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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!

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Japanese Scientist Awarded Nobel Prize: The Nobel prizes were awarded over the last week, and the Japanese were ecstatic. No, not because Murakami won the Nobel prize for literature (he didn’t), but because a Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka won a Nobel prize for medicine. Yamanaka, along with British scientist John Gurdon have discovered how to turn regular cells into stem cells, a huge scientific development that has a lot of promise. It’s especially impressive considering Yamanaka has been a failure at most other things he’s tried; his father once told him that “If you do take over the family business it would terrible,” and he was so slow as a surgeon that patients would apparently wake up during operations. I think he’s redeemed himself. [via BBC, Shisaku][/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]World’s most complex mathematical theory ‘cracked’: A mathematician from Kyoto University claims to have worked out a proof of something called the abc conjecture. It took the mathematician four years and 500 pages to work through his proof, but it may take even longer for his peers to confirm it — some say years. And if you ask me to explain anything more about the proof or the abc conjecture, I’ll show you why I got a D in math in high school. [via Weird Asia News]


Japan Electronics Emulates Detroit Autos Before Bankruptcy: Tech: The American car industry is the quintessential cautionary tale about how a once mighty, thriving business can fall flat on its face. Now people are starting to draw comparisons between Detroit and Japanese giants like Sharp, Sony, and Panasonic. Are these electronics titans too complacent? Will we see a day when Sony will have to be bailed out? Only time will tell. [via The Verge][/threecol_one_last]

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[threecol_one]SoftBank in Talks to Buy Sprint: A little while ago Japanese cell phone company SoftBank bought up a smaller competitor, but now its settings its sights on a bigger prize: Sprint. SoftBank is hoping to expand to international presence and get in on the mobile broadband market. If this deal goes through, it could have huge implications for the mobile market. And with any luck, hopefully this also means we’ll be seeing some of the Shirato family in the US. [via The Verge, Reuters, Japan Real Time]


Japanese Geek Recruiting Boyfriend on GitHub For most people, meeting someone online means signing up for OKCupid or Match.com or something; for one Japanese nerd though, it means using popular coding site GitHub. Noriko Higashi has spelled out her criteria for a boyfriend on GitHub including “somebody who can write beautiful source code” and “someone who likes Mac or Linux more than Windows.” I just hope some nerd doesn’t send her a merge request (version control joke, yes!). [via Reddit][/threecol_one] [threecol_two_last]
Photo by Matt Drobnik

Now ‘Eagle Dad’ and his long-suffering son have to be saved by rescuers on Mount Fuji after he tried to climb Japanese peak when it was closed to the public: There’s been a lot of nationalism going on all around Asia with all of the island disputes going on. This week, one “Eagle Dad” (I guess the male equivalent of a Tiger Mom) tried to go with his children to the top of Mt. Fuji to declare that the Senkaku islands belong to China. Unfortunately, Eagle Dad and Eaglets weren’t prepared for the weather and didn’t bring food, so they had to be rescued by Japanese park rangers. It would be more funny if it weren’t borderline child abuse. [via Reddit][/threecol_two_last]

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Header image by George Pankewytch

  • Mescale

    Ha, a girl on the internet, those hoaxes never die, interesting fact, girls don’t actually exist, thats why no one has ever seen one in real life.

  • Mescale

    Wow that fake girl has some serious requirements.

    I once had a long list of requirements for a potential partner, but i’ve managed to whittle it down to:

    Smiles.

  • ZA다ルﻣ

    my class was studying yamanaka’s paper (nothing particularly simple to trudge through), and some people were pretty excited to see that he won the prize. it’s funny, seeing yamanaka’s name come up for the third time!

    technically, Gurdon didn’t work alongside yamanaka or find out efficient ways to make iPS cells, but he did do work in cloning frogs, and the work he contributed was thought of as integral to yamanaka’s work, or so the awarders thought.

  • DAVIDPD

    Murakami, it’s only a matter of time.

  • http://www.tofugu.com/ Hashi

    NEXT YEAR’S HIS YEAR