Stranger than fiction: Jilted nurse stabs hospital boss with scalpel

As Oscar Wilde once quipped, “Life imitates art.” And sometimes the news imitates soap operas.

In a story that sounds like something right out of daytime TV, a jilted nurse in Osaka has been arrested after stabbing her lover–the hospital’s administrative head–with a scalpel after he talked about breaking up.

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Big (eats) in Japan: The gluttonous gallery of ‘o-mori’

In Japanese, o-mori refers to an extra large food portion. Feeling particularly hungry? Just upgrade your regular ramen by ordering “ramen o-mori.”

Of course, some restaurants don’t feel the phrase “large portion” does their creations justice, and have come up with their own special codes such as toku-mori, giga-mori, mega-mori, deka-mori, and doka-mori. They all mean the same thing, though: gargantuan grub. Come along with us on a tour of Japan’s culinary behemoths, and bring your appetite.

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One Hong Kong Starbucks’ unique menu offering: public restroom blend

With locations all over the world, Starbucks has become many people’s go-to joint for a cup of joe. Even international travelers who find themselves in regions where sanitation standards may not be quite up to their own personal ones feel safe visiting the local branch of the Seattle-based coffee giant, where you can always expect a clean interior, friendly service, and fresh beans sourced from around the world.

Plus, if you visit one particular Starbucks location in Hong Kong, coffee brewed with water from a public restroom.

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Strap on your thinking caps: bath salts based on popsicle based on soup go on sale

We’ve talked before about how Gari Gari-kun, the popsicle/shaved ice hybrid, is among the most refreshing treats produced by modern society, especially during the hot, humid summer months.

But Japan is a country where a daily bath, as opposed to just a shower, is a way of life. Since most people bathe at night, this presents a problem if you’ve just cooled yourself off with a nice after-dinner Gari Gari-kun and don’t want that feeling to go to waste from soaking in a pool of hot water. Thankfully, toy manufacturer Bandai has a whole lineup of Gari Gari-kun themed bath salts, based on the some of its most popular popsicle flavors, such as soda (really a mix of apple and citrus), pear, and corn…wait, corn?!

Perhaps we should start at the beginning.

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Chinese man wakes with centipede in his ear: hilarity does not ensue

We’ve probably all had itty-bitty insects fly into our mouths or eyes or even up our noses at one point in time. Whether it’s a mosquito zipping down your throat as you go for a jog or a dive-bombing gnat attacking your eyeball with laser precision, it’s definitely not pleasant. Though it rarely amounts to anything more than a minor annoyance.

For one Chinese man, though, this “minor annoyance” was more like hellish torture. Read More

Want to enjoy the health benefits of natto without the smell? Try this natto and ice cream recipe!

Not familiar with natto? Shame on you! Natto is the fermented soy bean “snack” loved throughout the Kanto region for its supposed health benefits that outweigh the questionable flavor and strong smell, which is optimistically described as “cheesy and pungent” and otherwise described by detractors with violent gagging noises.

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Amazon Japan lists withered alien figurines in place of adorable Kiki’s Delivery Service goods, Internet wets itself

While Amazon Japan may have its share of amusing, inappropriate, and disturbing reviews written by its customers, this (hopefully) mistaken listing is all on Amazon.

With rumors of a live-action remake of Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service swirling, attention has been focused on the original movie. And now questions about the true nature of the adore cat Jiji are starting to surface. What are we talking about? Well… Read More

This just in: Yawning bunnies are terrifying! 【Photo Gallery】

My entire life I’ve grown up thinking that bunnies are adorable. Who can resist those cotton ball tails and wiggling noses? They’re basically moving balls of fluff! However, after seeing a recent photo compilation of yawning bunnies on Japanese website, Karapaia, I feel so misinformed. Bunnies aren’t always cute, in fact, they can be downright terrifying. Take a look, if you dare, at 20 photos of yawning bunnies. They’ll change the way you look at rabbits forever.

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A 2-D girlfriend to help keep your long, lonely drives safe

This year’s Automotive Engineering Exposition in Yokohama, Japan saw more than just cars, accessories, and robots; there was also a new 2-D girlfriend on display.

ZMP Inc. is a robotics and automotive company that creates “platforms for the development of next-generation vehicles” with an eye towards sensors and information management. For example, their RoboCars are outfitted with sensors and instruments that let you collect information about your car, like an airplane black box, as well as supplying weather information. They even used it to steer the car from a Windows tablet.

So, what’s this forward-thinking company’s next product? How about a digital girlfriend for your lonely drives!! Read More

We devour a mountain of ramen (toppings)

By far the plainest, most bare-bones name for a guy in Japan is Taro. Look at just about any sample application form in the country, and nine times out of ten the applicant’s name will be listed as “Taro.” When coupled with a girl’s name like Hanako it’s the equivalent of “Dick and Jane,” showing up in children’s stories and textbooks.

Nonetheless,the name Taro is something of a classic, and a common choice for first-born sons. But change the first kanji character Taro is written with and you get “Jiro,” meaning more or less “second son.” Jiro doesn’t have quite the cachet of Taro, as it has a perpetual little brother-like ring to it.

Restaurant chain Ramen Jiro doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone, though, especially with creations like this.
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Japanese politicians are time lords! Government considers speeding time up by two hours

As a native of the United States, I’m all too familiar with the controversy around daylight savings time. I’m not sure if anyone actually “loves” it, but it certainly seems like most people hate it. WebMD, the Internet’s favorite doctor, even has an article about the effects the time change has on people’s health, though they seem minimal.

Either way, one of my favorite things about living in Japan is not having to worry about that annual spring torture of moving the clocks ahead by an hour. With no daylight savings, you always know what time it is in Japan. Unfortunately, it looks like one Japanese politician has it out for me and my beauty sleep. Read More

How transparent is acceptable for a girl’s pants? This much, according to one Chinese high school

As we head towards the end of May, there are a few tell-tale signs that summer is on the way. The sun sets later, the temperatures gets higher, and schools and office workers switch over to the lighter, breezier uniforms for the warmer months to come.

One high school in China may have gone a little overboard in its uniform design, though, as it seems to have given priority to keeping cool rather than keeping students’ underwear hidden. Read More

Nails: the way to a handsome guy’s heart! (According to these comic strips)

Hey, ladies, are you missing some matrimonial bliss in your life?

Well, if so, Nail Salon Venusrico has a special message for you in full color manga form: good nails = marriage.

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We answer the age old question: How many McDonald’s fries can one person stuff into their mouth in one sitting?

There’s something quite wonderful about the humble french fry. That combination of starch and grease, the crunchy outside and fluffy inside; it stimulates something deep in our reptile brains to create a tuber-induced euphoria. We could easily plow into and finish a new Mega Potato in one sitting; that’s child’s play. But there must be some upper limit to the amount of golden, crisp french fries one single human being can eat at one time, right? Right?!

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Horrifying Hello Kitty soap dispenser makes every restroom visit a test of will

Some brave soul on Twitter decided to stick some expired color contacts onto a Hello Kitty soap dispenser, inadvertently creating the above monstrosity that is guaranteed to turn every trip to the bathroom into an unnerving test of mental fortitude.

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Take a Ride on the Zoo Train Where the Seats Stare Back

We can’t decide whether this is the cutest or creepiest thing we’ve ever seen. This train, which transports passengers to the Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido, Japan includes a carriage with a children’s play area and stuffed animal seats. Zoo-goers can snuggle up with pairs of owls, reindeer, wolves, giraffes, polar bears, and many more.

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Can you explain this physics-defying photograph?

A photo currently doing the rounds on Chinese bulletin board sites is proving to be real head scratcher as people try to work out how it could have been taken.

In a world where software like Photoshop can transform pretty girls into bare-chested boys and young men into female wrestlers, the internet masses have come to view the world through suitably cynicism-tinted glasses. After close inspection, however, there’s nothing to suggest that this photo is anything but the real deal and that there’s no underhand digital trickery involved. So how on earth could this incredible feat of balance be possible?

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Free Hugs? Uhh…Okay, Says Japan

The free hug boom that swept the world nearly a decade ago also made it to Japan. Though only on shaky legs, it seems.

In case you don’t remember or somehow missed it, the idea was that people would stand around in public areas holding signs that read, simply enough, “Free Hugs.” If interested, anyone was welcome to step forward for a warm embrace. Ostensibly, it was an attempt to spread love and peace, and it did seem to bring a lot of smiles to a lot of people. Overall, a net positive.

Though the movement seems mostly to have quieted, one Japanese writer in Tokyo has described his recent experience meeting some Japanese Free-Huggers. Read More

Fashion Friends: Twitter Proves Almost Every Japanese College Student Wears the Same Exact Outfit

Japanese college students, having apparently resigned themselves to living out the stereotype that Japan is one big, racially homogenous hive mind, seem to be foregoing their chance to really do something unique after years of mandatory school uniforms and opting to just wear whatever the guy or girl next to them is wearing.

This is resulting in some eerie Twitter photo galleries of literal rooms full of students wearing more or less the exact same outfit.

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