Kawaii

Netizens hatch adorable baby birds from supermarket eggs, provide evidence

Uzura (quail eggs) are a popular food in Japan, as their relatively tiny size makes them perfect for snacking or adding to bento. As a result, you can find them in pretty much any supermarket over here. But it turns out that some shoppers out there aren’t interested in eating the little speckled eggs – they’ve been trying to hatch them instead! When reports first started popping up from netizens claiming to have hatched their own quails, we thought this was just an urban legend, but now a YouTube clip and blog post has appeared, showing different people seemingly hatching actual, live baby quails from supermarket eggs. Join us for some adorable pics and videos!

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These placid penguins really love taking a ride on this seal’s silky back【Photos】

The holiday period is well and truly over, and it’s cold, grey and generally blah outside. If this sounds like your life, then you could do with a penguin pick-me-up to perk you right up, courtesy of RocketNews24! We’ll even throw in a free seal to seal the deal! Join us after the jump for some adorable photos of a beautiful interspecies friendship!

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Buddhist monks cultivate cat haven at Fukui Prefecture’s “Kitty Temple”

Here’s a familiar saying: “In Ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped as gods; they have never forgotten this.” Certainly in Japan, cats are still given a huge amount of respect, with entire islands of moggies being given free roam to peacefully exist in their own little kitty ecosystem. Of course, things aren’t perfect, and stray and abandoned cats are a sad reality in Japan as much as they are in many other countries. But today we’re here to appreciate the happy cats of Gotanjo temple in Fukui Prefecture, who are lovingly tended to by Buddhist monks and fawned over by the adoring tourists who come to visit. You can even get a special kitty cat fortune and see what’s in store for the coming year!

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Man discovers fluffy wild deer nestled under porch, turns to Twitter for help

If you head out to the countryside in Japan you’re likely to notice that there’s a whole lot of wildlife to be found on these myriad islands. Whether it’s brown bears (Hokkaido), venomous snakes (Okinawa), or stinging centipedes (Everywhere), it’s important to be aware of what might be lurking. It’s not all creepy crawlies and bitey-stingies, though – there’s a possibility you’ll bump into capering monkeys, wild boar trotting down residential streets, and other adorable and fuzzy members of the animal kingdom. If you’re extra-lucky, one might even seek you out as a special friend, which is what happened to one bloke on Twitter when a deer decided to take up residence under his porch!

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Kyaraben roundup! We take a look back at 2014’s best packed lunches 【Pics】

The Kyaraben trend is still going strong in Japan, and even though winter has prompted some to make the temporary switch to deco-nabe, the demand for adorable packed lunches shows no signs of abating. Today we’d like to take a look back over the best of the past year’s Kyaraben. What can we learn about 2014 in Japan from studying these perfect works of edible art?

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No girlfriend at Christmas? Why not date your female self?

Christmas Eve is a big deal in Japan for couples. It’s the one night of the year when you’re supposed to go out on a romantic date and show the world you’re capable of being found attractive by another person. But for singles, it’s a hell that’s on par with Valentine’s Day in the west – canoodling couples everywhere, and all the corny marketing and merchandise that goes with it. So when this young man found himself without a date for Christmas Eve, he decided to skip the middle man (middle woman?) and date himself – in female form! Join us after the jump for some pics, but be warned – they’re a touch on the NSFW side!

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We steel our hearts and sample Namikoshiken’s too-cute-to-eat, aquarium-themed wagashi sweets

Do you remember our recent article that showcased Japanese confectioner Namikoshiken’s adorable menagerie of bite-sized manjū (sweet steamed buns)? Last week, out of sheer luck and coincidence, I received a box of the Suizokukan (aquarium) variety from a family friend who went on a trip to Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, where the 87-year-old company is based. So of course, this calls for a taste test!

Read on to find out more about the wagashi treats and to view close-up photos of each lovable suizokukan resident. Was this writer able to harden her heart and mercilessly sink her teeth into these little guys? Anything for RocketNews24!

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Delicious, foamy coffee art at home! We try new 3-D latte art machine “Awataccino”!

As some of our more creative and caffeine-addicted readers might recall, we recently reported that Japan is now supplying a variety of DIY latte-art related goods which will enable anyone to create awe-inspiring masterpieces at home. Of course, we were fascinated by the prospect of being able to stun friends and casual acquaintances with our barista-style foamy coffee sculpting skills. So when the opportunity to test out Takara Tomy’s Awataccino machine came around, we jumped at the chance!

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Mochi Mochi Animal: When cute animals meet delicious rice cakes in gashapon

One of the most symbolic foods of the Japanese winter season is the grilled mochi rice cake. You set up a charcoal grill and put a few slabs of pounded white mochi on it. After a while, the mochi will soften, blow up, and eventually become a warm, golden brown gooey delight that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside like a kind of savory marshmallow.

But what happens when you combine cute fluffy animals with these grilled mochi? Well, toy maker Bandai has the answer for us in this series of adorable mochi anime capsule toys!

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There’s a Doraemon Christmas tree in Singapore

Shoppers at Singapore’s One Raffles Place can get into the holiday spirit with the help of Doraemon. Or rather, dozens upon dozens of Doraemon, which have been turned into a cute and wonderful Doraemon Christmas tree, complete with Santa hats.

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Kawaii concrete? Japanese retailer selling cuddly tetrapods for a limited time only

When I first chanced upon these soft toys, I was really confused. By the word tetrapod, I thought the oddly shaped plushies were meant to resemble an entire classification of animals including myself and my neighbor’s cat. However, after doing some research, I discovered that tetrapods are actually concrete structures used in coastal water irrigation. And some genius decided that these should be made into limited-edition soft toys that belong in your room instead of next to the ocean.

These peculiar plushies are available for pre-order between October 18 to 26 only, so if you’re a fan of these huge solid blocks of concrete that cover a worryingly large amount of Japan’s coastline, hurry and grab them whilst stocks last!

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Japanese lingerie company designs special bra for Japan’s marshmallow girls

Since last year, chubbiness has become more accepted in Japan. Chubby girls (that’s chubby by Japanese standards) are now called ‘marshmallow girls‘ and they’ve become so popular that there’s now an entire idol group dedicated to them, and even a fashion magazine for girls of various sizes. I think we can all agree that Japan definitely still has some body image issues, but nevertheless, the marshmallow fad continues!

The latest addition to this marshmallow boom is a series of bras designed for marshmallow girls. They are called “Pochakawabra”, which is a portmanteau of pocha (chubby), kawaii (cute), and of course the object itself, bra. I’m not sure if I appreciate the name, but the designs sure are cute!

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Dance! Dance! Dance! –  Girl groups that “bring it on” 【Videos】

Dancing is an important element of an idol’s performance even though choreography can be quite a task, especially when a group has so many members and the stage is small. One of the charms of Japanese idols is that fans can watch them develop; even if they aren’t the most talented, they’re still cute and fun to watch.

However, this doesn’t mean that all girl groups in Japan are like that! This is not to say that one is better than the other as they are both fun to watch, depending on the situation. We compiled a short list of a few groups that dance like they own the stage every time they’re on it.

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The world’s smallest remote-controlled helicopter is impossibly cute, yours to buy in December

At just 46mm (1.8 inches) long, the Pico-Falcon claims to be the world’s smallest remote-controlled helicopter. Produced by Japanese toy maker Bandai’s subsidiary CCP, this adorable little thing will go on sale on December 5. Just look at how it sits on the fingers!

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Wide-eyed gaijin model has Japanese fans gushing over her kawaii-ness【Photos】

Meet Taylor, the next big ‘gaijin in Japan’ model. We’d almost to be tempted to classify her as a recruit to the real life doll army, but she’s actually more on the cute than creepy side of the scale.

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“Neko nabe” – Cute cats napping in pots and pans 【Photos】

Anyone who has ever owned a cat will know of their fondness for boxes, pots, pans, and bags — if an object can in any way become a bed, fort, or platform to sit on, they’ll claim it. They are also, as cat owners will no doubt have noticed, at once both deceptively long animals (when they stretch out or are held vertically, they magically unfold like some kind of fur-covered extendable ladder) and yet can squeeze into some of the smallest spaces imaginable.

With that in mind, and because a) it’s the weekend and b) they’re just so cute, here’s a little selection of photos of cats making pots their own.

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Welcome to the whimsical world of Yuko Higuchi

Tokyo is home to a large number of talented artists, but recently one in particular has been standing out. Japanese people and netizens around the world have become captivated by the versatile art of Ms. Yuko Higuchi, whose surreal works both delight and cause you to slightly question the state of her mind. Her style has been described as “dark kawaii (kawaii=cute), blending the real with the fantastical and seemingly drawing heavy inspiration from Alice in Wonderland (in fact, it looks like Alice and friends even make cameos in some of the pictures!). The pictures of anthropomorphic cats and fairy tale-like girls are especially popular. Even if you’re not usually a fan of art, you should definitely take a minute to look at these pictures – they may be just the thing needed to convert you!

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Sleeping bunnies are taking over the Internet in Japan

They may look innocent, but hidden under all that fluff is a nefarious plan for bunny Internet domination. Cats have been at the top of the net kingdom for too long and bunnies sleeping with their paws in the air are just cute enough to overthrow them. Who will win? It may be too soon to tell, but no matter who comes out on top, the real winners are us netizens who get to reap all the benefits of an adorable rivalry.

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【Monday Kickstart】Kitty meets cat in a box

It’s Monday again and you know what that means! Your Monday Kickstart video is here to get you going through another week. 

This week’s video features a cat’s up-close encounter with a popular coin bank found at stores in Japan. Watch and prepare to say, “Awww.”

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Canadian Micaela Braithwaite sworn in as new Kawaii Ward Mayor

Fukuoka City’s virtual administrative district Kawaii Ward welcomed its newest mayor yesterday, Canadian Fukuoka resident Micaela Braithwaite. Braithwaite will be the second mayor of the “cute district” following former AKB48 member Mariko Shinoda who left the post earlier this year.

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