Scott Wilson

After getting bored with high school French, Scott came to a crossroads in life whether to study Japanese or Native American Mohawk instead. Mohawk's lack of kanji was its ultimate downfall, and Scott hasn't looked back since. After years of non-stop sweating while working as a translator in sweltering Okinawa, he moved back to his native, delightfully frigid Massachusetts to work as a private Japanese tutor. His hobbies include re-reading One Piece for the hundredth time, dreaming about Shakey's Pizza, and getting feedback on stories he's written from both his wife and cat.

All Stories by Scott Wilson

RocketNews24 Japan writer gets haircut in Cuba, gets more than he bargained for

What do you like to do when you travel? Eat local cuisine? Visit famous landmarks?

Sure, those are all fine. But for me, one thing I always look forward to doing whenever I travel somewhere new is getting a haircut there. I know it sounds crazy, but each place really does have its own distinct style, different atmosphere, and unique way of getting your hair from head to floor.

Wasai, one of our Japanese writers, is a man after my own heart. He recently went on a trip to Cuba, and while he was there, one of the top items on his to-do list was to get a haircut. Did it end up as a failure or fabulous? Read on to find out!

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Korean Officials to foreign tourists: “If you contract MERS, we’ll give you $3,000!”

As you may have heard, there’s an epidemic in South Korea. Since last month, more than 150 people have contracted the deadly MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus, among whom 19 have died.

As a result, foreign tourists in South Korea have been leaving the country in droves, and the usually-thriving tourism industry has been suffering. To try and help alleviate matters, South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has made a somewhat unusual decision: they will pay tourists US$3,000 if they contract MERS while in South Korea.

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Taiwanese YouTube video shows how to de-clog a drain with straws, no sucking involved 【Video】

We’ve been seeing a lot of amazing innovations coming out of Asia recently, with real-life emoji created in Hong Kong, and the no-spill bento bag invented in Taiwan.

But the latest discovery to take the internet by storm is a simple lifehack: using a straw to clear clogged drains. It may sound disgusting at first, but don’t worry; there’s no sucking up of hair and garbage here. How does it work? Watch the video to find out, as well as a bunch of other uses for straw you never imagined.

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We made Sailor Jupiter’s out-of-this-world bento, and you can too! 【RocketKitchen】

Recently we’ve been seeing a lot of ways for you to express your inner sailor scout. There’s Sailor Moon pajamas, Sailor Moon cellphones, and even Sailor Moon designer bags and, um, menstrual pads.

But what about when you want to eat like one of the sailor scouts? Well that’s something we at RocketNews24 have been wondering ourselves, so we decided to try making one of Sailor Jupiter’s legendary bento boxes. How did it turn out? Let’s just say we ran into some interesting characters along the way….

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How to protect your umbrella from rampant umbrella thieves in Japan

Japan has a reputation for being home to some of the safest cities in the world. Having your dropped or lost items returned to you is not uncommon, and the police have enough free time to create life-like ice sculptures outside their offices.

So it comes as a surprise to many Japanese people when they suddenly realize they’ve been the victim of a most heinous crime: umbrella theft. Most buildings in Japan ask you to leave your wet umbrellas in a stand right at the entrance, and people finding their umbrellas missing when they leave is becoming more and more frequent.

How can you protect yourself from these shameless thieves? Read on to find out!

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Taiwan’s convenience store bags prevent bento turning sideways, solve all spillage problems

We’ve all been there. You run down to the convenience store during your lunch break, buy a delicious bento box, then dash back up to the office lunchroom, anxious to indulge in your cheap yet hearty meal. But then you open it up only to discover that you’ve been carrying it sideways the whole time, and everything has spilled over to one side, causing a jumbled, mixed-up mess.

It appears as though Taiwan has found the answer to this catastrophic problem: bags that make it impossible for a bento lunch to turn sideways, or any other direction that would spoil its deliciousness. How does it work? Watch the video and prepare to be amazed.

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The top 10 worst men’s fashion items, as rated by Japanese women

As a guy, sometimes knowing the difference between what looks good and what doesn’t can be a challenge. I know that I personally value functionality over fashion: why should I buy new shoes when my three-year-old ones still fit fine? They only have a couple of holes in them. And what’s wrong with my fanny pack? It’s perfecting for holding all my trading cards!

Thankfully for us guys, Niconico News recently put out the results of a survey given to 200 women, asking them to rate the worst clothing/accessories for men. Does your wardrobe get off scot-free, or are you a proud owner of everything on the list? Find out after the jump!

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Mr. Sato went to Ganguro Cafe and discovered his beautiful inner gyaru 【Pics】

As you probably know, our ace reporter Mr. Sato has his own special way of doing things. Rather than just going to check out a popular speedy steak-cooking restaurant, he instead cooks the steak himself and shoves it in people’s faces. Rather than just buying some butter, he straps a bottle of cream to a helmet and goes around a track in a racecar, getting the g-forces to churn it for him.

So when he heard about the ganguro dress-up and makeup cafe Black Diamond in Shibuya, he couldn’t just write a quick review of the place and be done with it; he had to become one with the cafe and its staff. This is the story of how Mr. Sato became a fashionable gyaru for a day, and we have the glorious pictures to prove it.

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YouTube channel recreates emoji in real life with hilarious, horrifying results 【Video】

Have a convention coming up and you’re scrounging for last-minute cosplay ideas? Perhaps you’re on a super tight budget and need to make a costume out of the bare minimum.

Well we have the answer for you! Hong Kong-based YouTube channel DigitalRev TV recently put up a video where they tried their best to recreate several of the most popular emoji in real life. Some of the results are ridiculous, others are scary, but all are truly inspirational to the lovers of minimal costuming out there.

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Japanese Twitter claims that if you can answer this question, you have an IQ of 150+

So you’ve memorized thousands of kanji, you can name all the members of AKB48, and you actually understand the ending to Evangelion. You’re probably pretty smart, but are you smart enough to take down a question from Japanese Twitter?

Japanese Twitter user @yabazin_gazou, an account with over 250,000 followers, recently posted an unusual math problem, claiming that if you could solve it, that would prove you have an IQ of 150 or higher. While we’re not exactly sure on the science behind that claim, check it out to test the overlap between your math and creativity skills.

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14 things never to do on a bicycle in Japan with new traffic laws

There’s no shortage of people doing out of the ordinary things on bikes in Japan. It’s not uncommon to see people riding while holding umbrellas, having their whole bikes covered in a parka, using a walking bicycle, or even a bicycle specifically made for wearing a kimono.

But the golden era of crazy Japan cycling may have come to an end. As of June 2015, a set of 14 laws have been passed nationwide to enforce safe and correct use of bicycles. If you plan on riding a two-wheeled foot-powered vehicle in Japan, then you may want to check them over to make sure that you don’t end up having to pay a hefty fine.

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Italian newspaper claims referees in Korea-Japan World Cup were paid to make bad calls

The 2002 FIFA World Cup was a landmark event for soccer (or football for the majority of the world). It was the first World Cup to be held in Asia, and also the only one to be jointly held by two countries: South Korea and Japan.

Unfortunately it was also a standout event for several suspicious, South Korea-favoring, referee calls that were made. The scandal has lain dormant for over a decade, but is now resurfacing following the recent arrest of several FIFA officials, at least one of whom has been linked back to the dubious referee decisions made in the 2002 tournament.

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Visual novel Love at First Sight lets you fall in love with creepy yet cute cyclops girl

If you’re a fan of cyclops girls, unique visual novels, or perhaps even unique visual novels featuring cyclops girls, then we have good news for you.

Game developer Creepy Cute is living up to its name by releasing the game Love at First Sight, a visual novel where you only have eyes for one girl: Sachi Usui. She’s a one-eyed high school girl who straddles the line between terrifying and adorable so perfectly that it’s scary.

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The latest in Japanese pet fashion: wearing an instant ramen bowl as a pet cone

A pet coming back from the vet with a cone around its head can elicit very conflicted emotions in the owner. On the one hand, the pet is clearly uncomfortable and just wants to lick away whatever pain they’re in. But on the other, they look absolutely ridiculous and – pangs of guilt or not – you really want to laugh at them.

But now Japanese Twitter users have discovered that cleaned-out instant ramen bowls make for perfect pet cones, and they’re showing off their pictures online.

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Japanese man completes tattoo homage to ’80s and ’90s Shonen Jump anime

Japan is known for having an extreme level of distrust and distaste for tattoos, while at the same time churning out some of the most amazing tattoo artwork in the world. There’s no shortage of anime-inspired tattoos either, and we’ve seen everything ranging from Evangelion to Love Live! to Studio Ghibli films.

But perhaps the most impressive belongs to Japanese Twitter user @Sound_mattsun, who last summer showed off the basic outlines of ’80s and ’90s anime tattoos that would fill up his entire back. Now, almost a year later, he’s back with the finished, fully-colored product, and it is truly a sight that would make any Shonen Jump otaku weep with joy.

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Live-action Attack on Titan films will have theme songs created by equally huge Sekai no Owari

Sekai no Owari is one of the most popular groups in Japan right now. The clown-faced, top hat-wearing rock band is managing to thrive in a Japanese music industry saturated with seemingly endless three-letter-48-style girl groups.

So what better to combine with one of the most popular music groups than one of the most popular manga/anime, Attack on Titan? It was just recently announced that the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan movies will feature two original Sekai no Owari songs produced specially as theme songs for the films.

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Island off Hiroshima coast slowly being eaten away by millions of insects

You’ve probably heard of Battleship Island before, the small abandoned island off of Nagasaki that looks like a battleship from afar and a zombie wasteland up close. It’s on its way to becoming a UNESCO world heritage site, which will bring in more tourists and help with its preservation.

But while Battleship Island gets its moment in the limelight, other abandoned islands around Japan are having a pretty tough time. Take Hoboro Island off the coast of Hiroshima for instance. It was once a decent-sized island known for pearls and oysters, but now it spends its days mainly being eaten away by millions of bugs and slowly sinking into the sea.

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Chinese man dresses up as woman to spy in bathrooms, has no idea what women look like

It’s getting harder and harder to be a Peeping Tom. With anti-chikan policies and people becoming more vigilant at younger ages, they have to get creative if they’re going to get their illegal jollies.

But sometimes it’s possible to get a little too creative. One man in China dressed up as a woman so he could sneak peeks in women’s restrooms. But based on the costume he chose, it’s not entirely clear if he’s ever actually seen a woman before in his life.

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If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed over the course of human history, it’s humans. Sure, we like to pretend that we’re above nature and instincts by carrying around fancy phones and sending people into space, but when it really comes down to it, we’re all still mostly interested in the same exact same thing that humans thousands of years ago were interested in.

If you need further proof, then check out the upcoming Shunga Exhibit in Tokyo of erotic Edo Period woodblock prints. The pictures on display there aren’t too far off from what the Japanese adult media world produces today. Just be sure your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder while you get your Japanese history lesson, because these pictures are not safe for work!

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Nike the sleepy pooping cat reminds us all to enjoy life’s little pleasures 【Pics】

We’ve seen a lot of adorable cats here on RocketNews24. There’s cats politely waiting outside convenience stores, cats being stored on shelves, and a whole island of cats just waiting for you to come feed them and scratch their heads.

If you’re like us though and your hunger for cute cat pic simply cannot be satiated, then take a look at Nike, the adorably sleepy Japanese cat who’s been paws-itively blowing up Japanese Twitter recently. Side effects of looking at Nike’s pictures may include pro-cat-stination of work you should be doing, feline like you’re going to laugh, and wanting to take a catnap of your own.

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