Winter is coming—Get ready with these amazing cat-themed kotatsu covers, cushions, and hoodies!

Depending on where you are, winters in Japan can be bitterly cold or actually rather temperate, but due to a general lack of insulation, it seems like most Japanese homes are always a little cold. But this general chilliness gave birth to that magical piece of furniture, the kotatsu. Basically a covered table with a heater attached, the kotatsu is often the centerpiece of a Japanese living room and a great way to get in some family time.

And with these new cat-themed kotatsu covers, cushions, and hoodies, it’ll be twice as difficult to pull yourself away from the kotatsu on a chilly winter morning!

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Kitty down! But don’t worry, this cat is actually just fishing for hugs 【Photos】

Imagine you’re out and about, strolling around town, when suddenly you come upon one of your fellow citizens sprawled out on the sidewalk. Granted, the fact that it’s not a human, but a cat, would make the situation a little less alarming, but still, you’d be worried right?

That’s how one Japanese Twitter user felt, but it turned out the kitty wasn’t just OK, but adorable too.

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“Cute-but-ugly” photos of hamsters trending as Twitter users celebrate their quirky pets【Photos】

We just love hamsters—from their adorable butts to the way they look napping, they never fail to put a smile on our collective faces. But we suppose we’d be lying if we saidthat  hamsters are always cute. After all, not many people look “pretty” when eating! And sometimes hamsters just look so weird in a way that we can’t quite explain. Basically, they’re 90 percent “totes adorbs” and 10 percent “WTF, mate?!”

But even at their ugliest, hamsters still manage to be cute, as the popular Twitter hashtag #AllJapanCuteButUglyHamsterChampionshipSeries so ably demonstrates. Check out some of the best photos below and prepare to go “Awwww!” at all sorts of silly-looking hammies!

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This cat’s posture is terrible

In Japanese, one word for slouching or stooping over is nekoze or “cat back,” which is a term I never really understood until now. For years (maybe even longer) we humans have been deceived by these creatures into thinking that they’re elegant as they smoothly jump to impressive heights and stealthily crawl along the ground into narrow spaces.

But when it comes time to stand on two legs like you or I often do? Bah! Cats have all the grace and poise of one of those damn teenagers who listen to Ray Parker Jr. on their boomboxes and play Burger Time all damn day on my lawn.

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These cute character matches will really “catch on” and “start a fire” in your heart

Most people reach for a lighter when they need to start a fire. It’s rare to see someone pull out a box of good old-fashioned matches, though collecting matchboxes and matchbooks was once a hobby for some! Nowadays, though, the opportunities to use a match and get that satisfaction of striking it against the side of a box are few and far between.

However, these incredibly cute match head character may just be enough to change trends! We definitely hope this is something that catches on.
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Adorable, whimsical pictures of animals painted by old-school Japanese masters

Japanese ukiyo-e painters from the Edo period (1603-1868) are now famous throughout the world for their exquisite woodblock prints depicting everyday Japanese life and the natural world. Such master painters are less well-known, however, for their humorous contributions to the art world, which often feature whimsical scenes of anthropomorphic animals. Fortunately for us, though, these types of pictures are experiencing a recent wave of popularity among Japanese Internet users, and these images are simply too cute for us to just pass up. We’ve got fish, cats, puppies, monkeys, and a few more surprises from the masters in store for you after the jump!

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Step up your selfie game! 10 popular poses Japanese girls will whip out

Selfies taken on smartphones are one of the must-dos for the young girls nowadays, and Japan is no exception. As popular Japanese pop icons or teen models post their selfies on social medias, Japanese young girls would fire up their camera apps and pose the similar way. They do this not just to be like the icons they admire, but also to figure out the best poses for looking good on Twitter or Instagram.

With this in mind, today we have listed 10 selfie poses that young Japanese girls are likely to do on Twitter and Instagram! Maybe you’ll learn a new move or two?

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Sweet bunny pals relaxing in cups make us genkier than coffee ever could!【Videos】

Sometimes waking up is hard, especially when the seasons change and bed starts to feel snugglier than ever before. But wake up we must, and many of us have invented little tricks to make the process easier, such as blaring out our favourite songs, sucking down industrial-sized cups of coffee, and cooing over cute animals on the internet.

For your consideration today, we’d like to present a menagerie of of baby bunny rabbits twitching their little pink noses at you over the rim of a couple of coffee and tea cups. Pick your choice of bun “to go” and go get ’em, tiger. After you’ve watched the cute videos, of course…

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Luxuriously lounging kitty does not care that you want to play this arcade game

The musical rhythm games that are fixtures at Japanese arcades blur the line between video games and public performance. Even those who don’t see what’s so special about a 10-hit Tekken combo or one-credit shooter play-through can find themselves enthralled with tempo-perfect drumming or dancing, and expert rhythm gamers often garner a crowd of impressed onlookers watching them play.

The audience for this arcade dancer, though, didn’t consist of a throng of people, though, but instead a single kitty.

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These Edo-period sketches of human skeletons are oddly adorable despite being totally creepy

The Edo Period was a time of great change for Japan, in just about every way possible. Perhaps one of the areas of biggest change, though, was science and medicine, thanks to the numerous scholars who spent years learning not only from Western sources but also from their own work.

One of the pioneers of medicine in the Edo Period was Toshuku Neguro, an ophthalmologist who sketched the first Japanese diagram of the human skeleton. While it was likely a fairly gruesome job, Neguro’s sketches are somehow almost…cute?!

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Adorable Kikkoman ad from 1900s shows even a soy sauce company knew cats entertain

Kikkoman is one of the most famous brands of soy sauce, especially since it comes in such unique container that is open on two sides and can never be closed. The company has been around since 1917, so they’ve had a lot of years to think of ways to advertise for the salty sauce around the world. One of their cutest ads comes from 1933 and features a crew of dancing cats in black skirts that make us squeel “KAWAII!”

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Play with fluffy alpaca mascot Fuwapaca in two free mobile games【TGS 2015】

It wasn’t just gross and scary games on show at Tokyo Game Show this year; there were also some really adorable games to try out, too. When we saw this booth with its sweet, fluffy alpacas we made a beeline for the cuteness. We got to chat with the dev and try out their two alpaca-themed mobile games, taking some snaps of the alpaca-ified booth and merch as we did for you at home.

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China looks to be getting a live-action version of anime Doraemon, starring an actual cat 【Video】

There’s a unique problem that the producers of anime-to-live-action adaptations face. Even if the casting director can gather a group of actors that look just like the source material’s human characters, what do you do about the non-human characters?

Using practical effects and animatronics for all those loveable robot companions and magical creatures limits the variety of movements they can handle and the angles you can film from. On the other hand, using post-production CG effects leaves the actors in the difficult position of having to perform while imagining costars that aren’t really there, which often leads to less-than-convincing results.

Maybe that’s why an upcoming Chinese live-action version of Doraemon has decided to go with the obvious solution and just use a real cat for the titular feline robot.

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Maru the cat attempts to use a hammock, fails adorably 【Videos】

Summer is over. For many that means back to school, back to nighttime coming more quickly, and back to bundling up from the cold instead of basking in the sunlight.

But if you want to hold on to that last little bit of summer, then check out the latest video put out by the famous Japanese cat duo Maru and his adopted little sister Hana. The two of them hang out on their new hammock, catch some rays, listen to cicadas… and end up using the hammock not quite how it was intended.

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Awesome lunch boxes full of Disney’s Tsum Tsum characters are almost too cute to eat!【Photos】

As we expect you already know, character lunch boxes or “chara-ben,” short for “character bento,” are all the rage in Japan. And their creators are rarely shy about sharing their awesome work, so you can find hundreds of examples of how to make lunch time more adorable on social media networks like Instagram and Twitter.

One of the biggest themes for chara-ben right now is Disney’s Tsum Tsum, a line of stuffed toys that has been adapted into a smartphone game by Line. There were so many great photos, we had to compile our favorite Tsum Tsum chara-ben shots from Instagram for you to check out. But don’t forget to grab a snack, because you’re definitely going to get hungry!

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Nagoya-based Japanese-sweets maker wows the Internet and customers with cute animal-themed manju

Namikoshiken is a Nagoya-based sweets store that’s been in business since 1927. They produce some of the most adorable animal-themed manju, buns with various filling like sweet bean jam, we’ve ever seen! With all that experience and a product this cute, it’s hardly a surprise they’re blowing up the Internet with photos of their manju spreading like wildfire online.

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Catbus from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro found in Finland!

Out of all the things we wish would spring to life from Studio Ghibli’s animated films, the catbus from My Neighbor Totoro would have to be at the top of the list. Who wouldn’t want to ride an enormous, fluffy, bright orange cat over hills and through forests on their daily commute?

As with all great things, if it can’t exist in real life, it can at least exist in the imagination. And there’s one imaginative lad who’s found a way to bring the catbus to life in the cutest way possible. All it takes is two ingredients: a fluffy, compliant cat and some Finnish beer.

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Now you can buy badass bandanas for your cat…from a vending machine

While Japan is known for its large number of vending machines, offering everything from ink stamps to gold cans of Coca-Cola, there’s a very special type of vending machine that can be stacked three high and in long rows of twenty or more: the gachapon machine.

Often forming a huge wall outside gaming stores, these plastic-windowed devices spit out mystery capsules with tiny collectibles inside at 100-600 yen (US$0.84-$5.02) a pop. The latest gachapon to appear on the market is aimed at the feline customer, and if kittens could master the art of coin handling, they’d all be down at the vending machines, getting in on the craze that all cool cats are into – cat bandanas.

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In the classic battle of cat versus paper, who will win? 【Video】

Even if you haven’t been with us for very long, it’s not hard to see that we here at RocketNews24 love cats. Big, small, fit, fat, even stretchy, cats of all shapes and sizes win our hearts! We even love them when they’re wreaking havoc on small towns of people, like the devilish little cutie in this feline remake of a man versus monster flick…

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Pro-wrestling female Pikachu is ready to go off the top rope and straight into our hearts 【Video】

Even though it came out in July, I still haven’t played Pokkén Tournament, the coin-op video game that sticks Pokémon into a fighting game developed by Tekken publisher Bandai Namco. Don’t get me wrong, like anybody with a soul, I’ve got a soft spot for Pikachu. It’s just that I’m happier to see the beloved Pokémon mascot dancing, not fighting.

But I think I may have to swing by the arcade now that the game has a masked wrestler Pikachu that’s a perfect mix of equal parts adorable and awesome.

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