Archive for Rankings

Bay City Rollers known to a mere 1% of Japanese teenagers

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Macromill recently conducted a survey looking at what’s in vogue with teenagers these days, and also looking at what was in vogue with older generations and how well they are known today.

In Q1 you will notice that 卍 (manji) appears – this is the Buddhist symbol which seems to be used by teenage girls these days to indicate someone who is strong or getting into the flow, approximately.

As a Scot, I am shocked that 99% of the youth of Japan is missing out on this:

And two-thirds are missing out on kitty rockers, despite featuring in an advert last year:


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Celebrities that drive you to drink

This is in a good way (well, assuming you accept that celebrities should be promoting beer), which celebrities in beer adverts give people a thirst.

I couldn’t find a nice ranking from goo this week, so instead I’ve borrowed a result from an @nifty survey into beer that I will probably fully translate the remainder of this week.

Japan gets them started young; on the left is “Beer for good children”, on the right is “Children’s drink”.

Beers for Children
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Women’s overdone ultraviolet blocking techniques

With summer coming up, goo Ranking took a look at what ultraviolet blocking techniques turn people right off. As is usual for these questionnaires, people selected the worst from a list of options.

I think the long black sleeve-like arm covers are the worst, followed by (shh, my wife does it too) those who won’t even go onto the balcony for five minutes without rubbing it on everywhere. I am hopelessly pale with next to no melanin to protect me, yet I manage to survive a 15 minute walk from the train station to work without getting burnt to a crisp.

Anyway, here is some essential advice when choosing sunglasses:

IF IT IS A TRAVEL, IT IS THIS SUNGLASSES!
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Snoozing favourite secret office activity

Today we have a fun little survey from goo Ranking looking at what Japanese surreptitiously get up to at work.

Note that the two different kinds of dozing; at 4 we have “sleep”, which implies, perhaps, leaving the office and finding a quiet corner to lie down for 40 winks, whereas 9, “snoozing in the toilets” is just what it says, taking some extra time in a cubicle at the office. I’m kind of surprised “boozing” doesn’t appear in the list, but I’d like to know how much of the “other” category was this.

I’m not really aware of people doing surreptitious stuff in my office, but perhaps that shows how skilled they are at it? If I were to be cynical, not that I ever would be, it would be “work”, as everyone seems fully occupied with busy work and meetings and document preparations, but how things actually progress is still a mystery to me.

Here’s someone sleeping on the job:

Sleeping
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Hikikomori, zangyo and hentai surprisingly understood abroad

I don’t quite believe this goo Ranking of Japanese words that people are surprised to learn are understood overseas; of course, I have no reason to dispute the results, but as this style of survey is picking a selection from a list of words, I cannot really understand why the survey compiler picked zangyo, overtime as a representative word. I’ve done a quick search of the BBC and New York Times, and while both have stories mentioning hikikomori and hentai, zangyo draws a blank.

I’m surprised at Doraemon and Sailor Moon featuring so high on the list too, as I am aware from watching Japanese television that these cartoons and any others are rather popular all over the world.

I just searched for hikikomori on Flickr, and on the first page was two pictures of bugs in rice. So, instead I took the first usable photo for otaku, which turned out to be an instance of too niche a Japanese word to be understood widely abroad, the ita-sha, the sort of car no-one other than an otaku would be seen dead in.

ITA-Sya. (OTAKU car)
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What you never wanted to know about female otaku

This survey starts off entertaining, but towards the end it gets a bit odd, perhaps due to my poor translation of some of the terms… I hope that doesn’t spoil this look at what things Japanese people didn’t want to learn about female otaku.

Note that the “favourite” here could be either a real person like a comic artist, or a 2D character from a favourite author.

Number 2 might be a disappointment to many of my readers! Number 6 was the one for me that I didn’t want to know.

These three probably qualify as female otaku, for their own particular brand of fashion:

Lolita Goth
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How to annoy young Japanese women on Facebook

Today’s survey is from goo Ranking, looking at what kinds of posts by female friends to Facebook, etc, annoy other young women

Being neither young nor female makes it difficult to comment, but I get annoyed most by show-off fathers, although I fortunately only know the one on Facebook. I would like to imagine that all my father friends are now wondering if I am talking about them…
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Japanese don’t know the meaning of innovation

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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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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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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