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ONLY IN JAPAN
In an annual ritual meant to “foster spiritual strength,” 100 SDF troops in Hokkaido engaged in a tug of war with a tank.

Zookeepers in Fukuoka have discovered that feeding chimpanzees three leeks a day helps them ward off colds.

A 114-year-old Osaka resident took the title of world’s oldest woman after the previous record-holder, a 115-year-old who lived in Kawasaki, died last month.

Sentence of the Week: “A man suspected in a series of computer hacking cases has been linked by a security camera to a man who suspiciously approached a cat, which was later found to have a memory device attached to its collar, investigative sources said.” (via Mainichi Japan)

stats

54
Percent of female Japanese Facebook users who say they’ve felt “bothered” by friend requests, according to research firm Macromill

5.1 billion
Cups of Pucchin Purin that have been sold since the custard-like snack was introduced in 1972, according to Guinness World Records

98
Number of people admitted to local hospitals after suffering falls during last month’s snowstorm, according to the Tokyo Fire Department

Public Ritual Sex in Japan: Bizarre Fertility Festival “Onda Matsuri”

One of Japan’s most ancient fertility festivals, Onda Matsuri (“Rice Field Festival”), which features public ritual sex, was held on February 3 at Asuka-ni-imasu Shrine in western Japan.

Around 1,400 years ago, Asuka was Japan’s political, cultural and spiritual heartland. The chief priest of this Shinto shrine is the 87th priest in an unbroken line of priests always named Asuka- a tradition that has stretched down the ages for 87 generations, perhaps thanks to the legendary fertility conferred by the rite, which is said to bring luck in matchmaking, marriage and easy childbirth. Easy childbirth? That sounds a tad oxymoronic. if you ask me. But at any rate, it sounds better than having my deity “greatly multiply my pain in childbirth” for my sins, naming no names…

No. It’s A Smog Bomb

And the lying liars Who Tell Them

A PET Bottle

TEPCO misled Diet panel, averted quake-damage inspection at Fukushima plant

By HIDEAKI KIMURA/ Staff Writer February 07, 2013
Tokyo Electric Power Co. misled a Diet investigation panel and cited “dreadfully high” radiation levels to effectively block an inspection for possible quake damage at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

“(TEPCO’s explanation) was absolutely false and seriously obstructed the investigation,” Mitsuhiko Tanaka, a former member of the now-disbanded Diet commission, said in a statement submitted to the chiefs of the two Diet chambers on Feb. 7.

Tanaka asked the Diet to inspect the No. 1 reactor building to see if isolation condensers–key safety components at nuclear plants–were damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.