photos

More than 600,000 rounds of fireworks are exploded for this ancient Chinese New Year celebration

Every year, the Chinese New Year is celebrated for more than two weeks in January or February, with many festivals and celebrations commemorating the occasion. On the first day of the New Year, the festival kicks off with the Firecracker Ceremony, during which locals light nearly 600,000 rounds of fireworks.

Last Thursday, we headed down to New York City’s Chinatown to see the community’s 16th annual Firecracker Ceremony. The community was celebrating the beginning of the Year of the Goat.

It is a tradition for Chinese people to light bamboo sticks filled with gunpowder on the first day of the year to create as large as commotion as possible. The practice is thought to ward off evil spirits. In more recent years, the tradition is carried on with firecrackers and fireworks. Thousands of firecrackers are strung up with red ribbon on the rope in the background.

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Wander through the forest with Princess Mononoke in these beautiful photos from Oregon cosplayers

Tesla Cosplay are an all-female group who describe themselves as “five girls from Oregon who decided to add a little ‘awesome’ to their lives”. And looking at these photos from their recent Princess Mononoke shoot on location, we think they’ve achieved that aim!

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Mr. Sato visits the Retro Space Saka Hall, full of syringes, Mediocrity, and bittersweet memories

While visiting the city of Sapporo, our adventurous reporter Mr. Sato stumbled upon this bizarre looking complex called the Retro Space Saka Hall. The whole place looked incredibly sketchy, but that was right up his alley.

Little did he know, however, that this dingy-looking industrial complex nestled in snow would almost move him to tears.

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Look inside Apple’s massive new store in China

Apple Stores are always painstakingly designed, but the Cupertino company’s latest efforts in China take it to a whole new level. Cult Of Mac has published photos of Apple’s latest store, located in Hangzhou. Its defined by its huge glass facade, and minimalist staircases.

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Cute girl or cool chap? We like both! Besides, they’re the same person anyway!【Photos】

There’s this urban legend about pictures of cute girls online which claims that “if she’s too cute, she must be a guy”. Well, after seeing so many mesmerizing cross-dressers, we can’t help but feel the same way at times. If that’s the case, then, it should be only fair to say that “if he’s too suave, he must be a girl”. Because, you know, all that stuff about equality… but mostly, these Chinese and Korean girls who look stunning dressed as guys.

Joining the list is Japanese Twitter user, RiM, who looks idol-material both as a guy or as a girl!

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High-speed photos of waves remind us of certain famous Japanese wood-block print

It’s almost guaranteed to adorn the walls of every study abroad student in Japan, plus the living room of your worldly, “enlightened” friend that minored in East Asian studies.

Of course, we’re talking about “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” – legendary ukiyo-e woodblock painter Hokusai’s most renowned work that depicts a fearsome-looking wave battering old-timey fishing boats off the coast of Kanagawa, Japan.

With its claw-like foam signaling impending doom for the fisherman and other artistic flourishes, one would think that the wave depicted is strictly artistic license, but one French photographer has captured strikingly similar-looking waves in real life.

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Tenga toy-themed robots take over Valentine’s Day 【Pics】

At first glance, they seem like Transformers, or perhaps unusually flashy Gundam. Then you notice the color scheme, followed by a number of cylindrical trimmings and its unusual shape. “I feel like I’ve seen that somewhere before…” you wonder to yourself. Then it clicks. “Oh.”

While Tenga toys may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks “Valentine’s Day,” some highly imaginative artists capitalized on the romantic holiday to recast the popular adult products as robots. Don’t think of them as mere joke drawings, however; these creations are the real deal. We take a look at some of the spectacular art below.

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The most intense, death-defying military training exercises from around the world

Jumping through a ring of fire. Breaking bricks with your head. Drinking cobra blood.

Those are some examples of what troops from around the world go through as part of military training.

Check out more intense exercises in the following gallery.

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Escaped hamster went on overeating rampage, may have eating issues 【Photos】

We’re pretty keen followers of the Japanese site Hamster Sokuhou (“hamster newsflash”). But if there’s one thing that site has long been missing, it’s hamster-themed news…until now!

Because entertainment news site Hamster Sokuhou, which actually has nothing to do with rodents at all, has finally done what it says on the tin and brought us something hamster-related to write home about, with this Japanese Twitter user’s tale of one greedy little pet who escaped in the night.

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Steam Garden 8: Travel through time at Tokyo’s premier steampunk event 【Photos】

As we promised a few weeks ago, we swung by Steam Garden 8: Meiji Democracy and took in the sights and sounds! With more photos than your Facebook feed after a weekend of drunken revelry, we are happy to report that Steam Garden is both an amazing way to spend a Saturday, and an event you’ll definitely want to check out as soon as you can.

Click below for some highlights of the steampunk event and tons of fashion and cosplay photos!

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“Feel” and experience Kyoto’s Kiyomizu Temple from afar via Tumblr

Last month we were delighted to hear that one of Kyoto’s most famous sight-seeing spots, Kiyomizudera, has an Instagram account. The thing about Kiyomizudera though, is that it’s not really just a tourist spot, it is a functioning temple serving hundreds of people every day and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. The site’s grandeur expands past the temple itself, to the beautiful surrounding scenery and view of the Kyoto cityscape, which can be enjoyed from the temple’s location, perched atop Mt. Otowa. Even the everyday religious events around Kiyomizudera are worthy of appreciation.

With all of this in mind, the temple has come out with an official Tumblr website, which they hope will allow viewers to not only see the temple through pictures, but to really feel and embrace its atmosphere.

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“In the name of the moon!” See the Sailor Senshi as ’90s video game sprites

With over 30 million copies of the original manga sold, a popular anime adaptation (who can forget the lengthy, fabulous transformation sequences?), and even a lingerie brand, the Sailor Moon franchise has spread to every corner of the globe since its inception in 1991. The series is enjoying renewed popularity at the moment thanks to the reboot series Sailor Moon Crystal.

Given the prominence of the nineties anime Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon in the public consciousness, some might not be as familiar with a number of spin-off video games–understandably so, considering that most of them were never released outside of Japan. In the pictures below, see Sailor Moon and company in all their pixellated glory.

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The wonderful (male) cosplayers of Winter Wonder Festival 2015【Photos】

If you look at most cosplay galleries online, you would think that the hobby is dominated by females. You wouldn’t be wrong, but that doesn’t mean that the male cosplayers should be ignored. Last weekend at Makuhari Messe, costumers of all genders gathered at Winter Wonder Festival 2015. RocketNews24 has already brought you the female cosplayers, but here are the friggin’ cool guys who were also there to strut their stuff.

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Lose your head in the wonderful wooden sculptures of Yoshitoshi Kanemaki 【Photos】

As a wood sculptor, Yoshitoshi Kanemaki works in negative space. To create his imaginative human figures, he painstakingly carves and removes the unwanted sections from a huge single block of wood. The resulting statues combine realism with darker, surreal imagery, giving us sculptures such as a woman with many faces; a man embracing a skeleton; mirror images of two young men sprouting from the same head.

In a fascinating and detailed photo series, the Japanese artist has revealed how his latest work was made; join us as we follow in his footsteps, and take a look back at some of his other stunning artworks.

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Photos of hot Thai model/moto-taxi driver go viral, we kick off the corny pick-up lines

We normally don’t think of ourselves as a shallow bunch here at RocketNews24–not when we have such potentially life-altering news to report as the latest Sailor Moon-themed merchandise or the newest collection of cute cat photos to come out of Japan.

But occasionally there are those days when a little eye-candy does wonders to brighten up our wonderful readers’ days. For instance–anyone care to see photos of a hot Thai model/moto-taxi driver dude?

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World’s largest internet hub in Aomori?

Twitter user @rairacp_62 spotted this building in Aomori and something about it seemed very familiar…

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South Korean artist offers a bare-bones look at our most loved cartoon characters【Photos】

Hyungkoo Lee looks beneath the skin of a whole host of Disney and Looney Tunes characters, imagining what their skeletons might look like underneath.

But the Seoul-based artist doesn’t stop at building these realistic-looking constructions. He then displays them in character, giving us a series of tableaux in which Tom chases Jerry, Sylvester reaches out for a flying Tweety Bird, and the Road Runner is (true to form) perpetually running. It’s like a dinosaur museum…with fictional characters.

Sure, they’re pretty creepy and bound to upset small children, but we’re too impressed to care.

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“There’s a cat in the window”: A giant compilation of the cutest peeping Toms you’ll ever see

Have you ever had the experience of pulling back your curtains, only to be met by a pair of luminous, unblinking eyes from the outside?

If you have, you’ll be able to sympathize with the following Japanese Twitter users who glanced up at their windows and happened to see one or more furry feline visitors staring back. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy this compilation of (the good kind of) peeping Toms!

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Chinese Photoshop Trolls Part 8: “We’re not even trying anymore”【Photos】

Let’s cut right to the chase. You guys know the drill: A mediocre photo; a desperate cry to the internet for help; Photoshop trolls jump in “to the rescue.” And thus hilarity ensues.

We’re proud (and a little bit incredulous, to be honest) to introduce the eighth compilation of photos created by the masters–say hello to everyone’s favorite Chinese Photoshop Trolls!

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Japanese cosplay photographer shares tips on taking amazingly ethereal photos

Japanese cosplay photographer Suzutama recently made the rounds online for his beautiful photos of Monster Hunter cosplay in the snow. In order to get the best shots possible, the cosplayer in the photos had to venture into the frozen woods in a skimpy costume and in return Suzutama was able to capture the most amazing and surreal images.

Apart from sharing his own works, Suzutama has also kindly offered tips to his followers who aspire to produce amazing photos like he does. Check out some of his tips on working with water and smoke below!

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