Japanese don’t know the meaning of innovation

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A lot of English (and other language) words end up as loan words in Japanese, but many of them, particular technology-related ones, are unfamiliar to many Japanese, so goo Ranking took a look at what loan words do people often hear but don’t know the meaning of.

In the list below I’ve decided to use the English spelling, as I find it grating when journalists re-transliterate back to the Roman alphabet, such as using sarariman instead of salaryman. In this survey, spelling number one as innobāshon (or innobāsyon for bonus irritation points) wouldn’t help anyone understand what I was on about.

By the way, I’d never heard of Social firm, Ancien régime (French) or Merkmal (German) until this survey.

I had a look for a picture of “innovation”; would an innovative pyramid watermelon do?

Pyramid Watermelon
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Worries about Buddhist services

Which kind of Buddhist matters do you most worry about? graph of japanese statisticsA bit of a curious topic here, a look at worries about Buddhist services, conducted by the graveyard intermediary service, Ohaka no Hikkoshi or Graveyard Moving Service, as one of their services includes moving interred ashes from one location to another.
Having just recently used Buddhist funeral and grave services, fortunately my denomination has a very smooth funeral service, and since my wife’s family has certain connections, we got various free upgrades. I suppose the only worry is the home altar butsudan, as most of them seem to be made of the cheapest veneered chipboard, but priced as if they are chiselled out of the finest virgin ebony.

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Tat from the 90s that Japanese can’t believe were all the rage

Number 3 will shock you, as the clickbait is wont to say, but in this case “Kill it with fire” might actually be an appropriate response to more than one of these nostalgic items from the 90s that people cannot believe were popular.

Putting myself on the spot I’m mostly drawing a blank, so let’s get straight to the results:

1. Tamagotchi, 401 votes

Tamagotchi

This virtual pet came in an egg-shaped case. I remember the fuss over it when it came out and I fancied trying one out, but I never got round to it. It’s now available as an Android app, but it’s not free, and also not compatible with my phone. Oh well…

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Nine in ten Japanese have drunk local wine, fruitiness main draw

Have you ever drunk Japanese wine? graph of japanese statisticsA recent survey from the brewer Kirin and their subsiduary the wine maker Mercian looked at Japanese wine consumption.

Before reading this survey, I was under the impression that most Japanese wine was made on an industrial scale with imported grapes, and that even Mercian was one of these fake wines, and any local wines was very niche and difficult to get hold of. I’ve now had my interest piqued, so I’ll maybe hunt some out. However, the only wine I drink is Saizeriya’s 100 yen gut-rot special (interestingly, they are the largest importer of Italian wine, it seems!) and whatever wine ends up on the all-you-can-drink menu at work booze-ups.

Here’s a random bottle of Japanese wine:

タケダワイナリーのサンスフル
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New mobile colours and other site tweaks

Just a small note that I’ve edited the mobile theme so that the layout resembles the desktop site more closely, specifically in the colour department. I’ve also done a few behind-the-scenes tweaks that might make the site a little faster, but if you notice anything untoward at your end, please leave a message here.

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Japan’s most interesting university names

goo Ranking recently looked at actual Japan university names that people find most curious.

I’ve reported the official English name, but also added in italics short explanations if needed as to why things might have been lost in translation. The “Gakuin” that appears in many names is the Japanese for “Institute”, but for whatever reason the University’s official English name leaves it in Japanese.

Here’s one that didn’t make the list, partially because it’s run by a bonkers cult. The Japanese name is the English transliterated as it’s not actually an approved university, so it cannot use the Japanese daigaku.

Happy Science University 01.JPG
By あばさー投稿者自身による作品, パブリック・ドメイン, Link

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Japanese quite open to home robots, Roomba and friends most popular

Would you like to have a robot around the house? graph of japanese statistics@nifty recently surveyed its members to find out their opinions on robots.

I don’t know what ASIMO, Honda’s walking robot, is doing in the list of household robots; as far as I am aware it is nothing more than a technology promotion, with no plans to commercialise. I’m also surprised to see Panasonic’s Mr Evolta, which again I understand to be just a vehicle for promoting their recharable batteries. Regardless, it’s interesting to so how well-known these names are.

This is my favourite robot statue that pre-dates the more famous life-size Gundam, a life-size Testujin 28-go.

Tetsujin 28
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Old folk, incontinence, and pet dogs

In my quest to find novel topics to present, I give you this survey from MyNavi News into old folks’ worries about incontinence, and pet dogs. Incontinent doggies is a topic for another survey… Note that I use “pet” as that what was in the survey, but it seems to have been dog owners only.

You might remember the news from a couple of years back when it was announced that adult nappies outsold children’s ones for the first time. This survey, though, ignores that matter and focuses on dogs.

The results for non-dog owners in Q7 seems overly pessimistic, although the answers might, I hope, have been cherry-picked to show only categories that has a big positive dog-owning effect.

Here’s a dog in a nappy, but from Hong Kong, it would seem.

baby dog
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Roots of the names of Japanese and overseas companies

goo Ranking recently took a look at how the names of comapnies came about, ranked by how surprising people found them.

I guessed that Sony was from Latin “sonus”, but I was surprised to see that it also came from the “sonny” of “sonny boy”. Lotte coming from a Goethe novel is a story I want to hear more about!

Here’s a random, but perhaps interesting shop name:

Boo Boo House
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One in seven over-sixty Japanese have prepared for their death

Do you know the term 'shuukatsu'? graph of japanese statisticsA word that came into fashion about five or six years ago is 終活, shuukatsu, an abbreviation of the phrase “Activities for one’s end of life”, basically getting one’s finances, will, paperwork, funeral plan, etc all in order while one is still able, so as not to be too much bother for one’s relatives after kicking the bucket. This survey from @nifty looked at this subject, shuukatsu, end of life preparations.

I’ve got my grave prepared – it’s a family plot out in the wilds of Shiga prefecture for myself, my wife, and her parents. Since Japanese funerals are quite expensive, my wishes would be to get everything over and done with with the minimal of fuss and expense. I’ve still got a tonne of paperwork from the UK to sort out though…

At least my place looks prettier than here:

墓地明石天文台よりP9160008.jpg
By 白蛇の騎士白蛇の騎士, GFDL, Link

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