Japanese cat lover has an ingenious plan to keep your cat from hogging your bed all night

Tired of sleepless nights from your cute kitty pushing you around the bed? Here’s a quick and clever solution.

If you own a cat, it’s because you want to have felines close by in your living space. However, it’s possible to have your animal friends be a little too close, especially in your sleeping space.

Sure, it might be kind of nice to have a kitty nearby as you drift off into slumber, or within arm’s reach for some post-wake-up, pre-get-up snuggling, But cats sometimes hog the bedspace you were planning to use for your human body.

▼ “Oh, did you want this spot? Well how about if I take it and give you some STINK EYE in exchange?”

Thankfully, Japanese Twitter user @pinkseed has come up with an easy way to explain to your cats that you’re sharing not ceding, your bed. Similar to the life-changing discovery of cat circles, @pinkseed’s plan taps into the common cat psyche in which the animals like situating themselves in territory of their own, but aren’t overly concerned how big said territory is.

“An announcement to all of you whose beds have been occupied by our feline lords! The rezoning project is complete!” @pinkseed tweeted, with some proud photos of her plan in action. By placing some soft-sided boxes along the edge of her bed, she created a row of cozy kitty cubbies in which a trio of her animal friends have curled up and gone to sleep. This lets them stay close to their human caregiver throughout the night, but also secures a well-defined section of the mattress for @pinkseed.

The clever strategy prompted comments including:

“Wow, this is great! I’m gonna try it with my cats.”
“Creating sections is a great idea! My cat always takes over more than half of my single bed.”
“Brilliant! My cat is always roaming about my part of the bed”
“Don’t you need a few more boxes?”

In regards to the last comment, @pinkseed says that a few of her animals like sleeping apart from the rest of the group, so the three is all she needs.

Granted, this plan still leaves you with less than 100-percent of the bed for yourself, but laying out easy-to-understand ground rules about what space belongs to whom should cut down on jostling and pushing in the middle of the night. And if setting up cat sleeping boxes cuts into too much of your mattress realm, you could always buy a bigger bed…just as long as you also don’t also go out and acquire more cats.

Source: Twitter/@pinkseed via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@pinkseed

Japanese soccer fans’ awesome manners are spreading to another country at World Cup

Following victory by Japan, Colombian fans take part in a Japanese tradition.

It’s become customary for sports fans in Japan to flood the streets of Tokyo’s Shiubya neighborhood after major victories by the country’s soccer team. That happened again on Tuesday night, following Japan’s historic World Cup victory over Colombia, but meanwhile, at the stadium in Russia where the match took place, another Japanese sporting tradition was being continued, and even expanded.

During the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Japanese fans attracted international praise when they were seen stuffing trash into large blue bags they’d brought with them after the conclusion of a game. It was a classy example of Japanese society’s value of cleanliness and consideration, and after Japan’s win against Colombia, Japanese fans in attendance started cleaning up once again…but this time they were joined by Colombian supporters.

Japanese Twitter user @tsunsan posted these photos showing fans, dressed in Colombia’s bright yellow jerseys, sprucing up the stadium, along with the following message:

“Colombia’s supporters were wonderful. So many people told us ‘Congratulations.’ They even used our blue trash bags and picked up trash together with us.

Would we Japanese fans have been this considerate if the game’s outcome had been reversed? The world of soccer is a deep one.”

There’d actually be precedent for @tsunsan having a bit more faith in his fellow Japanese fans, since it was after a loss by Japan’s team in 2014 that word spread around the admirable manners of Japanese fans. This is the first we’ve heard, though, of the post-game trash pickup becoming a multi-nation activity, and Japanese Twitter has been abuzz at the heartwarming development in World Cup etiquette, with comments such as:

“What a wonderful story.”
“Colombia’s fans are great! Sports really are amazing.”
“The good feeling keep on going even after the match is over.”
“I bet that this sort of thing will become a part of soccer culture all over the world.”
“I really like Colombia now.”

While the last comment might have a bit of exaggerated exuberance behind it, it still highlights how sports have a unique power to bring people from different cultures together, helping to make the world a kinder, happier, and, in this case, even a cleaner place.

Source: Twitter/@tsunsan via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@tsunsan

Shattered glass in Universal Studios Japan shows how much the theme park values safety

Entertainment may be the theme park’s core, but safety is of utmost importance.

The recent powerful earthquake in Osaka affected an extensive area of Japan, bursting water pipes, cracking roads and delaying train lines. Universal Studios Japan (USJ) was drastically affected too, due to its location near the epicenter, and a previous tweet of a ticket booth with glass smashed into smithereens shocked everyone with the severity of the quake.

“Universal Studios Japan. The glass shattered.”

But it turns out there’s more to the story, as explained by @harulob (translation below).

“The shattered USJ booth glass has become a hot topic, but it’s designed so that employees who can’t open the door won’t end up getting trapped in there. Once a certain level of pressure is applied, it will break.”

That explains the evenly crumbled glass, allowing whoever’s trapped in there to escape unharmed instead of having to deal with razor-sharp glass. It seemed then that USJ spared no expense in ensuring the safety of both customers and employees by using tempered glass, a more expensive and sturdier type of glass that crumbles into small harmless chunks. Cheaper glass would result in dangerous cracks forming, possibly cutting evacuees with jagged edges.

▼ Costing up to twice the price of normal glass, tempered glass is also used
as movie props in action scenes. Perfect for a place like USJ.

Although the Osaka earthquake hit at 7:58 a.m. while the theme park was still closed, things would have turned out very bloody if it had struck one hour later at a venue that used standard glass.

Japanese netizens were glad no one was hurt:

“That type of glass is a special one that will break into smaller pieces, isn’t it? You won’t get injured even if it hits you.”

“It’s reassuring to know that it’s equipped with earthquake safety measures.”

“That’s like the windscreen glass on cars. It’s designed to break into round bits to prevent injuries.”

Some establishments may skimp on building costs by using cheaper material, but USJ knows such shortcuts would inevitably cost lives in the long run, particularly in a disaster-prone country like Japan. It might be a theme park at heart, but we’re glad they’re dead serious when it comes to safety.

Sources: Twitter/@Oh20wSz, Twitter/@harulob via My Game News Flash
Featured image: Twitter/@harulob

Drinking party breaks out on Tokyo Station platform as Shinkansen delay strands travelers

Booze fans pass the time in a quintessentially Japanese way, while their younger counterparts opt for a more athletic method.

Despite a well-deserved reputation for reliability and punctuality, Japan’s trains do sometimes encounter problems and end up running behind schedule. This can even happen with the Shinkansen bullet trains, the pride of operator Japan Railway.

On Sunday afternoon, a Shinkansen train left Tokyo station at roughly 12:20, heading north along the Tohoku Shinkansen line, and things were fine until about an hour and a half later. After it pulled out of Sendai Station, though, an undisclosed mechanical issue caused the conductor to stop the train, which in turn shut down the entire line while a team of inspectors investigated and rectified the problem.

That process ended up taking over five hours, which left plenty of travelers stuck at the station while they waited for service to resume. Things were especially crowded in Tokyo Station, where Japanese Twitter user @Thrill_Junky snapped this photo of the congested conditions near the Shinkansen ticket gates.

Up on the platform, though, the atmosphere was decidedly more jovial, where a group of older men decided to bust out the booze and snacks they’d intended to consume on the train and have a drinking party right there on the ground.

Because Shinkansen seats always have trays, it’s common for alcohol-appreciative travelers to crack open a cold one (or two) as they zoom about the high-speed rail network. These gentleman had stocked up accordingly, but with no refrigerator to keep their libations chilled, they came to the conclusion that the only sensible thing to do was to drink them before they got too warm.

Meanwhile, further up the line in Aomori Prefecture, stranded Shinkansen travelers waiting on the platform of Hachinohe Station were provided with some surprise entertainment.

Among those who suddenly had time on their hand was a college gymnastics team, and instead of using that empty space to plop themselves down in a drinking circle, they instead popped off a series of back flips.

Shinkansen service was finally resumed at around 7:30, but the examples shown here serve as a reminder that when travelling, just because you’re not making progress towards your destination doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the journey.

Sources: Twitter/@Thrill_Junky via Jin, Mainichi Shimbun, TBS News, NHK News Web
Featured image: Twitter/@Thrill_Junky

Beautiful new Levistone from Ghibli’s Laputa anime going on sale soon, so order yours ASAP【Video】

Recreation of magical pendant from Hayao Miyazaki classic couples with elegantly detailed music box.

As the premier supplier of memorabilia based on the films of Studio Ghibli, Donguri Kyowakoku always has a catalog full of things that anime fans would love to own. Still, the chain really outdid itself when it created a replica of the Levistone from Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky Laputa.

Unfortunately, Donguri Kyowakoku did a little too good a job recreating the magical pendant worn by heroine Sheeta, and demand was so high they sold out almost immediately. A restock came much later, but now there’s something even better: an updated version that’s even more faithful to the artifact’s onscreen appearance in the first-ever animated work produced under the Studio Ghibli name.

The new version is officially called the Castle in the Sky Laputa Shining Levistone–Guidance of Light, in contrast to the older model, which bore the subtitle “Power of Light.” The new Levistone’s color was formulated to more closely match the lovingly hand-painted animation cels of the movie, and it lights up randomly in one of two patterns when you say the ancient word of power, balse (barusu, if you’re going by the Japanese pronunciation). The stone also glows softly if you speak the lengthy incantation “rite ratobarita urusu ariarosu baru netorimu,” as taught to Sheeta by her grandmother.

▼ The Levistone can be worn as a necklace or used as a decorative bag/mobile phone strap.

In addition, Donguri Kyowakoku is releasing a companion piece in the form of Laputa’s iconic robot. The 11-centimeter (4.3-inch) tall figurine doubles as a music box which plays an instrumental version of the film’s theme song, “Kimi ni Nosete” as the robot’s eyes and crest light up.

▼ The robot’s video preview

Making the figure even more special is that when you place the Levistone in the tray at its base, you’ll hear the same sound as when the robot awoke after its centuries-long slumber in the anime.

The Shining Levistone–Guidance of Light is priced at 2,600 yen (US$24) and goes on sale June 22, while the 4,800-yen robot music box becomes available for purchase on July 20. Whether you decide to order them separately or as part of a large-scale splurge bundle along with your 30th-anniversary Totoro cel reproduction and Seiko wristwatch is up to you, but considering how quickly the Levistones sold out last time, you might want to jump on the new version sooner rather than later.

Related: Donguri Kyowakoku official website, Donguri Kyowakoku online shop
Sources: 1up Joho Kyoku, PR Times
Top image: YouTube/どんぐり共和国そらのうえ店
Insert images: PR Times, YouTube/どんぐり共和国そらのうえ店

Awesome cardboard Darth Vader costume lets you become an eco-friendly Jedi villain【Video】

May the Box be with you.

When Japanese stationery company Showa Note introduced its line of wearable cardboard costumes, their cool-looking samurai armor promised endless fun for kids and adults alike.

But ever since the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on the epic space opera’s 40th anniversary, the company has received numerous requests from fans to expand the existing cardboard series. And with Solo: A Star Wars Story releasing soon in Japan on June 29, Showa Note responded by adding the jet black armor of Darth Vader to its cardboard costume lineup.

▼ Make your very own Jedi villain costume and wield the Force with impunity.

Like all wearable cardboard costume kits created by the company, the Darth Vader getup can be easily assembled straight out of the box without the need for extra tools.

Whether it’s the easy-to-pop-out perforated cardboard parts or the imprinted numbers indicating which things go where, everything about the kit is child-friendly. Even the wave-like edges of the parts cushion impact against skin, reducing the likelihood of children cutting themselves.

Since the Darth Vader costume comes pre-painted, aspiring Jedi Masters can direct all their attention on creating their garb instead of cleaning up messy paint spills. Made from more than 90 percent recycled corrugated cardboard, the armor is both light and easy to handle.

▼ Eco-friendly Darth Vader, ready to go.

Although a Chewbacca cardboard costume seems unlikely for now, C-3PO and his trusty buddy R2-D2 would make awesome additions, not to mention feared bounty hunter Boba Fett.

The Darth Vader cardboard getup costs 3,980 yen (US$36.12) and is scheduled to be released in fall this year, making it a great gift for kids or a fantastic cosplay option when Halloween comes around.

Source: Showa Note, YouTube/Oyakotori via Value Press
Top image: YouTube/Oyakotori
Insert image: Showa Note

New Disney summer kimono are beautifully cute and require no sash tying【Photos】

Six patterns skirt Tokyo Disneyland’s no-cosplay rule, feature characters as famous as Mickey and as forgotten as Clarice.

With all of Japan’s domestically produced animation, some people might think that it’s an either/or choice between liking Japanese culture and liking Disney cartoons. That’s not the case at all, though, as Disney’s Japanese fanbase is immensely passionate, and now has the option to wear that passion on their sleeves…as well as the rest of their summer kimono.

Japanese fashion brand Poneycomb Tokyo has just released a brand-new line of yukata (lightweight summer kimono) featuring some of Disney’s brightest stars. A total of six designs are available, starting, of course, with Mickey Mouse, who’s accompanied by some pineapples for extra warm-weather appeal.

Since these are women’s yukata, Poneycomb also wants to offer some extra-girlish options, which is where Minnie and Daisy’s patterns come in.

Learning how to tie the obi (sash) for a yukata can take some practice, but Poneycomb’s Disney offerings sidestep the issue by coming bundled with what’s called a tsukuriobi, which consists of an easy-to-put-on waistband and a pre-tied ribbon that you slip onto the sash.

Donald Duck’s starry deep-blue yukata has a cooling motif, just the thing for Japan’s sweltering summer days/nights.

▼ Alternatively, the Goofy/Max yukata lets Goof Troop fans bask in warm colors.

▼ Finally, Clarice the chipmunk’s pattern combines an often-forgotten Disney character with a seldom-used color for yukata.

The six kimono are identically priced at 12,960 yen (US$119), which is a fairly reasonable price for a yukata/obi set, and can be ordered directly from Poneycomb Tokyo online here.

While Tokyo Disney Resort usually has a pretty strict no-cosplay rule, these should be acceptable, since you’re not actually dressing as the characters themselves, and it’s hard to imagine a better outfit if you’re planning to visit Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea this summer.

Sources: PR Times, Poneycomb Tokyo
Top image: Poneycomb Tokyo (1, 2)
Insert images: Poneycomb Tokyo (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)