weird

Japanese flutist keeps her cool, plays beautifully even with a butterfly crawling across her face

Part of my job at RocketNews24 is providing English titles for the videos on our YouTube channel. So my knee-jerk reaction when stumbling across a clip, from a different source, with the title “flute performance butterfly stop the face” is to point out the capitalization and syntax errors.

But you know what? Full points to whoever thought it up anyway. That jumbled cocktail of nouns and verbs just about perfectly captures what would run through any of our heads if we experienced what the woman in the video did: a butterfly crawling around her face in the middle of an important flute performance.

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Spotted in Japan: “Wild Bacon”

Sometimes when you’re hungry for a delicious, savoury treat, even regular bacon isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need WILD bacon.

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English-learning smartphone app teaches Japanese students to say “I just took a dump”

While the English edition of RocketNews24 is primarily focused on Asia in general and Japan in particular, our Japanese-language sister site, Pouch, covers stories from around the world. Sometimes, the source information they work with is in English, so Pouch’s team members are always on the lookout for ways to brush up their language skills.

So we weren’t shocked to hear that one of Pouch’s writers, Marie, had recently gotten really into a new English-learning smartphone app. What did surprise us, though, was when we took a look at the phrases she was learning, including such nuggets as, “I just took a dump.”

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Squirt hand (job) guns – Weird trigger placement on animal-shaped toys promise a dirty deluge

When you stop and think about it, designing squirt guns is actually a pretty hard job. In an era where people have smartphones, video games, and the wonders of the Internet to keep them entertained, how do you get people to seriously consider shooting tiny sprays of tepid water at one another a viable entertainment option?

One idea is to go for a unique design, like the company that decided to model its guns after bears and leopards. That’s playful, unexpected, and eye-catching right? Unfortunately, guns and four-legged animals ordinarily have very different shapes, and in this case, trying to mash the two together meant the trigger ended up in a place you really shouldn’t touch a grizzly unless you’re looking to get mauled. 

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Burger King Japan’s black burgers look unbelievably gross in real life

Burger King recently launched two new hamburgers in Japan that feature black buns and cheese with matching squid ink black sauce. Ads, like the one above, made the burgers look pretty unappetizing. But the burgers, known as the Kuro Diamond and Kuro Pearl, look even worse in reality.

Here are some examples:

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Leg-based marketing campaign at Tokyo Game Show catches eyes, leaves attendees scratching their heads

On our visit to the Tokyo Game Show, it seemed like just about every flat surface outside and around Makuhari Messe, the event’s venue, was plastered with ads for upcoming horror title Psycho Break. Inside nearby Keihin Makuhari Station, though, there was a different advertising blitz going on.

Adorning the train station’s walls was a series of posters showing nothing but legs. We’re sure they caught the eyes of plenty of male attendees, but just what the heck are they advertising?

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Kid’s video of whirlwind Japan tour reveals otaku paradise, pervy action figures

Everybody’s got that story. The story of why they decided they wanted to go to Japan in the first place. Unsurprisingly, for a lot of people it’s manga, anime and even J-Pop. For a lot of guys, it’s the girls. For (comparatively fewer) girls, it’s the guys. Some like the food. Some like the “Old Japan” feel of Kyoto and Kamakura. A few even go for the outdoor activities.

And some go for the pervy action figures.

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From plums to panties, the strange and beautiful bento of Keisuke Umeda【Photos】

When you think about the media that artists can work in, ink, paint, stone, metal, wood, and glass all spring readily to mind. We could take an even broader view and include things such as film, sound, and even light. But even then, we’d still be overlooking the creations of Keisuke Umeda, who brings to life scenes of beautiful nature, disturbing juxtaposition, and offbeat humor through the medium of boxed bento lunches.

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Civil servant suing Fukuoka over employee drinking ban, asking for one yen in compensation

In Japan, work comes first. For most people, their professional life takes priority over their family, romantic, and personal lives, with long hours and short vacations being the norm.

Given that environment, it’s no surprise that after their shift ends, many people want to stop off at a bar for a cold beer to wash the taste of work out of their mouth. For a one-month period, though, that wasn’t an option for civil servants in Fukuoka City, due to a temporary ban on drinking outside their homes. Obviously, this wasn’t a popular rule among workers, and one man was so upset he’s now suing the city, asking for a single yen in compensation.

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N.Y. man’s Japanese T-shirt announces “I am not Sato,” we couldn’t agree more

Among RocketNews24’s bilingual writing team, you won’t find a single person who hasn’t, at some point, linguistically crammed their foot in their mouth (personally, I know I’ve gotten my knee and most of my thigh past my pearly whites on at least three separate occasions). So while we can definitely appreciate the humor involved in a strange language screw-up, we know we’re not immune to such things ourselves, and that the rest of the world can weird up its Japanese just as often as Japan stumbles over English.

Case in point: this man spotted napping on the subway in the U.S., who felt the need to inform his fellow passengers who can read Japanese that he is, in fact, not Mr. Sato.

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Horsemeat sushi: For when you’re tired of spicy tuna and California rolls

Although “sushi” is often thought to mean raw fish, that’s not actually what the word means. The name actually refers to vinegared rice, and some varieties of sushi don’t contain any fish at all.

Kappa maki, for example, are rolls of seaweed, rice, and cucumber, while inarizushi is made with rice and fried tofu. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re in the mood for non-seafood sushi but also don’t want to go vegetarian, you can try horse sushi, like we recently did.

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Sweet dreams, MasterCard: People in Japan are putting their wallets to bed in tiny futons

We all have our funny little habits and daily rituals. Some of us don’t feel settled at night unless we’ve put all the dishes away or spoken to our loved ones on the phone. Others can’t head to bed unless they’ve first checked that the front door is locked or whipped the shower curtain open to ensure there isn’t a monster, murderer, or acid-spitting xenomorph in there waiting climb out of the tub after they’ve fallen asleep.

But did you know that some people in Japan are now getting into the habit of putting their wallets to bed before themselves?

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What does a man putting on a bra sound like? Buy the audio track and find out!

I’ve written about a lot of strange things from Japan during my time, but this one definitely takes the top spot so far. Have you ever wanted to know what sort of sounds men make in their downtime? Or wanted to capture them on tape so that you could replay them again and again? No, me neither. But apparently there’s enough demand for people to make a CD of these sound effects, and said CD reveals some surprising things going down in this ‘men’s time’.

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You know bento boxes? Those cute, lovingly-designed lunchboxes that Japanese mothers make for their kids or, if the guys are lucky, their husbands? Well sometimes even something as sweet and innocent as a bento can be perverted…

Warning: NSFW images ahead.

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“90% of cats won’t drink this” – Pet food store tells it as it is while trying to shift stock of “cat wine”

What would you do if you ran a pet food store and were struggling to sell novelty items like “Nyan Nyan Nouveau” cat wine? Reduce the price? Run a two-for-one offer? Take photos of your own cat lapping the stuff up and build a display around the poor-selling product?

How about resorting to barefaced honesty?

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Increase your EXP with this Dragon Warrior-inspired Slime Curry, don’t forget the Squelch spell

A Curry Slime draws near!

Over the years, various goods and edibles have been spawned by Slimes, the ever-popular video game baddies from the Dragon Warrior/Quest series. To get in on the google-eyed action, funky Japanese bookstore chain Village Vanguard has come up with this newest addition to its lineup of creative pre-made curries: the Slime Curry. It’s not quite as cute as the Hatsune Miku curry and it’s not quite the ghastly shade of green of this matcha one, but this gloopy little curry slime can’t wait to sidle up to your next plate of rice!

Command?

Eat
Run
Get details after the jump!

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Pikachu-garbed man jumps White House fence, causes lockdown

A man wearing what appears to be a Pikachu hat and carrying a Pikachu plush broke the security perimeter at the White House when he jumped over the North Fence on Thursday evening.

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English fail or win? Japanese actress loves gardening, hates bullshit (according to her T-shirt)

Japanese TV personality Yuko Ito has been working in the entertainment industry for almost 20 years now. Having been at turns a swimsuit model, actress, and pitchwoman for Sapporo Beer, Nissan, and telecommunications provider NTT, we imagine she’s run into more than a few disingenuous showbiz types while paying her dues and building a career for herself.

Now, it looks like she’s done putting up with their two-faced double-talk, assuming she can actually understand the English on the T-shirt she wore during a recent TV appearance, which implored those watching, “Protect me from all your bullshit.”

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Japanese supermarket shrink-wraps a whole pig for hard-core pork fiends

I get a twinge of excitement every time I peer into the cooler case at the grocery store in Japan. Not only are there tons of unique, tempting flavors of ice cream and popsicles, you can also find all sorts of tasty frozen entrees, too. The most common are things like dumplings and meatballs, but one Twitter user in Japan recently found something even more substantial, if a little sad to take in: a whole pig wrapped in plastic.

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Japanese customer service: So amazing that employees will burst out of the walls to help you

One of the most awesome things about Japan is that you can expect amazing customer service just about anywhere. With exuberant convenience store clerks and burger deliverymen who reimburse you for the phone call you placed your order with, you almost expect employees to come bursting out of the walls in order to serve you…and sometimes they do!

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