Japan’s favourite cat breeds

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Today is Japan’s Day of the Cat, as one (rather tortured, it must be admitted) way of reading 22/2 is nya-nya-nya, the Japanese equivalent of meow-meow-meow, so this is a perect excuse for goo Ranking to publish, and for me to translate, Japan’s favourite cat breed.

Mine is probably the bog-standard ame-sho, as it’s known in Japan, the American Short Hair. Looking at the list of breeds and votes, I think once we pass number 20 or so, people are just voting for cool-sounding names rather than any knowledge of the actual breed. I suspect the big vote for Other at the end is for people looking for the standard Japanese three-colour cat, which doesn’t seem to appear on the list, or just people hoping “moggie” was a breed.

Here’s a typical Japanese moggie or two:

Kiji-tora family and infant b&W 2
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AirBnb-style rentals: cheapness main attraction

HomeAway, Expedia’s AirBnb-style site, recently published an interesting survey into minpaku, private rentals.

The two types of rentals in the survey are first renting a complete dwelling, a flat or a house, and second, the more traditional B’n’B style of renting out a room in someone’s home. In Japan, the term is 民泊, minpaku, and taking the characters literally it might be something like “staying with the people”. There is a long history of minpaku, which used to be more like traditional B’n’B with all the regulation that goes with that, but now it is usually taken as referring to the probably-illegal-in-most-circumstances private rental of rooms and flats.

I am very much anti-AirBnB; traditional B’n’Bs have many regulations covering them, including the obvious one of insurance for guests, but most net-based rentals turn a blind eye on these regulations, and renting out complete units in blocks of flats can often cause friction with the neighbours due to guests being unfamiliar or just ignoring the social norms that apply in Japanese shared accommodation.
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Pineapple pizza popularity poor

@Nifty reported on a survey they conducted into pizza.

I’m surprised that in Q5 mayonnaise is not on the list of disliked ingredients; I like a potato pizza, but usually it comes with lots of mayo and corn, and Pizza La in particular seem to drown just about everything they do in mayo. The only good thing about Pizza La is their summer ebimayo (prawn mayonnaise) advert series:


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What Japanese think of Japan

Do you like or hate Japan? graph of japanese statisticsMacromill Research recently conducted a survey looking at Japan’s image.

The old chestnut of the four seasons appears at number two of the favourite things about Japan; at a superficial level it seems such a silly thing as many other countries have four distinct seasons, but Japan marks them much more clearly than certainly the UK. We maybe have summer holidays, autumn Halloween, winter Christmas and New Year, and spring Easter, but in Japan both equinoxes are public holidays, each season has their specific foods, everyone goes to view cherry blossoms and autumn leaves, return home for the New Year, and visit family graves over summer, and the television dutifully reports… Hmm, I’m not explaining this very well, so I’ll quit now! Anyway, here’s Japan’s four seasons in one image:

Four seasons in Japan
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Stuff guys didn’t want to learn about women’s public baths

goo Ranking recently took a look at what turns men off about women’s public baths; for men it was which actually did put them off, for women what they presumed men didn’t really want to know.

Actually, I’m surprised that there’s no answer regarding foreigners in some way! Thinking about it, foreigners often complain about being stared at in public baths, but perhaps we shouldn’t worry excessively as the Japanese are also staring at their fellows.

For me, the most unattractive on the list would be hair strewn all over the sinks. I have to tidy up after my wife washes her hair in the bathroom, and that’s off-putting enough, so multiply that by how many ever hundred of customers…

Here’s a typical sento, a public bath distinct from an onsens, hot springs, as the water is ordinary heated water, not naturally geothermally heated.

Sento
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Japan’s favourite characters

Today let’s have a ranking from Macromill Research for a change, a look at Japan’s favourite characters.

My favourite is number 10, followed by number 8 then 5, I suppose. Number 3 would be much higher-ranked if it wasn’t for the fact that in Japan it is only the Disneyfied version that does the rounds.

Let’s do this ranking graphically and in reverse order:
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Business book titles that tempt Japanese to read further

goo Ranking chose a bunch of business book titles and presented them to their monitor group to choose the titles that made people want to learn about the contents.

Note that all the title translations are my original work, but there might be official English titles for some of them.

Number three sounds most curious, but I’ve not travelled in the Green Car enough (ie, never) to make any judgement as to where it is true or not. I can quite understand number one, but some of the ones like “Being good at cosplay equals being good at work!” just sound a bit too forced to be worth picking up.

Number 6 says successful people don’t drink can coffee, but here’s proof that a world executive boss has can coffee:

Boss coffee in green
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Surprisingly popular with foreigners sights

Perhaps some of my readers have made the New Year resolution to head to Japan, so here are a few suggestions for where to go from a survey by goo Ranking into sights that Japanese are surprised to hear are popular with foreigners.

I’ve linked all the sights to either their official sites or to other reviews of the places. I’ve never really understood the attraction of the Shibuya crossing; perhaps I was too used to other busy crossings in Osaka before it appeared on my radar? The Robot Restaurant looks utterly cheesy and I’ve heard it’s quite overpriced for what it offers. The one I’d recommend the most (although probably the most out-of-the-way one) is number 16 Koyasan Okunoin, a graveyard with a lot of spooky atmosphere:

Okuno-in cemetery, Koyasan
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How present-day Japanese view New Year

Just in time for the New Year, here is a survey from @nifty into New Year, looking at a few aspects of how Japanese really pass the New Year, rather than the usual rather fanciful reporting one often sees around these holiday.

We buy in most of ours, but I find most of it rather bland and uninteresting. I could just eat black beans and egg rolls all holidays, but unfortunately I have to endure bland and often cold foods for about a week or more.

Here’s some home-made Osechi that is rather heavy on the vegetable side, not that that is a problem:

Mimi's osechi
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Verbal harassment at the Japanese office

Today many of my non-Japan resident readers will be off work for Boxing Day, so perhaps it might be appropriate to look at what makes you want to punch your boss, a goo Ranking survey into verbal harassment from one’s boss irritates people enough to make them want to quit their job.

I had a search for “power harassment”, what Japan calls workplace bullying by a boss, and found this poster illustrating three kinds of harassment that a university offers counselling services for, from top to bottom, sexual harassment, power harassment and academic harassment.

Hosei University, Ichigaya Campus: Poster of Campaign Against Harassment
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