weird

Somehow, underage drinking in Japan is about to get even easier

Somehow, underage drinking in Japan is about to get even easier

I’ve never been bothered by being asked for proof of age when buying beer. Maybe it’s because even when I was 16 I apparently already looked old enough that strangers in convenience store parking lots would ask me to buy a six pack for them, but I never took a clerk asking to see my ID as an insult. I simply accepted it as part of the societal dance necessary to procure my beloved barley juice.

Some drinkers in Japan, though, take offense at being asked for proof that they’re not minors. The Aeon Group, one of Japan’s largest retailers, has responded with a generous change in policy, and will no longer ask certain customers for confirmation of age, despite the fact that Japan’s underage drinking prevention is already ridiculously easy to circumvent.

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Japanese dentistry student makes chocolate teeth for Valentine’s Day

Japanese dentistry student makes chocolate teeth for Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day in Japan, and as the tradition goes, women and young ladies across the country have been busy preparing homemade chocolates to give out to male friends, colleagues, and that special someone. But we’re not quite sure the recipients of these grotesquely accurate chocolate teeth will be too thrilled. Uh…do you eat it one tooth at a time?

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From hot spring to hot pot: One restaurant in Tokyo is actually serving wild monkey

From hot spring to hot pot: One restaurant in Tokyo is actually serving wild monkey

Imagine yourself sitting down to a delicious warming winter meal. There’s nothing like nabe (Japanese hot pot) on a dark, cold evening. And there are so many choices! Pork, chicken, fish, seafood, monkey… Hang on a second … MONKEY?!

As soon as they heard that monkey hot-pot was on the menu at the Sakagura Niigata restaurant in Tokyo, a reporter from our Japanese sister site headed out to find out if it could possibly be true. Here’s what they found.

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Mint chocolate beer sounds great, but how does it taste? We find out

Mint chocolate beer sounds great, but how does it taste? We find out

Every year at Valentine’s Day, a slew of limited-edition chocolates are rolled out in Japan, where following the local custom, women give gifts to men. Unfortunately, while there are indeed plenty of guys with a sweet tooth, few of them really want candies shaped like butterflies and rosebuds.

Thankfully, there are a handful of more masculine alternatives, such as the Final Fantasy chocolates we recently introduced you to. But you know what’s even more manly than a video game about a dude killing monsters with a giant sword while his hot martial artist girlfriend cheers him on? Booze. Which is why today we’re knocking back a mint chocolate beer.

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I wanna have your baby! Japanese women rank nationalities by desirablity of their baby batter

I wanna have your baby! Japanese women rank nationalities by desirablity of their baby batter

Recently, 30-something Japanese women actively seeking a marriage partner were interviewed to see what nationality they would most like to father their children. Did your country make the list? Read on to find out!

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Do try this at home! 5 foods that you can recreate in taste by combining other foods

Do try this at home! 5 foods that you can recreate in taste by combining other foods

Have you ever had an experience when you ate two different foods at once, and the resulting flavor tasted like a completely different food? If yes, then don’t worry, because apparently your taste buds aren’t going crazy. Kyushu University in Japan recently publicized a list of different food combinations that mirror this phenomenon based on actual scientific research. Some of them are so outrageous that you won’t believe it until you actually try making them yourself!

Here’s a little question to get you started: What two food items should you combine in order to produce the flavor of corn soup? The answer and four more recipes after the jump.

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Insult or homage? Lady (Taking a) Liberty toys have us scratching our heads

Insult or homage? Lady (Taking a) Liberty toys have us scratching our heads

We’ve covered the strange world of gachapon toys on this site before. They are those vending machines that spit out an item in a plastic egg, and any bank of gachapon machines in Japan is sure to have a few bizarre offerings. Twitter user @dradon3 recently spotted this mystifying toy depicting the Statue of Liberty feeling free enough to let it all hang out. Says the ad copy, “Be free from all restraints that bind you.”

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3D animated gifs will take your brain to another dimension

3D animated gifs will take your brain to another dimension

Animated gifs have been knocking around on the Internet since the early ’90s; it’s about time they had an update, really. Well as luck would have it, these gifs have gone 3D! The effect is achieved by the simple addition of two vertical white lines, meaning you don’t even need your 3D glasses to enjoy them! We take a look at six of the best, as animated gifs leap into the 21st century.

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Chinese company to launch $50 headphones that don’t play music

Chinese company to launch $50 headphones that don’t play music

Back in the early heyday of the iPod, its distinctive white in-ear headphones were blamed for a sharp rise in street robbery in London because they identified the wearer as having a fancy music player valuable enough to be worth stealing. If the newest product released by Shanghai-based company King Jim takes off, though, the next zombie-like commuter you see wearing headphones might not be able to listen to any music at all thanks to Digital Earplugs (Dijitaru Mimisen in Japanese). The new device looks just like regular white headphones, but they’re not for playing your favourite tunes. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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Quiz of the Week: Round 6 (Now made with the tears of sad children*)

Quiz of the Week: Round 6 (Now made with the tears of sad children*)

*made from concentrate

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to round 6 of our weekly multiple choice quiz! We hope you’ve all had a great week and enjoyed the news we’ve had to offer, and of course that you’ve been paying close attention, because as you should probably know by now, this quiz is by no means a walk in the park–it takes years of repeated head trauma to get into this kind of mindset.

So step inside and let’s see how much of newshound you are!

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Glowing man spotted on the last train home in Tokyo

Glowing man spotted on the last train home in Tokyo

Early this morning, a peculiar fellow was spotted riding the rails in Tokyo. Wrapped in layers of lights and adorned in pink pinwheels, he didn’t even bother sitting in the half-empty carriage. Just what was this glowing man doing on the last train home? The answer may surprise you.

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Manga secret agent team has handsome looks, plus backaches, cavities, and sties

Manga secret agent team has handsome looks, plus backaches, cavities, and sties

As completely fictitious forms of media, we usually don’t see the characters in anime and manga suffering the physical ill effects of their action-packed lifestyles. Shouldn’t Evangelion’s Shinji have severe whiplash from all the times his scrawny frame gets tossed around while piloting his giant robot? How does Kenshiro, hero of post-apocalyptic epic Fist of the North Star, not get a wicked eye infection after spending the whole of his adult life wandering a desert wasteland without so much as bottle of eye drops?

The answer, of course, is that those aren’t what Evangelion and Fist of the North Star are about (they’re about turning humanity into delicious Tang and making dudes’ heads explode, respectively). But by skipping over these real world problems, are creators missing an opportunity to make their characters more nuanced, relatable, and ultimately, attractive?

At least one artist seems to think so, as a new manga series has just begun featuring a cast of handsome men all suffering from physical ailments such as hay fever and stiff shoulders.

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Ladybeard is Japan’s Bizzaro Andrew W.K.

Ladybeard is Japan’s Bizzaro Andrew W.K.

Although Andrew W.K. has sort of fallen out of the spotlight recently, he will always be in the spotlight of our hearts thanks to his manic, just-shy-of-annoyingly positive attitude, party anthems that happened to come out while we were in college and dark flowing locks.

Now Japan apparently has its own version of Andrew W.K., and, because this is Japan, the “party-rocking dude who’s always fun to be around” aesthetic has gotten sort of… twisted on the way.

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10 weird and funny things Japanese people do

10 weird and funny things Japanese people do

Not so long ago, a friend of mine from the UK came to visit me here in Japan. After showing him around town and making sure to take him to all of the most popular tourist spots, he remarked that quite a few of the subtle behaviours Japanese people exhibit seemed, while in no way offensive, remarkably different to those of our own countrymen. As we worked through a couple of the more unusual customs and behaviours that my friend had noticed, it struck me that at some point during my eight years of living here I had come to accept the everyday quirks of the people around me as entirely normal and not in the slightest bit odd.

Last year, we discussed the 10 things that we love and the 10 things we just can’t stomach about Japan, but today we at RocketNews24 felt it was time to present you with a list of random but genuine observations, from the peculiar to the downright endearing, about the Japanese people themselves. Enjoy!

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Apple cosplayer beats the rush, lines up for iPhone 6 seven months early

Apple cosplayer beats the rush, lines up for iPhone 6 seven months early

It’s been less than six months since the iPhone 5S went on sale here in Japan, but already Apple devotees are chomping at the bit to get their hands on an even newer model. One such would-be early adopted is blogger Yoppy, who’s still feeling the pain from failing in his quest to be the first person in Japan with an iPhone 5.

Not wanting to let greatness slip between his grasp two times in a row, Yoppy decided that this time he was going to line up early for the release of the upcoming iPhone 6. How early? Seven months ought to do it.

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Beautiful Korean woman earns a living with Internet videos of herself…eating dinner? 【Video】

Beautiful Korean woman earns a living with Internet videos of herself…eating dinner? 【Video】

Today, we’d like to talk to you about Seo-yeon Park, a young woman living in South Korea. Ms. Park used to have a respectable position at a business consulting firm, but being an attractive young woman, she discovered that she could attract a large audience by posting videos of herself online. Many of the people watching can’t do the things she does, others can but feel they shouldn’t. Deep down inside, though, everyone who watches Park’s videos, in which she gives herself the pleasure and satisfaction most can only dream of, secretly longs to follow her unbridled example.

Eventually, Park’s online activities, which started out as a hobby, became so encompassing that she quit her job. Her online exhibitionism is now a full-time gig for which she has adopted the stage name The Diva.

As we’re sure you’ve already guessed, Park has crossed over completely into the world of producing Internet videos of herself eating piles of delicious food, and is making a comfortable living from it.

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Woman in China knits a hat and sweater out of her own hair

Woman in China knits a hat and sweater out of her own hair

I’m sure we’ve all received gifts of clothing from loved ones that we secretly didn’t like at all. We throw them on while the gift-giver is still present in an effort to show our appreciation, but more often than not the garments are destined to spend the rest of their days in the back of a cupboard or are promptly donated to charity.

We have no qualms whatsoever about pulling on an ugly garment received from a well-meaning relative, but we doubt we could even pretend to be pleased if someone gave us a hat and sweater made out of their own hair, which is exactly what one woman in Chongqing, China came up with after collecting her fallen locks over the past 11 years.

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High-heel bandit nabbed in Tokyo, 450 pairs of women’s shoes seized

High-heel bandit nabbed in Tokyo, 450 pairs of women’s shoes seized

The hostesses of Tokyo’s red-light districts can rest easier tonight, knowing that their Jimmy Choos and Louboutins are safe. Police arrested 28-year-old Sho Sato for a rash of shoe thefts from clubs across the capital and neighboring Kanagawa and Saitama Prefectures.

Sato admitted to the charges, saying the pleasure of stealing was his—ahem!—sole reason for taking the shoes.

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Want to smooch (and brag about it) but missing a partner? How to take a kissing selfie alone

Want to smooch (and brag about it) but missing a partner? How to take a kissing selfie alone

Everyone wants to feel the joy of a simple kiss; the intimacy, the passion, the physical closeness, it’s all so nice. But there are many hurdles to successful kissing – the biggest being the fact that you need a willing and kissable partner! So what about the single people of the world? How can they fill their friends’ Facebook feed with annoying photos of themselves caught in the moment and having a nice smooch?

Enter slightly eccentric Japanese blogger Keisuke Jinushi, who lives by the mantra “There’s no time like the present” and is a self-dubbed “perpetual loner”. After his hugely successful “girlfriend hand” selfies wherein he tricked the world into believing he had a real girl of his own to feed him food and wipe ketchup of his face, Keisuke now introduces us to a foolproof technique for anyone who wants to make people think they have a kissable partner! You might get a few funny stares, though…

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Ensure your fruit never rolls away with pentagon oranges

Ensure your fruit never rolls away with pentagon oranges

From creepy pears in the shape of a baby to heart-shaped lemons and watermelons, Japan has the market cornered on unusually shaped fruit. Now we’ve come across a five-sided orange produced in Ehime Prefecture. What’s more, these pointed fruits are supposed to help you pass your school exams!

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