Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has announced a new promotional campaign for its users starting soon called America Hodai (America Unlimited) where users traveling to the United States can enjoy the same rates on voice calls and internet usage as they do in Japan for no additional charge.
- Master Blaster
Jun 9, 2014
On 5 June, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank announced that it will be selling a robot capable reading emotions and being a friendly companion to humans. The robot’s name is Pepper, and in addition to a chest-mounted tablet computer it comes loaded with an array of mics, cameras, and other sensors for sophisticated movement and interaction with people.
Frequently abandoned by his fellow humans, our beloved reporter Mr. Sato decided to go down to the SoftBank shop in Omotesando, Tokyo where a Pepper unit was on display. Although excited about his first chat with a robot, Mr. Sato would soon find that Pepper was actually kind of a jerk who totally dominated the conversation.
About a half a year ago, the charming face of a local idol from Fukuoka was plastered all over the internet. Kanna Hashimoto’s genuine charm and cuteness had won over the country literally overnight. Shortly afterwards, we were able to meet the up and coming star and buy a pair of glasses. There we found Hashimoto’s charm wasn’t just a fluke of the original photo that shot her into the spotlight.
Now we’re happy to see that her rise to fame hasn’t slowed down one bit with a recent appearance in the hugely popular SoftBank commercial series featuring the Shirato family. Not only that, she has also thrown the ceremonial first pitch at Opening Day of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 2014 season.
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Mar 26, 2014
Sprint’s new commercial featuring a “framily” that includes a father who is a talking hamster and daughter who only speaks French is definitely weird. If you live in the US, you may have caught the 30 second clip during prime time Monday evening and were left with an upturned eyebrow and slight frown. But this strange commercial isn’t quite an original creation. The Sprint framily was actually inspired by a long-running marketing campaign over in, you guessed it, Japan.
Japan’s SoftBank Corporation recently put together a typically bizarre commercial to advertise their new student discount service, and held a press conference to announce it. In attendance was the famous SoftBank dog, and a couple of large pears, who all got a little over-excited. When dealing with huge talents like these, things don’t always go to plan…
Do you have an active Facebook account with more than 10 friends, a filled-in profile with both profile and cover photos? If so, have we got an opportunity for you!
In a story currently making the rounds among Japanese Twitter users, it seems that SoftBank (the cellphone carrier that recently made a bid to buy Sprint in the U.S.) was seeking “Likes” on Facebook, and didn’t mind paying for them.
- Philip Kendall
Apr 1, 2013
You know your company has a bad reputation when the general public interprets an official announcement as something so improbable that it could only be an April Fools’ gag.
Japanese mobile provider SoftBank — perhaps most famous for its commercials featuring a talking shiba inu and his human family — announced via its website earlier today that it now officially has the best network coverage in Japan, enabling its users to connect with greater ease than any other mobile phone provider. Alas, the statement was immediately laughed off as a joke by many Japanese Internet users, with cries of “Oh, SoftBank, you guys have a great sense of humour!”
- Philip Kendall
Jan 16, 2013
Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank is seemingly never out of the news recently. In the past seven days, we’ve seen CEO Masayoshi Son put down a heckler on Twitter, offer his employees up to a month’s pay for mastering English, and now the company comes out with a genuinely wonderful free app for iOS in celebration of being Japan’s most popular telecommunications provider for five years running.
Officially titled 「ラップお父さん」 “Rappu Otousan” (lit. rap dad), the application is essentially a sound board filled with memorable lines uttered by members of SoftBank’s fictional White Family, as seen in commercials. As well as allowing users to annoy friends with one-liners like “Shut it!”, “What’s so funny!?” and even the company CEO’s famous “Let’s do it!” line, users can play and mix a variety of prerecorded rhythm tracks, making this app by far the most wonderful time-waster we’ve discovered so far this year.
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Jan 14, 2013
“Why do I have to study English? I’m never going to use it… there’s no point,” whines at least one Japanese student in any given English class on a daily basis.
Now, thanks to one company’s clever new initiative, instead of the usual spiel about the benefits of English being an “international language,” teachers can tell their students that knuckling down and mastering the language could bag them 1 million yen.
Korean-Japanese Telecom Tycoon Masayoshi Son earned his place as the CEO of Japan’s largest mobile phone company and the second richest person in Japan through aggressive expansion of his interests.
That personality often comes through in his Twitter account too. Son recently had to defend himself via Twitter after a half-million-dollar donation to Hurricane Sandy relief irked some people.
That’s the great thing about Twitter, isn’t it? You can now directly give Forbes’ 53rd Most Powerful Person in the world a piece of your mind. But don’t expect him to take it lying down.
That’s what @kingfisher0423 learned when he tweeted to the Softbank CEO: “With the degree that your hairline has receded, you are bald.”
Softbank CEO Donates US$500,000 to Hurricane Sandy Relief, Becomes Embroiled in Twitter War with Some Guy
- Master Blaster
Nov 7, 2012
Who doesn’t love a Twitter war? This wonderful modern age we live in lets celebrities make snide comments to and about each other as we all read along. And with the unprecedented interactivity social networks you too could be arguing with Ashton Kutcher about something!
Last week mobile phone mogul Masayoshi Son, who has a history of large donations, offered US$500,000 through Softbank to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy in North America and then tweeted about it. This act of philanthropy irked a twitter user by the name of o44o. Feeling that this was an act of blatant advertising through the use of a good deed he decided to voice his opinion to Mr. Son.
This week, Softbank Mobile presented the newest iteration of its popular Pantone phones, and these are some pretty smart smartphones. So smart, in fact, that they can double as a Geiger counter. Read More
What small girl hasn’t dreamt of being a Disney Princess? Now you can actually make it happen, at least in the digital world. Read More
- Poor little dog is driven into corner by owner’s terrifying new house guest1
- We still don’t feel bad for you, Emperor: Photos of actors and their historical counterparts2
- Has a Japanese company found the fountain of youth? One man’s youthful skin suggests so3
- 35 fascinating photos of Korea from 100 years ago (before K-dramas took over Asia)4
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked5
- Robot rebellion begins with a cranky Roomba, Internet users too busy laughing to fight back6
- When first-try character bentos go wrong 【Photos】7
- Raw, frozen eggs are the new food trend in Japan, apparently8
- Korean stylist’s secret to volumizing your hair in just five minutes! 【Video】9
- Revealed! Japan’s top 10 handsome samurai【Photos】10
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls1
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked2
- Clever font sneaks pronunciation guide for English speakers into Japanese katakana characters3
- Awesome Air Umbrella from China keeps you dry with blasts of air4
- Why does Engrish happen in Japan?5
- The 10 best anime of the fall season, according to Japanese otaku6
- Somebody turned a Disney Channel cartoon into an anime and it’s pretty awesome7
- Beautiful old footage shows “God of Judo” Kyuzo Mifune gracefully defeat young challengers【Video】8
- Cat man from Kyushu walks nine cats in a stroller, draws crowds in Tokyo9
- Chinese woman’s catty comeback to Korean colleague gets netizens talking10
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】1
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China2
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked3
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea4
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls5
- Watch liquid turn into food at Japanese sample food factory 【Videos】6
- Japanese mothers react to being called by their first names after years of just being “Mama”7
- 10 things foreigners do that Japanese people find amusing8
- “Beautiful foreigner walking a polar bear” spotted at Shibuya’s famous crossing9
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star2
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】4
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China5
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later6
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady10
- Robot rebellion begins with a cranky Roomba, Internet users too busy laughing to fight back
- When first-try character bentos go wrong 【Photos】
- Raw, frozen eggs are the new food trend in Japan, apparently
- Korean stylist’s secret to volumizing your hair in just five minutes! 【Video】
- Revealed! Japan’s top 10 handsome samurai【Photos】
- Fukuoka’s “Wisteria Tunnel” delights visitors with pretty pastel petals
- Shocking footage of accident on Japanese highway reminds us of the fragility of life 【Video】
- Is it safe to dance yet? Uncertainty continues to reign supreme in Japan’s club scene
- The ultimate in smartphone accessories has hopped into the market
- Skull-shaped lollipop holders: Because liking candy doesn’t mean you’re not one bad dude
- Rising star of Japanese horse racing is as ridiculously fast as he is comically scatterbrained
- Time to head north: Tochigi Prefecture’s gyoza-flavored rice topping is nothing short of divine