Even If You’ve Only Learned Katakana, You’ll Understand This Kanji

2019-01-18 Fri

Although some Japanese language textbooks begin to introduce kanji from the earliest chapters, together with hiragana and katakana, the most common approach, especially in countries where Chinese characters are not already used, is to begin with the phonetic syllabaries hiragana and katakana (mostly for loan words and foreign names) and then get into kanji after they have been learned. This approach, while effective, can sometimes cause frustration among quick learners who are eager to learn kanji. But what if you could already write kanji only using katakana that you’ve already learned? Kata-kanji? A new (fictional) kanji posted by manga artist and writer Gō Ōhinata on his Twitter account earlier this…


Superfan Writes In 84 Times To Japanese TV Show So She Can Be Pinned By Her Wrestling Idol

2019-01-18 Fri

This is Hiroshi Tanahashi. He’s the longstanding ace (and current IWGP Heavyweight Champion) of New Japan Professional Wrestling, and hero to all. Especially children, and especially women in Japan. 懐かしいやつを見てモチベーションを上げる。夜練へ #GOACE !!! pic.twitter.com/WOpixJbdXa — 棚橋弘至 (@tanahashi1_100) 2019年1月14日 いらっしゃいませ♪ #渋谷ロフト pic.twitter.com/0IpNATP2D2 — 棚橋弘至 (@tanahashi1_100) 2017年7月8日 This is in large part due to his impressive physique, gorgeous hair, and outstanding matches. He also is a genuinely kind person and is credited with injecting a positive energy into professional wrestling in Japan after it experienced a slump. Despite his many accolades, he might be most celebrated for the connection he makes with fans–and it seems he now has a very special connection with…


Russian Olympic Medallists Skate in Madoka Magica Cosplay in New Japanese Game Commercial

2019-01-18 Fri

A new smartphone game based on the twisted magical girl anime, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is being released, and real life heroic teenage girls have been enlisted to play the series’ teenage heroines in the commercial. Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Gaiden’s advert features two Russian Olympic heroines, skating in cosplay-inspired outfits. ©Magica Quartet/Aniplex・Magia Record Partners 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics gold medallist Alina Zagitova reprises her role from last year’s advertisement, when she ice skated dressed as Madoka Kaname, the titular character of the anime. ©Magica Quartet/Aniplex・Magia Record Partners But this time she’s not skating alone, the 2018 silver medallist, Evgenia Medvedeva has been recruited for the ad too,…


These Ticket Machine Button Keychain Toys Will Bring Back Memories Of Eating Out In Japan

2019-01-18 Fri

Food Ticket Machines If you’ve ever eaten at a ramen shop, curry shop, beef bowl restaurant or any number of inexpensive restaurant chains in Japan, then you probably at least once experienced buying a ticket from a food ticket vending machine. Generally speaking, shops that get very crowded and some restaurant chains use ticket vending machines, called shokkenki 食券機 (like the one at ramen chain Ichiran seen below) to handle the ordering and paying process. The advantages over conventional pay-after-you-eat dining are numerous. Shops can reduce time and labor, not to mention possible errors in processing verbal customer orders and calculating payments. EverJean from Hakata ramen restaurant Ichiran in Fukuoka,…


Virtual Model imma Is Going Viral On Instagram and Twitter

2019-01-18 Fri

With her beautiful pink hair styled in a cute bob, her large, expressive eyes, flawless skin, full lips and slim proportions, the latest fashion model, imma, now going viral on social media, seems to have everything going for her. Someone without prior knowledge who came across images of her on Instagram standing casually in front of sports cars in a parking garage dressed in otaku-inspired street fashion, trying out clothes at Bottega Veneta or posing in haute-couture in front of a row of vending machines may not even think twice seeing the number of likes in the four digits or her nearly 7,500 users who follow her account (at the…


Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2019 Reveals An Unusually Early Start To The Season

2019-01-17 Thu

If you’re planning on visiting Japan in Spring, you’re probably looking forward to enjoying the beautiful and subtly fragrant blossoms of the cherry trees, or sakura, as they’re called in Japanese. Since so many people count on the sakura for their Spring activities, knowing the best times to view them has become somewhat of a science. In fact, every year, the Japan Meteorological Corporation publishes forecasts on when the sakura will begin to bloom and when they are likely to be in full bloom, with the weekend most closely coinciding with that date considered to be the ideal moment for hanami 花見 (literally, “flower viewing), the practice of picnicking beneath…


Sanrio Cafe in Tokyo Celebrates 45 Years of Hello Kitty with the Cutest New Desserts

2019-01-17 Thu

Hello Kitty is turning 45 this year but she hasn’t aged a bit since she first turned up on the scene. Her merchandise can be found everywhere in Japan, going as far as Hello Kitty hotel rooms and Hello Kitty bullet trains. Still as cute and stylish as she was back in 1974, her feline charms are now being brought to a new cafe collaboration in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The cafe will celebrate the 45th anniversary since the birth of the beloved character. Not only are the dishes inspired by her look, but also, apparently, her worldview, so you can enjoy some of Kitty’s favourite foods while contemplating her general outlook…


The Story of Kumamoto Mountains’ Lucky Cat

2019-01-17 Thu

by Mizuho Miyazaki The Escape Stone, long said to be resilient in the face of calamities, has fallen — revealing the silhouette of a cat. The colors of autumn leaves paint the mountains and rice fields below, while a full view of the coming winter months is revealed through the clearly-defined blue silhouette of a cat. A huge stone block lodged between two sides of a 30-meter-high cavity in the rocky mountainside looked as though it was floating in the air, thus earning the name, the “Escape Stone.” Located on the southern cone of the Aso Caldera near the village of Minami Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture, the impressive “stone that…


Where to Find the Spiciest Ramen in Tokyo: Moko Tanmen Nakamoto

2019-01-17 Thu

Japanese cuisine isn’t exactly known for it’s spiciness. In fact, the flavours are famously subtle, and many Japanese people just never developed a taste for spices of the hotter variety. The Spiciest Ramen in Tokyo View this post on Instagram 蒙古タンメン中本さん(@mouko_tanmen_nakamoto)がシェアした投稿 – 2017年 9月月6日午後2時22分PDT But the country still has some fiery-food fans out there, and when they go for it, they go all out. Take for example, Moko Tanmen Nakamoto. This ramen chain has plenty of branches in and around Tokyo and is somewhat of a legend among daring spice-lovers. But don’t worry, it’s not a case of go hot or go home. If you’re not confident that you can…


Coca-Cola Japan Reveal Cherry Blossom 2019 Spring Bottle Design Anticipating Sakura Season

2019-01-17 Thu

Coca-Cola continue to capitalise on Japan’s cherry blossom obsession by releasing their yearly limited edition sakura themed coke bottles. The design is predictably floral and predictably pink. In recent years Coca-Cola have made the switch to aluminium bottles for the limited editions, allowing them to use the whole bottle for the design, rather than being restricted to just the label. This has resulted in even slicker looking designs for their celebratory seasonal offerings. After debuting this type of sakura themed bottle in 2017, Coca-Cola boast that these limited-edition designs have made them popular with women and even people who don’t usually drink carbonated drinks. The 2017 version utilised a fresh…


AniSphere Brings Japanese and International Anisong Fans Together In MOGRA Akihabara

2019-01-16 Wed

Although Akihabara is not very well known for its nightlife, there’s one place where you can party all night on weekends, and that’s the legendary night club MOGRA Akihabara. Now in its tenth year, MOGRA plays electronic music as well as anisongs, idol songs, game music and other Akihabara music genres. And if you happen to be in Akihabara on the third Friday of the month, you’re likely to see quite an international crowd there. As the only event specifically hosted by the club to bring international and Japanese audiences together to enjoy anime songs, AniSphere joins long-running anisong DJ events ANISON INDEX!! and ANISON MATRIX!! as an event which…


We Can’t Wait To Play This Sushi Racing Game by Independent Game Developer ksym

2019-01-16 Wed

As an island nation, Japan has a fascination with all things related to the sea. The Japanese gaming industry is no exception, with titles like Kantai Collection demonstrating Japanese interest in seafaring action and adventure, and too many fishing games to count. There are even games in which the sea creatures are the stars such as the old oddball classic Seaman or the more recent indie battle game Ace of Seafood. And then there are games like Nintendo’s Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido inspired by conveyor belt sushi shops. To the best of our knowledge, however, there has never been a sushi game like the one independent game developer…


Kingdom Hearts Tower of Radiance and Shadow Event Taking Place 451m Above Tokyo

2019-01-16 Wed

To Kingdom Hearts fans it seems to have been an eternity, but finally the next installation in the main game series is here. Thirteen years (!!!) after Kingdom Hearts 2 was released, Kingdom Hearts 3 will be hitting stores this month. To celebrate, Tokyo’s highest tower, the Skytree is going full on Kingdom Hearts in an event they’re calling ‘Tower of Radiance and Shadow’. The always popular tourist attraction is now offering the chance to see Tokyo from above, while enjoying an event celebrating everyone’s favourite Disney-Square Enix crossover game. ©Disney. ©Disney/Pixar. Developed by SQUARE ENIX ©TOKYO-SKYTREE The experience starts as soon as you enter the elevator. Speeding up to…


Japan’s Tiny Instagram Models, These Hedgehogs’s High Concept Photoshoots Give Us Life

2019-01-16 Wed

This month sees the opening of an exhibition and gift shop in Tokyo dedicated to tiny animals and tiny animals only, the Marutto Beastie Exhibition. One of the contributors to this exhibition is Shota Tsukamoto, a salary man through the week, but at the weekend he plays personal photographer to his hedgehog. Not just relying on pure cuteness, he uses interesting themes, props and dynamic compositions in his work, to elevate his already photogenic model to something almost ethereal. ✨🐷👼🐷✨ * #ぼんあむ帽子 のハロウィン天使ちゃんが待ちきれないので天使ごっこするブタさんたち😂 * カレンダーをお待ちの皆様! すみません、来年のカレンダーはダーシーのアメリカ版しか作っていません💦そして手元の在庫は先日のダーシーとマシュー展にて完売してしまいました🙇 * しかし!昨日カレンダー売り場へ行ったら全然ハリネズミさんがいなくて可哀想だったので、大急ぎで作ることにしました🏃💨 現在ダーシー&マシューの卓上サイズで進行しています。 月めくりですので例年と比べ薄っぺらいですが、デザインはめちゃ可愛く仕上げますので、楽しみにしててください😊🙏🏻✨ @bon_amu さんの帽子と @milcah_flower さんのお花 Shota Tsukamotoさん(@matthewthehedgehog)がシェアした投稿 – 2017 9月 1 6:26午前 PDT His first star model Darcy amassed over 327,000…


Rare Restored Footage With Sound Of Kyoto In 1929

2019-01-16 Wed

It’s always fascinating to take a look back in time to newsreel footage from Japan’s earlier years, particularly footage in vibrant cultural areas such as Kyoto. Unfortunately, we must often do so without the benefit of sound. Thankfully videographer Guy Jones, who compiles and restores rare and old historical film footage, has uploaded footage of Kyoto from 1929 featuring sound that provides added audio insight into bustling Japanese city life from all those years back. According to Global Voices, the original footage was provided by University of South Carolina Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC), caretaker of the Fox Movietone News Collection. Among the the many interesting scenes brought to life…


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