[VIDEO] おいしいファーストフード!What American Fast-Foods Look Like In Japan

American fast food franchises make tweaks to their menus in order to adapt to local tastes. In Japan, in particular, ingredients such as shrimp, teriyaki sauce and mayonnaise seem to be important to catering to the tongue of the Japanese consumers.

 


おいしい霜降り!Japan Researchers Develop Scanner to Detect Marbled Meat in Cattle

marbled-beef-japan

Jun Hongo reports: Where’s the marbled beef? Thanks to a new machine created by a government-backed institute in Japan, one might soon be able to find those tender and juicy sections of meat without much difficulty.

Researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology said they have developed a new in vivo scanner to be used for detecting the amount of marbling in The singe-sided nuclear magnetic resonance scanner can determine the amount of marbling of a cattle. National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technologycattle.

“This is the first time such machine was created in the world.”

— Yoshito Nakashima, chief senior researcher

“This is the first time such machine was created in the world,” Yoshito Nakashima, chief senior researcher at the institute, wrote to Japan Real Time in an e-mail. The device uses what is called a single-sided nuclear magnetic resonance scanner, which can detect the amount of muscle and fat noninvasively.

[Read the full text here, at Japan Real Time – WSJ]

The amount of fat streaks within the meat is one of the key criteria that determine its taste. For example, Kobe beef, grown in Hyogo prefecture in western Japan, are highly sought after for its rich, even marbling created through careful breeding.

VintageButcher

Mr. Nakashima is an expert on geophysics research. The technology for the new machine was originally developed for use in his research, such as calculating the amount of oil and water contained inside a rock from an oil field. Read the rest of this entry »


China Suspends WWII Drama After Complaints About ‘Crotch Bomb’ Scene

crotch-bomb

Katie Nelson reports: An anti-Japanese war drama has been temporarily pulled from Chinese television after viewers complained that a scene showing a female character concealing a suicide bomb in her crotch has gone too far.

“They are using sex and violence to entice the audience under the cover of national sentiments. They are reveling on the scars of the history.”

— Xinhua editorial that lashed out at ludicrous plots in such dramas

That’s saying something, considering Chinese TV dramas set during the Japanese invasion are known for their impossibly violent and outlandish plots. This includes one scenario in which a man ripped a Japanese soldier in half with his bare hands, and another scene showing a communist hero blowing up a plane by tossing a hand grenade in the air.

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“The authorities have banned foreign TV shows only to let us see this?”

— Question from a dissatisfied netizen

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) is now reviewing the popular period drama Together We Fight the Devils, after the viewers seemed to agree that the scene showing Chinese actress Ge Tian pulling an explosive from her undercarriage was even more lewd than usual.

[See the video at Shanghaiist]

The shot begins with “sister Yin” visiting her lover who’d been locked up by Japanese soldiers, Associated Press explains.

He fondles her and finds a grenade hidden in her crotch. It is meant for a suicidal act of resistance against his Japanese captors. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] ‘Solid Sato’ Sneaks into Starbucks Under Cover, Metal Gear-Style メタルギアみたいに段ボールで隠れながらスタバに行ったらバレずにコーヒーが買えるのか試してみた

RocketNews24

メタルギアみたいに段ボールで隠れながらスタバに行ったらバレずにコーヒーが買えるのか試してみた 


[VIDEO] Tokyo Fish Market HD 築地市場

An early morning visit at the Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場, Tsukiji shijō) located in Tokyo’s Chuo district. The site will soon be relocated elsewhere to accommodate the building of the structures that will host the 2020 Olympics so I wanted to take a few shots of this place for posterity.

 


Islamic State Leader Urges Muslims to Relocate to His Murderous Caliphate, or Wage Holy Freakin’ Jihad Where They Are

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BAGHDAD – The leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on Thursday urged Muslims to emigrate to his self-proclaimed caliphate, in the jihadi supremo’s first audio recording in six months.

“And we call upon every Muslim in every place to perform hijrah (emigration) to the Islamic State or fight in his land wherever that may be,” he said.

“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war.”

The voice reading the half-hour speech appeared to match previous audio recordings of Baghdadi, the latest of which was released in mid-November.

As did his previous speech, the audio tape recording released on Thursday comes a few days after media reports that he might have been seriously wounded in a strike by the U.S.-led coalition bombing Idslamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“So return to your lands, and remain in your homes, and seek shelter — after first seeking shelter with Allah — with your people in the Islamic State, for you will find therein, by Allah’s permission, a warm embrace and a safe refuge.”

There was no way for AFP to immediately authenticate the latest recording nor date it but Baghdadi speaks of developments in Yemen, where Saudi-led forces launched an air campaign against Shiite rebels in late March, that suggest it is recent.

Echoing his previous exhortations, Baghdadi said moving to the caliphate he declared over parts of Iraq and Syria in June 2014 or waging jihad at home was an obligation for Muslims.

“Their war is nothing but an attempt to prove themselves once again to their masters from amongst the Jews and Crusaders….It is nothing but a desperate attempt to turn the Muslims away from the Islamic State.”

“Has the time not come for you to know that there is no might nor honor nor safety nor rights for you except in the shade of the Caliphate?” he said in the speech, transcripts of which were released in five languages.

“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war,” he said, calling for mass mobilization on the battlefield.

He criticised Sunni civilians fleeing fighting in the western province of Anbar to seek shelter in Baghdad and other government-controlled areas. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Toshiba’s Communication Robot Chihira Aico’s Debut as a Receptionist Impresses Department Store Customers

“Humanoid robot capable of expressing various feeling.”

According to RocketNews24, Toshiba has plans to expand its robotics business outside of customer service and into healthcare, especially as companions for Japan’s aging population. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] 日本はウイスキーがお好き: Japan’s 100-Year-Old Love Affair With Whisky


Japan: Camera Club Magazine

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Japanese Vintage Cosmetics Ad, 1955

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Japanese Vintage Cosmetics Ad 1955

Source: 

Explosions Reported Near Camp Zama, U.S. Army Base in Japan

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Two steel pipes measuring about 50 centimeters long were found planted in the ground with electric cables in a field less than a kilometer from Camp Zama.

Police suspect left-wing Japanese extremists are to blame

TOKYO— Toko Sekiguchi reports: Japanese police said three explosions were reported shortly after midnight Tuesday in the vicinity of a U.S. Army base near Tokyo, in what police suspect was an act of left-wing Japanese extremists.image

“The explosions were reported less than an hour after the U.S. and Japan formally announced a revised security agreement in New York that expands Japan’s military role in the two countries’ alliance.”

A spokesman for police in Kanagawa prefecture said two steel pipes measuring about 50 centimeters long were found planted in the ground with electric cables in a field less than a kilometer from Camp Zama. Police later found in a nearby field what appeared to be projectiles that were believed to have been fired from the pipes.

The spokesman said there were no reports of injuries or property damage.

The explosions were reported less than an hour after the U.S. and Japan formally announced a revised security agreement in New York that expands Japan’s military role in the two countries’ alliance. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is currently visiting Washington, is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama Tuesday. Read the rest of this entry »


Unlikely Headline of the Day: ‘Abe Visits Lincoln Memorial’

abe-lincoln-memorial-japan

Japan Today


[VIDEO] ‘G’s Baseball Party': Brilliant Japanese Toyota Ad Swings, Hits Home Run


TOYOTA PRESENTS: Baseball Party!

スーパープレイの連続で街全体を野球場に一変させるスペクタクルムービー!


Japan: Votive Mask of the God of Stoves

god-of-stoves

Votive mask of the god of stoves (Kamadomen), Japan, Tohoku region, wood, 60 x 39 x 19 cm, Edo period, 18th to early 19th century, Japan

japaneseaesthetics


ゴジラ!Godzilla Resurrected as Kabukicho Tourism Ambassador

Godzilla

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports: Godzilla is playing a leading role again — this time as a tourist attraction in the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, where the monster is working to resurrect the area’s reputation as a film hub.

“The 12-meter-high Godzilla head is a centerpiece of the building. The sculpture is installed 52 meters above ground level — matching the height of the original monster that appeared in the first film in 1954.”

The 30-story Shinjuku Toho building opened Friday in Kabukicho on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater. Thanks to the installation of a colossal sculpture of Godzilla’s head, the monster himself appears to be hovering over a terrace on the eighth floor. The new building houses a fancy movie theater and a hotel with rooms from which Godzilla can be observed close-up.

Kabukicho shopkeepers, restaurant owners and other business operators expect the new building to help reinvigorate the district as a center for cinema lovers. “We’ll do our best to make Kabukicho a safe, secure place,” said Mototsugu Katagiri, the 66-year-old head of the district’s commerce association, at a dedication ceremony Thursday.

The Yomiuri ShimbunAn aerial photograph of the Shinjuku Toho building constructed on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater

The Yomiuri Shimbun – An aerial photograph of the Shinjuku Toho building constructed on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater

Kabukicho was formerly home to more than a dozen movie theaters, but that number has dwindled as fewer people have been going to the cinema. Shinjuku Milano Theater was shuttered at the end of last year, leaving the district without a single movie house.

The Shinjuku Toho building was constructed on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater, which closed in 2008. The new facility features a hotel and a movie complex.

With 12 screens and 2,347 seats, Toho Cinemas Shinjuku occupies the third to sixth floors. The theater features deluxe seats equipped with marble tray tables and power recliners. Read the rest of this entry »


Many in Japan are Building Homes with Wacky Architecture They May Never Be Able to Resell

crazy-japan-house

Japan’s Creative, Ephemeral Homes

Lucy Alexander writes: Would you buy a house that you knew would lose its value as years passed? That you would never be able to sell? That you might have to pay to demolish?

In Japan, this is the willing choice of many houseowners. In Western countries, a home is typically an investment that most people expect to one day sell at a profit. In Japan, a house is a consumer good that rapidly depreciates in value, like a car. Because Japanese house hunters prize new construction, they will pay a premium for land, but build their own home on it.

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“People have greater creative license to express their own taste because they don’t need to consider resale value. There is a deep-set ephemeral attitude to housing here.”

— Alastair Townsend, co-founder of Bakoko, a Tokyo architectural practice

This model has one happy side-effect: a flourishing of some of the world’s most wonderfully bizarre architecture. You can live in a nest of tangled staircases designed to represent the Internet (named S-House), or inside plastic walls shaped like a Gothic arch (called Lucky Drops)—and only be concerned that it pleases you.

“People have greater creative license to express their own taste because they don’t need to consider resale value,” said Alastair Townsend, co-founder of Bakoko, a Tokyo architectural practice. “There is a deep-set ephemeral attitude to housing here.”

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Japan’s Ministry of Finance defines the “service life” of a wooden house (92% of all detached homes) as being 22 years, though many homeowners stretch their stay.

Architecture in Japan is big business, with 24 architects for every 10,000 people, compared with 3.4 in the U.S., says the International Union of Architects. And Japanese often show extreme deference to experts such as architects. “Sometimes the clients don’t feel empowered to question an architect’s design,” said Mr. Townsend.

One of Mr. Townsend’s clients, Chiyomi Okamoto, 53, worked closely with the firm on her home’s details. She wanted a house that felt comfortable to her and to her Australia-born husband, Joe Gayton, 58, an exports manager for the Victorian Government Business Office in Tokyo. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Not the Only Gorilla in the Jungle': Japan Overtakes China as Largest U.S. Bondholder

japan-stock-WSJ

Japan’s purchases will help soothe lingering concerns that U.S. bond prices could decline as China slows its buying. 

Min Zeng in New York, Lingling Wei in Beijing and Eleanor Warnock in Tokyo report: Japan dethroned China as the top foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys for the first time since the financial crisis, following a wave of purchases by buyers shifting money to the U.S. as Japan’s economic policies push down interest rates there.

“China is currently the 800-pound gorilla in the U.S. Treasury market. However, it is not the only gorilla in the jungle.”

–James Sarni, a managing principal at investment manager Payden & Rygel, which oversees $90 billion of assets

In reclaiming its status as the largest foreign creditor to America in U.S. official data, Japan is japan-chart-WSJreasserting itself as Beijing holds its Treasury portfolio steady amid a weakening Chinese economy.

“U.S. debt bears higher yields than government bonds offered in other rich nations, thanks to the perception of stronger U.S. growth prospects and to central-bank bond purchases that have driven yields near zero across Europe and in Japan.”

Private investors and official institutions in Japan owned $1.2244 trillion of U.S. government securities at the end of February, compared with $1.2386 trillion at the end of January, according to the latest monthly data released by the Treasury on Wednesday.

China held $1.2237 trillion of Treasury debt at the end of February, compared with $1.2391 trillion a month earlier.

Over the past year, Japan has boosted its holdings by a net $13.6 billion, while China’s holdings dropped by $49.2 billion.

“The single largest holder of U.S. long-term debt is the Federal Reserve, with more than $2 trillion. The amount has surged from $755 billion at the end of 2007, fueled by Fed purchases of long-term securities in response to the financial crisis”.

The Treasury data, released with a two-month lag, don’t capture all of the Treasury-bond holdings China may have parked at middlemen in places such as the U.K. and Belgium. Many analysts and investors believe China has considerable holdings bought through such intermediaries. The Treasury notes on its website that “it is difficult to draw precise conclusions about changes in the foreign holdings of U.S. financial assets by individual countries” from the capital-flow data.

“The shift also reflects changes sweeping China. The world’s most-populous nation has in recent months largely held its Treasury portfolio in place, reflecting a slowdown in the growth of its $3.73 trillion foreign-exchange reserve, the world’s largest, and an effort to shift those reserves toward higher-yielding assets.”

The Japanese purchases have helped drive long-term U.S. bond yields near record lows despite an economic expansion that averaged 2.7% annually over 2013-14. Those low yields have, in turn, helped keep down interest rates for Americans on everything from home loans to credit cards. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] ‘How To Put a Baby to Sleep in Less Than One Minute’ Goes Viral in Japan, Around the World

RocketNews24


Three Foreign Tourists Arrested for Sexual Molestation in Japan Claim Novel Defense: ‘But We Thought it was Normal Behavior!’

A suspect was caught trying to capture upskirt photos while riding an escalator. In another case a Chinese tourist was reportedly caught grabbing a woman’s ass inside an adult store.

From RocketNews24  reports: Given the size and longevity of the adult entertainment industry, it’s safe to say that such products serve a purpose in societies everywhere. However, one purpose for which adult videos should never be used is as travel guides for visiting other countries.

“Watching Japanese adult videos, I thought the people here were open about sex. I thought molesters were everywhere.”

— Foreign suspect’s confession to police

You might think that would be common sense but apparently we can’t stress the point enough after there has been a recent spate of molestation committed by foreign tourists who claim to have thought it was normal behavior in Japan after watching Japanese adult videos.

Adult actress Miki Mayuzumi

Adult actress Miki Mayuzumi

“And then we have the case of a man arrested for lifting the skirt of a woman while riding the train. This last incident appears influenced by a scene from the classic 1993 AV Nurse Monogatari staring Miki Mayuzumi.”

According to Focus Asia there have been three separate incidents of foreign visitors overstepping their bounds.

[Read the full text here, at RocketNews24]

In one instance a suspect was caught trying to capture images up women’s skirts while riding an escalator. Then in another case a Chinese tourist was reportedly caught grabbing a woman’s buttocks inside an adult goods shop.

jp-molest-rn24

“You might think that would be common sense but apparently we can’t stress the point enough after there has been a recent spate of molestation committed by foreign tourists who claim to have thought it was normal behavior in Japan after watching Japanese adult videos.”

And then we have the case of a man arrested for lifting the skirt of a woman while riding the train. This last incident appears influenced by a scene from the classic 1993 AV Nurse Monogatari staring Miki Mayuzumi…or maybe something else. I don’t know because I don’t watch the stuff.

Reports claim that one foreign suspect confessed to police, saying, “Watching Japanese adult videos, I thought the people here were open about sex. I thought molesters were everywhere.”

All three men are currently in custody and deliberations with the victims’ lawyers are being held to determine if criminal charges will be pressed, or if they can find some other settlement. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Pint-sized String Quartet Joyous String Does an Awesome ‘Smooth Criminal’

 at RocketNews24 discovered this gem: Meet Joyous String, a four-kid string quartet with musical aptitude way beyond their years. Joyous String belong to the Joyous Music School of New York. They’ve been playing together since they were just four years old, and have progressed to the point where they can produce a flawless rendition of the Michael Jackson classic “Smooth Criminal” without even breaking a sweat….Here’s their version of “Smooth Criminal”!

Here’s their rendition of Katy Perry’s mega-hit “Firework”

Eight-year-old cellist and quartet member Justin Yu has even appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show! After a short (and pretty hilarious) interview, he performs a solo on the cello….(read more)

RocketNews24


[VIDEO] Modern Take on Japanese Fan Dance Has Naked Men, International Appeal

Ah, the Japanese fan dance. In popular culture, its staid connections to Noh and Kabuki theater are put aside in favor of something more risque. Usually it’s a coy geisha slowly using her fans to seductively cover and reveal her face and body. But just as more business are capitalizing on male sex appeal these days, the modern Japanese fan dance has a hot, sweaty man version too.

This may have started with the Japanese musician and provocateur DJ Ozma, who famously earned a lifetime ban from national broadcaster NHK after his first appearance featured dancers in skin-colored leotards painted to look like naked bodies. His 2008 song DRINKIN’BOYS featured a group of naked male dancers using strategically placed fans….(read more)

RocketNews24


[VIDEO] Meet キロボ Kirobo: The First Companion Robot to Go to Space Returns to Earth After 18-Month Journey

After a 18-month mission aboard the International Space Station, the tiny Japanese robot Kirobo returned to Earth on February 2015. During a press conference, organizers celebrated the successful project.

robot27n-5-webuntitled-1_0CBkDxmEVIAMTcIFkirobo-space-robot-japanese-2013-09-05-01

The Japan Times


[VIDEO] Tokyo’s Sleeping Drunks Get Turned into Living Billboards to Promote Awareness

Japan is one of the hardest working countries in the world. So, at the end of the week, Japanese salary men and women let their hair down with very surprising consequences: Drunk Sleeping.

For RocketNews24 writes:

It happens to pretty much everyone at least once in their lifetime. You’re out drinking with friends and feeling pleasantly buzzed when you get roped into doing a couple of Sambuca shots. Then it suddenly hits you: you’ve drunk too much….

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For Japanese people, however, the effects of alcohol are often so much worse. Many Asian people simply cannot tolerate alcohol well, so when they drink more than they should – even if that’s just a few beers – their bodies simply shut down and they fall asleep, dead to the world around them.

We’ve all seen photos of the guy passed out on the floor of a Tokyo subway train, and many have no doubt wondered why, particularly in as conservative a society as Japan’s, this behaviour could ever be considered acceptable. But the truth is, while Japan values hard work over pretty much anything else, its people are also extremely willing to forgive drunken mishaps precisely for that reason. If a salaryman overdoes it and passes out on the train, he was probably just kicking back after a tough week at the office, fellow passengers think as they step over his legs or gently nudge him off their shoulder on the train. Those college kids who can barely stand? They probably just passed some big exam or were offered a job after they graduate.

Getting drunk is something that people do to let off steam, and goodness knows the Japanese have a lot of that pent up inside them.

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But besides the trauma they put their body through when drinking to excess (there’s a reason they call it alcohol poisoning, after all), sleeping drunks also risk physical injury, being robbed, and become a hazard to others, so it does seem strange that people should tolerate the behaviour when they can’t the stuff that causes it.

In order to address the situation, Japan’s Yaocho Bar Group decided to turn a few of Tokyo’s snoozing boozers into living billboardsRead the rest of this entry »


BLOSSOM FIGHT! ‘Cherry Blossom is Chinese, Not Japanese,’ Claim Growers in China

Artfully Awear Cherry Blossom 5

Old literary references prove flower synonymous with Japan originated on Chinese soil, argues association, after South Korea has also laid claim to the species

Alice Yan reports: A group in China has weighed into the debate about the non-stop-panic-pearlsorigins of a flower synonymous with Japan, the cherry blossom, saying it was first found on Chinese soil.

“We don’t want to start a war of words with Japan or Korea, but we would like to state the fact that many historical literary references prove that cherry blossom originated in China. As Chinese, we are obliged to let more people know about this part of history.”

He Zongru, executive chairman of the China Cherry Blossom Association, told a press conference that historical references proved that the flower originally came from China.

He’s comments came after media reports in South Korea earlier this month suggested that cherry blossom was first found in the country’s southern province of Jeju.

blossoms

”To put it simply, cherry blossoms originated in China and prospered in Japan. None of this is Korea’s business.”

“We don’t want to start a war of words with Japan or Korea, but we would like to state the fact that many historical literary references prove that cherry blossom originated in China. As Chinese, we are obliged to let more people know about this part of history.” he was quoted a saying by the Southern Metropolis News.

Tang Dynasty

He said the species spread to Japan from the Himalayan region during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

Zhang Zuoshuang, an official at the Botanical Society of China, was quoted as saying that among the 150 types of wildly-grown cherry blossoms around the world, more than 50 could be found in China. Read the rest of this entry »


Japan is Paying to Have Japanese-Language Nonfiction Books Translated into English

JBOOKS

Government opens another front in public relations battle with China, South Korea

TOKYO— Peter Landers writes: Japan’s government is paying to have Japanese-language nonfiction books translated into English, with the first works to be produced under the program arriving in American libraries this month.

“Japan is among the top nations in the world in terms of books published, but unfortunately, they’re just published in Japanese. If they were known around the world, there are a lot of books that people would find really interesting.”

The move is one of several nontraditional public-relations steps by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, which is trying to enhance Japan’s profile among U.S. opinion leaders and the general public as it engages in a public relations battle with China and South Korea.

“Some efforts have been overtly political. South Korea has created a website in seven languages to make its case that two islets claimed by both Tokyo and Seoul rightly belong to South Korea, and last year sponsored an exhibit in France on forced prostitution by the Japanese military during World War II.”

Japan’s foreign ministry has boosted its public diplomacy budget. Measures include spending $5 million to fund a professorship in Japanese politics and foreign policy at Columbia University. Another program, begun last year, sends Japanese people from various walks of life to places like Lawrence, Kan., and Lexington, Ky., to talk about life in Japan.

The books translated into English with Japanese government funds will carry the imprint “Japan Library” and be published by the government itself—a different approach from that of some other nations that subsidize private translations. Read the rest of this entry »


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