funny

You’re Not Really Japanese Until You Have a Set of Sliding Door Power Outlet Covers

Yes, you can use chopsticks, and yes, you pronounce the words karate and karaoke “correctly” in the middle of your otherwise English sentence, but you’re not a hardcore Japanophile until you’ve kitted your home’s power outlets out with these hugely unnecessary but utterly brilliant shoji sliding paper door covers.

Made by hobbyist and blogger Tori Sugimura, these little wooden boxes feature delicate sliding doors and real washi paper panels as well as traditional Japanese design features like flowers and wading cranes.

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The Power of Perspective: This Clever Photography May Leave Property Hunters Disappointed

Whether it’s luxury hotel rooms or a seemingly ordinary computer mouse, it’s important to present whatever you’re selling online as attractively as possible. Advertisements must be concise and informative, and of course the product presented in as aesthetically pleasing a manner as possible. In the 21st century where digital air brushing is the norm and we have learned to filter the information we receive through an Internet-ready sieve of cynicism, advertisers have their work cut out for them, and without big budgets to transform ordinary snaps into tantalizing vistas, hoteliers and real estate agents must find other ways to make their resorts and accommodation look good.

The above image was spotted on a Korean real estate website by a Japanese Internet user. Advertised as a “stately residence complete with outdoor pool”, the fantastic wooden-framed structure and spacious pool look quite nice, don’t they? While it’s hardly Olympic size, we could certainly imagine ourselves doing a few lengths in that pool each morning before heading out to take care of business or ensure that our dozens of employees were working sufficiently hard.

There is, however, a little more to this image than meets the eye. Click the link to see the same pool photographed from a shall we say “less flattering” angle.

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Japan Sets Guinness Record for Synchronized Mascot Dancing 【Video】

It’s not surprising that in Japan, the land of cute and cuddly, pretty much everything has a fuzzy mascot. Even prefectural and city governments are getting in on the merchandising mania with adorable (or terrifying, depending on your point of view) characters called yuru-kyara meant to promote tourism and local products.

This week, 141 yuru-kyara from 25 prefectures across the country gathered in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, to make their mark on history by becoming the largest group of mascots ever to do the same dance together. Jaw-droppingly awesome video after the break. Read More

Desperate to Pee? Let Someone Else Shoulder the Burden with this Genius Invention: the Pee Baton!

Gadget-laden robot cat from the future Doraemon is something a national treasure here in Japan. Since the appearance of the original manga of the same name back in 1969, the subsequent TV series has been watched by multiple generations and is still on the air today. As well as remaining popular with adults and kids alike, the Japanese Foreign Ministry once declared the mechanical time-traveller the country’s official “animé ambassador”, meaning that the earless mechanical cat is sure to be around for a long time to come yet.

Perhaps the thing that people love most about Doraemon, though, is his seemingly bottomless pocket, from which the character produces all manner of gadgets and inventions in order to assist his human pal Nobita. Although the “dokodemo doa” (lit. “anywhere door”) is often given as the answer to the age-old conundrum “Which of Doraemon’s gadgets would you most like to have?”, it doesn’t stop people imagining what else could buried deep down in there.

In that vein, Yahoo! Japan recently announced the winner of its 2012-2013 Adults Only Doraemon Contest, in which contestants were asked to come up with an invention that they’d like to pull out of Doraemon’s pocket and use in real life, with the top prize being awarded to 50-year-old Rieko Honjou for her “Pee Baton”.

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The Life and Times of a Japanese Radish

The daikon is root vegetable widely used in Japanese cuisine. In the frigid winters it’s especially loved served in a steaming bowl of oden.

But most people don’t know how the humble daikon makes its way from the field to the dinner table.  So the folks at Ume Mama Root Vegetable Farms have photo-documented the entire life of a typical daikon and presented it via Twitter.

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Startling Nature Footage Reveals Penguins Are Kind of Jerks

Penguins, otherwise known as the tuxedo wearing clown princes of the Antarctic, have amused us for centuries.  Their cute little waddles and fluffy babies can warm even the coldest of hearts.

However, new footage taken by researchers has shed light on a previously unknown facet of penguin life – they’re kind of dicks.

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Santa Likes it Hot at a Shopping Center in China

This year seems to have seen a spike in older cross-dressing males, in Japan at least. According to some, the trend has steadily been on the rise in urban centers like Tokyo. Even in China, a grandfather set the modeling world on fire with the way he shows off his daughter’s merchandise.

As the year comes to a close one more elderly man has openly joined the ranks of bearded dress wearers: Santa Claus!

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Japanese Men Share Their Worst Christmas Experiences Ever: Pikachu, Platoon and Painkillers

So this is Christmas. The time where we all sip eggnog by the open fire enjoying the gentle blanket of wet snow covering a meadow as a deer scampers by, right?

Of course not, it’s raining here now and my glasses are broken. Still, I’d consider this an average holiday season for myself. For many out there, Santa has little more than a big bag of suck to stuff in your stocking.

Don’t sweat it though. Every year can’t be a winner. For those having a blue Christmas, the website MyNavi has compiled a list of Japanese men’s worst Chirstmas experiences.

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Japanese Yahoo! Answers User Asks “Why isn’t Santa Coming?”, Elf Responds with Sad News

With just seven days to go, children the world over are without a doubt already finding it hard to sleep at night. Will Santa (or Father Christmas as I grew up calling him) arrive? Have I been good enough this year? Does he know about the things I did with Jane Steepleton in her tree house during the summer?

Let’s hope that we’ve all been good boys and girls and that the big man in red will pay us all a visit, unlike one unfortunate individual who found himself giftless on Christmas day one year and took to Japan’s Chiebukuro Yahoo! Answers forums to ask the nation simply: “Where is Santa!?”

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Amazon JP Sets New Standard in Surreal Packaging, Startled Customer Tweets Photo

We’re sure that you’ve all by now had the experience of ordering a single item online only for it to arrive on your doorstep up in an enormous, oversized box or buried beneath a ludicrous amount of polystyrene. I have personally received boxes as large as a shoebox for a single videogame and spent the best part of five minutes trying to detach a single shrink-wrapped paperback book from a giant slab of cardboard that it was adhered to by Amazon’s over-zealous packing robots.

On Wednesday this week, however, a Japanese Twitter user may just have received the greatest example of surreal Amazon packaging yet.

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Amazing Photos of the Earth’s Weirdest Creatures at the 2013 Insect Academy Awards

As a child I used to love going into the nearby field and searching for new insects. In my area the ultimate prize was a praying mantis, however, like most people, as I grew I came to be more and more uncomfortable around things with more than four legs.

For those of us with an acquired distaste for insects, RocketNews24 is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Insect Academy Awards. It’s a great way to reconnect with a whole planet of those magical little creatures we used to love.

And for those of your who are hardwired to hate things with dozens of eyes, these winners might just change your feelings. To help get you warmed up we’ll kick of the awards ceremony with the “Cutest” award.

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【Job Opportunity】 How About an Exciting Career as a Professional Fart Smeller?

Hmmm, I’m getting notes of sandalwood, rosemary and a hint of boiled cabbage…

We kid you not; there are people out there being paid to smell others’ farts and diagnose physical health based on their various odours. And not only that, it pays well, with reports of professional fart smellers in China being paid up to US$50,000 per year.

Think you’ve got what it takes to hone your hooter and examine anal emissions? Read on.

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Urban Soldier: Mr. Sato Dons Camo for a Call of Duty-Inspired Coffee Dash

It came as an enormous shock to the entire team to hear that the legend that is Mr. Sato rarely visited Starbucks coffee houses.

Surrounded by the well-dressed, coffee sipping elite and with fancy lingo like “tall” and “grande” being thrown around, our reporter felt completely out of his depth at Starbucks and rarely dared to set foot inside even to grab a quick take-out coffee.

But after playing a lot of Black Ops 2 on the new office Wii U, a brilliant idea came to us…

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Your Morning Workout: Japanese Library Staff Show Us How to Strech in Hilarious / Cute Video

Oh, Japan, we love you so much.

Morning stretches, or asa taisou, may look faintly ridiculous to many westerners, but it’s not uncommon for companies both large and small to have their entire staff standing up and performing a daily warmup routine each morning, often to music. Stroll past a construction site at around 8:30 a.m. and you’ll likely see a team of burly men wearing hard hats doing shoulder shrugs in unison or doing hip gyrations chanting one, two, three, four!

Just this morning, however, we at RocketNews24 witnessed perhaps the greatest example of morning stretch routines ever; a spectacle that had us chuckling, scratching out heads and finally nodding in agreement.

Prepare yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, for the Michinoku Librarian Union’s daily exercise routine!

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“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.

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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.

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【Lost in Translation】 Chinese-Made Safety Instructions Speak of Psychoanalysis and Snowmen

It was only yesterday that we were chuckling about poorly translated health and safety instructions on household items, and now here we are with possibly the greatest mistranslations ever written.

Proving that it’s not just English that gets shoved through Google Translate until it vomits up bile and nonsense, a Japanese Twitter user has posted an image of the precautions label on a massage towel she bought in China.

We’ve all seen funny spelling errors and mixed-up grammar on labels before, but when a towel starts admitting to us that it can’t stand going outside to ski, you know you’re onto a winner…

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TV Blunder Labels Japan’s Potential Next Prime Minister a Pervert

Running for election in Japan isn’t easy. But when your face is shown alongside titles like “pervert” and “molester,” it’s probably a lot harder than it ought to be.

Japan’s political system is a mess right now and, despite having seen six prime ministers come and go in as many years, the country is headed for an election next month, with one-time PM Shinzo Abe putting himself forward to be re-elected.

The politician was made a laughing-stock earlier this week, however, when the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) early morning TV show Asazuba accidentally displayed Mr. Abe’s photo alongside a news report about a sex offender’s arrest.

Despite having no relation to the incident whatsoever, Mr. Abe’s face filled viewers’ screens along with the shocking titles, prompting the nation to spit out its corn flakes, or at the very least dribble a bit of natto onto the table.

Suffice to say, the politician was not pleased, and, suspecting this to be part of a “campaign of negativity”, took to his public Facebook page to tear TBS a new one…

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