weird

Report says Chinese authorities are banning bikinis in video games

Report says Chinese authorities are banning bikinis in video games

As a sign of China’s continuing integration into the global community, the country’s long-standing ban on video game consoles was lifted last year. This doesn’t mean Chinese gamers are free to enjoy all that modern gaming has to offer, as censorship regulations mean certain types of content aren’t allowed.

Some of the problem areas are nebulously defined, such as restrictions on games that “besmirch the image of China” or “intentionally blacken the image of the Chinese army.” A possible upcoming addition to the list of punishable offenses is a little easier to understand: no more video game characters wearing bikinis.

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Awesome castle-like café in Shikoku lacks dragons, does have crepes and coffee

Awesome castle-like café in Shikoku lacks dragons, does have crepes and coffee

Despite its well-deserved reputation as an extremely hard-working nation, Japan is also a country that knows how to relax. Every city has a number of cafes where you can stop, sip a drink, and soak in the soothing ambiance.

Some of these establishments style themselves after a comfy living room, while others feel more like a stylish library or lounge. Or, if you happen to be in Tokushima Prefecture, there’s the café built into what appears to be a crumbling castle.

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80% of Japanese women report being hit on by strangers, indicate dudes need to try a new strategy

80% of Japanese women report being hit on by strangers, indicate dudes need to try a new strategy

In one of the most obvious conclusions since that survey that found people tend to buy potato chips in grocery stores, a new Japanese poll found that 80% of women have been hit on by strangers on the street at least once.

It’s really not surprising given that most guys have tried the random on-the-street approach at least a few times in their lives, either because of peer pressure or through a fleeting, spur-of-the-moment impulse. It seems to us as long as you’re polite and not overly aggressive, it doesn’t hurt to try, but apparently Japanese women disagree, since the poll also found that 65% of women reject those proposals outright. Why? Well…

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Make your boyfriend hate you with these Line stickers designed for pushy, clingy girlfriends

Make your boyfriend hate you with these Line stickers designed for pushy, clingy girlfriends

The social messaging service Line is a huge hit in Japan. It’s easy to use, free, and even lets you decorate your messages with stickers to add a personal touch.

All of this makes Line great for keeping in touch with your friends or dating partner. As a matter of fact, it might have just become a little too good at keeping you connected to your significant other, with a new set of stickers specially designed for clingy girlfriends.

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It may look like a tool shed, but one of Japan’s fastest trains passes through this station

It may look like a tool shed, but one of Japan’s fastest trains passes through this station

Two phrases sum up a distinct dichotomy of life in Japan. The first is gambaru, to do one’s best, and it lies at the root of so many of the country’s academic, economic, and scientific achievements.

On the other hand, you’ve also got gaman suru, to put up with things, which is why the same country which produces so many handy gadgets still seems largely fine making do without things such as garbage disposals and clothes dryers.

These two equal but opposite attitudes seem to have collided at Toge Station in Yamagata Prefecture, a distinctly low-tech structure with a connection to one of Japan’s most impressive engineering feats.

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In a shocking twist, some idol singers really will go out with you if you buy their albums

In a shocking twist, some idol singers really will go out with you if you buy their albums

When you really stop and think about it, the concept of idol singers is a little strange. At its core, the idea is to leverage the performers’ good looks into higher sales than they could achieve through their musical talents alone.

We realize that in face-to-face dealings, there’s very little a guy won’t do for a pretty girl, if for no reason other than to raise his chances of getting a date with her by even the tiniest fraction of a percentage. But does it really make sense for hard-core fans to try to impress their idol of choice? Regardless of how many copies of your favorite singer’s albums you buy, it’s not like she’s going to go out with you or anything.

Unless, of course, you’re talking about the idol group AeLL.

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BuzzFeed’s image of post-beer ramen in Japan is soberingly off base【Video】

BuzzFeed’s image of post-beer ramen in Japan is soberingly off base【Video】

A few months ago, BuzzFeed posted a video titled What Does the World Eat for Breakfast? The video’s representative morning meal for the United States – pancakes, eggs, and bacon – was an old-fashioned if not inaccurate choice, but we couldn’t say the same thing about the funky menu selected for Japan, which was unlike anything anyone on our team, Japanese natives included, had ever started their day with.

So when we heard the same crew was back with a new video about post-drinking foods from around the world, and that once again Japan was featured, we were both a little honored to be included, and a little worried about what would end up on the plate this time.

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“We’ve got nice breasts!” – Osaka’s eye-catching ads for chicken, pickles, and more

“We’ve got nice breasts!” – Osaka’s eye-catching ads for chicken, pickles, and more

Two things the residents of Osaka are known for are their sense of humor and acute business acumen. This is, after all, the city that produces far more comedians than any other in Japan, and also a town where the local greeting translates to “Are you making any money?”

Just a few blocks west of Osaka Castle you can find a place where these two characteristics mix together. The merchants of the Fuminosato shopping arcade are well aware that passersby are much more likely to put cash in your hand if you can put a smile on their face first, which is just what the local businesses do with their sometimes funny, sometime quirky, always eye-catching posters.

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Here comes a new challenger: Will Brazilian “human Ken doll” ascend to the doll people throne?

Here comes a new challenger: Will Brazilian “human Ken doll” ascend to the doll people throne?

A Brazilian cosmetic surgery addict admits that he has spent around US$150,000 chasing the dream of looking like a Ken doll come to life.

Rodrigo Alves, who recently acknowledged that he suffers from body dysmorphia and is seeking therapy, says he’s undergone around 20 separate surgeries to achieve his goal. Just some of the operations included: arm fillers and pectoral implants, ab implants, calf reshaping, numerous nose jobs, botox injections and several rounds of liposuction. Presumably he also paid good money on eye surgery to get that perfect Ken doll “soulless gaze.”

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We try extra-unique souvenir sold by soon-to-be world heritage site — silkworm chocolate!

We try extra-unique souvenir sold by soon-to-be world heritage site — silkworm chocolate!

One of the happier pieces of news to grace media headlines in Japan recently has been the announcement that the Tomioka Silk Mill, located in Gunma Prefecture, is expected to make the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in June this year. With everyone excited about this historic building becoming the eighteenth recognized World Heritage site in Japan, the mill is sure to attract an enormous tourist crowd during the current Golden Week holidays which go on until next Tuesday, as well as the upcoming summer season.

But even before all this buzz, Tomioka Silk Mill had its very own brand of souvenir chocolates, and they have now been attracting quite a bit of attention in Japan — not just because of the silk mill’s soon-to-be expected World Heritage status, but because of the utterly unique (and some may even say grotesque) appearance of the chocolates. Yes, as you can see from the picture, they’re silkworm chocolates!

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Burger King launches perplexing ‘PooPoo Smoothie’ in China

Burger King launches perplexing ‘PooPoo Smoothie’ in China

Burger King has raised some eyebrows with its latest menu addition in China, called the “PooPoo Smoothie.”

The drink as similar to a Taiwanese boba tea, or bubble tea, and has pulp-like “pearls” inside that are supposed to “explode in your mouth upon consumption,” according to the Daily Meal.

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Fishermen in Hokkaido hope their shrimpy anime mascot will convince you to eat more ebi

Fishermen in Hokkaido hope their shrimpy anime mascot will convince you to eat more ebi

When you’re in charge of marketing for an organization with a name as bland as Kitarumoi Fishery Cooperative Association, we can see how you’d come to the conclusion that your employer could use a quick injection of stylishness and visual appeal in the public eye. This being Japan, there are two quick ways to do this.

The first is to hire a popular actress or idol singer, dress her up in a short skirt and/or revealing top, and get her to pose with whatever product you’re promoting, which in the case of the Kitarumoi Fishery Cooperative Association is currently amaebi, or sweet shrimp.

We’re not sure if this was cost prohibitive or if every spokesmodel on the company’s shortlist turned out to have a shellfish allergy, but the marketing team instead went with plan B: turn the shrimp they’re selling into a cute anime girl.

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Shark shocks Ibaraki aquarium staff by swallowing…another shark

Shark shocks Ibaraki aquarium staff by swallowing…another shark

With only about 20,000 residents, the city of Oarai, in Ibaraki Prefecture, isn’t exactly bursting with entertainment options. If you do find yourself with some time to kill there, though, you could stop by the Aqua World aquarium, where aquatic life including sea lions, jellyfish, and dolphins are on hand to greet visitors.

The facility is even home to a number of sharks. Don’t worry, they’re not man-eaters or anything. The sharks might just eat each other, though.

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Uncanny Kim Jong-un cosplay as dangerous as it is hilarious

Uncanny Kim Jong-un cosplay as dangerous as it is hilarious

Normally, cosplaying isn’t something generally considered to put you at risk of bodily harm. Sure, there’s the odd horror story of a would-be Jedi’s lightsaber being confiscated at the airport or a Metal Gear Solid cosplayer nearly getting into an all-out gun battle with a SWAT team (who are only familiar with Call of Duty).

Well, we don’t actually know if that last scenario has ever happened, but we’re certain if there’s one thing you might want to think twice about cosplaying as, it’s a ruthless dictator and known human rights violator. Like, for example, if you’re going to the Comic Con as the sometimes adorable, sometimes terrifying leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, you might want to be careful the costume isn’t so good that people actually think you’re the real deal.

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Zooey Deschanel’s trendy new bag makes her look like she mugged a Japanese grade schooler

Zooey Deschanel’s trendy new bag makes her look like she mugged a Japanese grade schooler

As dyed-in-the-wool Japanophiles, we’re always happy when something from Japan catches on overseas. Not too long ago, if you lived outside of Japan and liked your fish raw, or your music Japanese, you were part of a pretty small group. Now, though, it seems like every coastal city in the U.S. needs at least one good sushi restaurant in order to claim a respectable dining scene, and J-pop acts go abroad to play in front of adoring, passionate fans.

So when the writers at our Japanese-language sister site told us a new fashion trend with Japanese roots was winning over American fashionistas, including actress and musician Zooey Deschanel, we thought maybe we were about to get the inside line on the summer’s hottest look.

Then, we found out what she was wearing, and we got a chuckle instead.

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Freaky veggies trending in Japanese groceries, possible precursor to real-life “The Last of Us”

Freaky veggies trending in Japanese groceries, possible precursor to real-life “The Last of Us”

So, apparently numerous ’50s and ’60s B-Movies (and one glorious ’80s cartoon) and a popular, genre-defining video game weren’t enough to deter scientists from playing God with plant-life if the growing number of hybrid vegetables available on Japanese store shelves is any proof.

These days, most hybrid vegetables are created over a roughly 10-year period of crossbreeding certain seeds in what we presume is some kind of laboratory setting, although the practice has been alive for centuries – yielding some hybrids that the general public isn’t even aware are hybrids. The Romanesco, for example, is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, and was created in the 16th century. Side note: It’s also probably mind blowing to look at while high.

But the things we’re seeing increasingly often in Japan these days are just plain weird.

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There’s a restaurant in China where all the food is prepared and served by robots

There’s a restaurant in China where all the food is prepared and served by robots

The Robot Restaurant in China’s Heilongjiang Province is a conventional restaurant in every sense, save the glaring exception that the food is prepared and served entirely by an army of 20 robots with just a modicum of human oversight.

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Toilet paper featuring Miffy the bunny promises to be far cuter before you use it than after

Toilet paper featuring Miffy the bunny promises to be far cuter before you use it than after

Dutch children’s book author and artist Dick Bruna has created a number of characters, but his most popular of all is the good-natured rabbit named Miffy. Japan has embraced the character wholeheartedly, and at stores across the country you can find Miffy stuffed animals, stationary, and bento boxes.

And starting next month, you’ll be able to get your hands on Miffy toilet paper as well.

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Bangkok’s Snake Farm: Saving lives and teaching the world about snake penises 【Photos】

Bangkok’s Snake Farm: Saving lives and teaching the world about snake penises 【Photos】

Did you know that a king cobra has venom powerful enough to bring down an elephant? Were you aware that snake anti-venom is produced by injecting venom into horses? How about about that snakes have two penises, called hemipenes, that they alternate?

You can learn all these crazy serpent facts and more at Bangkok’s Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute and Snake Farm, as well as take in a snake handling show, a venom extraction demonstration, and check out about 40 different species of snakes endemic to Thailand.

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All-in-one bed is perfect for you, you lazy bum (Also, why don’t you get a job?)

All-in-one bed is perfect for you, you lazy bum (Also, why don’t you get a job?)

We can all agree that being lazy is the best. There’s nothing quite like spending a weekend catching up on Game of Thrones, stuffing your face with pizza and taking care of certain, uh… solo carnal needs (Just me?). That said, laziness can be a slippery slope. One too many unproductive weekends can easily turn into a vicious cycle of booze, potato chips and Three’s Company reruns just as addictive as any illicit substance.

That’s why this all-in-one lazy-enabling bed is probably downright dangerous.  With the proper placement, this bed allows you to do practically anything other than go to the bathroom without ever taking a single step away from your mattress.

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