weird

Google’s English translation for short Japanese phrase hints at huge, TV-series-length backstory

As handy as online Japanese-to-English dictionaries are for looking up individual vocabulary words, automated translation programs tend to spit out much spottier results. A big part of the problem is how much more Japanese relies on context for meaning, which in turn means speakers can, and often do, abbreviate and omit whole words and phrases which human listeners can easily understand implicitly.

Automated programs, though, lack this ability, which means their translations are often missing vital elements needed for the sentence to make sense in English. It’s a problem software engineers and linguists are trying to address, but adding such soft logic to machines is a difficult endeavor.

In at least one case, though, the Google Translate team seems to have been too effective, as trying to convert a Japanese phrase meaning, “Goodbye, my beloved” into English produces a result that seems to have roughly 38 hours of backstory behind it.

Read More

Japanese Twitter users celebrate Knee-High Socks Day with flirty and freaky snapshots

Since Japan is on the other side of the International Date Line from the U.S., while American families were sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, it was already Friday, November 28 in Japan. Even still, there were celebrations going on simultaneously in the two countries, as November 28 is also known in some circles in Japan as Knee-High Socks Day.

We feel it’s important to spread the word about this unofficial holiday, so just as we did 12 months ago, we’re back again with the Japanese Internet’s best contributions to the day’s festivities. This year, though, Knee-High Socks Day is about more than just appreciating female thighs, as Twitter users are putting their own weird and humorous spin on just who or what can participate.

Read More

In Japan, nothing says “Merry Christmas, Baby” like greasy convenience store chicken

We all know that KFC is a big, big deal in Japan around Christmas-time. Families order huge Christmas platters for the holiday and singles celebrate by inviting friends over and bringing home a bucket of Special Recipe.

While it may strike Westerners as a delightfully quirky example of holidays getting lost in translation this side of the Pacific, to the Japanese, it’s a cherished tradition. And, of course, a multi-million dollar cash cow for KFC; one that convenience store chains are always eager to get a piece of.

Read More

Ouch! Ouch!! Ouch!!! Man in China hit by three cars while “crossing” the street

Context is everything in determining what constitutes a long time. For example, if your boss rewards you for finishing up a long, difficult project by permitting you to take a seven-second vacation, I’m guessing you’d find that amount of time to be less than sufficient. On the other hand, if I asked you to calm a hamster that’s both frenzied and weaponized by pressing it firmly against the warmth of your breast for seven seconds, I have a hunch that’s longer than you’d be willing to hold out for.

Seven seconds is also way too long to be chilling in the middle of the road as you cross the street. That sort of lollygagging is liable to get you hit by a car, or, if you’re this man in China, three of them.

While you won’t see any blood or gore, be aware that this article’s title is not a clever play on words, and it really does contain video of a dude getting hit by multiple automobiles.

Read More

Timpani drummer’s crazy finale is startling, funny, more metal than you’d expect from a symphony

There’s not a whole lot of crossover between the worlds of sports and classical music. Concert pianists generally don’t play the piano with one hand while dribbling a basketball with the other, and I can’t recall the last time I saw a proper squad of cheerleaders accompanying an orchestra.

Likewise, even though “Get your head in the game!” is one of the most commonly shouted phrases in sports, I don’t think you have concert-goers yelling “Get your head in the symphony!” Not that this drummer needed to be told that, though, as shown by the startling flourish he put on the end of his performance.

Read More

We test the mayonnaise hair pack, plus give vegetable and olive oil a shot, and the winner is…

Recently, do-it-yourself mayonnaise hair packs have caught the attention of people who want to look their best, save a little cash, and maybe find a second use for that jumbo-sized jar of the condiment they picked up at Costco. And while we don’t know where she sources her mayo from, our Japanese-language correspondent Shimazu was one of those intrigued by this possible meeting of the beauty and culinary worlds.

So to see if it’s really as good for your hair as its fans say, Shimazu hopped in the shower, lathered up, and slapped on a coat of mayo. She didn’t stop there, though, as she also grabbed a couple of other bottles from her kitchen so she could compare the results versus treating her hair with vegetable and olive oil.

Read More

Got a beef with Japan’s Christmas shortcakes? Then try one made out of chicken

I like Christmas. I get that some people feel it’s over-commercialized, but for me, I’m happy to see some nice decorations and have an excuse to get together with family and friends. Really, the only complaint I’ve got is the cake.

See, in Japan, you can’t celebrate Christmas without a cake. Ordinarily, adding cake to just about anything makes it better, with “a mug of beer” being the sole exception I’ve found so far. But almost every Christmas party here features the exact same “Christmas cake.” It’s basically a strawberry shortcake, which, by my criteria, is sorely lacking in the three most important ingredients of a really good cake, which are, in no particular order, chocolate frosting, chocolate sponge, and chocolate filling.

So if you’ve also got a beef with the standard Christmas cake, maybe you’d prefer one that’s made out of chicken.

Read More

Love curry? Why not wear it around your neck? Plastic food neckpieces get netizens talking

Japan sure loves its plastic replica food. It’s a handy way for restaurants to demonstrate the dishes on offer, and it’s an absolute godsend for tourists who don’t read Japanese. Instead of grappling with menus written in complicated characters, they can simply point at the tasty plastic versions. In recent years, however, plastic food has found its way toward decorating all sorts of objects, from phone cases to accessories. We think that things might have gotten a bit out of hand, however, because now you can apparently wear a serving of plastic food around your neck. Join us after the jump to see the whole range!

Read More

Pretty Russian sports fan lets loose animal roar to support her team, terrify humanity 【Video】

I think most Japanese are completely fascinated by the nexus of beauty and horror. How else can you explain something like Kyari Pyamu Pyamu?

This week, that particular itch is being scratched by a YouTube video making the media rounds. In it, a pretty Russian spectator cheers her handball team by unleashing what can only be described as bestial hell yowling. Or the vocals for Gwar.

Read More

The newer, cheaper Kakureya II: The perfect secret fort/box for studying, drinking, or napping

With Japanese housing being as cramped as it is, designating a whole room as a man cave, reading nook, sewing room, or any other sort of area solely dedicated to your hobbies and passions is an unattainable luxury for many people. That’s why earlier this year, we took a look at the Kakureya, an enclosed capsule where you could have a little private me time as you watch movies, listen to music, or relax with some aroma therapy, among other suggestions from the manufacturer.

After all the attention the initial model received, it’s now time for a follow-up, with the Kakureya II, an improved version that offers even more creature comfort at a price about half that of the original.

Read More

Unsettling softball-playing scarecrows keep Japanese town entertained, creeped out

Living in the Japanese countryside has many advantages, from access to the freshest produce to breathing clean air, but for many who love the big city, the slow-paced lifestyle and lack of attractions can make rural life quite boring.

But one Japanese man living in a town outside of Fukuoka in southern Japan is showing us life doesn’t have to be boring when you have access to several dozen scarecrows, old softball uniforms and an open rice field. Every November after the rice is harvested, he dresses scarecrows up as softball players and has them “play” a month-long game, keeping score the entire time.

Read More

Pawsitively ameowzing! Japan’s crazy cat people create cute crafts with kitty fur

Kitty owners out there will know that the struggle is real when it comes to battling shedding, especially if you have a long-haired cat. But what to do with all those clumps of fur that accumulate after a brushing? Well, netizens in Japan have begun recycling unwanted feline detritus by utilizing an innovative method of crafting to create beautiful works of furry art, meaning that not a whisker needs to be wasted! Join us after the jump for more on these critter creations!

Read More

Nagoya store’s lanky mannequin gets Naruto makeover

The Meitetsu Department Store in Nagoya, Japan has a distinctive mannequin outside its men’s department. Nana-chan is a popular meeting spot because she’s easy to spot in the shopping district — she’s 20 feet tall. The staff change her outfits monthly, but recently she’s wearing an orange jumpsuit that fans of a certain ninja will recognize.

Read More

The weirder the better? These Japanese zakka are hot sellers in Korea

There are many Japanese products that are popular overseas, such as Japanese snacks, beauty products, character goods… the list goes on. Character franchises aside, some of the more common reasons why people living outside of Japan purchase Japanese products is because they generally tend to be produced under higher quality and hygiene standards, and more often than not come in temptingly beautiful or cute packaging.

Japanese zakka (sundries/miscellaneous goods), however, are popular for entirely different reasons. Check out these Japanese zakka that a Korean retailer has picked for their website to get a clearer idea of what tempts the purse strings of Korean consumers!

Read More

We don’t know what Vanadium is either, but Asahi put it in a drink for you anyway

On November 18, Asahi released its new Fuji-san Vanadium Natural Water Hot, apparently banking on the idea that regular convenience store-going human beings would both a) know what Vanadium is, and b) actually want to consume just plain hot water out of a bottle.

Read More

Check out these cool ways to enjoy hot springs in Oita, including eating and breathing them

Oita, on the eastern coast of Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, has taken to billing itself as Onsen-ken. And while that title loses a bit of its rhyming appeal once it’s translated into English, it’s hard to deny that it really is the Hot Spring Prefecture, as Oita boasts more hot springs than anywhere else in Japan.

As a matter of fact, Oita has so much geothermal water that it can get creative with its most attractive and relaxing natural resource, as shown by these unique ways locals and tourists can enjoy the prefecture’s hot springs.

Read More

Nissin Cup Noodle is offering a promotional life-size water-dispensing cow

Yes, you read that title correctly! As part of their promotional campaign for the “Milk Seafood” flavor of cup noodle, Nissin is giving away a life-size plastic cow water dispenser to one lucky instant ramen fan. Simply fill up your cow with water, wait for the cow to heat up, and then “milk” out as much hot water as you need to fill up your Cup Noodle. Join us after the jump for a look at the amusing commercial behind this wacky promotion!

Read More

Artist combines terracotta warriors from ancient China with some familiar modern faces

In 1974, some farmers in Xi’an, China, stumbled upon a funerary army buried with the first Qin emperor comprised of more than 8,000 terracotta soldiers. Their fierce, noble faces belied their intent to protect the emperor even in death, while their military dress and kit, all recreated in detail, gave them the means to do so.

Now an artist in San Francisco is herself recreating some of these World Heritage statues, but there’s something just a bit off about the faces…

Read More

Posing like a (video game) boss! Villainous and heroic cats look ready for a role-playing epic

Lighting is an important part of photography. Arrange some candles on a table one way before you press the shutter button, and you’ve got a snapshot of a romantic dinner. Position everything differently, and you’ve got a spooky séance.

The same goes for if you’re photographing your pet cat. Under certain conditions, he might look like a fluffy little fuzzball, but if the flash reflects off his eyes just right, suddenly he’ll transform into a sinister monster, like this guy here.

Actually, Internet users in Japan recently put together what looks like the core cast of a fantasy role-playing game, with villains and heroes alike represented.

Read More

New stir-in powders promise to make beer even more delicious with boosted malt, fruit flavors

Last year, we talked about seasoning maker Ajigen’s Magic Powder that Makes Ramen More Delicious. Weird as the idea seemed initially, the more we thought about it, we realized it could be just the thing for people with a desire for a tasty meal but no time or motivation to cook for themselves.

That said, if your schedule is so packed you need to prepare dinner in three minutes, we’re guessing you also can’t spare the time for a trip to the bar and a pour of some flavorful and unique craft brew. Thankfully, Ajigen is back again with more magic powder, this time for your beer.

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. ...
  12. 50
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 18,673 other followers