culture

“Son, Please Be More Careful With Your Condoms! Love, Mom x”

We’re sure we all have things that we’d rather our parents didn’t see. That folder within a folder within a folder on the computer titled “schoolwork” that isn’t really anything of the sort; that moustache waxing kit at the back of the drawer; the small collection of letters penned by an old love…

But a parents discovering – and then returning – a condom is perhaps one of the worst experiences a young man or women living at home can have.

Spare a thought, then, for the poor chap who discovered this misplaced condom along with a note from his mother waiting for him when he returned home one evening.

Read More

[Hobby News] Choco Egg Collectable Figurines Return to Steal all of Japan’s Loose Change

If there’s one thing Japanese people like to do it’s collect things. And when those things are small, cute or quirky characters, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll fight to get the entire set!

In the land of gachapon (onomatopoeia for the sound of a turning mechanism followed by the drop of a ball or capsule) capsule toys and free collectable figures, mobile phone charms and stickers, confectioners Furuta are well known for their Choko Eggu (choco egg) series that include a collectable toy inside the chocolate shell, not unlike Kinder Surprise eggs sold in Europe and Canada.

Since 1999, the company has produced collectible figures including Disney, Marvel and Nintendo characters as well as scale models of automobiles and cars. The figures are always of incredibly high quality and, with the chocolate eggs being sold for just a few hundred yen each, they’re a big hit with children as well as adults. In 2006, however, the company’s animal figure series, which features everything from cute rabbits to ferocious-looking dinosaurs disappeared from shops, much to the disappointment of collectors.

But now, to delight model fans and kleptomaniacs alike, Furuta’s figures are being brought back to the market as stand-alone models, and Japanese collectors are already going nuts.

Read More

Japanese Politician Takes a Stand Against Parents Naming their Children Pikachu

It’s not easy being a kid. If you’re fat the other kids make fun of you; if you’re skinny the other kids make fun of you; if you get good grades they make fun of you… Kids don’t need a genuine reason to be tease their peers; they can make one up just as easily.

But when your parents name you after their favourite thing – be it the weather on the day you were born, the place you were conceived or their favourite snack food – things get awkward for poor little Windy Latrine Butterfinger.

Although authorities have been known to intervene when parents try to call their child things like Akuma, meaning devil in Japanese, and @ as once rejected by authorities in China, the vast majority slip through the net. Since kanji, the Chinese characters used in the Japanese writing system, are based on meaning and can be read in a variety of different ways, parents giving their child a kanji-based name (some choose phonetic kana script, but this is usually just for girls) are able to choose both their child’s name and how it will be written.

For the most part, parents choose names that convey their love or hopes for their offspring, but in the land of otaku nerdism, sometimes parents just can’t help but get carried away.

Read More

Oh, Japan, You Make Me So Mad Sometimes! 【Only in Japan】

Not a day goes by here at RocketNews24 without a member of the team expressing their love for the country or uttering the phrase “only in Japan!” in a tone not dissimilar to that of a parent telling friends how their child tried to glue a toilet roll to the dog’s head to make a unicorn.

But even the cutest child gets on their parents’ nerves from time to time, and we all have to let off a little steam.

Over at My Navi News, reporters took to the streets of Tokyo to interview foreigners living in Japan to find out what irks them about the country that, usually, they love so much…

Read More

Radical Japanese Company Advertises Jobs Online: “We do not employ smokers”

As public perception of smoking becomes increasingly negative, and with the number of smoking areas in restaurants and cafes in Japan becoming fewer and fewer each year, it’s fair to say that those little white sticks that once brought so much pleasure to so many are perhaps on their way out.

As people find themselves becoming more and more irritated by cigarette smoke as they walk though crowded streets, and residents grow sick of sweeping up discarded cigarette butts in their neighbourhoods, smoking anywhere outside of specially designated kitsuen (smoking) zones has become a punishable offence in many urban areas of Japan.

The times, they are a-changing.

But even with so many turning their backs of tobacco and labelling it as un-cool, few could have predicted that a company as large as Hoshino Resorts would actively advertise the fact that they no longer accept job applications from smokers.

Read More

Just last week while picking up milk at my local 7-Eleven, I found myself chuckling at the sight of a teenage boy trying to peek at the adult magazines arranged on the rank right beside the comic books. I had to admire his technique as he stood holding a weekly manga collection open in front of him while staring, unblinking and open-mouthed, at the covers of the naughty magazines to his right.

Alas, this young man and thousands like him could soon be reduced to checking out far more explicit and abundant images of girls via the internet as “a certain convenience store” is rumoured to be clearing its naughty magazine section away very soon.

Read More

The Beautiful Paper Lanterns of Akita’s Tanabata Edoro Festival

For the nights of August 5-7, the streets of Yuzawa, Akita prefecture, are illuminated with the soft glow of ukiyo-e-esque paintings on paper lanterns for the Tanabata Edoro (Picture Lantern) Festival, a 300-year-old festival that takes place near JR Yuzawa station during Tanabata every year.

Akita is known for having some of the most beautiful women in Japan and the hand-painted paper lanterns do the prefecture justice, portraying illustrations of beautiful Japanese women, often in seductive poses.

Take a look at some of the lanterns from previous years below:

Read More

Why do Foreigners Like Japanese Manga so Much? We Head to Comiket to Find Out!

While manga is ubiquitous in Japan — just ride the subway in any major city and you’ll see people from all walks of life flipping through a comic book — many Japanese people are surprised to hear how popular manga has become overseas. After all, aren’t Westerners only interested in macho superheroes or short comic strips?

Perhaps that was the case in America before, but in recent years many major bookstores have begun to reserve more space near the front of the store for Japanese comics and in some European countries like France and Germany manga occupies a large portion of overall comic sales.

But why?

Earlier this month, we sent one of our Japanese reporters to Comic Market (or “Comiket“), the world’s largest self-published comic book fair and otaku mecca, to interview real live foreigners and ask them why they like Japanese manga so much.

Read More

Why Do Foreigners Like Japan so Much? We Head to Comiket 82 to Find Out!

Many foreigners view Japan as some marvelous dreamland of technology and culture; a place where crazy is the norm and embracing fantasy in everyday life is acceptable.

But to Japanese people, Japan is just that place you were born. Everyone and everything is routine, and it’s often difficult to see why the rest of the world get’s so worked up about “Japanese culture.”

Earlier this month, we sent one of our Japanese reporters to Comic Market (or “Comiket“), the world’s largest self-published comic book fair and otaku mecca, to interview real live foreigners and ask them what it is they really think about this country.

Read More

[Quiz] How Well Do You Know Your Japanese Hand Gestures?

Recently we ran an article about obscene gestures in many parts of the world, but now RocketNews would like to turn the lens inwards for a look at Japan’s hand gestures.

You may have some experience with these from spending time in Japan or from Japanese film and manga, but how well do you really think you know the gestures of this country? Take this quiz to find out.

Read More

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 46
  4. 47
  5. 48
  6. 49
  7. 50
  8. 51
  9. 52
  10. 53