ICHIGO ICHIE, KYOTO

This viral video titled 忍者女子高生 (ninja joshi kousei) or, “Ninja High School Girls” features two Japanese girls performing an array of crazy parkour stunts in various locations around town.

Actually filmed with three high school students, but the filmmakers used some clever switching out techniques and editing to make it look like there were two girls running through the various locales.

The whole thing is actually a rather sneaky example of “native advertising” for the soft drink CC Lemon, but still worth a watch if you like seeing Japanese girls in school uniform running, jumping, and flipping around over desks, on rooftops and even over the peaked roof of a local temple.

If you are interested in how the video was made or who the girls featured are, you can watch this interview from VICE Japan for more information. 

Self-taught Japanese paper-cutting artist Akira Nagaya isn’t limited to the more traditional subjects of nature and the seasons. He has also brought to life many popular characters from movies and popular anime and manga series.

From top: May and Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro, Pikachu, Doraemon, Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service, Tony Tony Chopper from One-Piece, Pazu, Sheeta, and the robot from Castle in the Sky Laputa, Kumamon, the mascot of Kumamoto prefecture, alien from Toy Story, Totoro, Satsuki and May from My Neighbor Totoro

It may be hard to believe, but these intricate drawings are produced by carefully cutting pieces of paper. Artist Akira Nagaya is an expert in crafting paper cutouts.

Inspired by seeing a sushi chef carefully cutting into a bamboo leaf to add a garnish to a dish, Nagaya took up paper-cutting, or 紙切り (kamikiri). He is entirely self taught, and often draws inspiration from nature and the changing of the seasons, as well as traditional Japanese art and folklore.

Nagaya has also addressed pop-culture in his artwork, producing beautiful paper portraits of popular characters from anime and manga.

Competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi is known for his ability to wolf down as many as 110 hot dogs in ten minutes. He holds several world records, including six Guiness World Records, for eating ridiculous quantities of various foods within a short time span.

Kobayashi once faced off against a Kodiak bear in a bunless hot dog eating contest, and although he lost the competition, eating 31 hot dogs to the bear’s 50 in two minutes and 36 seconds, he later beat the bear’s record at the Texas state fair.

Kobayashi prepares for eating competitions by eating larger and larger amounts of food, but exercises to ensure that he doesn’t build up excess fat, which would impede the expansion of his stomach.

But is Kobayashi any match for internet darling, the tiny hamster? The hamster has taken on tiny burritos, tiny pizza slices and tiny breakfasts in a tiny mansion in previous adorable video installments. This tiny hamster is equipped with giant mouth pouches which make devouring tiny fake hot dogs made of hamster food in only a few dozen mouthfuls a piece of cake.

I have two pairs of the same shoes in different colours, and this morning I accidentally put on one white shoe and one black shoe.

People keep looking a my feet and, because I happen to be wearing black and white today, I think they’re not sure if I’m trying to make some sort of fashion statement or if I’m just really confused. 

It’s been a long week.

I have two pairs of the same shoes in different colours, and this morning I accidentally put on one white shoe and one black shoe.

People keep looking a my feet and, because I happen to be wearing black and white today, I think they’re not sure if I’m trying to make some sort of fashion statement or if I’m just really confused.

It’s been a long week.

Why Are Traffic Lights Blue in Japanese?

Something that sort of stumps a lot of learners of Japanese is the fact that the traffic light indicating “go” is referred to as blue rather than green. I faintly remember my Japanese teacher in high school explaining this to the class, much to everyone’s confusion. The teacher hadn’t offered us any explanation for this difference other than the fact that language is illogical and nothing makes sense, so I just accepted it and moved on, although I’ve always sort of wondered why it was that way.

As it turns out, even most Japanese people don’t know the answer. I know this because on the weekend I happened to be in a car full of Japanese people and when we somehow ended up talking about traffic lights, no one could tell me why they are described as “blue” and not “green”.

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I was always a little suspicious of these “Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat” pieces that have been popping out from seemingly every popular news outlet over the past couple of days.

This article from Kotaku explains where the whole thing started and answers the all-important question: what exactly is Hello Kitty?

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