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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Japanese moms tweet the stupid things kids do during summer vacation that drive them crazy

Oh summer vacation. For little kids (and big kids too!) it’s a time to finally throw off those backpacks, forget about homework, and have fun all day long running around outside or playing video games. If you’re the mom or dad of one of those kids, though, you’re often left to clean up in their wake.

And the same is true in Japan too. For the most part it’s moms who’re left to run after kids giddy with the freedom of no school. They’ve even started a Twitter hashtag for it: #SummerVacationStupidKids.

What kind of things do Japanese kids do to drive their parents crazy? Are they the same as the rest of the world or completely different? Read on to find out!

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Introducing five of Japan’s most popular kid-hosted YouTube channels! 【Videos】

On a recent episode of TBS’s morning informational program Asachan! (あさチャン!), a segment titled “YouTuber Kids” explored some of the most popular Japanese kids in the world of online vlogging. Their videos are popular among both peers and parents looking for some fun activities to do, and the most popular ones have amassed millions of online views.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to five of the most popular and watched Japanese child YouTube stars out there. These mini celebrities have already become so famous in the span of their short little lives that we can’t wait to see where life takes them next!

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Disney selling ultra-premium backpacks for Japanese schoolkids exclusively inside its Tokyo parks

A while back, we talked about adult fashionistas, including actress Zooey Deschanel, who’d become smitten with the boxy Japanese backpacks called randoseru. In Japan, though, randoseru are strictly for the prepubescent set, as they’re exclusively used by elementary school students.

That’s not to say that kids don’t appreciate a nice-looking bag, though, which is why Disney is getting in on the randoseru game, with a line of backpacks that can only be purchased inside its Tokyo theme parks, and cost the equivalent of several hundred dollars.

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Japanese teens discover trick to look years younger, may cause back problems 【Video】

People have long sought any invention or procedure that could make them appear younger. From beauty products to invasive surgeries, many will pay mountains of money and undertake any risk for something that promises to shave a few years off their appearance.

A group of teens in Japan has come up with a simple trick that has them looking years younger in an instant, but might not exactly be the panacea you have in mind.

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Conan the Barbarian’s “Wheel of Pain” now available for Japanese toddlers

You might not recognize the name Wheel of Pain, but it’s a TV trope so common you’ve certainly seen it: struggling slaves push a giant capstan around and around under the watchful eye of the slavemaster, who is clearly a capital-b Bad Guy for using such a brutal method of… well, of doing something.

You expect to see the Wheel of Pain in pretty much any historical or fantasy movie with human chattel. You don’t expect to see it in a children’s toy catalog.

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Six Korean babies that will make you go d’awww 【Videos】

Most people agree that cuteness of babies can be matched only by the cuteness of baby animals. And while every country has its share of cute kids, many of the most baby popular videos on the net come from South Korea.

So to celebrate another week all of us have made it to Friday and the weekend, we’ve got a compilation of six adorable Korean cuties that are sure to make you smile.

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Japanese kid too young to see Mad Max stays home, builds awesome Doof Wagon out of Lego instead

Japanese Twitter user @kamonpoi wants to go to see Mad Max: Fury Road, but not as badly as his young son does! The fifth-grader is a die-hard Mad Max fan who is desperate to see the new movie, but was distraught to hear that it would carry an R15+ rating, meaning he has no chance to see it in the cinema.

So instead, the boy put his energy and frustration to good use and did what elementary school kids do best: he made something out of Lego.

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“Gotta catch ’em all, son!” Japanese dad gets game-addicted kid to quit – by making it a chore

You can learn all kinds of things on the internet. How to fix your leaky tap, how to get your baby to go to sleep in five seconds, and now, how to get your kid to step away from the console.

On the Japanese Twitterverse this week we read of one father’s unusual method of getting his son to stop playing video games – by making Pokémon compulsory.

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This little tyke taking on a sumo wrestler is the cutest thing you’ll see today 【Video】

Sumo wrestlers. They’re big, strong, and pretty intimidating. Even though they might be quick to smile and friendlier than your average bear, we definitely would not want to step in the ring with them.

But this little kid doesn’t know the meaning of intimidation! Which is fair, because he’s only four, but it turns out he’s also fearless, and takes on this mountain of a sumo wrestler with the enthusiasm of a hungry wolverine!

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“Papa, read this in the bathroom!” – Daughter’s letter manages to get stranger from there

It must be a proud moment in any parent’s life when his or her children start learning how to write. Still, you can only expect so much in terms of penmanship, clever phrasing, or even actual meaning when a preschooler puts pen (or more likely pencil) to paper.

Nevertheless, this Japanese Twitter user was probably moved when he found out his young daughter had written a letter just for him. He was also probably a little puzzled, though, that she specifically instructed him to read it while in the bathroom, and believe it or not, the story gets weirder from there.

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Studious Nintendo-loving kid asks for a dictionary for his birthday, gets a very special surprise

Imagine you’ve got a nine-year-old kid with a birthday coming up, and you ask him what he wants as a present. At first he says he wants a video game, but then, after giving it some more careful thought, he comes to the conclusion that he’s old enough to be getting serious about his studies, so he asks for a dictionary instead.

How should you react? Proud of his sense of responsibility, do you buy him the dictionary, and hurry him one step closer to the end of his carefree childhood? Or do you get him the game, despite the fact that he specifically asked for something else?

It’s a tricky problem, but one dad in Japan came up with a clever, heartwarming, and above all awesome idea.

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