All Stories by Richard Simmonds

Our Japanese reporter heads to Okinawa and a U.S. military casino to try and win it big

Steak, dollars and men with guns (somewhere probably); we have a Las Vegas-lite experience at a U.S. military casino in Okinawa.

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Most Japanese theft ever? Chainsaws taken to flowering cherry blossoms in Osaka

Thieves used machinery to steal flowering cherry blossom branches and tree trunks from a park in Osaka Prefecture.

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The King of the Monsters, Godzilla takes on possibly its most deadly enemy: slightly dry air!

Nothing makes for a cosier interior than a lizard spitting out radioactive heat rays over you and your house guests.

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Hilarious chase ensues as tiny dog chases Google Street View car in Kagoshima

Japanese social media users fall in love as dog chases down Google Street View car many times its size.

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Japanese Twitter gets excited about foreigner getting excited about cherry blossoms

It seems putting on rose-tinted spectacles not only makes you feel nostalgic, it also makes the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms even better.

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More Japanese schoolgirls think themselves overweight than those in China, Korea or the U.S.

Japanese high school girls may be some of the thinnest in the world, but more than half think they’re fatties, and only a third are happy with their bodies.

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What’s funnier and more likely to make you study than poo? How about male pattern baldness?

Can comedians Takashi and Saito-san use their power of alopecia for good, and get kids studying kanji?

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Sushi gets a dessert makeover with beautiful sushi ice creams in NYC【Pics】

The (culinary) world goes topsy-turvy with mint chocolate chip sushi and fish-flavoured doughnuts.

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Japanese wife announces secret to a happy marriage, after being wed just three years

Hint: marriage might be more likely to go well if the sight of your beloved-to-be doesn’t make you throw up a little in your mouth.

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Beautiful recycled cardboard lampshades have us planning an office makeover

Bathe in the warm glow of owning something recycled, and a light bulb, with these magic cardboard lamps.

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Japanese government tells teachers not to be so strict, at least about some kanji radicals

Students rejoice and adults gripe as the government Agency for Cultural Affairs declares some writing “rules” undecided.

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Kagawa Prefecture holds ultra-udon marathon for those who love running, and noodles

Normally feel a bit peckish during an ultra-marathon? Then stop for some udon noodles, six times!

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Want to get into medical school? Learn how to dump someone in 600 characters or less

Japanese exam writers have a sense of humour, confound students who studied rather than pursued romance.

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Art on the cheap: Twitter user creates silver orb jewellery for around 100 yen 【Photos】

Feel like Vulcan in his forge and work metal with your bare hands with just a roll of cheap foil.

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Japan’s biggest, baddest piece of playground equipment set to close down

The slide in a children’s playground in Ehime, not suitable for children, will be no more after injuries and safety worries.

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Behold the future! If the Japanese space agency JAXA is right, it’s full of slime and tentacles

Even Mother Nature might be going gluten-free, and if she does takoyaki octopus balls will get even freakier.

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Should saying thanks at a Japanese convenience store go without saying?

Manners maketh the man. Unless he’s at a convenience store, according to some Japanese social media users as debate over manners erupts.

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Japanese Twitter user may have discovered why they’re forever alone

According to one little sister, the key to getting a girlfriend or boyfriend? Loneliness, and not going to amusement arcades on your own.

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Japanese women warned about the dangers of dumping failed Valentine’s Day chocolate down the sink

As the old saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, not through sewage pipes.

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Poyo! A match made in Dreamland with a giant Kirby and manju cake set

The universe’s cutest Star Warrior, and star of Nintendo games, Kirby uses his Copy Ability to become huggable…that or it’s an adorably soft toy.

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