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STRANGE BUT TRUE
A Japanese man who traveled to Malaysia to marry a woman he met over the internet was rescued by police after being kidnapped by three Nigerians at the airport.

Officials in Hyogo suspended a prefectural employee for three months for “stuffing his backpack full of food at an all-you-can-eat buffet and trying to take it home.”

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision ordering a deadbeat mom to pay ¥50,000 to her ex-husband for “each time she denied him access to their daughter.”

Police in Kawasaki arrested a 19-year-old man for murdering his mother after finding “a head, a left arm and other body parts” in the apartment the two shared.

stats

230
Number of female participants at a ninja convention in Tokyo late last month

320kmh
New top speed of the Hayabusa shinkansen—the fastest in Japan—on its run from Utsunomiya to Morioka

206,800
Number of elementary school students who took the EIKEN English proficiency test in fiscal 2012—an 80 percent increase from 2002

Japanese TED Speaker Turns Yo-yo Performance into a Martial Art, Receives Standing Ovation
by Philip Kendall
The TED (Technology Education and Design) website is easily one of my most favourite places in the entire digital world. With talks from industry experts, innovative thinkers and creative individuals with something valuable to say, I’ve lost hundreds of hours on the site watching presentations and listening to talks, absorbing knowledge and expanding my view of the world, galaxy, universe.

Filmed in February this year at a TED conference in Long Beach, California, the following video sees a young man by the name of Black take to the stage dressed like a cross between a ninja and a rock star. After telling the story of how he first picked up a yo-yo and struggled to perform even the simplest of tricks, he goes on to talk about how mastering this simple toy gave him the confidence he always lacked. As if more proof were needed having already seen him calmly address thousands of spectators in English, Black then launches into a yo-yo routine that left us completely open-mouthed.

Of Noodles

Piss’s Off China

Is A Moron

Corporal punishment meted out by 840 teachers so far: survey

KYODO
A government survey says that 840 public school teachers used corporal punishment during a 10-month period starting in April 2012 — more than twice the 404 cases tallied in all of fiscal 2011.

The sharp rise came amid closer scrutiny by local education boards following the suicide of a high school student who had been frequently beaten by his basketball coach in Osaka, education ministry officials said Friday.

The tally of teachers identified as having used corporal punishment in the first 10 months of fiscal 2012, which ended in March, is already bigger than the full-year record of 494 cases in fiscal 2003.