Samurai road rage as man attacks motorist with replica samurai sword on Japanese expressway

Tailgating incident isn’t exactly the sort of duel of honor told about in tales of yore.

Japan’s expressways are often clogged with traffic, but if you’re driving in the middle of the night, you usually won’t run into too much congestion. Even still, an incident that occurred in Aichi Prefecture before dawn on Wednesday shows that having to share the road with even one other vehicle is too much for some drivers to calmly deal with.

According to the Aichi Prefectural Police, at around 2 a.m. in a westbound section of the Tomei Expressway, which connects Tokyo and Nagoya, a 43-year-old truck driver from a delivery company based in Ibaraki Prefecture moved into the passing lane to overtake a passenger car in front of him. However, after the pass was completed, the driver of the car began aggressively tailgating the truck.

The truck driver then pulled over onto the shoulder of the expressway in Nisshin City. The driver of the car did likewise, and as the motorists exited their vehicles, the car’s driver began shouting “Why don’t you get out of the damn way! I’m in a hurry!”

Despite his self-professed lack of time, the driver of the car still had enough time in his schedule to then brandish an approximately 60-centimeter (two-foot) replica katana, which he then attacked the truck driver with. Specifically, the police report says the car driver “pounded on” the truck driver with the weapon, suggesting that its blade was not sharpened. Even without a cutting edge, though, the assailant managed to break the truck driver’s right knee after landing multiple blows. The driver of the car then got back in his vehicle and drove off, either because he realized the logical fallacy of spending time beating on someone when you’ve presumably got preexisting pressing appointments, complaining about someone being in your way after they’ve already pulled over to let you pass, or because he feared the imminent arrival of the authorities.

The truck driver then contacted the police, who are now searching for the driver of the car, said to be in his 20s or 30s, and are treating the attack as an attempted homicide.

In light of the events, SoraNews24 would like to remind everyone that while out on the road, it’s always smarter to remain in your vehicle rather then stepping out of it to engage in late-night altercations, because should you happen to encounter someone with road rage who’s armed like a samurai, Japan’s real-life ninja are probably too busy to come to your aid.

Source: Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko, YouTube/ANNnewsCH
Top image: Gahag

This crazy box of heat from China is how we want to wait out winter

If you’re looking for us before mid-spring, you’ll know where to find us.

Here in Japan, the most common way to cope with the cold temperatures of the winter months is to take refuge at a kotatsu, a low table with a heater attached to its underside and a blanket that you place over your legs to trap the warmth around your legs and feet. The effect is so comfy that kotatsu have even been installed at some restaurants and at least one movie theater in Japan, but the drawback is that even as your lower half gets nice and toasty, the kotatsu leaves your upper body exposed to the surrounding chill.

Now, though, we’ve stumbled across a solution to this problem. Sure, it may not be the most elegant-looking solution, but it definitely seems like an effective one.

Chinese shopping site TMall will be happy to provide you with one of these contraptions, which essentially function like a full-body kotatsu. They even come with sections that you can open up to stick your hands out of in order to use a smartphone or read a book.

▼ Though in this case it looks like the guy is trying to work his knees into the box.

There’s even a hood so to keep the top and back of your head warm. But while these devices look like the ultimate winter refuge, their original purpose is actually somewhat different, as they’re home-use saunas designed to be used with a steam/heat pump that channels warmth through a hose that attaches near the base of the box.

This is being sold by TMall here for just 266 yuan (US$42), which seems like a serious bargain. Granted, at such a low price, we’re not sure if the machinery is sturdy enough to handle constant use until spring, so we’d recommend keeping a pair of lazy otaku pajamas nearby in case you suddenly have to vacate your fortress of warm solitude.

Source, images: TMall
[ Read in Japanese ]

Japanese mom finds diabolically clever way to crack down on son’s excessive video gaming

Worried your kids will find a way around parental hardware locks? Then get a lock from a hardware store.

When I was growing up, my parents never felt the need to forcibly set any limits on how much time I could spend playing video games. “Finished all you homework and chores, Young Casey? Then sure, go slay as many Final Fantasy bosses as you want,” seemed to be their attitude, perhaps they realized it would serve as critical preparation for my future career.

But other parents are not so lenient, which is why some video games and consoles, including Nintendo’s shiny new Switch, have parental lock controls to cap kids’ playing time. The problem with such systems, though, is that tech-savvy kids can often find ways to disable them, and even if they don’t. But Japanese gamer and Twitter user @sasamipicata recently ran into a hardware lock he couldn’t get past…because it was literally a lock.

Apparently @sasamipicata’s mom thought he’d been spending too much time playing games, and so they ran the loop of a padlock through the prongs of his console’s AC adaptor, preventing him from plugging it in and powering it on. “Speaking as a kid,” he @sasamipicata tweeted, “I’d like to say to parents in Japan with kids who play games for a long time that this is going too far.”

And this wasn’t the only electronic device of @sasamipicata’s that his access to was suddenly cut off.

That second cord looks to be for an iPhone charger, which would be keeping with his mom’s frustration since @sasamipicata says he’s also a fan of mobile games such as the phenomenally profitable Fate/Grand Order.

Other Twitter users were quick to express their sympathy for @sasamipicata plight, as well as their frightened admiration of his mom’s methods:

“Having the cord right there, but not being able to do anything with it…that’s like emotional abuse.”
“I’m gonna have to keep an eye on my mom from now on.”
“Think I’m gonna go out and but a spare cord, just in case.”
“You could always go to the hardware store and get some bolt cutters.”

While that last one would be an effective unilateral solution in solving the immediate problem, given the willingness @sasamipicata’s mom has shown to play hardball on this issue, he might just want to wait until she’s agrees to unlock his gadgets, lest she dream up some even more inventively diabolical form of parental control.

Source: Twitter/@sasamipicata via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@sasamipicata

Breasts into animals – Japanese sports bra video puts critters in bras strapped on men【Video】

Video about inertia and gravity garners baffled and mixed reactions.

As a country with a penchant for fashion and an unabashed love of breasts, Japan spends a lot of time thinking about cute and/or sexy lingerie. But while there’s definitely an aesthetic element to intimate apparel, the primary purpose of a bra is to support the wearer’s breasts, the importance of which is being driven home in a very unusual way in a new video.

The video opens with a women in a lab coat asking if we know the weight of a woman’s bust. She assumes we don’t, since the nature of videos means she can’t hear us, and thus begins a procession of otherwise topless mean wearing bras. But these are no ordinary bras, because their cups hold not breasts, but small animals.

According to the video, the breasts of a woman with an A-cup bust weigh as much as a pair of cockatoos. Other equivalents are Guinea pigs for B cups, hedgehogs for C cups, rabbits for D cups, and chickens for E cups.

With that explanation out of the way, the woman then asks us to consider what will happen to all that extra torso weight during vigorous exercise. So the men begin running, jumping rope, boxing, and playing tennis and volleyball. For each, slow-motion close-ups show the animals bouncing and swaying within the bra compartments as inertia wants them to stay in place as the men’s upper bodies twist and go through other sudden motions.

After examining a multi-dimensional representation of the cups’ movement and remarking on how extensive the jostling is, the researcher peels off her lab coat, revealing that she’s wearing an extra-supportive sports bra from Japanese lingerie-maker Wacoal.

The video definitely makes a dramatic point about the discomfort that women can experience from insufficient bra support. Some online commenters, though, are also concerned about how the animals in the ad felt. While the close-ups could mean there’s some sort of camera trickery going on here, if those are indeed real, live animals being bounced around like that, odds are they’re not too happy about it.

However, even if actual animals were used in the manner implied, Wacoal might be off the hook. The video doesn’t appear on the company’s website or official YouTube channel, and only attracted attention in Japan after a Twitter user shared screen captures and a link to the video on LiveLeak. There’s also the fact that while the woman in the video is speaking Japanese, and the large-font text that names the animals and sports is Japanese as well, the video’s hard subtitles are in Chinese.

As such, even though the video is touting the benefits of Wacoal’s sports bras, there’s a chance that it’s not actually a Wacoal advertisement, and is instead one of those outlandish concept videos that marketing firms sometimes create to show off their talents without actually being commissioned or endorsed by the company whose products are featured. If that’s the case, then as strange as the video is, Wacoal’s oddest marketing maneuver would still be the time they encouraged us all to buy panties for our moms, and the weirdest official breast weights the ones from this anime.

Sources: Twitter/@Kan_TORI, LiveLeak via Hachima Kiko
Top image: LiveLeak

Male idol dance group finds hidden stalker gadget inside stuffed animal present from fan

Discovery prompts immediate change to unit’s policy regarding fan gifts.

In Japan, there’s a bit of a stigma that surrounds male fans of female idol singers, which stems in no small part from a number of high-profile cases of guys becoming intensely possessive of or attracted to their favorite female performer. But female fans of male idols can be just as startling obsessive in their desire to create a connection of any kind, which brings us to Anatashia.

Since the members of Anatashia don’t sing, they’re technically not idol singers, but the six young men who make up the dance troupe are marketed in much the same way as vocalist idol units, with their choreographed routines, trendy fashions, and smooth-faced, non-threateningly handsome good looks being their major selling points.

▼ Anatashia

As with many popular musical entertainers in Japan, Anatashia’s fans sometimes send them gifts, including stuffed animals. But one plushie they received was more than just a vessel to convey the fan’s ardent affections, because it also contained a GPS tracker.

The group’s official Twitter account released a statement, saying:

Thank you all for the gifts you send us.

However, we’re sad to inform you that inside a stuffed animal we received the other day, there was what we believe to be a GPS signal emitting device.

As this is both malicious and dangerous, from now on we will be prohibiting fans from giving us stuffed animals. Thank you for your understanding.

The intent seems to have been that the stuffed animal would end up either at the group’s practice studio or in one of the member’s homes, giving the fan a way of determining the location in order to stalk or surprise Anatashia’s members. In reaction to the news, several more scrupulous fans said that whoever gave the GPS-hiding stuffed animal should be blacklisted from all future performances and fan events, but its unclear whether the gift was mailed to the group (in which case the mailing address could be determined, and perhaps from it the sender’s identity) or if it was simply dropped into the present collection boxes that are often set up at live appearances by idols and idol-like performers.

As scary as the incident is, though, this still isn’t the grossest tale we’ve heard of of idols receiving an unsolicited stuffed animal, so at least Anatashia can be grateful for that.

Source: Twitter/@antsa_official via Jin
Featured image: YouTube/アナタシア

Bull suddenly rams into a sedan at railroad crossing in China, captured on video

If you think you’re having a bad day today, one  motorist probably has you beat.

Imagine you’re on your way to work, driving along, and maybe rocking out to the newest Baha Men album, because you didn’t forget about them like everyone else had. Then, your car approaches a railroad crossing.

Being the good driver that you are, you slow down a little to make sure no trains are approaching. Sure, the crossbar is up, but you can’t be too careful these days. However, just as you cross the tracks – WHAM! – a half-ton bull slams into the side of your car.

As absurd a situation as that seems, it happened on 29 January at an intersection of Ningbo City in Zhejiang Province, China. Luckily, a security camera captured the incident as it happened during rush hour of that fateful day, because the driver would have had a heck of a time convincing their insurance company that actually took place.

As the video shows, the bull narrowly avoided a scooter that was also passing by and appeared to try to jump over the car, which seemed to minimize the damage to both car and animal. It looked like the side mirror and another piece got knocked off from the car and the bull was visibly shaken but looked okay as it trotted away.

In fact the hit was so smooth, police shouldn’t rule out that this cattle was a faker trying to claim insurance money.

Called “atariya” (hit specialists) in Japanese, the act of throwing oneself into a car for the purposes of insurance fraud is also a problem in China, in addition to being my favorite thing to watch on YouTube.

But I digress… Anyway, the moral of the story is to always be alert, because you never know when a bull will come charging at you from out of nowhere.

Source: Twitter/@Toychan
Top image: Pakutaso

We taste-test the new chicken nugget French fry Cup Noodle【SoraNews24 taste test】

We take a break from daydreaming about Valentine’s Day chocolate as Japan’s newest crazy comfort ramen becomes a reality.

This week, most of Japan’s food-related aspirations have been connected to Valentine’s Day chocolate. And while we here at SoraNews24 have been keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll receive some sweets (or either the serious romantic or platonic “obligation choco” type), another star of our recent culinary daydreams has been chicken nugget French fry instant ramen.

While it might sound like something you’d have to make yourself (likely after a night of heavy drinking), this unusual yet tempting ramen variety is the latest offering from Nissin’s Cup Noodle line. So when the Cup Noodle Potenage Big (as the product is officially called) went on sale February 12, we popped over to the closest convenience store and brought back a pack.

▼ Given the Cup Noodle Potenage’s obvious fast food inspirations, it’s hard to see the red-and-yellow color scheme and not be at least a little reminded of McDonald’s.

We peeled back the lid, and sitting atop the uncooked noodles were breaded chicken nuggets and chunks of peeled potatoes, along with egg and green onion slices, the latter two being standard parts of just about any Cup Noodle flavor.

While the marque ingredients are unusual, Cup Noodle Potenage is made like any other product in the series, so we filled the cup with boiling water and waited three minutes.

When time was up, we removed the cover and found that everything had cooked up nice and fluffy.

The chicken nuggets are small in size, but pack plenty of flavor with their spicy breading, and their meat is moist and tender all the way to the center.

The potato chunks have an enticing aroma, and are soft and delicious.

The noodles themselves are the same as you’ll find in any other cup of Cup Noodles, which means they get the job done just fine. The broth is unique to the Potenage flavor, starting with a soy base and adding a liberal amount of black pepper.

It’s not like all this quality comes at the expense of quantity, either. As part of the Cup Noodle Big series, the Potenage is 22 percent bigger than a standard-sized Cup Noodle pack, and when you consider how much delicious variety it provides, its 205-yen (US$1.85) price tag feels entirely reasonable, especially since this East/West fusion comfort food is much easier to make than our cooked-in-a-rice-cooker Big Mac Value Meal.

Photos ©SoraNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]