KK Miller

Writer After falling in love with Totoro and always thinking how delicious Satsuki’s bento looked, KK Miller continued to study about Japan all the way through university. Frequent time was spent between learning about Japanese history and rereading Harry Potter for the bajillionth time. A year abroad in Japan only cemented her decision to live in Japan, so she moved here right after completing her degree. Dressing up as a Harry Potter character every Halloween since being in Japan, KK continues to spread the magic and her love of Totoro and Harry Potter to everyone around her. While Satsuki’s bento turned out to consist of all the Japanese foods she doesn’t like (umeboshi, dembu, and whole grilled fish), she continues to enjoy Japan through traveling, photography and writing.

Posted by KK Miller

World famous shadow artist shines a light on Tohoku relief【Art】

Often life-altering events can inspire incredible artistic endeavors, and while the Great East Japan Earthquake is a tragic day for many people, that tragedy can inspire amazing creativity. One particular 89-year-old is using his skills to turn melancholy scenes into hopeful invigorating masterpieces.

Already well-known for delighting children with his character Keroyon, the frog who drives a red convertible, Seiji Fujishiro is probably most famous for his shadow art. These brilliant pieces of work show amazing scenes populated by his signature silhouetted elvish characters. Recently, he has turned his attention to the affected areas of the Tohoku region and has created astounding art from some iconic images created by the disaster.

Read More

If you were ever an athlete growing up, this video is going to bring you a swelling of emotions

Athletes who compete in amateur sports have one of the most difficult tasks. To compete on the world level, these athletes have to train their butts off and since they aren’t paid to compete, have to hold down a job as well. What they are able to accomplish when facing severely stacked odds is pretty spectacular.

With the conclusion of the 2014 Asia Games, Japan has once again had the chance to cheer on their storied athletes. It’s important to see these sportsmen in high level competitions because they inspire an entire generation of young athletes to continue to do what they love. A commercial airing during the television broadcasts for the Asia Games is also showing the incredible hearts of these great athletes. Find out who is giving back and what their special message is after the jump.

Read More

Hotel guest posts picture of hilarious ‘how not to use the toilet’ instructions【Photos】

One of the joys of visiting other countries is discovering all the strange and weird things you will see that don’t exist where you live. It might seem like common sense to any Westerner how to use a Western-style toilet, but then again, that’s why the word “Western” is in the description. For many Asian countries, the most common toilet available is “affectionately” called the squat toilet, so when some guests were using their fancy Western-style toilets wrong, the hotel posted some instructions in the bathrooms. It just goes to show, nothing is ever absolutely foolproof. Don’t believe us? Join us on the other side.

Read More

What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair…

When you speak to foreign English educators in Japan, one thing becomes crystal clear: English education in Japan isn’t working. It’s just awful. While English classes are mandatory in Japanese schools, the percentage of students who emerge with actual English abilities are surprisingly low. Students in China, Korea and Japan are in an arms race to see who can produce students with the best English, and Japan seems to be trailing far behind in third place.

With the Olympic Games coming up in 2020, the Japanese government has proposed changes to increase the level of English ability in their students. Changes like starting introductory English classes in 3rd grade elementary school and making the subject compulsory from the 5th grade. Are these changes really going to help? We’ve gathered opinions from both foreign teachers and Japanese citizens about issues with the system and what might improve it.

Read More

A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China

The beautiful butterfly, nature’s own lesson about the cycle of life. What starts as a lowly caterpillar, given enough time, transforms into a majestic winged beauty. Everyone loves the butterfly, as they flutter through the air, their brightly colored wings are a feast for the eyes. Which is why it’s so disheartening to hear of a butterfly exhibition going horribly wrong in China.

Read More

Journalism at its worst? Mt. Ontake hiker pestered for information on Twitter

Being a journalist is a pretty thankless job. Especially those who report on war and conflict or disasters, these intrepid reporters risk their lives to bring us the stories. In the case of this past weekend’s volcanic eruption on Mt. Ontake, journalists scrambled to the scene to report on the situation. Or, most of them. Some took the path of least effort and leapt at the chance to do some “reporting” from the comfort of their own home, through social media.

Read More

Japanese buzzwords and regional dialects keep Kumamoto drivers safe 【Photos】

Japan loves its popular trends. They will grab a hold of something that is gathering steam and spread it all over the country. This is especially true in TV. Millions of viewers tune into variety programs to see the current comedy darlings and their catch phrase over and over again. Generally these phrases are popular for a while until the next “funny” punch line takes over. You have to milk your 15 minutes of fame for as long as you can! Just ask Kojima Yoshio or Tanoshingo.

One prefecture is using these popular phrases in a more noble way…to get drivers to pay attention to traffic safety signs! If you ignore these signs it’s dame yo~ dame dame!

Read More

Japan overwhelmingly favors CDs to digital music

There’s no doubt that many people think Japan is a technologically advanced wonderland that has robots awaiting at every turn. Most people have their images crushed when they step outside any of the main cities and realize just how many rice fields and open spaces there still are. So when it was reported this week that Japan still significantly favors CDs to digital downloads, we weren’t that surprised. Find out the reasons why after the jump.

Read More

Kansai and Kanto prove again that they are each distinct regions when it comes to food

Tokyo and Osaka are only about 2.5 hours away by bullet train, so perhaps you wouldn’t think they’d be that different. But while Kanto (Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba) holds the image of a glittering metropolis, Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara) is full of the old, historical aspects of Japan. The most commonly cited difference is the dialects of the two regions. For example, dame in Kanto-ben is akan in Kansai-ben, both meaning something like “wrong, no good.”

So when Japanese people were polled about their food habits, it wasn’t so surprising that the two regions answered very differently.

Read More

C*ck wear becomes cookware in latest Japanese cookbook

Wonder what’s for dinner tonight? Your pantry is loaded and there are so many choices! Sometimes, you are just looking to utilize your favorite cooking apparatus. Let’s browse the cookbooks we have here. Everyone Screams for Tagine, Casserole Role Call, Fast Recipes for the Slow Cooker, Cooking with Condoms, wait, what? Yes, you heard us right, an actual cookbook available for your favorite e-book device. Leave it to the Japanese to use whatever they have lying around…

Read More

Overall attendance down as number of games goes up at 2014 Tokyo Game Show

The Tokyo Game Show for 2014 closed its doors this past weekend, and a record number of game companies showed up to display four times as many titles as last year. As always, the ever popular cosplay was a big hit and thousands of people came to buy the unique goods sold there. But what about the show itself? Was it the best attended TGS in years? Did it smash attendance records all around the world?

Read More

What your favorite sushi says about your income

There are so many things you can learn about someone simply by observing them. You don’t have reach out of your comfort zone and ask them directly because so much can be learned by their fashion, their posture, their body language and the way they cut their nails. This is especially handy in Japanese society when being direct can be seen as extremely rude.

So how do you find out about really personal things? Certainly the best way to acquire hidden information is by asking innocuous questions that reveal way more than they should! Take the latest tip from an elite business man, who says you can guess about how much a man earns in Japan by asking him one simple question: “What kind of sushi do you like?

Read More

School kids in Japan build incredible working tea cup rides for school festivals

From preschool all the way to university, Japan has a very proud tradition of schools festivals. Every year, the students and teachers work together to transform their school into an array of art, entertainment and food their goal to make the school as fun as possible for everyone who attends. High schools and colleges especially go the extra mile to show that their school is number one by having various cafes, haunted houses, cosplay photography, and performances.

But there’s an event idea that has gone viral because of the amazing efforts of one high school: a manually operated tea cup ride.

Read More

It’s on like Donkey Kong! Netizens crack up over DK’s fearsome taunt

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS just hit the stores this past week in Japan, and already over a million copies were sold and with so many different characters to choose from, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Maybe it’s not how the character fights but how it ridicules your opponents as they fly off the battlefield. Nintendo always has their staple characters that have appeared in every Smash Bros. game so far, but there’s one whose taunts are more hilarious than the rest: the master of the bongos himself, Donkey Kong!

Read More

Japanese high schooler fails driver’s license test 20 times, tries to hire someone else to take it for him

How far would you go to pass a test? At all points in our life, tests determine whether we succeed or fail with little remorse for how much grueling effort actually went into studying for it. One test in Japan is extremely taxing and foreigners and Japanese alike shudder at even the thought of taking it. We are talking about the Japanese driver’s license test and one first year high school student from Fukuoka who had failed the written portion 20 times, finally resorted to cheating in order to try and pass it.

Read More

Jiggly Japanese pear mascot lands itself in deep water in the US【Video】

Have you been wondering what Japan’s favorite mascot has been up to lately? Who, you say? Why, Funasshi, of course, Japan’s squiggly wiggly pear mascot from Funabashi City in Chiba! After rocketing to fame and winning Japan’s top mascot honors in 2013, Funasshi has been touring Japan and the world! Its latest trip was to report for Fuji TV’s “World’s Best Of Picture Show: Top Research“. Find out all the American locations a gyrating pear looks out of place in after the jump.

Read More

Our dreams have come true, a ramen donut exists!

We love to talk about food. Whether we’re salivating about new food, getting grossed out by weird combinations, or pining away about foods we can’t eat anymore, the topic of food is rarely far from our lips. There are certain foods that we always sit up and take notice for. One is ramen, a wonderful delicacy of Japan, and another is donuts, the staple breakfast food of an office worker. So, what happens when you mash those two worlds together?

A ramen donut, obviously.

Read More

“The meanest dog in Japan” returns with all new rejections 【Video】

They say dogs are a man’s best friend. Loyal, obedient and loving, dogs provide everlasting friendship no matter what sticky situations you find yourself in. But they also say that smothering anything with too much affection can cause it to want to break free from you. We’ve seen the effects produce comedy gold when Mari, the adorable Shiba-Inu has just gotten one too many kisses from her adoring master. And enough is enough! A compilation video of Mari rejecting her owner has surfaced on YouTube and it has all been subtitled for us in English.

Read More

Harvest moon brings harvest sweets in Japan, here are a few you can try!

This week in Japan, people around the country are celebrating a special event known as tsukimi, literally “moon-viewing”. Celebrated on the 15th day of the lunar calendar (which lands sometime between September and October) it is the best time to look at the moon because the position of the earth, sun and moon make it appear especially big and bright. Just as with cherry blossom viewing, it’s a time to honor the beauty of nature with food, drink and friends.

One of the most traditional foods to celebrate with is called tsukimi dango which are sweets made of mochi (Japanese rice cake). But just as the Japanese dialect isn’t the same from Hokkaido to Okinawa, the look and taste of tsukimi dango vary from region to region. Here are three of the most interesting versions from across Japan!

Read More

Culprit in guide-dog stabbing still at large, Saitama citizen offers up enormous cash reward

Many readers likely remember the terrible story about the man whose guide dog, Oscar, was stabbed multiple times while the pair was en route to the owner’s work.  Oscar didn’t bark nor react to the stabbing and it was only when a co-worker saw the blood on him that anyone realized what had happened. An investigation was launched and people around the world reacted in anger and severe disappointment that anyone would harm a dog like this.

But while there are people who will hurt animals, there are even more who are kind and loving to them, and one such man from Saitama is offering a big bounty to find this criminal and put him behind bars.

Read More

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 40
  4. 41
  5. 42
  6. 43
  7. 44
  8. 45
  9. 46
  10. 47
  11. 48
  12. 49