Japan

Video Shows Rabbit Born Without Ears In Fukushima

On May 21 a video of a rabbit supposedly born with no ears after the Fukushima nuclear accident was uploaded to YouTube. Though the exact cause remains unclear, many people are speculating that it could be an effect of radiation. Conversely, many also claim that the video is a hoax. Read More

On May 19 it was revealed that two 2nd grade homeroom teachers at a Junior High School in Akita prefecture were writing the names of students who did not donate money for the Great East Japan Earthquake on the blackboard.

The incident has sparked controversy in Japan with people criticizing the teachers as having put pressure on the students to donate.
Read More

Pikachu Exposed To High Levels Of Radiation, Evolves

Pikachu, the mascot character for the popular game Pokémon, is adored by people from Japan and the world over. Countless fans have shared their love of the little mouse by posting their own Pikachu artwork to sites across the ‘net.

Recently, one concerned fan has envisioned what may be happening to the Pikachu inhabiting the grass around the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant:

Tepuchu

Cesium Monster
Height: ??? m
Weight: ??? kg

Humans not equipped with Full Armor that approach Tepuchu die immediately.

Pokémarts across the country will soon offer ‘Radiation Stones’ for those unable to bring their Pikachu to Fukushima for evolution via direct exposure.

Yakiniku Hitori: Barbeque For One

Yakiniku, sometimes referred to as ‘Japanese barbecue,’ is a style of cooking bite-sized pieces of meat and vegetables on a small grill. Yakiniku is usually a social eating experience, and most restaurants cater to groups of two or more customers. Consequently, many Japanese people find it too embarrassing to enter a yakiniku restaurant alone.

However, yakiniku restaurant Hitori, located in Ueno, Tokyo, aims to give the hungry masses a place to escape the judgmental eyes of society and grill their meat in solitude as they see fit. Read More

Countless UFOs Caught On Camera Above Tokyo

The battle for Earth will start in Tokyo.

That’s what some people must have been thinking as they witnessed a countless number of UFOs appear above them in the skies above Shinjuku earlier this month. Read More

On May 2, 2011 Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs during a special operation in Pakistan. President Obama stated that the death of bin Laden is “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaeda.”

As details of the operation were reported around the world the scene of President Obama and government officials watching the situation unfold live via camera feed from the White House emerged as a representative image of the event.

The severe expressions of those present show the room was filled with palpable tension. However, a series of images posted to Japanese Internet forum 2channel show the mood in the room may have been slightly different than mainstream media has let on. Read More

A number of fascinating pictures capturing the wonderful world of underground drainage systems in Japan were uploaded to a Russian LiveJournal blog. The pictures hold an artistic quality that replaces the ‘dirty’ image of sewers with that of an eerily enchanting sci-fi world. Read More

Japanese Politicans (Literally) Dream of Recovery

Feelings of fear and anxiety continue to murmur among the Japanese people two full months after the March 11 disaster. In this climate of uncertainty it is crucial that Japan’s leaders maintain a strong image that broadcasts their steadfast determination to see this crisis through until the end. Read More

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 keep them pleased—only to be kicked to the curb 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 free from delusions of ‘romance’ may still fantasize of a little pleasant interaction with the opposite sex from time to time.

Now, thanks to the ‘background video’ 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 meet a real woman! Read More

Fukushima: We Visit Expo Venue-Turned-Shelter

Koriyama city lies near the center of Fukushima prefecture and 58 km from the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Radiation levels in the city have hovered around 2 mSv since March, and residents remain uneasy as the nuclear crisis drags on.

Even more can be said for the nearly 3,000 people in shelters in Koriyama who were forced to evacuate their homes. Furthermore, around 2,000 of these people are living under the same roof: Big Palette Fukushima, a five-story, 50,000 m² exhibition center.

On April 11th I visited Big Palette Fukushima to see what living conditions are like. Read More

In 2007 Japanese home sanitation company S.T. Corporation launched a commercial for their popular brand of bathroom deodorizer, Shoshu-Riki for Toilet, featuring a group of foreign musicians performing a jingle called Song for Toilet.

The commercial and jingle became an instant hit with its catchy tune and lyrics: “Shoshu-Riki, I love the toilet. Shoshu-Riki, I love it too! For your lovely toilet, Shoshu-Riki!” Read More

Tabasco sauce is perhaps the greatest culinary invention to come out of the United States. Even here in Japan Tabasco is used to spice up foods like donburi, curry, pizza and—of course—instant ramen.

However, we recently discovered a Japanese spin-off of the beloved pepper sauce that seems eager to assert itself as a product of Japan. Read More

On April 21 the Japanese government declared the 20 km zone around the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant a no-go zone, forcing volunteer animal rescue groups that had been working in the area to halt their efforts.

Before the no-go zone was enforced the groups had been working to rescue the cats and dogs left behind by their owners who fled after the nuclear crisis broke out. After being denied special permission to enter the area several of the groups appealed to the public to pressure the government into taking action. Read More

Ramen is perhaps the most beloved food in Japan, and certainly the most experimented on. From ice cream to frog it seems like Japanese are always enthusiastically throwing things in their ramen in the pursuit of new and exciting flavors.

There is a food stand in Yoyogi Park that has taken a different approach to ramen innovation and changed the form of ramen itself. Moreover, they chose a method of delivery that challenges instant ramen’s title of most convenient noodle dish: the hamburger. Read More

Takeshi’s 7-Step “Relief” Program

During an April 23 live television broadcast of the program Jouhou 7-Days Newscaster and renowned filmmaker Takeshi Kitano urgently appealed to provide “more detailed assistance” to the disaster area.

Takeshi, who co-hosts the program, outlined seven measures that he believes could improve the quality of life for those displaced by the disaster. In true Takeshi fashion most of the suggestions are very bold and even lewd, making it easy to brush them off as another one of his comedic stunts. However, considering that the shelters provide very little in the way of privacy and entertainment, Takeshi’s proposal could sound much more relevant to those actually living in them.

The proposed measures follow below: Read More

Rilakkuma Pancakes Too Cute To Burn, I Do So Anyways

Last week I introduced you to the relaxation-loving Japanese character Rilakkuma and my rice-filled tofu pouch interpretation of his face. This time, I decided to try and see what else I could mold into that cute little face and pancakes seemed like a natural choice. Read More

Operation Arigatou: One Man’s Mission to Say ‘Thank You’

In the days following the Great East Japan Earthquake the United States Armed Forces mobilized to aid Japan’s disaster relief efforts and launched ‘Operation Tomodachi’ (lit: Operation Friend). It has since become a large scale operation with the United States committing roughly 20,000 personnel, 20 ships and 160 aircraft to date.

Efforts so far have included distributing supplies to the disaster area, searching for missing persons off the Sanriku Coast, cleaning up rubble and debris, and restoring a landing strip at the disaster-struck Sendai Airport. The United States also provided a specialized unmanned aircraft to photograph the area around the Fukushima I reactor as the nuclear crisis unfolded.

Moved by America’s compassionate response to Japan’s situation, an anonymous former member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and resident of Miyagi prefecture began making plans to personally express his thanks to the United States personnel involved in Operation Tomodachi. He named his plan ‘Operation Arigatou.’ Read More

Collection of Earthquake-Themed Illustrations to be Auctioned and Compiled in Book For Charity

On March 16 several members of the French artist community café salé launched Project Tsunami, a website showcasing a collection of earthquake- and tsunami-themed illustrations. Read More

Videos Show Citizens Stranded On Roof By Tsunami As Fires Spread

Most of the video and imagery shown by the media since the Great East Japan Earthquake were taken from the air. For example, the most commonly used footage documenting the sea of fire that spread across the city of Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture was taken from helicopter by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and provides us with a clear image of the scale of situation.

Today we would like to share a series of five videos that were taken by phone from the roof of the Kesennuma City Community Center documenting the same fire. They were taken by the YouTube user ono999dera and show how the dire situation unfolded before the eyes of those stranded in Kesennuma City. Read More

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