Trivia

What’s this little green dinosaur’s name? If you said “Yoshi” we’ve got news for you…

What’s this little green dinosaur’s name? If you said “Yoshi” we’ve got news for you…

Nicknames can be confusing things, especially when they’re the only name by which you’ve ever known someone. I can clearly remember the moment when my friend’s Japanese wife looked at me with a mixture of surprise and betrayal, for example, when she found out that Phil (or “Firu” as it’s awkwardly pronounced in Japanese) is in fact short for Philip.

But after learning that the same green dinosaur that I’ve traversed hundreds of levels, raced go-karts and carried baby Mario back to his parents with since I was about 10 years old isn’t actually called Yoshi, I can kind of understand why she was so shocked.

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More Mario trivia than you can fit in King Koopa’s castle

More Mario trivia than you can fit in King Koopa’s castle

Super Mario Bros. is arguably one of the greatest games in the history of pixels moving around on-screen–if nothing else, it has the kind of sales that would make anyone sit up and pay attention. And with fans from around the world, it’s hardly surprising that the game has been played nearly to perfection. At this point, Mario may be almost as famous as Mickey Mouse–but there are probably still a few things you don’t know about the plumber and the worlds he’s adventured through.

In any game, there are bound to be easter eggs hidden somewhere by bored programmers and wily designers, but Mario practically explodes with them. Here are some of our favorite Mario trivia facts; see how much you know!

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What’s in a name? Weird Super Mario World block prompts discussion among Japanese netizens

What’s in a name? Weird Super Mario World block prompts discussion among Japanese netizens

Regular readers will no doubt already know that I consider myself kind of a big gamer. Since a very young age, I wasted spent countless hours with my various computers and consoles finding pretty much every secret in every game I owned, and to this day my favourite topic of conversation remains video games.

I’d be the first to admit that amount of random game-related trivia in my head borders on the obsessive, but even I blanked when one Japanese netizen casually asked what the object pictured above, from 16-bit classic Super Mario World, was officially called.

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16 facts about China that will blow your mind

16 facts about China that will blow your mind

The vast scale of China’s landmass and its population means that China produces and consumes copious amounts of natural resources and food. It also means that China houses a large chunk of the world’s billionaires. We dug around to find some interesting statistics. Did you know that China’s railway lines could loop around earth twice? Here are some interesting facts about the world’s second-largest economy, which could soon eclipse the U.S. to become the world’s largest this year.

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Sturdy enough to survive a bomb and 9 other facts about the Game Boy【Video】

Sturdy enough to survive a bomb and 9 other facts about the Game Boy【Video】

Approximately 25 years ago the world was blessed with the Game Boy and the ability to play Tetris practically anywhere. And while video game technology has far surpassed the loveable green-and-black display (though Twitter is still fair game), it’s hard not to hold a soft spot in your heart for the humble Game Boy. To celebrate this quarter century-old game system, the trivia masters at DYKGaming/Normal Boots put out a video recently highlighting some pretty interesting facts about the Game Boy. Click below to read 10 Game Boy facts and watch the video about the origins of the portable machine, its creator and how much a gold-plated Game Boy costs!

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We know the human names of Dragon Ball’s Androids 17 & 18!

We know the human names of Dragon Ball’s Androids 17 & 18!

When I was in middle school, I used to watch Dragon Ball Z every single day. I’ve seen all 291 episodes of the series and without a doubt can say that my favorite story arc begins with the arrival of future Trunks until the end of the Cell Games. Why? Because the villains are awesome, of course (sorry, Frieza)! Everyone loves Cell and the attractive-but-deadly android siblings, known as Numbers 17 and 18.

Speaking of the androids, Akira Toriyama, the author of Dragon Ball, has recently released an interesting bit of trivia for the first time ever – Number 17 and 18’s true names! Even cooler is how their names combine to create something new. Do you have any guesses?

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Well I never knew that! Video shows secret sleeping quarters for night bus drivers

Well I never knew that! Video shows secret sleeping quarters for night bus drivers

Most haulage vehicles have snug little sleeping compartments for their drivers to crawl into after many hours on the road, but if you take a look around an average Greyhound or overnight bus you’ll notice no such place to hunker down.

So if a driver needs a little shut-eye between trips, where do they get it? Motels? Some kind of depot? Sitting up in their seat with a neck pillow? According to the following video, night bus drivers in Japan actually have another alternative, and it’s a lot closer than we thought.

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17 Mind-Blowing Facts About Russia

17 Mind-Blowing Facts About Russia

Russia has been all over the headlines recently. Earlier this year, it was for the Sochi Winter Olympics. More recently, it’s because president Vladimir Putin has been flexing his muscles again, this time in Crimea.

As the world’s eighth largest economy Russia can’t be ignored. The sheer scale of its pipelines, for instance, its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, or its population decline are mind-boggling.

We put together some key facts about Russia.

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Quiz of the Week: Round 9 (It’s like a comb-over for your soul)

Quiz of the Week: Round 9 (It’s like a comb-over for your soul)

You’re back! Lovely to see you. Now shut up and face the corner.

Yes, that’s right boys and girls, it’s time for another multiple choice quiz where we throw random bizarre questions at you and see how much you learned this week about news from Japan and Asia. Don’t dilly-dally now; Hitler, Donald Trump’s hair, and a manga about love eggs are all waiting for you after the jump!

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Quiz of the Week: Round 8 (More fun than a swift kick in the nuts)

Quiz of the Week: Round 8 (More fun than a swift kick in the nuts)

Happy Friday, everyone! We trust you’ve all had a fun week and, if you happen to be one of the poor souls stuck in the snow in Kanto and Northeastern Japan this past seven days, that you’re gradually thawing yourselves out.

We have 10 more Asian news-based multiple-choice questions for you this week, touching on everything from nipple chafing to popular TV drama. So let’s not waste any time; let’s get right into it!

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Who owns Mt. Fuji? The answer will probably surprise (and confuse) you!

Who owns Mt. Fuji? The answer will probably surprise (and confuse) you!

Japan is known across the world mostly for its varied and fascinating culture–from literature to music to amusing illustrations, there’s plenty to love about the country. But when it comes to physical symbols, there’s one thing that towers, literally, above all else: Mount Fuji.

Though the mountain was only recently added to the World Heritage List, it has been a symbol of Japan for centuries, a social and cultural landmark. So if you were asked who owned the mountain, you’d probably assume it was a national park or some other piece of government land.

But you’d be wrong!

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Quiz of the Week: Round 5 (Now with extra insults)

Quiz of the Week: Round 5 (Now with extra insults)

Welcome to another edition of Quiz of the Week: where the best news stories from the last seven days come to die. By now you should know the drill: we throw 10 multiple-choice questions at you to see whether you’re keeping your wits about you and to introduce you to some of the best stories in town, whispering unsavoury things about your mother for every question you get wrong.

So stop drooling all over yourself and let’s test those grey cells of yours!

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Test your might with our weekly quiz of weird and wonderful news from Japan and Asia

Test your might with our weekly quiz of weird and wonderful news from Japan and Asia

So, you think you know your quirky Asia news, huh? Visit our site every single day, do ya? (Thank you!) Well let’s see how closely you’ve been paying attention! Starting this week, we’ll be running a multiple choice quiz each weekend, based on 10 of our writers’ favourite articles from the week, asking you one question about each of them.

Do you know your Japanese cultural traditions? Have you been paying close attention to the adventures of our beloved Mr. Sato? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if he had the required paperwork for the job? Take our quiz and find out!

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Onsen trivia! Finding the hottest, highest, and healthiest hot springs in Japan

Onsen trivia! Finding the hottest, highest, and healthiest hot springs in Japan

Japan is practically overflowing with hot, bubbling water it seems and nearly every city and town has a local spring or public bath for people to get a nice soak. Called “onsen” in Japanese, hot spring spas or baths are one of the most enduring symbols of Japanese culture.

Today, we bring you a fact-filled list of Japanese onsen trivia! Impress your friends with your knowledge and find somewhere to go soothe your aching heart when they get mad at you for being so smart.

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The real reason Doraemon is blue? New sadder tale rewrites the robot cat’s past

The real reason Doraemon is blue? New sadder tale rewrites the robot cat’s past

Japanese children have been growing up with the resourceful robo-cat Doraemon since his creation in 1969. And while the original manga may have ended more than 15 years ago, the anime series and movie installments continue to provide fresh conflict for the funny feline and his human friends.

But with so much material to keep up with, there are bound to be a few contradictions along the way. Recently, the widely understood reason behind Doraemon’s blue coloring was flat-out replaced by an even sadder version of the tale. So, why is it that a robotic cat from the near-distant future is earless and blue?

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Tokyo Disneyland’s cast creates magic in the kingdom

Tokyo Disneyland’s cast creates magic in the kingdom

At Tokyo Disneyland and every other embodiment of Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the staff are all referred to as “cast members.” It may seem strange at first to refer to the people sweeping the sidewalks and answering phones the same way you would an actor in a play, but the fact is that all the theme park is a stage and the staff are but players, doing all they can to make the magic of Disney come alive. It’s their primary job to bring a sense of joy and wonder to every last visitor to the park, and yet the magic can manifest itself in some truly surprising ways! Here are a few of the first-person accounts given by people impressed by the Tokyo Disneyland cast.

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From cameos to creepy-crawlies: 15 little-known facts about Studio Ghibli movies

From cameos to creepy-crawlies: 15 little-known facts about Studio Ghibli movies

Known the world over for their heartwarming stories and breathtaking animation, Studio Ghibli’s animated feature films have been capturing the hearts and minds of movie lovers young and old for years. With Kaze Tachinu currently soaring high above our heads and Kaguya Hime no Monogatari scheduled to arrive in just a few short months, the studio is showing no signs of slowing down, with both productions sure to attract whole new legions of fans.

But did you know that Studio Ghibli’s movies are literally crawling with easter eggs, secrets and sly winks, and that many of Ghibli productions have links to popular culture the world over? Test your Ghibli knowledge and maybe even learn a thing or two with this list of 15 little-known facts about our favourite animated movies.

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Teachers say the darnedest things: How rice flavoring is more expensive than a Porsche

Teachers say the darnedest things: How rice flavoring is more expensive than a Porsche

Mamechishiki, literally translated as “bean knowledge,” refers to trivia in Japanese. And, if there’s one thing the Internet is good for (besides videos of cats), it’s trivia!

Today’s “bean knowledge” is about the difference in value (by weight) of furikake (dried seasoning sprinkled over white rice) and a Porsche. It originated on a popular Japanese Twitter hashtag “#surprising things said by my teacher.”

One Japanese Twitter user sent out the following tweet. Read More

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