SoraNews24

SoraNews24 is a Tokyo-based news site. In 2008, our sister site, RocketNews24 published its first Japanese-language article, and two years later came the start of our English site, which originally existed exclusively to translate articles from our Japanese colleagues. Over time we’ve expanded the amount of English-language content we produce while maintaining a focus on fun, weird, and intriguing news from Asia, particularly Japan.

All Stories by SoraNews24

【TBT】Learning language through nonsense – Japanese author of “Unusable English” speaks

Fantastic octopus wiring!

My brother has been observing the slugs since he got divorced.

Let’s start from where we left off yesterday. Get down on all fours.

No, these aren’t the ramblings of a man with concussion; these are genuine excerpts from Twitter feed and study guide “Non-essential English Vocabulary: Words that will never come up in tests”, a language resource for Japanese students of English that presents entirely useless but infinitely memorable phrases.

With more than 40,000 Twitter followers so far, Twitter feed curator and author Nakayama-san (otherise known as @NISE_TOEIC)’s cheeky tweets are clearly resonating with English learners here in Japan, but why, when the rest of the nation is busy with earnest study, would someone take the time to create a Twitter account dedicated entirely to unusable English? Japanese website Excite Bit sat down with the Nakayama-san to pick up a few study tips and learn little more about the thinking behind the bizarre project.

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No chopping board? No problem! Genius device makes food prep a walk in the park, woods, hills…

One of the best things about camping is gathering around the fire at the end of the day to cook, eat and drink with friends and family. Free of the trappings of our modern life, we’re able to focus on the food, the nature around us, and – a something of a rarity in our paradoxically lonely social network-obsessed world – each other.

But cooking out in the wilderness can be a fiddly affair. With none of our modern kitchen appliances or shining stainless steel countertops on which to prepare meals, doing something as simple as chopping up an onion for the pot can be a real pain, least not for the poor soul who has to carry a wooden chopping board and knife in their backpack.

This genius device from India, however, does away with the need for a knife and chopping board altogether making campfire cooking an absolute breeze.

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Are Japan’s Three Bs actually bad boyfriend material? We find out!

Forget space or the deep seas, when it comes to human exploration, dating is the real final frontier. You never know where you might find that special someone–it could be in a club, at school, or even on the train. But conventional wisdom–in Japan at least–says that women should avoid dating these three types of men: Band members, bartenders, and hair stylists (biyoushi, in Japanese).

Now, it’s easy to imagine why so many might believe these Three Bs might be filled with the very baddest of bad boys–after all, what’s sexier than a guitarist who can mix a drink and do your hair? But how do Japanese men in these professions feel about their reputations? Find out below!

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【TBT】Dinner with a movie: DVD offers pleasant mealtime conversation with young Japanese females

It’s a well-known fact that romantic relationships with real women are incredibly inconvenient. You take them out on dates, pay for their meals, and do everything you can to impress them—only to be kicked to the curb and have your pride crushed at the end of the day. Even if you did find that perfect girl, you’d be too nervous to talk to her in the first place!

Face it: it’s just easier to stay single. However, even those of us who are free from delusions of ‘romance’ may still fantasize of a little pleasant interaction with the opposite sex from time to time.

Now, thanks to Japanese DVD series Amateur Meal Time ~Let’s Eat Together!~, you can now fulfill that desire by enjoying the atmosphere of a dinner date without the hassle of actually having to talk to a real human!

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【TBT】Japanese artist paints breathtakingly lifelike 3-D goldfish using layers of resin

Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori has captivated the world with a series of stunningly realistic three-dimensional paintings featuring goldfish.

Fukahori paints the goldfish by using acrylic paint on layers of clear resin, meticulously adding layer upon layer to give the paintings an amazing sense of depth. The result is an image so breathtakingly detailed that we could only think these were real goldfish suspended in time.

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Wow, Japan, is that a giant wooden phallus in your hot springs, or are you just happy to see m–oh. I see. Well, uh, I’ll just be on my way then. Um…maybe one quick photo…

As you are surely already aware, Japan has quite a few unusual, phallic festivals allegedly intended to be fertility rites for couples hoping for children. They’re also great attractions for curious tourists or anyone who wants to try frosted penis-bananas. Iwate Prefecture, perhaps not wanting to be left out, has a phallus festival of its own. Its standout feature? The phallus riding event! And, great news, ladies, they’re taking applications!

(Before clicking below, use your best judgement about whether or not this is something you should be reading at work.)

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Photos of women with and without make-up show that reality is what you make it

While cosmetic surgery is the certainly one of the most dramatic ways to change your physical appearance, not everyone is willing to spend the money–or lose the flesh–for a new look. And if you happen to be a bit indecisive, going under the knife probably isn’t a very good idea. Fortunately, there’s always that ancient magic that humanity has used for millennia: make-up!

There’s no doubting the power of make-up–it’s one of the oldest human institutions and widely used in nearly every known society. And even today, it still manages to maintain a slight allure of mystery–there’s something almost scandalous about seeing someone “without their face on.” Which makes finding this huge compendium of before and after photos all the more fascinating!

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【TBT】In Japan, even cute animals obey the law

We’ve all no doubt heard of the polite deer in the city of Nara that have learned to bow their heads to tourists in order to get food, but did you know that they also obey the law and know how to cross the road properly?

Check out these photos for one incredibly cute example of how to use a pedestrian crossing!

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【TBT】Micro amigurumi crochet animals are small enough to balance on your finger

I’ve tried to crochet a cute little amigurumi animal in the past. In fact, I’ve had several attempts at it, but failed every time. I read a book on crocheting and even had someone teach me, but the end result was always the same: a tangled mess of yarn, a whole lot of frustration, and the shattered dream of creating a yarn buddy to call my own. So when I saw these micro amigurumi, I couldn’t believe that someone was able to crochet a unique animal pattern, let alone one that is so small it can balance on the tip of your finger.

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Happy New Year from the RocketNews24 Team!

As 2013 comes to a close, all of us at RocketNews24 have been taking time to reflect on the past 12 months. We’ve gone through a lot of changes as a site and staff and we’re all so grateful for our steadily growing readership. Most of all, we’re proud to have brought you an entire year’s worth of funny, interesting, and at times downright crazy news from Japan and Asia. Looking back, 2013 was our biggest year yet and we hope for your continued support of our small site of translator/writers who just can’t get enough of Japan.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2014 and thanks for being the best bunch of readers our humble site could ever hope for! Here’s to a wonderful new year filled with even more dancing Tokyo granniesotter handshakes, and Mr. Sato adventures…and of course a bit of Japanese language and culture sprinkled in for good measure!

Love always and forever,

The RocketNews24 Team

Image: 58 Pic

Merry Christmas from the RocketNews24 team!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s Christmas Day! And while that may not mean much to the majority of Japan and people go about their day like it’s any other Wednesday in December, we at RocketNews24 are taking it easy and spending some quality time with our friends, families, and of course lots and lots of food – be it traditional roast turkey or fried chicken courtesy of Japan’s most beloved Christmas cook, Colonel Sanders.

Although things will be slowing down here a little over the next few days, you can rest assured that we’ll still be around to bring you enough weird and wonderful news from Asia to keep you going until the new year – we wouldn’t want you to go hungry!

So have a great day, thanks for stopping by our humble site, and merry Christmas from the entire RocketNews24 team!

Photo via Stripes

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