Talented Artist Colors Anime-Inspired Paper Cutouts With Real-World Environments

Japanese artist Kotetsu blends illustration photography and kirie (Japanese traditional paper cutting) to create beautiful works of art that bring anime heroines into the real world.

Instead of using ink or colored pencils to color the outfits of his illustrations, Kotetsu cuts out the paper canvas and juxtaposes his creations against various backdrops, thus letting Mother Nature do the coloring for him. The result is stunning, often-times bordering on breathtaking. From autumn foliage, and fields full of flowers, to picturesque sunsets and starry night skies, Kotetsu uses nature’s most beautiful elements to complete his artworks.

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The Unlikely Success Story of a Man Who Gets Paid to Do Nothing

A 37-year-old Japanese man has built a successful career by renting himself out to do nothing. For some reason, he is inundated with requests from people who just want him by their side.

In just two years, Shoji Morimoto has gone from being just another unemployed middle-aged man in Tokyo, to a minor Japanese celebrity, with over 270,000 Twitter followers, appearances on national television, interviews in magazines, and even his own books and manga on Amazon. That’s quite surprising, considering Shoji has built his success on a service that requires him to basically do nothing but meet random people, listen to their stories or just physically be there for them. He basically rents himself out to strangers, letting them know beforehand that he can do nothing but eat, drink and hang around.

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Alien Dumplings – A Downright Scary-Looking Dish

The world is full of unappetizing dishes, from fermented fish dishes to the dreaded Kiviaq, but few actually look scary to get near to, let alone put in your mouth. These Japanese dumplings definitely fall in the latter category.

Last year, we published a story on one of the world’s most bizarre looking fish, the eel-like Warusobo, also known as the “Alien of the Ariake Sea“. One look at this slimy creature, and that nickname makes all the sense in the world. I don’t know if it’s those pointy teeth, or the lack of eyes, but there’s just something otherworldly about these things. That’s hasn’t stopped the people of Saga Prefecture, which borders the Ariake Sea, from turning the alien creature into a staple of local cuisine, including the delicious dumplings below.

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This Ninja-Like Face Mask Promises to Give You a Non-Invasive Face Lift

People nowadays pay lots of money for youth-maintaining facial plastic surgery, but one Japanese company claims that its’ face mask can deliver the same results as a lift, so you don’t have to go under the knife.

Japanese company Ya-man claims that its MedLift silicone mask can keep you looking young by sending electrical signals to muscles in order to stimulate them. The ninja-like face mask comes with two electronic controllers which allow users to turn electric stimulation on and off, as well as select various modes and levels of intensity. Facial muscle firmness decreases with age, but by providing electrical stimulation MedLift promises to keep them nice and firm, delivering similar results to a successful facelift, minus the invasive surgery.

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Japanese Company Launches Ultimate Electrically-Heated Gaming Onesie

If you’re an avid gamer who would rather freeze than risk overheating their PC while playing on Ultra graphics settings, you may want to check out this weird-looking electrically-heated gaming onesie.

Japanese company Bauhütte specializes in gaming accessories, from comfortable and ergonomic gaming chairs, to innovative gaming desks and cable management tools. But their most intriguing creation to date has to be the DAMEGI4GW “gaming blanket”, a wearable velour fleece onesie designed to keep video game fanatics warm and comfortable even in the most extreme conditions. It features built-in electrical heaters that can be powered by portable battery packs via USB, multiple heating levels, and even an emergency toilet system…

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Japanese Family Has Been Sharing Their Home With 7-Foot-Long Crocodile for 39 Years

Some people wouldn’t get anywhere near an adult crocodile for all the money in the world, but one Japanese family in Kure City, Hiroshima, has been living with one for almost four decades.

Nobumitsu Murabayashi bought “Caiman-san”, his pet crocodile, from a pet store, after his young son begged him to. He never thought he’d become part of the family, and still be with them nearly 40 years later. Today, the domesticated crocodile measures just under 7 feet long (6feet 8inches) weighs around 45 kilograms, but he’s a gentle giant, as Nobumitsu says he would never hurt anyone. Caiman-san lives in the family home, but also goes on walks with his master and is tame enough to let young children touch and even ride him.

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Japanese Fruit Farmers “Employ” Owls as Pest Control

Japanese field voles can seriously impact the profits of apple orchard owners, if left unchecked. For centuries, many farmers have relied on owls to keep vole numbers to manageable levels, and research has shown the night predators to be incredibly efficient.

Ural owls have been setting up their nests in orchards with high rodent populations for a very long time, but Japanese apple growers were the first to notice the beneficial effect the winged predators had on their orchards and actively try to use them as a means of natural pest controls. Apart from allowing the owls to set up nests in tree hollows, they also started installing man-made tree houses to encourage owls from settling on their properties. They soon noticed that the owls brought the vole population down significantly, which meant healthier trees and bigger profits.

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Japanese Artist Carves Whimsical Worlds into Tiny Tree Leaves

Japanese self-taught artist Rito (@lito_leafart) spends hours painstakingly carving tree leaves to create stunningly detailed scenes that capture viewers’ imagination.

Rito’s leaf cutouts are impressive enough by themselves, but the story of what inspired the artist to take up leaf art in the first place makes them even more so. Apparently, the Japanese artist suffers from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and spending hours focusing on a single artwork was his ways of treating his condition. He has been creating at least one of his leaf cutouts a day, as a form of therapy.

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Rare Grape Variety Is Larger Than a Chicken Egg

Pictures of giant grapes, larger than the average chicken egg, have been doing the rounds on Vietnamese social media this week, raising questions about their authenticity and origin.

Novelty fruits are particularly popular in Japan, where specialized shops can sell certain varieties of apples, peaches, melons or grapes for mind-boggling prices. However, the popularity of such fruits has spread throughout Asia, and recently the Vietnamese owner of a market stall shared some photos of a new variety of grapes imported from Japan. Using social media to promote new products is fairly standard these days, only these photos got a lot more attention than usual, because of the apparent size of the grapes. Some of these white grapes seemed to be larger than a chicken egg.

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Japanese Company Wants to Buy Your Face and Sell It as a Hyper-Realistic Mask

Would you ever sell your face? If the answer is yes, there is a Japanese company that wants to hear from you. It’s in the business of buying the rights to people’s faces so it can sell them in the form of hyper-realistic 3D-printed masks.

Ever since Kamenya Omoto, a Tokyo-based specialty mask maker and store, announced its intention to buy the rights to people’s faces for 40,000 yen ($380) a pop, it’s been overwhelmed with offers. The company wants to reproduce people’s faces in the form of hyper-realistic masks and sell them for an estimated ($940). If a mask proves popular with clients, the person whose appearance inspired it stands to earn a percentage of the profits as well. The controversial project, named “That Face”, reportedly aims to give a sci-fi twist to the idea of buying and selling faces.

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Japan’s “Coupon Man” Has Been Living Almost Exclusively on Coupons for 36 Years

We all love coupons and vouchers, but can you imagine living on them almost exclusively for almost four decades? A Japanese man claims to have been doing it for the last 36 years, adding that he hasn’t spent a yen of his own money during that time.

71-year-old Hiroto Kiritani is a minor celebrity in his home country of Japan. His ability to live comfortably on coupons without spending any money unless he really has to is legendary, and he has been invited on numerous television shows and events over the years. Kiritani says that he gets by without spending real money except for utilities and rent. But he’s not as frugal as you might think. He just manages to live comfortably on the coupons he receives from companies he invested in over the years.

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Boat Shaped Like Giant Zip Puller Looks Like It’s Opening the Water

Japanese designer Yasuhiro Suziki has created a unique boat shaped like a giant zipper puller that looks like it’s opening up the water when sailing.

Unveiled as part of the Designart Tokyo 2020 event, the zipper puller boat – officially known as ‘Zipper Fastener Ship’ – is the brain child of Japanese designer Yasuhiro Suzuki, who claims it was the result of a simple observation. He was looking down from the window of an airplane and saw a ship sailing through Tokyo Bay; the movement of the water as the boat passed created the illusion of a zipper splitting the water, just like one opens a jacket, so he decided to create a literal representation of this illusion.

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Japanese Boy Masters the Art of Makeup to Become Female Cosplay Goddess

Makeup is an incredibly powerful tool in the right hands, and if you’re wondering just how powerful, this Japanese young man has been using it to cross the gender barrier and become a female cosplay idol.

Looking at the photos posted by @Makina_Jeanne, a popular cosplay enthusiast from Hokkaido, you could swear she was a young girl showcasing  her best assets in skimpy and tight outfits inspired by Japanese manga and anime, but in fact @Makina_Jeanne is a male who just happens to be fascinated by feminine cosplay. He uses makeup tricks, wigs and silicone breast prosthesis to make himself look like a girl, and most of the time, he does an amazing job.

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Microfishing – When the Tiniest Fish Becomes the Biggest Catch

Catching fish as small as a penny would be nothing short of embarrassing for the average fisherman, but in Japan it’s a source of pride, as in the old art of Tanago Fishing, the smaller the fish is, the bigger a catch it represents.

Most fishermen believe that the bigger the fish they catch, the greater their fishing skill is, which is why you routinely see them posing only with very large fish, and hear them telling tales about veritable sea monsters that only narrowly eluded them. However, things are very different in Japan, a country where minimalism is pervasive in all aspects of life, from gardening, to architecture. Fishing makes no exception, so it’s not very surprising that fishermen judge their skills not by how large their catch is, but by how small it is.

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Researchers Develop High-Tech Device That Simulates Holding a Girl’s Hand

If you’ve ever wanted to hold a girl’s hand and take long romantic walks in the moonlight, but could never actually find a girl to do that with, there’s now a high-tech device you can try.

Developed by a research team at Gifu University, in Japan, “My Girlfriend in Walk” is an ingenious device that aims to recreate the experience a girlfriend’s hand, without an actual girlfriend. The act of walking hand in hand with the opposite sex, be they partner or friend, can be very satisfying, but we don’t always have someone to do it with. Luckily, technology has evolved enough to provide a viable surrogate, kind of…

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