May 27, 2014
I have a little game I sometimes like to play where I compare Japanese people I see on the street with American celebrities and friends. I once had a Japanese acquaintance who was a dead ringer for Nathan Lane, for example, and a popular Japanese comedian reminds me a whole lot of a childhood friend.
Of course, it’s not like these guys were going out of their way to look like Westerners; they just happened to have similar features. But there’s a whole other class of Japanese, Koreans and other East Asians that spend an exorbitant amount of time and money trying to get that Hollywood look – from wardrobe changes to hair dying, even skin bleaching and plastic surgery.
Results are typically mixed, but one South Korean woman apparently hit the jackpot in her quest to look like Australian model Miranda Kerr – because, after numerous plastic surgeries, she’s pretty well on her way to looking like Kerr’s long-lost twin.
In general, men have a very simple formula they use when determining how much female skin they like to see on display: the more, the better. This of course leads to the corollary, even more skin = even better.
One notable exception to this, however, is Japan’s love of knee-high socks, which leave a small patch of skin on display them and the hem of the skirt. Known as zettai ryouiki, or “absolute territory,” it’s become such a cultural phenomenon that it’s led to the creation of a smartphone game and not one, but two special days celebrating the look.
Now, one Twitter user in Japan claims to have discovered the male version of zettai ryouiki.
We love all of the unofficial holidays in Japan. From Fundoshi (also known as Japanese loincloth) Day to Cat Day, people all over the country have special events (and discounts) to look forward to all year round.
But May 23 marked Kiss Day in Japan and netizens all over the country celebrated the seemingly romantic occasion with some decidedly strange drawings in a bizarre illustration battle on Twitter.
- Casey Baseel
May 23, 2014
Japan’s desire to look at attractive women is more or less insatiable. Despite having sizable swimsuit modeling, adult video, and animated pornography industries, the country still finds itself with not enough eye candy.
So now, model maker Kotobukiya has gone looking for female beauty in the most unlikely of places, by turning the iconic villains of slasher movies franchises Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street into sexy girls.
An Indian friend once told me that India is a country where “third world” and “first world” meet. You’ve got places that can generally be described by Westerners as “everyday,” and places that are a little more, er… interesting.
In many rural and poor areas – just like in parts of the U.S. – India sees a lot more jury rigging, improvisation, and otherwise unorthodox sights that are reminiscent of one of those “In Russia, hamburger eat you,” memes.
So, in no particular order, here are twenty photos we picked up on the Interwebs that supposedly describe India in a nutshell. Certainly, there’s a lot of cherry picking going on here, so take these pics with a grain of salt. Not all of India is like this. But, to be fair, “20 photos of regular Indian people enjoying brunch” would probably make for a much less interesting compilation.
Funny things, names. In Japan, I am lucky enough to share mine with a delicious kind of stick-chocolate treat, which not only means that I can introduce myself as such: “Fran – you know, like Pocky, but not as cheap”, but also means that I often get given chocolates with my name on the packet, which I can confirm is something of a win-win situation.
My family name, however, is a terrifying mix of Rs, Ls, Ys and Ws that tends to provoke confusion and mild panic here in Japan. I have a good stock line for accurately communicating its spelling and pronunciation in the UK (“Wrigley, like the chewing gum”), and another one for Americans and/or baseball fans (“like Wrigley Field”). I’ve never come up with a good line to use on Japanese people, though, except to awkwardly mutter “um… yeah, sorry, it’s kind of a difficult name. Don’t worry, people in England can’t pronounce it either.”
But what if your name means something embarrassing or just downright odd in another language? Today, we bring you five kinds of Japanese names that make English speakers do a double-take, or a little snort into their coffee.
If you’re tired of lace-up sneakers and boring fluffy house slippers, there’s a new type of footwear that’s sure to shake up the shoe industry. Inspired by 1960s house party cuisine, Fondue Slippers are a thin replica of your foot that combines the satisfaction of not wearing shoes with all the fun of melted cheese. They’re kind of like those barefoot running shoes, just without all the false health benefit claims and they’re coming to you straight from (of course) Japan.
- Casey Baseel
May 20, 2014
In Japanese schools, it’s customary for the students to start the day with a formal greeting. The teacher walks in, the students stand, bow, and say good-morning. It’s a fairly somber ritual, in keeping with the general attitude in the country that education is serious business.
One elementary school, though, does things a little differently, with a morning greeting that’s packed with more energy than most people show all day.
Most couples would jump at the chance to have a free professional portrait taken, but what if the price for the picture was being put in a vacuum-sealed bag by someone you just met in a bar?
Seems like that would be a hard sell, but apparently Haruhiko Kawaguchi, otherwise known as Photographer Hal, has a way with words, because he’s photographed hundreds of strangers sealed in plastic on his search to capture the greatest theme in human life: love.
When you think about fashion, there’s a good chance that the first place you think of is Paris–and with good reason! France is certainly one of the leading fashion centers in the world, but Tokyo isn’t far behind. Though it may not be at the very top of the list of fashion cities, we’d reckon that the Japanese metropolis is at least in the top ten. So, it’s hardly any surprise at all that Hermès, one of France’s most celebrated fashion companies, has over ten locations in Tokyo proper alone, with a few more in Narita and Haneda airports as well.
Of course, high fashion is an art form, so it’s only fitting that Hermès stores also feature eye-catching displays to match their mesmerizing goods. But we think they might have gotten a bit too eye-catching with a few of these showcases…
- Philip Kendall
May 17, 2014
Cat owners concerned that they might suddenly forget the existence of their pet or who wish to gross out potential lovers may be pleased to hear of the arrival of two new products on Amazon Japan. The “Cat Whisker Case” and “Cat Milk Tooth Case“, which retail for 1,580 yen (US$16) each, are the perfect way to commemorate your pet’s growth into adulthood and treat them as a true member of the family.
That’s right, you too can have a small box full of cat teeth or whiskers on your dressing table or mantlepiece, just waiting for some hapless visitor to stumble upon before suddenly remembering that they’ve left the oven on at home and have to leave.
Aside from tasting great, ice cream conjures up all sorts of happy mental images. While it’s pleasing your taste buds, the frozen treat can bring back reminiscences of childhood family outings or innocent high school dates in the park.
Or, in the case of one brand of ice cream from Shikoku, sucking on some boobs.
- Casey Baseel
May 17, 2014
Academically speaking, most Japanese students don’t have that much trouble with the transition from high school to college. University entrance exams are notoriously difficult, and compared to the diligent studying they had to do to get into college in the first place, most find their educational workload, especially as freshemen, to be pretty easy to handle.
Making friends, though, can be tough. Rural Japan isn’t peppered with college towns in the same way some other countries are, and many students have no choice but to move far away from home to one of the nation’s big cities to pursue higher education. And while many students abroad can look forward to meeting new people in their dorm, very few Japanese universities provide any kind of student housing. Even in the rare case that they do, having a roommate is unheard of.
So it’s no surprise that many students are keen to pick up pointers on how to make interpersonal connections in their new surroundings. Unfortunately, not all advice is good advice, as one Japanese freshman recently found out.
May 16, 2014
A man surnamed Chen from Taiwan’s tech center of Hsinchu has allegedly had been spending the wee hours of the morning sneaking into a local morgue so he could ‘choke his chicken’ in front of a pretty picture of a deceased girl.
- Casey Baseel
May 15, 2014
While the recent announcement that Disney will begin broadcasting Doraemon in the U.S. this July was good news for fans of the prolific anime, many were just as quickly disappointed at the extensive changes being made in an effort to make the show more accessible for Americans in its target preschool and elementary-school age brackets. Many have said that if so much tinkering has to be done, why not just make a new series from the ground up?
After all, that’s exactly what Japanese production company Toei did when they brought Marvel’s Spider-Man to Japan in the 1970s.
China’s Huizhou can count several water-based tourist stops within its expansive city limits. Nearby Daya Bay is dotted with islands and beaches, and the town’s hot springs’ mineral contents are said to soothe a number of ailments.
Recently, Huizhou’s waters once again attracted attention, although not necessarily of the positive sort, when one of its rivers suddenly turned a vibrant hue of red.
Japanese fashion magazines seem to be serious in declaring the high-waist bikini the hot look for the upcoming swimsuit season. Of course, we’ve had unique fashionistas try to sell us on keyboard hats and sausage gloves, neither of which turned out to be the next big thing.
So, with just a little over a month before it’s time to hit the beach, how does the Japanese online community feel about the high-waist bikini?
- Casey Baseel
May 14, 2014
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine gave me an umbrella with a handle that looks like the hilt of a katana. It’s actually really well-made, while I’ve never had to use the crosspiece to protect my hand from rival swordsmen’s strikes, it does provide a nice bit of extra grip during typhoons and lesser storms with gale-force winds.
There is one problem, though. When it’s closed up, and all you can see is the handle, it looks a little too much like a samurai blade, and I feel a little self-conscious carrying it in public. So maybe it’s time I switched to something a no less unique but a whole lot more innocuous: like an umbrella shaped like a giant Welsh onion.
May 14, 2014
Usually it’s the Hollywood starlets and sea monsters that get scrutinized for every centimeter their waist expands, but this week, it’s North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un who is under the fat-o-scope.
Free North Korea Radio is reporting the diminutive dictator has ballooned by about 20 kilos (44 pounds) since he became top dog, lending credence to rumors that he has been gorging himself on food and booze to deal with the stress of running his country and executing family and friends.
- Internet survey sheds light on how Japanese women deal with the hair ‘down there’1
- Gamer discovers his deceased father’s ghost on an old Xbox game, challenges it to a race2
- Nara’s deer continue their summertime tradition of commandeering one of the city’s streets3
- Toyokazu Nagano’s “Magic Road” – the funniest, most adorable photos you’ll see today4
- Japanese Twitter users report an increase in ninja cat sightings as summer settles in【Photos】5
- Japanese critic shares his (kinda weird) views on Japanese vs Western adult entertainment6
- 【TBT】Tipping in Japan: Yes, it exists and it’s confusing7
- Actress/sexpert Aya Sugimoto founds organization for animal welfare in Japan8
- Run For Your Lives! Zombie-infested obstacle course heading to Singapore this October【Video】9
- Japanese adult video star’s dramatic plastic surgery sets internet abuzz10
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker1
- Middle-aged Chinese man’s “stomach pains” turn out to be his first period as a woman2
- This man’s face left Chinese internet users in amazement, agony and confusion 【Photos】3
- Creative pet “haircuts”: Funky or funny? You decide.4
- Man kidnaps, imprisons 11-year-old to raise her to be his “ideal girl”5
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!6
- More than one way to skin a cat? Japanese YouTuber shows how to “open” a cat with belly rubs7
- Is Attack on Titan a documentary? Mikasa spotted in Russia!8
- Inconsiderate commuter behavior in Korea – A photo guide9
- 12 beautiful Japanese train stations by the sea10
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!1
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker2
- Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!3
- Japanese politician screams and cries at press conference as he defends expenses claims【Video】4
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!5
- “Retweet if you thought I was a girl”: This beautiful young man, in his own words【Photos】6
- Japanese giant salamander caught taking a stroll on land7
- 16 photos that show why Singapore has the world’s best airline8
- German team hero Mario Gotze wins World Cup, later loses dignity thanks to gross pic9
- These anime mascots are just what the World Cup has been missing!10
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker1
- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!2
- Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup3
- Doggy gets upset over his new haircut, walks around on hind legs like a boss for two days4
- Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it5
- Internet falls in love with Chinese cosplaying beauty, disappointed to hear she’s a guy 【Updated】6
- Not your average Bulbasaur: Mayan-style Pokemon7
- Chinese student asks for cooked sushi at Sukibayashi Jiro, gets flamed by Chinese netizens8
- What if Sailor Moon characters were lingerie models? They’d look stunning like this 【Photos】9
- The official Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist trailer just made our day【Video】10
- Japanese critic shares his (kinda weird) views on Japanese vs Western adult entertainment
- 【TBT】Tipping in Japan: Yes, it exists and it’s confusing
- Actress/sexpert Aya Sugimoto founds organization for animal welfare in Japan
- Run For Your Lives! Zombie-infested obstacle course heading to Singapore this October【Video】
- Japanese adult video star’s dramatic plastic surgery sets internet abuzz
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker
- Enjoy latte art at home with cute marshmallow cats!
- Korean drama advances slap technology with ancient Korean recipe
- Our take on Studio Ghibli’s newest anime, When Marnie Was There【Impressions】
- Summer in China means crazy-crowded pools, which somehow mean fun for some easy-going swimmers
- International survey finds that 90% are open to a romantic encounter with a Korean partner
- The top 20 most eagerly anticipated anime of summer 2014, as chosen by fans!
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!