kids

Is this the coolest kindergarten in the world? Probably 【Pics & Video】

Does the architecture of a building have an effect on the lives of the people inside of it? One famous Japanese architect thinks so and we’re pretty convinced now too.

Takaharu Tezuka, a Tokyo-based architect, designed a revolutionary kindergarten building that not only lets the kids run free, but also teaches them about life.

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Pint-sized string quartet Joyous String does an awesome Smooth Criminal

Tiny, adorable, and blessed with bags of musical talent – meet Joyous String, a four-kid string quartet with musical aptitude way beyond their years. They’ve been playing together since they were just four years old, and have progressed to the point where they can produce a flawless rendition of the Michael Jackson classic “Smooth Criminal” without even breaking a sweat. These are some seriously talented kids!

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Kindergarten class plays Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 better than most adults ever could

Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. 5 in D minor at a time of great tension in Soviet Russia. The looming threat of World War II was nothing compared to the Great Purge being conducted by Joseph Stalin in which 1,000 people were executed each day. Shostakovich too felt he was in the crosshairs for his previous “subversive” works.

And so it was something of a musical miracle that his Symphony No. 5 was unanimously well received by both the government and survivors of their brutality alike. Still today conductors and their orchestras struggle to properly capture all of the emotions such as irony, sympathy, and pride that Shostakovich may or may not have intentionally layered in this rich piece.

Taking a crack at it here are the kids of Isesaki Asuka Primary School’s kindergarten class.  To see whether they succeed is up to you, but I think we can all agree that they’re not just good for a kindergarten class – they’re just good.

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Japan’s craziest ad ever? English school commercial as likely to make kids terrified as bilingual

The very first job that brought me to Japan as a gainfully employed adult was teaching at a private English school. While most of our customers were in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, we also offered kids’ classes, even for preschool-aged children.

With young learners, the first hurdle to get past was for them to not freak out about talking with someone from a different country. While that might sound horribly racist, there just aren’t that many opportunities to meet people from other cultures in Japan, especially in a child’s daily life, and the first meeting was usually a little intimidating for them (the company policy that didn’t allow foreign staff to speak Japanese in front of the customers probably didn’t help in this regard).

Thankfully, it usually only took a couple of minutes for the kids to see that non-Japanese instructors aren’t terrifying monsters. Unfortunately, this startling commercial for a chain of children’s English schools in Japan only takes 15 seconds to visually imply that, yes, actually, they are.

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Japanese educators call for twice monthly No Video Game Days, recommend kids go fishing

Compared to some other countries, video games enjoy a fairly high standing in Japanese society. Nintendo’s Mario is seen by many as not only a symbol of wholesome fun, but an example of how innovation and craftsmanship can lead to sustained economic prosperity. The world of Final Fantasy isn’t just a great setting for an epic quest, but for lunch or dinner, and some particularly stylish game characters even go on to leave their mark on real-world fashion.

Still, not everyone in Japan is a fan of video gaming. The Hokkaido Board of Education would rather see kids with schoolbooks or fishing poles in their hands than game controllers, and to that end is calling for parents to institute twice monthly No Game Days, and not just for the kids in the family.

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Chinese third-grader’s “fairy tale” is so disturbing it even has adults writhing

The debate over whether or not violence on TV and in video games breeds violence in children is quite a heated issue these days. However, the discussion shouldn’t be confined just to those mediums. Kids are quite impressionable, so they can be just as influenced by the nightly news as by their cartoons.

Netizens in China are blaming TV dramas for tainting the mind of a third-grade girl who wrote a genuinely disturbing story at school. They seem to believe that the smut on TV is exposing kids, like this girl, to topics only suitable for adults (or not even suitable for adults). What’s so bad in this story that it’s causing such an uproar? Find out after the jump.

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Japanese sixth-grader calls out smartphone-loving parents over anti-video game lectures

I understand that an important part of parenting is setting boundaries for children. Until they reach a certain age, kids just don’t have the kind of foresight necessary to fully understand the consequences of all their actions, and letting preteens eat as many cookies as they want or stay up as late as they like probably isn’t the best idea.

That said, another important part of parenting is setting a good example. Fail to do that, and your kids are likely to just tune out everything you’re saying. Actually, that might be the best case scenario, since if you’re flagrantly guilty of not practicing what you preach, your kids might call you out for it, like one Japanese elementary school girl who pointed out her parents’ logical inconsistency in lecturing about keeping her video game playing to a minimum, even as they were glued to their own electronic devices.

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Why making kids cry on camera never gets old

It was a viral hit in China back in 2010, but with 12 million views and counting, ‘Cute Little Chinese Girl Scared To Death On TV Show’ is a video that shows no sign of going away. The video of a little girl’s frightened reaction to a fake criminal, which recently resurfaced on the Japanese internet after being reposted to Liveleak, wasn’t the first funny crying kid video to stack up hits online, and it won’t be the last. From Charlie Bit My Finger Again, to the Reasons My Son Is Crying tumblr, to the recent video of a toddler left inconsolable after she realises a newborn can’t come to her birthday, it seems we just can’t get enough of weeping toddlers.

So why are videos of kids crying so popular?

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Animals, cars, and anime: Japanese salons give kids the VIP treatment

As an adult, I never really find myself attached to one particular hairstyle. Every time I get a cut, that’s a one or two-month commitment at best before I get to change it around all over again. But for kids, the barber can apparently be a pretty harrowing experience. After all, especially for younger kids, they’ve been rocking the same ‘do for almost their entire lives. Also, it probably takes some learning to overcome the instinctual aversion to sharp objects being brandished near your face.

Not that I have kids or anything, but I’ve heard taking them to the hair salon can be… let’s just say a bit of a handful.

That’s why many Japanese salons have decided to go the extra mile and give kids the VIP treatment:

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“Bye-bye!” Chinese flying doll works a little too well, becomes one-use toy 【Video】

Let’s play a little word association game. Ready? Chinese-made children’s toys.

I’m guessing “high quality” isn’t the first thing that popped into your head. You don’t have to go far to find stories of people buying knock-off dolls or action figures in China, then giving them to their kids or younger siblings, only to watch them heartbroken as they don’t work as implied by the packaging.

But that doesn’t mean all toys made in China are shoddy, because some do indeed work well. Sometimes even too well, as one Japanese father found out when he brought back a Chinese flying doll for his daughters.

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Totally metal newborn shows off hardcore cuteness for approving musician dad

From looking at his Twitter profile, you might conclude that Hazuki, singer for the Osaka-based Grollschwert, is a pretty metal dude. He describes the unit as a “melodic deathrash metal band,” and his own vocal style as guttural, growling, and screeching.

Still, even the most dedicated musicians can’t be hardcore all the time, and the vocalist has recently been sharing pictures of his adorable newborn baby daughter with his Twitter followers. It looks like metal is in the family genes, though, as the baby has already executed a perfect double devil horn salute.

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Seven “frogging” adorable kids belting out the F word!【Videos】

When was the first time you uttered a “bad word”? We all probably grew up with adults telling us not to say certain words, and that there were words that only adults could speak of. As a kid, blurting one of those “forbidden words” felt like something cool and thrilling, but now that I’m well beyond that age, such words have lost their significance as a big taboo.

Some kids, however, seem to be blurting out the F-word even before they’ve reached the age to be told that it’s an “adult word”. Of course, they’re not saying it on purpose, and that’s exactly what makes it so amusing and adorable! Frog it, we’re going straight to the videos after the break!

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Hacker Mom takes on Gamer Son in China, erases his accounts for the sake of education

For hardcore video gamers, life is a never-ending series of battles as they try to overcome the next boss, unlock achievements, or climb up the online leader boards. And for some of their parents, life is a never-ending series of battles as they try to get their kids to stop doing all that and study.

While more honorable gamers limit themselves to utilizing the best in-game equipment, some give in to the temptation to use hacks to gain an advantage over their adversaries. Recently, one education-minded mother in China adopted the same tactic by hacking her son’s online gaming accounts, then deleting them.

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Little girl gets a makeover but doesn’t like what she sees, Mum can’t contain her laughter【Video】

A Taiwanese mother recently gave her daughter a makeover, but it wasn’t the little girl who enjoyed it the most. If kids say the darnest things, then parents must be the ones who pull the funniest pranks on their offspring, and then have the last, biggest laugh of all.

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From the mouths of babes – Kids share their thoughts on love, war and everything in between

Last week, we shared a rather unusual ad from Ryugin, an Okinawa-based bank whose approach to selling loans involves robots, doe-eyed anime girls and more pink hearts than you can shake a stick at. As it turns out, this same banking corporation has quite the eye for attention-grabbing ads, as we’ve just discovered an older TV spot from the same company, titled Children and Philosophy, which poses a series of mostly abstract questions to a group of elementary school kids.

Responding to questions about everything from love and war to what it means to be free, the kids’ answers are at once refreshing, thought-provoking, and painfully sweet, to the point that we’re starting to wonder if they’re the ones who ought to be in charge of the world. Full video after the jump.

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Father posts six-year-old daughter’s anime character drawings online, net users not convinced

Many kids love drawing and playing with colors. Some even drive their parents insane with constant doodles on the walls, tables, and practically any flat surface within proximity. But some are more talented than others, and there’s no doubt that there are child prodigies who can draw better than some adults.

Recently, a proud Japanese dad posted pictures of drawings his six-year-old daughter created of her favorite anime characters. The detailed drawings quickly caught the attention of internet users, with some commenting that the drawings were too good to be created by the hands of a six-year-old! Could this young girl be a budding artist? Check out her drawings after the break!

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Feel lame and old by watching kids react to a Nintendo Game Boy for the first time

In the latest episode of their popular “React” series, YouTubers The Fine Bros decided to give their group of tech-savvy kids none other than an original Nintendo Game Boy to see what they’d make of it. As you might expect, what with the portable console now being roughly 25 years old, many of the kids had absolutely no idea what it was, nor even how to turn the thing on.

So join us after the jump to see little kids fumbling to insert game cartridges, failing to find the power switch and saying things like “You have to actually press buttons” and “I kinda feel sad for the people in the past.”

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This Japanese schoolgirl loves anime, lollipops, and competitive pistol shooting【Video】

In a lot of ways, 14-year-old Akari Aruga is like a lot of girls her age. She likes watching anime, enjoys the theme song from Attack on Titan, and says lollipops are her favorite food.

But you know what’s not par for the course for an adolescent girl in Japan? Being a crack shot with a pistol in target shooting.

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Japanese airline rolls out its summer 2014 Pokémon-themed travel deals!

Pikachu invites you to create wonderful memories with your family this summer as part of All Nippon Airways (ANA)’s 2014 Pokémon-themed travel campaign! The summer campaign has proved popular with families with small children in the past (and with the adults, too…), and 2014 promises to be no exception. Some of the notable features include the chance to fly in a one-of-a-kind Pokémon jumbo jet, a special in-flight animated video, hotel rooms decked out in Pokémon paraphernalia, and other cool surprises! If you’re a Pokémon fanatic, this might just be the perfect vacation plan for you.

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Adorable judo girls still years away from making us scared, already able to make us smile

In a way, small children are scary. Their language skills aren’t fully developed, so you can’t negotiate with them. When they’re angry, their lack of adherence to societal norms means they’re likely to scream at or even bite you. Really, the only thing that keeps them from being paralyzingly frightening is the superior size and strength we have as full-grown adults.

So when we first heard about toddlers practicing judo, which would eventually allow them to use our strength against us, we assumed they must be terrifying. Then we watched this video, and learned that they’re somehow even more adorable as a result of their training in Japanese grappling techniques.

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