Do You Prefer An Older Or Younger Lover? Japan Responds

They say that age is just a number, but apparently people still have their preferences. For many of us, there has been a long-standing belief that older men prefer younger women and younger women prefer older men.

Recently, this trend seems to have shifted.The rise of terms such as “cougar” and “MILF” have increased in popularity. This has become so evolved in mainstream media that even “Hot Mom” photo competitions exist. The idea of “the attractive older woman” has been embraced.

In the past, if you were a woman who dated a younger man, you were laughed at, called a “cradle-robber” and even called desperate. Women were led to believe in finding an older man to ensure that they were nurtured and cared for. Times have changes and more and more women are leaning away from this path.

Sandra L. Caron, a professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Maine, told The New York Times, “For a long time we’ve been fed this idea that women should look for a man to take care of her, a man that is more educated, has a better job and makes more money. That might be fine and dandy if you’re in high school and have this fairy tale Prince Charming. But when you look at adult women, most are self-sufficient and they don’t have to look for that.”

When NBC News looked into this trend, they noted that women may be more interested in younger men because,

-Older women are looking better every day, thanks to creative medical advances and a gym on every corner.

-Women are more likely to come back on the dating market because of divorce and a longer expected life span.

-Not as many women are looking for the picket fence and two cars. Now companionship, travel, and fun are coming to the forefront.

-Women may also want a man with a less-developed career who could follow her or take care of children, if that is a factor.

-For their part, younger men often find older women more interesting, experimental, fun to talk to, financially settled, and more adept sexually.

 

While the U.S. has begun embracing the idea of older women with younger men, Japan has kept true to their traditional views on relationships.

Earlier this month, a Japanese dating app called Match Alarm asked nearly 3,000 singles if they preferred dating someone the same age, younger, or older. The response was unanimous for women- 81.3% responded that they would prefer an older lover. This percentage is not as large for men, but a majority (46.9%) still prefer dating younger women.

Despite this preference towards traditional ways, Japan was still surprised that one in three men want an older lover. In fact, once the numbers were separated by age group, more than 50% of men between the ages of 20 and 24 preferred older women.

Japanese women generally seemed to agree on older men. Even the oldest age group, 35-39 most preferred dating older men. Check out the results below.

menwomenage 1 menwomenage 2

 

So tell us- do you prefer an older or a younger lover?

(Source)

Life-Size Lady Gaga Doll VS. Gaga-Inspired Hello Kitty Doll

This past weekend, the oh-so-popular Lady Gaga was in Tokyo promoting her latest album Art Pop. Although Japanese netizens can say they’re accustomed to the eccentric, Lady Gaga still turned heads with her giant hair ears and and confusing outfit (typical of the pop diva).

During one of the press conferences, Lady Gaga held on to a Hello Kitty doll that was clearly inspired by her own look. The doll was created specifically for her by Sanrio designer Yuko Yamaguchi. As you can see in the image below, The Lady Gaga-inspired Hello Kitty doll wears a blond wig, a white pantsuit outfit with a shell bra and huge platform shoes.

After engaging in a kiss with the doll, Lady Gaga revealed that she would be auctioning the signed doll and the proceeds would go to Tomodachi, a non-profit organization. The proceeds for this particular auction would go to the Tomodachi Stella Adler Performing Arts Fellowship.

So what’s so special about this Hello Kitty doll? When we say its limited edition, we really mean limited edition. Only two of these Lady Gaga-inspired Hello Kitty dolls exist and the owner of the other one happens to be Lady Gaga herself.

The auction will continue until December 23rd and 10pm. The bid is already around $24,000. Check it out here.

In return, Lada Gaga was presented with four life-size dolls resembling herself. The dolls had such realistic detail and skin that it was hard to tell the singer apart from her dolls. The silicone “Gagadolls” were created by Orient Industry in Tokyo which specializes in synthetic “love dolls.”

All of the Gagadolls dolls were dressed up to replicate a specific outfit and look of Lady Gaga. The pop-star tweeted a photo of herself next to the dolls saying, “Who needs barbies when you can own your own life size pop star that sings to you #gagadollz.” Hey, Santa? Is it too late to add this to my Christmas list?”

Check out the video of the making of the Gagadolls below.

 

lady gaga hello kitty

lady gaga hk 2 lady gaga hk1

lady gaga doll
lady gaga doll 2

 

(Source 1, 2, 3)

Japan Introduces Term “Marshmallow Girls” To Combat Fat-Shaming

It’s no secret that the pressure to be thin is one faced by many woman. A simple flip through your average Vogue is enough to get the point across: society tells us skinny is pretty and fat is not.

Even worse, any woman in Japan will tell you that their pressure is far greater. Apparently a chubby figure (much smaller than what we consider obese here in the U.S.) is not acceptable.

As a result, some in Japan have tried to counter this perception of chubby girls. A magazine called La Farfa was created and features only plus-sized women. It is an effort to show Japan and the world that plus-sized girls are beautiful as well.

Recently, the magazine called one of its models, Goto Seina, a “marshmallow girl.” The magazine has since been advocating for the term and claims that it hopes the nickname will change the general perspective on chubby girls.

The aim of the new nickname is to associate chubbiness with cuteness instead of the negative connotations of a nickname like “fatty.”

While the new term inches its way towards viral popularity, netizens seem torn on the issue. Some claim that the term is much more user-friendly and “you’re a marshmallow girl” creates a much cuter image than harsh terms like “you’re a fatty” or “you’re a pig.”

Others claim that its association to food is problematic. One commented on JapanCrush.com, “How about just calling them “pizza girls”?”

Some netizens want nothing to do with the confusing issue and refuse to recognize the issue at all. They simply say women should just lose weight and that’s that.

Let us know what you think. Will “marshmallow girls” be a productive method of combating fat-shaming?

marshmallow 1 marshmallow 2

Full Length Trailer for Live-Action “Kiki’s Delivery Service” Disappoints Viewers

When it was announced that Japan was creating a live-action version of Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved classic, Kiki’s Delivery Service, it seemed as if the world could hardly wait.

This news was especially exciting for dedicated Miyazaki fans who were saddened by Miyazaki’s news of retirement. Although the  film director, animator, manga artist, producer, and screenwriter would no longer create brilliant works, fans took comfort that his legacy could live on through this live-action film.

Unfortunately, this excitement quickly dropped with the release of the film’s teaser trailer a few months ago. Although the teaser gathered well over 1 million views, this number does not accurately explain fan reactions to it. The teaser had over 400 likes, but it also gained over 2,300 dislikes. Clearly, the public had no problem expressing their opinion.

Some complained about the special effects while others claimed there was no way it could accurately portray the magic of Miyazaki’s work. Some even broke out into arguments about the 1985 novel by  Eiko Kadono which inspired Miyazaki’s work in the first place.

Whatever your opinion of the trailer was, there was simply no denying that fans seemed unsatisfied.

Recently, the first full length trailer of the live-action film made its way to the internet. This time, the trailer is a minute a five seconds. Although this may seem short for a full length trailer, this is still longer than the 40 second teaser released earlier.

This trailer reveals more of the island which Kiki appears to live on, the bakery she works in, a boy we suspect is Tombo, and more shots of Kiki flying on her broom.

The full length trailer is only a couple of days old, but it has already gained nearly 600,000 views on YouTube. Unfortunately, the dislikes almost double the likes. Once again, some ghibli fans do not appear to be pleased while others argue that it’s a “must see.”

Watch it below for yourself and tell us what you think.

 

Image of The Day: Totoro Cream Puffs in Miyazaki Themed Cafe

So first there was Miyazaki-themed cosplay. Then there was fashion inspired by Miyazaki. Then there were Totoro parodies.

Clearly, the Ghibli fandom is no where near finished even though Miyazaki has announced his retirement. The 72-year-old confirmed that his film The Wind Rises is his last. The film, which focuses on a fictional biography of Japan’s Zero airplane creator Jiro Horikoshi, has already become a box-office hit in Japan since its release in July.

So what’s next from Miyazaki fans? How else will they show their love for the timeless films?

Through food of course.

A city in Japan named Setagaya City holds a themed cafe called White Beard Workshop. Among the various Miyazaki sweets, a certain pastry has been catching social media attention.

The cafe sells adorable Totoro cream puffs. Each puff includes a leaf or hat to represent the flavor of the cream inside. Of course, a treat itself isn’t even the fun part. Upon purchasing one of these cuties, the puff is cut open to reveal the custard creme and give Totoro a big smile.

If you’re ever in Japan, be sure to pick up some of these. Be warned, they may be too cute to eat!

totpuff 2 totpuff 3

totpuff 4 totpuff 5

Heartwarming Story of the Day: Six-Year Old Donates Piggybank Savings for Haiyan Relief

With his mother in tow, six-year old Shoichi Kondoh headed over to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo with a determined mind and an open heart.  In an act of great generosity, he was there to personally donate his savings to response efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

As stated by the Philippine Embassy, after seeing the extent of the damage on television, the Japanese pre-schooler “did not think twice about giving away his childhood savings (of JPY 5,000 or ~$50).”  With his donation, Soichi became the youngest cash donor at the embassy.  Consul Bryan Dexter Lao was there to receive the enveloped-donation.

pr-20131114-2

Soichi signs the condolence book at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and poses with Consul Bryan Dexter Lao. (Photos courtesy of the Philippine Embassy in Japan)

With damages costing an estimated $15 billion, a rising death toll and hundreds of thousands of people displaced, it is no question that relief and aid are needed.  Soichi’s act of “sincere generosity” is a reminder that every little bit counts.

If you are interested in donating to the continuing relief and rehabilitation efforts in the Philippines, be sure to check out these Ruby Veridiano and Audrey-approved picks.

(Sources: 1, 2)

Five of Asia’s Most Breathtaking Locations

Yesterday, BuzzFeed released a list called “27 Surreal Places To Visit Before You Die.” The list has already gained over 180,000 likes on facebook and for good reason. All of the locations are undeniably breathtaking.

We were pleased to discover that five of these locations were in Asia and we decided to take a closer look at all of them.

1. Zhangye Danxia landform in Gansu, China

location 1

 

The Danxia landforms are sandstone formations most known for, you guessed it, their vibrant color patterns.The are located in a remote region in northern central China. The mountains and hills retain such color because Danxia landforms are composed of red sandstone. Mineral deposits were compressed into rock for 24 million years thus gaining a colors ranging from deep red to yellow and green.

location 2 location 3

location 4

 

 

 

2. The Hang Son Doong cave in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam

location 6

The Sơn Đoòng cave is currently the largest known cave in the world and is located near the border of Laos and Vietnam. It is five times larger than the Phong Nha Cave which previously held the record for being the biggest cave in Vietnam. Although it was created 2-5 million years ago, the cave did not become public knowledge until 2009. Inside, there is a fast flowing underground river as well as cave pearls the size of baseballs.

location 7 Camp inside Hang Son Doong location 9

 3. Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan

location 10

This popular tourist destination has been given the nickname “flower paradise” because the 32,000 square metres of flowers look amazing all year long. With each passing season, a different variety of flower will blossom throughout the Hitachi Seaside park such as the Nemophilas. The popular, blue flower blossoms annually during springtime.

location 11 location 12 location 13

 

 

 

 

4. Bamboo groves of Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan

location 14

 

These Japanese bamboo groves, located in Northwest Kyoto, are a tourist favorite. The gorgeous line of bamboo not only looks beautiful, apparently it sounds beautiful too. Amusing Planet notes “The sound of the wind in this bamboo forest has been voted as one of ‘one hundred must-be-preserved sounds of Japan’ by the Japanese government.” The bamboo in this grove is still used to manufacture various products such as cups, boxes, baskets and mats in the area.

location 15 location 16 location 17

 

 

5. Kelimutu crater lakes in Flores Island, Indonesia

location 18

 

Kelimutu is a small volcano central Flores Island of Indonesia. It has gained popularity because the volcano has three craters- each contain a lake with a different color. The lakes periodically change colors from red and brown to turquoise and green, independent of each other. The lakes are named Tiwi Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People), Tiwu Nua Muri Kooh Tai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Lake of Evil Sprits, or Enchanted Lake). The scientific explanation behind the colorful lakes  chemical reactions from the minerals in the lake triggers by the volcano’s gas activity.

location 19 location 20 location 21

 

(Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Facebook Depresses Japan, Loses Popularity

Here at Audrey, we’ve known the dangers of facebook and social media for quite some time now. In our Fall 2013 issue, we pointed out that a 2013 study conducted by two German universities showed one in three people felt worse and more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook.

Users felt envy, loneliness and isolation, with the most common cause of Facebook frustration stemming from others’ vacation photos. The second most common cause of envy was social interaction — feeling a “lack of attention” from having fewer birthday greetings, comments and “likes” compared to friends.

 

And it wasn’t just college students. The study found people in their mid-30s were most likely to envy family happiness, while women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness. After all, what is Facebook but an online brag book for all to see? A 20-something colleague recently summed it up when asked why she posted so much food porn on Facebook: “To make people jealous.”

 

The term “facebook depression” began in 2011 after the study Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking was published by sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge. The study showed that those who spent less time on facebook seemed to live happier lives.

Of course, the repercussions of facebook depression is not simply confined to the US. In particular, Japan seems to have finally become overwhelmed by facebook depression.

In 2008, facebook launched in Japan and seemed to head towards instant success. At the end of 2012, the Japanese facebook site had over 17 million users. However, five months later, the amount of users became 13 million.

So what could be the cause of this very sudden and large drop? According to RocketNews24, Japanese Psychologist Kouji Yamada claims Japanese facebook users are “developing an inferiority complex about their lonely, boring and unsatisfying lives.”

Apparently, we’re not just too sensitive over here. The facebook depression syndrome may actually be a global issue.

(Photo Source)

Japan Creates “Liberation Wrapper”- A Solution For Women To Eat Burgers in Public

Have you ever had to stop yourself from eating something in public because cultural restraints say it’s rude for a lady to open her mouth wide? Well thats exactly whats happening in Japan.

For years, Japanese culture has encouraged women to strive for “ochobo” which is described as small and modest mouths.

ochobo mouth

As a result, it is considered rude for Japanese women to open their mouth wide. This rule even applies to women when eating out in public.

It’s no wonder that Freshness Burger noticed their “Classic Burger” was the least chosen option among their female customers. Simply put, that particularly large burger would require women to “rudely” open their mouths and lose their ochobo.

This is when Freshness Burger decided to “free women from the spell of the ochobo mouth.”

They created the “Liberation Wrapper” for their burgers. This is a large burger wrapper with the image of a women’s face. The wrapper is meant to hide women as they take a big bite of their burger and maintain the appearance of ochobo.

lw 1

lw 2 lw 3

While some argue that this does not necessarily fight against the cultural restraint of the ochobo, the “Liberation Wrapper” has clearly become a success. Freshness Burger has reported that sales of the large “Classic Burger” have gone up by over 200% and their invention is quickly spreading across news media and social media.

Watch the video below to see both the creation and success behind the “Liberation Wrapper.”

(Source 1, 2, 3)

My Melody Pop-Up Cafe in Toyko

There are a number of Hello Kitty cafes worldwide, but what about the other adorable Sanrio characters? Don’t they deserve some pastries in the shape of their face too?

Apparently Japan shared our sentiments. This time around, a My Melody pop up cafe is available for a limited time in Daikanyama.

My Melody is one of Sanrio’s most popular figures after Hello Kitty herself. The rabbit, who covers her ears with a pink or red hood, was released the same year as Hello Kitty. In 2005, an anime series based on My Melody was aired in Japan and My Melody also stars in a number of video games.

Now, My Melody is featured in a popular limited-time only pop-up cafe in Tokyo. The cafe was originally set to begin on October 10th and end on October 31st, but the popularity of My Melody has forced the cafe to extend this date. If you happen to be in Tokyo, you can catch this cafe until November 5th.

mm 1 mm 2 mm 3 mm 4 mm 5 mm 6

mm 7 mm 8