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Otter predicts Japan’s win against Germany one day before World Cup match

Japanese otter
  • An adorable otter in Japan accurately predicted Japan’s 2-1 victory against Germany in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
  • An 8-year-old river otter named Taiyo at the Maxell Aqua Park in Shinagawa, Tokyo, was brought out by his handler to predict a winner in the match between Japan and Germany.
  • Taiyo had to choose between dropping a mini soccer ball in a blue bucket with the Japanese flag on it, a red one with the German flag and a yellow bucket labeled “draw.”
  • The otter dropped the ball in Japan’s bucket, and the next day, the country defeated the four-time world champions 2-1.
  • Japan previously brought out an otter to predict a World Cup match against Greece in 2014.

An adorable otter in Japan accurately predicted the country’s 2-1 victory against Germany at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The 8-year-old river otter named Taiyo at the Maxell Aqua Park in Shinagawa, Tokyo, was brought out by his handler to predict a winner in the match between Japan and Germany, Kyodo News reported.

Singaporean TikToker breaks down after seeing older diners eating alone in restaurant

crying tiktok
  • A Singaporean influencer and her companion became teary-eyed in a video shared on Wednesday after seeing a number of elderly Japanese people eating alone in a ramen restaurant.
  • Taylor told AsiaOne that she has a soft spot for the elderly and often finds herself feeling sad whenever she sees them alone or working while she is in Singapore.
  • “It's not because I am pitying them, but because I think that old people should not be working,” she said. “Instead, they should be enjoying the rest of their lives on this beautiful earth.”
  • While conformity and being part of a group was paramount in Japan over a decade ago, the country has seen a drastic shift in how its society views eating alone in public as its citizens are now starting to embrace being solo.

A Singaporean TikToker and her companion became very emotional after they saw several elderly Japanese people eating alone in a ramen restaurant while visiting Japan.

Shannon Taylor, a Singaporean influencer, shared a video on her TikTok channel on Wednesday showing their emotional reaction after seeing the restaurant was filled with elderly Japanese people eating alone.

Japanese World Cup team praised for tidying up locker room after victory over Germany

  • The Japanese national football team upheld their country’s reputation for cleanliness by tidying up their locker room after their massive 2-1 victory against Germany.
  • The team left their locker room “spotless,” FIFA tweeted on Wednesday.
  • The towels were left neatly folded up, no sweaty clothes can be seen hanging on hangers and the water bottles appeared as if they were untouched.
  • The team also left what appear to be 11 origami paper cranes and a message that reads “thank you” in Japanese and Arabic.
  • Impressed with the team’s cleanliness, one social media user asked where they could find a Japanese man to marry.

Japan’s national football team has gone viral for upholding their country’s reputation for cleanliness by tidying up their locker room at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Images of the team’s locker room blew up online just days after Japanese football fans went viral for cleaning up after the opening game on Monday.

‘It’s Japan-centric’: Elon Musk names Japan as Twitter’s ideal market

  • Elon Musk reportedly told employees on Monday that Japan’s strong usage of Twitter is what the company should aim for “ideally in every country without exception.”
  • Despite having a smaller population, Japan has roughly the same number of daily active users as the U.S., Musk said.
  • For this reason, the world’s richest man branded his newly acquired platform as “Japan-centric” instead of “U.S.-centric.”
  • Twitter’s popularity in Japan reportedly rose in 2011 out of a need for updates surrounding the Tohoku earthquake-tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster.
  • Musk, who is reportedly hiring again, is also planning to “decentralize” his social media company by installing engineering teams in Japan, India, Indonesia and Brazil.

Owner and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wants Twitter to view Japan as a model for other markets instead of the U.S.

In an all-hands meeting on Monday, Musk said Japan’s strong usage of Twitter is what the platform should aim for “ideally in every country without exception,” according to The Verge.

‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ creator and former Square Enix employee arrested over insider trading

yuji naka
  • Legendary Sonic designer Yuji Naka is among several former Square Enix employees accused of insider trading.
  • Naka was reportedly arrested on Friday for allegedly buying 10,000 shares of the Japanese game developer Aiming prior to the company’s announcement that it would be working alongside Square Enix on the “Dragon Quest Tact” game.
  • After working as the lead programmer for the original “Sonic the Hedgehog” series for Sega and creating his own studio Prope, Naka joined Square Enix in 2016 to work on the “Balan Wonderworld” platform game.
  • It was during his time at Square Enix that Naka learned about the company’s joint venture with Aiming.
  • Two other employees, Taisuke Sazaki and Fumiaki Suzuki, were also arrested on insider trading charges.
  • “We deeply regret the great concern this has caused to all concerned,” Square Enix said in an official statement. “We have dealt with this incident strictly, including internal disciplinary actions taken against the suspected employees.”

Legendary Sonic designer Yuji Naka is among several former Square Enix employees accused of insider trading. 

Naka was reportedly arrested on Friday by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly buying 10,000 shares of the Japanese game developer Aiming for 2.8 million yen (around $20,000) prior to the company’s announcement that it would be working alongside Square Enix on the “Dragon Quest Tact” game.

Japanese man sets off fireworks at Tokyo’s Shibuya Scramble Crossing

  • A Japanese man is under investigation after setting off fireworks at Tokyo’s Shibuya Scramble Crossing, an intersection considered one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world. 
  • Witnesses say the man discharged around 50 fireworks on Monday at around 10 p.m.
  • In a video of the incident, fireworks shoot up into the sky as the perpetrator crosses the crowded crossing.
  • While the man appears to aim upwards in the video, one of his rockets can be seen shooting out vertically, marginally missing a few pedestrians.
  • The man, who is reportedly in his 30s and self-employed, told investigators after he was apprehended that he aimed to “stand out.”

A man in Japan was filmed setting off fireworks at Tokyo’s Shibuya Scramble Crossing, one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world.

Based on witnesses’ accounts, the man discharged around 50 fireworks on Monday at around 10 p.m., according to SoraNews24

Rats observed bopping to the beat of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ in Japanese study

lady gaga rat
  • Japanese scientists at the University of Tokyo have discovered that rats can move to the beat of catchy songs, an ability previously attributed only to humans
  • The researchers attached movement sensors to rodents and made them listen to four different tempos of Mozart’s “Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K.448,” in addition to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”
  • The rats were observed moving in-sync with the music and appeared to exhibit some predictive processing.
  • The scientists noted that the movements were the most obvious for music in the range of 120-140 beats per minute, the same range people respond to.

Rats move their bodies to the beat of catchy music just like people, Japanese researchers have found.

The research team at the University of Tokyo arrived at the conclusion after observing how the rodents respond to music by Mozart, Queen and Lady Gaga. For the study, the scientists attached small sensors to rats to detect their movements while listening to music.

This Japanese treat has a waiting time of 30 years

  • Asahiya, a family-run butcher shop founded in the city of Takasago in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture in 1926, has a 30-year waitlist for its world-famous Kobe beef Extreme Croquettes.
  • The store began selling beef croquettes after World War II and became a hit after a report about them was published in the early 2000s.
  • Shigeru Nitta, a third-generation owner of the store, told CNN that Asahiya had to stop taking orders in 2016 after its waitlist became 14 years long.
  • Besides the famous Extreme Croquettes, travelers can also try Asahiya’s other products, including "Kitanozaka," which uses lean beef and costs 360 yen (approximately $2.58), and "Tor Road," which uses short loin and chuck and costs 460 yen (approximately $3.30).

A family-run butcher shop in Japan has a 30-year waitlist for its sought-after beef croquettes.

Even though Asahiya, which was founded in the city of Takasago in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture in 1926, started selling its Kobe beef “Extreme Croquettes” after World War II, the Japanese treat did not become a worldwide hit until the early 2000s.

Elderly man shoves 90-inch jump rope through his penis

  • A 79-year-old man got a 90-inch jump rope stuck inside his bladder after pushing the object through his penis.
  • The handle-less rope got tangled after the unidentified man inserted it through his urethra, according to a study published in Urology Case Reports in September.
  • The elderly man visited doctors at Dokkyo Medical University in Mibu, Japan, after he complained he was experiencing dysuria, or difficulty urinating.
  • An X-ray then revealed a “wire-like coiled foreign body,” with doctors describing it as a “a large object accompanied by acoustic shadows.”
  • The man made a full recovery without any long-term complications from the surgery.

A 79-year-old man got a 90-inch jump rope stuck inside his bladder after pushing the object through his penis in what doctors are calling an “extreme” case.

While the rope did not have any handles, it got tangled after the unidentified man inserted it through his urethra, according to a study published in Urology Case Reports in September.

Japanese mom has her 9-year-old daughter undergo double eyelid surgery to be ‘beautiful’

  • Rucchi, one half of a mother-daughter YouTube duo, paid thousands of dollars to have her 9-year-old daughter Micchi undergo double eyelid surgery to change her appearance.
  • “A girl needs double eyelids,” Rucchi tells Vice Asia in a recent video. “I have never seen a girl with monolids who I thought was pretty. Double eyelids are beautiful. Double eyelids are the beauty standard. I say this again and again.”
  • Cosmetic surgeries are legal for anyone under the age of 18 in Japan if they have a parent’s or guardian’s consent.
  • Last year, a Japanese clinic conducted a survey and found that nine out of 10 teenagers hoped to undergo plastic surgery. Two years before that, seven out of 10 teenagers wanted the same.
  • In 2020, a survey from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) discovered that eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, made up over 64% of all surgical procedures in Japan that year.

A Japanese mother had her 9-year-old daughter go under the knife for a double eyelid surgery and is already considering future cosmetic operations, such as a nose job and breast augmentation.

The mother, only identified by her nickname Rucchi over her fear of being criticized by the public, shocked the internet after revealing to Vice Asia in a recent video from their “Deadly Beauty” series that she urged her daughter Micchi to undergo the surgery because her success would depend on her looks.

23-year-old Japanese man begins nonstop, round-the-world journey in his yacht

  • Hirotsugu Kimura, a 23-year-old corporate employee, left Shin Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor in Nishinomiya, a city in western Japan’s Hyogo prefecture, on Saturday to become the youngest Japanese person to set sail nonstop around the world unassisted.
  • “I finally got the feeling that I’ll be traveling around the world after I came to the venue,” Kimura told reporters at a press conference before his departure. “I want to accomplish it so that I can know my limits. I want to enjoy the ocean, the blue sky and the scenery of nature.”
  • Kimura aims to beat current record holder Kojiro Shiraishi, who completed a 176-day trip around the world at the age of 26 years and 10 months in 1994.

A Japanese man set sail over the weekend to pursue his dream of becoming the youngest Japanese person to sail nonstop around the world alone.

Nearly 100 friends and colleagues gathered at Shin Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor in Nishinomiya, a city in western Japan’s Hyogo prefecture, on Saturday to watch Hirotsugu Kimura, a 23-year-old corporate employee, set sail on his yacht.

Japanese pet cremators exposed for burning animals along with trash

  • Gorin Corp., a cremation services firm that provided subcontractors to Owari Hokubu Seien in the Japanese city of Inuyama, learned that the crematory’s workers had been burning their trash along with the corpses of pet animals for at least a decade now.
  • The firm launched a survey after a crematory employee discovered a tweet that revealed the disrespectful practice.
  • Gorin learned through its investigation that the workers, consisting of six men and women aged 20 to 60 years old, had been burning their trash, such as bento boxes and empty plastic bottles, along with the pets they were cremating.
  • “It’s unthinkable that they thought this was okay,” Shinji Ito, chief secretary of Aihoku Regional Crematorium Association, the association that is responsible for the crematory, told Vice.
  • “I’ve heard that the new hires learned this practice from watching employees who’d worked there longer, and just assumed that’s how they did things around here,” Ito said.

Cremation workers at Owari Hokubu Seien, a crematory in the city of Inuyama in Japan’s Aichi prefecture, had been burning their trash along with the corpses of pets for at least a decade now, an investigation found.

Gorin Corp., a cremation services firm based in Toyama prefecture that provided the subcontractors to Owari Hokubu Seien, launched a survey after a crematory employee discovered a tweet revealing the disrespectful practice.