2020 Robot Olympics?


Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, has said he wants to use such an event to showcase the latest global robotics technology, an industry in which Japan has long been famed as a pioneer. Mr Abe also outlined plans to create a special task force to develop a ‘robotic revolution’ and treble the size of Japan’s robotics industry to a value of 2.4 trillion yen (£13.8 billion). ‘In 2020, I would like to gather all of the world’s robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills,’ said Mr Abe, according to Jiji Press agency. ‘We want to make robots a major pillar of our economic growth strategy.” w/ photos

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Cycle-Ball World Cup

“It’s so weird when you never heard of something for which there’s already high trained professionals… I mean look at how they can shoot the ball using the wheel.” — SuperBarbaazul

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Why Japanese Don’t Smell!

“WHAT! You mean I have to continue to wear deodorant even though I now live in this magical world of unicorns known as Japan where people suddenly lose their body odor as soon as they step off the plane?! LIES!!!” — Sharla in Japan

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Ultra-Luxurious Train Design


Japan is set to get a new luxury sleeper train with spacious modern cabins designed by Ken Okuyama, who’s best known for his work with Ferrari. The $50 million Cruise Train will run on both electric and non-electric rails and feature large glass-paneled windows, high ceilings and leather seating. Envisioned as the future of train travel in Japan, this designer creation won’t be for everyone: it’s got a max capacity of just 34 passengers.” w/ photos

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Realistic-Looking Lobster Made Out Of Boxwood


25-year-old Ryosuke Ohtake is a master craftsman who recently tried his hand at ‘jizai okimono’ – the Japanese art of carving realistic wooden animals, complete with movable joints. He created a near-perfect lobster entirely out of boxwood. The sculpture is so life-like that when lifted, its claws, legs and tail move in the exact same way that a real, live lobster would. A three-minute video clip that shows Ohtake working on the lobster with his various sculpting tools and blocks of wood, has become very popular online. In the video, he lifts the finished sculpture in his hands and shows exactly how each part moves. The details are simply mind-blowing.” w/ photos + video

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