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

Katawa Shoujo visual novel gets Japanese release… Wait, it wasn’t originally in Japanese?!

Back in 2012 when a bunch of 4chan members released a visual novel game based around romantically pursuing disabled high school girls, expectations were low to say the least. But to the shock of the internet, the game received widespread acclaim for its impressive visuals, story, and music, not to mention its sympathetic treatment of its characters.

However, despite being a game in a distinctly Japanese genre and taking place in a Japanese high school with Japanese characters, the game was originally written and released in English. It’s only now, three years later, that Katawa Shoujo (“Disabled Girls”) has finally been released in the language many people thought it was originally created in: Japanese.

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10 of the craziest complaints Japanese people have heard from customers

Anyone who’s worked in a store, restaurant, or pretty much anywhere in the service industry knows the joy of interacting with customers. And it’s not just your country that has crazy customers, it’s a fact of humanity that transcends culture and language, Japan included.

So with that we bring you the top 10 tweets made with a hashtag that’s recently been getting very popular with Japanese twitter users: #ActualCustomerComplaints. We’re not 100-percent sure how true the “actual” part is, but they’re all so hilarious and painfully familiar that you’ll be too busy laughing and commiserating to mind.

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New anti-chikan cellphone stickers let you mark train gropers with sign of shame

As you probably know, Japan is infamous for chikanpeople who grope others in crowded areas, like crowded trains and buses. As you also probably know, Japan has a long history of doing things in bizarre and not-very-effective ways.

So what do we get when the two come together? Ridiculous anti-chikan stickers for cell phones put out by the Saitama Prefecture Police department. And these aren’t just stickers you’re supposed to use to keep potential chikan away, these are stickers you’re meant to use offensively! Ka-pow!

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R-rated movie “Chappie” gets severely nerfed for Japan release, director knew nothing about it

Chappie, an R-rated science-fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp (of District 9 and Elysium fame), has been out in U.S. theaters for over a month now, but it still hasn’t been released in Japan due to the time it takes to be translated and dubbed.

During that time a storm has been brewing over the film, starting a few days ago when Sony Pictures Japan released a controversial statement: the movie will be censored and edited down to a PG-12 rating.

Japanese netizens who were looking forward to the film are upset over the watered-down version they will be getting, and even though Sony claims to have the support of the director, Neill Blomkamp himself insists he knew nothing about any such cuts.

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Un-un-unbelievable music video by Singaporean actor will leave you stunned like vegetable 【Video】

Do you serenade your loved one by comparing them to a coffee table? Do you imagine being together forever like a cable car and its cable?

Then chances are you’re Chen Tianwen, the Singaporean actor who’s the star in the music video Unbelievable. The video is going viral, and if you haven’t seen it yet, now’s your chance. It’s truly something that needs to be seen… to be un-believed.

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Japanese “minimal house” is both irresistibly cute and surprisingly cheap

With a population of over 100 million in a land area smaller than California, space is not cheap in Japan. Because of that, many people live in apartments stacked on top of each other, and the idea of living in a house is, for many, just a very expensive dream.

But not anymore! The modern-home companies Yadokari and Azumaya have teamed up to release “Inspiration,” a “minimal house” which they advertize as only costing about the same price as a new car. It’s cute, efficient, built to last, and we want one really badly!

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Over 150 whales found beached in Ibaraki, same thing happened before 2011 Tohoku earthquake

A little over four years ago, a week before the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, 50 melon-headed whales were found beached in Ibaraki Prefecture, only about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the earthquake’s epicenter.

Now the same omen of bad things to come has happened again. On April 9, about 150 melon-headed whales were found beached in Ibaraki Prefecture. As emergency teams race to save the whales, one thought is sitting in the back of their minds: is this foreshadowing another giant earthquake?

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Group of teenage Thai actors placed under house arrest for dancing on Japanese train 【Video】

Anyone who has ridden the trains in Japan has probably had a very different experience from riding them in their home country. The trains I ride here in Boston are loud, not the cleanest, and full of people talking and listening to music as if there’s not a hundred others around them. In Japan though, that doesn’t fly. Everyone is motionless, remains quiet, and mostly respectful of others.

One group of Thai teenage actors found that out the hard way. They filmed themselves doing the unspeakable act of dancing while on a train in Japan, and quickly found themselves on the receiving end of some harsh punishment: six months of house arrest and banned for six months from all forms of social networking sites.

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Boy entering all-girls high school creates real-life harem anime

Any guy who’s watched a harem anime before – one where a single male is surrounded by many women – has probably giggled to himself about what it would be like to be in a similar situation himself. Would it be nonstop abuse like in Love Hina? Would there be crazy love-triangles like in Tenchi Muyo?

Well one boy gets to find out for real! A former women’s high school in Yamagata Prefecture recently opened its doors to non-female students, and this month at the start of the new school year welcomed its first male student for the first time in its 118 year existence.

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Haruki Murakami’s solution to the nuclear power debate in Japan: Actually call it “nuclear power”

You may have heard that legendary Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami runs a blog where he answers questions sent in by readers. He’s tackled subjects ranging from the meaning of life to how to become a writer to what animal ability he’d like to have.

In one of his most recent questions, Murakami gives his opinion on a very touchy subject in Japan: nuclear power. Instead of calling out for reform or regulations though, he suggests one very simple change: that Japanese people refer to what they currently call “atomic energy power plants” as “nuclear power plants” instead.

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YouTube fashion vlogger goes on tour of Japan – and so can you! 【Video】

Does taking an eight-day vacation across Japan sound like a dream come true to you? Well then the first thing you should do is apply to have RocketNews24 make that dream actually come true.

The second thing you should do is watch the video recently posted by YouTube fashion vlogger Inthefrow which documents an eight-day vacation she and nine other bloggers were invited to go on. The best part of it all though: the exact trip they went on is available to anyone (even you!), and it’s good to have a backup plan just in case you don’t get picked in our own contest.

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Nowadays there’s a social networking system (SNS) for just about anything. In Japan, aside from the big ones like Facebook and Twitter, the LINE messaging service (and life-LINE service) and Niconico Douga are also extremely popular ways to talk with your friends – both on and offline – about stuff you love.

And that’s just scratching the surface. There’s plenty more, based around every imaginable interest. In fact, pretty much the only kind of SNS that doesn’t exist is one based around posting and sharing erotic anime-style drawings of men loving on each other.

…until now. Meet Horne.

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Anti-Japanese protestors “execute” effigy of Prime Minister Abe with ISIS-style beheading 【Video】

This is no April Fool’s joke: on April 1, a group of  anti-Japanese protestors gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korea to rally against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressing the U.S. Congress later this month.

Things started to get out of control when an effigy with Abe’s face was beheaded ISIS-style, and a Japanese imperial flag was sliced to pieces with a knife. The protest is being called “too extreme” even by those sympathetic to their cause.

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12 things that shock Japanese people: “Did you know kids leave out cookies and milk for Santa?!”

Foreign cultures are always going to have things that surprise outsiders. Roasted shellfish snacks may be perfectly normal to Japanese people but not quite so appetizing to us, whereas kids dressing up on graduation day is endearing to us but downright terrifying to Japanese people.

The Japanese website CuRAZY recently compiled a list of 12 extremely popular tweets that revealed some sort of “surprising information.” Far more surprising than the tweets themselves though is the fact that so many Japanese people actually found the information surprising in the first place.

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Evangelion and Attack on Titan directors team up to create 2016 Godzilla movie

Do you like Evangelion? Do you like Attack on Titan?

Well then good news! It’s just been announced that the directors of both those movies, Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, are working on the upcoming 2016 Japanese Godzilla reboot film. With both of them having plenty of experience creating huge mechs and huge Titans, we can only expect that this Godzilla movie is going to be… well, huge!

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Are you a control freak, baby, or tough guy? Find out what your sleeping position says about you!

Think about how you slept last night. You probably rolled around a little, found a comfortable spot, adjusted a bit, then eventually slipped into sweet slumber in that position. If you’re like most people, every night you probably choose a similar sleeping position. And the position you choose can say a lot about your personality, your subconscious, and even your deep-seated fears.

We have a list of eight common sleeping positions along with the typical personality traits of each. Are the predictions spot-on for you, or were the psychologists sleeping on the job when they dreamed them up?

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Top 10 things Japanese people do that puzzle us (but we still want to hang out together)

“Wow you can use chopsticks?” “Your Japanese is really good!” “Geez, you’ve put on weight recently.” “It’s only 8:00 p.m., why are you going home?

Anyone who’s been to Japan before has probably been bombarded by something similar to the above. Every country is going to have different cultural norms, but we decided to blow cultural sensitivity out of the water and just go ahead and list the top 10 things Japanese people do that puzzle us (but for some reason don’t stop us from thinking they’re still awesome to be around).

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Woman loses an eye from foul ball at Sapporo Dome, sues team for millions of yen

Imagine you’re sitting in the Sapporo Dome, cheering for the Nippon Ham Fighters home team, when suddenly you hear the unmistakable crack of a bat. You look up to see where the ball is, only to have it come crashing down right in your eye. Quite the painful end to your evening, sure, but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg; you’re now blind in that eye.

That’s exactly what happened to one woman back in 2010 when a foul ball hit her full in the face, blinding her in one eye. And after years of deliberation, the Sapporo courts have finally reached a decision on her case against the stadium and team.

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We bought 21 packs of roasted shellfish to try to find a pearl – but did we get lucky?

Did you know that FamilyMart sells 108 yen (US$0.90) packets of “roasted shellfish strings?” They’re made from Hokkaido-raised scallops, and just like clams and oysters, scallops can produce pearls underwater. Even the packages come with this warning: “please be careful not to swallow any pearls that the shellfish may have produced while you eat them.”

Well that’s a challenge if we ever heard one! We bought 21 packets of roasted shellfish strings and went on a pearl diving adventure. Did we end up finding one? Read on to find out!

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