Mr. Sato

Around Japan in 47 rice balls: Mr. Sato buys each prefecture’s musubi all from one Tokyo shop

Although Japan lacks ethnic diversity, it seems to more than make up for it in diversity of cuisine. Although the overarching recipes of Japanese foods can be found everywhere, you’d be surprised and how diverse the differences can be from region to region. Having your New Year’s soup in Okayama Prefecture may be quite different from Akita Prefecture’s offering. Even purchasing oden from a chain like 7-Eleven will produce different results if it’s from Osaka or Tokyo.

This is also true of another of Japan’s standard foods: rice balls also known as onigiri or musubi. To taste all the unique variations Japan has to offer, one must be a seasoned traveler, or they could just go to Momochi, a shop which offers a taste of all 47 prefectures straight from the counter. Our own Mr. Sato, eager to taste of these deliciously distinct snacks, visited Momochi to sample one of each.

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Let’s take a tour of the best sushi in Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market with Mr. Sato! (Part 1)

Obviously, if you love sushi, Tokyo is probably your number one foodie vacation destination, but Tokyo is a big place! There are plenty of excellent sushi restaurants–and plenty of great ones at that. But for seriously fresh sushi, there might be no better place than right off the boat.

And if you want sushi right off the boat, you’ll want to head to Tsukiji-shijo, also known as Tsukiji Fish Market, the “biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.” While that might sound a bit daunting, worry not! Today, we’re going to visit four Tsukiji-shijo sushi restaurants with none other than our very own Mr. Sato!

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Mr. Sato and Yoshio visit a cafe that receives a daily letter from actor Ken Watanabe

Prolific Japanese actor Ken Watanabe may have achieved stardom both domestically and internationally, but to the residents of a small city in northern Japan, he’s also known for his heart of gold.

Kesennuma (気仙沼), Miyagi Prefecture is one of several coastal cities that was ravaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In the aftermath of the disaster, Watanabe helped build (and now manages) a combined cafe-shop in Kesennuma in an effort to provide economic relief to the locals. Most inspiring, however, is his unwavering dedication to the venture–somehow, despite his busy filming and PR schedule in both Japan and Hollywood, he still finds the time to fax a handwritten letter to the cafe every single day!

Join our ace Japanese reporters Mr. Sato and Yoshio on their recent trip up north to visit this hidden gem of northern Japan.

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Cost Performance Specialist Sato shows us how to get high fashion at low, low prices

Like much of the world, Japan is home to dozens of fashion brands like Uniqlo, GAP, and H&M, which offer high-quality clothes at low prices. It has come to the point that some refer to Uniqlo items as the “nation’s uniform” because of their ubiquity.

With all these big-name retailers saturating the market with their similar brands, how is a true individual supposed to express themselves? Of course there are one-of-a-kind boutiques, but those are way out of the average guy’s price range.

This is where our resident money expert Mr. Sato comes in. He’s known as “Cost Performer Sato,” or as he prefers “Cospa Sato,” because it’s a far more efficient name. He’s here to teach us about a secret shop which can be found in any one of your neighbourhoods and offers unique fashions at highly affordable prices, and look fabulous while doing so.

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Daiso wine, the super cheap vino from Japan’s largest chain of 100-yen stores 【Taste test】

If you’ve had the pleasure of shopping at Daiso, you know Japan’s biggest chain of 100-yen stores sells just about everything. An array of kitchenware, school and office supplies, and even basic articles of clothing such as underwear, neckties, and belts can all be yours for just 100 yen (US$0.84) each.

Daiso even sells food and beverages, with seasonings, snacks, and soft drinks lining the shelves. This is common knowledge among thrifty shoppers looking for a cheap place to stock up on snacks, but if you’re searching for something stiffer than a bottle of tea or cola, a trip to the convenience or liquor store is still in order, right?

Not necessarily, as we recently discovered that some Daiso branches now sell wine. As big of a surprise as that was, we were in for an even bigger one once we poured ourselves a glass, because it’s actually pretty good.

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RocketNews24 reporting from America…n World shopping complex in Iwate Prefecture

Tired of being called “uncultured” by those around them, our reporters Mr. Sato and Yoshio made a road trip to Iwate Prefecture and all of its historical sites such as the Chusonji Golden Hall and Kenji Miyazawa Fairy Tale Village. It was the perfect place to learn more about Japan’s rich cultural heritage.

However, as they drove along Route 4 heading for the over-900-year-old Morioka Hachiman Shrine, something unusual caught Mr. Sato’s eye. “It’s a big red Ferris wheel!” he shouted, immediately forgetting about the site where Emperor Ojin’s spirit is enshrined.

Grabbing Yoshio’s arm, he forced the car to an off ramp and closer to the Ferris wheel, which they would soon learn was not just any old wheel, it was the American World Ferris wheel!

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We play little-known instrument the Udar, which does a killer Final Fantasy Prelude

The world is full of musical instruments with varying degrees of notoriety. Many instruments, like the guitar and piano, have legions of followers, while others like the sheng only get picked up by a select few. The Udar falls into that latter category with Mr. Sato having just become one of the very few people who have ever picked one up.

Join us as we listen to the musical stylings of the Udar as played by its inventor Michinobu Uda and learn a little about how it works.

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iMakeover: Can a haircut turn Mr. Sato into Steve Jobs?

Everyone has that one celebrity that we have been told we sort of look like if we squint our eyes and look into a foggy mirror. For our beloved RocketNews24 reporter Mr. Sato, that celebrity doppelganger is none other than former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. As a frequent participant at iPhone launches and Apple’s annual “luckybag” sale in Japan, Mr. Sato decided maybe it was time to see if a shorter haircut (and a black turtleneck) would indeed make him look like the tech icon. Armed with an iPad and a digital photo of Steve Jobs, Mr. Sato began his iMakeover.

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Mr. Sato divulges the contents of a 2015 Apple Store Lucky Bag–will he get a lame t-shirt again?

Following his tradition of the past few years, RocketNews24’s ace reporter and calendar model Mr. Sato dutifully lined up outside the Apple Store in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood to wait for the January 2 release of the its 2015 lucky bag (luckily, his experience waiting outside wasn’t nearly as traumatic as the poor folks’ up in Sapporo). Although he was hoping to score a MacBook Air for the second year running, this year our man had his eye on another item as well–the Apple Store lucky bag-exclusive t-shirt.

Will Mr. Sato find the coveted t-shirt in his bag again this year? See his haul after the jump!

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Prepare yourself for the fundoshi-clad men of the upcoming 2015 RocketNews24 calendar!

Boy, have we ever got a treat coming up for all of you loyal Rocketeers!

To help ring in the new year, our staff is busy putting the finishing touches on a 2015 calendar featuring the classy men of our sister site, the Japanese language edition of RocketNews24. Not wanting to be outdone by all the other “eye candy calendars” out there, our team of Japanese writers have truly gone all out to show their appreciation for all the love and support they’ve received from our readers over the past year.

Get ready to feast your eyes on a sneak preview of what’s about to become the sexiest 2015 calendar ever to grace the internet!

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Mr. Sato takes a sperm test, passes with flying colors

Our ace reporter Mr. Sato is currently into his 40s and during a conversation with one of his peers the other day he learnt that men of that age run a certain risk of diminished sperm. For instance, the man he was talking to recently got tested only to find that his sperm count was dropping to what he called the “requiem” stage.

This prompted Mr. Sato to actually think about what was going on down there, so he decided to get checked himself to make sure he wasn’t in his reproductive autumn as well. Luckily, it was learned that not only is Mr. Sato healthy but there’s a party in his pants…and yes, we’re all invited!

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Mr. Sato is now a sticker, and we’re giving him away to six lucky readers!

Here at RocketNews24, we’re all about expanding our horizons. That means we’re always on the lookout for new places to visit, new burgers to eat, and most of all, new spheres of craziness for our intrepid Japanese language correspondent Mr. Sato to wade into.

Now, though, we’re ready for our beautiful, ambitious, tenacious, stylish, hygienic, innovative, trend-setting reporter to go someplace he’s never gone before: your home, in the form of charming Mr. Sato stickers that we’re giving away.

Read on to find out how to get your hands on a set.

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Mr Sato invents ingenious “life hack” for sneaking alcohol at work

Picture the scene. It’s 5pm on a Friday evening and you really, REALLY need (and deserve) a cold beer to reward yourself after a hard week’s work. But what’s that? Oh no! The boss wants you to do overtime!? Argh!

If this scenario sounds like the ninth circle of hell to you, fret not! RocketNews24 is here to bring you a genius new “life hack” which will enable you to achieve a state of blissful inebriation right underneath the boss’s nose, without even having to leave your desk! (Disclaimer: RocketNews24 is not responsible for any loss of earnings or reputation that may result from practicing this “experiment”. This post is for entertainment purposes only. Ahem.) Okay, Mr Sato, let’s see how it’s done!

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Funasshi’s unofficial mascot Satosshi celebrates Halloween 2014 in his own special way!【Photos】

The inimitable Mr. Sato is such a big fan of Funasshi, the unofficial jiggly pear mascot of Funabashi City, that he even created his own mascot-to-the-mascot, Satosshi. This Halloween, Satosshi decided to head down to the famous Shibuya crossing to make friends with fellow costume-wearing Tokyoites.

Might there be other, kindred spirit Funasshi fans there? Will Satosshi be busted as an unofficial impersonator? Could Mr. Sato’s journalistic efforts be thwarted by a sudden attack of deadline confusion? And worse still, what if no one recognises him? Join us after the jump for a photo report from Satosshi’s big night out.

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Late-night all-you-can-eat yakiniku for only 980 yen? Yes, please!

Imagine that you’re in Tokyo and having so much fun that you miss the last train home without even realizing it. You consider all the ways to kill time until the morning, but nothing appeals to you at all…so might we suggest some late-night all-you-can-eat yakiniku?

Join our intrepid reporter Mr. Sato as he tries out a yakiniku restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo which offers a special late-night all-you-can eat yakiniku deal. Even if you can’t make it there in person, don’t be afraid to live vicariously through his mouth-watering photos!

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Hard Ku**mon is here to put lazy mascots out of work with his creepy latex hugs

Over the years the mascot industry in Japan has swelled considerably. An uncountable number of people in big-headed costumes currently represent the nation’s prefectures, cities, government offices and private companies. Then on top of all that we have independent mascots running around too like Funasshi and Teruhiko.

However, the editors at RocketNews24 feel they have come up with something that will bring the entire mascot world down to its knees. His name is Hard Ku**mon and he is prepared to do something that no other mascot has done before: actual labor.

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Funasshi’s unofficial mascot Satosshi grabs a pear burger and risks getting beaten up

Those familiar with Japanese pop culture have probably come across the jiggly pear mascot Funasshi, and those living in Japan probably can’t escape his image on TV, T-shirts, and tea. The unofficial mascot of Funabashi City had a grassroots rise to fame which was very unique in the world of mascots and stands as an inspiration to many.

Our very own Mr. Sato stands as one of those inspired by the giant dancing fruit, and decided to emulate Funasshi’s success by becoming a self-starting mascot himself. Of course, what better thing to represent than Funasshi himself! So by donning yellow make-up and leotards, he transforms into Satosshi, the unofficial mascot of Funabashi’s unofficial mascot Funasshi.

First stop on his road to riches is Funabashi City where the legendary “Funasshi Burger” topped with a slice of pear is said reside. There couldn’t be a better place to get some exposure.

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Mr. Sato gives his first ever autograph, gets a broken heart in return

Last year, our intrepid Japanese correspondent, Mr. Sato, basked in the limelight as he became the first person in Japan to buy a Docomo iPhone 5S. Now, with the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus going on sale, he’s determined to capture another five minutes of fame, so he’s been camping out in front of the Docomo store in Tokyo’s downtown Marunouchi district since four days ago.

Lining up so early meant a lot of lonely downtime, but recently Mr. Sato’s day was brightened when a young lady asked him for his autograph! At least, it was brightened for a moment, before he learned the sobering secret behind her request.

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N.Y. man’s Japanese T-shirt announces “I am not Sato,” we couldn’t agree more

Among RocketNews24’s bilingual writing team, you won’t find a single person who hasn’t, at some point, linguistically crammed their foot in their mouth (personally, I know I’ve gotten my knee and most of my thigh past my pearly whites on at least three separate occasions). So while we can definitely appreciate the humor involved in a strange language screw-up, we know we’re not immune to such things ourselves, and that the rest of the world can weird up its Japanese just as often as Japan stumbles over English.

Case in point: this man spotted napping on the subway in the U.S., who felt the need to inform his fellow passengers who can read Japanese that he is, in fact, not Mr. Sato.

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It’s all about the isopod – Company pushes gifts and fashion featuring weird, sexy marine bugs

In Japan, where the market for character-based merchandise is intensely competitive, it’s not always easy to predict what’ll take off. Sure, it was easy to see Hello Kitty and Pikachu coming, since either one could serve as the accompanying illustration for the definition of “adorable” in the dictionary, but who’s going to be the next big star?

There’s a new dark horse entry to the character goods arena, with one company hoping Japanese consumers’ ravenous hunger for all things kawaii will lead them to embrace something so ugly it just might be cute, in the form of T-shirts, notebooks, and purses all featuring the humongous marine bug called the giant isopod.

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