Every Sunday we gather the week’s weird and interesting Japanese news and present it to you in our Sunday News column. It might not always be hard-hitting news, but we hope that it still informs and entertains you. Enjoy!
Namesake Japanese Town Looks to Four More Years of Obama: I have no idea how the citizens of Obama city (which we’ve written about before), Japan feel about various political issues, but I do know that they’ve benefitted enormously from the presidency of Barack Obama. Now that election season is in full swing, the town is gearing up once again to support President Obama in the hopes that the small city can continue to be a tourist trap and epicenter for Obama activity.
Wendy’s Japan Continues High-end Offerings, Launches Lobster and Caviar Burgers: Over the last year or so, I’ve written a lot about how Japanese versions of American fast food franchises are a lot classier than their US counterparts; $50 pizza from Domino’s, whiskey served at KFC, and now this latest offering from Wendy’s. Meanwhile, US fast food chains are competing in a race to the bottom with such delicacies as bacon sundaes and nacho burritos. God help us all.
400 goldfish found in Saitama school pool : When you’re a kid, sometimes you do things that don’t really make sense to anybody but you. I suspect that the 400 goldfish found in a junior high school pool is one of those instances; although how some Japanese kid got his hands on 400 goldfish is beyond me.
The Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Conspiracy!: By now, most of us are familiar with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, the darling J-pop idol behind PonPonPon and Candy Candy, but according to some (conspiracy theory) experts, her adorable demeanor may just all be a front for a massive, global conspiracy theory by the Illuminati. Suddenly, those bizarre music videos of hers make sense.
Revoltech’s Horrifying “Woody” Figure Returns to Market: One of the best things to come out of Toy Story 3 wasn’t the movie itself, the joy it caused people around the world, nor the magic of Pixar in general. Instead, my favorite byproduct of the third installment of the Toy Story franchise was the creepy as hell figure of one of the main characters, Woody. People posed and used the creepy Woody figure in ways that would make Disney executives cringe.
Report: Middle school students biggest bullies: Bullying has, unsurprisingly, gotten a lot more attention in the Japanese press recently after the suicide of a victim of bullying. Now Japan’s National Poice Agency is reporting that the overwhelming (~80%) majority of bullying happens in middle school; in related news, sources report that sky blue, Pope Catholic and bears . . . well, you can figure it out. [via News On Japan]
Young Japanese women becoming less interested in sex, survey says:: While some people place the blame for Japan’s declining birthrate on men, it apparently takes two to tango (so to speak). The number of young Japanese women interested in sex has plummeted over the last six years, much to the dismay and chagrin of pervs everywhere. Back to body pillows, I guess! [via News On Japan]
Obon exodus gets under way: It’s once again that time of year, when Japanese crisscross the country to pay homage to their lineage during the summer festival of Obon; or to leave the country altogether. Trains are reportedly running at as much as 170% capacity, and over 50,000 people are expected to fly out of the country on Saturday alone. After all, nothing says “thanks” to your dead ancestors like a Hawaiian vacation! [via News On Japan]
Olympics — Japanese Team: “The Food is Awful;” Chinese Team: “The Chinese Food is Terrible”: Olympians take advantage of the Games in a lot of ways: they get to sightsee, experience a different culture, and some even use the Games as an excuse to defect from their country. But according to the Japanese and Chinese Olympic teams, English cuisine is not one of those benefits. Just hold out for 2016 and Brazilian food! [via Hikosaemon on Google+]