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!
Mystery ramshackle boat carrying five rotten bodies washes up in Japan as police probe claims they died fleeing North Korea: Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction, and nowhere is this more evident than North Korea. While there are always weird things happening within North Korean borders, sometimes the bizareness spills over to outside the country. Such is the case with a mysterious, apparently North Korean boat that washed ashore in Japan late last week. We’ll likely never know who the people aboard the boat were, nor how the managed to get all the way to Japan, thanks to the shroud of mystery that has surrounded the DPRK for the last 60 years.
[/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]Nearly 90% dissatisfied with Japan’s English education: survey: Most people in Japan learn English in school but the results are, let’s say, far from optimal. In a new survey conducted by Rakuten Research, nearly 90% of Japanese parents said that they’re dissatisfied with their child’s English education. This shouldn’t be surprised but, as Daniel Feit wrote, a better headline would have been “13.4% of Japanese Parents Bizarrely Satisfied With Their Kids’ English Education.” [via Daniel Feit]
Saitama couple busted for allowing teens to watch intercourse in car for ‘sex education’:There’s no part of this story that’s not just outlandish and bizarre: a couple with a nearly 40-year age differences lets some kids watch them have sex under the guise of “sex education.” Will this defense work for flashers, streakers, and other exhibitionists? Let’s hope not.[/threecol_one_last]
[threecol_one]TabletMan is Japanese tech personified: Japanese technology can be unique, interesting, but it’s always first and foremost very Japanese. Maybe no technology is more representative of this than TabletMan, Toshiba’s mascot for their burgeoning tablet line. TabletMan’s cool in theory, but I feel for the buy underneath the tablets. How would you like everybody coming up to touch you?
Seven & i Holdings to offer free wi-fi in 10,000 stores nationwide: In the US, virtually every cafe, hotel, and bar has free wifi, but historically (and by historically, I mean in the last five or so years), free wifi has been notoriously hard to come by in Japan. It looks like this is changing, with free wifi (with registration) is coming to 10,000 Seven & i Holdings convenience stores across Japan. As if you really need another reason to love Japanese convenience stores.[/threecol_one] [threecol_two_last]
The erotic guitars, decaying machines, and soy sauce of Maker Faire Tokyo: The Japanese prove that their among the most inventive people in the world year after year by not only their wacky inventions, but by the sheer number of patent applications. Nowhere was this inventive spirit more apparent than this week’s Maker Fair Tokyo, where amateur inventors showed off their cool, quirky creations. On display were a four-ton mech, a robot made out of a mannequin’s leg that played um, adult sounds, and a “pouring too much soy sauce machine.” These inventions might not change the world, but at the very least they’re damn entertaining.[/threecol_two_last]