Will Utada Hikaru’s “Fantôme” Change the Rules of Today’s JPop?

On September 28, Utada Hikaru’s first album in 8 years, “Fantôme”, is released. She’s been out of the spotlight since she began her hiatus 5 years ago, with a few exceptions, both personal and professional. She comes back to a different industry a different person. Utada’s personal life during her hiatus has had the biggest […]

Turn rough sketches into crisp digital line art with free web service from Waseda University


The automatic service is already popular online, with Japanese artists eager to share their impressive results.

Cleaning up rough sketches and turning faint pencil strokes into bold outlines can now be done at the click of a button, thanks to a new service developed by a research group at Waseda University Graduate School of Science and Engineering. The project, which began in autumn 2015, was announced to the world at Siggraph 2016, the world’s largest annual event in computer graphics and interactive techniques, held in California in July this year.

▼ The group demonstrated the results of their sketch simplification model on Twitter with this before-and-after image at the beginning of September.

▼ They followed up with another impressive example the next day.

With the online service available for public use, eager artists around the country were quick to trial the system, sharing their results on Twitter.

▼ The service handles simple sketches as well as more complex works.

And while it works incredibly well at transforming plain sketches, the model simplifies coloured lines just as easily.

▼ Even more impressive results can be seen when ASCII artworks are processed!

The service is free for anyone to enjoy, simply by uploading a file and pressing a button on their website. While it’s incredibly fast and easy to use, the maths behind the neural network-based Sketch Simplification is a complex and impressive web of details. To read all about the model and how it works, check out their brilliant research paper in English online.

Source: Iroiro
Top Image: Waseda University

【ポケモンGO】タマ切れするくらいモンスターが出現しまくり! 羽田空港第1ターミナルは隠れた穴場



人の集まる場所にポケモンはいる。トレーナーであれば常識中の常識で、東京であればお台場や公園などが激アツスポットとなっているが、なんと空の玄関「羽田空港」も群を抜いてモンスターが出現する “隠れた穴場” らしい。これは確かめねばなるまい!




全然いない。思い返せば、ポケモンは立ち入り禁止区域などに出現しないことになっていたような。もしかしたらいつぞやのアップデートで羽田空港全体が……と思いきや! 第1ターミナル地下1階のポケストップが集結している場所へ行ったところ……ブルッブルッ!!


スマホがブルッた次の瞬間から完全に入れ食い状態! 次から次へモンスターが顔を出しては、ラブコールを送ってくるではないか。それに応えるべく私も奮闘。ポッポだろうがコラッタだろうが、出現したら即捕獲。出会って3秒でボールを投げ続けた。








ScreenShot:ポケモンGO (iOS)

U.S. hacker guilty of stealing nude celebrity photos

A Chicago hacker who stole nude photos from the accounts of at least 30 celebrities pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court. Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Edward Majerczyk admitted to one count of “unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.” Prosecutors agreed to ask for a reduced sentence of nine months in […]

The post U.S. hacker guilty of stealing nude celebrity photos appeared first on The Japan Times.

World › Israeli ex-president and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres dies

Israeli ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres died on Wednesday some two weeks after suffering a major stroke, his doctor said, triggering an outpouring of grief for the beloved elder statesman.

The 93-year-old died in his sleep at around 3 a.m., Rafi Walden, who is also Peres’s son-in-law,…

MIYAVI, Nishiuchi Mariya, and HERO Perform on Premium MelodiX! for September 26

This week’s guests were Nishiuchi Mariya, MIYAVI, and HERO. Nishiuchi Mariya – BELIEVE MIYAVI – Fire Bird HERO – LOVE LETTER Source   Next week: ORANGE RANGE – Ishin Denshin Takeda to Tetsuya – LOVE SOUND Koresawa – J-POP

12 strange Japanese names for Western sports, from “fighting ball” to “reject ball”


Are you ready for some armor ball?

Nowadays, Japan is pretty accepting of foreign loanwords. For the vast majority of concepts or items that originated overseas, Japanese society is perfectly happy to just pronounce it as best as Japanese pronunciation will allow and write it using katakana, the type of script used for foreign words.

This is especially true for modern sports that were introduced to the country through contact with other nations. In Japan today, tennis is tenisu and soccer is sakkaa. Sure, the pronunciations get a little corrupted, but they’re pretty understandable even to English-speakers without any Japanese-language proficiency.

A high-profile exception, though, is baseball, which in Japan is called yakyuu, literally “field ball” and written with kanji (generally reserved for concepts originating in Japan or China) as 野球. But it turns out that Japan actually created its own words for all sorts of Western sports, some of which are far more colorful than their English counterparts. See how many you can guess from their kanji and literal translations.

1. 籠球
Pronounced: roukyuu
Meaning: “basket ball”
In English:
basketball, obviously. Sure, the kanji is a little tricky, but the meaning is exactly the same (incidentally there’s also a basketball anime called Ro-Kyu-Bu!).

2. 蹴球
Pronounced: shuukyuu
Meaning: “kick ball”
In English:
soccer. The baseball substitute known in English as “kickball” is relatively unknown in Japan, making soccer undisputedly the most kick-centric sport in the country.

3. 氷球
Pronounced: kyoukyuu
Meaning: “ice ball”
In English:
ice hockey, despite the fact that the sport uses a puck, not a ball.

4. 鎧球
Pronounced: gaikyuu
Meaning: “armor ball”
In English:
football, since it has the most noticeable and iconic protective gear out of the major sports.

5. 闘球
Pronounced: toukyuu
Meaning: “fighting ball”
In English:
rugby, because no other sport so resembles a running brawl.

6. 庭球
Pronounced: teikyuu
Meaning: “garden ball”
In English:
tennis, a sophisticated athletic endeavor befitting those cultured enough to also appreciate and maintain a garden.

7. 羽球
Pronounced: ukyuu
Meaning: “feather ball”
In English:
badminton. Honestly, it’s hard to think of any other way to describe a shuttlecock than as a ball with feathers attached to it.

8. 避球
Pronounced: hikyuu
Meaning: “avoid ball”
In English:
dodgeball, which in Japan is a team sport played on a square, hardwood court roughly the size of the one used for basketball.

9. 排球
Pronounced: haikyuu
Meaning: “reject ball”
In English:
volleyball (this is another one that’s a little easier to guess if you’re an anime fan). The theory is that the name comes from a team’s goal being to “reject” the ball by knocking it back to the opponent’s side of the net.

10. 杖球
Pronounced: joukyuu
Meaning: “cane ball”
In English:
field hockey, in fact, and not croquet, gateball, or any other geriatric-friendly sport.

11. 十柱戯
Pronounced: jucchuugo
Meaning: “ten pillar pleasantry”
In English:
bowling. It’s not clear why it was given a name that shuns recognition of the bowling ball, but still, it’s hard to hate a name this quaint.

12. 孔球
Pronounced: koukyuu
Meaning: “hole ball”
In English:
golf, which wasted a perfectly good opportunity to be called “taking a break half-way through to eat lunch and drink a couple cold ones ball.”

Now, bear in mind that while yakyuu remains by far the most common way to refer to baseball in Japanese, all the rest of these names have fallen so out of modern use as to be largely unintelligible, even to many native Japanese speakers. As such, using them on your Japanese midterm is likely to have your frustrated teacher flashing back to that one kid who couldn’t seem to remember that everyone in Japan just uses the loanword for “lion” instead of the indigenous shishi to talk about the African animal. On the other hand, if you want to show off your knowledge of esoteric athletic linguistics to your sports buddies, these will do the trick quite nicely.

Source: Goo via Otakomu
Top image: Gatag/Vector Open Stock