games

What the heck is ‘kendama’? The traditional Japanese game sweeping the world

The other day, I was trawling through YouTube looking for shamisen music videos when I came across an utterly unique video called “Tokyo Kendama Project vol.2 Utakata.”

It featured the traditional Okinawan sansen three-stringed instrument played by the mysterious Gosamaru and composed by Tomoaki Ogre, the beautiful dancing of Kumi Arikawa, and a pair of strangely hypnotic gentlemen spinning some… things through the air. I’d heard of kendama before, as I imagine most people with even a fleeting knowledge of Japan have, but I’d never seen the toy wielded with such incredible finesse.

Fascinated, I had to know more!

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Nintendo announces eReader system for children’s books on 3DS

This Tuesday, Nintendo announced via Japan’s economics newspaper, Nikkei, that they will soon begin releasing e-books geared toward children on their 3DS platform. Over the years, Nintendo has had notable success with the grade school demographic within Japan, and so, in order to take advantage of this popularity, they have amassed a collection of approximately 300 Japanese children’s books and will begin releasing them this fall.

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Capcom joins Microsoft to release a zombie plague on E3

As I’m sure the vast majority of our gamer crowd is aware, it’s almost time to wrap up this year’s annual industry-oriented trade fair, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). RocketNews24 has already covered the big announcements for Sony and Microsoft’s upcoming consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it’s time now to take a trip through the exhibition booths, where game producers showcase their upcoming titles. Most provide game demos and release brand new trailers to introduce curious attendees to the game’s plot and basic game play. Capcom, however, took a different approach for their booth promoting the all new Dead Rising 3. It’s different in that the booth could barely be approached at all!

Warning: this article contains graphic images that some may find disturbing.

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Japanese island to become real-life Game of Life for the summer

The Game of Life, one of the oldest board games still around today enjoys continued success around the world. Japan in particular has embraced the line of wheel spinning games, where it’s known by the direct translation Jinsei Gemu.

As 2013 marks the 45th anniversary of the Game of Life in Japan, one island has decided to celebrate by turning the entire place into one big Game of Life board complete with spinners and play money.

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Thanks for the Nampa- A Western Girl Picked Up in Japan

What is this so-called nampa? Nampa is the ancient Japanese art of pick-up. The seductive skill of girl-hunting. The discreet loitering around the train station, the thrill of the chase, the crushing rejection or ecstatic exchange of phone numbers. A much-maligned art which is becoming more and more illegal.

Awww, I remember my first nampa experience. I’d been in Japan less than a year and I was walking down a main street not far from Nagoya Station when a tall, skinny Japanese boy with a bleached anime-style shock of hair, a dapper suit and startlingly protuberant teeth smilingly approached me and struck up a conversation out of the blue. In Japanese! Living in conservative Nagoya and starved for human affection and contact, I and my fledgling language skills almost fell into his arms. I was so happy he was treating me just as if I was Japanese, making no distinction between me and the girls walking past in super short skirts (or maybe those were belts…).

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Sega Japan Offers $22k to Play Games With Latest Job Offering, Total Working Hours: 1 Week

For many of us out there, the recent festivities of the New Year will be leaving our pockets empty and our stomachs a little bloated, but if a certain recent job advertisement is anything to go by there’s a way to make some quick cash on a large scale. No this is not some dodgy backstreet deal but a fully fledged chance for a six month contract with Sega.

The position offers a 2 million yen (US$22.5k) compensation, and while it’s ongoing for a six month period, the actual hours of work sum up to no more than one week!

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How Your Old Videogames, Books and CDs Could Help Educate a Child

Take a quick look around your home. See anything gathering dust? Any old books sitting on the shelf unloved? That AKB48 CD you bought last year but are too embarrassed to listen to? How about those Playstation2 games that you never got around to playing before your console died?

Well now’s your chance to have a good old clear-out. Grab a cardboard box and turn that stuff into an education for a less fortunate child.

Japanese recycling giant Book Off is working in conjunction with Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) to provide books and learning materials for children who have found themselves homeless as a result of war or natural disasters. As well as donating the in-store buy-back value of any books, CDs, DVDs and videogames donated by regular folk like you and me, Book Off is pledging an extra 10% of that value to the charity.

In short, some less fortunate kids get an education; you make some space in your home and get to feel warm and fuzzy. Read More

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