Street Fighter II characters appear in Japanese English textbook, drawn by famous designer

Cosplayer conversation in junior high text features cameos by World Warriors.

One of the challenges in teaching English to kids in Japan is holding their attention. It’s a huge help if textbooks can add anything fun or interesting to keep kids’ eyes, and minds, on the lesson, and so it was a smart move by publisher Sanseido to reach out to Taro Minoboshi to do illustrations for its New Crown series of junior high English texts.

Minoboshi is best known for his work as character designer for the popular Love Plus video game series, and his art can also be seen in franchises such as God Wars, Root Letter, and Exist Archive.

▼ Some of Minoboshi’s illustration work for New Crown

NEW CROWNの見本誌を頂いたのでご紹介です。
1年生はイラストがデカイ!笑 こんな教科書だったら勉強も楽しかっただろうなーと羨ましく思います。

— 箕星 太朗 (@mino_taro) April 4, 2020

Another key point to keeping kids engaged is framing sample conversations around topics that they can relate to or are interested in. To that end, one of New Crown’s characters is a girl from China named Jing who likes anime and video games…and who in one lesson cosplays as Street Fighter’s Chun-Li!


— 𝙍𝙪𝙣𝙤 (@runo64bit) April 7, 2021

In her dialogue about her summer vacation, Jing says she attended France’s Japan Expo pop culture celebration, where “Lots of people wore costumes of their favorite characters. I did, too.”

That’s not a suspiciously-close-but-for-copyright-reasons-not-really-Chun-Li, either, as the Minoboshi’s illustration, which also shows fellow fighters Ryu and Sakura, has the official approval of Street Fighter developer Capcom.

イラストは @mino_taro 先生🎨ありがとうございました🙏

— STREET FIGHTER (ストリートファイター公式) (@StreetFighterJA) April 7, 2021

It’s worth noting that Minoboshi has no previous professional connection to Capcom or the Street Fighter franchise. When New Crown’s authors …continue reading


Man fights giant crab statue on streets of Osaka, becomes city’s most hated criminal【Video】

Innocent, delicious Crab Tower damaged in senseless attack.

Even for Japan, Osaka is particularly passionate about food, and that even extends to a love for restaurant signs. Particularly in the city’s Dotonbori entertainment district, eateries’ dynamic, personality-filled banners, signboards, and statuary are local landmarks and a symbol of Osaka’s unassuming, fun-loving attitude.

So two guys just made themselves a whole lot of enemies by beating up a giant crab statue that wasn’t doing anything to them but offering delicious seafood.

The incident took place at around 5 a.m. on Monday morning. Security camera footage shows a pair of idiots egging each other on to kick and shake the “Crab Tower,” as the Dotombori branch of crab restaurant Kani Gen calls its statue of crab legs. Eventually, one of them pulls the Crab Tower enough that it topples over, causing severe damage to it as several pieces to break off.

Unfortunately, the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Crab Tower did not trap the two vandals underneath it as it fell, and they both ran off like the immature cowards they are.

▼ The victim, prior to the attack

Gen Takeda, owner of the chain, was extremely upset, and not just because of the damage to the Crab Tower, which cost 1.65 million yen (US$15,940) to originally make and has been a symbol of the restaurant for the past five years. “All of the staff is working so hard to make it through the pandemic. I don’t want people [like the vandals] making that any harder than it already is,” adding “This is heart-braking. I’m crazy angry [mecha mukatsuku, to directly quote the restauranteur’s Kansai dialect].”

Online commenters share the feeling:

“Those two better pay for the damage they caused.”
“With all the security cameras around, it’s only a matter of time until they get caught. They’re idiots.”
“They didn’t just ruin the crab …continue reading


Wakayama high school students make life-sized DeLorean time machine replica from scratch

Roads? Where this car is going, they don’t need roads…

For years large palm trees stood at the entrance to Tanabe Technical High School in Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture. However, in 2016 they suffered irreparable damage from pests and needed to be removed.

▼ Tanabe Tech in 2013

▼ Tanabe Tech in 2017

The principal of the school decided to replace these plants with something more permanent. For this he tasked the head of the mechanical department, Masato Takai, with erecting a monument that would greet visitors as a symbol of what Tanabe Tech was all about.

After consulting with his students, Takai and the kids decided to start with an automobile body and work from there. Shortly after, inspiration struck the department head. He figured; why just make any old car when they could make a vehicle that has stood for years as a symbol of both raw industrial arts and hope for the future?

And so, work began on the creation of a life-sized DeLorean time machine from scratch.

▼ A 2017 news report on the early stages of the time machine constructed from sheets of aluminum and steel

It was a heavy job, and required more work than a single school year could allow. So, the students passed on the work from year to year, each class picking up where their seniors left off. By the time the car was ready for installation some 500 students had put work into it.

In the meantime, Takai sought permission from Universal to use the likeness of the car as well as the unforgettable musical score to the Back to the Future movies. That’s because this monument was designed to not only stand in front of Tanabe Tech, but light up, rotate, and play music as well.

▼ A look at the progress the car made by 2019, after …continue reading


How many times has Golgo 13, manga’s greatest assassin, ever laughed? Let’s find out!

In 200 volumes, anime/manga sniper extraordinaire Duke Togo doesn’t laugh much, and when he does, he has some weird reasons.

Usually when we refer to a manga or anime as a “classic,” the connotation is that it’s over and done with. Golgo 13, though, is a major exception. Debuting all the way back in 1968, creator Takao Saito’s story about the world’s greatest assassin is still ongoing, and recently hit a major milestone with the release of its 200th collected volume, tying the Guinness World Record for most volumes in a single manga series.

▼ And since the series it’s tied with, Kochi Kame, only hit volume 200 as it concluded, the record will be Golgo’s alone before long.

Over the years, protagonist Golgo 13, a.k.a. Duke Togo, has but countless bullets into his targets, but today we’re counting up the instances of something that happens much less frequently than him carrying out a murder-for-hire contract by asking the question “How many times has Golgo 13 ever laughed?”

As you might expect, it’s a rare occurrence. Golgo 13 is, after all, so stoic that the closest thing he has to a catchphrase is dialogue boxes that read “…” to express his palpable silence (and sometimes even his though bubbles are just ellipses). So imagine our shock to discover that the first time Golgo laughs is in the very first chapter of the manga, titled “Operation Big Safe.”

▼ The first Golgo 13 collected volume (as per the SP Comics imprint numbering)

In …continue reading


Teacher’s heartwarming message helps student pursue art dream

It all started with an apple in a Japanese class journal.

As we get older, the memories of our school years may begin to slowly fade, but our favourite teachers remain ingrained in our minds forever. In Japan, the lasting impact of one kind teacher recently made news after coloured pencil artist Yuichiro Abe shared this tweet online.



— 長靴をはいた描 (@erumo_0384) March 16, 2021

The image on the left above shows a sketch drawn by Abe in his class journal when he was a third-year junior high school student. The class journal, which is handed over to the homeroom teacher for periodical checks, has sections for writing notes and reminders, and in the section for messages, Abe wrote “らくがき”, which translates to “graffiti” or “scribble“.

▼ The image that appears here is far from a scribble, though–it’s a beautifully sketched, perfectly proportioned illustration of an apple.

The red circles around the apple are the markings of the teacher, and in Japan–where circles indicate good work, akin to a tick signifying a correct answer in the West–the more circles there are, the better the work, which means Abe’s self-described “scribble” received recognition equivalent to a gold star.

That’s not the only acknowledgement Abe received, though, as the teacher drew an arrow towards the image with this heartwarming note for the student:

“This is extremely skilful!! I want you to take good care of this talent as well.”

This touching message obviously meant a lot to Abe, who shared the image on Twitter, saying:

“Teacher, I’m still drawing!”

As proof, the now-19-year-old, who’s currently a first-year beauty school student, shared this more recent photo alongside his junior high school drawing.

<img …continue reading


Linemo, Ahamo, Povo or Rakuten Un-Limit: Which New Phone Plan is Right for You?

Source: Gaijin Pot
mobile phone prices

Mobile phone contract prices have been a bone of contention in Japan for a number of years now. When he entered office last autumn, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged to lower mobile contract fees as one of his flagship policies.

Revisions to the Telecommunications Business Act were made that would, among other things, ban carriers from locking in customers with archaic contracts. Lawmakers also hoped the move would encourage price competition amongst passive phone carriers.

Since the big three phone carriers were forced to offer these prices, they don’t make it easy for you.

Earlier this year, Japan’s big three mobile companies—SoftBank, Docomo and Au—announced plans to launch new, cheaper price plans called Linemo, Ahamo and Povo respectively.

The prices are largely the same (so much for competition), but there are a few minor differences that could sway you to one carrier over another. Big shout out to CorruptPhoenix and other users for compiling much of this info on the r/japanlife subreddit.

Use the links below to jump to a section:


Not the competitive prices we were expecting.

Since the big three phone carriers were forced to offer these prices, they don’t make it easy for you. They won’t even provide in-store assistance because the plans are offered at such a low cost.

Thus, you must sign up for the plans online, and previous mobile apps you may have been using, such as My Au, will not support these plans. You have to download a completely different app. After signing up, the service is activated by entering your eSIM details (excluding Docomo’s Ahamo) or having a SIM card sent to you by mail.

Switching from your …continue reading


Line up in the hall, open your shirts, show your bras – Real instructions from one Japanese school

Dress code check has people in Japan upset.

A number of Japanese school rules have been under increasing criticism over the last year for being outdated or illogical, and the one getting the most attention these days involves students’ underwear. As part of their dress codes, a number of schools have regulations in place that say students must wear white underwear.

However, school uniforms are, obviously, already designed so as not to show students’ underwear. Unfortunately, rather than take it on faith that the unseen underwear conforms with the rule, some schools exercise their authority in performing spot tests. One method is to have a teacher can check the color of bra straps pulled up through a student’s collar, but one school in Fukuoka Prefecture has used an even more shocking method.

According to a student who was interviewed by the Fukuoka Bar Association as part of a study of school rules in the prefecture, girls at the school were told to line up in a school hallway, standing side-to-side. They were then told to unbutton and open their shirts while a teacher came by and inspected their bras to make sure they were solid white.

Though you couldn’t really call the situation better if the students’ panties were checked as well, the fact that the underwear check apparently only involved their bras strongly implies that it was only girls who were checked to see if they were in compliance with the dress code. The semi-logical reason would be that boys’ uniforms, by nature of having pants, mean that their underwear would never be seen anyway, but then the same should at least be true for girls’ bras, which are always covered by their uniforms’ blouses.

▼ Honestly, that seems like something professional educators should be able to understand.

<img src="" alt="" width="640" height="426" …continue reading


Earth Day Tokyo 2021

Globe-straddling eco event Earth Day has found a particularly receptive audience in Japan, where the two-day gathering in Yoyogi Park consistently draws over 100,000 people each year. It’s an opportunity for charities, NPOs and eco-conscious businesses to flaunt their wares and draw new recruits, but many people just go to enjoy the art, vibes and free music. If you’re one of the capital’s long-suffering vegetarians, too, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to the Earth Day Kitchen zone for a good selection of herbivorous eats.

…continue reading