This week’s news out of Japan ranges from mundane to bizarre, covering Japanese linguistic quirks to bird dating sims. Let’s dive in, shall we?

[threecol_two]Dinosaur Bridge brings Japan traffic up to speed: It’s no secret that Tokyo is one of the busiest cities on earth; but fortunately for Tokyo motorists, a brand new bridge called the Tokyo Gate Bridge (but more affectionately called the Dinosaur Bridge) is bringing them a bit of reprieve. The Tokyo Gate Bridge opened up last Sunday and cuts commuting times in half. [via News On Japan][/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]App Translates Your Face Into Emoticon: There have been plenty of quirky Japanese iPhone apps before, but this one – called twika – turns your facial expressions into Japanese emoticons. After taking many an embarrassing picture of myself with this app, I can confirm that twika works pretty darn well. Check it out – it’s free! [via Japan Trends]
Human x Pigeon Love Returns in English, “Hatoful Boyfriend” Official Translation Released: Perhaps the greatest dating sim of all time, a game with an all-pigeon cast, is finally getting an official English translation. You can bet that I’ll be dropping the $5 to pick up the game and pursue the most handsome pigeon in school. [via CrunchyRoll]



[threecol_one] to launch Kindle in Japan: After wild success in America, Amazon has decided to bring its Kindle across the Pacific and test the waters in Japan. Will it see the same success as it’s seen in the US? Only time will tell. [via Reuters]

15 English Words You Will Only Hear in Japan: Languages sometimes take on a life of their own. In Japan, you’ll find English words that don’t exist anywhere else, or don’t always make a whole lot of sense to native English speakers. (Know what a “guts pose” is?) This Japanese Life covers 15 of these strange English words. [via This Japanese Life]

Mobster dead in eatery shooting: While most people would look at this Yakuza shooting at a Denny’s as a glass-half-empty kind of situation, I see it more optimistically. The mobster was no doubt enjoying a Grand Slam at one of Denny’s many locations during Denny’s convenient hours as he was ruthlessly gunned down in cold blood. [via News On Japan]


[threecol_two_last]Covering your body in clothespins to obtain 1,000 retweets: Ever wished you could unlock the secrets to Twitter and Facebook? You know, gain tons of followers and have all of your tweets retweeted 1,000 times? One Japanese marketer learned the hard way that in order to succeed in social marketing, sometimes you have to publicly humiliate yourself. [via Kirai]

Compliment Café of Akihabara!: We’ve all heard of Japan’s numerous, themed cafés: maid cafés, cat cafés, and mama cafés. But one new cafés presents an idea I can really get behind: a compliment café. Maid cafés weird me out, and cat cafés make me want to take the cats home with me, but a compliment café sounds like it would be a great ego boost and a nice meal. Sign me up! [via Japan Style][/threecol_two_last]


That wraps it up for this week’s news. Did I miss some crucial news this week? What was your favorite story? Let me know in the comments!

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Every Sunday we gather the week’s weird Japanese news and present it to you in our Sunday News column. It might not be the hardest hitting news out there, but we hope that it still informs and entertains you. Enjoy!

  • Shollum

    Well, now I know not to get my hopes up when someone offers me cider…

    Oh, and Ebooks are evil! I hate them!

  • Michael S

    I thought soft drinks describe non-alcoholic drinks.

  • ZXNova

    I don’t think the Kindle isn’t gonna be big Japan. I think there was an article on tofugu that said that people in Japan still prefer newspapers and books instead of ebooks. In fact if I remember correctly, it was in the Sunday News section and that it was a survey that said Japanese people didn’t even want to look at a ebook. So yeah, it’d probably barely sell. Also, Doctorstop.

  • SusieSomewhere

    I was wondering just yesterday why there weren’t kindles in Japan. Tofugu, it’s like you read my mind.

    And I’m all over the emoticon app :D

  • feitclub

    Bad timing on this post: The “compliment cafe” just closed its doors 

  • kuyaChristian

    I’ve always thought soft drinks are soda or any non alcoholic carbonated drink. But then, I grew up in Asia..

  • Shollum

    I prefer books and newspapers too… I should move.

    I remember hearing that as well, but you never know. Japan seems to embrace technology quite fast, so Kindles may do well there.

  • foozlesprite

    I’ll admit I had to try the pigeon game.  It’s actually pretty decent translation/localization, even puns things up in English (such as when the teacher starts class with ‘Hello, everybirdie!’

  • sweetdelightss

    I actually just downloaded that app (Twika) yesterday…its kinda cool