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Japanese cosplayers share their “then vs now” photos, and the difference is eye-opening

Improvement and progress is something that gives us encouragement and motivation to keep doing something, be it at school, work, or leisure. Sitting for examinations or participating in competitions can give you a good gauge of your abilities, but if you’re just looking to enjoy a hobby with minimal stress, making video or photo records may be a good way of keep track of your progress.

Taking photographs may not be the most feasible method for every pastime, but a wide variety of hobbies can be documented with photographs, such as flower arrangement, baking, craft making, and of course, cosplay! Some Japanese cosplayers have been sharing their “then vs now” pictures on Twitter, and it’s amazing to see some of the changes they’ve made over time!

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Everything you wanted to know about girls’ school uniforms in Japan 

School uniforms bring back memories of our bitter-sweet childhood days. In Japan, however, they aren’t just clothes, they’re symbols of “seishun” (youth) and a big part of the country’s culture. Girls in Japan love their school uniforms, and there are fans of Japanese school uniforms all over the world.

We know you love these cute school uniforms too, but do you really know everything about them? Here’s everything you need to know to be an expert on Japanese school uniforms.

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Thai teen wows the internet with his gorgeous, economical garments【Photos】

Usually people equate high fashion with a hefty price tag, but the truth is real style is only limited by your imagination, not by your bank account.

Take this boy in Thailand, for instance, who is breaking both gender and conventional boundaries by incorporating familiar items to achieve that perfect vogue look. With a portfolio of outfits that range from minimal to whimsical, he’s showing the world that sometimes less is more.

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Singaporean cosplayer proves that cosplay doesn’t have to have an age limit【Photos】

Despite that fact that society has finally come to terms with accepting cosplay in a more positive and artistic light, there’s still the lingering sentiment that cosplaying is just a temporary phase some fans go through before they come and join the rest of us adults in the real world.

Fortunately there are people like Shirley Chua, a living example of what it means to embody the mantra “you’re only as old as you feel”. Aunty Shirley, as she’s affectionately known on Facebook and in the Singaporean cosplay community, is an active 68-year-old cosplayer, and she’s not about to stop any time soon. Her dedication to her craft is inspiring, and can teach us all a thing or two about how to get out there and live our lives to the fullest.
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If he’s too hot, then he must be a girl! Japanese women smitten with “hot-guy girl” model

Every once in a while, we touch upon the topic of crossdressing, and more often than not, the attention is placed on men crossdressing as women. Iconic male crossdressers such as Ladybeard and the “Sailor Suit Old Man” have been steadily gaining popularity, but at the same time, women who crossdress as men have also been bringing a new breeze into the entertainment scene in Japan.

Female crossdressing model Root has been the talk of the town in recent months, capturing the hearts of thousands of fangirls with her good looks and smooth moves. Some even think that she’s more desirable than actual male idols! More pictures of the lady charmer after the break!

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The cosplay of Comiket 88: Sailor Moon, Splatoon, Love Live! and more【Photos】

Comiket 88, the world’s largest dojinshi fair, is now underway at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition centre. And while thousands of people are already rushing to buy some of the best and rarest anime, manga and video game merch money can buy, others were there for one thing only: cosplay.

Despite the beating sun and intense humidity that comes as standard with Summer Comic Market (you did read our Comiket survival guide, right?), the almost complete lack of shade outdoors did not deter Tokyo’s cosplayers, who stood out for photo after photo, striking their best poses and wowing our reporters with their incredible outfits.

Join us after the jump for a look at some of our favourites!

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The aftermath of that huge fuel explosion in China looks like a post-apocalyptic video game

If you don’t live in China or an adjacent country where you could presumably still hear the blast, or have been otherwise living under a rock, you may not have heard about the insanely huge explosion that rocked the city of Tianjin on Wednesday and briefly caused the city to look like the set of a conspicuously over-budgeted natural disaster movie.

Unfortunately, this disaster was very real and, tragically, has so far cost at least 50 people their lives, with many more still in critical condition. But, with the threat of further explosions unlikely, news cameras have started picking their way through the wreckage and devastation of the explosion, which occurred at a hazardous chemicals warehouse site, and the fallout looks just like a scene from a post-apocalyptic video game.

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Starbucks in Aomori is the hot topic in Japan right now because of its beautiful…architecture?!

After opening in April, a Starbucks location in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, has received quite a bit of attention online for its surprisingly beautiful architecture and design. Yes, we’re serious, the hot topic in Japan right now is this Starbucks location!

But, wait, before you scoff, you seriously need to see the place. One of our Japanese reporters headed to Aomori recently and his photos of the coffee shop will definitely make you say, “Wow, that is a beautiful Starbucks location!” for the first time in your life!

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Taipei mailboxes become local attraction after powerful typhoon bends them out of shape【Video】

Last weekend, Typhoon Soudelor, a powerful storm whose winds were recorded in excess of 230km/h (142mph), tore through the island nation of Taiwan before heading north to batter Southern China. It claimed the lives of at least six people in Taiwan alone, and has left a literal trail of destruction in its wake.

Now that the storm has passed, however, people in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei have been lining up around the block for a unique photo opportunity with a couple of objects which only just survived the powerful winds…

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Declassified photos show the US’s final preparations for the only nuclear weapons attacks in history

On August 6th and 9th of 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, causing significant death and destruction in both places. To this day, the bombings remain history’s only acts of nuclear warfare.

A lot has been established about the immediate preparations for the dropping of the bombs, known as “Little Boy” and “Fat Man,” which were loaded onto airplanes on the North Field airbase on Tinian Island, part of the Northern Mariana Islands to the south of Japan.

Until recently few photographs were available of the final hours before the bombings. But newly declassified pictures shed additional light on the procedures leading up to the nuclear attacks, giving a chilling glimpse into how and where the most destructive bombs ever used in warfare were loaded.

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70 years ago today: The moment the US deployed the most powerful weapon known to man

Released from B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay on August 6, 1945 at 8:15 a.m. (Japanese time), the world entered the unprecedented atomic age with the deployment of the most powerful weapon known to man.

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Cosplaying as an ultra-pale character? Japanese Twitter users have found the perfect product!

It’s no secret that for many people in Japan, paler skin is better. In fact, you’ll often seen women strolling down the street on sunny days with parasols open wide and long sleeves pulled over their forearms. But what about all our cosplay-loving friends who often find themselves standing out in the sun for hours at a time?

Many of them are also trying to replicate the look of characters who may be as white as Casper the Friendly Ghost, but that’s difficult to maintain after roasting all afternoon. And that’s where Oneday Brightening, a cream that does exactly what its name says, comes in. The cream has made a splash online recently with cosplayers posting photos of the difference this product makes!

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An architect figured out a brilliant way to reuse thousands of empty beer bottles

Next time you’re about to dump beer bottles in the recycling bin, consider that they could be used to make a house instead.

Armed with $11,000 and 8,500 discarded beer bottles, Chinese architect Li Rongjun spent over four months using bottles to build the second floor of his two-story house in Chongqing, China, according to Chinese media.

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Ads for JR’s “Seishun 18” rail pass celebrate the isolated beauty of Japan’s most far-flung stations

It seems so easy to plan an entire Japan vacation around a single tour of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The mega city has just about everything a tourist could possibly want to see, from Akihabara’s blinding neon to the breathtaking skyline of Yokohama, to the quiet, old-world charm (and weird poop sculpture) of Asakusa.

But to not venture away from Tokyo, to Japan’s more far-flung and lesser-known destinations is to rob yourself of the grander Japan experience, and Japan Rail (JR) has long sought to encourage visitors, both domestic and foreign, to wander off the beaten path with the Seishun 18 unlimited rail pass. And, if the idea of unlimited access to JR’s vast and far-reaching network of tracks isn’t enough to inspire your sense of adventure on your next Japan visit, perhaps these ads for the Seishun 18 rail pass, which depict the isolated beauty of some of Japan’s most remote train stations, will be.

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Japanese burger chain Mos Burger replaces its buns with two halves of a giant tomato

Japanese fast food chain Mos Burger has built a reputation over the years for its healthy burger options. For those with an aversion to traditional wheat-based buns, Mos Burger offers versions made with grilled rice patties. And if you’re counting calories, they’ll simply wrap your filling in lettuce.

Now there’s an even more impressive option for health-conscious customers: a burger stuffed between two halves of a giant tomato. Available after 2:00pm from only one outlet in Japan, we stopped by to check out the rare red burger, taking lots of delicious photos for you along the way!

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Website of pics of hot Japanese guys promises to make women feel “as much moisture as placenta”

Recently, we explained how to say “Introduce me to a cute girl” in Japanese, which is “Kawaii ko wo shoukai shite.” On the other hand, if it’s a hot guy you’d rather meet, just replace kawaii ko (cute girl) with ikemen (hot guy).

If you’re willing to settle for the fantasy of perusing pictures of ikemen, though, there’s a new site filled with images of handsome up-and-coming Japanese actors for download, and its organizers promise the photos will “Turn on the switch of excitement” in women, and that they have “moisturizing effects equal to placenta extracts.”

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The ingenious (and ridiculous) ways the Vietnamese are fending off the crippling summer sun

The summer is seriously no time to be in any part of Asia, really. While you might exaggeratedly fan yourself with your hand and joke about frying eggs on the sidewalk when thermometers in your hometown start creeping past the upper-20s (Celsius) come late July, society in Asia is basically devolving into Lord of the Flies, with people in China retreating into caves, those in Japan sweating buckets and people in Vietnam desperately scrambling for whatever random object they can find to fend off the violent rays of the sun, lest they literally burst into flames.

That last one, we suppose, is good for us, as at least it’s resulted in a few photos for us to chuckle over as we write this from our ice-filled summer cave bunker.

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Amazing sea slug runs on solar power, looks like a tiny sheep

The vast oceans of the world contain some amazing things. One of its most mind-blowing inhabitants is a tiny, solar-powered sea slug that only grows up to 5mm (0.2 inches) long and looks, well, like a cute little cartoon sheep.

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We visit Tokuyama’s Cockroach Fest to take on the “Cockroach Encounter”【Photos】

Late last week, we told you about an event being held by Tokuyama Zoo this summer: the Cockroach Fest. One of the attractions listed was the horrific sounding “cockroach encounter,” but we didn’t have any details about just what kind of encounter it was. Being a naturally curious bunch with a masochistic streak a mile wide, we decided to dispatch a reporter to find out. 

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Japanese Netizens go crazy (again) for this gorgeous Taiwanese woman

Japan has long had a saying that Taiwan has a disproportionate ratio of incredibly beautiful women.

While there may or may not be truth to that (science is surprisingly light on “hot girl ratio” studies), one Taiwanese teen came to be known as the poster girl who proved the saying right among Japanese Netizens back in the mid-2000s.

And now, thanks to social media, Taiwanese beauty Chen Xiaoyu is back in the Japanese spotlight – all grown up now and making the rounds again now that hungry Japanese Netizens have found her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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