THE BEST Japan

The Rise & Fall of Giant Robots

The Rise & Fall of Giant Robots

(PG-13: Language) Despite their heritage, commercial success and inherent coolness, giant robots are not as popular today as they once wer. Gigguk charts the history of the mecha genre, its influence on anime and why it’s not as popular as it used to be.

UNIQLO x Weekly Shonen Jump SS 18

UNIQLO x Weekly Shonen Jump SS 18

UNIQLO is teaming up with Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump for a collection of t-shirts. The tees include some of the manga’s big hits, such as Hunter x Hunter and One Piece, as well as classics like Yu Yu Hakusho and Dragon Ball. That Yamcha shirt!

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The Outsider (Trailer)

The Outsider (Trailer)

(PG-13: Nudity) Jared Leto stars as an American soldier imprisoned in post-WWII Japan and who ends up serving as a Yakuza enforcer as a way to earn his freedom. Based on a concept by Sons of Anarchy Executive Producer John Linson. Coming to Netflix on 3/9/18.

Hand-cranked Drawing Machine

Hand-cranked Drawing Machine

3DSage got their hands on this nifty mechanical device from Japan – it’s a hand-operated gadget which follows the outlines of a stack of disks to move its arm, which in turn draws a corresponding image. A web-based conversion tool is used to design disk templates.

Retro Tech: SANYO Micro-Pack 35

Retro Tech: SANYO Micro-Pack 35

Techmoan takes a look at another fascinating bit of retro technology, an alternative approach to portable audio tapes that was being developed by Sanyo at the same time that Philips was working on the cassette tape. We love the heft of that old player.

Japan Rocks

Japan Rocks

GBS explores the art of “jinmenseki” in Japan’s Museum of Rocks With Faces, the only museum dedicated entirely to rocks that, well, look like human faces. This unique tribute to igneous things features rocks resembling popular figures, and is a labor of love for its curator.

Omoshiroi Block Memo Pads

Omoshiroi Block Memo Pads

Japanese paper goods company Triad presents a wonderful series of notepads which are sliced in such a way that they reveal intricate sculptures of locations and objects as each layer is peeled away. They’re currently sold out, but it sounds like they’ve got more in the works.

Strangely Translated Movie Titles

Strangely Translated Movie Titles

Did you know that Thor: Ragnarok had the awesome title Mighty Thor: Battle Royale in Japan? Abroad in Japan looks at this and 20 other movies which had oddly translated titles, some which worked better than others. We love Phantom Thief Gru and the Moon Theft.

Indigo Blue

Indigo Blue

While you might think your jeans are dyed indigo, they’re not. The real deal is hard to come by, and much richer than what we’re used to. The fascinating thing isn’t the color, but the natural properties it offers that drove Samurai to wear indigo fabric beneath their armor.

Tiny Record Player

Tiny Record Player

For his latest archeotechnological dig, Techmoan rewinds back to 2004 to show off the Bandai 8-ban – a collectible from Japan which plays tiny 3″ vinyl records. Unfortunately, the one-sided recordings only could hold 4 minutes of lo-fi monophonic sound.

Diggin’ in the Carts Album

Diggin’ in the Carts Album

Enjoy some of the best Japanese video game music from the 1980’s and 1990’s in this 34-track compilation album. A spinoff of the eponymous Red Bull music documentary, the album traverses both synthwave and symphonic music.

Batman Ninja (Trailer)

Batman Ninja (Trailer)

The Dark Knight is somehow transported to 15th century Japan. To his surprise, he finds medieval versions of some of his enemies and allies waiting for him. From Kill la Kill writer Kazuki Nakashima and Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki comes Batman Samurai Ninja.

Japan’s Love for Public Baths

Japan’s Love for Public Baths

Life Where I’m From created a brief history of Japan’s public baths. He also talked about why they remain popular despite bathtubs becoming commonplace, and an overview of onsens and other kinds of public baths that you might want to check out when you visit Japan.

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The Rules that Rule Japan

The Rules that Rule Japan

Japan has tons of rules and practices. But like other communities, some of them don’t make sense, and some of them are ignored. Life Where I’m From made this lighthearted guide about modern Japan’s rules. We can’t wait for the hit anime about the mighty safety cone.

Roadside Lights

Roadside Lights

Japan has over 5.5 million vending machines. While typically associated with urban life, many of these machines end up serving remote areas. Photographer Eiji Ohashi shares portraits of these lonely automatons in his photo book, Roadside Lights.

Qoobo Robotic Pillow Pet

Qoobo Robotic Pillow Pet

Yep, it’s from Japan. Yukai Engineering’s Qoobo is a simple robotic pillow that’s meant to provide the comfort of touching a pet animal. Its furry body vibrates when stroked enough times, and its tail will wag from time to time. This is what androids dream of.

City Shrouded in Shadow

City Shrouded in Shadow

City Shrouded in Shadow is an intriguing survival game for the PS4. It has Japanese heroes such as Ultraman and Evangelion, but you play neither them or their foes. Instead, you’re just a normal person trying to escape from the battle-ravaged city.

Ukiyo-e Heroes: Boss Fights

Ukiyo-e Heroes: Boss Fights

Ukiyo-e Heroes has been making geeky art inspired by Japanese woodblock printing for 5 years. Now they’re ready to create prints that are even more complex, both visually and technically. The new batch includes a tetraptych that features Overwatch characters.

Jason Paul Goes Back in Time

Jason Paul Goes Back in Time

Freerunner Jason Paul meets up with fellow parkour athletes Kenichi, Zen, Yakuwa, and Yuutarou in downtown Tokyo, then lands at Edo Wonderland – a picture-perfect theme park that replicates life in the 17th century Edo era, samurais, ninjas and all. BTS footage here.

Blade of the Immortal (Trailer)

Blade of the Immortal (Trailer)

(Gore) “There is a man, somewhere in Edo, who will never die.” From highly prolific director Takashi Miike comes a live action adaptation of Blade of the Immortal. It’s about Manji, a samurai who’s been denied death – but not pain! – until he kills 1000 evil men.

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Domino’s Pizza Japan Ad

Domino’s Pizza Japan Ad

If you had any doubt that Japanese commercials are weird, tune into this ad spot for Domino’s Pizza, which includes a battle between rock and roll chickens and rapping pigs who represent four chicken-topped pizzas and four pork-topped ones. Picasso’s horse is just a bonus.

How to Make Senko Hanabi Sparklers

How to Make Senko Hanabi Sparklers

Senko Hanabi is a Japanese firework that is lit upside down and emits wonderful tiny sparks. Even though it’s made of commonly found materials, NighthawkInLight says he’s been working on it for 10 years and still hasn’t perfected the sparkler.

EDC Hannya Boy Action Figure

EDC Hannya Boy Action Figure

Easy Demons Club collaborated with Glitch to make a sixth-scale action figure of Hannya Boy, one of the characters in the Demon Hunters posters. It comes with a ton of accessories, including two katanas, a baseball bat, and a removable mask.

Gundam: The Origin Free Manga

Gundam: The Origin Free Manga

First released in 2001, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin is a comic book retelling of the 1979 anime that launched the entertainment juggernaut we know and love. Now you can read its English version legitimately for free, thanks to manga publisher Comic Walker.

Japan Lover Sukajan Store

Japan Lover Sukajan Store

The Saitama-based online store Japan Lover offers souvenir jackets from a variety of manufacturers and styles. They have everything from plain bombers to reversible blood red and purple joints that go for several thousands of dollars.

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