gadgets
Japan’s Last Remaining Pager Service Is Officially Calling It Quits

The heyday of the pager is long since over, but the devices themselves have continued to be used for specialised purposes like search-and-rescue teams and emergency workers. In Japan, however, the funeral bells are officially ringing. Read More >>

tv
A Skeletal Anime Star Is Teaching Me a Lot About the Japanese Comics Industry

One of my favorite new anime this season isn’t full of explosive action or high drama. It’s not even the one about high school archery. It’s about a skeleton named Honda who sells books. As well as being hilarious, he offers some fascinating insight into the world of selling comics in Japan. Read More >>

cybersecurity
Japan’s New Head of Cybersecurity Has Never Used a Computer

Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan’s new cybersecurity minister, has never used a computer. Not even once. But he insists that his lack of real-world experience doesn’t have a negative impact on his job. Seriously. Read More >>

the future
5 Visions of the Future We Saw at Panasonic’s 100th Birthday Expo

Japanese tech corp Panasonic is 100 years old this year, and they're having a big old celebration in Tokyo in the form of an exhibition. As you might expect, said exhibition includes plenty of Panasonic's past, with some glorious ancient tech on display from back when the company was called National: Read More >>

japan
Japanese Nuclear Plant on Emergency Power After Quake, But Little Risk of Fukushima-Type Event

A Japanese nuclear power station in Hokkaido is operating on emergency power after the region was hit by a 6.7-magnitude quake in the early hours of Thursday morning, Reuters reported. However, though the event carries unsettling overtones of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, authorities say there is currently no danger of any similar radioactive release occurring. Read More >>

space
Japan Testing Miniature Space Elevator Near the International Space Station

A Japanese team is testing a small prototype space elevator, according to news reports. It’s certainly not the fantastical, many-kilometre-long cable of science fiction, but it demonstrates that at least someone is serious about this tech. Read More >>

gadgets
If You’re Lazy and Live Alone, You Need This Motorised Handheld Dish Scrubber

If you find yourself living in a small flat without a dishwasher, live alone, or have a flatmate that’s as lazy as you when it comes to kitchen cleanup, there’s finally a better solution that doesn’t involve just tossing all your fine china once it gets dirty. This handheld motorised scrubbing brush does all the hard work for you, keeping your hands away from filthy sink water. Read More >>

japan
Japan’s Emperor Is Stepping Down Soon, Which Could Cause Major Headaches for Computer Calendars

For most people, resigning from your job doesn’t necessitate the invention of any new computer characters, just a new Twitter bio. But as The Guardian reports, when Emperor Akihito, Japan’s current ruler, abdicates the Chrysanthemum Throne next year, that’s exactly what the country will need. Currently, there’s no computer character available to represent the next era on the Japanese calendar, which will honour current Crown Prince Naruhito, and it’ll be a tricky feat of scheduling to create one in time. Read More >>

japan
The Doomsday Cult Leader Behind the Tokyo Sarin Gas Attack Has Been Executed

Shoko Asahara—the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult behind the 1995 sarin gas attack in Tokyo’s subway that killed 13 and poisoned thousands—has been executed. Read More >>

news
Japan’s ‘Naked Hermit’ Pried From Island Utopia After 29 Years

For nearly 30 years, Masafumi Nagasaki lived a life many of us extremely logged-on folks can only dream of. A life completely void of commuting, the internet, and screens. He had the entire island of Sotobanari to himself—foraging, raking debris from the shore, and watching baby turtles hatch from their eggs and scurry to the ocean. Read More >>

transport
Police Find ‘Human Body Parts’ in Crack in Japanese Bullet Train’s Nose

A bullet train en route to Tokyo reportedly struck and killed a 52-year-old man on Thursday afternoon, but the man’s death wasn’t uncovered until some 20 miles later, where authorities made a grisly discovery. Read More >>

watch this
Flying, Hands-Free Umbrellas Just Might Be the Perfect Use For Drones

I’m impressed by the technological leaps and bounds that drones have made over the past few years, but until today, I haven’t had much interest in owning one. I have no need for aerial photography, and I’m happy to leave racing through psychedelic neon courses to the pros. But a hands-free umbrella that autonomously follows me through the rain? This is a technological breakthrough I can use. Read More >>

food
Japanese PM Made to Eat Pudding From a Shoe

A posh chef had an interesting idea for a thing to do at a high-profile diplomatic dinner – serve a selection of post-dinner sweets in a shoe. Not just any shoe, but an aluminium cast brogue. How clever. Hence a photo of Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe doing quite a believable smile with a shoe in front of him on the dinner table. Read More >>

science
Human Bone Fragment Reveals Radiation Exposure From Hiroshima Bombing

A technique originally intended for dating archaeological artefacts has been used to estimate the amount of radiation produced by the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. It marks the first time a bone fragment from a victim of the explosion has been used successfully for such an analysis. Read More >>