touching

How to say “I love you” in Japanese – 47 different ways 【Videos】

Japan may not be that big on a world map, but there’s a surprising number of distinct regional cultures you’ll find as you make your way from one end of the country to another. Sometimes, taking the train just a few hours in one direction will put you in a spot where people eat different foods, celebrate holidays on different days, or even talk differently from where you just came from.

So, just to be prepared to communicate as effectively as possible with the locals, you might want to take a few minutes to review these videos of women saying “I love you” in the dialects of each of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

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Anime apparently dictating reality as police round up gang members, make them form sports team

Over the last decade, anime has seen a steady rise in the number of slice-of-life series with mundane settings. Still, even when set in the real world, anime tends to operate under very different rules from reality.

Or does it? In a story that sounds like something out of a manga for teen boys (or girls, provided you draw everyone with wavy, pastel-colored hair), police in Tokyo are forcing members from two rival, frequently rumbling gangs to get along by forming a sports team together.

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Time zone quirk lets expat in Japan share opposite side of the sunset with parents in U.S.

For expats in Japan, one thing that takes some serious getting used to is the time difference. With several time zones’ worth of ocean separating Japan and the U.S., for example, a quick calculation of the local time is always a necessity before calling home. Even then, there’s often a twinge of sadness that comes from that vague disconnect of knowing that it might be afternoon where you are, but the middle of the night where the rest of your family is.

But while the times on the clock might never match between Japan and Florida, an American in Japan discovered that there’s one time a day when things are close enough.

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Gamer discovers his deceased father’s ghost on an old Xbox game, challenges it to a race

Aside from indirectly putting the phrase, “If you build it, they will come,” into the popular lexicon (the actual line in the movie is “If you build it, he will come”), the 1989 film Field of Dreams is remembered for the scene where the main character plays a game of catch with the spirit of his dead father. It’s a touching and emotional scene, but sadly the sort of thing that’s only possible with movie magic.

At least, that’s true if we’re talking about baseball. But for parents and kids who bond through a love of video games, it’s actually possible to play together after a loved one passes away, as one teen recently found out.

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Touching commercial pulls off a hat-trick to hit us right in the feels once again

We should probably start a new series here at RocketNews24 featuring “commercials that are bound to make you dissolve in a puddle of tears unless you’re actually an android in disguise.” In addition to Intel Japan and a Thai insurance company’s advertisements earlier this year, these tear-jerking commercials have made us break down sobbing for a third time with a new entry by music company Tosando about a father’s very special message to his daughter on her wedding day. Whether you’re a classical music buff or not, be ready with a box of tissues nearby before watching it – you’re guaranteed to let out a few sniffles at the very least.

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Japanese railway sets up literal love seats with special seating for couples

In plenty of situations, Japan’s reliance on public transportation is a life-saver. Need some extra time to study for that test in first period? Pull out your notebook and review on the train to school. Had a few drinks too many? Park yourself in a seat on the subway, take a 30-minute nap, and arrive at the station with just enough power to walk home and get your key in the door.

Now, a railway in Chiba Prefecture is looking to give a hand not just to procrastinating students and heavy drinkers (who are, of course, often one and the same), but to young lovers, too, with its special priority seats for couples. That’s right, singletons, you just got one more reason to hate clingy couples.

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Granny carries handicapped granddaughter to school every day, has never been late

Many city dwellers, including myself, complain and curse whenever the bus or train is late or breaks down mid-commute, causing us to be late for school or work. We often forget that we are in fact very lucky to be able to commute on public transport. Some children living in the suburbs or countryside spend hours on foot, some even have to cross mountains or rivers just to get to school.

Somewhere in Yibin City of Szechuan Province, China, a 66-year-old granny covers four kilometers of mountain roads on foot each day to send her handicapped granddaughter to school. That in itself is already an amazing feat, but the incredible thing is, they have never been late for school!

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Who’s inside those theme park costumes? In China, it could be this 75-year-old woman

Like a lot of kids who grew up in Southern California, I’ve got fond memories of going to Disneyland and seeing characters from my favorite cartoons walking around. So it was a bit of a surprise when I moved to Japan, a country that arguably buys into the concept of Disney magic more wholeheartedly than any other, and met multiple people, generally women, who said the costumed performers were their least favorite part of a visit to Disneyland. “Mickey dances around and acts so cute,” they’d say, “but what if there’s some middle-aged guy inside?”

Personally, I’d say a middle-aged man is still far less appalling than an actual human-sized rodent would be, but somehow that age/gender combination was always held up as the worst possible reality that could be hiding inside the suit.

Meanwhile, in China, Disney fans have come flocking to one Mickey Mouse performer with an even more surprising identity: a 75-year-old woman.

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PDA in Japan: Is it OK to Kiss on the Street Corner?

Icha Icha is a Japanese term used to describe anything from light flirting to making love. It includes things like ‘necking’ and ‘making out’, but also holding hands or even just entwining pinky fingers.  Drawing close and giving long meaningful looks is also included in the realm of icha icha.  

Traditionally, Japan is not a touchy country.  Unless you are jammed up against somebody on a rush hour train, you tend to keep yourself to yourself.  Just think of how hands off bowing, the traditional greeting between two people, is.

Although more young people these days tend to hold hands or hold on to each other in some way, kissing in public, is still quite taboo.  It has always been quite shocking to see any couple kissing in the street or on the subway in Japan.  (Possibly the refrain to “Get a room” or “take it elsewhere” is universal, but such public displays of affection have always been less frequent in Japan than say, the US or France.)

Being a relatively new thing, this public icha icha-ing,  has no guidelines to it.  More and more people find themselves in the uncomfortable situation of coming face to face with icha icha without knowing how to react to it.

Yahoo! Japan asked readers for their thoughts on where they draw the line on public displays of affection. In other words: How much public icha icha you are willing to put up with?  

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