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Mysterious fire materializes inside Saitama train station on Tuesday

Mysterious fire materializes inside Saitama train station on Tuesday

On Tuesday evening, commuters at Urawa Station in Saitama Prefecture were in for a bit of a shock when an abandoned piece of corrugated cardboard suddenly burst into flames. The fire was soon extinguished by station attendants, but the question remains: what caused the mysterious incident?

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Some flights are more cramped than others – 29 sumo wrestlers pack into one tiny plane

Some flights are more cramped than others – 29 sumo wrestlers pack into one tiny plane

Flying, as magical as it is, is not without its inconveniences. Standing in line at security, listening to someone’s baby cry for ten hours, and fighting to get the airline to give you back your luggage are some of the less rewarding aspects of getting flung through the air at over 500 miles per hour. But perhaps the worst part about flying is being crammed together with a bunch of strangers while crappy movies play on a tiny screen at just the wrong angle.

But at least you’re not squished between a couple dozen sumo wrestlers!

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Sumida River Fireworks Festival aftermath: Not everyone in Japan has perfect manners after all

Sumida River Fireworks Festival aftermath: Not everyone in Japan has perfect manners after all

Japanese soccer fans attracted plenty of praise at the World Cup last month when, having watched their team lose to Ivory Coast, they diligently cleaned up their trash from the stadium. Whether you think these supporters’ actions show how important it is to Japanese people to be considerate of others, or just good old-fashioned common sense that applies wherever you are in the world, everyone (well, almost everyone) agreed that taking your rubbish home with you is A Good Thing.

This week, however, Japanese Twitter users have breathed a collective disappointed sigh as photos of the trash left in the streets after the world-famous Sumida River Fireworks Festival show some people in Japan aren’t as super-considerate as we’d like to think. Is Tokyo an exception to the rules? Or is Japan’s reputation as a super-clean nation undeserved?

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This watermelon might be the most disappointing thing you see today

This watermelon might be the most disappointing thing you see today

Summer means watermelons–particularly in Japan, where beating watermelons with a stick is not only common, but actively encouraged. See, you knew there was a reason you loved Japan!

Of course, even if you’re not into beating up poor defenseless fruit, you might still enjoy the succulent taste of some chilly watermelon. If so, hopefully your melon won’t be a massive disappointment like this one!

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5 ways to nap at the office, according to a Japanese wage slave

5 ways to nap at the office, according to a Japanese wage slave

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was an ill-advised night out the day before or a colicky newborn that wouldn’t sleep or just the shitty weather, we’ve all had days at the office when we wanted nothing more than to curl up and take a nap. In fact, it’s more of a need than a want as you sit there, staring blankly at your computer screen, unable to put a coherent thought together. But sadly, napping at your desk can be seriously uncomfortable, not to mention grounds for termination.

If you absolutely must grab a few winks and are willing to take the risk, though, Twitter user @sui_gin has helpfully illustrated some possible sleeping positions in manga style.

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Japanese Twitter users report an increase in ninja cat sightings as summer settles in【Photos】

Japanese Twitter users report an increase in ninja cat sightings as summer settles in【Photos】

It’s summer in Japan! How do you like to spend the season? Many Japanese enjoy going to the beach or having fun at the public pools and water parks to take a cool dip in the scorching weather. Natsu-matsuri (summer festivals) and fireworks displays held at various locations are also events that many Japanese look forward to in the summer.

Climbing on screen doors, however, seems to be the favorite summer pastime of these Japanese house cats!

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Twitter trend of the week – posting cosplay pictures side by side with originals

Twitter trend of the week – posting cosplay pictures side by side with originals

In the past few days, Japanese cosplayers have flooded Twitter with their own cosplay photos situated next to original pictures of the character(s) they’re portraying. This approach is convenient because viewers can see at a glance both the source material and how well the rendition turned out.

So far, we’ve seen anime characters, Disney characters, video game characters, celebrities, robots, mythical river demons, and more! Keep reading to pick out your favorites.

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Now trending in Japan: Duct-taped hug pillows

Now trending in Japan: Duct-taped hug pillows

Back in my teaching days, some of my more hormonally afflicted students would take great pleasure in asking me whatever inappropriate or perverted questions popped into their heads, often wrongly assuming that I wouldn’t understand what they were saying. Sometimes they’d even break out some crude English with questions like (pointing to my crotch) “Sensei, are you long boy?”, “Do you play sex?”, or “How about Japanese adult video?”

One question that came up curiously often, though, was whether I was “esu” or “emu“, or in English: “Are you a sadist or a masochist?”

I’ve never really thought of myself as either, but chats with a few of my Japanese coworkers soon led me to believe that a surprising number of people here consider themselves to be one or the other. Can you guess which group the owners of these gagged dakimakura belong to?

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German team hero Mario Gotze wins World Cup, later loses dignity thanks to gross pic

German team hero Mario Gotze wins World Cup, later loses dignity thanks to gross pic

As they say, it’s all fun and games in soccer until someone resurfaces an old picture of a soccer star’s gross public boner.

Mario Gotze, the newly-crowned hero of the German soccer team who shot the World Cup-winning score against Argentina will now, thanks to the magic of the Internet, forever be known as “that guy who got a boner in public while wearing a Speedo,” because FIFA – with its draconian control over all soccer content shared on YouTube – has ensured that Twitter-shared boner pics will circulate forever and ever and ever, but actual video of the game-winning goal will be nearly impossible to find.

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Trapped bunny is utterly adorable and now Twitter-famous!

Trapped bunny is utterly adorable and now Twitter-famous!

The top three pets are probably cats, dogs, and hamsters. They all have their pros and cons, but when it comes to keeping little furry creatures in your home, those three are probably the most common–and certainly some of the cutest. The number four spot is a bit harder to pin down, but if we had to guess, we’d say it belongs to the noble bunnies. After all, while they might take a bite out of your finger if you’re not careful, there’s not much in this world that is as docile as a bunny, is there?

But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep an eye on the long-eared critters. If you’re not careful, you never know what kind of mischief your pet rabbit and its twitchy nose will get into! One Japanese Twitter user learned this the hard (and cute) way…

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Perfect rainbow appears over Tokyo like an interdimensional portal, no spirits spotted (yet)

Perfect rainbow appears over Tokyo like an interdimensional portal, no spirits spotted (yet)

While we rarely think about it, the way our atmosphere works is pretty amazing–filtering out all that cosmic radiation and keeping us alive. It also has tons of moisture in it, which, in addition to giving some nifty lightning shows, is also what gives us really cool stuff like sun dogs and rainbows. While it’s nothing special to see a piece of a rainbow or even half of one in the sky after a rainshower, it’s quite another thing to see a full rainbow shimmering in the sky.

But that’s exactly what appeared over Tokyo on Friday, setting Twitter ablaze with photos of the beautiful phenomenon. And because we’re ready for some uplifting fun this weekend, here’s all the photos we could find! Guaranteed to make your day 200% more magical or your leprechaun back.

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Video of late kitten playing with dog will brighten your day and then leave you crying

Video of late kitten playing with dog will brighten your day and then leave you crying

Though it might be hard for non-pet-owners to understand, it’s undeniable that our cats and dogs are part of our families. We love them like children–or siblings who can almost get away with peeing on the carpet.

And with good reason, too! They comfort us when we’re sad and play with us when we’re happy. And if you’re lucky enough to have two pets, watching them play together can be better than anything Disney has to offer. Just take this video of a dog entertaining a hyper-active kitten for example!

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Otaku impresses Twitter with simple way to spice up your clear files

Otaku impresses Twitter with simple way to spice up your clear files

Otaku often have more anime merch than they know what to do with, which can lead to them coming up with novel ways to use it. Also never underestimate their power to find creative ways to be strangely pervy.

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Rowr! This anti-power harassment poster is too sexy for its own good

Rowr! This anti-power harassment poster is too sexy for its own good

If there’s anything Fifty Shades of Grey has taught us, it’s that SM isn’t quite as underground as some might think. Of course, it’s also showed us what bad writing looks like, but mostly it’s the SM thing. Whether this mainstreaming of SM will prove to be a fad like Kabalah in Hollywood, or a long-term change, is still unclear, but there’s no doubting that a lot more people have come to appreciate a bit of domination in their lives.

Of course, just because you like domination in your personal life doesn’t mean you necessarily want it from your boss, Secretary and Be My Slave notwithstanding. In fact, “power harassment” has become a bit of a hot topic in Japan, along with sexual harassment. It’s gotten enough attention to warrant a public education campaign, complete with posters for the workplace. One poster in particular has been getting a lot of attention on Twitter…though not exactly for the reason you might expect.
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Cat takes a trip on a train, just like in a Studio Ghibli movie!

Cat takes a trip on a train, just like in a Studio Ghibli movie!

Ever felt the sudden urge to go on a solo journey to some place unknown, or just to wander around aimlessly to take a break from the sights and sounds you’re accustomed to? This cat in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, seems to have caught the wanderlust bug too, and hopped on to a local train for a ride!

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The funniest high school girl in Japan is back! Reika Oozeki does Frozen

The funniest high school girl in Japan is back! Reika Oozeki does Frozen

When we introduced the teenage comedian Reika Oozeki last year, we knew she was funny, but we had no idea how far she’d end up going. With 287,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 220,000 more followers on Vine, her influence has certainly grown quickly! She’s even crossed national borders, with people the world over laughing at her manic videos. And, at last, she’s back!

Of course, to be fair, she never really went anywhere–those of you following her on Twitter know that’s she’s as active as ever. But some of her recent Vine videos have left us laughing so hard, we had to share! So click below and get ready for your day to get a whole lot better.

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Japanese Twitter user shows off cell phone alarm, we all nod in sad agreement

Japanese Twitter user shows off cell phone alarm, we all nod in sad agreement

Hey, it’s Monday! Aren’t you excited to be back at work? We sure are! Of course, writing at RocketNews24 is probably the coolest job you can get, so maybe our experience is slightly different…

But even if you do love your job, waking up in the morning can still be a pain, can’t it? Now, some of you are probably those mythical “morning people,” who wake up without an alarm and are actually capable of speech without three cups of coffee and a cold shower. But for the rest of you, we bet you need an alarm clock or three to wake you up. If so, this tweet will have you nodding your sleepy head.

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Characters that are “difficult to color because they move too much” have taken over Twitter!

Characters that are “difficult to color because they move too much” have taken over Twitter!

Do you like manga? We definitely do! Here at RocketNews24, we cover topics related to manga (or comics) every once in awhile, so you might have seen quite a few articles featuring images of manga drawn by professionals and amateurs alike. But have you seen manga that has a mind of its own? We found some on Twitter!

Check out these adorable, albeit slightly mischievous, characters who fidget about and “interact” with their artists within their little manga frames!

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8 kinds of photos that Japanese girls always post on Twitter

8 kinds of photos that Japanese girls always post on Twitter

Whoops, guess I better whip out my smartphone and upload a picture of my Green Tea Frappuccino to Twitter, because I just happen to be writing this post at Starbucks. Apparently, the classic “at Starbucks now” picture is one of the most commonly seen types of photos on social media sites, and I’d hate to be missing out.

In fact, a concise at-a-glance chart of trivial photos that (Japanese) girls frequently upload to their SNS accounts has recently been making the rounds on the Japanese internet. We were familiar with every single one of them–how about you?

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