One thing we can probably all agree on is that cockroaches are gross and disgusting. They stink, they fly at your face and they can make you sick. They must be exterminated, but not everybody enjoys breathing in the noxious fumes from aggressive sprays, nor do they enjoy handling toxic poisons. So what’s left? Drown the suckers? They can survive in water for around 30 minutes. Suffocate them? They can live without air for 45 minutes. Chops their heads off? They’ll just keep on scurrying. Luckily, a high school girl in Thailand has come up with an all-natural non-violent method of disposing of the icky invaders. All you’ll need is flour, cement powder, and… malted milk powder?
Aug 11, 2014
Coming from the UK where the largest insect you’re likely to encounter is a slightly overweight bumblebee, I was quite taken aback the first time I saw a semi, or cicada in English, in Japan. Having arrived in the middle of summer, at first the ear-piercing racket coming from the tree outside my window drove me to distraction, but over the years I came to enjoy the sound these little bugs made, even if their appearance still gives me the creeps.
As it happens, I’m not the only one who appreciates these little bugs’ songs. Cicadas hold special significance here in Japan, and are considered to be almost synonymous with summer, so join us after the jump for five quick-fire facts about Japan’s summer bug.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you achieve your dream? If that’s got you thinking about a career change, you may want to look to the Land of the Rising Sun because in Japan there are some unusual employment opportunities available. From human dog food testers to bad smell specialists, we’ve found seven surprising jobs for you to consider. And they’re all ready and waiting for you in Japan.
Apr 18, 2014
When people talk about Japan, they usually talk about its beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and delicious food. They talk about the cherry blossom in spring, the soft, powder snow in winter, the deep red autumn leaves, and the summers that, while swelteringly hot, go perfectly with a big glass of cold Japanese beer.
What they don’t talk about are the bugs.
Although Japan has nothing on “Don’t Touch That, It’ll Probably Kill You” Australia, it nevertheless has its fair share of creepy-crawlies, and the oosuzumebachi, or Japanese Giant Hornet is perhaps the worst of the bunch. It’s still only April, but it would seem that the Japanese branch of Satan’s striped servants are already out and about, and getting into people’s apartments, no less…
Mar 2, 2014
On 2 March this year, a research group from Fukushima University will present the results of their study in which they believe to have found a new species of mayfly. This particular insect was found in a remote swamp near Lake Hibara. This new species is unique in that rather than living from a day to a week like related mayflies, this particular one has a life span of only an hour.
We’ve probably all had itty-bitty insects fly into our mouths or eyes or even up our noses at one point in time. Whether it’s a mosquito zipping down your throat as you go for a jog or a dive-bombing gnat attacking your eyeball with laser precision, it’s definitely not pleasant. Though it rarely amounts to anything more than a minor annoyance.
For one Chinese man, though, this “minor annoyance” was more like hellish torture. Read More
Those of you who abhor the very idea of eating food that’s been anywhere near a creepy-crawly may wish to look away now.
Here at RocketNews24 we like to pride ourselves on our willingness to take up unusual food challenges. If we’re not baking Big Mac bread or gorging on bacon, we’re fighting our way through a kilo of curry and rice for your enjoyment. So as soon as word reached Rocket Towers that a nearby restaurant was serving up genuine insect cuisine, our reporter Mr Sato immediately sprang into action and boarded a train to Takadanobaba.
Who’d have thought that deep-fried imomushi (hairless caterpillars or hornworms) could be so delicious that they could bring smiles to our reporter’s face?
As icky as it sounds to many of us brought up in Western cultures, the human consumption of insects is common in many parts of the world.
Most Japanese people are on the same page as the rest of the developed world in thinking of bugs as unappetizing—not to mention creepy, gross, and/or scary— little creatures that have no place in the home, and especially not on the dinner plate.
However, there are some rural regions of Japan where insects are are a local delicacy, and have been so for centuries. In Nagano, the prefecture this writer calls home, you can walk into any supermarket and expect to find plastic packs of grasshopper (inago) or stonefly larva (suzumushi) boiled in soy sauce, and sometimes even read-to-eat packs of boiled wasp larva mixed in with rice (hachinoko-gohan).
In the cities, eating bugs is still taboo, and even in rural areas insect cuisine is now considered fringe cuisine, especially among the younger generations. But in Tokyo, there is a group of people who believe that bugs just need to be given a chance, which is why they are hosting what is now the 4th annual Tokyo Insect Eating Festival (Tokyo Mushikui Festival) on November 23.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Nov 3, 2012
Earlier this week, we ran an article featuring the most hated insects in Japan. This article revealed that 40.4% of those surveyed dislike all bugs, no matter what kind.
In addition, an article from Karapaia discloses that an overwhelming amount of teachers in Tokyo admit they are afraid of insects. In order to encourage these teachers to successfully incorporate nature observation and science experiments in the classroom, the Tokyo Municipal Board of Education will begin offering lectures featuring simple science experiments and animal care classes next spring, including a lecture on how to touch insects. These classes will be held at universities and zoos and are aimed at elementary school teachers who have limited knowledge in the field of science.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Oct 31, 2012
My Navi News, a Japanese news website, polled 1000 of their members to find out just how many people dislike creepy-crawlies. A whopping 63.1% said they can’t stand the little guys. Take a look at their reasons why and find out Japan’s most hated bug.
Oct 14, 2012
As the summer cools back down to a comfortable autumn, the cockroach index has slid to a 1 across much of Japan. But before they go to sleep in many parts of the world, it looks like our little black friends are squirming their way into the headlines to give us something to remember them by.
We’ve all probably heard the tale of Edward Archbold who mysteriously died after winning a cockroach eating contest in the USA. However, in China, roaches making quite a stir – by getting stirred into the food.
We’ve introduced some unique smartphone apps in one of our previous posts, but here’s one more unique app that’s caught our attention and may even be useful, if you believe what the developers say. If you’ve ever been annoyed by mosquitoes in the outdoors, and I believe most of us have at one time or another, then the Mosquito Buster app may be the solution to your pest problem. Yes, those small, buzzing blood-suckers can really be a pain, can’t they? But can a smartphone app really help you avoid mosquitoes? Well, the people at TABROID, a Japanese site that focuses on Android-related news and information, have apparently tested the app out in the field to see if it actually works. Read More
Aug 13, 2012
TV personality, outspoken otaku, avid cosplayer, diligent blogger: Japanese celebrity Shoko Nakagawa, or Shokotan, as she is lovingly referred to by fans, is known for many things. Normality is not one of them.
Exhibit A: On August 11, the quirky entertainer posted a series of pictures to her blog of herself covered in molted insect shells.
We think that should be sufficient evidence.
Japan is home to a number of terrifying insects, such as the mukade, a giant venmous centipede with a sting that can be fatal to children and the elderly, or the suzumebachi (Asian Giant Hornet), which actually kills a handful of people every year.
But perhaps no insect in Japan is feared more than the kamemushi, commonly referred to in English as the stinkbug. While you can easily drop centipedes and hornets with a good dose of pesticide or a well-timed smack of the shoe, it is in death that kamemushi is feared the most.
You see, when you kill a stinkbug, it stinks. It stinks a lot, which is why most Japanese people gently pick them up with a tissue and throw them outside or roll them up in tape so they can’t move and dispose of them in the trash.
Recently, a team of amateur Japanese “researchers” decided to make that unholy stink of the stinkbug the subject of their latest study, which asks the question: “Can kamemushi be knocked unconscious by the smell of their own fart?
Feb 17, 2012
Believe it or not, your reporter (Chie Nomura, pictured above & below) has always had a taste for insect cuisine and it’s been a long-held dream of mine to try scorpion. After all, while you sometimes see variety shows with some talent scowling as he reluctantly lowers a giant black scorpion into his mouth, here in Japan, they’re not the kind of bugs we can try everyday.
Well, after doing some searching, I found a Chinese restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo that serves scorpion! Who knew that the key to realizing my long-cherished dream was so close at hand!
I wasted no time in scuttling on over to try the dish myself!
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- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer
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