On a recent trip to Naha, Okinawa, our correspondent spotted a Starbucks t-shirt which, at first glance, looked like a factory reject, but turned out to be a clever tip of the hat to traditional Okinawan culture.

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KURATAS, Japan’s $1.25 Million Dollar Dream Come True, is Selling Like Giant Robot Hotcakes

Japan came up with Gandam, a huge robot that, along with his driver, protects the world from all sorts of evil, so it is likely that they would come up with KURATAS, a true to life robot that can be manipulated from a cockpit inside.

As we reported awhile ago, KURATAS is the creation of a blacksmith iron and steel artist Mr. Kogoro Kurata. And, as we mentioned a few weeks back, the mech was opened to orders in October after two and a half years of tinkering around in the workshop.

So just how has demand for KURATAS, which carries a hefty $1.25 million price tag, been?

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New Magic Liquid Makes any Pair of Gloves Touchscreen Friendly

As great as touchscreen-operated mobile devices are, they’re a real pain in the neck when it comes to winter and you have to pull off your gloves to operate them.

It’s fine if you stop in a cafe or restaurant where you can slip your gloves off and type a quick message or check an email, but when an unexpected phonecall comes in and you’re left swiping at the unlock screen like a cat pawing at the TV during a nature show, you soon grow to hate using a smartphone in winter.

Gloves with special metal fibres in the tips have been on the market for a couple of years now, but they’re not always of the greatest quality. And even if you do find a decent pair, what if you already have a pair of gloves that you’re attached to and would rather use instead?

Japanese company Onsight might just have the perfect solution…

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LSH Pork Cutlet: It’s Finger Sucking Good!

Everyone wants a little KFC, but Asia in particular has embraced the greasy wings served up by everyone’s favorite self-made restaurateur Colonel Sanders.  In Japan, the Colonel is so beloved his statues can be found outside of nearly every franchise – often in costume.  He even enjoys the same privacy rights as other citizens.

He is also the victim of various copycats this side of the Pacific. In Korea there is said to be a knock-off restaurant operating right next to a legitimate KFC in broad daylight.  We sent Kuzo in for reconnaissance.

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Flip-Book Animator Strikes Again with Emotional New Music Video

Just last week we featured the work of Japanese comedian and animator Tekken when British band Muse adopted his heart-rending flip-book animation Pendulum as the official video for one of their tracks.

So imagine our surprise when Warner Music Japan unveiled the artist’s latest animation as the music video for Toshihide Baba’s inspiring track “Yowai Mushi” earlier this week.

The track’s title literally translates as “weak insect”, but we could perhaps better interpret it as “weakling” or “wimp”. Although it’s perhaps not quite as tear-jerking as Pendulum, Yowa Mushi still manages to touch even our cold, unfeeling hearts…

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Korean Feces Wine is a Real Thing and We’ve Got Two Bottles of it, Contains Cat Bones as Well

Ttongsul, or “feces wine”, is a Korean drink made by pouring soju, a distilled grain alcohol,  into a pit filled with chicken, dog, or human feces, and leaving the mixture in the pit for three to four months until it ferments. It is then extracted from the pit and drank straight, with the belief that it can cure illness and help in the aid of bone fractures.

It sounds like the stuff of urban legends, but Ttongsul is indeed a real beverage that, while by no means popular, can still be found if you know where to look.

How can we be sure? After nearly six months of extensive research, RocketNews24 was able to track down a private Ttongsul vendor in South Korea and procure a bottle of the elusive feces wine ourselves.

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People’s Hottie of China; Xin Yuan Zhang’s One-In-A-Billion Looks

The happiest day of my life is when I was chosen the hottest guy in my World of Warcraft guild, but that was only five guys and two of them were allergic to sunlight.

So I can only imagine how thrilled Xin Yuan Zhang must be as she is currently the number one hot girl in China, a country of 1.3 billion people. It’s important to note that she didn’t earn this honor by going through China’s impeccable beauty pageant circuit. She earned her notoriety through the people of the internet, making her truly the People’s Hottie of China.

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Rip-off or Coincidence? Tokyo University Students Win Prize for Video Remarkably Similar to Well-Known 2010 Creation

If no-one ever copied anyone else, fire would have died along with the first humans to create it. Social creatures that we are, human beings copy, modify and improve what has gone before in order to succeed; it’s just a part of life.

But when it comes to artistic creation, borrowing ideas from another person’s work isn’t usually looked on quite so favourably.

In September this year, a group of students from a Tokyo university received the first prize in the Shinjuku Creators Festa 2012 for a short film that shares more than a passing resemblance to Pixels, a video created by French film creator Patrick Jean in 2010.

Whether intentional or not, the similarities between the two creations are startling, land have led to an online debate, with many calling the young team’s work “a simple rip-off”…

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Hello Kitty’s Superhero Alter Ego Gets Latex Slave…er, Sidekick

Last year, Sanrio unveiled Hello Kitty’s strawberry-eared superhero alter ego, Ichigoman (‘ichigo’ means ‘strawberry’ in Japanese).

According to official canon, Hello Kitty transforms into Ichigoman when she raises her strawberry smartphone into the air and, together with a crowd of enthusiastic supporters, shouts “power the kitty!” with the force of several million hertz.

As Ichigoman, Kitty uses her strawberry powers to fight monsters and other evils born from the hearts of the wicked. She’s also known to do quite a number on consumer’s wallets.

Now, after a year of going solo, Sanrio has finally given Ichigoman a partner to fight crime with: Darkgrapeman, a sidekick whose passion for justice is matched only by his fetish for latex.

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New Diet Soft Drink “Pepsi Special” Released in Japan, Promises to Restrict Fat Absorption

Pepsi will release a new cola in Japan that contains “fat-blockers” to help prevent the absorption of fat in the body.  The secret to Pepsi Special’s fat-blocking power is dextrin, a fiber molecule that is said to prevent the digestive system from absorbing fat.

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Disney’s Dreamland Illuminations in Harajuku Light up Your World, You Won’t Want to Go Home

In celebration of Walt Disney’s 110th Anniversary, Disney has put together a literal dreamland of illumination displays in Harajuku, Tokyo.  A part of the larger “Walt Disney 110th Anniversary Omotesando Harajuku Dream Together Project 2012,” these light displays are open from November 1st to December 25 and are already drawing crowds of viewers.

Our female correspondent visited the display last week and tells us that while Harajuku’s Disney Dreamland illumination event is a must see for Disney lovers, even if you aren’t a Disney fan, you will surely be impressed by this awesome display of lights.

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Ring in the New Year with this New Skirt-Lifting Calendar

Aaah, skirt lifting! Those were the days! Running through the hallways at school, twanging bra straps, calling your friends “gay” when they admitted to liking a girl…

If only we could bring a little bit of that revelry back into our adult lives without being arrested or shunned by friends.

Well, thanks to creative designer Kaori Kato’s new “Skirt-lifting Calendar”, from the beginning of 2013 you can lift a highschool girl’s skirt as often as you like without ever risking incarceration or bringing shame on your family…

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Disturbing Pikachu Statue Spotted at Chinese Animation Festival

We’ve seen creepy Pokémon art before, but these statues seen at an animation festival in China are enough to give even a Haunter nightmares.

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Kyoto Bullying Awareness Event Sees Teenager Topple Demon in Wrestling Match, Sends Powerful Message to Bullies

It’s been quite the day for vanquishing bullies here on RocketNews24. First we heard the story of a violent club host being arrested following outcry on the internet, and now a pro wrestling teenager has taken down a demon in an effort to raise awareness of the bullying in Japan’s schools.

As reported by Asahi Digital, in a special pro wrestling event held last Sunday in Kamigyou ward, Kyoto, a young man who once suffered at the hands of school bullies put on an incredible show by quite literally wrestling “The King of Bullies” to the ground.

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One Piece Creator Eiichiro Oda’s Take on Himura Kenshin is…Insulting, at Best

Ruroni Kenshin, or Samurai X, as it was originally known in English, is one of the most beloved manga of all time.

Some would say it’s even better than the best-selling manga of all time, One Piece. Others would point out that they’re both good in their own right and shouldn’t be compared. After all, both are representative works of Shonen Jump magazine, and One Piece artist, Eiichiro Oda, even used to be an assistant for Nobuhiro Watsuki when he was working on Ruroni Kenshin.

In fact, Oda respects his former sensei so much that he even contributed a stylized portrait of Ruroni Kenshin‘s hero, Himura Kenshin, to the most recent issue of Shonen Jump. 

The only problem is it looks nothing like Kenshin.

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Explosion in China Claims the Life of Down Jacket, Washing Machine Left in Critical Condition

As this autumn is just flying by, we’ll all have to break out our winter gear soon, if not already.  For one woman in China it was time to buy a new winter coat to cope with the lowering temperatures.

Little did she know, that new fluffy down jacket was a ticking time bomb that went off right inside of her home washing machine.

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Instant Ramen Maker Sets up Tiny Restaurant in Shibuya Station: Three Dollar Lunch, Anyone?

Japanese food manufacturer Nissin, maker of incredibly popular “like fresh” instant noodle brand Raō, has taken the unusual step of opening a tiny restaurant of its own in Shibuya station, Tokyo. The restaurant opened just yesterday and is situated, of all places, in the very centre of the busy Yamanote line platform.

The miniature restaurant’s menu consists of just two items: two flavours of regular, shop-bought instant ramen, each costing just 250 yen (US$3).

Always eager to try out new food and discover interesting new locations, our intrepid RocketNews24 reporters headed down to see the restaurant for themselves.

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Sushi: The Fragrance Released, Brad Pitt Hard at Work on New Poetry

*For maximum enjoyment please read this article in the husky hushed voice of Brad Pitt. Thank you.*

It’s not a journey, it’s Sushi, a scent developed by Demeter Fragrance Library. The scent maker is hoping to catch the freshness of Japan’s signature dish so you have it with you all day.

But does it smell like raw fish? Does it have the eye-watering aroma of wasabi? Demeter says of course not, but what it does smell like is the source of some controversy.

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【Only in Japan】There’s Something Terribly Wrong With This Whac-A-Mole Game

Everyone’s familiar with Whac-A-Mole, right? Even if you’ve never played the classic American arcade game, countless variations exist all over the world, all of which involve bashing erratic plastic animals with a blunt object.

One of our Japanese reporters recently stumbled across a very unique Whac-A-Mole game that keeps the basic gameplay theme intact, but swaps out the moles for something more…painful.

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Send Your Message With a Smash! Smartphone App, Smash Message, Allows You to Vent Your Feelings

Have you ever been frustrated at not being able to get your anger across in a text?  Maybe you were agitated enough to feel like sending a smash that would shatter the receiver’s screen to bits.  Now, with this application, there is a place for those feelings, an outlet so that you don’t have to swallow that anger leaving it to fester under your skin!  Smash Message is for you! Read More

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