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Japanese Shrine Blesses Laptops

Date: 2008 September 14 05:17 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

A Shinto shrine near - yup you guessed it - Akihabara has started blessing laptops to protect them from the wrath of the gods and, err, malware apparently.

Read More... | Souce: IOL

Anime Central Vanishes from Sky

Date: 2008 September 06 21:08 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > TV

UK readers with satellite TV may not have noticed the disappearance of UK based anime channel Anime Central from channel 199. For the last few months at least all the channel broadcast was Ghost In the Shell:SAC and Cowboy Bebop in a constant loop, although they are both excellent shows, they're not really something a TV station can exist on alone.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

Tuiteru Cosplay Night in Tokyo

Date: 2008 August 31 12:10 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Crossplaying readers or indeed those interested in photographing crossplayers in the Tokyo area should be interested to know about a special cosplay event on 2008 September 27th Saturday to promote a new game called TUITERU by C:Drive.

What's also interesting is the venue chosen, Studio Snappy. A venue to photograph cosplayers. It seems that someone in Japan will cater to the every demand of the otaku market!

Read More... | Souce: Tuiteru Cosplay Night

Fanboys wanted for MTV's True Life

Date: 2008 August 19 16:09 | Posted By:

Category > Fandom

Our US based readers who like the idea of appearing on TV should consider this request from MTV who are keen to do a True Life episode on Fanboys.

Read More... | Souce: MTV True Life

Celebrity Japanese bloggers

Date: 2008 July 07 03:31 | Posted By:

Category > Websites

Wired are currently running an interesting story about celebrity Japanese bloggers. The article states "They're good-looking, they're geeky and they love to blog". It then has a profile of each blogger along with a photo.

Souce: Wired

New Non Photographic Law is a bit vague

Date: 2008 May 29 18:12 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Some anime and manga fans in the UK might have heard about the new proposals which would ban obscene images of children. The proposals mainly cover drawings and computer-generated images, however due to certain parts of the proposals being a bit vague, it's not exactly certain what images are classed as obscene. The mainstream press are keen to wrongly cite manga as one such example.

Read More... | Souce: BBC News

Station Manager Cat saves company

Date: 2008 May 28 08:49 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News are running a delightful story about a stray cat who saved the day for a loss making Japanese railway. Tama was a stray cat and adopted as the mascot for Kishi station in western Japan. Two years ago the staff had to be axed, but she stayed and was promoted to station manager, and given her own office (which was previously a ticket booth).

The article states that she was born and raised at the station, in the city of Kinokawa, Wakayama prefecture. The feline apparently has the perfect temperament for a mascot and it happy to let people pet her.

Tama has spawned her own range of popular merchandise, including a picture book "Diary of Tama, the Station Master", and has been credited with returning the railway company to profit.

Phew, I managed to write this article without a single Lolcat reference.

Souce: BBC News

Japanese parrot talks his way home

Date: 2008 May 22 15:54 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

BBC News have an amusing story about a stray parrot in Japan, who was reunited with his owner after repeating his name and address. The red-tailed African Grey parrot called Yosuke was taken in by the police and then taken to the local veterinary clinic.

Yosuke greeted people, sung popular children's songs and started to repeat his name and address. Police were then able to match these details to the parrots owner, who had taught the parrot how to recite its name and address.

Souce: BBC News

Greenhunt proves to be popular

Date: 2008 May 10 13:28 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > TV

The Daily Yomiuri have an interesting article about Greenhunt, an up and coming anime series shown on satellite station Space Shower TV. What draws viewers to the show is that's it's spoken in the Toyama dialect, the same as the shows creator Toyoshi Miyasaka.

The show it's self appears to be a quirky hit, drawn in a web animation style familiar to those used to watching Flash based cartoons.

Souce: Daily Yomiuri

From Maids to Mothers

Date: 2008 April 15 16:35 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Mainichi Daily News have an interesting news story about the new craze in Otaku Cafe, the Mother Cafe.

Mother Cafe is in the new Mandarake outlet in Osaka (Mandarake are a chain of shops for anime and manga fans, and are evil as they are often packed full of delights to tempt otaku). Apparently the maids take on a maternal air, as they greet guests in motherly tones. Staff's age range from 19 to in their 40's, and they look older than they actually are. The aim is to become a therapeutic cafe, where people can open their hearts to the staff.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Larvae Chocolates are a big hit

Date: 2008 April 14 17:07 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

With Easter long gone, we still can't stop thinking of chocolate. So we'd like to point out a story about chocolate in Japan a reader sent us (who has strange tastes including custard pizza, but that's another story in itself). The Japan Times On-line have a story about chocolate bugs, sold by an Akita based confectioner. Komatsuya Honten specialises in making chocolate treats that look like beetle larvae and caterpillars. Yum!

Read More... | Souce: The Japan Times

Make your own Mech for only $742 Million

Date: 2008 April 04 03:47 | Posted By:

Category > Technology > Robotics

Wired have an interesting article about how to make a mech. Takayuki Furuta the director of the Future Robotics Center in Chiba Japan, was worried that kids don't care about robots any more, so he ran computer models to figure out the best way to build a six story tall Gundam. Apparently they have blueprints for the robot, and actually intend to build one, although a 60 foot tall model wouldn't be financially feasible a 13 feet tall version could be produced by 2011.

The article also links to an article with the price breakdown in yen, a must for all those project managers out there. ^_-

Souce: Wired

GONZO make progressive metal music video

Date: 2008 March 31 17:13 | Posted By:

Category > Production > Gonzo

We've been sent some interesting details about anime studio GONZO, who have produced a music video for progressive metal band Dream Theater.

Read More... | Souce: Dream Theater

Conan the Buddhist Bowwow

Date: 2008 March 31 16:50 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

BBC News are currently running a story about Conan, a lovable dog at Jigenin temple on Okinawa island.

The little Chihuahua sits on his hind legs, raises his paws and puts them together as if praying, copying the Buddhist priest at the temple. Apparently it only took him a few days to imitate the motions of praying. The temple now gets 30% more visitors as a result of little Conan joining in the prayers.

Souce: BBC News

Britney goes anime

Date: 2008 March 16 10:10 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

First Courtney love was involved in the Princess Ai project now Britney Spears latest music video "Break the ice" features an anime style music video. ICv2 report that it was animated in South Korea who do a lot of work for anime studios.

After seeing it's very reminiscent of anime such as GiTS and the Animatrix.

Souce: IcV2

Gwen Stefani's Death Note Perfume

Date: 2008 March 09 13:25 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

While this isn't exactly, new I'm sure not all our readers keep up to date with perfume releases. Pop star Gwen Stefani has released a fragrance called L, under her L.A.M.B. line (Love. Angel. Music. Baby). The amusing thing is the choice of font used for the L line of cosmetics, it's the same as the L that appears in Death Note, when L is on screen.

We're wondering if this is a just a random coincidence, or if it's something else, as Gwen Stefani has sung about Harajuku Girls before, so she (or her PR people), would have at least a basic understanding of Japanese pop culture.

Visit the L.A.M.B Fragrance website to see lots of L's. ^_^

Souce: L.A.M.B. Fragrance

Dating Classes for Geeks

Date: 2008 February 18 14:46 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Wired are running an interesting story about a Japanese Pick Up school for geeks, they don't use the word otaku, but we all know who they're talking about.

Satoshi Fujita's Pickup School for Men Who Can't get Any helps geeky males to get ladies. It sounds like a set up for a quirky sitcom, but the date doctor has all sorts of tricks and techniques up his sleeves after a decade of careful research.

The Tokyo evening classes seem popular with more than a hundred students a month being taught in his classes with interesting subjects such as How to Use Magic to Gain Popularity and How to Seduce Women.

Souce: Wired

Origami Paper Planes to fly in space

Date: 2008 February 07 09:03 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

BBC News are running a story about the University of Tokyo's latest engineering project. They are currently testing a paper aeroplane that they want to launch from the International Space Station to glide back to earth.

The plan is to get a Japanese astronaut to throw 100 plans into space so they will land on earth.

The paper planes are designed by the Japan Origami Airplane Association. The planes actually are made out of paper, but are treated with a special compound to increase heat resistance. Currently the research looks promising, with planes can resist winds speeds up to Mach 7, and also endured temperatures of around 300 degrees Celsius.

The project is being done to inspire new designs for lightweight re-entry vehicles and similar craft to explorer the earth's atmosphere, as well as inspiring school children to taken an interest in science.

Souce: BBC News

Contact Lens HUD

Date: 2008 January 22 00:27 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

I just noticed on DannyChoo, an interesting type of contact lens with HUD display! o.o EurekAlert says: "There are many possible uses for virtual displays. Drivers or pilots could see a vehicle's speed projected onto the windshield. Video-game companies could use the contact lenses to completely immerse players in a virtual world without restricting their range of motion. And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see."

What's even more interesting is that while finding the article, I was fiddling with my own contacts in my eyes at the time. I'm up 'til past 4am scanning news again, bah I love it.

Souce: Danny Choo

Akira gets bad press

Date: 2008 January 21 22:06 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

A Sun article on the case regarding Meredith Kercher's death last November points out that suspect Raffaele Sollecito has the words "AKIRAFUGA" as his computer's password.

"The court was told the password for his computer is AKIRAFUGA. Akira is a character in violent sado-masochistic Manga comics.

Fuga is Italian for flee. One Akira story relates how the 'hero' ran after trying to rape students.

Sollecito was remanded in custody. "

I think some further analagy is needed on the term "akira" here...

Read More... | Souce: The Sun Online

Japanese priests have day jobs to keep shrines going

Date: 2008 January 20 16:35 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

The Mainichi Daily News is reporting that a growing number of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines have started to run profitable side businesses to keep things afloat. It's common for religions in Japan to run businesses with socially redeeming characters, such as schools, but now it seems that the clergy are keen to tap into the "elderly and woman markets".

The article states:
"Bald bonzes are now plugging Buddhist-style beauty in Kyoto, while a Shinto Shrine in Saitama Prefecture is making a killing operating a hot spring resort where everybody strips off and bathes together."

It seems that it's been hard to keep many temples and shrines afloat, with many shrines inherited from parents, the new owners have developed a sense of crisis about the future of the family business. It seems unless you're running a venue in a popular tourist area many temples and shrines have had trouble getting donations.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Five Girls Name Moe talk now on-line

Date: 2008 January 10 16:46 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Jonathan Clements' talk "Five Girls Name Moe: The Anime Erotic", from Swansea Animation Days, is now up on-line as a web stream. You can watch his talk on-line, while it's up. As we've come to expect from Jonathan it's amusing, informative and backed with solid figures and statistics.

Souce: Five Girls Name Moe: The Anime Erotic

Fake is Japanese word of the year for 2007

Date: 2008 January 06 16:25 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

The Japan Times, has an interesting article about the word fake (nisei) being named kanji of the year for 2007 by the Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. It seems that political and commercial fakery has gone too far in Japan in 2007. The article highlights several instances in Japan where the food industry has been less than perfect, including the bacterial contamination of Fujiya cakes, Shiroi Koibito falsifying sell-by dates by up to two months on its cookies, Meat hope selling a meet blend claiming to be 100% beef as a cost cutting measure, and the trend for up market restaurant chain Senba Kitcho selling normal supermarket grade chicken as an exclusive poultry delicacy.

Souce: The Japan Times

Japanese Government believe in UFOs

Date: 2007 December 18 13:16 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News have published a rather bizarre story about the Japanese governments stance of UFOs. A member of the opposition asked the Japanese government what its policy was to deal with UFOs, however under Japanese rules they could not ignore the question and issued a statement. Apparently if a flying saucer is spotted in Japanese airspace a fighter would be scrambled to get visual confirmation.

It also stated that most alerts turned out to be birds or other objects. The article highlights that Japan has not yet planned what to do if aliens do arrive (we're pondering if the Japanese government are waiting for confirmation about what kind of aliens would arrive, if they're like the Angels from Evangelion that's one thing, but if they're like Digi Charat that's another).

Japan's chief government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura, confirmed he believed that they were "definitely" real, while Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda when asked about alien spaceships said he had "not yet confirmed" whether they existed. This of course is not a straight yes or no, and the Otaku News crew wonder if the Japanese government know something the general public don't. ^_-

Souce: BBC News

Inemuri a Japanese word to add to your vocabulary

Date: 2007 November 29 17:48 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

BBC News are running a story about sleep deprivation and different strategies for coping with it. The article covers the Japanese concept of inemuri, which translates as "to be asleep while present", the idea is you can fall asleep in without getting into trouble, such as at meetings. Apparently it's viewed as a positive thing, and suggests to those around you that the tiredness is from exhaustion from working too hard and sacrificing sleep at night. Naturally some people fake this to give the impression that they're working really hard.

Souce: BBC News

Cosplay pubs all the rage in Japan

Date: 2007 November 12 17:57 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

The Mainichi Daily News has an interesting article about the latest trend in Japan, Cosplay pubs, where staff dress up in cosplay (and sometimes customers too). The costumes vary from venue to venue and don't seem to be anime themed. The article concludes that it's a great way for office workers to unwind and isn't "as geekish as the maidcafes the otaku like to go to".

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Burusera a Japanese word to add to your vocabulary

Date: 2007 October 23 17:29 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

We like to educate our readers with new Japanese words, which is why we'd like to tell you about burusera, which is derived from bloomer seller, normally a Japanese school girl who sells her panties for profit to rather, erm, needy men. The Mainichi Daily News have an article about the current trend for Japanese school girls that use disabled toilets to take of their used panties and sell on. Apparently the girls prefer this as it allows direct selling, cutting out the middle management of a burusera shop, and the clients are happy to purchase the genuine product, as they are not sure if they are buying authentic used school girls underwear, as a burusera shop may not sell the real thing.

The article also states that the trade is illegal and illicit, girls can earn up to 20,000 yen a pair (that's about $175 USD or £85 GBP) depending on the circumstances and also that "Some of the weirdoes who buy used panties can be really scary", we feel that's a bit of an understatement.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Japanese civil servants in trouble over Wikipedia edits

Date: 2007 October 05 08:52 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

BBC News are reporting a story about some Japanese civil servants who got into trouble at work for making lots of Wikipedia edits. One particular man was found to have made 260 entries to Gundam articles. The article features a classic quote from a ministry official, in case you didn't already know "The Agriculture Ministry is not in charge of Gundam".

We wonder if the agriculture ministry could do with some robotic help, as lots of labour intensive tasks in agricultural circles could surely be made easier. We're wondering if they're not so keen on Gundam, what robot would be better? ^_-

Souce: BBC News

Anime Cancelled Following Axe Murder

Date: 2007 September 24 19:27 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Two anime series get cancelled after a girl kills her father with an axe!

Read More... | Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Dance Dance: Revolution keeps you fit

Date: 2007 September 17 18:20 | Posted By:

Category > Gaming

It seems that physical education teachers in the UK have discovered what gamers have known for ages, that Dance Dance: Revolution keeps you fit. Schools in the UK have taken up DD:R classes to keep children fit in school. Apparently you can burn about 400 to 600 calories an hour in these classes, so it can be fun to keep fit and exercise. The classes are being used as a platform to get children fit, help them exercise regularly and encourage them to go to the gym.

Souce: BBC News

Manga shares gain in Japan

Date: 2007 September 13 08:49 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

As a slightly strange side effect of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announcing his exit, shares in manga retailers in Japan have surged with speculation that manga fan Taro Aso is the leading candidate to replace Mr Abe.

According to BBC News, Mr Aso is a big promoter of manga abroad. They cite the rise of manga publisher Broccoli gaining 71% and Mandarake (a retail store in Japan which is a treasure trove for otaku), jumping 13%.

The article states that Mr Aso served as foreign minister, and suggested that embracing Japanese pop culture was an important step in cultivating ties with other countries. If this is the case the Otaku News crew would like an invite to Japan to meet with Mr Aso to help promote manga and anime. ^_-

Sadly the BBC gets some facts wrong about anime and manga stating that they have "psychedelic colours and outlandish story lines", and emphasises the more explicit side of anime and manga. They also manage to mention Spirited Away and Quentin Tarantino in the same sentence, which I'm sure can lead to all sorts of associations for those who haven't actually seen the wonderful family film that is Spirited Away.

The article also states that Mr Aso created an International Manga Award to honour non-Japanese cartoonists.

Souce: BBC News

Groper Delays 80,000 Commuters in Tokyo

Date: 2007 September 06 15:19 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

In one of the more bizarre stories about problems with public transport this week, it seems that a man in Tokyo who was accused of groping a 15 year old high school student caused chaos as he fled the scene in JR Akabane Station. While the student was reporting the incident to staff, the man jumped from the platform and ran away along the rail tracks leading into the station. As a result some 80,000 commuters suffered delays as 37 trains on all 5 nearby lines were affected as they stopped services as the accused was in the path of oncoming trains.

Souce: BBC News

Touchy, Feely Ad

Date: 2007 August 30 18:56 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

New game ad allows customers to feel up a cardboard cutout. Really.

Read More... | Souce: Wizard Magazine

Broken arm wrestling game recalled in Japan

Date: 2007 August 22 03:56 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

BBC News are reporting that a Japanese arcade game called Arm Spirit has been recalled after 3 players have broken their arms playing it (and we thought Wii injuries were bad). The manufacturers claim that the arm wrestling machine isn't that strong, however it seems that some players have got too carried away and twist their arms in an unnatural way. The company have launched an investigation into the cause.

Souce: BBC News

Hello Kitty Punishes Police

Date: 2007 August 09 18:28 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

BBC News are running a strange story about the Thai police in Bangkok. Police officials have come up with a way of punishing their officers who break the rules, they make the offending officer wear a large bright pink Hello Kitty arm band. The guilty officers have to wear the snazzy arm bands in the office for a few days, but are not allowed to disclose their offences, which leads to deliberate speculation about what they have done.

Souce: BBC News

Toilet Money Mysteries

Date: 2007 July 18 08:42 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

No, it's not a name of a new bizarre anime series, but a puzzling story that's being reported on BBC News. Someone has been leaving envelopes with 10,000 yen notes (that's about $82 USD, or £40), in men's toilets around Japan. Over the last couple of months around 4 million yen has been found. Most of the money has been found in government office buildings.

Read More... | Souce: BBC News

British rural tea-rooms seek geisha girls

Date: 2007 July 12 17:03 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

BBC News are currently running an interesting story about the quest for geisha in Cumbria. The Lake District is a popular destination with Japanese tourists. So much so that Cumbria Tourism has translated a map of tea-serving places off the beaten track into Japanese and even hosting a Green Tea Day on 19th July 2007. Cafes on the tea trail are advertising for geishas to help with intricacies of the tea ceremony. Experts are also required to help translate the more trickier recipe names like "tarty tarn drizzle" into Japanese.

Fully-trained geisha are rare and apparently would charge up to £7,000 (more than $13,000 USD) to fly across from Japan. So the tourist association is hoping some more local experts can help out. Which is why I'm really posting this story on Otaku News. I know of our readers would be able to help. Any experts when it comes to tea etiquette in Japan should contact Cumbria Tourism. I'm sure a few translators could come in handy too. ^_-

Souce: BBC News

The 39 million Yen Hello Dog House

Date: 2007 July 09 10:10 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Sanrio are once again weird super expensive Hello Kitty crap! This time it's a dog house, with a Hello Kitty cushion. The house will be on sale from July 24th to 30th at the Mitsukoshi flag ship store in Tokyo , if more than one person actually bids they will decide the winner by lot.

Souce: Japan News Review

Australian soap to target Japanese tourists

Date: 2007 June 27 04:49 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News are currently running a story about a new Australian soap opera that is set to target a Japanese audience. With Yoshino Kimura getting the main billing, the soap is going to focus on a group of Japanese students living near the sunny beaches of Queensland. The idea is basically to create a 30 minute long advert to why it's good to go to Australia. The article draws parallels to the success of Neighbours in the UK and the effect it had to increasing the amount of British tourists to Australia.

The article states that Japanese tourism is worth A$1.98bn ($1.68bn USD) to the Australian economy each year, with 624,000 visitors annually.

Personally I've travelled to Queensland, and I'd rather the Australian government don't promote themselves, as I would prefer that places like Noosa were kept a secret. ^_-

Souce: BBC News

Comic Yell, girl's manga for men

Date: 2007 June 22 22:56 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

The Mainichi Daily News have posted an interesting article about a new manga publication called Comic Yell, Japan's first girl's manga for men. With girly titles like Honey and Clover and Nana proving to be popular with male readers and 50% of Shonen Jump's readership being female, it shows people are attracted to good stories, regardless of it's intended target gender.

Targeted at men from their 20s to 40s, the magazine doesn't have girls in maid's outfits or girls wearing animal ears. There is however the occasional panty shot to keep the male reader happy.

Feedback has been mixed, with hardcore otaku readers wanting more "zing", and mainstream readers happy that it isn't pandering to hardcore otaku tastes. Some readers have even requested that it made more girly. The official Comic Yell Website can be found here.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Russian ninja caught in Italy

Date: 2007 June 13 04:51 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

In what can only described as a truly bizarre story reported by BBC News, it seems that Italian police have arrested a Russian robber wearing a ninja like outfit. He has all the hallmarks of an excellent manga villain, dressed all in black the ex-military robber equipped with a night scopes, bow and a knife breaks into farmer's houses and robs them and their families.

The wannabe ninja was only caught out when a farmer was expecting him and was ready and waiting with a rifle. Coming down the stairs the farmer tripped on the last step, letting the gun off and frightening the robber away, who instead of jumping into trees or flipping out, hopped into a bicycle and made a getaway into a nearby cornfield, where he was followed and later caught by police.

Souce: BBC News

Naruto but not as we know him

Date: 2007 June 11 14:40 | Posted By:

Category > Gaming

Whilst the confusion over the inclusion of the Japanese voices in Ubisoft's Naruto 360 game still reigns supreme (did they never think they might release it in Japan in these post IdolM@ster days?) it seems that a Naruto themed character will appear in Rayman: Raving Rabbids 2.

This means keen fans will be able to pitch him in mini game battle against other themed Rabbids including Spider-man.

Souce: Gametrailers

Japanese MP gets virtual office

Date: 2007 June 11 08:27 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

In what sounds like something from Serial Experiments Lain, BBC News are running an article about a Japanese MP who has opened an office in the virtual world of Second Life.

MP Kan Suzuki states that he wants "to discuss new policies with net citizens, deliver lectures and also hold meetings".

Mr Suzuki claims to be the first Japanese politician to establish an office there. Interestingly the MP could be breaking the law by doing so, the Public Office Election Law (which is over 50 years old), restricts election campaign materials to postcards and pamphlets, with officials recently deciding that web pages cannot be created or updated during the official period of campaigning for elections.

The BBC conclude that it's not clear if this will affect Mr Suzuki's plans to use his second life office to help him win re-election. Some have claimed this is just a gimmick. What the article doesn't say is what Mr Suzuki's avatar (on-line character) looks like, the Otaku News crew suspect it's probably a virtual copy of him, but we're secretly hoping it's something a lot cooler. ^_^

Souce: BBC News

Golden Bathtub stolen from hotel

Date: 2007 May 31 16:56 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Million-dollar bathtub stolen from hotel near Tokyo.

Read More... | Souce: Yahoo! News

Media Immersion pods

Date: 2007 May 19 20:07 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

BBC News have an interesting story about Japan's high end cyber cafes, the article calls them Media Immersion pods, and amusingly describes them as "drug dens for internet addicts". We've been aware of these cyber cafes like these since the late nineties, but from the article it seems to imply it's not an office type cubicle, but a luxury booth with a private door you can sit in for more privacy. Each "pod" is supplied with a computer, that you can also use to watch TV, play DVDs and games on, as well as surf the internet. Like all good Japanese internet cafes, Bagus Gran Cyber Cafe (the cafe featured in the article), has a fully stocked manga and DVD library for you to enjoy. Otaku heaven.

Souce: BBC News

Japanese and Korean otaku

Date: 2007 May 13 14:59 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

The Mainichi Daily News are running an interesting article about the differences between Japanese and South Korean otaku.

It mainly focuses on the concept of moe and how the maid cafes didn't really take off in South Korea.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Hikonyan the cat helps Hikone Castle

Date: 2007 April 27 15:38 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Everyone knows that cute stuff is popular in Japan. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Hikone Castle in Shiga Prefecture they created a mascot cat called Hikonyan, a fat white cat wearing a samurai helmet sporting big yellow horns. According to The Mainichi Daily News, Hikonyan toured major cities and generated massive merchandise sales. Apparently people travel to Hikone Castle now just to see Hikonyan, who comes out four times a day to greet visitors, people are willing to wait for hours, lining up for the greeting sessions. The article states that part of Hikonyan's popularity is down to his vulnerability making him appealing to otaku.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Lambs dressed as poodles

Date: 2007 April 26 19:21 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

In one of the more bizarre stories we've published recently, it seems a news story doing it's rounds on many news sites including the UK Metro, about Japanese people who have been scammed into buying lambs, believing that they were poodles. What is even more odd is that the scam was only spotted when a Japanese actress appeared on TV and said her poodle didn't bark and refused to eat dog food. Apparently as many as 2,000 people have been fleeced this way as poodles are extremely rare in Japan and many people have little idea what they look like.


2-Chan the voice of a nation

Date: 2007 April 19 15:57 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Wired have a very good article about the popular Japanese bulletin board 2-chan. The article focuses on the impact 2-channel has had in Japan, from cancelling advertising campaigns, to producing 830,000 replacement folded paper cranes, mass suicides, solving crime and even helping Train Man become a national phenomenon.

Souce: Wired

Flammable Electronic Toilets

Date: 2007 April 16 13:50 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

In one of the more bizarre stories we've covered, it seems that a popular Japanese toilet manufacturer is offering repairs on it's toilets after a few caught fire! BBC News reports that Toto is offering free repairs on 180,000 eligible toilets from the Z series after 3 of them caught fire! (Hhhhmmm, toilets, fire, Z, I'm sure we could find a Dragon Ball Z joke somewhere here).

The article states:
"Fortunately nobody was using the toilets when the fire broke out and there were no injuries," apparently "The fire would have been just under your buttocks," which isn't really reassuring if you do use a Japanese toilet.

Japanese toilets commonly have extra electronic features such as heated seats, bidet, automatically opening and closing lid along with allsorts of other novelties. Although the toilet isn't sold outside of Japan, we are aware of a few otaku who have imported these, which includes British TV and radio celebrity Jonathan Ross.

Souce: BBC News

Extreme Origami

Date: 2007 March 24 18:47 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

The Times On-line have published an interesting article about Extreme Origami, the article focuses on computer geeks coding programs to create some incredibly complex folding problems. The article mentions super geek Robert Lang, a former NASA scientist who is a professional folder, consulting with car companies on the best way to fold their airbags and space telescopes!

Souce: Times On-line

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