures by their desire for cash (or a light snack).

Occasionally these crimes are diffused by clerks who are quick-thinking, daring, or possibly deliberately obtuse. On the occasion that a robbery does go down, however, victims in Japan do have one last resort: chucking a giant paint ball at the criminal.

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Pair of goldfish play Street Fighter II, instantly become world’s coolest pets

Pair of goldfish play Street Fighter II, instantly become world’s coolest pets

Whenever I’m asked if I’m a dog or a cat person, I can always respond quite easily: “Neither.” I’m absolutely convinced fish make the best pets, since they’re quiet, relaxing, and never pee or cough things up on the carpet.

And just in case that wasn’t enough to sell you, consider one more thing fish can now do: play a game of Street Fighter II.

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Science museum’s elemental lockers provide chemistry lesson while you stash your stuff

Science museum’s elemental lockers provide chemistry lesson while you stash your stuff

The Nagoya City Science Museum, being located in one of the busiest urban centers of Japan, gets most of its visitors arriving by public transportation. Without a car to store their stuff in, most of them are carrying some sort of bag with their personal belongings, plus, in the case of tourists from out of town, any souvenirs they’ve been buying while in the country’s fourth-largest city.

For those who don’t feel like lugging their things around inside the museum, there’s a bank of lockers. Of course, a drab wall of solid gray metal wouldn’t be very visually appealing. At many other tourist attractions in Japan, you’d see a brightly colored mural featuring some local mascot character, but the designers at the Science System went with something a lot more original and appropriate by plastering the chemical symbols of the elements on them.

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Amazing papercraft Totoro house has 1,800 roof tiles, immeasurable love for Ghibli

Amazing papercraft Totoro house has 1,800 roof tiles, immeasurable love for Ghibli

While the house is definitely a bit of a fixer-upper, I think most anime fans who’ve watched My Neighbor Totoro have occasional daydreams about living in the quiet, peaceful country house into which main characters Mei and Satsuki move during the movie. Of course most of us have school, work or family responsibilities that keep us from packing up our things and moving to the Japanese countryside, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could have your own little version of the Totoro house?

That’s apparently what one papercraft master thought, and after years of folding, he’s finished his remarkably accurate recreation of Studio Ghibli’s most iconic residence.

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Niconico Video user crafts miniature violin-playing Darth Vader out of paper just because he can

Niconico Video user crafts miniature violin-playing Darth Vader out of paper just because he can

Fandom often inspires people to invest vast sums of money in the object of their obsession. Often when you visit a real enthusiast’s home, you’ll see so much merchandise that you start to wonder whether they also thought to invest in insurance to protect them if any of it was lost or stolen since the goods’ combined value can in some cases amount to thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars.

In many ways, the amount of merch a person owns can act as an indicator of how big a fan they are, but what’s even more impressive than dropping exorbitant amounts of cash on a hobby is investing time and energy. Take, for example, this Niconico Video user from Japan who, rather than simply visiting a store or online shop to purchase a swanky new Darth Vader figurine, decided to make one out of little more than a pile of craft paper, and the end result is simply stunning.

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Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Even though it’s been a week since we made the trip to downtown Yokohama to see the packs of roaming Pikachus, and we’ve still got a warm fuzzy feeling. Actually, warm and fuzzy is also an apt description of the lovable pocket monsters’ plush yellow coats, which brings up a concern.

Cuddly softness is all fine and good when Pikachu is handing out hugs, but what about when he goes back to his regular duties of fighting other Pokémon? Shouldn’t he be wrapped in something a bit more durable, like his own custom set of samurai armor?

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The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】

The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】

Japanese culture places a lot of importance on taking care of yourself and not inconveniencing others. Sooner or later we all end up needing a little help, though, which is why the Japanese language has a half-dozen regularly used phrases that all mean “thank you.”

But while having that arsenal of expressions with which to show your gratitude comes in handy, it won’t do you much good if you want to thank someone who’s not in earshot, such as a fellow motorist who let you into their lane on the expressway. That’s why Japanese drivers follow a bit of automotive protocol that lets them deliver a message of thanks with the push of a button.

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High school gymnastics team brings much needed humor, Attack on Titan to competitions

High school gymnastics team brings much needed humor, Attack on Titan to competitions

If you’ve ever had to attend one of your sibling’s high school gymnastics team performances and been bored out of your mind at all the jumping around and the bizarre Whose Lines is it Anyway/Clueless Gamer-style grading system, and thought to yourself, “Man, I’d be much more entertained if this was set to the Attack on Titan theme song. And would it kill these guys to throw a fart joke in there?,” you’re in luck; because this genius Kagoshima Prefecture high school men’s gymnastics team delivers on all of that in spades.

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Can’t get curry in your belly without getting it on your clothes? Kill the stain with the sun

Can’t get curry in your belly without getting it on your clothes? Kill the stain with the sun

A few days after I started doing homestay in Tokyo, I sat down for a meal with my host family, picked up a morsel of food with my chopsticks, and promptly dropped it onto my shirt. “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to using chopsticks soon enough,” they encouragingly told me, but the fact of the matter is that I’m just an incredibly messy and clumsy eater.

My choice of utensil doesn’t really seem to make much of a difference. Curry, for example, is eaten with a spoon in Japan, and I’ve still managed to spill spicy roux on myself plenty of times, usually when I’m wearing a new shirt. Thankfully, though, there’s apparently an easy way to get curry stains out: sunlight.

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Like a carnivorous fever dream, let the beef come to you at this revolving meat restaurant

Like a carnivorous fever dream, let the beef come to you at this revolving meat restaurant

We’ve talked before about kaitenzushi, Japan’s class of restaurants where customers grab whatever sushi they want off a conveyer belt that parades the plates before them. Quick, easy, and fun, kaitenzushi has seen its popularity soar in the last couple of years.

But as kaitenzushi joints proliferate across the country, one restaurant in Mie Prefecture has decided to take the system and give it a completely new menu, by creating a revolving yakiniku, or Korean barbecue, restaurant.

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Malaysian artist overcomes dyslexia, creates art to inspire the world

Malaysian artist overcomes dyslexia, creates art to inspire the world

Childhood can be difficult–dealing with homework, classmates, teachers, parents, and sweaty, screaming gym coaches is enough to frustrate anyone. But add a learning difficulty like dyslexia to that mix and “difficult” becomes a drastic understatement. For many, the frustration of being mislabeled as lazy or simply shunned for having difficulty in school can turn into a lifetime of trouble–but that doesn’t need to be the case. In fact, with just a little understanding and some patience on the part of teachers and family members, young dyslexics can turn into extremely successful and talented adults, as Malaysian artist Vince Lowe so ably proves!

Despite his unhappy school days, Vince has gone from a “bad kid” to a well-respected professional with art skills that are simply amazing.

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Lego models of Ghibli characters pay tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

Lego models of Ghibli characters pay tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

It’s been an emotional week for fans around the world after news broke about the possible closure of Studio Ghibli’s production department. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki thankfully cleared up some of the misconceptions out there, and while we’re still left with many unanswered questions, his words left us with a glimmer of hope that even the great Hayao Miyazaki himself may be back to make a short animated film in the near future.

Miyazaki himself has publicly stated that last year’s The Wind Rises would be his final feature-length film, even if he continues making short films after retirement. So how do you pay tribute to a man whose career spans decades and who created some of the most beloved movies around the world? Well, one fan’s idea to build Lego models of his famous characters and a bust of the master himself seems like a good start!  

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Sleepy? PC program dispatches anime girl to wake you up with encouragement, angry outbursts

Sleepy? PC program dispatches anime girl to wake you up with encouragement, angry outbursts

I don’t know if it was because of the layout of the surrounding skyscrapers, the beat-up old boom box we had in the lobby, or just a weak signal from the local broadcaster, but at one of my old jobs, we could never get a clear radio signal. This didn’t mean we had no musical accompaniment while we worked though, just that we had to use CDs. Unfortunately, on many days that meant a constant repeat of the Enya CD my boss would stick in the player.

She may be an award-winning artist, but a selection you could describe as “soothing and ethereal” wasn’t exactly the best choice to help power the staff through our shift. Sometimes I’d see one of my coworkers nodding off in front of his PC monitor, and I’d give him a quick, “Hey, wake up dude,” before our boss noticed.

I’m sure he appreciated the favor, but now technology can perform that same service for you, with a program that’ll send a cute anime girl onto your screen to wake you up if you doze off.

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Fireworks, seaweed, and sake-The unique regional aspects of visiting a grave in Japan

Fireworks, seaweed, and sake-The unique regional aspects of visiting a grave in Japan

Every year, almost every company in Japan takes about a week off in August. And while some people use this time to travel, attend firework festivals, or just hang out at the beach, the real purpose is Obon, the Japanese holiday during which people go back to their hometown to visit their family grave and offer a prayer to their ancestors, whether distant or recently deceased.

In general, relatives pay their respects all together at the same time, and the associated family reunion keeps the atmosphere from being too somber. Still, in general, the tone is retrained and reserved, as the family prays silently, lights some incense, and leaves a bouquet of flowers.

Unless, that is, they’re in one of the parts of Japan where Obon means bringing a supply of fireworks or seaweed to the grave.

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The top 5 places to see the sun set in Japan

The top 5 places to see the sun set in Japan

Japan may be known as the Land of the Rising Sun for good reason. The Japanese are extremely reverential to the sun and, if you can find a spot somewhere that doesn’t have a skyscraper blocking your view, Japanese sunrises are impressive and breathtaking to behold. They also happen at like 4 a.m., when no one in their right mind is awake – and those that are are likely enormously drunk and just getting ready for bed.

So for a lot of people, you might be better off watching the sun set in Japan. It’s equally gorgeous depending on location, and even in the middle of summer, the sun starts to slip behind the horizon around 6:30 or 7 p.m., so catching that perfect sunset is easy to work into your plans and doesn’t require remaining awake at some ungodly hour.

Of course, some places are better than others for catching a great Japanese sunset. While it’s cool and all to watch the sky turn all kinds of magnificent colors and the neon lights of the city winking on one by one from whatever street you happen to be standing on in the middle of Tokyo, it’s just not the same without a perfect backdrop and that eye-searing, crimson glory of the sun itself visibly sinking behind the landscape.

Here are our top five picks for watching the sunset in Japan (in no particular order):

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Now you too can imprison a wizard with real-life “Frozen” handcuffs

Now you too can imprison a wizard with real-life “Frozen” handcuffs

Frozen is really big in Japan – perhaps even more so than in the West. It’s big enough that not only are there multiple Japanese versions of the film’s biggest hit song number, “Let it Go” – to cover a variety of different regional dialects – but at least one obsessive Japanese fan went to huge lengths and poured a ton of money into recreating the special wizard handcuffs that film lead Elsa is briefly entrapped in during the movie.

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New father dresses like iconic pop culture characters and takes baths with his kid

New father dresses like iconic pop culture characters and takes baths with his kid

Normally I pride myself on being able to come up with at least somewhat clever headlines for my articles, but this story is so bizarrely specific, I ran out of space just trying to come up with a comprehensible title.

What you’re looking at is a new father who got the idea to pose with his daughter in the bathtub every couple of weeks to record her growth from gross poop machine into vaguely human infant. The man’s wife apparently proposed that they add a little makeup to dad’s face to make things interesting and then the situation, as you can see, kind of escalated from there.

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We check out the view, eat amazingly delicious squid at Japan’s first underwater restaurant

We check out the view, eat amazingly delicious squid at Japan’s first underwater restaurant

In many cases, the Japanese language uses the word umi, literally “sea,” to mean “beach.” For example, if your friends extend the invitation, “Hey, let’s go to the umi next Saturday!” they’re expecting you to show up with a towel and sunscreen, not a compass and cutlass for fending off pirates as you sail your ship full of cargo to the Bahamas to exchange for molasses.

So when we first heard about a restaurant in Kyushu right in the middle of the umi, we thought it was built on the sand. And while we like an eatery with an ocean view as much as anyone, the reality is even cooler, as the restaurant is actually built off-shore, with half of its seating area below the surface of the water.

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A six-year-old smashed the previous limbo skating record, in case you wanted to know

A six-year-old smashed the previous limbo skating record, in case you wanted to know

Who would have thought the world of limbo skating would be so competitive? Also, who would have thought limbo skating was a thing that exists?

Limbo skating is the sport of using old-school roller skates – we presume there’s some kind of rule about them having to be in pastel colors – to project yourself across the ground while staying as low as possible. Sometimes, limbo skaters can squish their bodies down to about the same height as a Coke bottle while bending their ankles at seemingly impossible angles to keep the roller skate’s wheels on the pavement.

So, since we went ahead and told you that limbo skating is a thing, we might as well also tell you that a 6-year-old just broke the previous limbo skating world record by limbo skating under 39 cars like it was nothing.

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