Freshman facepalms: Japanese college students struggle to answer basic astronomy questions

While the Japanese education system is often highly praised by people in the West, many Japanese folks aren’t so keen on it these days. Yutori kyouiku, or “pressure-free education system,” a phrase used to describe what many see as an education system whose standards are too lax, has skyrocketed in use. Every time a young person does something stupid, it’s followed by sighs of “yutori kyouiku” by observers, who went through much harder schooling in their youth.

Although we often think people are really exaggerating when they say that the “kids of today” don’t know a thing, a recent study carried out by a professor at Tokai University has us wondering if today’s youth are lacking a little common sense…

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【Monday Kickstart】”Wow, what a huge double bed!”

It’s Monday again and you know what that means! Your Monday Kickstart video is here to get you going through another week. 

If there’s a wall, you’re going to want to lean on it. If there’s a sofa, you’re going to want to sit on it. And if there’s a gigantic double bed in your hotel room, by George, you’re going to want to belly flop into it. And sometimes, your friends capitalize on this very notion, with some hilarious results.

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Behold: the saddest Christmas tree in all of Japan

Lonely this Christmas? Shiga Prefecture’s Pieri Moriyama shopping mall most certainly is.

Although technically still operating, the once thriving shopping centre is now home to just 14 stores after the local economy took a nosedive and businesses started pulling out in their droves. In the spirit of Christmas, however, the mall’s operators evidently decided to pop a tree up for visitors to enjoy. But as this Twitter user’s photo shows, when surrounded by naught but vast expanses of nice shiny floor, this tiny tree is possibly the loneliest Christmas ornament we’ve ever seen.

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Adorable zombie children take over Arakawa Amusement park, our hearts melt

Since its inception in Canada in 2003, Zombie Walk for Kids has spread to England, Australia, Mexico, and, at last, Japan. And, like a proper infection, it’s really catching!

Though still focused mostly on major cities like Sapporo, Osaka, and Tokyo, the events are growing and gaining lots of shuffling, moaning followers. Just a few days ago, one was held at the Arakawa Amusement Park in Tokyo–and we have the horrifyingly adorable photos of zombie kids to prove it!

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Gundam creator has harsh words for manga and anime hit “Attack on Titan”

Say what you will about Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, he’s nothing if not outspoken. Previously, we covered Tomino’s somewhat incendiary remarks about kids addicted to video games, and he’s well known in Japan for being less than enthusiastic about rival mecha manga and anime.

Now he’s crossed genres to take aim at Japan’s most recent pop culture export, Attack on Titan – which we suppose defies genres as an alternate universe story about weird giant people attacking towns.

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Shiro the Cat: The cutest cure for insomnia 【Video】

Japan has a number of sleeping arrangements that can be jarring if you didn’t grow up here. Sleeping in a futon on the floor, often in a space that doubles as your living room and/or kitchen, can take some getting used to. A surprisingly large number of pillows sometimes come filled with, by Western standards, unusual things such as buckwheat husks.

But you know what? Maybe we’re being too picky. As Shiro the Cat shows us, all you really need for a good night’s sleep is a cooking pot, and, if you’re looking to get really luxurious, a sweet potato.

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Winter is here! Get your sweaters ready!

With winter comes a new season of fashion. Great for the ladies and gentlemen out there with the cash and time to prepare a fancy wardrobe. From beautiful gloves to sexy-but-warm coats, there’s something for anyone who looks.

But there’s one item of clothing that, despite how warm and comfy it is, no one should ever be seen wearing in public: the novelty sweater.

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Woman with alone time on an elevator does something incredibly unexpected

Once you leave the house in the morning, your alone time is usually done for the day. Aside from a nice long bathroom break, you probably won’t be able to hide away from the prying eyes of your co-workers or classmates until you get back home.

Unless you’re lucky enough to get an elevator all to yourself! But if you do, just remember one thing: The security cameras are probably watching your every move, so don’t do anything too peculiar.

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Samsung’s naughty ad: When autocorrect strikes back

Typographers and moral crusader beware! A risqué Samsung billboard promoting their Galaxy 3 notepad has been, ahem, erected in four countries, leaving the South Korean company with a potentially embarrassing public relations mess. The offending ad must have been designed by someone who forgot to turn off the autocorrect feature before editing, making for an unintentionally hilarious billboard. Click below to find out what the racy sign says!

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Girl builds herself a boyfriend out of soap bubbles

“I’m taking a bath with my boyfriend,” tweeted one Japanese netizen going by the name of Machiko, uploading a photo with her message. Despite the suggestion of sauciness, however, rather than being something that moderators would quickly remove or fellow users would tag as inappropriate, the image was retweeted and favourited thousands of times in just a few short minutes.

After all, it’s not every day you see a life-sized boyfriend made entirely out of soap bubbles…

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Real-life Winnie the Pooh caught stealing honey, on run from the law

When wildlife researchers in Kochi Prefecture set up an unmanned camera in a local forest to find the cheeky wilderness creature stealing honey from an animal trap they’d set up, they probably expected to find a clever squirrel or some other creature too small or quick to set off the trap door.

Instead, what they found in video footage was what can only be described as real-life Winnie the Pooh turned to petty crime to fund his hopeless honey addiction.

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Butterfly visits penguin enclosure at Japanese zoo, whimsical chase ensues 【Video】

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like penguins. Between their flightless wings and pudgy physique, there’s something inherently funny about them, which is juxtaposed and amplified by the way they look like they’re constantly dressed in formal tuxedos.

But perhaps the most comical thing of all about the monochrome birds is the stubborn dignity they show by standing at silent attention, even when surrounded by onlookers at a zoo.

Unless, that is, there’s a butterfly to chase.

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South Park’s anime-style “Princess Kenny” video arrives in Japan, chuckles and confusion abound

A recent storyline in the often controversial, always hilarious animated series South Park focuses on the run-up to the Black Friday sales, and sees the fictional town’s inhabitants turning into murderous, bargain-hunting zombies prepared to gouge one another’s eyes out if it means getting a new TV for a fraction of the normal retail price.

At the same time, a war rages between the town’s kids over which console – Xbox One or PlayStation 4 – they should band together to nab in the sales, and results in Microsoft’s Bill Gates handing out weapons to young Xbox One fans (one per child, in the name of safety) to aid them in their struggle. Not wanting to be outdone, Sony strikes back by granting the leader of the competing faction – none other than parker-wearing mumbler Kenny – the power to become a real Japanese princess, transforming him into an doe-eyed anime beauty, complete with his own Japanese theme song.

Of course, it didn’t take long for clips from the show to make their way to Japan…

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Tiger in park causes scare in Korea

We all know the police face dangerous situations chasing armed criminals and speeding vehicles, but sometimes, the dangerous opponents they face are barely even human.

Recently, the police in Busan, Korea, received a call reporting sightings of a tiger in a park. It’s common knowledge that tigers are ferocious animals, so the police rushed to the scene at once. But a twist of events left them in a very awkward situation.

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Scooter dog is ready to scoot: This will be the cutest GIF you see today

Dogs, like anyone else, love to feel the wind on their furry, adorable faces. Honestly, is there anything better than rolling down the window, sticking your head and tongue out, and cruising down the road? Maybe barfing on the bed and chewing up all the shoes. It’s kind of a tie, we suppose.

Anyway! Not everyone can afford a car, as pointed out by Mr. Suzuki, but nearly anyone can buy a scooter. So even pups who don’t come from the richest families can taste the open road!

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Japanese comedian “Hard Gay” continues to make waves as a professional model

If the Japanese media hadn’t bothered to point it out, we never would have even realized the newest model for American fashion boot (that’s a thing?) manufacturer Luan is none other than comedian and former tasteless gay stereotype “Hard Gay”.

We’re still looking at the promotional photos and rubbing our eyes in disbelief. It turns out that, when he made the surprise announcement in June this year that he had decided to go into modelling, the former entertainer wasn’t kidding around.

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These 20-year-old Uniqlo commercials may be the best we’ve ever seen!

Winter is not just coming, it has arrived. The nights are cold and Japanese homes with their relatively poor insulation are no warmer than a popsicle fresh from the freezer. Fortunately, that also means Uniqlo is delivering their latest line of warm wear.

With everything from fleece sweaters to cashmere knits, you can always count on the Japanese clothing company to keep you warm for a reasonable price. You can also count on their stylish commercials to appear like clockwork each winter to announce their latest and greatest.

But a recent rediscovery of two 20-year-old Uniqlo commercials has left us shocked–and howling with laughter!

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Japanese Q&A site answerer makes starting a cult seem like legitimately good business sense

Back in the day, starting a cult was just as good a way to make a dishonest living as robbing banks or selling kidneys on the black market, but with the rise of the Internet (specifically,, attracting believers to your bogus religion seems like way too much work. Besides, Scientology kind of already has the market cornered.

Nevertheless, an inquisitive aspiring cultist took to Yahoo! Japan’s Chiebukuro question and answer site as part of his/her cult-founding due diligence, perhaps hoping for some basic advice like “keep human sacrifices to a minimum,” or “promise male cult members multiple wives.”

Instead, what the asker got was a detailed breakdown of what it takes to build a successful cult; an explanation so thorough and well-thought out, we’re actually considering a career change.

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The differences between Taiwan and China in hilarious comic form

Another day, another oddly specific “differences between two cities/regions” infographic. The following graphics seem to be taking the Internet by storm faster than so many .gif-laden “listicles” about how dogs are hilarious or something.

First, there were the pictographs about the differences between Germans and Chinese, then the one comparing Paris and New York, and now we get a look at Taiwan and Hong Kong. (Note: Some NSFW-ish language ahead.)

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