Japanese senior citizens, 63 and 71 years old, arrested for sickle-armed street fight

“Old enough to know better” loses out to “old enough to just not care” as two seniors slice each other with same weapon.

By and large, getting drunk and solving your problems with your fists is a young man’s way of doing things. Consider, for example, 63-year-old Chikai Tamura, who was out drinking at a restaurant in the town of Yukihashi, Fukuoka Prefecture last Friday night.

While at the establishment he became involved in a verbal altercation with another patron, an unnamed man who is eight years Tamura’s senior. But even after the pair (who were previous acquaintances) left the restaurant, Tamura decided against using his fists to settle their differences.

Unfortunately, he decided to use a sickle instead.

Reports don’t indicate whether Tamura happened to have the gardening tool on him while he was drinking at the restaurant or if he procured or retrieved it from somewhere after leaving. Either way, he swung the bladed instrument at the other man, striking him in the head.

However, the blow was not fatal, and the man, showing what must have been incredible determination, managed to wrestle the sickle away from Tamura. With the tables turned, the man counterattacked, swinging the weapon and slicing into Tamura’s leg. Doctors estimate Tamura’s wounds will take three weeks to heal, with the prognosis being one week for the man who was struck in the head.

When questioned about the incident, Tamura said that he merely intended to intimidate the man, telling investigators “I swung [the sickle] to threaten him, and ended up hitting him. I wasn’t trying to kill him.” The man also denied specifically wanting to inflict bodily harm, saying “I swiped [the sickle] in the direction of his leg, and wound up hitting him.”

The flimsy excuses weren’t enough to convince the police to let them off, however. The fact that a late-night sickle fight on Friday the 13th would make a fitting horror movie plot isn’t buying them any leniency, either, and the Fukuoka Prefectural Police have placed both men under arrest, charging Tamura with attempted murder and the other man with assault.

Source: Livedoor News/Yomiuri Online via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso

Cheki han: The deliciously delusional way Japanese idol fans eat with their favorite singers

Japanese idol singers usually have a no-romance clause in their contracts, so fans hoping for a dinner date have to get creative.

With idol music in the middle of an unprecedented golden age in Japan, the stereotype of idol fans as dreary loners is becoming outdated. Between meet-and-greets, mini concerts, and online message boards, it’s easier than ever for idol fans to connect with one another and get a quorum of friends together to go out for a bite to eat, perhaps while discussing which member of their favorite multi-vocalist group deserves to be front and center in its next music video or album cover.

However, deep down inside, the person fans would really like to be sharing a meal with is their personal favorite idol. That’s something they’re not likely to have an opportunity to do, though, since idol singers are commonly barred from dating by their talent agencies. However, there is a way to make the dream of dining with an idol sort of come true, and it’s called cheki han.

Cheki is the Japanese word for a polaroid photograph, and han means “chow” or “food.” So for a cheki han-style meal, all you need is a plate of food and a snapshot of an idol. Place the photo next to your food, and it’s like the two of you are eating together.

While any photograph will suffice, there are a number of high-level cheki han techniques. One of the most common is making sure to pair the photograph with a specific food the idol has expressed a fondness for a desire to try, such as regional specialties while on a concert tour.

Another strategy is to decorate your meal with a photo in which you yourself are posing with the idol, which adds the special seasoning of a sweet memory to the food’s existing flavor.

Traditional Japanese teishoku set meals are especially well-suited for cheki han, since their myriad plates and bowls provide plentiful propping possibilities. But in today’s world of globalized cuisine, there’s nothing wrong with a cheki han burger.

While the above polaroids appear to be laminated, many brave souls use unprotected photos for their cheki han, even when placing the photos directly onto the food itself.

▼ Maybe the photo being autographed is supposed to indirectly impart the aura of the food being made by the idol’s own hands?

In the era of social media, it’s a matter of course for fans to tweet photos of their cheki han meals, but stepping back one layer further reveals some extra-surreal scenes.

But apparently it doesn’t matter if other people are staring as long as your idol’s eyes are on you.

Sources: Hachima Kiko, Jusha Yoshiko no Geino Blog
Featured image: Twitter/@jyapp417

Even Japanese people are frightened by the concealed anger in Kyoto compliment foreigner received

African-born president of Kyoto Seika University was told his parties sounded fun, but there was a hidden meaning.

Usually, cultural guidebooks’ dissertations on Japan’s penchant for indirectness over sincerity are exaggerated. The long-winded explanations about tatemae (outward display) and honne (true feelings) often treat the subject as a purely Japanese social convention, as though no one in other countries says “This tastes great” when being served an average-quality home-cooked meal, or “Thanks for inviting me! It was fun,” to spare a host’s feelings after a dull party.

Still, it is true that, comparatively, Japan does more to avoid direct interpersonal confrontation than many other countries, and so being able to read between the lines is helpful, especially so if you live in Kyoto.

As the Japanese school year starts, Kyoto Seika University has a new president: Mali-born Oussouby Sacko. Sacko, who is thought to be the first African president of a university in Japan, has lived in Japan for 27 years, becoming proficient in the language while acquiring a post-graduate degree in the country, marrying a Japanese national, and raising two children.

But while he’s firmly integrated into Japanese society now, even Sacko has run into difficulties deciphering the meaning behind some of his fellow Kyotoites’ words. In speaking to reporters from the New York Times, Sacko recalled that after holding a few parties for friends at his apartment, some of his Japanese neighbors commented that they were envious of how cheerful Sacko and his friends were when they got together. Seeing an opportunity to bring his neighbors into this happy circle of acquaintances, Sacko said they should join him and his friends sometime in the future.

However, at Sacko’s next party it wasn’t his neighbors who showed up, but the police, responding to a noise complaint from those very same neighbors.

Yes, the subtle implication behind “You and your friends seem to have so much fun at your parties” was actually “We can hear you and your friends having fun at your parties, even if we’re inside our own homes,” and by extension “Keep it down!”

While some might be tempted to point the finger at Sacko for not being able to take the hint, even a number of Japanese Twitter users felt a chill go down their spines at the thickly veiled complaint.

“Well, that’s Kyoto for you.”
“Man, Kyoto manners are just a pain in the butt to deal with!”
“Geez, that’s sneaky.”
“Even a Japanese person would have gotten tripped up by that.”
“If they wanted him to be quieter, they should have just said so.”

Still, the experience hasn’t soured Sacko on Japan in the slightest, and his unique background should serve him well as president of Kyoto Seika, where foreign-born students make up 20 percent of the student body, roughly five times the national average.

Source: Twitter/@vinumregum, New York Times via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso

There’ll be hell toupee after devil winds cause hair-raising mayhem across Japan

Last week, Japan was buffetted by dust-flinging devils winds leading to many a cancelled event, toppled bicycle, and… a flying hairpiece

Spring has sprung in Japan and with the falling of the cherry blossom petals come other delights – such as hay fever and gale-force winds. Last week, strong winds caused mayhem with many taking to Twitter to share snaps of collapsed bicycles, destroyed umbrellas, and um… errant hairpieces!

“I witnessed a tragedy as a result of the strong winds”.

▼ As this Tweeter points out, that thing looks like a freaking monster.

Another unfortunate byproduct of the devil winds (that are actually still going on right now, on and off) is the fact that, as mentioned above, their coming coincides with hay fever (kafun in Japanese) season. Pollen from the country’s many cedar trees is a major health concern in Japan and this year has said to be an especially bad one, with many people developing the allergy who previously were unaffected. With pollen allergy affecting roughly 20 percent of the Japanese population, no one’s happy that these super-weird winds are whirling up cyclones of pollen dust that have fallen and settled on the concrete surfaces of towns and cities. Bald heads can be re-thatched with fresh wigs, (or perhaps re-grown with curry or wasabi) but the nasal passages of kafunsho victims will remain under siege until the pollen season ends sometime around June.

Source: Twitter/@bosa2_
Featured image: Pakutaso

Believe it or not, this isn’t a map of Japan (though it sort of is)

Twitter user makes mind-blowing discovery playing around with puzzle pieces of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

Japan is primarily made up of four islands. The largest, Honshu, is where most of the country’s largest cities, like Tokyo, Yokohama, and Kyoto, are located. Head up north, and you’ll come to Hokkaido, while out west you’ll find Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands, as well as Kyushu, off the southwest tip of Honshu.

So when you first see this photo shared by Japanese Twitter user @40mP, which is of pieces of a puzzle recreating the map of Japan, you might think it’s the easiest puzzle ever, since each island is only one piece.

But look a little more carefully, and you you’ll notice that the coastlines are a little unusual in @40mP’s photo. That’s because the puzzle pieces don’t actually represent Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu, but a mere four prefectures out of the 46 that the four islands actually contain.

Serving as Honshu is a rotated Niigata Prefecture, while Gunma Prefecture subs for Hokkaido.

▼ Niigata (left) and Gunma (right), marked in red

And filling in for Shikoku and Kyushu are Kanagawa and Oita Prefectures.

▼ Kanagawa (left) and Oita (right)

▼ A side-by-side comparison of the actual map of Japan and @40mP’s four-prefecture version.

@40mP’s clever repurposing of the puzzle pieces blew the minds of Japanese Twitter users, who rapidly retweeted it tens of thousands of times. A common question, though, is why he didn’t include Okinawa, which is far enough away from Japan’s main islands that it usually appears as an inset on maps of the nation (it’s in the lower right corner of the map in the tweet directly above). So to appease those critics, @40mP revised his puzzle map, this time using Tokyo as a substitute.

▼ Tokyo

Of course, geography buffs will no doubt point out that Hokkaido and Okinawa are single prefectures themselves, and so @40mP could have just used their pieces as-is. That would have thrown off the scale relative to his single-prefecture substitutes for Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, though, and besides, once you start thinking outside the box, it can be hard to get your brain to go back in.

Source: Twitter/@40mP via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@40mP
Insert images: Frameillust (edited by SoraNews24), Wikipedia/Lincun (1, 2, 3, 4), Wikipedia/TUBS

Simple Japanese test claims how you draw a star reveals your personality

Everything is revealed from the very first stroke.

Thanks to our subconsciousness at work, some say a person’s character can be determined from the way he or she sleeps, which can make for interesting conversation starters.

In the latest personality test, Japanese variety show Getsuyo kara Yofukashi recently challenged viewers with the simple act of drawing. There are different approaches to writing out the number “8” or drawing a square, and in the same vein, different ways to draw the humble five-pointed star.

▼ Try drawing out one right now.

According to the variety show, the point from which a person starts drawing the star determines his or her personality.

▼ So where did you start?

The traits for each starting point were listed as:

“1: An eager leader.
2: A flirty individual who wants to be loved.
3: A romantic with big dreams.
4: Meticulous and creative
5: A genuine person who wishes to lead a fulfilling life.”

The star personality test caught the attention of netizens:

“I can only draw a star from number four.”
“If it’s a five-pointed star, it’s number five. But I get a feeling I start from three sometimes too.”
“I’m just surprised there are people who draw from points other than number one.”
“Eh? Don’t we all draw it from the top? This is a culture shock!”
“It’s number four for me.”

I personally draw my stars from number one, and going by the variety show’s list of characteristics, I’d say it’s spot on for me. How do you draw yours? Does it match your traits? If you enjoyed this test, why not give the fist personality test a whirl too?

Source: Nippon TV via Hachima Kiko, Twitter/@anzu102966
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: ©SoraNews24

Anime fan shows his hatred for Love Live! by dragging anime idol behind his itasha car

Itasha brings the pain to plushie from rival of owner’s favorite anime series.


In Japan, cars with jumbo-sized graphics of anime characters plastered across the bodywork are called “itasha,” a mashup of the Japanese terms itai (“painful”) and sha (“car”). The implication is that these nerdmobiles are so geeky that it actually hurts the eyes of anyone outside of the fan community to look at them.

Of course, that’s just a bit of self-deprecating otaku humor. There’s no real pain involved in itasha…well, except for maybe this one.

Japanese Twitter user @SPC_pile_jp was taking a taxi through the city of Yokosuka, about an hour south of Tokyo, when a white Subaru Impreza WRX STI, covered in artwork from idol anime/video game franchise The Idolmaster, pulled up in the next lane. But as the Impreza moved ahead of the cab, something really grabbed @SPC_pile_jp’s attention, and it wasn’t the rally-bred Subaru’s giant rear wing.

Looking down below the car’s rear bumper, @SPC_pile_jp saw this.

That’s a plushie of Rin Hoshizora, who’s a different anime idol than the one on the side of the itasha. As a matter of fact, Rin isn’t even from The Idolmaster. She’s one of the main characters in Love Live!, the other schoolgirl idol anime, and The Idolmaster’s eternal rival.

▼ Rin Hoshizora

While The Idolmaster franchise, which began as a video game, predates Love Live! by several years, ever since Love Live! launched in 2012, The Idolmaster has been living in its sizable shadow. Apparently it’s all a bit too much for this Idolmaster fan to bear, so he’s decided to literally take his frustration to the streets, tying a plushie of Rin onto his car’s rear racing tow hook and dragging her along the tarmac.

The car, which was also spotted in Tokyo’s Ota Ward, has a license plate from Okazaki, which is near Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. It’s roughly 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Okazaki to Ota, and it’s hard to imagine the Impreza didn’t keep going north another 10 kilometers or so to Akihabara to congregate with all the other itasha that gather in the otaku mecca, so that’s about 310 kilometers of automotive spite, no doubt with cheerfully peppy Idolmaster songs pumping through the car’s speaker system the whole way.

Source: Twitter/@SPC_pile_jp via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@P10PRIMERA_Tm