The Real Fake News

by Kensatsukan Gaijin

Reading the Japanese news is a great way to learn Japanese, but let’s face it: it’s BORING.  But what if I told you that there is a Japanese news site that, just like The Onion, pokes fun at news, celebrities and culture, and still is a great way to practice your Japanese?


There is: it’s called the Kyoko Shinbun.


The Kyoko Shinbun, just like The Onion, is a website that covers the fake news - made-stories in Japanese about Japan and the world.  For example, you can read about Italy’s plans to “repair” the Leaning Tower of Pisa (, or the discovery that Pi only has 10 digits and is not a prime number (  Other headlines read  "Relay runner tosses Olympic torch into Thames” or "Twitter to be limited to 17 letters starting next month.”  They started in 2004


Just like The Onion, Kyoko Shimbun has had its share of people who are fooled by its reportage of nonexistent happenings, thinking they are actually true. Readers who do not realize that “Kyoko” means “false” are liable to fall for stories like the one that said Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto was proposing an ordinance that would require all elementary pupils and junior high school students in the city to send at least one tweet a day.


Known simply as "UK," the Kyoko Shimbun editor is a thirtysomething cram school teacher from Shiga Prefecture.


Still, sometimes the best lies can become the truth.  In a fake announcement published back in January of 2014, Kyoko Shinbun explained that due to each of Japan’s major mobile providers now carrying the iPhone, KDDI’s brand au would have to find another niche to fill. So, they decided to enter the rice cooker market.  In addition to the technical specs, there were a lot of luxury features as well like the ability to automatically post a message of “rice now” onto your Twitter feed for all your followers to see. In the ficitious article, KDDI felt that by bringing their mobile phone expertise to the rice cooker game, they could dominate the competition with the device, called the “Infojar.”  


But when KDDI announced that they actually decided to try to develop the smart-rice cooker, Kyoko news just tweeted: “AAAAAAAAAAAAA!” on their feed. And fantasy may just become a reality.

After all, is it really crazier than Audi’s announcement that their flagship luxury car, the A8, will come with a personal rice cooker in select models when it debuts in Japan?  Don’t believe me?  Here’s the link!


(But be sure to read the date of Audi’s post…)








The Asahi Shinbun

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