weird

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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Toast with fermented soybeans and honey may not be good-looking, but it is good eating

Toast with fermented soybeans and honey may not be good-looking, but it is good eating

There are plenty of Japanese foods that meet little to no resistance on the Western palate. Soba noodles and beef bowls tend to go down easily for new arrivals, and while the weirdness factor may take some time to get over, not too many people have complaints about the flavor of things like raw fish and cod roe.

There is, however, one hurdle in Japanese gastronomic assimilation that is so high that some people never clear it: natto, or fermented soybeans. Recently, we took on the notoriously challenging (and smelly) natto with the help of a powerful ally, honey.

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Japanese pro wrestlers become anime girls for new trading card game

Japanese pro wrestlers become anime girls for new trading card game

Well here’s something we never thought we’d see or even imagine or think about or have any interest in.

For some reason popular Ring Dream: Girl’s Pro Wrestling Battle online trading card game, which lets players pit their anime girl wrestlers against each other for in-game prizes and bragging rights, is teaming with Japanese pro wrestling association DDT to turn some of DDT’s most popular male wrestlers into in-game characters. In-game female characters.

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Playing with middle-aged men: What’s with the new rash of “oji-san” smartphone apps?

Playing with middle-aged men: What’s with the new rash of “oji-san” smartphone apps?

You might think that middle-aged is synonymous with uncool, but middle-aged men in Japan, or oji-san, are currently something of a hot item.

Young Japanese women find a certain type of dorky oji-san to be “totes adorbs, yo” and are driving a boom in oji-san-related goods, including quite a number of apps featuring cutely crotchety oji-sans. Here are a few we’ve recently discovered.

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Oh the things you’ll see when glancing at a nearby passenger’s phone on the trains of Japan

Oh the things you’ll see when glancing at a nearby passenger’s phone on the trains of Japan

When you’re crammed into a train car during rush hour in Japan and almost everyone has a smartphone in their hands, you sometimes can’t help but look at what someone’s doing on their phone. Moreover, when you have a mix of seated and standing commuters, things get even more interesting, enabling a perfectly positioned passenger to sneak peaks at an unsuspecting person’s private messages. As you’d expect, you come across some really weird stuff when no one thinks you’re looking. Let’s take a look at five anecdotes from passengers who just happened to glance over at their nearby passenger’s phone.

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This man’s account of single-handedly digging his own well is oddly moving

This man’s account of single-handedly digging his own well is oddly moving

Have you got what it takes to dig your own private well? Well, to be honest, the thought has never really crossed our minds before, but after watching this video we’ve sure been inspired to try (sounds like a good summer project for Mr. Sato). We’ve also learned that well-digging is not for the faint of heart. Here’s the video journal of one man’s long journey to create a well in his backyard over the course of a summer. His adventure was full of ups and downs and many frustrating moments, but the end result was worth all of the trouble, not to mention making surprisingly interesting watching. Join us after the jump for a slideshow of this strenuous undertaking!

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Japan seems just a little more terrifying with discovery of local leech’s superpower

Japan seems just a little more terrifying with discovery of local leech’s superpower

Japan is rightfully billed as being an extremely safe country, and for the most part this extends to its natural environment. Lacking the wolves of Europe and North America, the lions and hippopotami of Africa, and the poisonous everything of Australia, there really isn’t a whole lot lurking in the Japanese animal kingdom that frightens us.

Or at least there wasn’t, until we heard the news that Japan is home to a species of super leeches that can even survive being frozen.

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Scalding your subordinate with tofu – definitely not proper police procedure

Scalding your subordinate with tofu – definitely not proper police procedure

When you think about it, there really aren’t that many situations in which it’s OK to smash food into someone else’s face. I racked my brain, and could only come up with the following two:

1. You’re a pie-throwing extra in a Three Stooges movie.

2. You and your spouse share the same slapstick sense of humor, and want to smush a slice of wedding cake into each other’s’ faces at your reception.

You know what doesn’t make the list? Scalding someone’s mug with piping-hot tofu, especially if you’re a high-ranking police officer.

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Japan’s “true love tester” bra won’t open unless he gets your heartbeat up

Japan’s “true love tester” bra won’t open unless he gets your heartbeat up

It’s a chastity belt for breasts! The “true love tester” bra is the world’s first scientifically engineered undergarment for women that actually reads your body’s signals. Ravijour, the company behind this peculiar product, touts the garment as “a revolutionary bra that knows how women truly feel.” It seems the bra cannot be unhooked without “true love” and will literally pop off of the wearer upon finding that special someone.

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Plastic surgery clinic in Seoul makes art out of patients’ jaw bones

Plastic surgery clinic in Seoul makes art out of patients’ jaw bones

You like sausage, right? Of course you do. But no one ever wants to see how the sausage is made. So why did this plastic surgery clinic in Seoul think it was a good idea to display two towering columns filled with the jaw bones of their past patients? It’s enough to make you rethink your pursuit of the perfect chin.

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How many abandoned bicycles can fit in just one Tokyo pond?

How many abandoned bicycles can fit in just one Tokyo pond?

One of the odder problems you run into living in Japan is how to throw large things away. Say you’ve just bought a new bicycle, for example. In many countries you could find a charity to donate it to, or perhaps a relative or friend of a friend who’s just starting college or a career.

Japan’s predominantly middle-class society and general dislike of used durable goods means you’re unlikely to find someone willing to take your old bike off your hands, though. Trash collectors won’t haul off something that big unless you shell out an additional fee, either. In some cases, people will simply abandon their bike somewhere, such as a back alley or deserted parking lot.

Or, apparently, in a lake in one of Tokyo’s most beloved parks.

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We try french fries and chocolate sauce at Lotteria Japan

We try french fries and chocolate sauce at Lotteria Japan

We all know that there are few combinations that are better than dipping your french fries in a vanilla shake. The hot, salty fries mixed with cold, sweet ice cream…it’s a match made in cheeseburger paradise. But fries and chocolate? Japanese fast food chain, Lotteria, is betting you’ll make the jump from shakes to chocolate syrup with their new menu item. We knew we had to send Mr. Sato out to give this crazy combo a try.

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Japanese university has only one student, presumably lackluster campus life

Japanese university has only one student, presumably lackluster campus life

When it comes to education, most people put a high value on a low teacher-to-student ratio. If that is true, then St. Thomas University in Japan must be one hell of a deal, seeing as they currently have exactly one enrolled student.

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