weird

The newer, cheaper Kakureya II: The perfect secret fort/box for studying, drinking, or napping

With Japanese housing being as cramped as it is, designating a whole room as a man cave, reading nook, sewing room, or any other sort of area solely dedicated to your hobbies and passions is an unattainable luxury for many people. That’s why earlier this year, we took a look at the Kakureya, an enclosed capsule where you could have a little private me time as you watch movies, listen to music, or relax with some aroma therapy, among other suggestions from the manufacturer.

After all the attention the initial model received, it’s now time for a follow-up, with the Kakureya II, an improved version that offers even more creature comfort at a price about half that of the original.

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Unsettling softball-playing scarecrows keep Japanese town entertained, creeped out

Living in the Japanese countryside has many advantages, from access to the freshest produce to breathing clean air, but for many who love the big city, the slow-paced lifestyle and lack of attractions can make rural life quite boring.

But one Japanese man living in a town outside of Fukuoka in southern Japan is showing us life doesn’t have to be boring when you have access to several dozen scarecrows, old softball uniforms and an open rice field. Every November after the rice is harvested, he dresses scarecrows up as softball players and has them “play” a month-long game, keeping score the entire time.

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Pawsitively ameowzing! Japan’s crazy cat people create cute crafts with kitty fur

Kitty owners out there will know that the struggle is real when it comes to battling shedding, especially if you have a long-haired cat. But what to do with all those clumps of fur that accumulate after a brushing? Well, netizens in Japan have begun recycling unwanted feline detritus by utilizing an innovative method of crafting to create beautiful works of furry art, meaning that not a whisker needs to be wasted! Join us after the jump for more on these critter creations!

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Nagoya store’s lanky mannequin gets Naruto makeover

The Meitetsu Department Store in Nagoya, Japan has a distinctive mannequin outside its men’s department. Nana-chan is a popular meeting spot because she’s easy to spot in the shopping district — she’s 20 feet tall. The staff change her outfits monthly, but recently she’s wearing an orange jumpsuit that fans of a certain ninja will recognize.

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The weirder the better? These Japanese zakka are hot sellers in Korea

There are many Japanese products that are popular overseas, such as Japanese snacks, beauty products, character goods… the list goes on. Character franchises aside, some of the more common reasons why people living outside of Japan purchase Japanese products is because they generally tend to be produced under higher quality and hygiene standards, and more often than not come in temptingly beautiful or cute packaging.

Japanese zakka (sundries/miscellaneous goods), however, are popular for entirely different reasons. Check out these Japanese zakka that a Korean retailer has picked for their website to get a clearer idea of what tempts the purse strings of Korean consumers!

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We don’t know what Vanadium is either, but Asahi put it in a drink for you anyway

On November 18, Asahi released its new Fuji-san Vanadium Natural Water Hot, apparently banking on the idea that regular convenience store-going human beings would both a) know what Vanadium is, and b) actually want to consume just plain hot water out of a bottle.

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Check out these cool ways to enjoy hot springs in Oita, including eating and breathing them

Oita, on the eastern coast of Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, has taken to billing itself as Onsen-ken. And while that title loses a bit of its rhyming appeal once it’s translated into English, it’s hard to deny that it really is the Hot Spring Prefecture, as Oita boasts more hot springs than anywhere else in Japan.

As a matter of fact, Oita has so much geothermal water that it can get creative with its most attractive and relaxing natural resource, as shown by these unique ways locals and tourists can enjoy the prefecture’s hot springs.

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Nissin Cup Noodle is offering a promotional life-size water-dispensing cow

Yes, you read that title correctly! As part of their promotional campaign for the “Milk Seafood” flavor of cup noodle, Nissin is giving away a life-size plastic cow water dispenser to one lucky instant ramen fan. Simply fill up your cow with water, wait for the cow to heat up, and then “milk” out as much hot water as you need to fill up your Cup Noodle. Join us after the jump for a look at the amusing commercial behind this wacky promotion!

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Artist combines terracotta warriors from ancient China with some familiar modern faces

In 1974, some farmers in Xi’an, China, stumbled upon a funerary army buried with the first Qin emperor comprised of more than 8,000 terracotta soldiers. Their fierce, noble faces belied their intent to protect the emperor even in death, while their military dress and kit, all recreated in detail, gave them the means to do so.

Now an artist in San Francisco is herself recreating some of these World Heritage statues, but there’s something just a bit off about the faces…

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Posing like a (video game) boss! Villainous and heroic cats look ready for a role-playing epic

Lighting is an important part of photography. Arrange some candles on a table one way before you press the shutter button, and you’ve got a snapshot of a romantic dinner. Position everything differently, and you’ve got a spooky séance.

The same goes for if you’re photographing your pet cat. Under certain conditions, he might look like a fluffy little fuzzball, but if the flash reflects off his eyes just right, suddenly he’ll transform into a sinister monster, like this guy here.

Actually, Internet users in Japan recently put together what looks like the core cast of a fantasy role-playing game, with villains and heroes alike represented.

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New stir-in powders promise to make beer even more delicious with boosted malt, fruit flavors

Last year, we talked about seasoning maker Ajigen’s Magic Powder that Makes Ramen More Delicious. Weird as the idea seemed initially, the more we thought about it, we realized it could be just the thing for people with a desire for a tasty meal but no time or motivation to cook for themselves.

That said, if your schedule is so packed you need to prepare dinner in three minutes, we’re guessing you also can’t spare the time for a trip to the bar and a pour of some flavorful and unique craft brew. Thankfully, Ajigen is back again with more magic powder, this time for your beer.

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Super Federo? Those goofy Mercedes x Mario ads may have had some unexpected celebrity cameos

A lot of ’80s-era kids probably entertained the fantasy of meeting their biggest childhood heroes in the flesh at one point or another. And no, we’re not talking about Michael Jordan or other sports stars of the time. We’re talking about someone far less, uh… athletic: Mario.

Of course, had kids met the real-life Mario and/or Luigi depicted in this goofy and sort of frightening Mario x Mercedes collaboration commercial, they probably would have run for their lives and sworn off Nintendo games forever. But, beneath all the ugly prosthetics and hulking physiques of these game heroes come to life, there may have been, at least according to Japanese netizens, some far more approachable real-life athletes.

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【TBT】Chocolate-covered squid, corn Kit Kat, and other anomalies of the Japanese snack food scene

Japan is a crowded country, and that goes for just about everything. Even store shelves are crowded. Most people do their shopping on foot, which means supermarkets and convenience stores tend to be on the small size, and shelf space is always at a premium.

As such, companies have to do something to make their products stand out. This is why so many Japanese beverages and snack foods have seasonal flavors that are only available for a limited time. Of course, taste engineers in Japan can only come up with so many normal flavors, and when they run out, the only thing to do is go on to the abnormal flavors.

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Eyes on your own paper! 1,200 Chinese students take test outdoors to prevent cheating 【Photos】

Proponents of outdoor learning, in which organized education takes outside the schoolhouse, say there are a number of benefits to the approach. Aside from fostering better communication skills and self-esteem, advocates hold that open-air class sessions lead to lower stress levels and greater respect for the natural environment.

None of those seemed to be the goal of a recent test session in China, though, where over 1,000 students took their tests outside a single school.

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Mr. Sato is now a sticker, and we’re giving him away to six lucky readers!

Here at RocketNews24, we’re all about expanding our horizons. That means we’re always on the lookout for new places to visit, new burgers to eat, and most of all, new spheres of craziness for our intrepid Japanese language correspondent Mr. Sato to wade into.

Now, though, we’re ready for our beautiful, ambitious, tenacious, stylish, hygienic, innovative, trend-setting reporter to go someplace he’s never gone before: your home, in the form of charming Mr. Sato stickers that we’re giving away.

Read on to find out how to get your hands on a set.

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Korean idol unit trots on stage in matching skirts and what look like pseudo-Nazi armbands

Creating costumes for idol singer groups can’t be an easy job. If you’re going for cute, designers already hit the limit for the number of frills a single item of clothing can hold sometime around October of 1986. Hot pants are an easy way to achieve short-term crowd-pleasing sexiness, but that might interfere with the girl-next-door image the most successful acts cultivate.

So instead of sweet or sultry, you might settle on snappy. That’s what the four members of Korea’s Pritz have been doing in some of their recent appearances, where they’ve shown up in matching black skirts and crisply pressed black shirts buttoned at the collars. Oh, and to add just a dash of attempted systematical genocide to the ensemble, what look like Nazi armbands.

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C-Pop “Chick Chick” video takes the “weird” to a whole new level 【Video】

The Internet has seen some very entertaining music videos in the past few years that some people would call just down-right crazy. Remember when PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” or Ylvis’s “What Does the Fox Say?” first came out? Everyone thought they were nuts, but they went on to become worldwide hits.

But now a new Chinese music video has clucked its way into the international spotlight and has the potential to become the Queen of Weird. After watching it, all we can say is, “…”

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Titan mascot turns up for work in Tokyo bookstore, grosses everyone out

Picture the scene: “Hey, Suzuki-san, we’ve got a special job for you! Inside this box is a Mini Titan costume. This week, you’re going to go around the big anime and manga shops in Tokyo promoting the new Attack on Titan exhibition.”

Suzuki-san runs to the box containing the costume and rips it open excitedly. His face falls…for the creature he finds within is the oddest, ugliest Titan the world has ever seen.

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Has this cat’s soul been stolen, or is this just another example of cats being weird? 【Video】

A few weeks ago, we saw a cat that could walk backwards on two legs like it was no big deal. At the time, we jokingly wrote it off as just another quirky cat thing that cats do, because cats.

But now that we’ve seen this video of another feline lying prone, belly-up, staring into the abyss as though it’s seen into the eyes of Cthulhu, we’re starting to wonder if maybe there’s some sort of strange otherworldly madness slowly destroying the minds of Japan’s cats:

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Lifelike lion and tiger backpacks from Japan will make everyone who sees you say, “Oh my!”

There are two important things to bear in mind regarding Japanese fashion. First is that, since so many people use public transportation, they almost always need some kind of a bag or backpack to carry their stuff in when they go out. Second, after spending all week wearing a mandated uniform or bland business suit, come the weekend, some people are overcome with the urge to express their individuality to the fullest with their clothing and accessory choices.

With that in mind, just about the fastest route away from your button-down Monday to Friday look is to slip on a backpack that’s the exact shape and size of a tiger’s head.

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