Meet the people and organizations who are tackling the problem of childhood hunger in Japan

Tough economic times can and do happen everywhere in the world. Even in wealthy, developed countries like Japan, some folks struggle every day to make ends meet. Sometimes, those people are families with young children.

Childhood hunger is a worldwide problem, and while no one deserves to go hungry, it is an especially sad situation for children. For one thing, they can’t really do anything to help better their situation, and secondly, they need the food and nutrition to help their bodies continue to grow properly. In Japan, approximately 16 percent of two-parent families are financially unable to provide enough food for their children, and that number jumps to 32 percent for single-parent households, according to a 2012 survey. But there are some who refuse to stand by doing nothing and are dedicating themselves to feeding the hungry children in Japan.

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Japanese cat becomes blanket, warms sleeping baby’s tummy and our hearts 【Photos】

Japan may not be cold enough for a three-dog night yet, but the season is just right for a one-cat nap, as these heartwarming photos prove.

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Japan is so polite that even this adorable raccoon dog gives thank-you presents

There’s an annual autumn event in Japan called Shichi-Go-San, which is a celebration for children aged three, five, and seven. My brother-in-law’s youngest daughter is seven this year, so on the special day my wife and I gave her a small monetary gift. Sweet kid that she is, she immediately thanked us, but as we left the party my brother-in-law handed us a small cake to express his appreciation as well.

This pattern of giving someone a gift to say thank you for the gift they previously gave you is fairly common in Japan, where gracious manners are always held to be of the utmost importance. As a matter of fact, it’s such a part of life in the country that apparently even one animal, a thankful tanuki, is following the custom.

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Nurse in China dubbed “Angel Nurse” for breastfeeding child during major surgery

When performing surgery on a patient, the ideal thing is to sedate them and complete the operation while they are lying still on the table. Unfortunately, there are situations where putting them under is out of the question. When young infants requires surgery, you often can’t fully anesthetize them because their bodies can’t handle it, which means the patient will often be awake or reacting to stimulus during the process.

When a baby was screaming during an operation in China, a nurse stepped in to calm the child down by breastfeeding the patient during surgery. The surgery was completed successfully and the father gave the nurse the nickname “Angel Nurse“. Join us for more details after the jump.

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“My son didn’t look back when I waved.” Toyota ad will leave you choked up, wanting to call home

You might think that Japanese advertisements are all Hollywood celebrity endorsements or surreal tales of busty schoolgirls with nose rings, but when it wants to, Japan can make commercials that yank on the heartstrings as strongly as anywhere else in Asia. Getting the waterworks flowing today is Toyota, asking the question, “Do you care about your parents as much as they love you?”, and while the video is short on cars, it makes up for that with plenty of tears.

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Encounter with Japanese anime changes the life of foreigner

Japanese animation is much-loved around the world. China is no exception, and anime has a massive following in the country. Many young people in China are enamored with anime for its creative story lines and artistic animation. It has the ability to uplift, motivate and entertain us, and allows us to momentarily escape reality, and for many foreigners, it does more than just that. It can shape our lives.

Here is one heartwarming story from China of a life-changing encounter with anime.

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Ready for a dose of feels? Grab the tissues because this daughter’s love is beautiful【Video】

We here at RocketNews are a soft bunch at heart. We’ve been affected by tear-inducing, feel-good videos from countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand, and now it’s Singapore that’s got us by the feels with a touching new clip.

Based on a true story, this commercial plays more like a short art film, with atmospheric shots and superb acting that seems too real to be rehearsed. Come with us as we take a peek into the life of a graduating high school girl who looks after two younger siblings and her widowed, wheelchair-bound father, as she sacrifices her education and future for her family. Oh, and bring that box of tissues with you – you’ll be needing it!

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If you haven’t seen this Indian film you should: A true story of a man whose love moved mountains

On August 21, a film was released based on the true story of Dashrath Manjhi. His heartbreaking yet inspiring tale begins when his wife was injured in an accident, and the only medical help available was in the next village over…on the other side of the mountain. By the time Manjhi had made the trek around the  mountains and back with the doctor, it was too late, and his beloved wife had died.

Most people would mourn their loss and curse their circumstances, but Manjhi literally took matters into his own hands, in the form of a chisel and a hammer, and set to work digging at the mountain which kept his beloved wife from the help that would have saved her.

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Japanese man helps lost Taiwanese tourists, thanks them instead, warms the hearts of netizens

Many of us may have experienced getting lost in a foreign land and needing assistance from a local person. In most cases, we thank the kind soul who lent us a helping hand, but have you ever received thanks from the person who helped you instead?

A Taiwanese tourist recently shared that during his visit to Osaka, he sought help from a Japanese man, who not only spent over 30 minutes making sure the foreign visitors made it safely to their destination, he even thanked the tourists for their help instead. Find out why after the break!

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How honest is Japanese society? So honest this train station is fine with a non-closable “gate”

A while back, we talked about how it’s common in Japan for people to place dropped property in a place where it’ll be easy to spot when the owner retraces his steps looking for it. There’s hardly any fear that anyone else will take it, whether the item in question is as cheap as a mitten or something much more valuable.

But such admirable conduct isn’t limited to private citizens’ interactions with one another. A recently tweeted snapshot of a train station ticket gate has been getting laughs in Japan for its unusual design, and while it is kind of funny-looking, it also shows the extremely honest character of Japanese society.

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Bus driver in Yokohama City announces warm message to the mother of a screaming child

We’ve all been in this situation at some point in our lives–trapped in a public place with a baby screaming its lungs out. While many people would react by repeating “Shut up!” over and over again inside their minds, one pro bus driver in Yokohama who experienced this exact situation on the bus he was driving took the high route by instead reassuring the mother that everything was okay.

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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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