health

Japanese library offers itself and its manga collection as refuge for emotionally troubled youths

Though summer vacation is a lot shorter in Japan than it is in the U.S., most tudents here aren’t exactly itching to go back to school once it’s done. Even worse, since it falls in the middle of the Japanese school year, the end of summer break is also the start of the second, and more demanding, semester.

Needless to say, a lot of kids would rather blow off school and kick back with a good manga, which is exactly what one library in Japan is encouraging them to do. The reason, however, is far more important than just finding out what happens to their favorite fictional characters .

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Turn minor cuts and scrapes into fashion statements with these cute Japanese bandage designs

They say being prepared is half the battle, so it’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit stocked up with adhesives or carry around a few bandages in your purse (or manbag for our fashionable male readers) in case of unexpected accidents. After all, even though that one lifehack said it was okay to use the inside membrane of a boiled egg when you’re in a pinch, we can’t say the idea is very appealing.

Luckily we’ve found the perfect set of bandages to do the trick, and we’re certain you’ll be stuck on them just as much as we are. With gorgeous images of sushi, ninjas, and other traditional Japanese designs, they’ll turn minor injuries turn into badges of original style.

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Pufferfish or plane crashes? What causes more deaths in Japan?

Megadeth once said there are “99 ways to die” and while I’d hate to question their methodology in arriving at that conclusion, I’d wager that there are actually many more. Japan is no exception, of course. Despite the nation’s relatively low rate of violent crime there are plenty of natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanoes that can do us in. Giant hornets, cuisine that features plentiful raw meats, and poisonous fish are all parts of daily life in Japan as well.

But statistically speaking, just how dangerous are these things? Let’s find out with a morbidly fun game that we like to call “Which Causes More Deaths?”

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Got mold? If you’re using your earphones too much, you just might

I’m sure we’ve all heard the warnings about the damage that can be done from having the volume too loud when listening to music with earphones. Alright, so you keep your volume at a reasonable level. No harm done then, right? Well, as it turns out, high volume isn’t the only issue with earphones, as it’s recently been found that excessive use can also cause mold growth in the outer ear canal. Sounds delightful (yuck)!

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Is the world ready for Japan’s new Lemon & Mint Pepsi? 【Taste test】

So, mint is an extraordinarily versatile, exceedingly summer-appropriate ingredient. It can add a refreshing bite to savory dishes, is the essential main ingredient in basically all of the world’s best ice cream flavors, and is the star of the show in that most refreshing of summer beverages, the mojito (without which would basically just be watery rum).

Mint is the miracle substance that makes Asia’s hellish, your-buddy-just-spontaneously-combusted-hot summers just the slightest bit tolerable; a fact that beverage and snack makers in Japan are finally catching onto, with each passing year seeing better and more diverse mint-infused offerings.

But lemon and mint? That’s the new flavor combo Pepsi is banking on to be the next big thing with its new “Pepsi Special Lemon Mint” drink offering, and we’re just the slightest bit wary.

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Cats hate getting their teeth brushed, but it’s important…and they look so cute getting it done!

Cats are the stars of millions of the pictures and videos that we humans enjoy day in, day out. Like human celebrities, our cats need to be pampered and get their health needs met so they look and feel their best.

The cats themselves may not always be on board, however, especially for teeth cleanings. While we’re finding out that brushing cats’ teeth is exceedingly important, we’re also realizing that no matter how pissed they are about it, they maintain their cute-factor.

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How one man dealt with his cola-colored urine

“With my pants around my ankles, I stared at the toilet bowl for a while. Finally a dark cloud spread through the water. What is this bloody stuff in my urine?! I thought looking at its poisonous color, it was as if someone slowly poured a cola into the bowl. What the hell kind of pee is this, and what is going on inside me?!”

The following is a real experience of one of our writers when he found a worrisome discoloration in his pee. His name is Yuichiro Wasai, but after reading this you’ll know enough about him to be on a first-name basis. It’s a story worth reading, however. The cause of Yuichiro’s condition is rare but could happen to you or someone you know, and this knowledge may help.

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Japanese mental clinic’s hiragana alphabet chart is as humorous as it is educational

If you’ve ever entertained the notion of studying Japanese, at some point you’ll find yourself faced with the task of learning the language’s intricate writing system. The good news is that as long as you can write the strictly phonetic script sets, hiragana and katakana, and don’t mind everything you write looking like it was written by a first grader, you don’t necessarily have to know kanji.

But whether you go on to become a kanji master or not, most beginners usually start out learning hiragana first. In the past we introduced a number of handy Japanese study resources, but unfortunately we didn’t include anything for basic hiragana writing skills. So today we’d like to make-up for that by introducing this humorous hiragana study chart that has Japanese users on Twitter chuckling and doing some serious self-reflection.

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Dirty cash: Chinese Yuan filthiest money in Asia, two bank clerks feel full effect

What’s minuscule, potentially harmful and is very possibly lurking on your cash money? A multitude of bacteria and viruses, that’s what.  It turns out that coins and bills are some of the dirtiest things you touch every day. Two Chinese bank clerks recently learned this the hard way after contracting a very unpleasant condition, supposedly on the job. Heads up, you might not want to read this while eating.

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Beautiful anime series about twin princesses and mother’s legacy is also probiotic beverage ad

Twin princesses are born into this world just as the queen’s life ends. Inseparable in childhood, their relationship will be ruptured when one girl’s destiny leads her to take up their mother’s legacy, leaving her sister filled with resentment at being denied the opportunity to serve as savior to her subjects, a role which she had believed a claim to was her birthright.

It sounds like the beginning of an exquisitely produced anime, and in fact, it is. But it’s also part of a startlingly compelling and continuing series of probiotic beverage ads.

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The joy of pancakes, and why they might kill you

Although hardly new, Japan has been undergoing something of a boom in pancake consumption in recent years. With several trendy new restaurants opening up around the country, there has also been a significant rise in the popularity of homemade pancakes as well. Yes, with its warm and fluffy texture and mildly sweet flavor it’s certainly hard to turn down a hotcake, isn’t it?

While everyone is having a good time with their pancakes, some researchers and medical professionals would like to remind us all that pancakes and similar flour based foods have the potential to not only make us very ill, but in some cases may lead to death.

But before you go cursing out these wet blankets of science for ruining yet another beloved food with their health warnings, there’s actually an incredibly easy way to not die from eating flapjacks as well.

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Where pimples appear on our face may indicate which organs need help

This above image was posted onto Twitter recently and maps out the human face divided into regions where pimples may emerge. Labelled on each section is one or two body parts that connect to it. The idea is that the presence of zits in those regions would indicate an excess of toxins in their corresponding body parts.

Now unless you’re somewhat proficient in Asian languages it might not make a lot of sense so let’s take a look at an English version of it, shall we?

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Just how clean are Japan’s high-tech public restroom bidet-equipped toilets?

After cars and video game consoles, fancy toilets just might be Japan’s best-known technological achievement. In a society that prizes cleanliness, it’s no surprise that being able to push a button and have a warm stream of water wash your backside has become one creature comfort many can’t do without.

As such, just about everyone in Japan is happy to have a washlet, as bidet-equipped toilets are called here, in their home. Some people can’t help but wonder, though, if they’re spraying someone else’s fecal matter back up on themselves when they use a washlet in a public restroom.

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Japan has a pill to cure your pre-speech jitters, and it’s got carrots in it

Agaranzai is a new Japanese herbal medicine which claims to lessen headaches and anxiety brought on by public speaking. Basically, it’s marketed as a cure for the jitters. The makers suggest taking it before making a speech at a wedding, giving an important presentation at work, or going to a job interview. But what’s in it, anyway? And should we buy it?

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Make your tummy happy, eat a kimchi yogurt rice bowl today

In the boring and often mildly terrifying world of being a competent adult, there comes a time when you have to start eating healthily or face the horrible consequences. Junk food somehow seems less appealing when you have to factor in the inevitable side effects such as bloating, stomach cramps, and bad skin.

So we’re always looking for new things to eat that have added beauty benefits, and recently a secret super recipe has come to our attention which involves adding a dollop of yogurt and kimchi to our rice bowls.

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Hardcore tofu consumption lands man in hospital with over 500 kidney stones

In the food world, there a few items more innocuous than tofu, with its bland color and taste, squishy texture, and low calorie count. In fact, if you could tolerate eating tofu day in day out, most would say you’re living a pretty healthy lifestyle.

But not so fast! It would appear that looks, taste, and generally positive nutritional information can be deceiving. Just ask one 55-year-old tofu-lover who, over time, turned his kidney into a terrarium with about 500 kidney stones inside at once.

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Manga poster’s dreamy guy asks something much more shocking than “Will you be my girlfriend?”

Two manga high school students, one boy and one girl, stand face to face in a deserted hallway. The guy pounds his fist into the wall behind the girl, executing a perfect kabe-don as he stares into her eyes with a serious look on his face and asks her an earnest, possibly life-changing question. After pausing for a second, the girl gives him her answer: yes.

Is this the birth of another girls’ manga couple? Nope, not this time, as the question the boy just asked isn’t as romantic as “Will you be my girlfriend,” but is no less important.

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You’re almost definitely not as genki as this 84-year-old man – meet China’s “Yoga Grandpa”

If you recall, we delighted you all once before with a story about an incredibly genki granny from Japan who is capable of bending her aged limbs into a variety of contortionist poses. But we reckon this yoga grandpa from China has got her beaten!

Check out this man’s incredible flexibility in this series of photos that will have your jaws hanging and your joints creaking in sympathy!

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Maiko beauty secrets: Skincare tips from Japan’s apprentice geisha

Just as with full-fledged geisha, it’s customary for maiko, as geisha apprentices are known, to wear a layer of white face powder, called oshiroi. But those who’ve seen one of Japan’s traditional entertainers close up often marvel at their smooth, healthy skin, remarking that they would be just as beautiful with all of those cosmetic coverings washed away.

But in much the same way that their polished speech and refined mannerisms are the result of years of training, maiko also have a careful routine they follow to keep their skin looking as delicate and pleasing to the eye as it does.

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Nintendo DS on the menu as Japanese prisons get creative to keep ageing prisoners’ brains active

As Japan’s penal system struggles to cope with a rising number of older inmates, a number of prisons are taking unusual steps to help inmates stay healthy in mind as well as body.

The number of prisoners in Japan aged 65 or over increased almost five-fold in the twenty years up to 2013. This ageing prison population means institutions are bringing in innovative programmes to slow the onset of dementia in inmates, from yoga to hand-held video games.

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