Japanese Ballpoint Pen Comes With a Live Parasitic Worm

The pen you’re about to see is one of those shocking products that makes people say they’ve seen it all. This Japanese souvenir actually comes with a live nematode parasite swimming inside it…

Anisakis is a genus of parasitic nematodes that infect various species of fish and can cause anisakiasis  – a parasitic infection of the gastrointestinal tract – in humans who consume raw or undercooked seafood containing larvae of the aforementioned nematode. Some people can also suffer an acute allergic reaction like anaphylaxis after eating fish infected with anisakis. In short, this aquatic parasite is not the kind of thing you’d want anywhere near you, so why would anyone create a pen with a live anisakis worm encased inside?

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Bento Artist Creates Insanely Detailed Edible Portraits

A talented bento artist from Hiroshima, Japan, has been turning a lot of heads online with their incredibly detailed edible black portraits over a white rice background.

Nori bento is the most common forms of the portable Japanese snack, but one Japanese food artist has managed to turn the simplicity of the classic meal into an impressive art form. Miki Matsuura creates bento portraits so detailed it makes eating them a travesty. She carves the edible black layer so meticulously that the resulting portraits look almost drawn on the white rice with a black pencil, like manga characters. But while the artist posts photos of her art on social media, they aren’t made specifically for people’s entertainment, but as an actual lunch for Miki’s husband.

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Japanese Couple Still Go Dutch About Everything After Two Years of Marriage

Japanese television recently featured the unusual story of a young couple who, despite being married for two years, still go Dutch about everything from expenses to house chores.

39-year-old Aiko and her 42-year-old husband, Kazuki, met at a video-game production company, and after going out on a few dates, they quickly realized that they had very different interests. That didn’t mean they were incompatible, though, so they decided to continue their relationship, while remaining as independent as possible. And even though they tied the knot very early into their relationship, they continued to go Dutch, and have done so to this day. Their unusual arrangement recently attracted the attention of a popular TV show in Japan, where they revealed exactly how they make it work.

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Eating This Matcha-Covered Ice-Cream Is Japan’s Version of the Cinnamon Challenge

A Tokyo dessert shop has become famous for selling a soft-serve ice-cream covered with generous amounts of matcha powder that makes people choke when they eat it.

Remember the cinnamon challenge from about a decade ago? You should, it was one of the most popular internet challenges ever and even has its own Wikipedia page because of that. Anyway, the challenge was to eat a spoonful of ground cinnamon in under 60 seconds, without drinking anything, with the video of the attempt being uploaded to the internet as evidence. I don’t know how popular the cinnamon challenge was in Japan, but it seems that they actually have their own milder version, which involves eating a soft-serve ice-cream covered with matcha powder, without coughing or gagging.

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Young Female Social Media Influencer Outs Herself as 50-Year-Old MAN

An attractive female Twitter user in Japan recently shocked her tens of thousands of fans after going on a national television show to unmask herself as a 50-year-old man using a popular smartphone app to alter her appearance. I think it’s safe to say that after reading this story, you’ll never trust another internet photo again. Nor should you!

Azusa Gakuyuki, a young, attractive girl who had been entertaining her Twitter followers with photos of herself indulging in her biggest passions (motorcycle riding, mountain hiking, skiing and other outdoorsy activities) went on popular television program Monday Late Show (から夜ふかし) to reveal something that left everyone flabbergasted. The beautiful girl, who appeared to be in her early 20s, was actually a 50-year-old man using the popular app FaceApp to alter his appearance and pass himself off as a woman.

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Controversial Website Documents Japan’s Noisy Children and Other Phonic ‘Nuisances’

A website that maps Japan’s noisiest and most annoying neighborhoods to help people avoid public nuisances when looking for a place to live has sparked controversy, with many accusing it of criticizing normal behavior, like children crying or speaking loudly.

While Japan is still sometimes portrayed as this serene, and calm land, in reality it is one of the nosiest countries on the planet. With over 90% of its 126 million-strong population living in urban areas, noise pollution is a part of daily life, and it’s no wonder that many are valuing peace and quiet more than ever. Japan has even coined a special term that describes the kind of person who talks loudly and generally acts as a public nuisance, completely disregarding the people around them. They are called “dorozoku” or “street tribe”, and they are the focus of a controversial online platform that maps Japanese neighborhoods likely to be plagued by them.

DQN Today is the brainchild of a 40-something freelance web developer from Yokohama, who has allegedly been working from home for the last 12 years. Back in 2016, after finding himself unable to work on some days due to the constant ruckus made by noisy children hanging around his home, the man, who preferred to remain anonymous, decided to create an online crowdsourcing website where people could map and share their experience with dorozoku.

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Grieving Husband Continues Search for Wife 10 Years After Fukushima Tsunami

It’s been 10 years since Yasuo Takamatsu lost his wife Yuko when a devastating tsunami hit the town of Onagawa, in Miyagi prefecture, but he continues to search for her every week.

On the day that Yuko disappeared, in 2011, Yasuo Takamatsu received one last text message from her. It read “Are you ok? I want to go home.” He has been looking for her ever since, and doesn’t plant to stop until he finds her or he stops drawing breath. In the beginning, the grieving husband searched for Yuko on land, starting at the bank where she was last seen, then along the beaches of Onagawa, in nearby forests and mountains. Two years after her disappearance, Yasuo contacted the local dive shop asking for diving lessons, so he could start searching for her in the sea. He has been going on weekly dives for the past seven and a half years, racking up almost 500 underwater searches.

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This Young Lady Is Actually a 30-Year-Old Male Cosplayer

Minato-san, a 30-year-old male office worker and cosplay enthusiast, recently shocked Japanese social media with his transformation into an anime-inspired heroine.

It’s no secret that great cosplayers can alter their physical appearance to the extreme, but in some cases the change is downright scary. Take the case of Minato, a 30-year-old Japanese man who likes to cosplay as an anime girl, and is so good at it that it’s impossible to guess his gender by looking at him. With a clever use of makeup, modern accessories like prosthetic breasts, and a bit of digital manipulation, Minato-san can transform into a whole new person that often leaves the viewer confused.

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Hard to Swallow – Japanese Student Creates Delicious-Looking Stone Sushi

A talented art and design student recently stunned Japanese social media with his collection of delicious-looking sushi made exclusively of stone.

Hama, a student of the Joshibi University of Art and Design, in Kanagawa, Japan, has been exhibiting his stunning stone sushi at various universities across his country, to great success. And it’s easy to see why; his work is absolutely amazing, with some bite-sized pieces looking so realistic that you can hardly tell them apart from the real thing.

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Phone Booth-Like Office Spaces in Japan Allow People to Work From Virtually Anywhere

Telecubes, mobile offices the size of phone booths, have been popping up all over Japan, as demand for public working spaces continues to soar.

Japanese media originally reported on the rise of Telecubes back in 2019, when Mitsubishi Estate announced plans to start rolling out the tiny but cozy offices at airports and train stations all over the country, to help out remote workers. The idea was that having micro-offices available everywhere would make it easier for people to work near home or while on business trips, while enjoying privacy and quiet, which venues like coffee shops or shared offices can’t always offer. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and the demand for Telecubes grew to unprecedented levels.

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Food Artist Creates Edible Portraits of Popular Anime Characters

Kaisefu Mudazono is a self-taught food artist who uses all sorts of ingredients, from dried seaweed and pickled vegetables, to ham and rice, to create the most amazing edible artworks.

When it comes to food art, it’s hard to find something more adorable, and at the same time impressive, than  kyaraben (or Charaben), the Japanese art form of arranging various foods to create eye-catching designs. When done right, kyaraben turns out almost too good to eat, and Kaisefu Mudazono is definitely a master at it. Whether expressing her creative talent on a bento box, or on her grandchildren’s bowls, she always manages to impress.

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Quaint Japanese Village Is Home to the World’s Most Elaborate Rice Field Art

Inakadate, a nondescript village of around 7,000 people, located in Japan’s Aomori prefecture is considered the home of a rice field art form more elaborate than anywhere else in the world.

The story of Inakadate village as a world-renowned tourist destination began in the early 1990s, when local authorities realized that youths were moving to large urban centers in droves, and started brainstorming for ways of breathing new life into the village. One of the proposed ideas was an art form inspired by the local’s traditional rice cultivation, done by hand for hundreds of years. Called Tanbo Art (rice field art), it involved the use of different-color rice varieties to turn local rice fields into giant canvases for intricate designs that revealed their beauty when viewed from above.

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Art Student Creates Amazing Dress Out of Thousands of Plastic Cookie Wrappers

A talented Japanese art student has created a mantua-inspired life-size dress exclusively out of thousands of plastic senbei wrappers.

The mantua fashion of the 17th and 18th century Europe was one of the most flamboyant and elaborate in human history, but that didn’t stop one very talented art student from recreating one such life-size dress using only “Happy Tour” plastic senbei wrappers. It’s unclear how long Twitter user @nokyo spent collecting and piecing together the 4,000 or so wrappers used for this unique dress, but he clearly put a lot of time and effort into the project.

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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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