interview

Exclusive video! RocketNews24 interviews Tokyo’s elderly residents about their love lives! 【Video】

If you’re feeling a little jaded on romance in these days of impersonal dating apps, casual hookups and seeing who can pretend to be the most indifferent, then pull up a chair and watch this heart-warming video! RocketNews24’s intrepid team of reporters hit the streets of Sugamo, Tokyo to interview some of the shopping district’s oldest and wisest residents on matters of the heart, touching on topics such as money vs looks, where to find hot guys in Tokyo, and why you’re never too old to fall in love.

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What’s so special about Japanese swords? We interview master katana maker Norihiro Miyairi!

You could say that the traditional Japanese sword, or katana, symbolizes the strength and beauty of the Japanese spirit. We see these swords quite often in comics, anime and movies, but how well do we really know the spiritual and cultural elements they embody?

To find out, we went to a true expert to learn about the fascinating and mysterious world of Japanese swords. Join us for an in-depth interview with master katana maker Norihiro Miyairi!

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Meet the man behind the mask! We head to Chiba for an exclusive interview with Chibatman 【Video】

Chiba Prefecture‘s very own superhero, Chibatman, has been making headlines in Japan and abroad since he began his campaign to keep Chiba’s streets safe. Often spotted zooming around on his custom-built Chibatpod (aka Batcycle), he’s also been seen making speeches at official events, and he’s even received the Chiba Police Force’s official approval to continue his activities.

Today, we’re excited to bring you an exclusive interview with Chibatman himself! We visited him at his home in Chiba to get the lowdown on the man behind the mask!

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Why Korean and Japanese people can’t speak English, in their own words【Video】

Native English teachers who have worked in Korea or Japan have developed very strong opinions about the systematic approach each country takes when teaching English. Here at RocketNews24, we’ve previously talked about how all the focus is on test scores and how native English speakers are used as glorified tape-recorders. We’ve also mentioned that there are Japanese English teachers with limited ability to speak (let alone teach) the subject, textbooks that bore the students into a coma and students who are too afraid to try because they don’t want to make any mistakes.

We could go on and on about the issues plaguing the system, but in the end, it is just advice coming from outsiders. Perhaps the ones we need to hear more from are the students themselves. What better source of feedback is there than the people who have experienced the process first-hand and now live with the fruits of their studies, or lack thereof?

Do those people identify similar problems in the current system? Has the presence of foreign English teachers in class actually had an impact on their studies? Let’s find out, when Korean and Japanese who are living overseas are asked about their English education.

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If you could move Japan anywhere in the world, where would you move it? 【Video】

When you ask people where they would live if they could move anywhere in the world, a lot of times they’ll stick with their home countries. We don’t blame them! After all, their family is probably there, they are used to the culture and lifestyle, moving to a new country would, frankly, be tough.

But, what if you could move your whole country with you? Our RocketNews24 reporters braved the cold on the streets of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district to ask passersby, “Where would you move Japan, if you could?” 

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Tokyo taxi driver AMA: Our reporter gets the low-down

In a country that has such a robust public transportation infrastructure, it’s easy to forget the humble car. Looking at a map of train and subway lines in the Tokyo area, it’s clear to see how far-reaching the two modes of public transport are. However, there are still plenty of people who choose to drive. And just like any other major city, there are many who prefer to travel by car, but don’t want to do the driving themselves.

Enter the humble taxi. An iconic fixture of cities such as New York and London, how does the Tokyo taxi driver compare? Are Japanese drivers and passengers just as interesting? Or does their business-like mental focus keep them from acting out in the car? Join us after the jump as we interview the humble Tokyo taxi driver, asking such probing questions as “Do you give rides to yakuza?” and “Can you tell what kind of people your customers are before they get in?”

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Japanese girls interviewed on their thoughts about mixed-race relationships 【Video】

If you’ve spent any extended time in Japan or have even casually followed RocketNews24, you’ve probably encountered the topic of Japanese people dating foreigners. It’s a theme that commonly comes up, often focusing on why foreign men (sometimes independent of their attractiveness), get all the girls! But still, all foreign men aren’t necessarily attracted to Japanese women.

Contributing to the discussion and in promotion of his recently released book, There’s Something I Want to Tell You: True Stories of Mixed Dating in Japan, Yuta Aoki, a Japanese author, vlogger and YouTuber, set out to interview some Japanese ladies on their thoughts about interracial relationships. Take this interview with a grain of salt though, as Aoki only questions five girls, all in the big city at the time and most having spent some time abroad, so, they’re not necessarily a cross section of Japanese women.

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Where the ninja magic happens – Naruto creator gives interview, peek into his manga studio

The serialized nature of manga means booming success can really sneak up on artists and publishers alike. When Masashi Kishimoto turned in his pages for the very first chapter of his new series Naruto back in 1999, he probably didn’t know he was about to create one of the most popular manga ever, but that’s exactly what he did.

Kishimoto didn’t just earn himself 15 solid years of steady work, though, but also the continual march of tight deadlines that come with writing and drawing a hit manga. Despite being one of the biggest names in the industry, Kishimoto had only found time to give one TV interview during Naruto’s serialization, but now that the series has finally come to a close, he’s appeared before the camera again, in a special interview held in the studio where he put pen to paper and brought one of Japan’s most beloved comics to life.

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Mininja and the future of anime: We talk with an American deep in the heart of Japan’s anime industry

After watching that insanely adorable Mininja short, we decided we had to find out more about it–like when we could watch a full-length film! Fortunately, we were able to track down the tiny “not actually a ninja” alien’s creator–Sean McPhillips, an American who also just happens to be a senior vice president at DLE. In the process of discussing Mininja’s origin, we got the chance to learn about how the Japanese anime industry is growing and just how an American ends up working at a Japanese anime company.

If you’re curious about the future of anime and the origin of our favorite pink ninja, be sure to check this out!

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Teen job hunter learns: Do not screw around at an interview with McDonald’s Japan

Most of us have probably heard of the weird questions people get at top-paying tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and, whatever, Chia Pet or something. You know what we’re talking about: “How many toilets do you think are in San Francisco?,” “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?,” “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?,” and, of course, “Why did you sleep with my sister and did you really think you’d get away with it?” (Just me?)

But we bet the last place you’d probably expect to get one of these abstract, no-right-answer kind of logic puzzle questions would be, say, an interview for a part-time job flipping burgers at McDonald’s, right?

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Did Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto just call casual gamers “pathetic”? Well, yes and no

In the latest issue of long-running UK gaming magazine Edge, industry legend and creator of Super Mario Bros. Shigeru Miyamoto sits down to talk about the direction in which Nintendo is heading. During the interview, which spans several pages and touches upon subjects ranging from upcoming title Splatoon to the lack of young talent at the company, the veteran game designer is quoted as saying that casual gamers are “pathetic” for not wanting to delving and getting the most out of video games.

A handful of gaming news sites immediately leapt on this statement and ran with it, hinting that Nintendo may be about to turn their backs on the very people who made products like the Nintendo DS and Wii the hits they were. But did Miyamoto honestly just diss the casual gaming public? We really don’t think so.

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Japan’s hellish job hunting process “shuukatsu” gets animated, terrifies netizens 【Video】

During Japan university students’ final year, many go through a long, physically and mentally draining process of finding a job before they graduate; a process known as “shuukatsu.” Students don matching black suits and attend job fairs, company briefing sessions and employment seminars en masse in the hopes of obtaining a job offer, or “naitei.” Young people often complain about the soul-sucking system and how difficult it can be to land a job offer without completely abandoning your personality along the way.

Recently, an animated short film has been making waves among Japanese netizens for the horror movie-like way it portrays the difficult and often depressing job hunting process in Japan

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Interview with a banana carving master: We get advice on the art from Keisuke Yamada

Earlier this month we highlighted the work of banana engraver Keisuke Yamada. His highly detailed and potassium rich recreations of popular people and characters had made him something of a celebrity around Japan and abroad. In several of his TV interviews he had mentioned how he would like to see an increase in banana artists.

This inspired our own reporter Hotaru to take up the noble art of banana carving herself. So under the guise of a RocketNews24 reporter this future artist arranged an interview with Mr. Yamada, in hopes of secretly learning how to be a famous banana engraver herself.

It didn’t hurt that he was kind of cute too.

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The Best Way to Kill Bambi: An Interview with One of Japan’s Few Gun Owners

In Japan it is a crime to own a gun; simple as that! …Okay, not quite. It’s not an easy task, but with proper training and a hard-earned permit, it is possible to become a legal gun owner in Japan. Down in Kumamoto Prefecture, we managed to share a word with one such gun owner. This 68-year-old man has had his own hunting rifle for quite a long time, but didn’t have many chances to go out shooting when busy with his full-time job and the daily grind. Now that he’s old and retired, he’s putting his gun permit to good use and making the most out of his remaining years. You won’t want to miss our full interview with this rare breed of gun-toting Japanese huntsman. Read More

From D-Cup T-Shirts to Nostril Power Outlets — the Creative Clowning of Takayuki Fukuzawa

Quirky Japanese designer Takayuki Fukuzawa is on a mission to make people smile.

A graduate of Tokyo’s Nihon University, Fukuzawa started designing his own unique brand of “humourous art and design” products not long after entering full-time employment as a home designer. After bringing smiles to exhibition attendees’ faces and realising that he might be on to something, he quickly established his own company, ekoD Works (pronounced “eco doh”), and hasn’t looked back since.

Japan’s Excite News sat down with Fukuzawa to pick his brains about his unusual product line-up, the meaning behind the company name and the runaway success of his mercilessly cheeky “Wild Idea Mapping red Bra T-shirt”.

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Making it in the Japanese Videogame Industry: Exclusive Interview with Developer and Author James Kay

Dutch-British game developer James Kay found his way into the videogame industry after studying Audiovisual design at the Willem de Kooning Academy and moving to London to work at Intelligent Games and Criterion Software. He relocated to Japan in 2001 and, after picking up a wealth of experience at companies including Taito, Genki and Marvelous Entertainment, went on to co-found Score Studios, a company that has received critical acclaim and is fast becoming a big name in the industry.

Detailing the many hurdles that foreigners working in the Japanese videogame industry face, James’ book Japanmanship: the ultimate guide to working in videogame development in Japan may well prove to be an invaluable resource for those thinking of making the move to the spiritual home of videogames.

With the book coming off the presses just last December, RocketNews24 headed to Score Studios in Tokyo’s Yoyogi to meet with James and talk about his book, life in the videogame industry and which Nintendo Princess he’d rather rescue.

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