”How to distinguish Koreans” explores stereotypes through the eyes of the world 【Video】

After the success of his previous video, “How to distinguish Americans,” YouTuber sw yoon decided to poke fun at his fellow South Koreans with a new video titled “How to distinguish Koreans.” 

The follow-up is every bit as amusing as the first, but before you click that “Play” button just remember: in Yoon’s own words, “This series of video is stereotypical stereotype video. Don’t get too serious.”

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12 awesome features of Japanese bathrooms you won’t find in the west 【Video】

Japanese bathrooms, or ofuroba, are very different to bathrooms in the west, and in this day and age they also come with a whole host of cool tech. Let’s take a look at a typical modern Japanese bathroom and let the cute little Aika take you through all its awesome characteristics in this fun and informative video.

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10 times Shiro and friends balanced Japanese culture on their heads

If you are like most of our readers, you love both Japanese culture and cats. So do you know the Kagoneko blog? If not, you’re in for a treat today!

Kagoneko is a long-running photo blog about a very squinty-eyed cat named Shiro and his four feline friends in rural Kagoshima. Mostly it involves pictures of them with stuff balanced on their heads or paws and it is amazing, not just because the pictures are incredibly cute but because it provides a unique insight into Japanese culture and daily life.

Here are 10 of our favorite examples.

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10 train faux-pas in Japan that some men are willing to let slide, from smooching to manga

Taking the train is by far the most common way to get around urban and suburban Japan. By its very nature, though, using public transportation means being out in public, which in Japan means following social norms about proper manners and not bothering your fellow passengers.

The average Tokyo commuter spends an hour each way on the train, though. It can be hard to follow all of the implicit rules of train etiquette during such a lengthy ride, and here are 10 minor breaches of etiquette that some Japanese men are willing to turn a blind eye to.

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Five things Japanese people do that some expats and foreigners can’t 【Video】

Culture shock is a strange yet wonderful phenomenon. Nothing can really compare to the feeling of seeing a group of people doing something you never thought possible for the first time.

And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you don’t get over it. American YouTuber Strawberry Mochi recently posted a video about the top five things Japanese people can do that she simply cannot. Do you share the same hardships as her? Watch the video and find out!

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To beard, or not to beard, that is the question. Here are Japanese women’s answers

Live overseas for long enough, and you’ll start to experience reverse culture shock on your visits home. On my last trip back to L.A., I was surprised to see how popular beards have gotten in the States, and judging from the foreign travelers I see here in Japan, they’re just as trendy throughout western Europe.

As someone whose Arabic ancestry means every day is a battle against a phalanx of facial hair, I have to say I can see an upside to this new golden era for beards. But, as with any decision a man makes, it’s important to first ask yourself that critical question, “Will this make women think I look cool?” To help answer that question, today we’re looking at the results of a survey asking Japanese women whether or not they like a guy with a beard.

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Japanese team discovers 24 new geoglyphs at Nazca, including llamas

A team of researchers from Yamagata University in Japan announced this week that they have identified 24 new geoglyphs in Nazca, Peru, site of the UNESCO World Heritage Nazca lines.

The newly found geoglyphs are smaller than their famous peers, but estimated to be several centuries older.

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Pepsi’s awesome Peach Boy reboot continues with new episode, fire-breathing giants【Video】

About half a year ago, we took a look at a unique retelling of the Japanese folk tale of Momotaro, also known as the Peach Boy. Not only was it presented as a series of live-action commercials for Pepsi’s zero-calorie cola, it reimagined Momotaro and his animal companions (a dog, pheasant, and monkey) as gritty action heroes in a desperate fight against the ogre-like oni.

The commercials were so cool that they left many people begging for a full-length theatrical feature, and while a Momotaro movie is yet to be greenlit, the fourth video in the amazing series has been released, with an extra-long runtime and more awesome pyrotechnics than you’re likely to see in any other soda commercial.

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Anime tombstone would let fans keep loving <em>Love Live!</em> even in death

A while back, we took a look at the top 20 anime that fans want to be watching as they leave the mortal realm. But what if it’s not enough to spend the last moment of your life watching your favorite series?

Then maybe what you need is a way to express your love of Japanese animation from beyond the grave…and through the grave, for that matter, with an anime tombstone like the one this craftsman made.

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10 Japanese words you know now that irritate some Japanese businessmen (because they’re English)

One day in college, my business operations management professor was talking about Japanese automaker Toyota, and about the huge impact of its production processes and corporate culture on the business world. “Toyota owes much of its success to its kaizen system,” he told us, and while I largely agreed with what he was saying, I didn’t really agree with how he was saying it.

See, while Toyota’s ideal of continually looking for better, more efficient ways of handling tasks is nifty and all, there’s nothing particularly special about the word kaizen, which just means “improvement.” Even as someone who’s spent most of his life looking for excuses to speak Japanese, insisting on using the word kaizen, when otherwise speaking English, has always seemed a little odd to me.

Oddly enough, though, right now there’s probably a Toyota employee sitting at his desk and scratching his head over one of his Japanese coworker’s penchant for using foreign loanwords, many of which might be on this list of the top 10 commonly used English business terms that Japanese businessmen wish their colleagues would use Japanese for.

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We’re not sure if these Japan-inspired fashion designs are brilliant or ridiculous

You never know what you’re going to get with a fashion show. You might get some genuinely interesting designs or even a radical new garment altogether that, with a little polishing, could actually end up on hangers in stores a few years later. Or, you might get a head-to-toe body suit made entirely out of rubber baby bottle teats, or a fully nude man wearing a propeller beanie, or something that you would actually expect Lady Gaga to be wearing at that very moment.

What we’re saying is, the fashion world can be pretty hit and miss, and it can be tough to draw the line between design genius and flamboyant designers just trolling the audience for laughs. Which is why we’re so conflicted about these awesome… no, stupid… wait, no, brilliant… Japan-inspired designs from New York-based designer, Thom Browne.

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Gackt lashes out at Cool Japan: “Almost no results of Japanese culture exported overseas”

While visiting friends who were a part of the recent Naruto stage production, Japanese film and music star Gackt was left with a bad feeling. Having watched one of the overseas Naruto performances, the singer couldn’t help but notice the lack of people in the audience.

Gackt doesn’t rule out possible flaws with the play such as too much material crammed into a short time. However, as he wrote in a recent impassioned blog post, he thinks the real culprit may be the Japanese government and their Cool Japan promotional program, which he feels is anything but.

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Official ukiyo-e project brings a bit of historical Japan to a galaxy far, far away

Japan is just as crazy about Star Wars as the rest of the world and everyone is eagerly awaiting the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on December 18, 2015 (Good news! It’s being released in Japan at the same time as most of the world!). So it’s the perfect opportunity for a number of Star Wars affiliated projects to get under way. One project is striking a chord with our love of Japan and our love of Star Wars as it combines a traditional art form with a very non-traditional universe.

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Is a woman “middle-aged” at 30? 40? 50? Japanese men and women give different answers in poll

You may have heard that Japan is obsessed with youth, which is ironic for a country with an ageing population , this is ironic. In fact, Japan is purported to have the highest proportion of elderly citizens compared to all other countries. With so many older folks making up a vast percentage of the population, why is Japan’s society still often casually ageist, particularly towards women?

A recent poll asked “at what age does a woman become middle-aged?” and the results are extremely telling.

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Never-before-seen Miyazaki sketches to go on show at Tokyo exhibition this summer

Illustrations by legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki are among the 130 artworks going on display in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, next month.

The exhibition of background illustrations and character sketches, which have never been on public display before, celebrates the 40th anniversary of Nippon Animation’s World Animation Theatre, the weekly TV anime showcase which Miyazaki and Isao Takahata both worked on before founding Studio Ghibli together in 1985.

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Ebizo Ichikawa XI unmasks the world of kabuki with amazing collection of behind-the-scenes images

Kabuki is well-known around the world as one of Japan’s most distinct forms of traditional theatre. The elaborate costumes, dramatic makeup and stylised poses have been captivating audiences for more than four centuries, yet when it comes to finding out what goes on behind-the-scenes, very few people have been able to step behind the curtain.

Now, one of today’s most popular kabuki stars is keen to change all that by letting the world share his dressing room, follow his daily routine and even peek inside his family home. Come with us as we take a look at some of the fascinating photos from Ebizo Ichikawa XI, one of Japan’s most revered cultural icons.

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Welcome to the world of cats in kimonos

In a country where pets outnumber children, animals in Japan are some of the most spoilt in the world. It’s not uncommon to see owners carrying dogs like babies, pushing them in specially-made prams and taking them on onsen hot spa holidays. The nation even has 11 cat islands where felines roam free and locals lavish them with attention.

So when big events and special holidays roll around, Japan’s furry friends also get dressed up for the occasion. Pet parents know no bounds when it comes to dressing their little ones and what better way to share the joy than with tiny elaborate kimonos? Join us as we take a look at some of Japan’s most stylish kittens below!

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Four areas in which Japan needs to improve if it wants to attract more overseas travelers

Japan’s National Tourist Organization recently released its statistics on the number of overseas travelers who visited in the country in 2014, and we’re proud to say that 13,413,467 of you came to visit (though we’re also a little hurt that so few of you called us up to get ramen while you were here). That number represents almost a 30-percent increase from the number of foreign tourists Japan received in 2013, and a whopping 60-percent jump compared to 2012.

Still, Japan only ranks 27th globally in its ability to draw travelers from abroad, making it eighth in Asia, behind world-number 22 Korea and number four China.

So what’s holding Japan back from becoming an even more popular international travel destination? RocketNews24’s non-Japanese staff put our heads together, and after getting over the initial pain from our foreheads violently colliding, came up with the following list of areas Japan could do better in that foreign travelers would definitely appreciate.

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Comedian suggests using Japanese with American accent to stealthily broach uncomfortable topics

Have you ever run into someone, on the subway, perhaps, or in line at a Starbucks, and noticed they’d forgotten to close up the zipper on their jeans or had their skirt tucked into their underwear? Inner conflict follows as you weigh the pros and cons of telling them about it. On the one hand, that person is almost certainly going to think you’re a jerk for pointing out their social faux pax, but on the other hand, you’d be saving them the untold awkwardness of interacting with everyone all day with their underwear half sticking out of their open fly.

There may be a good middle-ground solution though, according to one Japanese comedian: Just tell them what you want to say with such a thick accent that it sounds like a totally foreign language. Sure, the person on the receiving end will think you’re a huge weirdo, but at least they won’t think you’re an A-hole, and being confronted with a bunch of unintelligable jibber jabber from some random will probably cause the person to take a quick inventory of their surroundings, hopefully prompting them to realize their zipper is down or underwear on display.

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The best way to tie up your kimono? With a cat obi, of course!

Japanese kimono come in countless designs and colours, but it’s often the elegant obi  (sash) that takes centre stage. Whether it’s colourful or subdued, simply tied or intricately folded, the sash is more than just a way to tie the outfit together; it’s the element that lets you show off a bit of your personality in an otherwise restrictive garment.

So what better way for kimono-wearing cat lovers to draw some attention to their wardrobe than with an adorably folded feline? And with such a variety to choose from, there’s bound to be a kitten that’s purr-fect for you!

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