touching

Studious Nintendo-loving kid asks for a dictionary for his birthday, gets a very special surprise

Imagine you’ve got a nine-year-old kid with a birthday coming up, and you ask him what he wants as a present. At first he says he wants a video game, but then, after giving it some more careful thought, he comes to the conclusion that he’s old enough to be getting serious about his studies, so he asks for a dictionary instead.

How should you react? Proud of his sense of responsibility, do you buy him the dictionary, and hurry him one step closer to the end of his carefree childhood? Or do you get him the game, despite the fact that he specifically asked for something else?

It’s a tricky problem, but one dad in Japan came up with a clever, heartwarming, and above all awesome idea.

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Video of kids reacting to strangers dropping their wallets might restore your faith in humanity

For the most part, Japanese society stresses being considerate and courteous. 99 times out of 100, that makes Japan a great place to live, but in certain situations those virtues can be taken to such extremes they actually end up contrary to their original sentiments. For example, part of being courteous is not bothering others, but as I’ve talked about before, in rare instances that bit of well-meaning deference can get warped into not getting involved in other people’s affairs even when they’re clearly in a quandary.

But while adults sometime stumble while walking the tightrope between forcing unasked for assistance on someone and helping those in need, what about children? That’s the question posed in this video showing a group of kids reacting to a stranger dropping his or her wallet at the bus stop, and the outcome just might restore a bit of your faith in humanity.

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Unmanned lost and found station with car keys shows just how safe and honest Japan is

It’s hard to really explain just how little street crime there is in Japan, and how much that affects the ways people go about their daily lives. Sure, you could rattle off statistics about the ridiculously low number of muggings or thefts per capita, or you could point to this video showing a completely unmanned lost and found station with some very valuable property left lying around with no fear that anyone other than the rightful owner will claim it.

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Miso soup anime ads are so touching they’ll warm your heart as the soup warms your tummy

There’s something about a home cooked meal that, even if it’s not Michelin-starred fare, is incredibly delicious. It may be because every bite was prepared with love or perhaps it’s just the nostalgic flavor from your childhood. For many Japanese people, miso soup is one of those comfort foods. While it’s an everyday staple for many, the taste of your mother’s or wife’s (or other favorite cook’s) miso soup is second to none.

Miso and instant miso soup foodstuffs company, Marukome, has come out with some heartwarming commercials that really encapsulate the idea of food bringing people together. While you may not be crying at the end, you’ll at least really want to share some comfort foods with loved ones.

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Elderly Chinese man tells the touching tale of his married life through 200 hand-drawn pictures

We may be a couple of years late to the party, but even if you’re seeing this for a second time, you’ll still be on the verge of tears by the end, so stay tuned. Back in the spring of 2013, Rao Pingru, a 91-year-old Chinese man, published a book of over 200 hand-drawn illustrations and letters telling the touching story of his 80 year relationship with his beloved wife, Mao Meitang.

The book, entitled Our Story, is over 360 pages long, so we can’t bring you all of the drawings, but we know you’ll enjoy the snippets we have for you. Get out the tissues and don’t be afraid to let those tears flow.

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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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