Last week, America celebrated the legalisation of gay marriage following the Supreme Court ruling recognising same-sex unions. Meanwhile in Japan, other celebrations of a very different kind were going on– Japan’s first ever robot wedding! Yes, that’s right, two Japanese robots said I do and tied the knot.
I think we can all agree that hamsters are pretty darn cute. From their tiny little schnozzles to their fluffy bums, you just gotta love these roly-poly little critters. But did you know that this very rotundness puts hamsters ask risk?
Consider the case of Haru, whose relaxing afternoon snooze ended in disaster!
It’s no secret that Japan and China don’t like each other very much. So when the official government news channel in China aired a segment discussing Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, it comes as no surprise that there would be some exaggerations.
However, one exaggeration was too huge to just let slip by. While the news broadcast was showing videos of Japan’s aircraft and ships, one image of a giant Gundam mech somehow snuck into the mix. Those Chinese reporters are probably going to want to double-check their source on that one.
So far we’ve seen depictions of popular video game series Street Fighter through cosplay, in classrooms, and even re-imagined on Sesame Street. But what about getting back to the basics of the game, and honing your fighting skills for when “a new challenger appears”?
YouTube channel fouseyTUBE takes to the streets, or rather some elevators, to do just that. There’s just one catch – that new challenger might be you!
When the lights change at Shibuya’s scramble intersection, 10 lanes of traffic draw to a halt and thousands of people surge into the street to cross in multiple directions. It’s one of Japan’s iconic urban sites, and often features on the big screen as a symbol of Tokyo. Of course, Shibuya’s scramble is crowded – it may be the busiest crossing in the world – but underneath the chaos there is a kind of fluid order, as people weave in and out of the oncoming crowd.
Architect and artist Naoki Terada has constructed Shibuya at 1/100th its real size, with the crossing’s cars, people, motorbikes (and even dogs!) made out of hand-cut paper. This beautiful stop-motion animation is the result.
If you’re one of the 2.5 gajillion readers (Mar. 2015 estimate) looking at this article right now on a desktop or laptop, you might want to grab a mobile device and take a walk while reading this time around.
Safely outside? Okay now enjoy this video which shows what might be lurking inside your computer right now.
In most Western countries, going out for sushi tends to make for a pretty pricey meal. In Japan, while there are certainly higher-end sushi restaurants that can put quite a dent in your wallet too, there are also plenty of places where you can eat your fill of great sushi for as little as 100 yen a plate (around US$1), or you can pick up a pack of sushi for lunch at the convenience for around 300 to 400 yen.
With sushi growing in popularity, many grocery store delis in the United States have started carrying variety packs of sushi for a more decent price, but how does the taste measure up? In this video, sushi from a number of grocery chains is pitted against the taste buds of long-time sushi chef.
If Japan’s love hotels range from cheap ‘n’ cheerful to downright bizarre, Sky Paradise Rakuen must rank as one of the most marvellously ridiculous. While enjoying a discreet tryst with your partner of choice, you can also take a ride on a gondola under a sparkling jewel-encrusted sky and gaze from your balcony out over theme park-style attractions.
Disney don’t do love hotels, but if they did they’d probably look like this!
Naturally, our Japanese reporter couldn’t resist heading down to Sky Paradise to check in and check it out. Just for research, of course.
Live-action remakes of established cartoon and comic franchises are favored projects by studios looking for a solid return on their investments. Appealing to our sense of nostalgia they can pull in a good chunk of change even if they turn out crappy, something which, sadly, happens a lot.
However, on video originally posted to Niconico and YouTube by Masaki Hata reminds us that the great remakes need to be fun first and slick big-budget productions second. His version of a classic Aesop fable, which he’s titled Battle of Fate Settled at Last: Tortoise vs Hare in Japan, has won over many with its unique blend of cuteness and surprisingly good production value.
When it comes to working in Japan as a foreign resident, it can often feel as if there aren’t many options — but that’s not necessarily the case. And for Chuck Johnson, the very opposite is true! After well over a decade in the country, Chuck has done everything from teaching English, to acting, to directing, to working as a bodyguard. He’s also an accomplished martial artist and stuntman — in fact, Chuck is the first non-Japanese person in the country to make a career out of doing stunt work. It’s a niche so small, he basically had to create an industry for himself!
After years of hard work and barely scraping by, Chuck has now made quite a name for himself, and this summer will see the release of a short action film in collaboration with big names such as Toei Studio, Adidas, and YouTube.
We recently stopped by the “fight action class” he teaches for aspiring and working stuntmen and discussed his experiences in Japan. If you want to get paid to kick people on film in Japan, Chuck is the man you want to talk to.
One day in Sishui County, Shandong Province, a woman unwrapped some beef that she had bought and was taken aback by what she saw. After recording her lively piece of meat with her phone’s camera, the video was picked up by CCTV who titled it “Nightmarish: woman finds newly-purchased beef pulsating.”
The news site also places a warning that “the images may not be suitable for some viewers.” I on the other hand, would like to encourage everyone to watch.
Love it or hate it, cram school, or juku in Japanese, is one part of Asian academic culture that looks like it’s here to stay.
Although most cram schools tend to advertise before entrance exam season begins and towards the end of the Japanese school year in March, recently more and more children are starting to attend summer study courses as well.
Gearing up for summer vacation, Waseda Academy put out two promotional commercials highlighting the determination of spirited youth, which have left Japanese viewers so moved they couldn’t help but shed a few tears while watching.
For those of us who grew up with kung-fu movies and fighting games, sometimes it can be hard to cope with the crushing reality that we’ll never be able to pull off backflips or spinning bird kick like Street Fighter‘s Ryu or Chun-Li, no matter how hard we try.
YouTubers CorridorDigital, found a way around the years of martial arts training required to become a King of Fighters, turning two low-level “karate students” into gravity defying, super-speed karate masters with the help of a little stop-motion video and some clever camera angles.
Shenyang, China, may be a few hours’ drive from the sea, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get an eyeful of good-looking girls and guys in swimwear. Plus, you can enjoy some hearty food and drink without getting sand in it.
The land that invented instant noodles is never one to rest on its instant laurels. Noodle makers in Japan have been constantly coming up with new flavors and dishes to keep their customers happy, and the company that started it all, Nissin, is proud to unveil its newest instant noodle product: pasta!
The folks at Nissin are so excited about their new product, they are giving it the ultimate taste test by taking it to Gragnano, Italy, an area famous for dried pasta. Are these instant noodles going to satisfy the palates of some real Italians? Join us after the jump to find out.
When it comes to food, presentation is everything, especially in Japan. You only have to stroll through a department store’s food floor to see how beautifully packaged and arranged everything is. And DIY food decorating is something that a lot of people really get into, whether it’s kyara-ben, deco-nabe, or artfully arranged curry rice.
And speaking of curry rice, here’s how to create an eye-catching deco-curry featuring one of Japan’s most beloved and cuddly mascot characters, Rilakkuma!
Sumo wrestlers. They’re big, strong, and pretty intimidating. Even though they might be quick to smile and friendlier than your average bear, we definitely would not want to step in the ring with them.
But this little kid doesn’t know the meaning of intimidation! Which is fair, because he’s only four, but it turns out he’s also fearless, and takes on this mountain of a sumo wrestler with the enthusiasm of a hungry wolverine!
Twenty-one-year-old Patrick Schwarzenegger is currently visiting Japan with his famous mother Maria Shriver, and has so far enjoyed a dip in a traditional hot spring, faced off with a sumo wrestler and eaten enormous amounts of sushi. So far, so fun.
But he’s also come in for some heavy criticism after uploading a video of himself pranking an unsuspecting visitor to a Kyoto temple.
Listen guys, it’s only Wednesday and many of you may be having a rough week. Maybe your boss yelled at you for using the wrong PowerPoint template at your lame office job. Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend made you sleep on the couch because you forgot your anniversary. Maybe you’re disappointed in yourself because you gave up your dreams of becoming the world’s greatest bassoonist to work a more lucrative but soul-sucking job as an insurance salesman and why didn’t you just stick with the bassoon you could have been somebody you coward why.
But don’t fret, down-on-your-luck readers. We’ve got the perfect thing to bring a smile to your face and get you through to the weekend: Presenting Ryunosuke, the house cat that loves to go motorcycle riding on his owner’s shoulders!
If you were charged with the task of putting a mini excavator like to one pictured above onto a flatbed truck in under two minutes, what would you do? If you’re like most people you’d probably find a ramp of some sort.
Or, if you have just that right balance of gutsiness and lack of self-preservation instinct, you might do what these guys in India did. Luckily, they recorded it on video for our enjoyment and as evidence preventing any lawsuit against the makers of the excavator.