Japan

With the New Dual iPad App “Rich Book” You Can Up Your Chances of Being Mugged to 94%

E-book readers are fast becoming the most popular way to get your reading done.  They take up less space and can sometimes be lighter and cleaner than their paper counterparts.

Still, if you’re an old fart like me, you still can’t get used to holding a table and stroking your finger to make a virtual “page” flip over.  It just doesn’t feel right.

But with “RichBook”, the new app from feedtailor Inc., you can sync a single e-book between two iPads, thus creating a real e-book book! Despite its name, the app is available for free to download.

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Eat at Sukiya and Get a Free Kirby Toy! (For a Limited Time Only)

Like gyūdon beef bowls? Love Nintendo’s pink vacuum-mouthed mascot Kirby? Then you’d better head down to your nearest Sukiya restaurant quick and pick up one of these adorable little windup walking models!

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How to Distribute a 10-Slice Pizza among a 6-Man Staff: A Japanese Management Guide

With Hyper Cool Biz long behind us, RocketNews24 management has been looking for new ways to save money while tightening their sadistic power trip over us lowly workjlsafds;lgha;d… ow!

Upon searching the internet, they were pleased to find a helpful management guide from the guys over at Omokoro, who you may remember from their guide to understanding women and the zebra wedding gift stunt.

Some people find these methods controversial, but nine out of ten of Japan’s largest companies swear by them. If you ask them they’ll never admit it though.

We would like to show you a translated version of this guide so that countries around the world may benefit from the increase in productivity and morale it brings.

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Our Reporter Picks up 1kg Curry Rice for Half Price, Wades His Way Through It

Just over a month ago, the poor relation of the convenience store chain family that is Save On unveiled a dish that it hoped would appeal to the hungry man on a budget and entice customers through its novelty value: an enormous 1 kg (2.2 lbs) tub of curry and rice. Even by western standards, the dish looks intimidating, sitting there taking up nearly twice the shelf space as its brethren and with a deep dish brimming with thick, dark-brown liquid and gut-filling fluffy white rice.

Since the dish is not yet available in all Save On stores, the gluttonous RocketNews24 team — famous for its food challenges like the 1,000 cheese slice Whopper and the 30 patty cheeseburger eatathon — was itching to try it but hadn’t been able to track one down until recently.

Luckily, late last week our reporter Yoshio was able to pay a trip to Saitama prefecture to pick up one of Save On’s monster curry tubs. And, even better, they were on sale for half price! Without stopping to wonder why such a gargantuan amount of food could possibly be on offer for such a meagre sum, our hungry writer bent at the knees, grabbed one with both hands and headed to the register.

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Two New Ghibli Films Out in Summer 2013, Posters Revealed!

In case you needed another reason to hope the world doesn’t end on December 21, Studio Ghibli has officially announced it will release two new films on the same day in summer 2013.

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Our Reporter Discovers Penis Disguised as Goomba, Nintendo’s Online Police on the Case Moments Later

When Nintendo stated that Miiverse, its new online community and text-based messaging service, would be strictly policed and kept kid-friendly, they weren’t kidding!

Lifelong gamer and RocketNews24 reporter Kuzo has been tooling around with the office’s new Wii U games console for weeks now, and, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Sato who attended the Japanese launch last weekend, managed to get his hands on a Japanese version of the machine, which he’s been thoroughly enjoying.

Imagine Kuzo’s shock, though, when he stumbled across a drawing of a goomba – the little mushroom bad guys from the Super Mario games – spliced onto the end of a crudely-drawn love-wand while using his new console’s integrated social network! Even more shocking, though, was the speed with which Nintendo’s net police honed in and took care of the offending material.

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Beautiful HDR Time-lapse of Tokyo Will Make You Want to Travel to Japan. Now.

One of the many wonderful things about modern technology is that it not only allows us to visit new places from the comfort of our homes, but also to experience familiar places in completely new ways.

For example, I have visited Tokyo numerous times over the three years I have called Japan my home and I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what the city is all about: skyscrapers, bright lights, crowds of busy people, corn man. But run all that through high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging, record it in time-lapse, and watch it on YouTube in 1080p and the city sights I know so well take on a completely different, almost otherworldly, appearance.

Check out the video below!

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Japanese High School Girl Beauty Pageant Open to Online Voting, May Not Accurately Represent Japanese High Schools

The photos above are the contestants for the upcoming Kanto Miss JK Contest, a beauty pageant to be held on December 27 in Shibuya, Tokyo to decide on the cutest Japanese high school girl in Kanto, the region on the main island of Japan encompassing Tokyo and the prefectures around it.

Before we say anything too malicious, we’d like to acknowledge that perceptions of beauty—or “cuteness”, in this case—can vary greatly among different cultures. However, as many Japanese netizens have pointed out, a thick mask of makeup and hair dyed brown or blonde is hardly representative of a typical Japanese high school girl, let alone a cute one.

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Feisty 94-Year-Old Runs for Office Using Money Saved for Funeral

Usually when you hear about a fresh-faced new voice in politics, it’s usually, well, a fresh face. Not so much with Ryukichi Kawashima, who is running for office for the first time at the ripe old age of 94.

Kawashima is running to represent Saitama Prefecture’s 12th District and is the oldest candidate out of the 1,504 people running in the current election. He had been putting aside money from his pension to use for his own funeral expenses, but decided the 3 million yen (about US$36,000) would be better spent as an election fund. Deep concern over the future of the country motivated him to run, he says. “I thought it was time I did something.”

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Tax the Handsome: One Homely Guy’s Solution to the Declining Birth Rate

As part of the end of year windup, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper has created a Facebook page where readers can discuss solutions to various issues facing Japan. The current topic of debate is the declining birthrate.

Takuro Morinaga, an economic analyst, weighed in with this controversial proposal: “If we levied a ‘handsome tax‘ on good-looking guys, that would serve to correct a little bit of the unfairness in dating, making it easier for homely guys to find a partner and the number of marriages would increase.”

I bet the ladies at the local tax office are all for it… Read More

Japanese Woman’s Rage at Slow Wii U Sends out Ripples of Doubt about Nintendo’s Newest Console

As the Wii U (finally) made its Japanese debut on 8 December amid great fanfare, cosplay, and pizza, reviews sprang up across the internet like so many fireworks going off when Mario enters the little castle at the right time.

As we at RocketNews24 got our hands on a US machine ahead of the Japanese launch we were impressed with its smooth and fast handling, even while riding a bullet train.

So it’s a little surprising to us and many other Nintendo fans when one woman’s review turned to rant at the device’s excruciatingly slow time to switch between some simple screens.

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“Unforgivable” Post-Earthquake Twitter Prank Causes Outrage Online **UPDATED**

A message left by a Twitter user claiming to be trapped under rubble after a powerful earthquake later turned out to be fake, causing outrage across Japan.

In the early evening of Friday, December 7,  a magnitude-7.3 earthquake with its epicentre off the northeast coast of Japan caused tremors so large that the Tokyo cafe in which my boss and I sat fell silent as patrons no doubt began wondering whether they ought to take cover beneath their tables. Windows rattled and the entire building creaked and swayed for almost five minutes after the tremors stopped.

As people reached for their mobile phones, expressions of concern could be seen throughout the room as talk of “possible tsunami” and “northeast Japan” appeared on social networks and news sites.

Soon after, a tweet (pictured above) appeared online asking for help and requesting that the message be shared as much as possible. Within the next hour, concerned Twitter users had retweeted the message more than 13,000 times, with many sending messages asking for more information about the user’s location and encouraging them to remain calm.

When the writer of the original tweet resurfaced hours later, however, and began mocking those who fell for the prank, people were understandably very upset, and soon began demanding that the tweet writer’s real identity to be determined and for them brought to justice.

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Mr. Sato Takes his Wii U to Play While Waiting in Line at the Wii U Release

Mr. Sato, you are the man! Not only were you able to obtain a Wii U before the rest of us even had a chance to hold one, but you had the audacity to show up to the release of the Wii U with a Wii U! And to top it all off, you were decked out in your signature look, “Blue Slime.”

Respect where respect is due!
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Heightened Sensibilities Regarding Child Safety Get a Man Written up for Asking Directions

An elementary school-aged girl in Aichi prefecture is believed to have reported a man to the police late last week when he stopped her to ask for directions to the station.

Most elementary aged children in Japan make their way to and from school on foot, with each’s child’s route kept on file at the school office to ensure their safety. Children are also arranged into small groups or have walking buddies who take the same route, and local Parent Teacher Associations ensure that there is always someone manning busy intersections each morning to help the children cross the street and keep any eye open for anything suspicious.

Kids are taught the safety rules of not only the road, but also how to prevent becoming victims of crime. Of course, talking to strangers is out of the question, but they are also encouraged to report anything ‘out of the ordinary’. On occasions such as these, the ‘suspicious characters’ are reported, and a letter goes out informing parents about the time and place of the sighting, as well as the physical description of the shifty-looking individual.

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【Rocket Food】 One Piece Chicken! Cook for Monkey D. Luffy at Home Tonight with this Simple Recipe

One Piece fans the world over will have no doubt lost count of the number of times they’ve seen Monkey D. Luffy chomping on a big hunk of meat.

Keen food fans that the RocketNews24 writers are, we can’t help but feel a little peckish every time we see the wide-grinning captain tucking into his meals, and we always find the food he eats, dished up by chain-smoking pirate chef Sanji, absolutely tantalising.

But now, thanks to the equally food-loving team at sister site Pouch, we have just the thing to placate our growling stomachs while we watch our One Piece DVDs or flick through our ever-growing stack of comic books: from Chef Sanji’s very own cookbook, egg-stuffed chicken!

It’s simple, nutritious and boy is it tasty. Full ingredients and recipe all after the jump >

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Doraemon (No, it’s Not Hello Kitty This Time) Cosplays to Bring You Luck in the New Year!

At RocketNews24, we love seeing well-known characters indulging in a bit of fun cosplaying. Last month, we showed you Hello Kitty turning herself into a Thanksgiving main dish, and it appears she’s not the only one transforming into food form. This time, Doraemon has made himself available in a mochi (rice cake) costume for the Japanese New Year, and darn it, he actually looks cute doing it! Read More

Anime Princess Marriage Certificates Big Hit with Japanese City

It seems like nearly every city, town, and village in Japan has a cute mascot character to represent it. Usually these are yuru-kyara, anthropomorphic characters often designed with qualities representing whatever that municipality is known for.

The city of Suwa, Nagano, however, knows that the worth of a mascot character should be judged not by how well it represents the region, but by how well it sells. And in Japan, nothing sells better than cute anime girls.

That’s why they came up with Suwa-hime, or Princess Suwa, a young anime princess from medieval Japan with her own manga, voice actress, and line of original figures and goods.

Since her creation in 2011, Suwa-hime has been such a success that the city has even started printing her on their official marriage certificates, and the nerdy public official who came up with her is likely basking in splendid vindication of his hobby for the first time in his life.

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