12th Angry Tea Table Flipping Contest held in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture

Regular event calls out the best tea table upenders around.

A shopping mall in Yahaba, Iwate Prefecture was the venue for the 12th World Chabudai-Gaeshi Tournament on 16 June. This is a regularly held event in which participants must shout a phrase of anger, frustration, passion, or hope, while upending a small table and sending it flying.

▼ A promotional video for last year’s contest

They way it works is simple. Contestants first take a seat at a small table with imitation food set atop it. An elderly woman in cooking garb is seated next to the contestant and when she touches their shoulder and gently asks them to “stop,” that’s their cue to flip out both figuratively and literally.

Participants can shout about whatever their hearts desire. Rages this year included a man addressing all women with a “What’s wrong with me?!” On the other hand, affirmations such as “I want a job offer” or “I deserve a raise” could also be heard.

Various items are placed on the table but the key piece of equipment is a plastic fish, specifically a Pacific saury. While the player is only making contact with the tea table, their goal is to send that fish – and only the fish – as far as possible. In the end, contestants are judged on both distance of the saury and overall performance.

▼ Scenes from this year’s event

It’s a long running contest that has been around for years, and is based on the Japanese phrase “chabudai gaeshi” literally “upending the tea table.” The phrase has also been used to describe Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto’s tendency to drastically change projects just before they were to be completed.

In other words it can also mean to, stir sh*t up, throw a monkey wrench into certain proceedings, or add a healthy dose of chaos to a situation for better or for worse. The terms has been used to describe US President Trump’s behavior at the recent G7 meetings and is the used in the name of women’s rights group Chabudai Gaeshi Josei Action.

▼ A while back there was even a chabudai gaeshi simulator game in arcades.

This year’s winner was Shinya Chiba of the Iwate Big Bulls basketball team who sent his saury a whopping 8.29 meters (27.2 feet) while shouting “Go Big Bulls!”

If you think you can do better, keep an eye on information from Yahaba Town for the time and location of the next Chabudai-Gaeshi Contest. If the event continues to grow we may someday see a dream match between Japan’s two most notorious table flippers: Miyamoto and Yoshiki of Japan X.

Sources: Sankei News, Iwate Nippo, Yahaba Town Iwate
Top image: YouTube/Yahaba City Office

Pet rabbit celebrates Japan’s World Cup victory by humping Pokémon’s Charmander【Video】

Sudden exuberance following soccer win draws praise for vigor and speed.

With the FIFA World Cup currently taking place, we’re all once again reminded of the incredible power that sports have to bring excitement and joy into the hearts of athletes and spectators alike. Sometimes, seeing the team you’re cheering for achieve victory on the playing field can be enough to have you shouting to the heavens, dancing in the streets, or feeling kinship with people hailing from all the way on the other side of the planet.

But have you ever felt so happy that you’ve just had to hump a Pokémon?

As time expired and the Japanese soccer team secured a historic victory over Colombia on Tuesday night, Twitter user @milk_white53 was at home in front of his TV. Watching the game with him was his pet rabbit, but as the Samurai Blue basked in the afterglow of their triumph, @milk_white53’s bunny decided to make his very own pink film, choosing original starter Pokémon Charmander as his co-star.

“In his excitement over Japan’s victory, my rabbit has begun violating Charmander,” @milk_white53 tweeted, calmly describing a situation made even more bizarre by the only audio accompaniment to the coupling being the muffled sound of the television sportscasters.

Mixed in with multiple comments expressing admiration for the rabbit’s vigor and speed were those saying “My pet has done the same thing.” While some commenters may have been broadly speaking about animals mounting inanimate objects, at least one other Twitter user has a pet rabbit who’s been inordinately affectionate to his Pokémon plushie.

▼ Based on the Pocket Monster’s name, however, we’d imagine Slowpoke prefers more leisurely paced lovemaking.

Coming on the heels of last month’s instance of a lusty dog trying to get it on with an Idolmaster huggy pillow cover, animal-owning otaku might want to consider keeping their seductively soft anime merch out of their pets’ reach. As for @milk_white53, he may want to consider washing that Charmander, unless he’s expecting Japan’s soccer team to go deep into the World Cup this time, in which case perhaps he’d be better off waiting until after his rabbit is done with all of its potential victory celebrations.

Source: Twitter/@ milk_white53 via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@ milk_white53

Tokyo’s Shibuya goes crazy as soccer fans celebrate Japan’s historic World Cup victory【Videos】

Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing never misses a chance to party, but the massive seas of humanity had an extra-special reason this time.

On Tuesday night, sports fans across Japan were glued to their TV sets as the men’s soccer team took on its first opponent of the World Cup in a match against Columbia. Then, when the game ended with a 2-1 victory for Japan, they flooded the streets of Tokyo in celebration.

It was after 11 p.m. local time when the game wrapped up, which meant large groups of supporters had gathered to watch the contest in pubs and sports bars. As a result, many fans were in close proximity to the famed Scramble Crossing in Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s prime nightlife neighborhoods. The iconic intersection is crowded at any time of day or night, but overhead views showed it packed to an even more amazing, and joyous, capacity.

Japanese athletes and sports teams have become increasingly competitive on the global stage over the past two decades, but the country often still retains an “us against the world” attitude in international competitions. That’s not to say foreigners weren’t welcome at this party, though, like the man shouting “Japan is the best!” is stilted Japanese in this video.

That said, Tuesday’s victory had some genuine historical significance, marking the first time an Asian team has defeated a South American opponent in men’s World Cup play.

As excited as the fans who amassed in Shibuya were, the Scramble Crossing is still a working intersection with pedestrian crosswalks. So every time the walk sign came on, it became the site of high-volume continuous high-fives.

With the rise of social media, the intersection has become well-known as celebration central when Japan wins important sports contests, and so police officers were also out in large numbers, helping to maintain order and safety.

As wild as things got, though, this is still Japan, so there were no reports of roiting or property damage.

And while the shots of seas of humanity are mesmerizing, some of the best videos from the scene are the ones where you can see individual faces of happiness. For example, if you watch no other videos here, check out this guy’s song of joy.

Up next for Japan is Senegal, with that match scheduled to begin at the stroke of midnight on Monday, Tokyo time. Still, if the Japanese team can pull off another victory, expect to see the Scramble Crossing packed again, regardless of what time the game finishes.

Featured image: Twitter/@hoduki0729

Foreign exchange student punches Japanese basketball referee, victim won’t press charges【Video】

Vicious attack that required 10 stitches is followed by startlingly kind gesture of forgiveness.

Things weren’t looking goof for the boys basketball team from Miyazaki Prefecture’s Nobeoka Gakuen High School last Sunday. Facing off against Fukuoka Prefecture’s Ohori high School in the semifinals of the all-Kyushu tournament, which was being held in Nobeoka City, Nobeoka Gakuen found itself trailing 77 to 66 with only 40 seconds left to play.

There’s a lot to be said for never giving up until the final buzzer, but that’s pretty much an insurmountable gap to close with such little time remaining. Still, a 15-year-old foreign exchange student who was playing for Nobeoka (and whose name has not been released) wasn’t going to take this loss lying down when he could instead take it swinging.

The first-year student, who came into the game off the bench, had already been called for two fouls. But even with just 40 seconds left, in the game, he was called for a foul yet again. The referee whistled for a stop in play, at which point the player, who can be seen wearing the number five blue jersey in the video below, angrily stalked over to vent his frustration on the left side of the referee’s face.

The boy had to take 10 steps and navigate around roughly a half-dozen other players to deliver the punch, which sort of deflates the standard “mistake made in the heat of the moment and heightened emotional state of high-level competition” excuse that often gets bandied about in sports situations like this. The blow sent the referee, a man in his 20s, sprawling, bouncing his head off the hardwood floor and tearing the skin around his mouth badly enough that he required 10 stitches.

The player was immediately ejected, and Nobeoka Gakuen forfeited the game rather than follow up the disgraceful display by continuing to play.

Considering the viciousness of the attack, the police have said that criminal assault charges are a legal possibility. However, the victim has made it known that he personally does not want to press charges against the boy, who apologized to him directly while both were at the police station following the incident.

The forgiving referee said:

“The boy still has a long life ahead of him, and I don’t want him to come to hate the game of basketball.”

Despite the man’s accommodating nature, the attack may still have lasting repercussions for the Nobeoka Gakuen team. For starters, the forfeit loss eliminated he school from the all-Kyushu tournament, though given how far behind they were, that result was probably inevitable. A bigger issue, though, is that Nobeoka Gakuen was scheduled to play in the upcoming all-Japan high school basketball tournament by virtue of having won Miyazaki’s prefectural championship last month. However, due to the player’s conduct on Sunday, the entire team’s eligibility to participate in the national tournament is currently being reconsidered, meaning that the player’s appallingly unsportsmanlike impromptu boxing exhibition may mean no more basketball for any his teammates.

Sources: Twitter/@N8tKOGds6ysVtcH via Jin, Nishi Nippon Shimbun
Featured image: Twitter/@N8tKOGds6ysVtcH

Tokyo miracle hairstylist returns with new geek-to-chic video, plus how to have him cut your hair

Want the Japanese Internet’s favorite hairstylist to transform your hairdo? Here’s how to make an appointment.

Earlier this month our jaws dropped as we watched a Tokyo hairstylist transform a customer who looked like an archetypal geek into someone who wouldn’t look out of place in the pages of a fashion magazine. But while the result look like a major turning point in the life of the customer, for the stylist, who we’ve now identified as Shou Otsuki, it was just another day at work.

As proof, here’s a brand-new video from Otsuki, which once again starts off with a shy-looking young man sitting in the chair. He’s got a pretty nondescript hair style, parted on the side in the manner common to middle-aged salaryman, but only until Otsuki works his magic.

When Otsuki pulls his comb back from the camera’s lens, we see that he’s done it again, changing his client’s droopy look into one that’s stylish and modern. He doesn’t even have to rely on hair dye this time, keeping the customer’s original color and letting his scissors do the work.

This cool haircut even has a cool backstory. The young man getting his haircut saw the same video of Otsuki’s skills that initially blew us away, and sough out the stylist to do the same for him. “I’m happy that thanks to my videos, a few more people know that they can look cool too,” Tweeted Otsuki, and while it’s true that looks aren’t everything, there’s no denying that the smiles on his customers faces show they’ve got more confidence in their looks and themselves after Otsuki cuts their hair.

And if you need even more proof that Otsuki is a miracle worker, here’s yet another of his videos.

Instagram Photo

Of course, seeing all these satisfied customers might have you wondering what Otsuki could do with your hair, and if so, you’re in luck, because you can easily make an appointment with him online.

Otsuki is one of the staff stylists at L. Dorado, a hair salon in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood. To make an appointment, you’ll first need to go to L. Dorado’s online online reservation page, found here, and click on the central button labeled “Make reservation by staff member,” (スタッフ指名から予約 in Japanese). At the next screen, click on Otsuki’s name, (大槻渉), then “haircut” (カット) on the next screen. Finally, clicking on 決定して次へ (“go to next screen”), found way at the bottom of the page, will bring up a calendar with available openings to choose from.

In his self-introduction, Otsuki says “I’ll offer suggestions based on your requests and desires, so please let me help make you even more beautiful or cool!”

▼ One more of Otsuki’s videos

Instagram Photo

With prices starting at 6,480 yen (US$59), L. Dorado isn’t a budget barbershop. It’s not especially expensive by Tokyo salon standards, and considering the smiles his customers leave with, it looks like they feel like Otsuki’s haircuts are worth every yen.

Related: L. Dorado website
Source: Twitter/@omaturi1002 via Kinisoku
Top image: Twitter/@omaturi1002
Insert images: Twitter/@omaturi1002, Instagram/ld_shou, L. Dorado

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

Newest virtual YouTuber blows her competition out of the water with high-quality intro【Video】

It’s like watching an awesome CGI movie.

Virtual YouTubers have been appearing at an unprecedented rate on the Japanese Internet, and though few come close to the popularity of Kizuna Ai, some newcomers seem to have the potential to topple the queen.

One such anime girl personality is Flavie. She might be late to the virtual YouTuber party, but this elegant blue-eyed girl has something that many of her peers lack: an extremely high-quality first video.

With a cute protagonist, smooth animation, an idyllic environment, and background music, one might even mistake it for a CGI trailer of an epic role-playing game.

▼ Take a look and see for yourself.

The video starts off with Flavie narrating about herself living in an ultimate utopia, where even the concept of time does not exist. A mysterious bunny-like creature with a ribbon then appears and chastens her for slacking off.

“Please do your job. If you don’t, this world will disappear.”

It seems Flavie is tasked with gleaning information from other worlds in order to maintain this paradise, a job that she constantly shies away from.

“I don’t want to work!”

After a heated exchange, the bunny sends Flavie off to Osaka’s Namba Station. There, she stumbles into a bar and attempts to order the longest Starbucks order possible: Venti double shot hazelnut vanilla almond caramel chocolate chip cream frappuccino with caramel and mocha sauce and extra whipped cream.

▼ Except that the bar wasn’t Starbucks of course.

Although the video ends shortly after that, Japanese netizens were floored by Flavie’s first video:

“An awesome virtual YouTuber has appeared again!”
“The quality is so high and her voice is beautiful.”
“What’s with this quality? It’s terrific! Is she really from another world?”
“Wow! I’ll be rooting for her.”
“Fantastic! I thought I was watching a movie.”

Virtual YouTuber videos tend to be a one-man effort, and if that’s the case for Flavie, it truly is an impressive feat. Between top quality episodes from her and cute virtual idols able to speak fluent English, fans of such personalities have a lot to choose from.

Source: YouTube/VN Flavie via Otapol
Images: YouTube/VN Flavie