8:48 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
A team of Japanese researchers has used an MRI to “successfully decode dreams by measuring brain activity during sleep.” It’s the first time scientists anywhere have been able to “read dreams.”
A cinema in Nagoya is planning to go “4-D” by allowing moviegoers to “experience wind, sprays of water, scents, light, fog and even soap bubbles.” We’re particularly excited about the bubbles.
After objections from the municipal labor union, officials in Nara ditched a plan to keep tabs on city workers via an ID authentication system “based on blood vein configuration.”
A letter carrier in Chiba who was arrested for stealing 2,100 pieces of mail said she did it because of “stress over her work.”
Number of new high school textbooks in geography, politics and economics that the education ministry has approved for the 2014 academic year
Number of those textbooks that describe the Takeshima and Senkaku islands as “Japanese territory”
Number of free recording devices handed out to elderly Tokyo residents by the MPD in an effort to fight telephone scams
Neko Font: Let Cats Do the Talking for You!
yesterday by Oona McGee
If it’s taking up residence on beds of sushi, winning hearts with adorable poses or curling up on your face while you sleep, the cats of the world seem to be inching closer to world domination with each passing day. They’ve certainly got a hold of the netisphere, and now they’re writing their names all over it, turning their noses up at the alphabet of boring humans and replacing it with a much cuter one of their own. It’s a free font generator called neko font (cat font), and you can play with it too. It makes even the most boring of words absolutely adorable!
To Hold Breath, Stomp Feet
They Want Okinawa Back
Kagoshima temple fails in bid to get loan to buy Chongryon’s Tokyo HQ
BY JUN HONGO
The chief priest of the Buddhist temple that won the bid to acquire the Tokyo headquarters of the pro-Pyongyang group Chongryon said Friday he has failed to gather enough funds for the purchase, suggesting financial institutions were pressured not to extend loans to his temple.
“Today, Saifukuji has decided to give up the acquisition of the Chongryon building, which we won the bid for,” Ekan Ikeguchi, who heads Saifukuji Temple in Kagoshima Prefecture, told reporters.
9:22 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
The government says if a major quake were to strike the Nankai Trough, it would cause ¥17 trillion in damage—more than 10 times the cost of the 3/11 disasters.
Officials at the defense ministry are in hot water for free-speech violations after asking applicants to provide info about their spouses’ nationality and whether they had undergone “treatment for alcohol, drugs or psychological disorders.”
The Japanese government lodged a complaint with authorities in France after a French company sold “a device to facilitate landing by ship-based helicopters” to China.
Meanwhile, a 35-year-old Japanese expat living in Singapore died while rock climbing in the Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur.
Virtual Reality: Taste the Sound Effects From Your Favourite Comic Book Moments
by Oona McGee
Your drink’s icy cold but the manga ice cubes in your glass are h-h-hot! Now taste the palpitating sound effects from your favourite comic books thanks to these new Manga Kōri, Comic Ice silicone molds from Runa Corporation.
Coming in three designs, ゴゴゴ (go-go-go, the sound effect for rumbling), ドドド (do-do-do, the sound of running, galloping and whirring machinery), and あ゛あ゛あ゛ (a-a-a, best translated as “Arrgh”), all appear in your glass in the same font that’s often scrawled over tense moments in a manga character’s storyline.
What About China’s: We Own Everything in The South China Sea
Vending Machine Thief
Opponents face off over Constitution Day
Abe’s backers say now is their time; foes feel sense of crisis
BY KAZUAKI NAGATA AND TOMOHIRO OSAKI
With revising the pacifist Constitution rapidly emerging as the primary issue in the upcoming Upper House election, proponents and opponents of change alike used Friday — Constitution Day — to press their cases.
A group in favor of changing the Constitution held a major rally in Tokyo while thousands of its defenders held a protest march through the capital.
In the 66 years since its promulgation, the constitutional debate has rarely been this vigorous. The debate heated up after the Liberal Democratic Party took back control of the government in December, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looking to make it a focus of the Upper House campaign this summer.
8:45 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
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.
Number of female participants at a ninja convention in Tokyo late last month
New top speed of the Hayabusa shinkansen—the fastest in Japan—on its run from Utsunomiya to Morioka
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.
Piss’s Off China
Is A Moron
Corporal punishment meted out by 840 teachers so far: survey
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.
9:11 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
A blind Japanese acupuncturist who lives in San Diego is attempting to become the first sightless man to sail across the Pacific Ocean.
A research team led by scientists at the University of Tokyo say they may have found “a clue for developing drugs to kill multidrug-resistant bacteria.”
Researchers at the National Cancer Center recommend consuming 20 grams of saturated fatty acid daily to ward off strokes and heart attacks. That’s equivalent to “200 grams of milk a day and 150 grams of meat every other day.”
Headline of the Week: “Cat and Bird Corpses Left on Store Escalator Again” (via Mainichi Japan)
Number of gas stations in Japan as of March 1994
Number of gas stations in March 2011
Consecutive months the number of people receiving welfare benefits has hit a record high, according to the welfare ministry
How not to meet women
Suspected of violating laws related to acts of violence, the first trial for company employee Yoshihito Harada, 25, was held at the Nagoya district courthouse on 16 April. Harada stands accused of puncturing the tires of parked cars that were driven by women in an effort to strike up conversations with the drivers. When asked if there was any truth to the indictment, Harada admitted, “It’s true, I did it.”
According to the opening statement by prosecutors, between April 2011 and December 2012, Harada used a screw driver or other sharp object to puncture the tires of five different cars. The cars had all been parked outside supermarkets in the cities of Miyoshi, Nisshin and Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. In all cases the stated reason was so that Harada could establish contact with the women.
We Didn’t See Any Abuse
Of Screwing Its Workers
7th-century horse tack unearthed in Kyushu
April 19, 2013
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
KOGA, Fukuoka Prefecture--A complete set of trappings and ornaments from a war horse likely ridden by a seventh-century chieftain in Japan have been found in southern Japan, a find so rare that researchers are already referring to it as a national treasure.
The gilt-bronze horse tack was unearthed close to a contemporaneous burial mound in this western city, the municipal board of education said April 18.
The site in the Taniyama district of Koga is the first-ever devoted exclusively to horse armor, officials said.
8:36 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
NICE WORK, FELLAS
A high school baseball coach in Chiba was suspended for breaking one of his players’ arms after the kid missed a fly ball in practice.
It was later revealed that the same coach had “hit another first-year [player] in the face with a bat, knocking out his front teeth and splitting his lip.”
The NPA said it dealt with a record number of cases of child pornography in 2012. Officials said that underage smut “is spreading via the internet.” Gee, ya think?
A Tokyo-based bicycle importer was ordered to pay ¥189 million in damages to a man who was paralyzed in an accident involving his Italian-brand Bianchi bike.
Amount of money donated by US citizens for 3/11 disaster relief
Amount of money Japan will loan to the Philippines to develop a light-rail system and airport
Number of victims of child abuse referred to consultation centers last year by the NPA, a record high
As Stocks Rise, so do the Hem Lines: Japan’s New Incentive for Economic Growth
by Rachel Tackett
In the face of our global economy’s seemingly never-ending nosedive, Japan has come up with a hip, new way to stimulate growth in its local communities: by starting up a band!
Machikado Keiki☆JAPAN, a group name that roughly translates to “Street Corner Conditions JAPAN,” is the latest and greatest four-girl idol group to hit the media. I know it sounds a bit like a band full of hookers, but just wait until you hear their pitch! Basically, the better the nation’s stocks are doing, the shorter their skirts get! Clearly, the idea of having enough money for food and rent is not enough of an incentive to get some economic stimulus going; what the country really needs is more half-naked women!
Gets The Sack
Exit The 19th Century
Tokyo Disneyland turns 30!
Japan Times — Apr 12
Tokyo Disneyland (or “TDL” as it’s known to the Japanese) turns 30 on April 15, but like George Clooney, or heck, even the famed Mouse himself, age hasn’t withered it a bit.
TDL means different things to the Japanese, but if you sift through all the memories and narrow it down to one sentiment, it would have to be happiness. The concept is ever elusive to the nation’s work-centric population, laboring under the burden of an economic recession lasting 20-odd years. Still, every Japanese has this stamped-on-the-DNA sort of knowledge that happiness will be theirs once they pass through the gates of TDL – which makes its publicity department the happiest of them all.
8:47 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
Cops in Toshima-ku arrested four operators of a brothel called the Otsuka Cosplay Academy for employing a 14-year-old girl as a sex worker.
Authorities in Hachioji believe that a serial arsonist is setting fire to local vending machines in an effort to “steal change.”
A 35-year-old lieutenant commander in the Maritime Self-Defense Force was arrested for “touching a 20-year-old female college student’s lower body” on the Keikyu line.
An Osaka woman was busted for getting her 6-year-old daughter addicted to sleeping pills. The woman told officials that she wanted the girl to go to bed at the same time she did.
Tons of debris from the March 11 tsunami that’s expected to wash up on the west coast of the US and Canada by October, according to the environment ministry
Rank of Panasonic in terms of international patent applications in 2012, trailing only China’s tech firm ZTE Corp
Number of prefectures that sent delegates to a recent education fair in Beijing to promote school trips to Japan
Alcohol Made with Fermented Wasps Gives New Meaning to the Phrase “Get Your Buzz On”
by Rachel Tackett
By all accounts Japan’s giant wasps are dangerous creatures. And yet, our team recently learned of one huntsman from Kumamoto Prefecture who has a hobby of fermenting these monstrous bugs in batches of shouchuu (Japanese liquor similar to vodka). It merits saying that even in Kumamoto, selling this kind of alcohol is not a common practice. If you do happen to come across some wasp-infused booze in a souvenir shop, it’s safe to say that you’ve strayed quite far from the mainstream marketplace.
Hearing about this peculiar home brew, we at RocketNews24 couldn’t help wondering what kind of a man would make shouchuu containing wasps. Our very own field journalist took a trip to Kumamoto to meet the man in his home and find out more.
Oh Never Mind
Always Up In Smoke
In The Trash
Scientists say they can ‘read’ dreams
NATIONAL APR. 06, 2013 – 06:55AM JST
Scientists in Japan said Friday they had found a way to “read” people’s dreams, using MRI scanners to unlock some of the secrets of the unconscious mind.
Researchers have managed what they said was “the world’s first decoding” of night-time visions, the subject of centuries of speculation that have captivated humanity since ancient times.
In the study, published in the journal Science, researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories, in Kyoto, used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to locate exactly which part of the brain was active during the first moments of sleep.
The scientists then woke up the dreamers and asked them what images they had seen, a process that was repeated 200 times.
8:58 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
Osaka’s last remaining streetcar company introduced a tram line whose color scheme is meant to evoke “traditional Japanese aesthetic philosophy.”
Lawmakers have enacted measures to combat a fraud scheme known as oshigai, which involves bullying unsuspecting people into selling “precious metal jewelry and other items for unreasonably low prices.”
Police in Fukuoka say an employee at a work center for people with mental disabilities put a disabled man in a chair, placed a cardboard target above his head, and “threw an awl from about three meters away like he was playing darts.”
Headline of the Week: “Researchers Find Chemical in Male Mouse Urine that Attracts Females” (via Mainichi Japan)
Number of counterfeit goods seized by Japanese customs officials in 2012—a record—according to the finance ministry
Percent of those goods that originated in China
Amount of money raised for quake reconstruction projects via a micro-funding plan set up by Tokyo-based Music Securities Inc.
Only 100 Limited Edition Matcha Green Tea Moon Pies On Sale, Cost More Than You Can Imagine
Japan’s version of the Moon Pie, the Choco Pie, is almost identical to the American classic – sweet filling nestled between two pieces of white cake covered in chocolate. They are made by Lotte and have been delighting Japanese sweet lovers for 30 years.
Much like the Japanese versions of Pepsi, Kit Kats and Pringles, Choco Pies are getting a new limited edition makeover. Marketed under the name “Wa Choco Pie” (Wa meaning both “peace” and, in this case, “Japanese-style”), these special Choco Pies have been supersized to 12 cm (4.7in) and filled with matcha creme. However, unlike most limited edition foods in Japan, these special Choco Pies can only be purchased by entering into a lottery draw. They will also be sold for a ridiculous price.
Stab Someone Go To Prison
World ninjas gather in Japan for women’s meet
LIFESTYLE MAR. 23, 2013 – 07:00AM JST
More than 200 ninjas from around the world gathered at a Tokyo gymnasium Friday to kick off a two-day training seminar, especially designed for women.
The disciples of Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi, the founder of the Bujinkan school, gathered from more than 17 countries at the Tokyo Budo-kan martial arts gymnasium to sharpen their self-defense skills.
Gone are the days when the Japanese historical masked agents carried out espionage acts against opposing warlords, they said.
Mondern-day ninjas are ordinary people with normal jobs who practise self-defense skills, or “ninjutsu”, stressing use of balance and space to bring opponents to submission.
8:51 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK
According to financial disclosure statements, deputy prime minister Taro Aso is the proud owner of houses in Shibuya and Karuizawa; 360,398 shares of stock in 16 companies; and eight golf club memberships.
The government’s Council for Ainu Policy Promotion says it hopes to conduct Japan’s first-ever census of indigenous peoples.
Officials at the newly launched Nuclear Regulation Authority say they’ll digitize and publish online 900,000 pages of documents pertaining to the Fukushima disaster.
The NPA announced a plan to force “malicious cyclists”—i.e., those who have been busted for more than one traffic violation—to attend lectures on safe cycling.
A Cabinet Office survey has found that a plurality of Japanese “oppose revising the Civil Code to allow married couples to use separate surnames.”
Average amount of assets held by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his 18 cabinet ministers, according to government figures
Average amount of money Japanese parents send to their kids at college each month, according to the National Federation of University Co-operative Associations
Percent of college students who receive no monthly support from their parents
Junior High Graduation Photo Rocks Netizens of Japan to Their Core
It’s a lovely time of year when students all across Japan graduate to the next tier of education. For those moving on to new schools it can a bittersweet event as relationships change.
Naturally a photo is usually taken to preserve the occasion. Some energetic students design a message using their own bodies like one recently tweeted photo that won the hearts of the Internet.
Then there are photos like this one that has confounded some and enraged others. When it was tweeted, a large majority of internet users in Japan freaked out and wondered if the very fabric of society was coming apart.
Throw The Bums Out
Not To Get Hosed
And His Foolish Wall
126 U.S. military members to sue TEPCO
NATIONAL MAR. 16, 2013 – 06:36AM JST
U.S. service members are suing the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) for more than $2 billion on grounds the utility lied about the dangers of helping clean up the nuclear disaster that struck two years ago.
The case was first filed by nine plaintiffs in December but has now expanded to 26, and another 100 are in the process of joining the suit, said Stars and Stripes newspaper.
The new complaint was filed last Tuesday in U.S. District Court in California, a day after the two year anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit the eastern coast of Japan. It left nearly 15,881 people dead and 2,668 others still unaccounted for.
7:54 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
HERE WE GO AGAIN
Just five months after its inception, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has already fired a senior official for having an “inappropriate exchange” with the operator of a nuclear power plant.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking official at the land ministry (the parliamentary secretary for reconstruction, if you must know) mysteriously resigned, allegedly over “a relationship with a woman.” Can’t have that!
Researchers at the environment ministry believe there may be a connection between the March 11 megaquake and a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Hokkaido last month that caused blackouts and highway closures.
It was reported that officials at the National Police Agency are making an effort to develop better aging-prediction technology out of concerns that “the faces of people on police wanted posters end up looking markedly different from fugitives.”
Percent of Japanese internet users who have just one password for all their online accounts, according to antivirus software company Trend Micro
Number of telephone conversations wiretapped by Japanese police last year, according to the government
Number of crimes that pickpocket Takayuki Okaniwa, 43, confessed to committing during the past four months, after his arrest in January
Hurl Obscenities at the Crane Game from the Comfort of Your Own Home! Online Remote UFO Catcher Opened
by Master Blaster
Crane games, claw machines, UFO catchers, whatever you want to call them can be found scattered all across East Asia taking in reams of cash with promises of prizes ranging from giant stuffed phallic mushrooms to game consoles.
Oh, how I look back fondly on lining up my plastic pincers precisely over a PSP only to have them go limp at the last minute. The nursing staff and I had many a chuckle as they stitched up my knuckles from punching repeatedly into the Plexiglas window.
Thanks to Netch and their remote web browser operated crane game, instead of getting charged with destruction of property I can get enraged in front of my own computer screen!
Have Become A God
Tsunami victim’s father keeps her dream alive
By SHINTARO EGAWA/ Staff Writer
IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture–Even after two years, Takashi Suzuki tries to keep control of his emotions as he prays for his daughter at the family altar each morning.
Suzuki, a cram school operator, lost his only daughter in the tsunami that turned northern coastal areas into a wasteland on March 11, 2011.
“Every time I light the incense sticks for her in the morning, my heart aches. I still think of that day. I feel I should have tackled the waves to go rescue her, and that if I had failed, it would have been better to die with her.”
7:26 am in Uncategorized by nagaura
LOST AND FOUND
Six months after the environment ministry declared the Japanese river otter extinct, officials in Ehime are planning “a full-fledged search” for the creature in response to reports of recent sightings.
JR Central began operation of the new N700A shinkansen—the first bullet train that can run on autopilot.
A group of Japanese and French scholars claims that Echigo-ya—a kimono shop that grew to become Mitsukoshi department store—was the “world’s first large-scale retailer and the biggest store throughout the 18th century.”
Tokyo Station and New York’s Grand Central Terminal are set to become “sister stations” at a ceremony in the US this month.
A 73-year-old Ibaraki restaurateur discovered 31 photographic plates depicting the attempted coup d’état in 1936 known as the “February 26 incident.”
Number of people hospitalized in Tokyo in 2011 due to health problems caused by quasi-legal “herbal drugs,” according to a newspaper report
Number hospitalized in 2012
Estimated number of people who would be forced to evacuate their homes in an eruption of Mt Fuji, according to officials in Shizuoka
T is for Thievery: Surprising Identity of Osaka Elementary School Bandit Discovered
by Master Blaster
From November last year until this January, Nozato Elementary School in Osaka City had been the scene of a string of robberies. In 16 different incidents, up to 235,000 yen (US$2,500) was stolen from the wallets of teachers who worked there.
However, thanks to the efforts of one vigilant teacher, the culprit was finally identified and dealt with on 28 February.
Takashi Honda, the 57-year-old vice principal of Nozato Elementary was relieved of his command last Thursday after evidence revealed he had been the one stealing teachers’ money.
Goes On The Road
Quotes The Iron Lady
Japan’s Kanamara Festival Coming Up this April!
yesterday by Rona Moon
This year on 7 April, the lusty cries of ”Kanamara, dekkai mara!” (“steel rod, giant dong!”) will once again ring through town.
Japan, traditionally a country where well-endowed foreigners are very welcome, embraces big penis worship in this very special festival. For the largest erections you’ve ever seen (anyone know Jonah Falcon personally?), save the date: Sunday 7 April 2013 at Kanayama Shrine in Kanagawa. All hail the huge pink peen! It just gets bigger and better every year.
If bigger doesn’t bang your gong, there are a multitude of phalluses of all shapes and sizes. If you’re non-Japanese and you’re interested in this, you’re not alone. An army of Western tourists descends upon the shrine every year, demanding cock.