Angelina Jolie’s latest war movie, Unbroken, has been facing criticism recently from Japanese conservatives for its portrayals of brutality in World War II prisoner of war camps. While the film hasn’t even been released yet, there are some people who want to make sure it never sees the light of day in Japan.
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
3 days ago
A series of stills from upcoming Chinese drama Hunter Blade drew heavy criticism recently when eagle-eyed Chinese netizens noticed that the costume designs seemed a little bit too familiar.
Those who game quickly pointed out the similarities between the costumes worn by the Hunter Blade actors and those in popular video game franchise Assassin’s Creed. As the Chinese production is intended to be a historical drama detailing patriotic resistance against the Japanese, some netizens have even called the wardrobe choices “embarrassing”.
Another Side of Japan
Nov 17, 2014
If you’re a regular RocketNews24 reader, then chances are you’re already a fan of Japan and Japanese culture. But ask the average person on the street to tell you what they know about Japan, and most likely all you’ll hear are things like “geisha,” “sumo,” and “anime.”
With that in mind, today we’d like to share with you a selection of videos from our special website, “Another Side of Japan” from NHK World, which feature three of Japan’s little-known wonders and demonstrate the importance of perspective when looking at not just Japan but the world in general. The video tour starts after the jump!
Hayashi 'Fang' Hougi
Oct 30, 2014
Like the rest of my classmates in my first Japanese class, I was inspired by manga to start learning Japanese. Although manga is usually deemed as ‘leisure’ reading, there are some quality manga that deal with serious societal issues. In fact, at National Cheng Chi University, one of the top universities in Taiwan, there is actually a class in which you have to read manga. Mandatory manga readings? It’s no wonder the class is so popular that some students have to wait four years to get in!
That’s right, you can eat a polar bear in Japan. But before you start freaking out about animal cruelty or endangered species, we are actually talking about the funky dessert in picture above, not the big furry mammal. Meet the shirokuma or polar bear, a delicious treat of shaved ice, sweet milk syrup and fruit from Kagoshima.
Sushi, geisha, sumo – everyone knows at least a few famous things from Japan. But how many people actually know what the country looks like on a map?
Our Japanese writer asked six of his foreign friends with an interest in Japan to draw a map of the country to see just how good their knowledge of the country was. The following collection of decidedly poopy-looking doodles is what he got back.
For most, a trip to Japan usually involves hitting as many of the big sights as possible. Tokyo Tower, the ornate temples of Kyoto, Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Dome, the “floating” torii gate of Hiroshima’s Miyajima Island, and of course the famous Shibuya Scramble intersection are all top tourist spots. But what if you’ve lived in Japan for a while or already seen most of the more famous sights? The good news is, there are tons of smaller locations that, while they may not top many people’s lists of must-see spots, are definitely worth checking out if you have the time or are simply looking for something a little off the beaten track.
Thankfully, a handful of Japanese net users recently provided us with a list of locations that they’d personally like visitors to their country to know a little better. Join us after the jump for six smaller, but equally cool, spots to add to your sightseeing list.
By now you’ve probably read the earth-shattering, heart-rending news that Hello Kitty’s own copyright holder Sanrio recently alleged that the world’s most famous bow-sporting feline isn’t actually a cat. If, like me, you’re a huge fan of Japan’s unofficial mascot, you probably already started going through the five stages of grief, too.
I, however, never got past denial. Instead, I picked up the phone and called Sanrio’s PR department in Japan. My findings will bring your suffering heart some relief.
Have you ever been to a Denny’s in Japan? If not, Yoshio, one of the reporters from our Japanese site, thinks it would be worth your while to make a visit to the family restaurant when you’re in Japan. Why? Well, Denny’s in Japan has quite a varied and tasty menu that’s quite different from what you can get in the United States. In fact, Yoshio says that one of his American friends even calls Denny’s in Japan the “gourmet Denny’s”! So, today we bring you six reasons from Yoshio why Denny’s in Japan is a great eatery that you should visit if you have the chance, and may even be the first restaurant you should go to in Japan.
It’s the middle of August, and while the days we’ve been having recently aren’t quite as face-meltingly hot as those a couple of weeks ago, it is nevertheless still pretty toasty out there. Thankfully, just like when suffering with a cold or sore throat, the summer heat does afford us one very tasty luxury: a genuine excuse to gorge on delicious ice cream!
If you’re feeling the heat this summer, or are just curious about some of Japan’s go-to ice cream treats, join us after the jump for a special video featuring five of our frozen favourites.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Aug 6, 2014
As if the power of the sea weren’t terrifying on its own, a Brazilian artist managed to make the wrath of Poseidon even more fearsome with the addition of Japan’s most famous monster.
The next time someone asks, “What’s your favourite thing about Japan?”, I know what I’m going to say.
When I was growing up in England, the only thing you could buy from a cute little musical van that drove around the neighbourhood was ice cream, and for the approximately eleven-and-a-half months of the year when it was too cold to eat an ice cream, you had to make do with a “mix-up bag” (like pick ‘n’ mix, but without the “pick” part – that is to say, without the element of choice) which consisted of ten gummy sweets no one ever liked anyway.
Sure, in city centres and at events in England we have vendors selling fast food. But our burger and falafel trucks don’t drive door-to-door playing old-fashioned jingles like an ice cream van does. In Japan, however, there are a bunch of tiny vans, privately owned, that each specialise in one product and each have their own song. And it’s not just food, either. The things you can buy off the back of those little musical trucks are amazing.
We’ve always been told that stereotypes are bad, but there are certain cultural phenom that can be measured so widely that it’s safe to say that people from certain countries at least have a tendency to behave in certain ways.
The Japanese, for instance, are said to be orderly and conformist, while Americans are said to be cowboys that like to do things their own way, even if to the detriment of others.
While this survey sticker board from a Japanese hostel – which asks where visitors hail from – may actually prove the opposite about Americans, it pretty readily confirms that the Japanese are very organized.
Live in urban Japan long enough and, as shocking as it sounds, you’re eventually going to have the distinctly unpleasant experience of riding a train that hits and more than likely kills a human being.
Even if you aren’t experiencing it firsthand, walking into a Tokyo train station only to notice yet another train delay caused by what is euphemistically described as a “bodily accident” (jinshin jiko, or 人身事故) is at least a weekly occurrence. It’s enough to make you think Japan must be wrestling with one hell of a suicide problem.
Which is true. But it’s not quite as bad as the Western media would have you believe. Here are five facts about suicide in Japan that are about as uplifting as we have any right to expect from facts about suicide:
Jun 5, 2014
Gotta find ‘em all! should be the catchphrase for the campaign attached to the new The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya animated video. Even though it’s the first new Haruhi animation in four years, its creators aren’t just screening it for free–they’re making fans actually work to see it! That said, the campaign is actually more like a treasure hunt than anything else. Introducing “Haruhi Hunting,” in which the residents of Japan must work together to unlock the new promotional video.
Do YOU have what takes to find all 707 missing frames of the animation?
Few who have not visited the country would ever imagine that Japan is practically overrun with bakeries. When people think of food in Japan, they usually think of things like rice, sushi and ramen, but the truth is, while Japanese supermarkets may not carry anywhere near as many varieties of bread as those in the West, dedicated bakeries can be found all over city centres, with pretty much every station, shopping mall and supermarket having its own shop or dedicated corner offering up freshly baked pastries, and the variety is astounding.
Check out this video to see 30 typical pastries available at Japanese bakeries.
When people visit Japan, they often marvel at how great the service everywhere is. Trains run on time; a guy pops out of a little hatch like a station ninja when you’re struggling with a ticket vending machine; packages come precisely when they’re supposed to, and even if you miss them you can just call the driver on their mobile phone to arrange a new delivery time.
Day in, day out, stuff just works. And yet, unlike the many foreigners who live here, native Japanese take this all completely in their stride. Take this video, for example, which was taken by a foreigner living and uploaded to YouTube a couple of weeks ago…
An insect collector learned the hard way last year that you should never send stag beetles in the mail, because being stuffed in a box and shipped across the country unsurprisingly kills them.
A specialist apparently sent 240 stag beetles to be delivered to the collector’s Okinawa home. When the box – supplied by the Japanese Postal Service’s “Yu-paku” goods shipping service – arrived, the collector opened it to find all 240 of the beetles decidedly un-alive, prompting the man to sue for compensation; because, come on, if you’re shipping beetles, you expect a certain amount of care to be taken.
May 28, 2014
Not that we didn’t see it coming, but it was announced on Monday that Disney’s Frozen has officially surpassed 19.8 billion yen (US$194.6 million) in total box office revenue in Japan. Released on March 14 in Japan as アナと雪の女王 (“Ana and the Snow Queen”), months behind its original stateside premiere, the film has held onto its number one position for 11 consecutive weeks.
So how does that stack up with other successful films in Japanese box office history? Keep reading to find out its current ranking plus a list of the highest-grossing films of all time in Japan!
Apr 24, 2014
The lack of both L and V sounds in Japan’s language hasn’t kept Canadian musician Avril Lavigne from achieving widespread popularity here. As a matter of fact, given the country’s affinity for female solo acts, and its decades-long ready acceptance of “girls’ rock” music, you could make the argument that Lavigne has an even broader fan base in Japan, or at least one that’s split more evenly across the gender line.
So when Lavigne recently revealed she’d filmed her latest music video in Japan, maybe it wasn’t so surprising, even if a few of her choices for representing Japan were.
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】1
- Artist magically transforms Sailor Moon characters into black women2
- Shippers rejoice! 10,000 anime fans pick their favorite same-sex pairings3
- Commercial reminds Japan’s tired commuters about the drawbacks of living far away from work4
- Evacuation orders issued as town in northern Japan is flooded by rising tidewaters5
- A farewell to fries: Twitter users document their last meal of L-size Mcdonald’s potato snacks6
- This crazy 4-minute clip is the most epic fan-made anime tribute we’ve seen this year7
- Dating websites offer advice on how to land a famous Japanese boyfriend (or at least stalk him)8
- Life imitates (Sword) Art (Online) as Japanese gamers find they can’t log out of online RPG9
- The Holy Grail of Sailor Moon merchandise will help your room smell as nice as Princess Serenity10
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood1
- Character images of new Digimon Adventure series released, expected to air in spring 20152
- Chinese dude bags super hot Ukrainian wife, generates major envy online3
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】4
- Alice in Moeland! Japanese netizens react to art style of new US book cover5
- Director of Summer Wars and Wolf Children announces new anime film: The Boy and The Beast6
- Japan’s cutest rodent commuters take the high-road【Video】7
- Life imitates (Sword) Art (Online) as Japanese gamers find they can’t log out of online RPG8
- Oppai Taisou Hand, the pink plastic hand that will exercise your boobs to new heights9
- Hayao Miyazaki reveals the kind of otaku he hates the most10
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood1
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin2
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours3
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】4
- How to say “I love you” in Japanese – 47 different ways 【Videos】5
- Japanese man proposes to girlfriend with Guinness World Record-winning GPS drawing6
- Historic Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings7
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!8
- Hayao Miyazaki comments on Chihiro’s final test scene in Spirited Away9
- Fashion gone wrong? Boob shirts take Twitter by storm10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】3
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China4
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood5
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin6
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked7
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls8
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea9
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours10
- A farewell to fries: Twitter users document their last meal of L-size Mcdonald’s potato snacks
- This crazy 4-minute clip is the most epic fan-made anime tribute we’ve seen this year
- Dating websites offer advice on how to land a famous Japanese boyfriend (or at least stalk him)
- Life imitates (Sword) Art (Online) as Japanese gamers find they can’t log out of online RPG
- The Holy Grail of Sailor Moon merchandise will help your room smell as nice as Princess Serenity
- Character images of new Digimon Adventure series released, expected to air in spring 2015
- Bizarre otaku dancing catches on as Wotagei spreads around the world【Videos】
- Pixel’s film posters feature Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Galaga, more
- 20 crazy facts about North Korea
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood
- Japanese university English teacher fights student misbehaviour with eccentric new rulebook
- Japan’s cutest rodent commuters take the high-road【Video】
- Hate Frozen? Then you’ll love these photos of the Disney hit’s Olaf being murdered in pastry form