pachinko

Find 707 animated frames in the “Haruhi Hunting” campaign to unlock a new animated clip!

Find 707 animated frames in the “Haruhi Hunting” campaign to unlock a new animated clip!

Gotta find ‘em all! should be the catchphrase for the campaign attached to the new The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya animated video. Even though it’s the first new Haruhi animation in four years, its creators aren’t just screening it for free–they’re making fans actually work to see it! That said, the campaign is actually more like a treasure hunt than anything else. Introducing “Haruhi Hunting,” in which the residents of Japan must work together to unlock the new promotional video. 

Do YOU have what takes to find all 707 missing frames of the animation?

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Here’s your heart-breaking short story of the day, written on a 1,000 yen bill

Here’s your heart-breaking short story of the day, written on a 1,000 yen bill

Perhaps one of the saddest things ever written is Hemingway’s famous six-word story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Though short in the extreme, it’s amazing how much emotion and information can be packed into six small words. Of course, Hemingway isn’t the only writer known for brevity, and the last 1,300 years of Japanese poetry have been full of brief but beautiful and poignant verses. But when it comes to terse (some might say inelegant) narrative, Hemingway was certainly a master.

However, we may have found someone who’s outdone the old drunkard! Too bad this one seems inspired by utterly real events…

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Gundam Pachinko Ad Slowly Driving Japan’s YouTube Users Insane

Gundam Pachinko Ad Slowly Driving Japan’s YouTube Users Insane

Just last week, after having sat through it for possibly the tenth time in just a couple of hours, I took a screen grab of an unskippable YouTube ad and shared it on my personal Facebook feed. Whether it’s the theme tune, the overly dramatic presenter’s way of speaking or the fact that I care nothing for pachinko, I don’t know, but this ad was slowly driving me mad. As it turns out, I wasn’t alone.

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Korea’s Ban on Pachinko Pinball Gambling Sees an Increase in Gamblers Coming to Japan

Korea’s Ban on Pachinko Pinball Gambling Sees an Increase in Gamblers Coming to Japan

In Japan, pachinko – a game similar to pinball but with multiple balls in play and minus the flippers – has always been a big business.  “Pachinkoten” (dedicated pachinko parlors) have become about as commonplace as temples and hot springs, and it’s not uncommon to see small crowds of men waiting outside such establishments early in the morning, waiting for them to open.

A phenomenon that is particularly noticeable in recent years is that of the large numbers of Koreans coming to Japan to gamble. Up until seven years ago, Korea’s pachinko industry was booming. However, when gambling laws were introduced to combat the recent rise in addictions, many players were left out in the cold with nothing to fill the gap. But with a thriving pachinko scene just a couple of hours away on the plane, many Koreans are heading to Japan to pick up where they left off.

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Asahi Newspaper Worker Helps His Company by Punching Out Pachinko Machine

Asahi Newspaper Worker Helps His Company by Punching Out Pachinko Machine

Any owner of a large corporation would be proud to have someone like Tomohiro Kimura on their payroll. This selfless employee really took one for the team by getting himself arrested on 17 February in Wakayama Prefecture on suspicion of destruction of property. In doing so he helped to generate more news for his employer, Japanese media giant, Asahi Shinbun.

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Fukushima Refugees Rather Gamble than Work, Claims Iwaki City Mayor

Fukushima Refugees Rather Gamble than Work, Claims Iwaki City Mayor

The city of Iwaki lies 30km south of the Fukushima Daiichi just outside of the evacuation zone created after the nuclear disaster struck.  As such it has become home to approximately 25,000 displaced people from Futaba District, where the Daiichi reactor is located.

On 9 April, Iwaki Mayor Takao Watanabe had this to say about the evacuees: “With the compensation money they received from TEPCO, most people are choosing not to work.  The pachinko parlors, however, are packed every day.”  Pachinko is a highly popular game similar to pinball that is often used for gambling much like slots or video poker in other parts of the world.

Although this may sound like another case of a Japanese politician putting his foot in his mouth, it appears Mayor Watanabe is not alone with his opinion.

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