charity

Lycra-clad Super Sentai descend on Taiwan to… pick up trash?!

Japan sure knows how to say thanks in a unique way! Super Sentai (not to be confused with hentai!) were on hand to save the day in Taiwan by rescuing an area from rubbish, in a street-cleaning event that began as a way of showing gratitude for Taiwan’s contributions to the Tohoku disaster relief effort. And what expresses those feelings better than people running around in flashy skin-tight suits?

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Lady Gaga Hello Kitty put under the virtual hammer, only two in the world born this way

We often like to cover the more absurd things that get put up for bid on Yahoo! Auction Japan, but this time something has come up that may be of genuine interest to either Lady Gaga or Hello Kitty fans. If you happen to be a fan of both then this is downright priceless.

Currently an extremely limited edition Hello Kitty doll is the subject of fierce bidding. This Hello Kitty is done up in fashion inspired by one of the biggest musicians in the world today, Lady Gaga.

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Heartbreaking video game remembers the victims of the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, raises money for survivors

Compared to older forms of media such as books and movies, the video game industry is still somewhat wet behind the ears. But as technology advances and developers become increasingly able to realise their creative visions without having to rein in their imaginations due to hardware limitations, we are finally reaching the point where games are able to not just entertain but challenge us both intellectually and viscerally, creating emotive experiences and acting as vehicles for genuinely engaging tales.

9.03m does precisely that. Developed by independent Scottish game studio Space Budgie, the game, whose proceeds go towards those affected by the disaster, stands as a memorial to the victims of the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, questing players with gathering the possessions of those lost in the tsunami, which have been carried across the ocean from Japan to America, with each object telling the story of a lost soul.

At once heartrending and beautiful, this is a title that deserves the attention of not just every gamer but every person with access to a PC.

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Story of kindness at American restaurant warms hearts, stokes privacy concerns in Japan

Despite one of the top stories this past week being about how terrible Americans are at getting along, a picture posted on the Internet messaging board reddit has brought a little credibility back to the United States. Normally a hand-scrawled note to a server about paying the bill would barely make local gossip. However, this man’s offer of charity to two crying women who just received bad news made its way to Japan, moving some to tears and some to wonder if privacy concerns would prevent this from happening in their country.

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The Masked Philanthropist is Back! Japanese Orphanage Receives Mystery Donation from Tiger Mask

On Christma Day, 2010, an anonymous donor left ten 30,000 yen ($360) randoseru backpacks outside a Japanese orphanage in Gunma Prefecture. Attached to the bags was a card signed by Naoto Date, the secret identity of fictional Japanese wrestler Tiger Mask, who, in the popular 1960s manga by the same name, fought for orphans after being raised in an orphanage himself.

The story was picked up by the press and a week later, on January 1, 2011, a similar donation of backpacks was left at an orphanage in Kangawa Prefecture, again with a note signed by Naoto Date. By January 11, over 100 “Tiger Mask” donations, ranging from backpacks to toys, food, and monetary gifts, had been reported at various children’s facilities across the country.

After that, little was heard from Tiger Mask, aside a second donation to the original orphanage in Gunma on Christmas Day, 2011, which failed to inspire a wave of charity as it had the previous year.

Has Tiger Mask forgotten about the children of Japan?

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Capcom Ōkami Collaboration Helping Restore Tsunami-Struck Town, and So Can You

Playstation 2 and Wii owners will likely be familiar with Ōkami, the adventure game set in ancient Japan that features an absolutely gorgeous wood-cut, cell-shaded graphic design.

The game puts players in control of the wolf incarnation of Shintō goddess Amaterasu, and quests them with using a magical, life-giving paintbrush to transform a dark, cursed world into one of plants, trees and flowers, as well as battling a few demons and evil spirits along the way.

On the same theme of restoration, a local website based in Rikuzentakata, a coastal town in Iwate prefecture severely damaged by the March 11 tsunami, has launched a special range of products officially backed by Capcom, the makers of Ōkami, with profits from their sale going to towards rebuilding the town and, much like the game, “restoring nature to its once beautiful state.”

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Evil Villain “Colonel Muska” Leaves Japanese Orphanage Stacks of Goodies

Here’s a news story that managed to warm even our cynical, Internet-jaded hearts to the core.

A man going by the name of Colonel Muska, the nefarious villain from Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky, has made a surprise donation to an orphanage in Tokushima city on the island of Shikoku, Japan.

The mysterious stranger left a pile of expensive leather school backpacks as well as a copy of the Ghibli feature film on DVD outside the orphanage, along with a letter simply saying “Please think of this as an early Christmas present. Yours, Colonel Muska”

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Starbucks Japan Unveils Posh Leather Cup Sleeves as Part of Charity Drive

Starbucks Japan has teamed up with Spanish luxury leather designer Loewe to produce a range of sexy leather sleeves for its paper coffee cups, it was announced yesterday.

The limited-edition sleeves are part of a programme designed to provide financial support to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami that stuck north-eastern Japan in March last year.

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How Your Old Videogames, Books and CDs Could Help Educate a Child

Take a quick look around your home. See anything gathering dust? Any old books sitting on the shelf unloved? That AKB48 CD you bought last year but are too embarrassed to listen to? How about those Playstation2 games that you never got around to playing before your console died?

Well now’s your chance to have a good old clear-out. Grab a cardboard box and turn that stuff into an education for a less fortunate child.

Japanese recycling giant Book Off is working in conjunction with Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) to provide books and learning materials for children who have found themselves homeless as a result of war or natural disasters. As well as donating the in-store buy-back value of any books, CDs, DVDs and videogames donated by regular folk like you and me, Book Off is pledging an extra 10% of that value to the charity.

In short, some less fortunate kids get an education; you make some space in your home and get to feel warm and fuzzy. Read More

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