news

Forget tech or medicine, invention most Japanese are proud of is instant ramen

Japan’s best minds have contributed quite a few important inventions to the world over the years. Did you know that the portable ECG machine was invented in Japan, for example? So were electric rice cookers, DSLR cameras, CD players, Blu-ray discs, and gaming systems. Really, the list of Japanese tech that has become integral to our daily lives goes on and on.

However, if you ask Japanese people which invention their country should be proud of, it turns out a far humbler product jumps to mind for most: instant noodles.

Read More

Chinese news broadcast shows Japan’s “military might” by airing video of Gundam 【Video】

It’s no secret that Japan and China don’t like each other very much. So when the official government news channel in China aired a segment discussing Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, it comes as no surprise that there would be some exaggerations.

However, one exaggeration was too huge to just let slip by. While the news broadcast was showing videos of Japan’s aircraft and ships, one image of a giant Gundam mech somehow snuck into the mix. Those Chinese reporters are probably going to want to double-check their source on that one.

Read More

Doraemon replaces live cat for Thai rain ritual

In the village of Wang Luang in northern Thailand’s Phrae Province, there is a traditional ritual held to end a drought that involves putting a live cat in a cage, parading it around town and splashing it with water. The cat’s cries were said to call down rain.

As the area is currently in the grips of a severe drought, the villagers held the ritual again this week, but with one key change: robot cat Doraemon stepped in as the caged feline.

Read More

93-year-old Chiba man on trial for killing wife at her request

A somber case is currently making its way through the Japanese legal system as a 93-year-old man goes on trial for killing his wife, apparently at her request. This heartbreaking case has made headlines in Japan and evoked a gut-wrenching testimony from their eldest daughter.

Read More

Nintendo announces “Star Fox Zero”【E3 2015】

Japanese video game giant Nintendo has announced that Star Fox Zero, a brand new game for Wii U, will be released at the end of this year.

Read More

Rare Tokyo public works failure leaves crowded Tokyo street flooded with dirty water

Tokyo’s public infrastructure is widely considered to be one of the best in the world, with impeccably paved roads and sidewalks, perfectly operating energy grids, and clean drinking water, delivered with just the right amount of water pressure unless you really blast it up to high, in which case you’re basically guaranteed to flood your entire apartment with a biblical cascade of H20.

And, other than those types of user accidents, catastrophic power outages, water and gas leaks and other public works disasters are practically unheard of. But it looks like even Tokyo’s public works aren’t entirely foolproof, as a number of drivers, bystanders and local businesses learned when a water pipe burst near a street in the Takadanobaba District, flooding the street and plunging the area into (mild) chaos.

Read More

NHK host, bullied for being “too busty”, quits, sticks it to the man with new photo book

Apparently, the Okinawan branch of oft-despised broadcaster NHK (Nihon Hoso Kyokai or Japan Broadcasting Corporation) had been receiving complaints, starting around 2008, from concerned parents about a morning host who was boasting some exceptionally large assets and making men and teenage boys feel all funny and conflicted while tucking in to their morning cereal.

Former announcer Tomoka Takenaka says viewers would regularly call in to complain about her (Japan size) G-cup breasts, with such gems as, “I can’t concentrate on the news [with those things in my face]!” and “It’s not good for kids to see [huge breasts] first thing in the morning”.

After additional on-set bullying from co-workers, Takenaka decided she’d had enough and called it quits to ironically pursue a career where her endowment would be more appreciated: modeling.

Read More

Man, inspired by IS video, threatens to behead ex-girlfriend

Police have arrested a 33-year-old Yokohama man on suspicion of threatening to kill his former girlfriend in a series of messages on the LINE app.

Read More

There’s something fishy about that catch! People in Chinese city urged not to eat floating carp

In a city in China’s southwestern Shichuan Province during the early hours of April 2, a man walking alongside the river suddenly noticed what appeared to be huge quantities of pale fish floating in the water.

He quickly rushed home and returned with fishing equipment, and was soon joined by crowds of amateur fishers – and local officials, who subsequently hauled 300 kilograms of fish from the river to be destroyed.

Read More

Youth in toothpick prank videos sent to juvenile correctional facility

A 19-year-old youth who uploaded a series of prank videos on YouTube in January, including one in which he inserted a toothpick into a snack food in a supermarket, was sent to a moderate security juvenile correctional facility.

Read More

Misao Okawa, the world’s oldest person, has died

Ms Misao Okawa, the woman recognised as the oldest living person on earth, has died in her nursing home, it was announced earlier today.

Read More

Tokyo’s busiest train lines to get luxury “one-man” express pods by next April

Japan is well-known for its packed commuter trains. For decades, smartly dressed men and women have shuffled wordlessly into train cars each morning, all painfully aware that they will soon be getting up-close and personal with total strangers and have nowhere to run, hide, or even breathe freely until their stop. Glove-wearing station staff pack passengers in as tightly as they’ll go without them popping out the other side, each firm shove accompanied by a polite word or phrase thanking passengers for moving all the way inside the car or warning them to keep their various appendages clear of the (just barely) closing doors.

But earlier today, Japan was given a glimpse of a much more civilised, luxuriant commuting experience that may soon put an end to these sardine-can shenanigans. Better yet, this logistical revolution is coming soon: not twelve months from now, commuters will be able to zip into Tokyo in style, lying back in comfortable faux-leather chairs inside sleek, aerodynamic private pods that resemble something out of Minority Report.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the next generation of luxury travel, and its name is Kosoku.

Read More

Japanese men share the top 10 ways their weekends disappear

Monday: You drag your aching, sluggish body into work and begin the long countdown to the weekend. Tuesday: Is it really only Tuesday? This week is going to take forever. Wednesday: Halfway there! Thursday: Start making plans, we’re close. Friday: It’s finally here! The clock strikes six, and you grab your things and leg it out of there. What will you do first? The possibilities are endless!

Then Saturday rolls around and… suddenly it’s Monday again. Where did the weekend go?

It seems like more than a few adults are wondering the same thing, as revealed in a recent poll which asked 200 Japanese working males in their 20s and 30s the following question: “What are the top 10 things that leave you feeling you’ve wasted your days off?” Number five might just be too perfect for words.

Read More

Is Samsung sounding the retreat on the Japanese smartphone market?

South Korean Electronics giant Samsung may soon pulling out of the smartphone market–in Japan, at least. Recent information from industry sources paints a dreary picture for the company’s prospects in the country, with Business Korea saying: “By continuing to do business in Japan, Samsung should expect more of a loss than a gain.”

So what’s to blame for its floundering smartphone sales?

Read More

“Passport confiscation robs us of rights”: Japanese journalist prevented from travelling to Syria

Japan’s Foreign Ministry has come under fire for confiscating the passport of a journalist who was intending to travel to Syria. War correspondent Yuichi Sugimoto, 58, was planning to visit Syria to cover events in refugee camps later this month, but was ordered to surrender his travel documents to authorities.

Under Japanese law, the ministry can confiscate a person’s passport to protect their life, but this is the first time the law has actually been used. Critics say the action contravenes the constitutional guarantee of freedom of movement and foreign travel.

Read More

“Northern Territories Day” commercial accused of promoting excessive nationalism

Since 1981, Japan has observed February 7 as “Northern Territories Day,” which commemorates the signing of an 1855 treaty granting the nation possession of a chain of islands off the coast of Hokkaido.

In a recent commercial titled “Drawing the Northern Territories,” a male voice begins: “Even though it’s Japanese territory, Japanese people can’t live here.” Pastel drawings of picturesque mountains and fishermen at work segue into a shot of a woman looking out across a stretch of sea to a rocky outcrop. “Look, it’s so close,” continues the narrator, as “16 km” appears across the bottom of the shot. The ad ends with the message: “The Northern Territories: inherently Japanese.”

Harmless patriotism, or government propaganda? Public reactions seem to be leaning toward the latter.

Read More

As foreign tourists come streaming in, Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport nears breaking point

World-class skiing; Japan’s largest national park; even ice hotels. For those who are looking to experience Japan outside of Tokyo or Kyoto, Hokkaido remains a prime destination. Indeed, as the last major island to be settled by the Japanese, Hokkaido arguably stands out from the rest of the nation in everything from topography to daily life.

It seems the secret is out of the bag. Taking advantage of a weak yen, travelers from Southeast Asia are flying en masse to the island of Hokkaido. However, this influx has proved to be a double-edged sword. While the tourist boom is certainly bringing money into local economies, it is also straining transportation resources–perhaps nowhere more than at New Chitose Airport.

Read More

When you hear the name Xinhua News Agency, which operates under the auspices the Chinese Communist Party, you might envision a drab Kafkaesque organization of steel faced bureaucrats controlling the nation’s source of information.

However, as Time’s David Stout uncovered on Xinhua’s official Twitter account they might be just a bunch of bros after all. After clicking on the 3,301 accounts the news organization was following he found a few colorful examples, most notably “Absolute JP P0rn.”

Read More

Woman killed after husband backs car into her while parking

A 65-year-old woman died of injuries she received after her 66-year-old husband backed his car into her while parking in Hanno, Saitama Prefecture.

Read More

Think Japanese news is boring? Try it with some cats!

Sometimes the news can get a little heavy-handed. Topics like terrorism or tax hikes can raise blood pressure, cause grumbling about the horrible state of the world, and eventually get to the point where it’s just so boring that you shut it off.

But one news show has figured out a way to keep viewers interested, even during the difficult parts: just have a cute cat walk around the news desk and be generally adorable while everyone is talking about serious subjects.

We’re not kitten you, it’s fur-real.

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 20,147 other followers