“5 + 9” is okay but “9 + 5” is wrong? Is this being logical or overly picky?

Students who add and multiply with the numbers in the ‘wrong’ order are getting their answers marked as incorrect? Japanese net users weigh in.

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Meet the people and organizations who are tackling the problem of childhood hunger in Japan

Tough economic times can and do happen everywhere in the world. Even in wealthy, developed countries like Japan, some folks struggle every day to make ends meet. Sometimes, those people are families with young children.

Childhood hunger is a worldwide problem, and while no one deserves to go hungry, it is an especially sad situation for children. For one thing, they can’t really do anything to help better their situation, and secondly, they need the food and nutrition to help their bodies continue to grow properly. In Japan, approximately 16 percent of two-parent families are financially unable to provide enough food for their children, and that number jumps to 32 percent for single-parent households, according to a 2012 survey. But there are some who refuse to stand by doing nothing and are dedicating themselves to feeding the hungry children in Japan.

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Maybe 13 percent of Japanese schoolgirls aren’t really selling their services as escorts

The Japanese government has asked the UN to retract its recent statement that claims 13 percent of girls in Japan are involved in compensated dating.

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Japanese cat becomes blanket, warms sleeping baby’s tummy and our hearts 【Photos】

Japan may not be cold enough for a three-dog night yet, but the season is just right for a one-cat nap, as these heartwarming photos prove.

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Young martial artist slices through the competition, takes the internet by storm

Female fighters in Japan and all across the globe and are inspiring a whole new generation of young women to take up martial arts in what has traditionally been considered a male-dominated domain, like this adorable pint-sized warrior who’s starring in a new music video.

But another young female athlete found herself suddenly in the spotlight for her proficiency in multiple martial arts, catching the attention of viewers all across the world by channeling her inner ninja with an amazing video of her performing her best sword fighting techniques.

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Japan’s nine-year-old karate champion returns—in Australian singer Sia’s new music video【Video】

Let’s say you’re producing a music video. A tried-and-true method is to simply splice together some clips of the artist’s last concert tour. Or, if the song hasn’t been performed live yet, you could do a “behind-the-scenes” sort of thing with footage of the singer in the studio.

But here’s what happens when you take a third option: Making a music video starring Japan’s most amazing nine-year-old karate expert.

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Through the eyes of a child — Five-year-old girl takes her mother to see local “Martian”

Looking up into the vastness of space, it’s only natural for one to wonder if we’re really all alone here. There are reports of contact with alien life all the time, sometimes even with photographic material to support them. Some of them are undoubtedly hokey, but others make you pause and wonder…

Like this photo, of a martian living on a lone street in a Japanese neighborhood. A young five-year-old had seen the martian many times before she took her mother along to see. The mother then snapped a photo of the encounter and posted it on Twitter for the world to see…

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Adorable Japanese kids’ homemade Splatoon costumes are ink-redible【Pics】

Halloween may be over, but that hasn’t put a stop to the internet being flooded with pictures of all the amazing and not-really-amazing-but-still-popular costumes that people wore.

One costume that was especially popular this year was the Inklings from the Wii U game Splatoon, but the ones who pulled it off the best have to be this pair of Japanese kids. Not only are their costumes homemade, but they look absolutely adorable while running around covering everything in pretend ink.

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This 3-year-old has over 200,000 followers on Instagram because, well, she’s mega cute! 【Pics】

For some, the number of friends or followers one has on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is an indication of one’s social status. If those little numbers on profile pages mean anything to you, this sweet little girl is basically a superstar, because she has over 200,000 followers on both Instagram and Facebook!

Witness the cuteness of this super adorable girl who has captured numerous hearts across Japan and Korea after the break!

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New study suggests Japanese people born in late winter at higher risk of suicide

While Japan is famous for its animationfood, pop-culture, it’s also infamous for its extremely high suicide rates. Many Japanese students and salarymen succumb to the pressures of school and work by taking their own lives. There is little knowledge about what factors increase the risk of suicide, but recent research has found that people, namely adolescents, born between January 1 and April 1, are 30 percent more likely to commit suicide

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Disney plans to release augmented reality coloring book in the not-too-distant future

At some point in our childhoods, most of us probably owned a few coloring books to keep us entertained on rainy days or while traveling.

Although coloring is still a great way to boost a child’s imagination and improve motor skills, as digital technology continues to develop, fewer children are turning to coloring books to pass the time.

So in order to make coloring “cool” again, Disney decided to do a little research into what they could do to breathe some life back into this old pastime favorite.

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Chocolate thief writes adorable apology note to sister after failed attempt to cover up his crime

A cautionary tale as old as time unfolded into an epic saga of crime and redemption in the Japanese Twitterverse recently, when a young boy’s inability to control himself around his sister’s chocolate stash ended in the kid embarking on a heist-like caper to replace the chocolate bar he couldn’t help but munch on before his sister noticed.

When the boy’s less-than-masterful plan failed, though, he resorted to writing this adorable apology letter.

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Paints Without Names: Japanese set of nameless watercolors seeks to free young artistic minds

While visual arts and linguistics are both creative fields, skill with one isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for the other. After all, as long as you can look at three hues and pick the one best suited for the picture you’re painting, it doesn’t really matter if you know whether to call it fuchsia or periwinkle.

As a matter of fact, some would argue that coupling names and colors limits the imaginations of budding young artists, which is why these two Japanese designers have produced a set of paints for children that have no names on their labels, only splotches of their base component colors.

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“Why do I have to study?” Japanese educator’s answer to kids is half kind, half harsh, all wise

Japanese society may greatly value education, but it’s not like every kid in the country is born with an innate attraction to long division or vocabulary lists. Given the choice, even Japanese kids would much rather be playing video games or watching cartoons than doing homework, and given how active the country is in producing content for those two entertainment sectors, steering your children away from such tempting distractions and back towards their studies can be a tough challenge.

So what do you do when your kid declares he’s sick of school, and asks “Why do I have to study?” One Japanese education expert has an answer that’s half kind, half harsh, and entirely wise.

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Japanese kids becoming less skilled at starting fires, not getting covered with mud, survey shows

Just like they do in many other countries, adults in Japan like to periodically grumble about “kids today” and the simple things they can’t do that previous generations could. Sometimes we can sympathize with the exasperated grown-ups. After all, who doesn’t get frustrated when faced with one of these modern kids who can’t put in a full day’s work without whining, show his elders the respect they deserve, or start a fire by himself?

Wait, what was that last one again?

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“I can’t believe I ate this!” American kids try nigiri sushi for the first time 【Video】

Believe it or not, sushi has been available in the US since the 1960s. In fact, the first American sushi restaurant opened in 1966 in Los Angeles. But while sushi is booming now, it took some time to really take off in the States and still isn’t necessarily a family-friendly dining option, with many kids (and adults) not so keen on eating the raw fish delicacy.

REACT, a light-hearted YouTube channel featuring kids, teens, and older adults reacting to a variety of things, recently released Kids vs. Food – SUSHI, a video showing a few American kids trying some popular nigiri sushi and some of these Japanese favorites didn’t all sit well with the kiddos.

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Takara Tomy’s new “Color Catch Pen” is amazing, but also looks kind of like a vibrator

…There. We said it.

As technologically cool and fun-sounding as the “Mitsukete-miyou! Iro Kyachi Pen” (lit. “Let’s Find it! Color Catch Pen”) appears to be, it also has the unfortunate appearance of a “massager,” which in Japan, is code for…Well, look, it’s code for a vibrator. Literally no one uses a “massager” for their back or any other non-genital area (and anyone who says otherwise is a dirty, filthy liar and probably also says they never pee in the shower, which we all know is a lie, too), so parents be warned: You and your child may have lots of fun playing with this fantastic, educational toy, but you will also never, ever, ever be able to shake the image of your nine-year-old holding something they might as well have found in your secret fun-time drawer out of your head for as long as you live.

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Bus driver in Yokohama City announces warm message to the mother of a screaming child

We’ve all been in this situation at some point in our lives–trapped in a public place with a baby screaming its lungs out. While many people would react by repeating “Shut up!” over and over again inside their minds, one pro bus driver in Yokohama who experienced this exact situation on the bus he was driving took the high route by instead reassuring the mother that everything was okay.

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Brave, pint-sized warrior almost loses his epic battle with a board

A while back, we introduced you to an adorably terrifying seven year-old karate sensation called Mahiro-chan, who appeared ready to more or less destroy the entire earth with her amazingly quick fists.

Well, if Mahiro-chan is the embodiment of cold, destructive toddler efficiency, this little tot is, uh…kind of maybe the opposite of that. Let’s watch as he valiantly takes on this incredibly thin sheet of balsa wood and almost loses.

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Genius parents “trick” young children into not watching TV using clever kid logic

While television can be a useful way to distract children for a brief period of time, that usefulness can completely backfire on you when you can’t get them to stop watching TV. It gets especially hairy at night when you need them to go to sleep, but they are screaming bloody murder when you turn off Sesame Street.

Thankfully, a clever parent in Japan has an idea that distressed parents can try; just tell your little one to say, “Night night, Mr. TV.”

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