controversy

Japanese travel provider under fire for guaranteeing flyers would sit next to a college girl

Backlash is swift for plan which offered in-flight companionship from one of five young, intelligent women.

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Blink and you’ll miss what riled racists in this Japanese McDonald’s ad 【Video】

Turns out the ethnically intolerant are also sometimes sticklers for proper manners.

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Busty Digimon anime figure not child-friendly enough for the West, now barred from sale overseas

Once again, boobs block the path between Japan and the West.

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International students at Ohio university call cafeteria’s foreign fare culturally insensitive

Food fight! Are these foods cultural adaptations, or abominations? Students take up issue with their university’s menu.

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Bumper crop of anime boobs toned down in rural community’s local tourism poster

Tourism association makes change in response to complaints that original poster was inappropriate.

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Singapore retailer a contender for “Worst Ad Campaign Ever” title after Black Friday rape gaffe

A retailer in Singapore swung and completely missed with their advertisement that was trying to catch some of the Black Friday shopping buzz.

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Japanese idol unit plans concert for men only, draws complaints from women’s organization

The city of Dazaifu, located in Fukuoka Prefecture, has a couple of nice cultural sites, such as the Tenmangu Shinto shrine and Komyozenji Buddhist temple. It’s pretty short on modern, youth-oriented attractions, though, so many of the city’s younger residents were probably thrilled when they heard that Momoiro Clover Z, one of Japan’s most popular idol units, would be holding a concert in their relatively sleepy town.

Many of them were less thrilled, though, when it was announced that the concert would be held only for male fans, a decision that’s drawn complaints from a local women’s group.

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How do people in Japan feel about eating whale? We asked five people for their opinions

If you hail from one of the many developed nations that comprehensively frowns on the practice of whaling, you may have the image that an appalling number of people in Japan eat whale meat. And while that may be true in relative terms compared to extremely low number of people who regularly eat whale meat in several parts of North America and Europe, whaling can be a divisive topic even within Japan. Some Japanese have no problem with dining on whale from time to time, treating it like just a meatier, gamier fish. Others think eating whale is a custom that’s long past its time and needs to be rethought.

To get a preliminary understanding of some of the many different opinions on the issue that exist in the country, we interviewed a number of Japanese people and asked them whether they were in favor of or opposed to whaling and eating whale meat.

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Top-selling guide for picking up women in Hong Kong becomes the target of Change.org petition

Women of Hong Kong are none too happy about a bafflingly best-selling book that purports to teach men tips and tricks for picking up and having promiscuous sex with women in the Chinese autonomous territory. Get Laid in Hong Kong (at least the title is to the point) is a “sex tourism guide” of sorts for visiting western males that the pseudonymous author says is “guaranteed to get you laid.”

The book, perhaps in a sad reflection of the state of humankind, apparently hit No. 1 for Amazon sales in the “Asian Travel” category before it was briefly taken off virtual shelves due to backlash from Hong Kong women and an ongoing change.org petition.

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Western artist challenges Japanese 2020 Olympic logo designer with new logo proposal

So, a little while back there was a bit of a kerfuffle about the official 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo being at least partially plagiarized by designer Kenjiro Sano.

It appears the logo bears more than a passing resemblance to a Belgian theater’s logo design, with the centerpiece typeface structure of the 2020 Olympics logo definitely looking like it was lifted wholesale from the Belgian firm’s design.

With the fate of Sano’s logo in question, a western designer has submitted his own version for consideration by the Olympic Committee and it is, uh… eccentric.

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Remember that manga we talked about a while back which was a thinly veiled erotic retelling of beloved children’s story Doraemon? Or, perhaps more specifically, have you been unable to completely repress the memory and knowledge that it exists?

Nozoemon, which prominently featured an android of the same name that looked like an elementary school girl and whose moniker and design were clearly inspired by robot cat, was sure to be a decisive work. But while controversy can help generate attention and sales, it’s generally a good idea to keep the publisher on your side. Nozoemon, though, wasn’t able to do that, and it looks like the “Slightly Fakkin’” (the manga’s words, not ours) tale has come to an abrupt end.

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Could the 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo possibly be plagiarized?

Last Friday the logo was revealed for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was received with mixed reviews, with many of the opinion that the aesthetic thought that went into the logo wasn’t quite as deep as the message behind it.

As if there wasn’t already enough debate about the execution of the logo design itself, now there are rumors that the design could possibly be a plagiarization of the work of French designer Oliver Debie.

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Monkey princess? Debate erupts over Japanese zoo naming baby macaque after new British princess

Japan’s always had a soft spot for the dashing, regal couple of the U.K.’s Prince William and wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The warmhearted admiration got kicked up a notch when the prince (who’s also a duke, just for good measure) made his first trip to Japan this spring, and the infatuation went into overdrive this week with the news of the birth of the couple’s second child.

That exuberance has manifested itself in many ways, including visitors to an animal park in Oita Prefecture deciding that the facility’s newborn baby should share the infant princess’ name, Charlotte. 

Not everyone agrees that’s such an honor, though.

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The character Hestia from the anime Danmachi, known as Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? in English, has been notoriously difficult for cosplayers to pull off. How is a ribbon tied around your chest supposed to make your boobs bigger? And then how do you even move your arms?

But if one cosplayer is up to the task, it’s Taiwanese cosplayer Ma You Rong. She’s well-known for pulling off busty cosplays, and last time we saw her she was causing a controversy online for her portrayal of Naruto’s Tsunade.

Now she’s the center of an online uproar again for her attempt at a Hestia cosplay, but it’s not for the reason you may be thinking.

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Japanese conservatives call for ban on Angelina Jolie’s WWII movie

Angelina Jolie’s latest war movie, Unbroken, has been facing criticism recently from Japanese conservatives for its portrayals of brutality in World War II prisoner of war camps. While the film hasn’t even been released yet, there are some people who want to make sure it never sees the light of day in Japan.

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Thai video claiming corruption at the 2014 Asia Games goes viral

Readers in the West may not have heard much about it, but the 17th Asian Games were held between September 19 and October 4 in Incheon, South Korea. As the largest multi-sporting event after the Olympics, the Asian Games bring together athletes from all across the Asian continent only once every four years. By the end of this year’s competition, China had racked up the highest medal count, followed by host South Korea and Japan. However, this year’s Games were also plagued by rampant rumors of suspicious refereeing, fixed matches, and host country favoritism, leaving many nations with a bitter aftertaste upon their conclusion.

In response to the multiple stories of alleged corruption, one irate Thai viewer created a parody video to vent his frustrations. As of this writing, the video, with its scornful lyrics yet surprisingly bubbly nature, has been replayed over 2 million times on YouTube, despite having been published less than a week ago. Judging by the comments, it seems the rest of the world seems to sympathize with its message…

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Chinese philanthropist accused of faking Ice Bucket Challenge【Video】

China’s wackiest entrepreneur-philanthropist, Chen Guangbiao, loves nothing better than a grand gesture. This summer he hosted an extravagant lunch for homeless people in New York – which ended mired in controversy when the $300 he promised each guest turned out to be a lump sum donation to charity.

And now his latest stunt – an extreme, 30-minute version of the ALS ice bucket challenge in which he wedges himself between blocks of ice and is drenched in a wheelie bin – has also attracted criticism. Some Chinese net users have accused Chen of using plastic ice cubes in the stunt, an 11-minute video of which was uploaded to his Weibo account.

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Korean Independence Day continues to stir the pot for Japan-Korea relations

Every country loves to celebrate its Independence or Foundation Day. While many such national holidays have become celebratory days for friends and family, there is always a thread of proud nationalism that runs through them. Korean Independence Day, Gwangbokjeol, which was won only 69 years ago, is ruffling some Japanese’s feathers as relations between the two countries continues to strain. This year, some images of children celebrating have caught the attention of not only Japanese media, but Chinese media as well!

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South Korean One Piece exhibition cancelled due to Japanese flag art

Seoul, South Korea’s War Museum announced on Thursday that it has cancelled a planned exhibition centered around Eiichiro Oda‘s One Piece manga due to protests of the Japanese flag appearing in art being displayed, among other reasons.

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Tonight vs Hotel Tonight – Did GREE just rip off one of America’s most popular hotel apps?

Smartphones and tablets improve almost faster than consumers can keep up with, and the apps designed for them change even more quickly. That means that there is a lot of opportunity for plagiarism. But surely sometimes it’s just a coincidence, right? It’s not out of the question that two developers could realistically be trying to fulfill the same need.

This week has brought us one more heated internet debate: Is hotel application Tonight by Japan’s GREE a rip-off of North American app Hotel Tonight, or are their similarities just coincidence?

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