We’re used to family restaurants in Japan offering their own unique takes on western dishes, with what might best be described as mixed results. But this item on the new seasonal menu at Jonathan’s sees the restaurant branch out into stripped down, über-simple food that’s had some customers questioning: can you really call that a side dish?!
Oct 1, 2014
Do you still remember what kabe-don is? A couple of months back, the Japanese cyberspace was abuzz with the trending word “kabe-don”, which basically describes the situation of one person pounding their hand(s) on a wall and entrapping the another between themselves and said wall. A pretty convenient word, I would say, as you can see the number of words I just used to describe that scene otherwise.
Almost three months down the road since that much-talked-about Cup Noodle commercial aired in Japan, the buzzword has yet to show signs of fading into the abyss of the Internet in the fashion that most trending topics tend to. Instead, after seeing improvised versions such as mata-don, here comes an intensified version: KABE-ZUBO. Read on to see what it looks like!
“That damn cat!” Now, that’s a phrase that even the most doting cat owner has surely uttered more than once. As much as we love our kitties, they do seem to have an affinity for testing the limits of our affection–tearing up shoji and mercilessly knocking any object that dares to be close the edge of any desk, table, or counter onto the floor. Despite the best training efforts, it eventually becomes necessary to just admit that although cats may live indoors, they’re not exactly “domestic.”
Unless you’re this cat owner, who decided to shame her misbehaving cat on Twitter!
Sep 30, 2014
Being a journalist is a pretty thankless job. Especially those who report on war and conflict or disasters, these intrepid reporters risk their lives to bring us the stories. In the case of this past weekend’s volcanic eruption on Mt. Ontake, journalists scrambled to the scene to report on the situation. Or, most of them. Some took the path of least effort and leapt at the chance to do some “reporting” from the comfort of their own home, through social media.
Sep 25, 2014
There are few things in life more competitive than Super Smash Brothers (and, like, hot dog eating contests with hamsters). So, even though you can now Smash Brothers on the go with the new 3DS version, truly competitive players don’t want to settle for the 3DS’s inferior, cramped D-pad and button layout.
A clever Japanese Twitter user recently openly dreamed of a better way to Smash Brothers on his 3DS by connecting an old-school Gamecube controller to the portable handheld and, shockingly, another even more genius Twitter user responded with a real-life prototype he made with plentiful engineering skills, his own two hands, and what appears to be a bunch of fresh spaghetti.
Ah, the wonders of learning a second language. There’s much to be said for the sense of satisfaction and achievement that comes from communicating effectively in another tongue. There’s also much to be said about the head-scratching and sense of humility that comes from tripping up and sounding like a buffoon.
We’ve found 10 tweeted tales of confusion from Japanese people who’ve had amusing encounters with foreigners in Japan. Some strike such a chord with Japanese that they’ve been retweeted and shared hundreds, sometimes even thousands of times.
So what is it that we foreigners do that’s so amusing?
Sep 21, 2014
We haven’t got the slightest clue why anyone would categorize girls as different types of birds, but if there’s anyone who likes categorizing humans according to the most random things around, it has got to be the Japanese. We’re not even talking about blood types or fingernail shapes here.
We’ve heard of cat and dog type girls, cabbage roll guys, marshmallow girls, sausage bread guys… and now to join the ever-expanding lineup of categories are bird type girls. Not to mention, they’re not just talking about birds in general, there’s even a breakdown into different bird species. Whaaaaat?
Japan is no stranger to earthquakes, meaning every time one occurs, the Japanese Twittersphere is bombarded with photos of the aftermath. There have been some major quakes that were no laughing matter, but usually, the tremors that occur result in nothing more than otaku griping about their toy…sorry, action figure collections getting knocked off the shelves. Japan’s most recent earthquake was centered around Ibaraki Prefecture and came in at a somewhat calm M5.6, delivering a few more photos of fallen treasures. From toppled heads to teetering TP, let’s take a look at some of the most popular photos taken after the earthquake.
It’s no secret that cats love tight spaces. From Maru squeezing into boxes to cats hanging out in vents, the only thing our feline friends love more than a saucer of milk is squeezing into just about anything. We don’t know exactly why, but we sure love to watch them go!
Of course, squeezing into tight spaces sometimes means getting stuck, as this adorable cat learned the hard way…
Some say that puns are the lowest form of humor–we say those people have no sense of humor! Of course, that’s not to say that all puns are comedic genius, a fact easily proven by turning on any used car lot commercial, but we love a good pun.
While not all puns are created equal, we have to say that our favorite puns often come from children. There’s something perfectly surreal about a child’s fumbling of language–but of all the puns we’ve seen, this might be one of the best…
Sep 12, 2014
While most people might assume that otaku aren’t a particularly sporty group of people, we should know by now that generalizations are about as accurate as a blind sniper. And if you don’t believe us, just ask the anime-loving wrestler!
So, we’re sure that there are a ton of sportsmen who love 2-D women, but not many of them care to share their passion with the world…at least as publicly and visibly as this Nihon University sprinter!
Who ever knew this was actually a thing? Then again, it’s Japan we’re talking about here, so we probably shouldn’t be surprised.
The cycling race known as the Good Smile Racing (GSR) Cup, took place this past Saturday (9/6) at the New Tokyo Circuit in Chiba Prefecture. As the official website for the event proclaims, “Bike racing while listening to anime songs, eating food, then back to racing! It’s an event for anyone who loves characters and bikes.” That sounds like a fun time to us! Check out pictures of a bike-riding Hatsune Miku and other costumes from the race after the jump.
Sep 5, 2014
I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I think of Kentucky Fried Chicken, or “KFC” as it doggedly insists on being called, I immediately think of computer peripherals. What’s that, you say? You’re a normal human being and so you’d never make such a peculiar connection? Oh. Well, perhaps you think of earrings instead?
Sep 3, 2014
Osamu Mukai is a well-known drama and commercial actor in Japan, best known for playing heart-throb types on prime time TV. He also apparently does not speak English or pay much attention to his fashion choices, as a recent appearance on what seems to be a typical Japanese evening talk show proves.
While the majority of the Japanese audience probably had no idea what the English on the actor’s drab green T-shirt meant, one eagle-eyed Twitter user seems to have noticed, and thus immortalized, Mukai’s unfortunate fashion choice for the world to see.
Sep 2, 2014
Chikan: men who grope women in public in Japan. Also refers to the act itself.
An illustrator who posted a cartoon claiming to show the difference between those who easily attract sexual harassment or assault and those who don’t has, as you might expect, sparked a heated debate in online and offline communities. Critics assert that focusing on a woman’s appearance and clothing amount to blaming the victim, not the attacker. The artist on the other hand says the work is based on statistical evidence. But no matter which side of the debate you stand, the illustration itself is worth a second look…
Memes tend to come and go (other than the almighty Shibe Doge), sometimes blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fast, so it’s always a little hard to keep track of what’s really popular and cool on the Internet and what isn’t. Right now, the meme of the nanosecond is “Makeup Transformation,” where Net users pose for a few photos in a tiled frame putting makeup on, and are then “miraculously” transformed into a celebrity, or a movie or video game character.
So quick is the turnaround on Internet memes that by the time people in the Philippines caught on to the Makeup Transformation phenom, it was already pretty much played out – despite it only having been in vogue for, like, a day or two in the U.S. For what it’s worth, Philippine netizens are doing a pretty good job of keeping the meme going, despite stupid people like this writer having basically no idea who most of the transformations are supposed to be.
In case you hadn’t heard, the newest big hit in Japan is the not-Pokémon-sensation Yo-kai Watch. The franchise is about kids who find and train youkai, “spirits” from Japanese folklore, and then pit the trained creatures against evil youkai, making it absolutely nothing like Pokémon. At all.
Well, while some of us may be skeptical that this isn’t just a palette-swapped Pokémon, there is no doubt of the franchise’s insane popularity! In addition to inspiring stock market confidence, it looks like the Yo-kai Watch is also inspiring artists who are sharing their works on Twitter. That’s a win-win for everyone involved!
Aug 15, 2014
One of our favorite things about Japan is the convenience of just about everything, especially the vending machines. Wherever you are, there’s at least one machine just waiting to quench your thirst–and all of them have any tired writer’s favorite drink: Coffee!
Even more conveniently, though, most machines offer a choice of hot or cold cans–but, of course, the cans will cool down if you don’t drink them right away. In which case you might be tempted to try heating your can up on the stove, like this Japanese Twitter user. That would be a bad idea.
Aug 14, 2014
Cats are known throughout the world for their amazing ability to put themselves exactly where they don’t belong. Whether they’re plunged deep where the sun doesn’t shine into a narrow crawl space or looking down on their “hoomans” from the attic, there’s no end to their hiding spots.
However, one Japanese Twiter user found her cat in what could best be described as a “compromising” position…under the toilet faucet!
Obon is a great time to be in Japan–the summer festivals fill the country with nights of folk music, stall food, and, of course, dancing. While the cops may not approve of you tearing it up in a club, surely no one could complain about the traditional circle dances of Obon.
But it turns out there’s a critic for everything!
- Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so1
- Over half of Japanese adults do this in the shower – How about you?2
- Visit Japan without ever leaving home with these eight beautiful videos3
- Yokohama restaurant serves fried axolotl, along with giant isopod, camel, and crocodile4
- Japan’s prince of tennis gets his own Prince of Tennis manga portrait5
- Anime-loving mum takes kyara-ben to a new level with these well-drawn anime bentos6
- Bonsai treehouses look like something out of Howl’s Moving Castle 【Photos】7
- Women at World Wushu Championships attack each other at the speed of light8
- How to cook miso soup (the right way) in a few simple steps【RocketKitchen】9
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick10
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours1
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer2
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute3
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters4
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world5
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick6
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence7
- Can you spot the problem that led to the recall of this otherwise cute Japanese New Year’s card?8
- Our Japanese reporter visits an American sushi restaurant in Japan9
- Question reveals how foreigners feel about speaking Japanese, getting English in return10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises5
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit6
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make7
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message8
- Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】9
- Just a bunch of adorable cats riding on trains in Japan10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher3
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”4
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】5
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea10
- Anime-loving mum takes kyara-ben to a new level with these well-drawn anime bentos
- Bonsai treehouses look like something out of Howl’s Moving Castle 【Photos】
- Women at World Wushu Championships attack each other at the speed of light
- How to cook miso soup (the right way) in a few simple steps【RocketKitchen】
- Turn an ordinary balloon into a smartphone case in seconds with this neat trick
- Online survey reveals the types of guys elementary school girls DON’T want to date
- Rare ghost-white tuna caught off Bali — we go to see it on display in Shibuya!
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute
- Enjoy a relaxing bowl of tea with these beautiful goldfish-shaped teabags from Taiwan
- What the hell is this monster?? 【Updated】
- Make sure to visit this historical onsen once before you die, or just do it right now with Google
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters