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!



Colin Powell’s Advice for Japanese Youth: Eat Protein: Over the last decade, the term “herbivore” (草食系男子) has been used to describe young Japanese men who are less macho and more metro, less into acting tough and more into fashion and the finer things in life. In a recent Japanese interview with former American four-star general Colin Powell, you get the feeling that the meaning might have been lost in translation, as the general has suggested that the Japanese eat more protein. It’s not as if Mr. Powell is any sort of expert on nutrition, but since he’s a general I guess they should listen.[/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]2012 Kanji of the Year Announced: Just like the English “word of the year,” the Kanji of the Year to sum up the major social, economic, and political trends of the last 365 days. (You can read more about the Kanji of the Year award here.) This year’s big winner was , the kanji for gold. After the London Olympics, a Japanese Nobel Prize winner, and other gold-medal-worthy events, came out on top for the second year ever. All in all, a pretty good year for Japan! [via Reddit, News On Japan, Japan Real Time]

Giant Squid Captured on Video for First Time: The giant squid has captured humanity’s imagination for centuries, but has long eluded any serious study or documentation. That’s all changed, as NHK and the Discovery Channel have made history by capturing the first ever footage of a giant squid in its natural habitat. The only problem is that they won’t be showing the footage until 2013! NHK, you tease! [via Boing Boing][/threecol_one_last]


[threecol_one]Dog Waits In Snow For Owner’s Return, Netizens Touched: Japan seems to have more than its fair share of heart-breakingly loyal dogs; just earlier this year we did a round up of some of Japan’s most notable, loyal dogs, but it looks like we spoke too soon. A dog in the city of Iida has made headlines across the country after waiting a week in the snow for its owner to return. Are we witnessing the making of the next Hachiko? I’d prefer that the dog’s owner returns, but on the bright side, the dog’s story may one day turn into a Richard Gere movie.

‘Tax Handsome Men, Increase Birthrate’ Says Economic Analyst: Japan has long been struggling with its declining birthrate, but one man thinks he has the answer: tax good-looking, wealthy, and charming men. The analyst says that by taxing handsome men, ugly men will have a more fair chance in life. How this exactly will make people in Japan want to have more kids is a bit unclear to me, but it’s perhaps unsurprising that the analyst who proposed this idea doesn’t exactly fit in to any of these categories.[/threecol_one] [threecol_two_last]

UFO Crash Off Reported Off Japan Coast Sparks Media Interest, But Did It Really Happen?: It’s no secret that there’s been a ton of concrete, completely unprovable, scientific evidence that aliens have visited Japan. Now there’s even more proof: multiple outlets have been reporting that a UFO crashed off of the coast of Okinawa last week. Sure, some people are saying that it “never happened,” and that the alleged photographic proof of the UFO is actually “a picture of a lens flare,” but that’s just what they want you to believe. The truth is out there! [via News On Japan][/threecol_two_last]


  • madbeanman

    Hmm who would vote on who has to pay the handsome man tax? Like would every 市役所 need its own woman (or man) to judge their attractiveness. And would they vote people who are not overly handsome as handsome in order to increase tax revenues? Hmmm I have definitely thought faaaaaaaar too much about this. (but its a serious concern :D )

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    I don’t see why anyone’s surprised about the UFO? That girl from AKB48 did warn us.

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    Just take a picture of them. If it comes out with a soft focus, they get taxed.

  • Jirugi

    Wait, what?

  • 古戸ヱリカ
  • Hashi

    There’s so much continuity here on Tofugu.