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

Unreal “animation dancer” makes Japanese salarymen breakdance with the power of magic sunglasses

If you’re a fan of the internet, then chances are you saw this YouTube video a few years back of Marquese Scott, otherwise known as NONSTOP, performing his mesmerizing “animation” style of dance. It may look like fancy camera tricks, but nope, he can actually just dance like he has no bones.

Thanks to that video, NONSTOP is now world famous, and he recently traveled to Japan to do a collaboration with the entertainment group Team Black Starz. Together they created something beautiful: a video of NONSTOP going around Japan, inspiring salarymen, old dudes, and homeless people to breakdance with the power of his magic sunglasses.

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Japanese food blogger makes fried chicken poodles: “They’re too cute to eat!”

Whether our parents like it or not, food is an art form. Playing with food is awesome, and we’ve seen some spectacular examples of shaved-ice masterpieces, printed designs onto food, or corgi omelets.

But if you’ve been looking for a quick, easy artistic recipe you can do at home, look no further. Get ready to make the cutest little appetizers you’ve ever seen: fried poodles.

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Like anime and video game mashups? Here’s 900 amazing ones!

Who doesn’t love a good mashup? We’ve seen some great ones before: Pokémon turned into Godzilla monsters, Doraemon turned into Dragon Ball, even Crayon Shin-chan turned into Attack on Titan.

But when it comes to sheer quantity of mashups, the clear winner is MOUNTAIN GRAPHICS, a company that sells t-shirts and other goods with cute and cool designs on them. They have over 900 pictures on their Twitter and Instagram account of mashed-up characters from video games, anime, and more.

Ever wanted to see Mario and PaRappa the Rapper fused together? Or Bomberman and Hello Kitty? Hoe about Bowser and Cthulhu? Well today’s your lucky day!

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Man attempts to create ancient moss-covered Gundam ruins: “It’ll only take a few years.”

Japan has an interesting relationship with moss. From the “Moss Covered Forest” that inspired Princess Mononoke, to the marimo “moss balls” found in Hokkaido, to MOS Burger that has tragically deterred foreigners for decades by its name alone.

But it’s one man’s quest to use moss in a new way that has recently piqued the interest of the internet. In the hopes of creating realistic figurines that look like they’ve been abandoned for centuries, he wants to get them covered in moss the old fashioned way: by waiting for years.

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Mari-chan the sensational Shiba Inu actress is back and cute as ever

Mari-chan might be “the meanest dog in Japan,” but we still can’t help but love her. We’ve seen her before “helping” her master study by spraying him with water, comically refusing his desperate advances for doggie kisses, and even going so far as to nonchalantly knock away his crutches and life preserver rope.

But now Mari-chan has decided to move on: she’s gotten a real job, as a construction worker. Her latest YouTube video shows her first ten days as the newbie at work, learning the ropes and causing plenty of adorable mischief.

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New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time

Digital drawing tablets, despite their best efforts, have always felt different from the real thing. For many artists, note-takers, or expert doodlers, nothing beats the feeling of putting actual pen to actual paper.

But now, thanks to iSketchnote, you can write on a real piece of paper using a real pen, while still digitizing it in real-time on a tablet or PC as you draw.

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2014 suicide rates in Japan down, suicide in men still twice that of women

Even though Japan may not have the highest suicide rate in the world, unfortunately it’s still quite common. Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in Japan, and the most popular place to commit suicide in the world, Aokigahara Forest, is located in Japan as well.

The Japanese National Police Agency and Cabinet Office recently released statistics on the suicides that occurred in 2014, and while they’re continuing the downward trend of the past five years, they’re still quite high compared to other countries.

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Insanely cute sushi gifts now available for Japanese travelers to buy for their foreign friends

You know the feeling: you’re a busy Japanese salaryman going on a business trip overseas, waiting for your international flight at Narita Airport, when suddenly you realize that you forgot to buy a present to take to the foreigners you’re going to visit.

Thankfully, now there’s a solution to that problem: sushi t-shirts.

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Man detained for 2013 Hakata Station threats now filming himself sticking toothpicks into snacks

Back in June 2013, RocketNews24 ran an article about the threats of attack on Fukuoka’s Hakata Station. The perpetrator was subsequently caught and sent to a juvenile detention center, but now less than two years later, he’s back to making YouTube videos of himself stealing from stores and destroying merchandise.

His latest “prank” video shows him sticking a toothpick inside some unsuspecting customer’s snack and is currently under investigation by Tokyo police.

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Low crime in Japan means police officers create ridiculous snow sculptures instead

It snows a lot in Hokkaido. Like, a lot. No seriously, they have a hotel made out of ice and snow and just take a look at this poor Lawson convenience store that was devoured by snowfall.

So with all that snow around you can either grumble as you shovel your driveway for the third time that day, or you can make the best of it. One police officer in Hokkaido did just that, creating an amazing snow-sculpture of a Japanese police car right outside the station.

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Giant maguro donated to shrine of fishing-god Ebisu

The start of a new year means it’s time for hatsumōde, the year’s first visit to a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple. You pray for good luck in the new year, throw some spare yen into the saisenbako (big offering box), get some omamori (good luck charms), and hope that the omikuji (fortune) you get is dai-kichi (great luck) and not dai-kyō (you’re screwed).

While most people are satisfied donating a few yen coins in the donation box when they visit their shrine, the Nishinomiya shrine in Hyogo Prefecture does things a little differently. They want to make sure the gods hear them loud and clear, so they lug a massive frozen maguro onto the donation box and leave it there for three days.

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Cold never bothered you anyway? Then spend a night at this Hokkaido ice hotel!

There’s no shortage of unique hotels in Japan. Aside from the well-known capsule hotels and love hotels, there’s Gundam and Hello Kitty hotels, a toilet hotel, a so-cheap-it’s-scary hotel, and much more.

But the latest hotel that just opened up in Hokkaido is definitely the coolest of them all. It’s a hotel made entirely of snow and ice where you can spend the night in below-freezing temperatures!

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Five reasons why Shiba Inu are the absolute best

Shiba Inu are adorable, and over the years we here at RocketNew24 have brought you stacks of articles filled with photos to prove just how darn cute they are.

But why exactly are we so drawn to this loveable breed of dog? Recently the Japanese information compilation site Naver Matome put up a collection of tweets, dividing up the reasons people so adore Shiba inu into five different categories. Below you can read their incredibly rigorous scientific methodology, so you can see for yourself if you come to the same kawaii conclusions that they did (spoiler: Yes. Yes, you will).

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Is One Piece sexist? Twitter user posts scathing essay about Japan’s favorite manga

One Piece is the top-selling manga of all time, with over 350 million volumes sold in Japan alone. For fans of the series, it’s a no-brainer why the comic is so popular. The author/artist Eiichiro Oda is a master storyteller, turning what could have been a run-of-the-mill shonen manga into something special. One Piece often tackles deeper themes including racism, abuse of power, justice, moral ambiguity, and of course, big dudes with sweet powers slamming into each other.

What’s even more surprising are the readership demographics. Nine out of ten people who buy One Piece are adults, and over half of the manga’s readers are women. This might make it seem like it appeals to everyone, but apparently that is not the case. Japanese Twitter user @ykhre recently tweeted a controversial essay, making her case for why One Piece, despite its broad appeal, is sexist.

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The science behind why English speakers can’t pronounce the Japanese “fu”

Learning a foreign language is hard. Even if you master all the vocabulary and grammar, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll ever achieve a native-like accent. For Japanese learners of English, differentiating between the “l” and “r” sounds and pronouncing the “th” sound correctly can be tricky them no matter how many years they’ve been practicing.

But have you ever wondered what it’s like the other way around? What sounds do we English speakers make that sound strange when we speak Japanese? Well it turns out the sound that we mess up the most is one you might not have expected: “fu”.

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Mochi, the silent New Year killer, leaves nine dead and 128 hospitalized

Ah mochi, the delicious Japanese sweet. It can come in all different shapes and flavors, from the loveable daifuku with sweet bean paste filling, to hot zenzai soup with azuki beans and white mochi, to such delights as mochi ice cream and even chocolate cow poop mochi.

Since mochi is a traditional New Year’s treat in Japan – you can even reserve your New Year’s kagami mochi at Baskin Robins – more of it is consumed around this time of year than any other.

But all that mochi-eating has a dark side to it. With its incredibly sticky texture, mochi causes the most choking-related deaths of any food item in Japan. Last year it killed two people during the New Year season, and after just two days into 2015 it has already claimed nine lives and hospitalized 128 others.

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Pet owner celebrates the Year of the Sheep by inserting their cat into ridiculous costume

2015 is the Year of the Sheep! If you live in Japan or in the vicinity, that means your life is going to get flooded with sheep-themed merchandise for the next 12 months. We’ve already gotten Disney sheep stuffed animals, sheep ice cream, sheep stamps, and there’s plenty more to come.

But there’s one item that rarely gets the Chinese zodiac-themed touch each year: cat costumes. Thankfully Japanese Twitter user @hizashi414 put an end to that by creating a sheep outfit for their cat and taking plenty of pictures to prove it.

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Legendary violinist upstaged by eight-year-old son’s ridiculously cute gift to Santa

Even if you don’t recognize the name Taro Hakase, you’ve probably heard his world-renowned violin music before. Ever flown All Nippon Airlines (ANA)? Then you’ve heard him. Ever been put on hold? You’ve heard him. Every played Final Fantasy, watched anime, or heard of Celine Dion or Ariana Grande? Yep, you’ve heard him.

But this time around it’s not one of Taro’s masterpieces, but instead one made by his eight-year-old son Mantaro, that’s getting people excited online.

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New Japanese karaoke parlor welcomes Muslims by introducing traditional halal menu

Anyone with dietary restrictions who has been to Japan will know that it can be quite frustrating. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll be shocked to hear that the fish head in your miso soup “isn’t meat.” And if you don’t drink, well, good luck at the nomikai (drinking parties).

For Muslims who follow a halal diet of no pork, alcohol, and other restrictions, it can be extremely difficult. Pork-broth is very common in Japan, alcoholic mirin and sake are often used in cooking, and in Japan animals who have been slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines are about as rare as a mosque. But thanks to a halal-friendly karaoke parlor that’s just opened in Tokyo’s Yotsuya, Muslim customers finally have a place to kick back, belt some tunes, and not worry about dictionary-checking every ingredient.

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Becoming Sailor Moon now as easy as saying “moon prism power, make-up!” (and opening your wallet)

Sailor Moon has taken the anime world by storm this past year with the revamped Sailor Moon Crystal. Ever since it premiered this summer, we’ve gotten Sailor Moon lingerie, tortilla chips, and even a holy grail air freshener, but it’s only recently that we’re finally able to do the one thing we’ve wanted all along: become a sailor scout ourselves.

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