Today's proof that we've entered a post-human dystopia is the rise of rent-a-family-member companies

Just when you thought you could escape the phoniness of social media by engaging in conversation with a real life human being, Japanese innovation comes along and snatches that away from you, too. As a new article from The Atlantic reports, there are a number of burgeoning companies in Japan that allow clients to rent…

The week is over, so here are some photos of Japanese mascots getting stuck in shit

Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro is sweet and magical, a marvel of emotion and animation for adults and children alike. You’d be forgiven, however, for spending the chunk of your viewing experience wondering how the hell Totoro’s rotund frame isn’t constantly getting jammed between trees and turnstiles.

Dead tuna refuses to accept death even after being sliced in half

Even after a fish has been filleted, gutted, and had its head removed, it’s not unusual for it to continue moving—just visit a sashimi bar that serves very fresh product. Science can explain this: It has to do with neurons within the tissue, something about it maintaining membrane potential even after death, and yada…

Here’s a tiny Japanese shed to live inside

“Who hasn’t dreamt of living somewhere they really want to be?” whispers a new “living concept” called a Muji Hut. Who hasn’t dreamt of living in a shed that costs 3,000,000 yen, or about $27,000 American dollars? This vision and others will swim before your eyes as you browse the overwhelmingly serene website for the…

Original Tamagotchis are back, try not to kill them this time

Putting the concept of “adulting” to the test, Japanese toy maker Bandai has re-launched its original line of Tamagotchi “virtual pets” to find out whether people who were kids in the ’90s are any better equipped to handle the responsibility of keeping a toy alive than they were 20 years ago. The toys went on sale in…

Pokémon shock: How a single episode almost derailed a franchise

Amid the flurry of media attention surrounding the release of Pokémon Go last summer, a narrative began to emerge underneath the outrageous stories about people finding dead bodies and disrespecting the Holocaust Museum in their thirst to catch ’em all. The game, players were reporting, was good for both their mental…

Japanese bath house allows visitors to submerge themselves in a giant pancake

There have been a billion articles—some sensitive and inquisitive, some mocking and exploitative—written over the years about the “quirkiness” of Japanese culture. And while there’s a certain, regrettable ”point and stare” vibe to so many of these pieces that we aim to avoid, on the other hand, the country is …

Donald Trump’s nonsense can’t be translated into Japanese

Japan’s reputation as a nation of uptight, overworked weirdos has been overstated internationally, but make no mistake, the Japanese language is indeed a polite one. Any second-year student of Japanese can tell you at least three ways to say “I’m sorry” with varying degrees of formality, and a quick way to get…