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WTF Japan? 
Posted: 12 March 2009 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Japan chooses school girl outfit as a cultural ambassador.

Japan picks “schoolgirl” among cute ambassadors

Isabel Reynolds – Thu Mar 12, 5:00 am ETTOKYO (Reuters) – Ever seen an ambassador dressed from head to foot in pastel frills? How about a diplomatic envoy in a mini-skirted school uniform?

In a bid to raise its international profile, Tokyo has appointed three young women as cultural envoys because they represent Japan’s long-running craze for all things cute.

Inspired by the characters in Japan’s distinctive “anime” animated films and “manga” cartoon books, one of the new ambassadors dresses as a schoolgirl, another as a Victorian doll in voluminous frilly skirts.

The third of the women, presented at a news conference on Thursday, was a singer dressed in a polka dot shirt with a bunny print, offset by bouffant back-combed hair, a look that has made her a fashion leader in Tokyo teens’ favourite haunt, Harajuku.

Japan wants to exploit the popularity of the “kawaii” (cute) culture, which has influenced young people in Asia and Europe.

“It’s all about mutual understanding,” said Tsutomu Nakagawa, the head of the cultural affairs division at the Foreign Ministry, after presenting the three envoys to the foreign media.

“We want people abroad to know these kind of people exist in Japan and to feel close to them.”

Faced with the prospect of being overtaken in both economic and military might by giant neighbour China, Japan has been making concerted efforts to boost its “soft power,” a strategy that analysts see as important.

“You get people to love your culture and use that as a way of gaining power around the world,” said Phil Deans, professor of international relations at Temple University’s Tokyo campus.

“America has a lot of soft power, because people like American culture.”

But these ambassadors, whose role will be to speak at cultural events such as a Japan Expo to be held in Paris in July, may have narrower appeal than Hollywood movie stars.

The envoys, chosen for the clothes they choose to wear in their everyday lives, said they believed their styles would last.

“Every female from small girls to grandmothers loves pretty clothes,” said nurse and part-time model Misako Aoki, now ambassador for the doll-like “Gothic Lolita” style.

“I think I can continue to dress like this all my life. Age has nothing to do with it.”

Actress Shizuka Fujioka, 19, wears a school uniform even though she’s graduated because she felt she missed out by going to a school with an ugly uniform.

The appointment of the three envoys comes a year after Doraemon, a rotund blue cartoon cat with no ears, was named a special ambassador.

While serving as foreign minister, manga fan Prime Minister Taro Aso also launched an international prize for the genre.

“Whether this is a strategy on which the world’s second largest economy can base its diplomacy, I have yet to be convinced,” said Temple University’s Deans.

(Editing by Rodney Joyce)

This is going to be shortly followed by “Tentacles” as ambassadors.

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Posted: 16 March 2009 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Okay.

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Posted: 18 March 2009 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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japanese-toilet-golf.jpg

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Posted: 18 March 2009 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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kyoppo - 18 March 2009 08:08 AM

japanese-toilet-golf.jpg

Yeah well definitely beats the usual reading materials. Question though. Let just say you are doing this at work one day and the ball rolls out and you are not finished yet, what would you do?

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Posted: 20 March 2009 06:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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As near as I can tell, this guy owns this Japanese taser company.  And likes to demonstrate his products on himself.

I’m sure there is Japanese taser porn out there somewhere.

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Posted: 30 March 2009 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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21 Year Old Man Breaks jaw of 50 Year Old Woman Over Cell Phone Game.

Man held for punching 50-yr-old woman on Saitama train over playing games on cell phone
Friday 27th March, 10:10 AM JST

SAITAMA —
A 21-year-old man was arrested for assault on Wednesday, accused of punching a 50-year-old woman several times in her face, breaking her jaw, while on a Saikyo line train and in a train station office Wednesday morning, police said Thursday.

Police said Jun Ando, a computer programmer and resident of Toda City, became angry on the train bound for Shinkiba at around 8 a.m., after the woman asked him to stop playing games on his cell phone as the train was so crowded. Ando told her to shut up and sprayed her with some colorful language, before punching her several times.

He was restrained by several passengers until the train stopped at Toda Park station, where they escorted him off the train. They took him to the station office, but while in there with the woman and station staff, he punched the woman again, police said.

Ando admitted to assaulting the woman but told police there’s not much he can do about the crowded trains.

WTF?

Although, I’m sure if some lady tried to interrupt a Starcraft game in Korea, there would be a stabbing.

But, just a point of curiosity:

He punched the woman again at the police station?  WTF?  Was he not in cuffs?  I’d be willing to bet money that if this happened in Korea, there would be some police brutality.

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Posted: 30 March 2009 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Okay. Thanks. Very Inspiring.

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Posted: 10 April 2009 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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So basically, the parents are subjecting their kids to a fake zombie attack.

Hilarious, but potentially scarring for life.

Those are wearing awesome shirts though.

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Posted: 10 April 2009 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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hilarious. ^ cute

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Posted: 23 April 2009 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Japanese Pop Star Arrested for Indecent Exposure.

April 23 (Bloomberg)—A Japanese idol who sings with pop band SMAP was arrested for indecent exposure in a public park, an official at the Tokyo Police Department said today.

The singer, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, 34, was arrested about 3 a.m. after he took off his clothes and made a lot of noise at the Hinokicho Park in the Akasaka neighborhood of Tokyo, said the official, who declined to be named, citing department policy.

Japan’s government may halt advertisements promoting digital TV after the incident, as the campaign features Kusanagi, said Hideo Harada, an official at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Toyota Motor Corp. also will halt commercials featuring the performer. “We’ll stop all advertisements in which Kusanagi appears as of today,” said Hideaki Homma, a spokesman at Toyota.

Kusanagi’s management agency, Johnny’s and Associates Inc., issued a statement that read in part, “We deeply regret having caused problems and raised concern for so many people, starting with the fans.”

SMAP’s music is sold by a label under the control of JVC Kenwood Holdings. JVC Kenwood shares fell as much as 8.3 percent in Tokyo trading today before reversing the move to finish 3.3 percent higher at 62 yen at the close. The Nikkei 225 index rose 1.4 percent.

All together now....

Oh SMAP!!

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Posted: 23 April 2009 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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^they were huge 10 years ago when i visited japan.  i wonder if they are still so popular.

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Posted: 23 April 2009 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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the weirdest story i’ve ever heard of coming out of japan so far has to be that one about mother’s giving their sons blowjobs so the kids can keep their grades up…

.. not really expecting anything weirder, also hoping there isn’t either cuz that one kinda took the cake and imploded it

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let’s pretend i said something amazingly witty here…

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Posted: 23 April 2009 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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same as hiring kumar as liaison to keep us “orientals” intact(sorry. informed).

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Posted: 23 April 2009 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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^I never heard anything about Kumar giving blowjobs.

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Posted: 23 April 2009 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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you think the leftist media will tell us how he got the job?

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Posted: 23 April 2009 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Kal Penn signed up with the Obama campaign pretty much right after Obama declared his candidacy.  He spent a lot of time in Iowa prior to the primary there, and working in other primary states.  I ran into him when I was working on the campaign.  He did the grunt work and acted like any other normal campaign worker.  I never heard any stories of diva-ness from him.

Take this conversation elsewhere from this point out.  This thread is about the absurd things that happen in Japan.  Not for kneejerk reactions from liberals to the uninformed master baiting from 101/

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