A 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…
The clear winner here, mainly as the modern-looking tower is out of place in old Kyoto, but also that most of the interesting buildings are too close and difficult to photograph well. I’ve never been up it myself, but looking at English-language reviews, it is worth it. By the way, the shape of the tower is modeled on a candle. Read the rest of this entry »
This survey from goo Ranking looked at romantic situations people find unrealistic; many of those below are from corny manga comics or Hollywood movies. Number 16 in particular features in far too many human dramas, be they on TV or movies there is inevitably a scene involving some kind of romantic incident in the pouring rain.
Here is an example of the overused cliche of running to school with toast in one’s mouth:
IDC Otsuka furniture chain recently released the results of a survey they conducted last year into sleep, in apparently an effort to sell some mattresses, given that the second half of the press release was an advertisement for some mattresses.
I’m totally dissatisfied with my sleep; the sleep itself is sound enough, but far too short. If you count sleeping on the train, and on the sofa at home, I think I just manage five hours…
In Japan chronic sleep deprivation starts from an early age:
Here is a new-to-me survey company, Qzoo, who conducted a survey on behalf of Sirabee into dating foreigners.
It’s just a single question survey, but the figures were interesting to me, and hopefully to my readers too. However, there is a huge question; why have just one or two percent of those in their thirties dated a foreigner? The foreigner population is round about 2%, so by random choice, if was just a single partner that people had, it would be correct, but with multiple partners, plus given the stereotype that many younger single Japanese have never had a date, the ratio of foreigners in the dating pool may be higher than the raw 2%.
By area of residence, the survey pointed out that the third-most popular tourist spot for foreigners is Disneyland and Disney Sea in Chiba, but it would seem that Mickey is more attractive than the opposite sex.
Here’s a foreigner with his Japanese wife pouring him a beer – wish I could train mine like that!
A hot topic in Japan, and the subject of bills currently being drafted in response to the requirement from the IOC for the Olympic host city to be smoke-free, is smoking and non-smoking, the subject of a survey by IRRC and their Hoken Clinic insurance sales shops.
The current proposal is to make every eating and drinking establishment over 30 square metres either all non-smoking or to have a walled-off smoking area.
The current situation is such that I basically do not go out to eat anywhere other than shopping malls and department store restaurant floors as places there are either smoke-free or clearly labelled as smoking, so I know where to avoid. It annoys me greatly that all the news coverage has shop-owners moaning about losing business, yet in the rest of the world smoking bans have led overall to more customers, but such an opinion is never touched upon.
Unfortunately, when we have work dos, despite no-one in our team choosing to smoke, it is invariably a smoking restuarant we end up in. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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. Read the rest of this entry »