Spiderman-Themed Dumplings Set to Please,May Lead to a Surge in Bad Puns

Readers of this website are likely to be familiar with nikuman, the steamed rice pastry often made with meat filling.  In the past we have reported on the delicious slime shaped nikuman and Puyo Puyo themed nikuman. One thing to note about nikuman is that their name is made up of two parts niku (meat) and man (steamed bread) so that if you change the filling the suffix remains the same giving you pizzaman or curryman.

Universal Studios Japan took notice of how this is linguistically similar to the suffixes often used for superheroes in English and developed Spiderman (here the man would be pronounced kind of like a Jamacian accented mon).

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Possible Debris From Tohoku Earthquake Reaches American Shores

As we quickly approach the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake the have been signs that debris from the massive tsunami has finally touched down on American shores.

Recently residents of northwest Washington state have been finding more and more fishing gear and garbage with Japanese writing on it since last weekend.  In fact, in the past two months one man found 15 pieces of Japanese debris has been reported which is a sharp increase from the only 4 pieces found in the previous 46 years.

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JAL Begins Serving Yoshinoya, Some Assembly Required

The Japanese airline industry has recently entered a phase of stiff competition as low cost carriers from countries like Europe have entered the scene.  Mainstays JAL and ANA have had to come up with more creative solutions to attract people to their higher-priced offerings.

JAL’s initiative has been to collaborate with popular restaurant chains so that people can enjoy their favorite foods instead of the dishes that are so-often the target of stand-up comedians.  Already they have sold hamburgers from fast food chain Mos Burger in a project called AIR Mos Burger, as well as dumplings from popular Chinese food chain Edosei with AIR NikumanThe third time’s the charm as now the granddaddy of Japanese fast food comes to the skies with AIR Yoshinoya.

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Angry Birds Fans Take Game Into Their Own Hands With Real USB Slingshot

Millions of people have experienced the satisfying feeling of pulling back their digital angry birds, releasing and sending them flying into those rickety pig-built structures on their smart phones or computers. It almost makes you want to light up a cigarette afterwards.

But after playing through the hundreds of levels that Roxio has released you may find that original satisfaction waning somewhat.  We have seen the videos of “real-life” versions in the past, but most of us lack the space and resources to do it ourselves. Well now, some ingenious fans have found a great way to add a fresh kick to their Angry Birds addiction using a real slingshot.

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Lovers’ Final Emails Moments Before Tsunami: “Don’t get yourself killed!”

Text messages sent from Arisa Miura, a city worker who died in the tsunami that struck Minami-Sanriku in Miyagi Prefecture, and her boyfriend were released to the press on March 5th. In the 5 texts, which were sent between the two lovers after the earthquake and before Miura was swept away, one can see the depth of their affection in their consideration for the other’s safety even in a hectic emergency situation. Read More

New Shop in Tokyo Offers 16 Kinds of Whale Meat and Hopes You Don’t Attack Them For It

The Ameyoko block of Tokyo is a comprised of a busy market street lined with quaint little shops selling various foods, cosmetics and knick-knacks like clocks.  You can expect to find just about anything in Ameyoko, which makes it the perfect location for Geinanhonbo, a whale-meat specialty shop, to open its newest branch.

At Geinanhonbo you can choose from 16 different cuts of whale meat from a giant fridge that takes up most of the shop space.  Red meat cuts are relatively cheap, costing 380 yen per 100g (US$1.32/oz), but more expensive parts like the tail or jaw can run up to 2,800 yen per 100g ($9.84/oz).  The store offers “almost every edible part of the whale” including the heart, which costs about as much as the red meat.

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Pikachu Shoes: The Only Way to Get Your Boyfriend to Notice Them

Ladies, are you looking for something to liven up your wardrobe but not go overboard? Are you tired of the man in your life not paying attention to your new shoes that you spent hours choosing?

If so, then visit etsy.com for your next pair.  Here you can find sparkly and eye-catching designs that are too far over the edge of good-taste.  I guarantee your husband or boyfriend will compliment you on your 1-UP designed shoes faster than you could imagine.
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1 Year After Tōhoku Earthquake FujiFilm Reports Over 1,000,000 Photos Rescued and Cleaned

Like with many natural disasters, governments and large corporations throw money and supplies in relief efforts.  Although the aid is greatly appreciated and needed by the victims, there is always this lingering cynicism that these donations were done out of self-serving motives.  Especially when said company releases an ad tooting their own horn about the contributions they made.

However, a largely unsung gesture by FujiFilm has recently celebrated its milestone of restoring over 1,000,000 photos recovered from earthquake devastated areas.  The cynic in you may ask what the big deal is about cleaning some photos when these people need food and shelter.

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Smartphone App Uses GPS to Home In On Shops with the Sexiest Guys

I must admit I was really excited when I downloaded this app I was told would turn my iPhone into “a stud finder.” Much to my chagrin, rather than helping me put up my new shelves it introduced me to Katsuhiro, a dashing young man who works at my local bakery.

This app was released by Datacraft on February 9, and uses GPS to locate the stores near you which have hot guys working there.  Called Ikemen Tenin MAP Sapporo (Map of Handsome Clerks in Sapporo), it’s designed for the working women who can’t find enough time to meet guys.

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Traditional Japanese Sword Makers Commissioned to Create Real-Life Evangelion Weapons

Museums always struggle to find ways to attract younger visitors, so it’s not unusual to see a museum tie in an exhibition to some pop-culture trend.  Even the Bizen Japanese Sword Museum which you’d think is one of the “cooler” museums for the kids has had to come up with new ideas recently.

As a result anime fans may want to take a trip to Setouchi City in Okayama Prefecture this summer to check out the “Neo Japanese Sword Evangelion” exhibition.  This exhibition is a fusion of the hit anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and the works of Japan’s finest traditional sword makers. Read More

Could Cool Blue Lights Help to Calm the Suicidal?

Thanks to Japan’s extensive rail system, millions of people are safely and promptly carried to and from to their destinations every day.

For instance, Uchihara Station in Mito city alone sees over 2000 people pass through every day. However, these useful transportation nodes are also plagued by a dark social ill: suicide by train.

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Hello Kitty Hotel Rooms Ensure Sweet Dreams on the Road

So you’re taking a vacation to Japan via the Hello Kitty Jet to buy some Hello Kitty stationary, knick knacks, clothing, and accessories, but you don’t have a place to stay?  The Shinhankyu Hotel in Osaka has got you covered!

Starting March first they are making Hello Kitty themed Prince Kitty Rooms available, each decorated wall-to-wall with the infamous kitten along with her childhood companion Dear Daniel.  Everything in the room from the curtains to the sheets to the cushions is touched with the pink and white essence of Japan cutest cultural icon, all of which are exclusive designs for this hotel.

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How to Tee Off But Not T-Off the Wife: Get Married on a Golf Course!

When thinking about a golf course, most women probably picture unappealingly dressed men whacking around a small ball while drinking beer.  It’s an image that keeps many a lady off the links, and makes it difficult for a husband to get away for a day on them.

Meanwhile, golf courses in Japan have been suffering. With the downturn in the economy they have been experiencing a dip in attendance recently.

Who would have thought that these two problems could be the perfect solution for each other? 

In Tsukuba, Japan, golf courses are now being rented out for weddings.

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74 Year-Old Resident Evil Addict’s Reflexes “Too Quick for Safe Driving”

Shiro Suzuki has been eagerly practicing to beat his high score of 178,270 in the Mercenary Mode of Resident Evil 4 (called Biohazard 4 in Japan).  Most who have played the game would agree that this is an impressive score, whereas hardcore gamers may scoff at the number. 

What makes Mr. Suzuki unique, however, is that on 10 February, 2012, he celebrated his 74th birthday.

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Current Head of 500 Year-Old Koga Ninja Clan Lecturing at University

On 31 January, Mie University’s Social Studies Department announced the hiring of their newest teacher – “the last living ninja” Jinichi Kawakami.  Would-be students from all over are lining up to learn from the 21st head of the approximately 500 year-old Koga Ninja Clan.

Mie Prefecture, which is home to Iga city and its famous ninja museum, intends to spread the word of ninja culture to Japan and beyond, with the added benefit of promoting their own ninja-based-tourism industry.

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We Order A Massive 2 Kilogram Steak And Feel Manlier Than Ever!

When western people visit Japan they often complain about the small size of the portions served to them at restaurants, especially when it comes to steak.  The average Japanese steak weighs in at around 150-200g (5-7oz) which would make for a decent sized American hamburger but little more than a frozen dinner-caliber steak. Read More

Behold The USB of the Future, No More Fumbling To Put It In Right-Side-Up

Buffalo Kokuyo Supply Inc. has announced they will release a new USB hub sometime in the end of February.  What sets this USB hub apart is that you will be able to connect your USB cord facing either way (upwards or downwards).

This comes as welcome news to everyone who has had to squint into their USB jack to see what side that little piece of plastic is on, and then still somehow manage to put it in the wrong way.

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North Korean Souvenirs Unwelcome in Japan, Travelers Must Throw Everything Away

Our correspondent who travelled to North Korea recently met with an unwelcome reception at Narita airport as he returned via Beijing.  “Customs officials, without any idea it was about to happen, spent about 10 minutes going through my things” he described. “It’s a sketchy country, so I guess they have to do these things, but still – it’s disappointing.”

The result of the search was that he had to give up every single souvenir he got in North Korea.

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McDonald’s “Broadway Burger” Is More “Off-Broadway” Yet Delicious Nonetheless

The newest in McDonald’s Big America Series of US themed hamburgers, the Broadway Burger has been released amid much confusion over its name.  No one can really understand what’s so “Broadway” about this thing.

Anyone who has been to Manhattan knows it’s the home of some of the finest restaurants in the world.  Only on Broadway can you see a world-class play and then walk up the street to a plethora of restaurants for your choice of international cuisine. Read More

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