cute

From plums to panties, the strange and beautiful bento of Keisuke Umeda【Photos】

From plums to panties, the strange and beautiful bento of Keisuke Umeda【Photos】

When you think about the media that artists can work in, ink, paint, stone, metal, wood, and glass all spring readily to mind. We could take an even broader view and include things such as film, sound, and even light. But even then, we’d still be overlooking the creations of Keisuke Umeda, who brings to life scenes of beautiful nature, disturbing juxtaposition, and offbeat humor through the medium of boxed bento lunches.

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The ultimate in kawaii cookware — Mickey and friends turn themselves into adorable pots!

The ultimate in kawaii cookware — Mickey and friends turn themselves into adorable pots!

Here in Japan, we love hot pots, or nabe, especially during the cold winter months. Nabe can be cooked using a wide range of ingredients, from delicate seafood like pufferfish (fugu) to succulent wagyu beef, and they’re often served with plenty of vegetables too, so the dishes are filling and relatively healthy as well.

Now, these hot pots are usually all about savoring the various ingredients, but a reporter from our sister site Pouch found some nabe pots that are so adorable that just looking at them is bound to put a smile on your face. Yes, our favorite friends from Disney have turned themselves into pots for our dining and viewing pleasure! Even if you’re not a die-hard Disney fan, these pots are guaranteed to add some extra fun to your meal.

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Cute cat bank collects coins, makes fiscal responsibility adorable 【Videos】

Cute cat bank collects coins, makes fiscal responsibility adorable 【Videos】

With money in Japan, the smallest denomination of bill is 1,000 yen (US $9.35), which means that you often end up having a ton of change in your pocket. With awesome vending machines on seemingly every corner, there’s an ever-present temptation to blow piles of coinage on canned drinks, especially now that some come with prizes.

Still, if you’ve got the willpower to make it home with a few coins left, you can treat yourself to a little reward if you also happen to have one of these awesomely cute motorized cat coin banks.

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Rurouni Kitty! Sanrio’s beloved cat cosplays as anime’s iconic swordsman in plushie form

Rurouni Kitty! Sanrio’s beloved cat cosplays as anime’s iconic swordsman in plushie form

Japanese movie-goers are currently enjoying the third live-action Rurouni Kenshin film. The franchise is now a certified two-decade hit, debuting as a manga in 1994 before its 1996 anime adaptation and recent film trilogy, and it owes much of its success to the popularity of main character Himura Kenshin.

What makes Kenshin so compelling is that despite his formidable swordsmanship, he’s portrayed as consistently kindhearted and good-natured. In certain scenes, he comes off as downright cute, but Kenshin has never been quite as adorable as this stuffed animal of Hello Kitty cosplaying as the scarred warrior.

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Sweet dreams, MasterCard: People in Japan are putting their wallets to bed in tiny futons

Sweet dreams, MasterCard: People in Japan are putting their wallets to bed in tiny futons

We all have our funny little habits and daily rituals. Some of us don’t feel settled at night unless we’ve put all the dishes away or spoken to our loved ones on the phone. Others can’t head to bed unless they’ve first checked that the front door is locked or whipped the shower curtain open to ensure there isn’t a monster, murderer, or acid-spitting xenomorph in there waiting climb out of the tub after they’ve fallen asleep.

But did you know that some people in Japan are now getting into the habit of putting their wallets to bed before themselves?

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Cat gets caught in tissue box, dances into our hearts

Cat gets caught in tissue box, dances into our hearts

It’s no secret that cats love tight spaces. From Maru squeezing into boxes to cats hanging out in vents, the only thing our feline friends love more than a saucer of milk is squeezing into just about anything. We don’t know exactly why, but we sure love to watch them go!

Of course, squeezing into tight spaces sometimes means getting stuck, as this adorable cat learned the hard way…

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Japanese lingerie company designs special bra for Japan’s marshmallow girls

Japanese lingerie company designs special bra for Japan’s marshmallow girls

Since last year, chubbiness has become more accepted in Japan. Chubby girls (that’s chubby by Japanese standards) are now called ‘marshmallow girls‘ and they’ve become so popular that there’s now an entire idol group dedicated to them, and even a fashion magazine for girls of various sizes. I think we can all agree that Japan definitely still has some body image issues, but nevertheless, the marshmallow fad continues!

The latest addition to this marshmallow boom is a series of bras designed for marshmallow girls. They are called “Pochakawabra”, which is a portmanteau of pocha (chubby), kawaii (cute), and of course the object itself, bra. I’m not sure if I appreciate the name, but the designs sure are cute!

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Best pun of the week: Daughter draws father not quite hard at work

Best pun of the week: Daughter draws father not quite hard at work

Some say that puns are the lowest form of humor–we say those people have no sense of humor! Of course, that’s not to say that all puns are comedic genius, a fact easily proven by turning on any used car lot commercial, but we love a good pun.

While not all puns are created equal, we have to say that our favorite puns often come from children. There’s something perfectly surreal about a child’s fumbling of language–but of all the puns we’ve seen, this might be one of the best…

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Increase your EXP with this Dragon Warrior-inspired Slime Curry, don’t forget the Squelch spell

Increase your EXP with this Dragon Warrior-inspired Slime Curry, don’t forget the Squelch spell

A Curry Slime draws near!

Over the years, various goods and edibles have been spawned by Slimes, the ever-popular video game baddies from the Dragon Warrior/Quest series. To get in on the google-eyed action, funky Japanese bookstore chain Village Vanguard has come up with this newest addition to its lineup of creative pre-made curries: the Slime Curry. It’s not quite as cute as the Hatsune Miku curry and it’s not quite the ghastly shade of green of this matcha one, but this gloopy little curry slime can’t wait to sidle up to your next plate of rice!

Command?

Eat
Run
Get details after the jump!

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Tiny Mikasa stars in the cutest Colossal Titan slaying video you’ll ever see

Tiny Mikasa stars in the cutest Colossal Titan slaying video you’ll ever see

Even the biggest anime sceptic has heard of Attack on Titan by now. One of the most popular manga and anime series this decade, you can’t move for news, promos and merch in Japan, and with two feature films on the way, it’s showing no sign of slowing down any time soon.

The series isn’t for everyone, though. What with its terrifying, human-devouring titans and tense, rooftop-hopping battles, Attack on Titan can be a bit much for some. Thankfully, this adorable cosplay video is more likely to leave viewers cooing with delight than squirming in their seats. This pint-sized Mikasa doesn’t look like she’d make much of a titan slayer, but as we’re about to see, her chubby little hands know how to swing a sword.

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Invasion of the moon rabbits: the delicious tradition of otsukimi 【Photos】

Invasion of the moon rabbits: the delicious tradition of otsukimi 【Photos】

If you happened to be in Japan this week, you may have noticed rather a lot of rabbit-themed goods, particularly sweets. Not to worry, the Japanese haven’t gotten their dates for Easter spectacularly wrong, these lapine lovelies are part of otsukimi, a tradition celebrating the harvest moon.

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Japan’s other famous cat gets her own photobook and stationery

Japan’s other famous cat gets her own photobook and stationery

Mako, also known as “the cat with the strange face,” may not be as globally recognized as Maru, but we have a feeling she’s going to start gaining a few fans after the release of her very own book of pictures and set of stationary. Mako is the star of a Japanese photoblog, but the site also includes her three brothers and sisters, all of whom are also featured on a few of these adorable products. Let’s take a closer look!

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Vroom-vroom, meow-meow! Driver mods his taillights into awesome “Toro” cat patterns

Vroom-vroom, meow-meow! Driver mods his taillights into awesome “Toro” cat patterns

In Japan, all cars have to undergo a vehicle inspection called shaken every two years. The ostensible reason is to make sure each part of the car is in safe, working condition, but some motorists suspect the real reasons are to bilk additional streams of revenue from owners, as well as encourage them to trade in their current cars for new models, which can go three years before their first shaken.

The system does have one upside for enthusiasts. Since cars get officially inspected every other year, traffic cops in Japan aren’t nearly as zealous as their U.S. counterparts about issuing fix-up tickets for questionable modifications they spot on the street. This means that during the two-year period between shaken checks, you have a decent chance of getting away with illegal engine mods, non-compliant body kits, or awesome grey-area cat tail lights.

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Disney fans in Japan show love for their favorite characters in an eye-popping way

Disney fans in Japan show love for their favorite characters in an eye-popping way

We’re sure there are more than a few Disney fans amongst our readership, but we’re not certain any of you have ever shown your love of Mickey and his friends in quite this way. Spotted at Tokyo Disneyland in (you guessed it!) Tokyo (just kidding, the park is technically in Chiba. Nice try.), this pair of plushy pals seem to have an extreme appreciation for their favorite characters and they want everyone to know it!

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Anime all-stars combine in fan-crafted Mobile Suit Yo-Kai Watch 【Photos】

Anime all-stars combine in fan-crafted Mobile Suit Yo-Kai Watch 【Photos】

In recent months, there’s been no video game or anime franchise more popular among Japanese kids than Yo-Kai Watch. The story of kids teaming up with traditional youkai spirits (some of whom look like adorable kitty-cats), seems to have landed right in the sweet spot between adventurous, cute, and traditional, making it a huge hit for creator Level-5 (and promotional partner McDonald’s).

As a matter of fact, Yo-Kai Watch has even been gaining traction against Pokémon, the reigning champion of kids’ entertainment in Japan for the last decade-plus. Now, one fan seems to be turning Yo-Kai Watch’s towards another anime institution, by combining its characters with the giant robots of Gundam.

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Japanese artist creates manga inspired by her cats, gets bothered by them daily【Photos】

Japanese artist creates manga inspired by her cats, gets bothered by them daily【Photos】

I’ve never had a pet cat, but my friends who do are always posting pictures of their cats getting in the way of their studies and work, asking for attention at the most untimely moments and making themselves comfortable in the oddest places.

It’s not hard to imagine why a manga artist would be inspired to create a manga about cats, especially if they had not just one, or two, but four cats sprawled all over their work space all the time. Check out the four playful felines that are always inspiring and getting in the way of Japanese manga artist Keito Yoshikawa’s work!

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Watch Hello Kitty shape-shift before your very eyes with this insanely cute Rubik’s Cube

Watch Hello Kitty shape-shift before your very eyes with this insanely cute Rubik’s Cube

Now that she’s hit the big 4-0, Hello Kitty has been getting up to all sorts of mischief. She’s posed for the god of manga, been caught in hotel rooms and even joined the mile-high club.

However, Ms Kitty once had more cerebral pursuits in mind, having conquered the Rubik’s Cube by becoming one with it…literally. We take a look at the unique Hello Kitty puzzle – an awesomely cute mind-bender that offers a great sense of accomplishment to those who want to reconstruct the deconstructed cat.

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Doraemon wants to play games, and he’s even bringing his own board!

Doraemon wants to play games, and he’s even bringing his own board!

The classical Japanese board game Go is deeply strategic. A single match can last hours, and in the case of top-ranking professionals, days, or even months. But while this complexity makes the game all the more intriguing for adult players, it can also make it intimidating and inaccessible for kids, who often start off playing simplified versions such as Gomoku Narabe or Reversi.

Similarly, Go’s aesthetics of stark black and white stones on a plain wooden board are often seen as pleasingly elegant by adults, but don’t really do much to excite children. So in order to provide a little more visual stimulation, there’s now a Gomoku Narabe set featuring anime’s most famous robot cat, Doraemon.

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Japanese celebricat Maru gets a pushcart, gets to work pushing 【Video】

Japanese celebricat Maru gets a pushcart, gets to work pushing 【Video】

Okay, confession time. I am a little bitsigh, A LOTobsessed with internet cats. From Lil Bub to Little P and with a lot of Princess Monster Truck in between, I follow them all. But perhaps the cutest and most consistently entertaining is chubby, lazy Maru, who happens to live in Japan with his owner known by YouTube handle mugumogu.

Maru is so famous he has his own book and has appeared in both print and TV ads for major brands like Uniqlo. Mostly he likes hanging out at home trying to fit into various boxes, but if the latest video is any indication, he may have a new hobby: pushing a pushcart around the house.

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It’s all about the isopod – Company pushes gifts and fashion featuring weird, sexy marine bugs

It’s all about the isopod – Company pushes gifts and fashion featuring weird, sexy marine bugs

In Japan, where the market for character-based merchandise is intensely competitive, it’s not always easy to predict what’ll take off. Sure, it was easy to see Hello Kitty and Pikachu coming, since either one could serve as the accompanying illustration for the definition of “adorable” in the dictionary, but who’s going to be the next big star?

There’s a new dark horse entry to the character goods arena, with one company hoping Japanese consumers’ ravenous hunger for all things kawaii will lead them to embrace something so ugly it just might be cute, in the form of T-shirts, notebooks, and purses all featuring the humongous marine bug called the giant isopod.

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