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Your iPhone Likes to Be Touched With Mushrooms

OK, file this one under “and how exactly did they figure that out?” but apparently you can operate your iPhone touch screen with a mushroom. Read More

Just Pop It In The Microwave and Charge! But Really, iPhone Owners should Know Better, Shouldn’t They?

I’m sure we’ve all heard horror stories about cats or babies in microwaves (and although I wholeheartedly wish that all of these stories were in the realm of urban myths, apparently not all of them are fiction, but we really don’t want to think too much about those cases, do we? ). Well recently, it seems microwaves have been claiming a whole new set of victims here in Japan. Fortunately, none of these incidents involve the loss of life, but there is still an awful lot of damage being caused to important personal property — iPhones, to be exact.

Apparently, some people have never been told that they shouldn’t believe everything they read on the net. Let’s make it clear from the start: microwaving your iPhone will not charge its battery. Read More

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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Japan’s Latest Twitter Sensation: Shit My Mom Says

In a woman’s life, she has perhaps no greater teacher than her mother. As she encounters and overcomes life’s various twists and turns, a woman may begin to realize her mother told her things that are important and sometimes even a little profound.

And now everyone can share in this maternal wisdom (if you speak Japanese) thanks to a new Twitter account called Shit My Mom Says. Read More

Thousands Protest McDonald’s Online Speech Policy by Tweeting: “The Chicken Tatsuta is Delicious!”

A few days before, the news broke regarding McDonald’s Japan releasing a memo which outlined new speech restrictions for their employees on social media.  Many believe these new rules are an effort to stem worker’s complaints over the new “Enjoy! 60 Second Service” promotion.

After the memo was released, McDonald’s crew members and Japanese netizens took to Twitter and 2channel to voice their opinion about the controversial new restrictions, and everyone’s unanimous opinion was this:

“The Chicken Tatsuta is delicious! It’s my favorite burger!”

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Softbank CEO Defends His Looks with Surprisingly Cool Comeback

Korean-Japanese Telecom Tycoon Masayoshi Son earned his place as the CEO of Japan’s largest mobile phone company and the second richest person in Japan through aggressive expansion of his interests.

That personality often comes through in his Twitter account too.  Son recently had to defend himself via Twitter after a half-million-dollar donation to Hurricane Sandy relief irked some people.

That’s the great thing about Twitter, isn’t it? You can now directly give Forbes’ 53rd Most Powerful Person in the world a piece of your mind. But don’t expect him to take it lying down.

That’s what @kingfisher0423 learned when he tweeted to the Softbank CEO: “With the degree that your hairline has receded, you are bald.”

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Dragon Quest Staircase Floor Mats Are Out There, But Getting One Might be a Quest in Itself

Recently the image of a Dragon Quest style floor mat was released on Twitter caused many long-time role playing fans to rise up as one and say “Take my money!”

Unfortunately for me and for thou, this mat, dubbed “Quest Mat”, cannot be bought by conventional means such as gold. In true Dragon Quest fashion it can only be found by searching the urban dungeons known as “video game shops” and then wrested from the clutches of the evil “staff” who are keeping them locked away from us.

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Japanese Cat Completely Wigs Out at the Sight of Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba

How about that election, eh?  It sure was something to see the whole nation rise up as one, begrudgingly say “meh”, then write down the name of the perennial favorite (for no seemingly good reason), the LDP party.

However, cats, who are said to have heightened senses and an awareness of things humans cannot perceive, did seem not take the results lying down. This cat recently photographed seems to have sensed something rotten in the state of Japan – something about the LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba.

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KFC Japan Offering Free Trips to Osaka for Free All-You-Can-Eat Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken is getting into the holiday spirit with the All-You-Can-Eat Chicken Tour.  From now till midnight on 20 December you can enter as often as you like to win a trip to Osaka where you can eat your fill of unlimited free KFC!

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Sad Tweet from Sharp Galapagos Touches Japanese Twitterverse

Official corporate Twitter feeds are generally boring affairs.  Unless you’re really into the product or service mentioned and need to know immediately when something new happens there’s not much entertainment in them – certainly not anything that would move you.

So Japanese Twitter users were taken aback by a surprisingly heartfelt and candid tweet from the official account of Sharp’s line of computer tablets Galapagos.  The tweet was a lament over recent downsizing in part due to the poor sales and economy.

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“Unforgivable” Post-Earthquake Twitter Prank Causes Outrage Online **UPDATED**

A message left by a Twitter user claiming to be trapped under rubble after a powerful earthquake later turned out to be fake, causing outrage across Japan.

In the early evening of Friday, December 7,  a magnitude-7.3 earthquake with its epicentre off the northeast coast of Japan caused tremors so large that the Tokyo cafe in which my boss and I sat fell silent as patrons no doubt began wondering whether they ought to take cover beneath their tables. Windows rattled and the entire building creaked and swayed for almost five minutes after the tremors stopped.

As people reached for their mobile phones, expressions of concern could be seen throughout the room as talk of “possible tsunami” and “northeast Japan” appeared on social networks and news sites.

Soon after, a tweet (pictured above) appeared online asking for help and requesting that the message be shared as much as possible. Within the next hour, concerned Twitter users had retweeted the message more than 13,000 times, with many sending messages asking for more information about the user’s location and encouraging them to remain calm.

When the writer of the original tweet resurfaced hours later, however, and began mocking those who fell for the prank, people were understandably very upset, and soon began demanding that the tweet writer’s real identity to be determined and for them brought to justice.

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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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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

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