Cornman Continues to Patrol Tokyo’s Yamanote Line, but Why?

Recent reports of an unidentified passenger of the Yamanote subway line in Tokyo including this recent picture has every one asking: “Who is Cornman?” and more importantly, “What the hell is he doing?”

The first known photo (below) was tweeted back in May and showed a seemingly normal fellow towing what appeared to be a single unhusked ear of corn attached by a bright red dog leash heading towards the station exit.

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McSwindle? Predictions of McDonald’s Next Cost Cutting Business Move Spark Laughter on Twitter

Regular visitors to RocketNews24 will no doubt be aware that McDonald’s Japan has been making the headlines a lot since the beginning of the month. The removal of menus from its counters, worried rumours of the restaurant putting a stop to free cups of water; the fast food chain has received a lot of negative attention.

After tweets on the theme of “McDonald’s next bizarre business move” hit the thousands, tweet-gathering mega blog Togetter has put up a collection of some of the best thoughts and creative ideas from Japan’s internet users, with some little short of laugh-out-loud funny.

So, what do the people of Japan predict for Ronald and pals’ near future? Let’s find out!

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Like many other little girls, 4-year-old Kazuki loves to play dress up, dance around the room and sing her heart out. What sets her apart from other toddler divas though, is that she has a mother just as enthusiastic about her playtime habits as she is.

When Kazuki says she wants to become Hatsune Miku, mom wastes no time in hitting the sewing machine. Once her custom outfit is done, mom sticks a microphone in her hand, starts the music, and its lights, camera, action.

Not wanting to keep her daughter’s talent to herself, Kazuki’s mom created the YouTube channel “Kazuki’s Room” to share their playroom productions with the world. We’ve posted a few of the best below. Just make sure to have a pillow or something soft on hand to squeeze the life out of because these videos are unbearably adorable.

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Japanese Tourists Ill-Mannered? A Simple Request to Japanese Travelers that May Do Wonders for Their Reputation

Those of you familiar with our Japanese site are probably aware that our reporters often travel overseas to bring interesting stories from around the world to our Japanese readers. Recently, one reporter shared with us an eye-opening realization he had while traveling, one that could have serious bearing on the reputation of Japanese tourists abroad.

Being Japanese and also very fond of traveling myself, this was a story I couldn’t take lightly! Read More

Thailand not Playing Around When It Comes to Cigarette Warning Labels

In many countries around the world governments and health organizations have been tightening the noose ever more around the already choking necks of average smokers.  By taxing the hell out of them and limiting smoking areas to under the floorboards of your house, smokers can scarcely relax with their favorite addiction.

Then we have the warning labels. Japanese cigarette packs have very minimal labels – for now – with some classy embossed printing.  Other countries such as Canada have been using graphic labels for quite some time.  They are rather unpleasant images of rotten teeth and people with tubes in their throat.

As bad as those images are they tend to lose their shock value quickly to the point that most smokers hardly notice them anymore.  Thailand, however, has taken the graphic label concept beyond unpleasant and into nightmare territory.

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When Idol Meets Dog: Intricately Detailed Dog-Sized Hatsune Miku Outfit Wows Internet Users

Electronic idol Hatsune Miku’s popularity seemingly knows no bounds.

If we’re not seeing stories of catastrophic cakes being made in her image, we’re hearing reports that one of her uber fans has spent an exorbitant amount of money acquiring the last Hatsune Miku edition Sony MP3 player ever made.

Clearly Ms. Miku has her share of fans, but when you come to think about it, is dropping a ton of cash really equate the greatest measure of fandom? Surely just about anyone with a computer and some spending can bid on an MP3 player!?

But hand-crafting a tiny, intricately-detailed Hatsune Miku outfit for your pet dog? Now that’s what we call a fan!

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Underequipped Family Climbs Mount Fuji to Promote Chinese Patriotism, Given Clothes by Japanese Person

A well-known Chinese writer with some controversial views on education got into dire straits in September after attempting to climb Mount Fuji with his children.  The purpose of the climb was a combination of a strict education regiment and as a way to promote Chinese patriotism.

Unaware that the climbing season ended at the end of August, they were turned back short of the summit, but not before being given extra clothing by a Japanese first aid officer.

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From Pool to Glass in One Hour: Smart Gadget Provides Clean Drinking Water in an Emergency

While I was fortunate to have been inland and more than 60km away from the Fukushima power plant when it ruptured, on 3 March, 2011, my co-workers and I nevertheless started to get a little anxious when, just a few hours after the initial earthquake hit north-east Japan, our water supply went off.

Heading to the nearest supermarket in search of bottled water, we were met by the sight of hundreds of locals who had had the exact same idea: buy as many provisions as possible and get back indoors. By the time we found a place to park and got into the store, there was barely anything left on the shelves; it had all been snapped up by (understandably) panicked buyers. Deciding to try our luck at the local convenience store, we drove over to 7-Eleven, but found the shelves just as bare.

Although our sitation never got anywhere close to desperate, and our supply came back on about 24 hours later, the thought of  not having any clean, safe drinking water really struck home for a while there.

Until it suddenly becomes unavailable, water is something that we all take for granted on a daily basis. Turn the tap and fill up a glass, fill the kettle and make a coffee, jump in the shower, wash your clothes; we use it almost constantly and can’t get by without it.

So it comes as something of a relief to hear that there are clever people out there creating devices that can do something as unfathomable as turn chemical-filled pool water into something that’s safe to drink in an emergency…

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Zen and the Art of Flushing: Japanese Man Installs Bamboo Fountain on Toilet

Among other things, the toilet is a place for peaceful introspection. It provides an isolated and quiet space for us to devote a few minutes from our busy schedules to just sit and think.

Some people seek to enhance the spiritually soothing properties of the toilet by adorning their bathroom in calming pastel colors or setting a bowl of potpourri or other aromatic atop the toilet’s porcelain tank.

One Japanese person, true to his culture, has taken excremeditation to new levels by installing a working traditional Japanese bamboo fountain on top of his toilet.

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Help Pikachu and Pals Fight for Their Freedom!  PETA’s Pokémon Parody Sends a Powerful Message

Hot on the heels of its highly successful Super Mario spoof animal fur campaign, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has launched a brand new flash game that centres on kids’ videogame favourite Pokémon, exposing the cruel truth behind the trainer / pocket monster relationship and prompting us all to think a little harder about how we treat animals.

The game, which mimics the style of the hugely popular videogame, has seen thousands of visits since its launch, and asks players to take on the role of captive pokémon as they battle with their abusive trainer for freedom. Read More

Why Japan Doesn’t Give a Gangnam Sh** About PSY

I remember showing “Gangnam Style” to my Japanese friends and coworkers only a few weeks after it was uploaded to YouTube in July. While, like millions of other viewers, I thought the video was best thing to come out of YouTube since Charlie the Unicorn, I was surprised to find that most Japanese people I showed it to would just stare at the screen and mumble a disinterested “hmmmm.”

Were they seeing the same video I was? Did they not notice the horse-riding dance and the rhythmic pelvic thrusting in the elevator? Were they deaf to the addictive melody and blind to the tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendos? I mean, come on people: he’s screaming at her butt.

At the time, I thought maybe I just had dull friends. But after over 400,000,000 views, numerous international media appearances, an American record deal and still only minimal sign of interest from Japan, I’m compelled to think that there is something about PSY and Gangnam Style that the Japanese are simply unable to accept.

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Journey to Toilet Heaven: Our Writer’s Cheeks-On Experience of the World’s Most Spacious Public Toilet

With every man and his dog having heard tales of Japan’s heated, butt-cheek-massaging, water-squirting thrones or experienced them firsthand by now, the country’s space-age toilets are nothing new.

Why the contraptions haven’t quite caught on overseas yet still amazes me, but Japan continues to do toilets exceedingly well, and few things on this earth please this writer more than opening a stall door and being greeted by a sensor-activated toilet whose lid opens to greet me with the fondness of a dog whose master has just return from a weekend away.

But with all those buttons, dials and functions, Japan’s toilets seem to have peaked. Today’s toilet enthusiasts demand something more! Luxury, ladies and gentlemen, does not come from mere electronics; it comes from spacious, tranquil privacy.

In search of just that, our lucky writer over at RocketNews24 Japan headed out to Chiba prefecture, the home of the world’s most spacious public restroom, documenting the entire process on our behalf. Well, maybe not the entire of the process…

Before we set off, does anyone need to pee?

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Sexy Dance Performance at Korean All-Boys High School Results in Hormonal Chaos 【Long Version】

Some of you may be familiar with South Korean female dance team Waveya from their sexy dance rendition of international K-Pop hit “Gangnam Style” (see below).

While unable to match the raw sexual energy that made PSY’s original music video so successful, the video has gotten over 40 million views on YouTube and has helped the five-piece unit make a name for themselves domestically.

Last month, for example, Waveya was asked to perform at an all-boys high school in Korea. The girls took the stage and began working their sexiest, most seductive moves on stafe in front of the crowd of adolescent males and, as you might imagine, it wasn’t long before every guy in the room found himself standing erect with excitement.

You know, to see Waveya. Because they’re famous now… Pervert.

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Find the Geek of Your Dreams at the 10th Otaku Marriage Hunting Masquerade Ball!

So you’re a middle aged person living in Japan with a mind to tie the knot but can’t seem to find that perfect match.  You went to a goukon and followed all the rules but still couldn’t land that potential spouse.

It could be because you’re a geek.  Now, that’s not as bad as it sounds. Statistics that I just pulled out of thin air suggest that up to 31% of us carry the otaku gene. Some of our best and brightest are nerds, such as Mark Zuckerberg, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wayne Gretzky.

However, for the otaku, marriage can be as hard to complete as that level in Battletoads where you have ride the hover bike. This is why the town of Washimiya has set up the Otaku Marriage Hunting Masquerade Ball.

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China Invents “Mood Detector” to Help Stop Fighting Couples

A couple in China has invented a “mood detector” that helps to stop couples from fighting.

Couple fights are part and parcel of everyday life. While it is said that small quarrels help to keep the marriage alive, unresolved arguments can escalate into serious conflicts. At times like this, it is always good to have a third-party act as a mediator, but even so, the family counselor cannot be there 24/7. This is when the “mood detector” comes in handy.

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Calendars featuring photos of sexy models posing provocatively are nothing new, but leave it to Japan to come up with a calendar where the date is written on the exposed skin of a woman’s body —and actually make it look artistic.

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A Week After McDonald’s Removes Menus from Counters, Customers are Still Not Happy

Just over a week ago, McDonald’s Japan took the sudden and seemingly unnecessary step of removing menus from its counters, instead asking customers to make their selection before stepping up to order.

As reported here on RocketNews24, this very minor change had a strangely jarring effect on us when we visited the restaurant, perhaps conditioned by years of frequenting fast food joints and coffee outlets where the menu is, usually, right next to the cash register to at least glance at.

According to recent reports, that feeling of confusion is not limited to this us alone… Read More

Need Motivation to Lose Weight? How About Cheaper Rent?

Anyone who’s ever tried to shed a few pounds knows how hard it can be to stay motivated. Sometimes you just can’t reach down and find the fortitude deep inside to put down the doughnut and pick up your dumbbells without a more immediate payoff.

A recently opened rental property in Osaka has come up with a novel idea to help dieters keep their motivation up: a discount on rent for weight lost.

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Ichiro Reveals Inner Ninja during Second Game of Divisional Series

Can you spot what’s wrong with this picture?

That’s right. This slide into home is going the wrong way.  Some were concerned that future hall of famer Ichiro Suzuki may have been past his prime when added to the Yankees this year, but he certainly pulled his weight scoring the first run in their second divisional playoff game against Baltimore.

Ichiro, after being waved home suddenly found himself cut off by an early throw to Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters.  Staring an inevitable 3rd out in the face, Ichiro wondered “What would Naruto Uzumaki do right now?”

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