Roll cake-headed town mascot character attacked by group of men, woman inside injured

Upon arriving in Japan, one of the first things you’ll probably notice is the large army of characters being used to sell anything from services to stationary to automobiles, or giving tips on being a good citizen like when it comes to separating your trash or picking up your dog’s poop after it finishes doing its duty. Most of them are cute, but some are downright scary.

In recent years, yurukyara, literally “weaker mascot characters”, have slowly been taking over the country, with more and more cities and businesses allocating funds to coming up with the prefect representative character costume each year. Aside from being hot and stuffy inside, being a yurukyara seems like a pretty awesome job. Kids are happy to see you, people are clamoring to get a picture of you, and generally everyone loves you…

Or at least that’s the impression we got until news of a mascot character in a small Ehime Prefecture town getting attacked.

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Newlyweds on honeymoon in Japan beat up convenience store clerk, get arrested

Although my wife and I have taken several trips together since getting married, we still haven’t gone on an official honeymoon. My old job required me to work weekends and I couldn’t take any time off around the date of our wedding ceremony, so I was back in the office two days after saying “I do.”

As such, my wife and I didn’t get to do the typical newlywed travel activities. You know, things like toasting each other with champagne every night for a week, lounging on the beach and giggling as we call each other Mr. and Mrs. Baseel, or beating the hell out of a convenience store clerk, like the Chinese newlyweds who are not only just married, but were also just arrested in Japan.

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Idol ordered to pay management company 650,000 yen after going to hotel with male fan

Idol singers exist in an extremely specialized, and often contradictory, corner of the already specialized Japanese pop music industry. Successful idols are expected to walk the fine line between having a polished, attractive appearance and an approachable, unassuming aura. Even more ironic is that while their songs’ lyrics are often focused on love and devotion, it’s practically unheard of for an active idol to openly be in a romantic relationship.

Every now and again, though, word gets out that an idol secretly has a boyfriend, or had an illicit liaison with a guy. The revelation is usually followed by a solemn apology to fans, and often the offending member being removed from the group. But this time the story of an idol’s amorous activities coming to light has something we’ve never heard about before: a court-ordered fine equivalent to several thousand dollars for breach of contract.

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How honest is Japanese society? So honest this train station is fine with a non-closable “gate”

A while back, we talked about how it’s common in Japan for people to place dropped property in a place where it’ll be easy to spot when the owner retraces his steps looking for it. There’s hardly any fear that anyone else will take it, whether the item in question is as cheap as a mitten or something much more valuable.

But such admirable conduct isn’t limited to private citizens’ interactions with one another. A recently tweeted snapshot of a train station ticket gate has been getting laughs in Japan for its unusual design, and while it is kind of funny-looking, it also shows the extremely honest character of Japanese society.

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Foreign worker in Japan fends off armed robber with single word, gets no respect from local media

At some point in life, someone is going to ask you a question that makes you feel uncomfortable. How much money do you make? How many people have you slept with? Just what did happen to all of your political rivals from the junior high student body president election?

Quite often, though, you can get out of answering by asking in return “Why do you want to know?” As a matter of fact, the question “Why?” is so disarming it can even prevent armed robbery, as one foreigner working in Tokyo just found out.

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Japanese police department publishes “driving horoscopes” to encourage road safety

Among the many superstitions that exist in Japan, fortune telling based on blood type still remains popular. Most profiles of anime and manga characters or celebrities include blood type, and it’s not uncommon for some Japanese to attempt to predict the behavior of others based what kind of blood is coursing through their veins.

But with only four personality types to choose from, that doesn’t leave very much room for variation. That may be one reason why over the years Japan has seen a boom in Western astrology, with many fashion magazines, books, and character items catering to those interested in finding out or showing off what their zodiac sign purportedly says about their personality. In fact, considering the recent release of driving horoscopes by one prefecture’s police department, it seems even government officials are now in on the craze.

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Runny curry, no pudding spoons among complaints of Japanese prison inmates

From how often we talk about food and hot springs here on RocketNews24, you’ve probably surmised that, as a nation, Japan is pretty into bathing and dining. Those passions aren’t exclusive to law-abiding members of Japanese society, either, as a recent survey of inmate complaints at prisons in Japan found several focused on meals and baths, with requests for better curry and longer soaks in the tub.

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Aichi man arrested for shoplifing, throwing own feces at security to escape

On the afternoon of 3 September, a 59-year-old man walked into a shopping mall in Higashi Ward, Nagoya. He then grabbed two packs of roast pork from a supermarket and concealed them as he began to leave the premises without paying. A security guard had noticed the act of petty shoplifting, however, and a chase quickly ensued.

The perpetrator was no match for the younger and more agile guard, who managed to catch the man before escaping out the parking garage. However, just as the security guard grabbed the man’s shoulder to turn him around, he was struck by an unexpected counter-attack of the most smelly kind.

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Muslim man accidentally served bacon while being detained at Japanese immigration office

A Yokohama area immigration office has apologized for mistakenly serving a Muslim man, who is interned there for unknown reasons, a meal that included pork, the consumption of which is forbidden by Islamic law.

For its part, the Yokohama immigration office says it attempted to accommodate the man’s requests for pork-free meals, but unknowingly served him a salad spiked with bacon pieces in an administrative foul-up.

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Japanese security company claims it’s discovered a new kind of train pervert: Lady sniffers

One of the most infamous aspects of Japanese society are chikan, the men who surreptitiously grope women on crowded trains. One Japanese security company, though, has tweeted about what it says is a new breed of chikan: men who encroach on a woman’s personal space to sniff her scent.

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Not-so-pretty bird in India arrested on charges of verbal assault

A parrot answering to the name Hariyal was taken into police custody last week after a woman reported it for verbal abuse. The victim, one Janabai Sakharkar, claimed that every time the bird laid eyes on her it would begin to hurl obscenities.

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Man arrested for scamming millions of yen with complaints of “soggy bread”

Soggy bread is the pits. A great sandwich is equal parts texture and taste, so there’s no greater let-down when your bread feels like a freshly opened bucket of tile grout.

Actually, forget that. A bigger let-down is when someone exploits our shared hatred of soggy bread for their own personal gain. That’s what Tokyo Metro Police are suspecting Takashi Ishimoto of doing by making fraudulent complaints of damp sliced bread and raking in an estimated 30 million yen (US$251,000) from unsuspecting retailers in the process.

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60-year-old Buddhist priest arrested for panty theft, would’ve got away if not for his high heels

It stands to reason that, upon reaching the age of 60 years, a man will find himself in possession of knowledge that he wants to share with younger generations. As a matter of fact, he may even feel compelled to do so, especially if his vocation is one that involves the dissemination of important lessons.

That might have been a factor in the decisions made by Shoden Yamazaki, former head priest of the Choshoji Buddhist temple in Akita Prefecture. And, truth be told, the lesson he claims he wanted to spread, “If you’re not careful, people might steal your lingerie,” is a valuable one.

However, being a good teacher is as much about how you deliver the message as it is the message itself. While it drives the point home, warning people about underwear security by dressing up in a skirt and high heels, then stealing their bras and panties, probably isn’t the best, or even really legal, methodology, which is why Yamazaki now finds himself on trial for lingerie theft.

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Man exposes himself in Hokkaido, Twitter wonders if it was Death Note’s Ryuk

A tweet by UHB News, a Hokkaido-based news show, received a lot of attention online late last week for its description of an unusual event involving a case of public exposure. Though nothing anyone would consider especially important news, the tweet was retweeted over 10,000 times in just a few days.

What could have engaged that many people? Well, if you’re a fan of Death Note, you might recognize a certain part of this description…

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Another fake bank discovered in China, inability to withdraw money dead give-away

In less than half a year since a counterfeit bank was discovered in Nanjing, China, the founder of another fake bank has been arrested in Shandong Province. Although not quite as sinister as the previous unlicensed money lenders, this suspected fraudster seemed not so much evil as just stubbornly convinced that he could run a financial institution despite not knowing certain core concepts of banking such as allowing your customers to withdraw money from their accounts.

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Chinese public outraged over reckless parents allowing pre-school-age daughter to drive【Video】

Learning to drive a car is one of the best perks of being a teenager. With the majority of legal driving age limits around the world set somewhere between 16 and 18 years of age, even places like Alberta, Canada, and South Dakota, U.S.A., where licenses are issued to 14-year-old teenagers with adult supervision, have been criticized for starting kids out behind the wheel a little too early.

But just how soon is too soon? That’s the question floating around Chinese social media at the moment as two Chinese parents are facing major backlash for allowing their daughter, who only appears to be 4-5 years old, to drive their family car. (Warning: video auto-plays, so check your speakers now.)

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Two Thai models arrested and facing possible charges after dance video goes viral【Video】

Most of us have probably experienced a moment or two where it was necessary for us to take a step back and reflect on actions leading to undesirable consequences, even if those actions might have seemed like a good idea at the time.

We’re sure this is exactly what two Thai models are doing after a “tasteless” video of them dancing in front of one of the country’s most sacred monuments in skimpy attire hit the web and went viral, leading to large-scale public backlash and their arrest by local authorities.
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Man bursts into wife’s lover’s office, severs penis with garden shears, flushes it down toilet

No, you read that headline right. We’re going to skip past any form of real intro here and get right into it with this one. You may want to start crossing your legs now, fellas…

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Two families brawl in a Kobe home center over diapers, likely rivals in resales to China

After a long, tiring week at work, most people don’t feel like jumping out of bed to be somewhere by 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning. The prospect usually doesn’t get any sweeter if the reason for dragging themselves out from under the sheets is as mundane as going shopping for diapers with their spouse and mother-in-law.

Nonetheless, that what not one, but two families living in Hyogo Prefecture did last weekend. Still, the trip wasn’t as dull as it could have been. As a matter of fact, if anything there was too much excitement, as the two families ended up getting into a seven-person brawl, since they appear to be rival factions competing for riches in the wild speculative trade sector of reselling Japanese diapers in China.

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Tokyo man arrested for stealing women’s “treasures” and other general creepiness

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have announced the arrest of one Shochi Nagata for allegedly sending an email to a woman in her 30s containing photos of herself along with pictures of her shoes and underwear which he had stolen, together with the caption: “I’ve just snatched your treasures.”

Further investigation is also hinting that the suspect was in the possession of a veritable bounty of other women’s “treasures” as well, making him something of a modern-day pervy One-Eyed Willie.

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