10 weird and funny things Japanese people do

Not so long ago, a friend of mine from the UK came to visit me here in Japan. After showing him around town and making sure to take him to all of the most popular tourist spots, he remarked that quite a few of the subtle behaviours Japanese people exhibit seemed, while in no way offensive, remarkably different to those of our own countrymen. As we worked through a couple of the more unusual customs and behaviours that my friend had noticed, it struck me that at some point during my eight years of living here I had come to accept the everyday quirks of the people around me as entirely normal and not in the slightest bit odd.

Last year, we discussed the 10 things that we love and the 10 things we just can’t stomach about Japan, but today we at RocketNews24 felt it was time to present you with a list of random but genuine observations, from the peculiar to the downright endearing, about the Japanese people themselves. Enjoy!

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Perfectly timed photo reminds us that life’s not all bad

Yes, it’s still only Wednesday, and that means we’re only half way through the week. But if you’re a glass-half-full kind of person like the little guy pictured above, that means we’re now half way through the week, and the weekend is in sight!

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Say it isn’t so! Illustrator spills the beans on how women really put on their tights

Women around the world may know them as tights, stockings or pantyhose, but most men think of them simply as those things that make girls’ legs look even more awesome. There have been numerous stocking trends over the years, not least in Japan where thigh-highs and “tattoo” designs have been enormous hits, but one image shared via Twitter earlier this week, which purportedly shows how to put the things on, will likely ensure that men never find tights quite as sexy ever again.

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Shimane Prefecture’s snarky mascot is at it again with masochistic 2014 calendar

Want to go to the least popular prefecture in all of Japan? Of course you do! Pack your bags, you’re going to Shimane!

Though Shimane is home to Izumo Shrine, one of the most significant shrines in all of Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the indescribably beautiful Oki Islands, this particular area of the Chugoku Region gets overlooked by most of Japan. In fact, year after year Shimane is ranked as Japan’s most forgotten and least identifiable prefecture.

But not to worry, that’s where Yoshida-kun, Shimane’s brutally honest mascot, comes in. We’ve seen this fellow before, pointing out Shimane’s shortcomings and proclaiming the area to be the the 47th most famous prefecture in a country that only has 47. Well, he’s back at it again with the Shimane x Takanotsume Super Deluxe Masochism Calendar 2014! Now with 20% more snark.

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Chinese boss trolls employees with deceptive new year’s bonuses

Working sucks. We all know this. (Unless you work at RocketNews24! Right, boss?) But when bonus time rolls around and you get a big chunk of change, all the blood, sweat and tears you’ve excreted over the past year toiling for the man almost seem worth it.

So imagine how employees of one company felt when their boss handed out boxes of shrimp-flavored Pretz as their long-awaited bonuses. Not to worry, though, this story doesn’t end in a plebeian revolt. The actual bonus is revealed after the jump.

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Swedish-produced Senpai Club is so anime-like its characters speak Japanese【Video】

Years ago, when I was a freshly-minted anime fan, the most popular daydream in the fandom was to one day create your own animated show. And not some run of the mill Western cartoon, but something that unabashedly drew from the influences of Japanese animation.

Sadly, anime was still too unfamiliar to have mainstream appeal, and while the ranks of enthusiastic Japanese animation fans were growing, their numbers at the time were far too few, and the potential market far too small, to justify the investments necessary to complete their personal castles in the sky.

Fast forward to today, though, and anime has a firmly established presence the world over. What’s more, the ability to produce and display your creation digitally means that with enough gumption, all it takes is a few passionate individuals to realize your anime-inspired vision. As proof, we present the initial episode of Senpai Club, which comes to us not from Japan, but from Sweden.

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It’s not me, it’s you: Japanese netizens offer brilliant ways to reject unwanted date requests

Man or woman, sexy or frumpy, unwanted romantic advances and date requests are probably a serious hassle. We wouldn’t know because the last time someone asked us on a date was 1972, but we’re fairly certain if someone we didn’t like asked us out, we’d struggle to come up with a tactful rejection.

So, for those of you who are asked out with any kind of regularity, you can commit the following awesome rejection lines courtesy of Japanese Internet users to memory so you’ve always got a snappy response to let your jilted would-have-been stalker down easy.

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Your iPhone is embarrassingly bad at simple math

The Cult of Apple is so smug about the many features and perks of the iPhone that it becomes a test of will for us Android users not to snatch any iPhone we see out of the hands of its user and throw it overhand into the nearest wall.

But now we may have a new weapon in the war on Apple: basic arithmetic. Seedy Japanese Internet geek forum 2chan has apparently proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that, when it comes to the calculator function, Apple’s smartphone is as dumb as that kid in your elementary school class that ate glue all day.

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Join Sharla on a Japan love hotel adventure!

One of the weird, fascinating things about Japan that makes many foreigners giggle is the presence of so-called “love hotels.” In many Japanese cities, you and your lover can rent a hotel room for either a few hours of fun (less expensive) or overnight for  a whole lotta fun (more expensive). Often, love hotels will have a particular theme in decor throughout the building, which may even vary room to room. To get an idea of just how crazy the decorations can be, check out this photos collection of some of the most outrageous love hotel rooms Japan has to offer.

If you’re curious to learn more about the differences between a typical hotel room and a love hotel room, however, YouTuber Sharla in Japan has uploaded a video documenting her stay at a love hotel with a friend. Sharla wants everyone to know that you don’t have to go to a love hotel with your significant other or for clandestine nooky; it can be just as fun to go with your pal or use the places as a cheaper accommodation alternative! Hear more about what Sharla has to say and watch her fun video after the jump!

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Twitter user exposes test-taking “geek” to the world, geek sees tweet and turns to confront him

It’s January, which only means one thing to Japanese high school students: University entrance exams. These tests can be a source of extreme stress of Japaneses students, and many of them spend hours upon hours every day studying in class, at home, or at cram schools. Substandard test scores means they’re denied entrance–and spending the next year or two studying to take the tests again.

One of the hardest tests is the Center Test, which is used by both public and some private schools to make admittance decisions. Like the SATs or ACTs on steroids, it covers a range of topics and is, by anyone’s standards, really freaking hard. So what does the picture above have to do with the Center Test? Click below to find out!

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Is the fried chicken at Myanmar’s “AFC” finger-licking good?

Recent relaxations of regulations by the government of Myanmar have gone a long way in opening up the country to foreign tourism and investment. While we’re sure this is big news in the worlds of finance and manufacturing, we couldn’t help but wonder what this would mean for RocketNews24’s journalistic foundation: fast food. We’d heard that Japanese/Korean hamburger/craziness emporium Lotteria had entered the market, but where do the people of Myanmar get their fried poultry fix? Do they have KFC?

We suppose we could have used Google to see if the chain operates in the country (turns out it does), but we saw no reason to do so when we could get paid to take an overseas business trip instead. And so we travelled to Myanmar’s metropolis of Yangon in search of KFC.

We found two thirds of what we were looking for.

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A collection of 30 cats, a collective 60 seconds before sneezing

Cats, the conventional logic goes, are the refined pet choice. Unlike dogs, whose motivations are so shallow that their loyalty can be won with a handful of sausages, cats are discerning creatures. They give their love to those who earn it, and only on their own terms, putting up the sort of uncaring exterior that would make them archetypical romantic leads in a dating simulator.

For many cat lovers, the hard-fought affection from a feline is all the more valuable than similar sentiments from other members of the animal kingdom. The back and forth of developing trust with a new acquaintance, the eventual thawing of an initially frosty reception, are these not like the social dances engaged in by humans?

However, cats also share another, less graceful aspect with we humans: they look really, really weird just before they sneeze.

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This funny Pikachu pancake is a perfect flop

If you’re a Pokémon fan, this “Let’s make Pikachu pancakes!” mould is sure to excite you. One Japanese fan recently tried to make her own Pika-licious snack, but her resulting creation went terribly wrong. We wanted to share these fail-blog worthy pictures with you.

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Pop quiz, guys: Your girlfriend approaches you and says she’ll wear whatever panties you tell her to, and she won’t even get mad if you choose the ones that reveal too much or make her look fat. What do you do? Go for the safe, hip-level sailor stripes? How about the slightly creepy but non-offensive teddy bear print? Go for broke and tell her to go commando?

This is the kind of question men of the Internet apparently pore over, because this image with the above question popped up on a Japanese Internet forum recently.

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Super limber Chinese lady shows world insane stretching routine【video】

Have you made that New Year’s resolution to be healthier but just can’t seem to make the commitment to work out? Is the only flexible thing in your life the elastic band around your sweatpants after you gorge yourself on cake? We think we can motivate you into a more active lifestyle by seeing a Chinese lady in her 50s doing her morning stretching routine that will be sure to shame you into eating healthier and exercising more!

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Too lazy to think up excuses for not getting anything done? This calendar has them for you!

I recently took a few days off to visit my hometown in California. In keeping with Japanese norms, I spent most of my time there eating and loafing around my parents’ house (in my defense they have a really nice couch, and the soba noodles my wife makes at New Year’s are amazing).

Reenergized from a week of rest and relaxation, I arrived back in Japan and went to sleep, fully intending to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn and get right to work. But when I woke up around 5:30 a.m., I stopped to reconsider my plan. Given the near-freezing temperature, was crawling out from under my warm blankets really the best choice, health-wise? Shouldn’t I take it easy for a day and make sure I was over my jet-lag? I could always get serious about work the next day, right?

It turns out that not only is New Year’s procrastination common, there’s even a calendar for it, with solid excuses for nothing doing anything printed right there on it.

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Festive bikini-clad volunteer randomly giving directions in Chinese subway

If you’ve ever found yourself lost in one of Asia’s complex subway systems, you’re not alone. Since underground rail is the preferred form of transportation in many of Asia’s sprawling cities with hundreds of stops, subway maps, even those printed on the back of your necktie, tend to look like the aftermath of an infant feeding itself a plate of spaghetti unsupervised, and can easily confound locals too.

So it’s good news that a newscaster in Guangdong Province, China – whose dresser apparently teleports all of her normal clothes to Narnia – has decided to help commuters navigate the area’s labyrinthine subway system on a strictly volunteer basis.

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How glam is your pussy? Cat wigs hot in 2014

Meet Shiro and Mimi, just two of the stars of Kago Neko, a blog all about one Japanese cat fan’s pets. Sadly, the pair were not, in fact, born with such luscious barnets, but their owner, perhaps sensing their inner glam rock star, provided them with a couple of rather fetching blonde wigs. We think you’ll agree that they look pretty rockin’.

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