[Quiz] How Well Do You Know Your Japanese Hand Gestures?

Recently we ran an article about obscene gestures in many parts of the world, but now RocketNews would like to turn the lens inwards for a look at Japan’s hand gestures.

You may have some experience with these from spending time in Japan or from Japanese film and manga, but how well do you really think you know the gestures of this country? Take this quiz to find out.

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Smartphone Vs Wine Bottle: Can this New “Shockproof Film” Save the Mobile Device?

While attending Wireless Japan 2012 this year, we were able to see some offerings by the best companies of the mobile industry.  But many times, it’s the small to mid-sized businesses that really aim to make a name for themselves.

Enter Sun Crest Ltd., who shocked many with their line of shockproof screen film protectors.  Although it’s not officially released, we got ahold of a sample and put it to the test with some whacks from a wine bottle.

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Don’t feel constrained by the passage of time – enjoy it instead with the Awaglass!

Okay, who came up with the brilliant idea of replacing the sand in an hourglass with bubbles? Whoever it was, the end result is absolutely beautiful! Just take a look at this creative product from designer Norihiko Terayama’s company Studio Note, and we think you’ll agree. The name of the product, Awaglass, is obviously a pun on the word “hour” and “awa“, which in Japanese means bubbles, and true to its name, the Awaglass involves lots of beautiful bubbles rising up from the lower half of the hourglass to the upper half. The bubbles truly create a fantastical picture, and we have the pictures and video below to share with you. Read More

Worried about power shortage? Now you can carry around your own portable solar power source!

Conservation and efficient use of energy is a huge issue these days, particularly in Japan where the nuclear power plants have been shut down and people are seriously concerned about whether we will have enough electric power in the coming summer months when electricity use will be at the highest. Well, if you’re worried about running out of electric power, here’s the perfect gadget for you – your very own portable solar panel kit! Read More

A new innovative drink to come out from Suntory – but have they gotten a bit too innovative this time?

In recent months, we’ve brought to you news on several interesting and creative beverages such as fat-busting cola, salty watermelon flavored pepsi and Okinawa brown sugar cola. Now, major beverage maker Suntory Holdings Limited has announced another new innovative drink that will come on to the Japanese market on July 31. The new drink, called Espressoda, is actually a carbonated coffee drink! However, based on the response on the internet, it appears that Japanese consumers are not so sure about coffee soda as a drink. Read More

The inability to understand women is a struggle shared universally by men across the world. Luckily, our friends at Omokoro have put together a detailed report titled A Simple Approach to Understanding Women that should offer some insightful help to the clueless male masses.

Our full translation of the report follows below.

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Who looks like the former President of Finland? An unexpected case of look-alikes

In Japan, we say that there are (at least) three people in the world who look exactly like you. Well, we seem to have found 2, possibly 3 publicly recognizable figures who look very much like each other. Could they be doppelgängers? Read More

Something fishy’s going on in a fishing port in Japan, literally – and tons and tons of it too!

Something terribly fishy is going on at the fishing port of Ohara (pronounced Oh-hara) in Isumi City of Chiba Prefecture, and it has nothing to do with espionage or political corruption. There are tons and tons of dead sardines washing up on the shore, and not only is the sight disturbing, but the huge amount of dead fish is literally smelling up the entire surrounding area. Read More

Apologizing like a Japanese woman: A practical guide

All couples fight. But what separates a good couple from a bad couple is that with a good couple, someone will usually step up and apologize before the awkward atmosphere devours their relationship whole.

Today we’d like to share several tactics that Japanese women apparently employ to apologize to their boyfriends when they’re in the wrong.

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These cute little gadgets will keep you cool in the summer – so what are they?

Can you guess what these gadgets are? It’s hard to tell from their appearance, isn’t it? Well, they’re portable devices that are designed to keep you cool in warm weather, so they’re not just cute and smart looking, they’re actually quite functional. So what exactly are they and how are they used? Read More

Kyoto Bee Research Center Is the Bee’s Knees

Kyoto Sangyo University opened a brand-new research facility this week, the Honeybee Industry Research Center, to study the ecology of the little bumblers and the benefits of their honey. This kind of specialized facility is extremely rare and is generating a lot of buzz among entomologists. Read More

Use Your Sushi … On Your Smartphone

So you want to keep your smartphone on your desktop, but you don’t want to lay it flat to get inadvertently smothered by paperwork or worry about some careless mungo putting their coffee mug on it. Or you want to watch some videos on it so you prop it up against your coffee mug but the phone slides down and you actually want to drink your coffee at some point. Read More

New Kit Helps You Get Lint Out of Your Belly Button More Safely Than the Fork You Usually Use

Hesogoma Karametoru (Belly Button Sesame Mixer-Catchers) has been flying off the shelves of major department stores all over Japan recently, and it’s no surprise. This product fulfills a basic human need to clean one’s navel, otherwise known as “the forgotten orifice.”

Before the egg-head biologists write in and complain: no, the belly button is not an orifice, but it certainly needs cleaning like one. In further medical news, Japanese people don’t have sesame seeds in their navels. It’s just the slang term for belly button lint.

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Japan Develops Pulse-Controlled Cat Tail Accessory That Sways Back and Forth When You Get Excited

Now that mind-controlled cat ears are a thing you can buy, the next logical step toward mankind’s evolution into adorable feline cyborgs is, as a video uploaded yesterday to Nico Nico Douga suggests, a pulse-controlled cat tail.

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Tomato Juice is Scientifically Proven to Kill Your Buzz

We all know that tomato juice with its frosty phlegm-like consistency can really bring down the best of days.  Even the much needed boost it received as a diet fad appears to be quickly waning due to its general crappiness.

Now, researchers on the dime of beverage companies Asahi and Kagome have discovered that it can also bust up anyone’s party by reversing the effects of alcohol.

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Hungry? Fill yourself up with this bento lunch that weighs in at a hefty 1kg (2.2 lb)

The Japanese people love creating unique bento lunches (lunches neatly packed in a box) in various shapes and sizes, ranging from cute “character bentos” (chara-ben, as they’re known in Japanese) for children to take to school , to more conventional bento lunches you can bring to your office. But in the case of a particular bento shop in Naha city on the island of Okinawa, their bentos have been gaining attention not for their design but for their volume! Read More

Create Your Own Amazing Computer Animation Simply By Playing With Dolls, I Mean Action Figures

There has been a lot of talk about Qumarion especially since preorders have been announced to start on 21 June at 15:00.  This device, often referred to as a mannequin or action figure (but never the D-word dreaded by boys everywhere), can conceivably allow anyone with basic motor skills to create computer animation on par with the pros.

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