Mr. Satoh

Karaoke’s Not Just For Singing Any More, Guitars Now Welcome at Joysound f1

Anyone who’s played one of those music based games, be it Guitar Hero, Rock Band, or even Donkey Konga, surely enjoyed it but also felt that mild pang of guilt.  The reality that if we spend the same time and effort learning a real instrument we could actually have a skill we would be proud of.

But learning a musical instrument is a long hard practice that often lacks the pizzazz and gratification the games offer.  Perhaps, karaoke company Xing’s new Joysound f1 can help in that area, as their new karaoke system offers support for guitars and bass guitars.

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[Quiz] How Well Do You Know Your Japanese Hand Gestures?

Recently we ran an article about obscene gestures in many parts of the world, but now RocketNews would like to turn the lens inwards for a look at Japan’s hand gestures.

You may have some experience with these from spending time in Japan or from Japanese film and manga, but how well do you really think you know the gestures of this country? Take this quiz to find out.

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We Take Cues From Reddit Picture, Attempt The First Japanese “Kubipan”

Recently on our Japanese site, we introduced a picture (above) uploaded to reddit of a young black male who had sits causally with his pants pulled up over his shoulders. The picture was a hit with our Japanese readers, who interpreted it as a herald of the end of koshipan—the Japanese word for ‘saggy pants,’ which is a portmanteau of hips (koshi) and pants (pantsu)—and the beginning of a new age: the age of kubipan (kubi = neck).

Feeling it our mission to keep Japan up to date with the latest hip-hop fashion, we called upon our own Mr. Satoh to model the basics of kubipan for our Japanese readers who are interested in trying it themselves.

However, we soon realized how foolish we were to believe such a challenging new style could be easily manipulated. Read More

Perhaps you’re familiar with duckface, the facial expression employed by some females in which they push their lips outward and curl them upward to make themselves look sexy or cute*.

In Japan, duckface became popular circa 1998, after the debut of popular singer Ami Suzuki, who often used the expression in photo shoots. Since then, duckface has become a widely-recognized method for Japanese females to express their ‘cuteness’ or ‘sexiness,’ with the Japanese term “duck-mouth” even being published in a dictionary for the first time in 2005. Today, duckface remains the distorted face of choice for many young Japanese females posing for the camera.

Recently, we here at RocketNews24 wondered that if duckface is a tried-and-true method for Japanese women to increase their sex-appeal, how well will it work for Japanese men?

To find out, we asked the one person who could use a visual boost more than anyone else we know, Mr. Satoh. Read More

Siri Does Not Recognize English, Leads To Loss Of Self-Confidence

The iPhone4S finally arrived in Japan today, and thousands of people lined up outside their local Softbank or AU store, eager to get their hands on the phone when it hit the shelves at 8 am.

The most appealing new function of the iPhone4S for many people is the integrated voice interface, Siri. Apple claims that Siri enables you to easily send messages, check the weather, schedule meetings, and take care of a number of other traditionally text-based tasks just by using your voice.

Though it is currently not compatible with Japanese, the program is still available for use on Japanese iPhones. I made my way to an Apple Store to see if Siri would respond to my heavily-accented English but I had no luck. In fact, my broken attempts to inquire about the weather in English were interpreted so far off that I couldn’t help laughing.

Take a look at my techno-lingual struggle below. Read More

New AKB48 Cafe & Shop Fun Experience For Fans and Non-Fans Alike

It seems like there is no stopping the phenomenon that is Japanese female idol group AKB48. The group’s popularity continues to snowball in both Japan and overseas, they recently launched their own sketch comedy program, and just about everywhere you go you’ll find merchandise labeled with the girls’ smiling faces.

Keeping up with this unrelenting march is AKB’s newest attraction, the AKB48 Café & Shop, which had its grand opening September 29 in Akihabara, Tokyo.

The venue, located right outside the Denikigai Exit of Akihabara Station, is a large, one-floor space that holds a theatre area with regular showings of AKB48 concert videos and a buffet to eat while you watch, a shop stocked with exclusive AKB48 merchandise, a private event room where it is said members will come and visit, and a café.

Customers may enter the café portion without reservation and entrance to the shop is limited to café customers. The theater area and private group room require reservation and cost 2700 yen and 10,000 yen respectively.

On opening day eager fans waited to get in the cafe in a line that didn’t get any smaller even after it turned dark.

To be honest, I only know about AKB48 as the average person. However the café is about much more than just eating and does an excellent job at providing an enjoyable experience – even if you aren’t a die-hard fan. Read More

When Mr. Satoh needs to get his heart pumping, he walks. He runs. He jogs, and he does a wealth of other physical activities.

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Last year our veteran, cat-loving reporter Hidenori Satou informed readers of our Japanese site that he was accepting applications from potential girlfriends. There was no response. Undaunted, the 38-year-old vowed that this summer he would accomplish what he had failed to the last by giving his rapidly aging appearance a makeover. These past few months Mr. Sato has tried out several hip and fresh hairstyles, and, as a result, was able to accomplish a metamorphosis that we had not thought possible. But was he able to get a girlfriend? Read More

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