Country Mouse vs City Mouse in Japan: What Shocks Japanese Country Folk About the City Life

The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse is one of Aesop’s Fables and tells the story of country bumpkin mouse who visits his urban-dwelling cousin for a taste of the luxurious life. The country mouse is at first captivated by the fine food of the city, but is thrown into panic and forced to run and hide after someone throws open the door while he and his cousin are eating. There are numerous retellings of the story, but the moral is that it’s better to live with little in safety, than to live in abundance surrounded by danger.

This may be how many Japanese people feel after leaving their peaceful and secure life in the countryside for the city. Every year thousands of Japanese move to big cities like Tokyo and Osaka from outlying country areas, for work or for school, experiencing all kinds of culture shock as they adjust to new lives.  Even moving from one big city to another is an adjustment, as the character of the people and the way things are done differs by region.

Naver Matome has put together the voices of people from different regions of Japan who experienced what the Country Mouse experienced: that the city life isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

See what surprised these Japanese “Country Mice” about the big city below:

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Fact or Photoshopped? Tweeted Schoolgirl Picture too Weird to be True

Take a moment to examine this picture, a typical day at a typical stationery store with customers shopping for papers.  This is a sight anyone living in Japan has probably seen countless times before.

However, this girl has a secret so bizarre that – although it’s hard to say definitively –I’m inclined to declare photoshop shenanigans.  So come along if you dare. We’re about to take a trip into the Weird People Found on Twitter Zone.

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The Results are in! Did The Pocky Day Challenge Defeat iPhone5 for Guinness World Record?

Last week, on 11 November, Ezaki Glico celebrated Pocky & Pretz Day (11/11) with the Try World Record campaign in which the snack maker hoped to gather the most tweets containing the name “Pocky” in one day thus entering the Guinness World Records.

The goal was set at 1.11 million tweets, for obvious visual reasons, and to defeat the previous “The Brand Name Most Tweeted in 24 Hours” record holder, iPhone5, which got 1.08 million tweets on its release day. And the winner is…

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What a Deal! Get Your Smartphone Apps Installed for You— Just $12 a Pop!

A lucky Twitter user came across a pamphlet the other day outlining some great deals on smartphone services.  These people will go through the painstaking task of installing your smartphone apps for you at the low low price of 1,000 yen (US$12) an app!

In fact, they offer a wide range of useful services, such as installing Facebook, Twitter, or Skype— also for 1,000 yen each!  And I always thought those were apps too.  Boy, is my face red. I’m going to leave it to the professionals from now on.

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Cosplay Undressed: Japan’s Newest Cosplay Trend Shows How Heroes Take Off Their Clothes

The latest fad among Japanese cosplayers on Twitter is showing that you don’t actually need to be wearing a costume to be in character.

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Kids Cause Mayhem at McDonald’s, Challenge Themselves to Eat 60 Servings of Fries in One Sitting

“Suddenly, potatoes!”

Some of you may have already seen the recent internet meme featuring a truck-load of everyone’s favourite starchy vegetable spilled all over the road. But no country is consuming more potato this week than Japan, thanks to McDonald’s latest promotion…

Offering small, medium and large-sized fries for just 150 yen (US$1.90), the fast food chain has seen an influx of people taking advantage of the promotional campaign and filling up for less, no doubt prompting heads of McMarketing to call the offer a huge McCess success.

That is, however, until the end of last week when photos appeared on Twitter showing high school kids buying up 60 large-sized cartons of fries at once in an attempt to eat them all in one sitting…

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Rumour About McDonald’s Stinginess Spreads Like Zombie Virus, Shared 5,000 Times in Just Minutes

McDonald’s Japan has been having kind of a tough time lately…

After the restaurant took peculiar the step of removing menus from its counters, Japanese patrons have expressed their dissatisfaction both online and off, suggesting that the idea was perhaps not the company’s best in recent year, and the Golden Arches have received plenty of negative press as a result.

Perhaps fuelled by this feeling of discontent, a photo shared on social networking site Twitter, which shows an in-store sign alerting customers to the fact that free water will no longer be served, has had Japanese netizens up in arms, and has been shared more than 5,000 times.

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Birds Reclaim Social Networking Site Twitter, Leave Cryptic Messages and LOL@stupidhumans

Perhaps irked by the fact that we humans are tweeting almost as much as they are, perhaps just victims of the information age like the rest of us, birds have taken to keyboards to share their thoughts through micro-blogging site Twitter. No word yet as to whether they’re just telling us what they had for lunch or the topics they’re trending…

A bird lover in Latvia has set up a twitter account just for his local birds, and let’s them do the typing, with the account having already attracted more than 2,000 followers. Read More

Is That a Banana in Your Parfait or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

The image you see above is that of a standard banana parfait in Japan. Pleasing to the eye and undoubtedly delicious.

The image that comes after the break in this article, which was retweeted over 13,000 times after going viral in Japan earlier this week, is that of a banana parfait arranged to like a giant…you know…

Just check the image below.

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Ballet Shoes- check, Sports Drink- check, Squid in a Bag- check

Summers in Japan are unbearably long, hot and humid affairs that many of us would happily trade in for a couple more weeks of winter. But, sweaty or not, life goes on, so we do what we can to stay cool. Some invest in portable fans; some buy high-tech, sweat-wicking underwear; some make the fatal error of freezing a can of soda and seriously injuring themselves in the process.

Throwing a damp towel or facecloth into the freezer to use later as a frosty pick-me-up is a common method of beating the heat here in Japan, which is exactly what one young lady decided to do before heading off to ballet practice. Or so she thought… Read More

Increase in Lightning Observed Across Japa… What the Hell Is That?!

In addition to two months of temperatures over 35℃, Japan has recently been hit with a spate of lightning storms. In fact, when writing a previous story my building was hit by lightning knocking out my computer and forcing a rewrite. The son of a…

Anyway, with all this lightning around and pretty much the entire population carrying cameras built into their phones, a person’s natural inclination is to try and take a picture of a bolt.

One person though was not only lucky enough to actually be able to catch a bolt in a photo, but found something far stranger.

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There are many ways for an entertainer to show love to their fans: musicians might invite someone from the crowd onstage during a performance, actors might show up unannounced during events and be totally awesome.

When Japanese gravure idol Mao Harada reached 1000 followers on Twitter, she decided to pay tribute to her growing fanbase by “tweeting” to them using her half-naked body.

Now that’s meta.

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Apoopalypse Now! We Use Twitter and Japanese Linguistics to Track the Toilet Habits of Japan

It seems the days of keeping novels or magazines on a stand by the toilet are slipping away from us as more and more people are taking their smartphones into the loo to pass the time.  On top of this, social media has paved the way for everyone to update the world on all their daily minutiae.

And what could be minuter than broadcasting our bowel evacuations to the world.  On an individual basis such information might be meaningless to others but when analyzed en masse we can learn something about the pooping habits of a nation.

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Twitter War of Hand Tricks Gets Bizarre, Amazing and Occasionally Disgusting

Everyone has that one friend who can touch their nose with their tongue or fold their arms behind their back.  These accomplishments are great for parties and other social events, but on what stage can these people demonstrate such pointless feats for the whole world to enjoy? Twitter!

The following are some of the most hand-bending and mind-bending hand tricks you have ever seen as submitted during a twitter show-off.  Give them a try yourself. Just don’t get hurt.

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Does Obama Like Moe Anime? Shocking Evidence Surfaces on Twitter

A shocking image has surfaced on the net that may prove to be a nail in the coffin of President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

If the information in the image can be believed to be true, President Obama is following the Twitter account of 13-year-old moe anime girl bot, @akari_daisuki.

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Is Your Face Pregnant? Ask Twitter

Tracking Twitter trends can teach us a lot about language, for instance that Japanese women are more likely than men to tweet about boobs. It can also introduce us to hitherto unknown expressions coined and trending in the Twitterverse. We at Rocket News have been looking into some very strange examples, and we’d like to enlighten you today. Get ready, because your eyes are about to get pregnant! Read More

Japan Teases Anonymous for Hacking the Wrong Site by Personifying Them as Anime Characters

It was bound to happen, we just didn’t think it would be this fast.

In light of the recent “misfire” by international hactivist collective Anonymous after their first foray into Japan, Japanese netizens have done what they always do when they want to make fun of someone and personified the group as anime characters.

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Get Your 15 Minutes of Fame! (Good While It Lasted Anyway…)

Some clever people thought to capitalize on the value of having ‘followers’ on Twitter, theoretically allowing any normal person to surpass even Lady Gaga for a day. Read More

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