crazy

Suzuki CEO tells reporters that only poor people buy his company’s cars

The last couple of years haven’t been particularly kind to Suzuki Motor Corporation. The company’s US division filed for bankruptcy in 2012, and the automaker announced that it would be halting sales of passenger cars in both America and Canada.

Suzuki still sells cars in its home market, but recent moves by Japanese politicians looking to scale back tax breaks for the compact cars the Shizuoka-based manufacturer specializes in have put it in a precarious position. As the man in the hot seat, Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki has come up with a bold and unorthodox plan: openly insult his customers.

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23 wacky inventions from Japan and abroad – most useless, all ridiculous

Sometimes it seems like all the ideas for good inventions have already been taken. The wheel. The light bulb. The Internet, and with it access to some of the greatest sources of knowledge known to man.

Nevertheless, we salute those individuals still pushing the innovation envelope, even when reality pushes back with the harsh truth that no one would ever use their creations.

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Lotteria’s crazy burger with literally everything on it is perfect for indecisive diners

As sure as the sun rises in the east, you can count on Japanese burger chain Lotteria to do something wacky every couple of months. Seemingly resigned to the fact that it can never quite capture either the flavor or value crown in the fast food market, Lotteria has apparently settled on cornering the market on crazy, whether that means nine-patty Evangelion burgers or milkshakes inspired by horror movie The Ring.

Lotteria’s latest outburst is a burger literally topped with everything.

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Who’s up for 2.4 kilograms of free noodles?

Despite its well-earned reputation as a society where meals are generally sensibly-sized and low calorie, Japan isn’t above the occasional burst of gastronomic decadence, and we’ve mentioned the jumbo-sized portions known as dekamori before.

Of course, it’s not easy to finance such a big appetite. Thankfully, if you’re craving a dekamori of the stir-fried noodle dish known as yakisoba, there’s a place where you won’t have to pay a single yen, as long as you can polish off 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds) of it ,that is…

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The unfortunate implications of Seoul’s tsunami-shaped City Hall

Located right in the middle of Seoul’s central Jung District, the grassy lawns of Seoul Plaza provide residents and visitors alike with a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Korean capital.

Of course, the tranquility of your surroundings is heavily influenced by which way you’re facing, so if you’re really looking to relax, you might want to take a seat on the grass with your back to the building that looks like a colossal, deadly tidal wave about to crash down on you.

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Popular Japanese travel guide for East Africa is filled with thrilling tales of danger

Japan is, by almost any criteria, an extremely safe country. You can wander most back alleys of Tokyo in the dead of night without any sense of danger, and calmly carry huge amounts of cash secure in the knowledge that you’re about as likely to come across a mugger in downtown as a man riding a horse.

While this bubble of safety is definitely a plus when you’re inside it, the flipside is that Japanese travelers, unaccustomed to street crime, violent or otherwise, tend to be extremely risk averse when going abroad. Driving this point home is the East Africa edition of a popular series of Japanese guidebooks, which is filled with warnings of danger that seem more like something out of a pulp action novel than a travel reference.

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Chocolate-covered squid, wasabi Kit Kat, and other anomalies of the Japanese snack food scene

Japan is a crowded country, and that goes for just about everything. Even store shelves are crowded. Most people do their shopping on foot, which means supermarkets and convenience stores tend to be on the small size, and shelf space is always at a premium.

As such, companies have to do something to make their products stand out. This is why so many Japanese beverages and snack foods have seasonal flavors that are only available for a limited time. Of course, taste engineers in Japan can only come up with so many normal flavors, and when they run out, the only thing to do is go on to the abnormal flavors.

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These one-eyed manga comic heroines are totally safe for work, slightly less so for your sanity

One of the most distinctive aspects of Japanese comics and animation is the size of the characters’ eyes. From a design standpoint, larger eyes make are easier to emote with, and some of anime and manga’s most expressive, and thus memorable, characters have had some of the biggest eyes. As the eyes became bigger, anime artists were left with less and less space to draw the nose and mouth, both of which are often tiny compared to those of Western cartoon characters.

But there’s only so much room on the face, and now we’re seeing the twistedly logical conclusion to the big-eyed trend in the growing popularity of otherwise cute female manga characters with only one eye.

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Images depicting the life of Jesus in Korea rile Chinese Internet users

There seems to be a long-running debate over whether Jesus was white or African (as opposed, to, you know, Arabic, as most people born in the Middle East tend to be).

Apparently concerned that the squabble doesn’t have enough sides, a participant in a Chinese Internet forum has come forward with images suggesting yet another theory: Jesus was Korean.

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Highway video from Southeast Asia shows three crazy motorists, one crazy scooter

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word Vespa? A stylish mode of transportation for your date with an incognito princess? The perfect way to ironically get to the office if your workplace is too far away to commute to by fixed-gear bicycle?

Well, for a lot of people across Southeast Asia, Vespas and other scooters are simply an inexpensive, practical way to get around town. They’re so ubiquitous that just riding one in and of itself doesn’t make you stand out. To catch people’s eyes, you have to do something really outlandish, like creating a custom ride that puts not only your life in jeopardy, but also those of a couple of your friends, as shown in this video.

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The last thing you want doctors to find when examining your 2-year-old son: a fetus

For many parents, one of the hardest things to accept is that their children are growing up. Every milestone on the path to adulthood seems like it comes too soon, whether it’s finishing school or moving out of the house. Perhaps there’s no greater shock than the day a doctor tells you your child is carrying a fetus. Especially if your child is two. And, especially, if your child is a boy, as was the case for one family in China.

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This game bites! Working out your frustration by chewing on your video game controllers

If you only started playing video games in the last 10 years, you may not know how good you’ve got it. These days, every system includes a hard drive to save your progress, and with most games offering frequent opportunities to do so or doing it on your behalf, even the worst screw-up isn’t going to lose you more than 15 minutes or so of progress. With dozens of online FAQs and YouTube demonstrations for the most popular titles, there’s no need to waste time getting killed by the same boss over and over again.

But back in the day, things were different. Before every home had multiple Internet-capable devices, gamers were completely on their own whenever they entered a new stage, and death usually meant going all the way back to the beginning of the level, if not the entire game. How did old school gamers deal with this kind of frustration?

In the case of one of our Japanese correspondents by biting the controller.

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Olympic fever hits Tokyo Stock Exchange, one company gets hot, then gets burned

Tokyo’s selection as the site of the 2020 Olympics seems to have put all of Japan in a good mood. Economic analysts wondered if this optimism would carry over into the investment world, and indeed a modest market-wide rally seems to be building.

One corporation caught up in the surge, however, saw its entire stock price increase wiped out in less than an hour, with some saying the fluctuation was caused by its name.

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We try KFC Japan’s deep-fried soup

Since September 5, Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan has started selling what they call a “corn potage fritter.” It sounds fancy, but when you really get down to it, it’s just deep-fried soup. To our Japanese reporter who hasn’t been versed in the wide variety of bizarre things Americans manage to fry up at county fairs across the United States, the very idea of fried soup was quite surprising. Half-convinced that such a snack even existed, he went down to his nearest KFC and gave it a try.

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Attack on Titan beauty product will keep you better-looking than series’ monstrous villains

For the most part, people in Japan take pride in being well-groomed. Skin care gets particular priority, and individuals especially concerned about looking their best carry around packs of oil-blotting papers called abura torigami. When you don’t want to wait until you get home to wash a day’s worth of grime off your face, they’re handy little things, and we mean that literally.

Abura torigami tend to be pretty small, so much so that you’ll usually see people stretching them out with both hands to get the maximum use out of the precious surface area each one offers. Granted, this looks dainty and adorable when a cute girl does it. Other people, though, such as the RocketNews24 male writing team, are far too ruggedly handsome to ever be considered “cute.” Are there no larger abura torigami for the rest of us?

Indeed there are, thanks to a tie-up with anime smash hit Attack on Titan.

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67-year-old man singlehandedly builds giant robot, inspires/terrifies us

Sometimes when hiking in Japan, I’m surprised by the large number of senior citizens I run into. Nothing makes you feel lazy quite like huffing and puffing your way to the top of a mountain trail, only to find there’s already a relaxed silver-haired gentleman sedately snapping pictures at the top.

Of course, even these elderly outdoorsmen have nothing on Hitoshi Takahashi, who decided that once he turned 50 he was old enough to do whatever he wanted, and took steps to realize his dream… of building a giant robot.

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KFS? Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan offering deep-fried soup

It’s no secret that the RocketNews24 team is pretty enamored of life here in Japan. It’s hard not to have a good time in a country with such deep traditions and cultural events throughout the year.

That said, I always get just a little homesick when autumn rolls around. As great as Japanese festivals are, they simply can’t match American county fairs in terms of fried food offerings.

Thankfully, KFC Japan is ready to take a little of the sting out of fall this year with a new menu item: fried soup.

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Tokyo restaurant challenges us with a foot of tempura, we gladly accept

Tokyo is a massive, sprawling metropolis. There are so many twisting back alleys that by the time you’ve convinced yourself you’ve seen it all, something new has popped up back at the start of your route

Presented with this limitless variety, you could easily eat at a new restaurant every single day and never go hungry. So why did we go back to Fukugawa Tsuribune just two months after our last meal there? Because like handguns in the US, one of their tempura bowls is so serious there’s a waiting period to get your hands on it.

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Man hijacks taxi, eventually thwarted by empty gas tank

So, you’re in Shibuya on an early Friday obon morning, and you really want to get to Osaka, so what do you do? Hop on a train? Catch a flight? Rent a car? Wave down a taxi? Though not exactly unheard of, it’s still an extremely expensive way to travel 314 miles…even more so, if you decide to hijack the taxi half-way there!

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How many RocketNews24 reporters does it take to eat one family’s worth of udon?

Although it’s often overshadowed by ramen and soba, udon is the final member of the triumvirate of Japanese noodles. With a spongy, absorbent texture, it allows diners to really enjoy the flavor of the broth or dipping sauce it’s served with. This airier structure also means you might need a larger serving to get as full as you would from a meal of ramen or soba, however.

With this in mind, and very little in his stomach, our reporter Mr. Sato headed to a branch of popular udon chain Marugame Seimen, where he fearlessly ordered the largest bowl of udon on the menu, the Family Udon.

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