SoftBank prohibits intercourse with its robot Pepper

With 1,000 units set to go on sale later this month, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has high hopes for its domestic robot, Pepper. If the company wants to achieve its dream of a Pepper in every home, however, numerous ethical issues must be considered and overcome, one of which being the thorny matter of owners who attempt to treat their little robot like an altogether different kind of helping hand.

It seems that SoftBank is already trying to keep ahead of the curve, however, by clearly stating in its documentation for Pepper that sexual acts with the cheery robot are strictly prohibited.

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Lone crayfish stands in defiance of floods

Various areas across northeast Japan have been struggling to cope with the massive amounts of rainfall that have led to flooding and landslides. The scenes of destruction have dominated the news in the past week leaving many concerned about their fellow citizens, friends, and family in the region.

However, one young woman in the area found a little message of hope from an unlikely ally, a crayfish standing tall in the middle of a flooded road with its claws raised to the sky and refusing to back down.

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Mt. Fuji becomes Studio Ghibli’s Laputa following recent typhoon 【Photos】

Mount Fuji—its almost perfectly symmetrical shape and towering, snow-topped beauty have long been a symbol of Japan, recognised the world round. It has also recently been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its strong ties to the Japanese culture. And now, in the clear skies following this week’s typhoon, it is also being called Laputa, as Twitter users are posting their impressive photos of the cloud-capped peak.

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Four Western gestures that are difficult for Japanese people to understand

Earlier this week, a Twitter user turned to the masses in the hope of learning the meanings behind four common gestures she had often seen in Western cartoons. While many, if not all, of these may be instantly recognizable to our readers, in Japan they are seldom seen and for that reason look understandably odd.

We’ve already examined some Japanese hand gestures; now let’s see how the other half lives as Japanese Twitter users try to unravel the meanings behind licking our fingers and touching someone or “crab-like movement and bending fingers“.

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Twitter user caught in Ibaraki flood tweets photos of his rescuers from inside helicopter

Coverage of the heavy rains and typhoon that have swept through Japan this week have dominated much of the news in the country. Today, TV screens were filled with reports on the devastating flooding in Ibaraki Prefecture, where waters burst through the banks and flooded the city of Joso. Images and videos of rescue operations have been widely broadcast on TV, and the news is nothing less than shocking for many.

But one Twitter user saved from the waters by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces wasn’t too scared to tweet photos of his rescue while still inside the helicopter!

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“I was talking to my sister when…” Who did this manga artist mistake for her own sister?

In general, we expect people to be able to identify their family on sight, even if it’s just from the backs of their heads. After all, for better or worse, these are the people we grew up with, right? Who couldn’t pick their little sister out of a crowd based on nothing more than their profile or haircut?

Well, probably not many people, if we’re being honest. Hey, we may love our families, but we’re not spies. But it’s completely different when you mistake someone else for your sister when they’re not even the same species! Just ask this embarrassed manga artist, who had the sense of humor to post about her error on Twitter so we could all have a good laugh.

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Five things you’d never expect to buy at a convenience store, but are actually really popular

Convenience stories in Asia are known all over the world for actually living up to their name. Whether you need an emergency swimsuit, want to grab pretty much any drink ever made, or just have a hankering for some Evangelion donuts, a nearby conbini will suit your needs.

But sometimes there are items available in conbini that don’t seem to make any sense… and yet people still buy them. Japanese netizens shared their most confusing yet surprisingly useful convenience store finds online, and we have them here for you. Would you ever admit to buying some of these?

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Yes, of course Japanese Twitter has a “Thighs You’ll Want to Caress” hashtag

Back in May, as most of Japan was enjoying the Golden Week vacation period, Twitter users took it upon themselves to throw a bone to those diligent employees stuck in the office by tweeting photos of shapely legs with the hashtag #ShowLegToShowSupportForSalarymen. Judging by the enthusiastic reaction, the grassroots movement did plenty to bolster the spirits of men everywhere, but what if you’ve got even more specific tastes than the ordinary leg man? What if, for instance, you’re of the mind that the prime real estate is found above the knee?

Then you’ll be happy to know Japanese Twitter users have already done much of the work of sorting and removing those unappealing shin-centric photos for you, thanks to the trending hashtag #GrandPrixofThighsYou’llWanttoCaress.

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It’s a boogie wonderland as Japanese cell phone provider desperately advertises iPhone 6

With the iPhone 6s set to launch on September 9, the current model of iPhone will soon become old news. But if you’re one of those who doesn’t mind not having the newest, shiniest version on the market, you’re sure to be able to find a great deal, as stores try hard to get rid of back stock before herds of Appleheads flock to get their shiny new toy.

Take this au store in Japan, for instance, whose workers were out shaking things up with a special dance in an attempt to advertise their awesome iPhone 6 deals.

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Whether nature or nurture, this cat definitely takes after its elders!

One of the great debates about child development is over nature versus nurture—are we the product of our DNA or our environment in which we grow? Most scientists seem to come down somewhere in the middle, suggesting that both play an integral role in who we become.

We’re not about to start arguing with folks who have PhDs, but we have discovered one of the most adorable examples of how nurture plays a role in the wild—or, at least, out in someone’s home. This cute cat has mimicked its way into Twitter’s collective heart and elicited far more than its fair share of “D’awwwwwww!”

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Stray kitten finds loving home, shortly thereafter takes over and becomes immersed in anime

When a stray kitten began following Japanese Twitter user @Kawasaki_Hina around like a little duckling, he decided to take her in and keep her for good. Within a short time, it became obvious the feline had made herself completely at home and had taken up a few of his ‘hooman’ hobbies to boot — including watching anime and playing the guitar.

Warning: Melt-in-your-seat adorable feline photos are coming up right after the jump!

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Braised egg or shiny butt? We bet you can’t tell them apart!

In Asian countries where many women are on a never-ending conquest to attain smoother and fairer complexion, hardboiled eggs are often used as an analogy for the most ideal skin condition because of their flawlessly smooth texture, lustre, and even, fair tone.

But while hardboiled eggs have been linked to the image of perfect skin for years, a recent post on Twitter opened up a whole new dimension to hardboiled eggs that cannot be unseen. Braise those eggs in soy sauce and they’ll look like the well-oiled shapely bottoms of kuro-gyaru (ganguro) girls! Take the test and see if you can tell them apart!

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Japanese comedian trolls fans with suspiciously glamorous photoshoot

At first glance, these shots look like any other photoshoot of a model in skimpy underwear. And as we know, the world (and indeed the internet) has got lots of cute girls as it is. But look closer and you may find yourself increasingly confused. These photos are actually the work of Japanese comedian Gari-gari-galixon, and he’s got an important message for you.

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Illustrator creates “Angry Girlfriend Stereotype” character, Japanese Netizens nodding in solidarity

A Japanese illustrator has shared a handful of images in a new series that depict the angry girlfriend stereotype unleashing rants and physical violence in response to an inept boyfriend’s romantic bungling.

The thing is, they might just be right on the money…

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Tanuki magically disguises self as cat to get food

Japanese raccoon dogs, or tanuki as they’re known over here, are animals with great significance in Japanese folk-lore. Among their many supernatural attributes such as giant scrota and swift speeds, the tanuki are also known for their purported shapeshifting abilities.

And though the above picture clearly dispels the size of their manhood, there appears to be some truth to their art of disguise. As the Twitter user who posted the photo explains, this little guy is actually pretending to be a stray cat so he can get some of the food laid out for him.

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Japanese cosplayers share their “then vs now” photos, and the difference is eye-opening

Improvement and progress is something that gives us encouragement and motivation to keep doing something, be it at school, work, or leisure. Sitting for examinations or participating in competitions can give you a good gauge of your abilities, but if you’re just looking to enjoy a hobby with minimal stress, making video or photo records may be a good way of keep track of your progress.

Taking photographs may not be the most feasible method for every pastime, but a wide variety of hobbies can be documented with photographs, such as flower arrangement, baking, craft making, and of course, cosplay! Some Japanese cosplayers have been sharing their “then vs now” pictures on Twitter, and it’s amazing to see some of the changes they’ve made over time!

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PlayStation Japan asks kids if they’ve finished their summer homework, kids respond appropriately

As a kid, the end of summer was always the worst time of the year. It meant that your days of sleeping in late, playing video games and riding around outside on your bike were coming to an end, and the new school year was right around the corner.

So who better to remind all the kids in Japan that summer vacation is almost over than the official Japanese PlayStation Twitter account? When they sent out a tweet asking “Have you finished your summer homework?”, they got some pretty hilarious, and rightly deserved, responses.

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Photo of “Iron Man” rice cooker look-alike spreads like wildfire on Twitter

If we didn’t know any better, we’d say Japan is seeing red. Red and gold for Iron Man, that is. Following the footsteps of this amazing Iron Man Samurai rendition, this giant Hulkbuster figure release, and this awesome protective armor case for your iPhone 5, some electronic brands are even consciously or unconsciously taking design cues from Stark Enterprises.

At least, that would appear to be the case if you believe the claims of one Twitter user, who says his newly purchased rice cooker shares an uncanny similarity to the Marvel superhero. But could he just be imaging the resemblance?

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Japanese Netizens share Italian friends’ “most Italian moments”

Throughout the world, the Japanese are known as being a particularly diligent and hardworking people, perhaps even to a fault. They are viewed as being bound by honor to devote their lives to their company and inner circle of closest friends and family.

Italians, on the other hand, are often thought to be, shall we say, extremely laid-back. Insofar as these things can be quantified, Italians work, on average, a bit less than those in many other countries, are quicker than many to hug and show affection, and are generally understood to be considerably less formal (and more, um… amorous) than the Japanese and others in both work and personal life. And with Japan being one of the most homogeneous countries in the world, and also being an island nation, it’s pretty common for the Japanese to exaggerate stereotypes even more than people from the rest of the world, as interaction with foreigners tends to be limited.

Which is why these “OMG, that’s soooo Italian!” Twitter stories Japanese Netizens shared about their encounters with Italian friends and acquaintances are apparently considered the pinnacle of comedy here in Japan. Let’s take a look.

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Japanese Twitter user reveals why taxi drivers flock to Big Sight during Comiket

Comiket 88 is over now, sadly enough, but the Internet is still awash in the afterglow of dojinshi and cosplay. Of course, everyone is already looking forward to the next event this winter, from cosplayers to artists to taxi drivers.

Yes, you read that right, it seems that fans and artists aren’t the only ones who love Comiket! Apparently the massive event draws taxi drivers from all over Tokyo because it’s the best place to make money, according to one tweet that captured a ton of attention in Japan last weekend.

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