K-Pop Star Rain Joins South Korean Army

K-Popstar Rain takes a temporary hiatus from his stardom to join the military as required by South Korea: “The 29-year-old singer and actor gave a military salute to tearful fans Tuesday before walking into a boot camp in the city of Uijeongbu north of Seoul. Many of the hundreds of fans gathered in front of the base were from Japan and China.” Like many countries in Asia, all abled body males are required to join the armed forces for a period of time regardless of their social status.

Dole Japan Launches Search For Dole Dance Ambassador For Banana Commercial

Dole Japan is setting up to find their “Smile♪ Dole Dance Ambassador” who will make $11k per hour for singing and dancing with SMAP singer Shingo Katori in a commercial. Not really my cup of tea, even for $11k an hour, but I’m sure there are some of you out there that are willing to do it. To apply, visit the Official Dole Japan Facebook Page. [Editor’s Note: And you’ll probably have to be fluent in Japanese, too.]

War of the Arrows Movie Review: Cinematographically Awesome


Distributed by Lotte Entertainment, War of the Arrows is directed and written by Kim Han-Min. The film is something I’ve been wanting out of Korean films for a long time: an epic action film that keeps you on your toes but also has a great story line. The original film premiered in South Korea this August under the name: Arrow: The Ultimate Weapon (최종병기 활). Personally, the new English name seems a lot more fitting.

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Richest Self-Made Woman is Chinese

Not Oprah? What? This can’t be! But no, quite on the contrary, it seems that the richest woman in the world happens to be Wu Yanjun, executive director of Longfor Properties Co., who has a net worth of $6.6 billion. Interestingly enough, most of the wealth amassed by Chinese women seem to happen in the crazy real estate market. And I know that for a fact judging by Shanghai condo prices last time I spoke to my mom whom is a realtor herself. And no, my mom isn’t one of those women. That I know of anyways.

NTT DoCoMo Releases Smartphone Radiation “Jackets”

NTT DoCoMo has released a smartphone that comes with a radiation jacket. The company will “show off three kinds of ‘jacket’ for use with a model of smartphone loaded with the appropriate software. As well as radiation, the company said it would also demonstrate a case that determines if the holder has bad breath or smells of alcohol as well as checking levels of skin-damaging ultraviolet light.” Sounds to me like a smart cover of some sort for your phone to have different sensors. This allows your phone to interact with its environment better depending on the different types of sensors being used.

Hong Kong Mobs Its First Apple Store

Apparently, people don’t just camp out at Apple Stores in the United States Oh no – the Chinese have had lines for almost two days for the grand opening of their first Apple Store. Being that Apple’s products are the rage world wide, it’s actually no wonder that this would happen with the authentic products considering the amount of counterfeit goods that arise in China already.

Club KT Shibuya Store Opens As DJ Hello Kitty Spins To Japanese Teenagers

In Japan, Sanrio opened Club KT Shibuya, a new store for Hello Kitty merchandise. But this isn’t your typical Sanrio shop.

“Teenagers want to experience club culture for themselves, but they are not allowed to go into places where alcohol is served. Here they can experience club culture,” Tohmatsu [spokesman for Sanrio] told AFP.

It’s a neat idea because it’s basically the club culture inside a retail place which allows the younger generation to experience some of what their older siblings do. If they started some serious techno/trance tracks in that store, I’d be somewhat curious if you’d see some blue pills being passed around that had the Hello Kitty emblem stamped on it.

It looks like Hello Kitty is going to a new level. Since cute is meeting this side of cool, I’m half expecting the Sanrio multi-million dollar brand to start spinning with the likes of Q-bert and Daft Punk at some point. All jesting aside, I think this is totally a smart marketing play by Sanrio. In the States, one of the stores that pushes some cute things along to teenagers happens to be Hot Topic. And in the same type of mannerisms, cool meets cute. Hot Topic is a little more emo and punk styles but you get the idea.

Teijin Chemicals Develops Radioactive Detecting Plastic

In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi plant disaster, Teijin Chemicals has developed a polyester resin that will glow blue in the presence of radioactivity. This product, Scintirex, will help push forward cheaper radioactivity detection equipment: “Scintirex ‘will help to reduce the total cost of radiation detectors by slashing the production cost of scintillators to one tenth or less of current levels,’ the company said in a statement.”

Is Gaijin Just a Word or a Racial Slur?

A piece written by Eddie Landsberg for Japan Today hits home for not only the word gaijin, but any other racial word or slur. In a short form, the article is about how a Caucasian moved to Japan and his experiences in not only being called a gaijin, but how he was treated in both positive and negative scenarios.

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DUDE WTF ASIA: Japanese’s Calorie Burning Underwear


Before you watch this commercial for Japan’s “Calorie Shaper” underwear, make sure that you have two minutes of your life to wonder what the hell you just watched. And you might want to get the wastebasket ready when the 70’s era music hits your eardrums. The idea of “functional underwear” is actually pretty interesting, albeit something that I would probably never spend on forty dollars on (2,940 yen is about $38USD).

Basically, the Calorie Shapers are a printed resin that supposedly makes your muscles work more due to the stress in the elasticity. I think the best way to describe it, is if you starch pressed some skinny jeans, and tried to break them in would have a similar effect.

Most amusingly, there is another great feature about this underwear:

Bonus fact—another attribute of the magic underwear is its ability to “absorb the body odor of middle-aged and elderly men,” something Goldwin says it might dial down when advertising to women.

Ever heard of showers? Okay, you can now click start, and proceed to throw up into that wastebasket from the marketing music.

1/6/2013 EDITOR’S NOTE: Video formerly at http://youtu.be/AlTGoO9jLSY has been removed. –Joz

Japan Looks Towards Geothermal Energy

When it comes to quakes, Japan is known to have some of the best sensors and detection technology in the world. But for energy, they seem to stray from geothermal which only makes up one percent of their energy production. Alas, it usually takes a tragedy like the recent 9.0 quake and Fukuishima nuclear plant disaster to drum up support for interest in geothermal. Even more ironic is the fact that Japan is number one in geothermal technology but they export all of the technology elsewhere in the world.

DUDE WTF ASIA: Japanese Woman Accidentally Kills Self and Husband in Pitfall Trap

One young woman in Japan decided to play some sort of joke on her husband for his birthday and spent the better part of a day digging a 2.5m hole in the sand with a couple of the guy’s buddies. Then she covered it up with a sheet and sand on top, and invited her husband out to the area later that night. As expected, they both fell in, but instead of the amusing “ha ha” moment, the sand toppled over them and they both suffocated.

What bugs me about this story isn’t the fact that the two people died. What bugs me is people not understanding how a sand trap works and using it as a joke. A 2.5m hole would mean that the sand pitfall was basically a 8 foot long by 8 foot deep hole that caves in on itself. There is no way anyone would be escaping from that. Alas, I suppose that some people don’t really think about the worst possible scenarios from their actions and things like this befall them. It’s a sad story, but sometimes you just have to do a facepalm.