line

Enhance your texting with new Line stamps featuring Totoro, Catbus, and more!

Let Totoro do the talking next time you’re at a loss for words!

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Is it acceptable to break up via instant message? Japanese men and women weigh in

As hugely popular instant messaging app LINE supplants most other forms of communication in Japan, a poll asks young Japanese people: Is it okay to break up with someone by IM?

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Thieving made easy! Japanese smartphone service lets you order duplicate keys by taking a photo

Breaking into people’s houses is a snap with this new app!

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LINE sticker creator Kanahei’s cute characters come to life in theme cafe

Have you heard of Japanese illustrator and social media sticker creator Kanahei yet? She’s behind one of the most popular sticker collections on the LINE app, and now her cute critters are set to adorn dishes in their very own theme cafe in Tokyo!

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Play an edible Tsum Tsum mobile game with individually wrapped Pino ice creams!

If you love Japan’s bite-sized Pino ice creams as much as you love Disney’s range of adorable Tsum Tsum characters, then this special collaboration is sure to bring you joy this holiday season.

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Japanese gamers’ heads explode as they learn Super Mario’s Goombas are mushrooms, not chestnuts

Japan may love Mario, but they have a couple wrong ideas about the series. For example, did you know that in the Japanese versions of Mario, Goombas are called “kuribo,” which translates to “chestnut guy?” For three decades now, it has been widely believed in Japan that the Goombas are, indeed, chestnuts.

Until now. Thanks to the official Nintendo Line Messenger bot, Japanese netizens have learned the shocking truth about Mario’s oldest enemy: they’re not chestnuts, they’re shiitake mushrooms!

Read on and see for yourself the aftermath that shocked Japanese gamers all over the internet.

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“Nintendo president assassinated by Freemasons” conspiracy theory floats around social networks

It has been five days since Satoru Iwata, the much beloved president of Nintendo, tragically passed away, and fans have been dealing with the sudden loss in numerous different ways – some with written messages, some with heartrending art.

They say there are five stages of grief that people may go through in times like this: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, according to an anonymous dissertation circulating around Line, someone found the magic whistle and warped all the way to grief stage 6: accusation of an omnipotent clandestine society.

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First criminal “revenge porn” case involving messaging app Line emerges in Japan

Even as discourse over how best to eliminate revenge porn grows overseas, the first criminal case involving the messaging app Line has emerged in Japan. Police have arrested two men for sharing topless images of a woman in her 20s without her permission in April.

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Make way for “yankees” dutifully paying their highway tolls…in the cash line!

Waiting in line to pay your highway toll while on a tight schedule can be one of the most frustrating experiences of any driver’s life. Waiting in line behind a chain of noisy motorcycles could be even worse–but you’d better not complain, because that line could be full of (law-abiding) juvenile delinquents!

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Emoji break out of their chat boxes to tell story of Disney’s Frozen

With the upcoming Disney animated short Frozen Fever set to debut in theatres on March 13, you might be in need of a recap of the original film, so check out this two-and-a-half-minute video of Frozen as told through emoji.

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Hadoken! The LINE stickers we’ve all been waiting for: Street Fighter II

LINE is Japan’s most popular instant messaging platform and it came to its place on top via cute emoji “stickers.” But maybe you’ve had enough of the cutesy bears and sparkling hearts. Maybe you need to let out some emoji anger when your girlfriend is being a bit clingy with her texts. Fear not! The LINE stickers of your dreams have been released and they are just as tough, and occasionally gruesome, as you want them to be! Welcome into the ring, Street Fighter II!

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We troll a scammer online, make him wish he’d never tried to take our money

When the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly, asking for help, you help, right? Well if you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you know emails from a far away member of any royal family will obviously lead to some kind of scam. Unfortunately, those types of emails seem to pop up in our inboxes every other month. Don’t you just wish there was a way to get back at these people for trying to leech off of us honest, hard working folks?

Well, we’re happy to report that our Japanese reporter, GO, found a way to get sweet, sweet revenge on one scammer he encountered online, trolling so hard that the scammer gave up in a fit of rage. This is his story.

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Mr. Sato shows up in costume, is the first to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus, meets Ken Watanabe AGAIN

With the goal of being the first in line to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus, Mr. Sato, our most outlandish reporter, parked himself in front of the Marunouchi Docomo store on September 15. After several nights living on the streets, finally the day had come! On the morning of September 19 at 8am, Mr. Sato, blue slime costume and all, purchased his coveted Apple gadget, but not before meeting famous actors and taking center stage in an interview. Here is his story.

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Twitter users report large groups of Chinese buyers in line at Apple Store in Ginza

With the release date of Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus still unconfirmed in China, buyers from the world’s largest smartphone market have been finding other means of procuring the much anticipated devices. It’s reported that Chinese resellers snatched up pre-order iPhones within hours on Apple’s Hong Kong website, hoping to sell the phones in China for as much as four times the retail price.

According to reports by Twitter users, buyers from China have also made their way to Japan with the goal of smuggling the iPhones back into China for resale. At the Ginza Apple Store, it’s estimated that as much as 90 percent of the more than 400 people waiting in line to buy an iPhone 6 are Chinese.

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“Poke” your favorite anime characters on LINE mobile chat app!【Instructions】

Remember when “poking” your friends on Facebook was a trendy thing to do? I feel old now just by recalling how my schoolmates and I could spend the entire evening “poking” each other online, refreshing the browser page every few seconds in attempt to return a “poke” at the fastest timing possible. Well, the younger generation who only got on Facebook in the recent year or two probably wouldn’t have an idea what I’m talking about since the trend has died down.

But you know how trends are revived every once in a while? “Poking” is now back with a new force, this time on the globally popular free messaging mobile app, LINE. Sorry to dash your hopes if you were looking forward to giving your LINE friends a cyber poke because LINE users are “poking” their favorite (or least favorite) anime characters and celebrities instead!

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Scammer aborts mission as trolling Line user offers to send cash intended for mother’s operation

Last month, we brought you news of a scam wherein users of Line, a free messaging application popular in Japan and South Korea, were being tricked into buying prepaid cards on behalf of friends whose accounts had been hacked. Thankfully, Japan’s Line users were just as wily, and set to trolling the hackers in return, sending goading messages, irritating emoticons and even nude pictures, but the scamming still continues, with the app’s makers struggling to stamp it out.

But as these hackers descend to new levels of douchery, legitimate Line users are levelling up their troll powers, like this Twitter user who managed to get the scammers to abort by feeding them a tale of woe.

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“Joke” site demonstrates the cruelty of cyberbullying, makes us wet our pants

Bullying has been a problem in Japan, as in many countries, for quite sometime–and like many other countries, cyberbullying is the latest permutation of the issue. While cyberbullies in the west may be using Facebook or Twitter, it seems that the focal point of digital harassment in Japan is the messaging app Line. Regardless of the medium used, there’s no doubt that bullying is traumatic for those on the receiving end.

Sadly, despite numerous public education campaigns and class lectures, bullying isn’t simply going to disappear. Perhaps the deeper issue is one of empathy–we like to think that a bit more understanding would help reduce the problem. And a recent viral webpage does just that, showing how painful it is to be on the receiving end of digital harassment. However, the surprise ending is what really got people in Japan talking.

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Japanese Line users unleash their inner troll after popular messaging app gets hacked

Although still relatively unknown in the West, Naver Company’s Line is by far the most popular messaging application in Japan right now, with millions of active users. But when an app comes to be embraced by so many people, it’s often only a matter of time before someone with too much time on their hands decides to spoil the fun for everyone by hacking users’ accounts in an effort to make money.

Cases of Line accounts being taken over have been on the rise since May this year, with many people claiming to have received messages from both anonymous users and those already in their contact list, asking them to purchase pre-paid WebMoney cards and send a photo of the card’s number over to them so that they can claim it.

Thankfully, most Line users are bright enough to recognise a scam when they see it, and know exactly how to respond…

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Nagoya woman beaten and robbed in own home, LINE “friend” chief suspect

Police in Mizuho Ward, Nagoya are searching for two men in connection with a robbery/assault that took place on 16 June. The victim, a woman in her 30s, allowed the robbers into her home because she had been expecting a visit from a man she meet on the popular text messaging service LINE.

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First new Japanese Apple Store opened in eight years, Apple fans celebrate best way they know how

On 13 June, the Omotesando Apple Store opened in Tokyo. It was a rare occasion, being the first of its kind to open in Japan since the Sapporo Apple store in 2006. Although no new product was released, an estimated 1,000 Apple fans came out to show their support in true Apple fashion by making a huge line.

We sent our local Apple line-up correspondent Mr. Sato to report from the frontline.

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