What bits do Japanese secretly like to fiddle with?


This is a family survey, so the most obvious answer is not present, but this look at what body bits Japanese habitually enjoy fiddling with in secret has plenty of other bits for your enjoyment.

The one I do the most doesn’t feature here, plucking my nose hair, although I don’t collect it up!

Just last week, my boss, who sits at the adjacent desk, had his socks off, but I didn’t want to look to see if he was doing number 2 or 18…

This is about the only Safe For Work I could think of to illustrate the second number 16:

Shaved Danya in Jen's lap
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Intelligent robots: friends or foes?

Do you hold hopes or fears for Biglobe recently published an interesting survey looking at machine intelligence, synchronised with the Japanese release of the movie Ex Machina.

Given the lack of penetration of any kind of automation tools in the average Japanese workplace, I think the chances of a revolution here are relatively low. On the other hand, if someone teaches the AI how to use a fax, heaven help Japan!

Here’s Pepper and a couple of friends:

Say hello to newest Cusco campaign team! Pepper the Customer Greeting Robot. #PepperRobot #CuscoJapan #CuscoRacing #TakasakiKusuko #campaigngirl #racequeen
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Scams, fraud and other negative stories keeping Japanese away from Bitcoin

Do you know about virtual currencies? graph of japanese statistics

The company Bird, who sell the virtual currency New Century Currency, and the tax accountants Meijidori, together run seminars on tax reduction, presumably including information on tax issues surrounding virtual currencies like Bitcoin. Thus, they jointly sponsored a survey by iResearch into buying and using virtual currencies.

I personally wouldn’t touch Bitcoin with a barge-pole, and as a regular reader of /r/Buttcoin and its sister sub-reddit /r/SorryForYourLoss I know all too well of the scam artists and frauds that infest the virtual money world.
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Stuff you wish I’d not told you about Japanese boys’ school

As a follow-up on a recent survey on what Japanese guys didn’t want to learn about girls’ schools, I now present what Japanese women didn’t want to learn about boys’ school.

The very last, number 26, made little sense to me in Japanese, so it probably makes less sense to my readers, but there seems to be some sort of idiom about “three key books to understand a topic”, but how manga magazines get involved is unclear.

I can smell the sweat from this photo…

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Bad manners in the train and by foreigners

Today we have @nifty’s survey into manners, where I’ll select two ranking-like questions, on bad manners in trains (by Japanese) and bad manners by foreigners.

For the list of bad foreigner manners, I suspect that a lot is confirmation bias, that one bad-mannered foreigner tarnishes the reputation of all. Furthermore, many of these ill-manners can be levelled at the Japanese too; middle-aged women (especially from the Osaka area) are rather noisy in trains, Japanese abroad are quite camera-happy in no photos and no flash areas, around my local station is no smoking, but I’ll see at least one person a day puffing away, and so on.

Foreigners taking photos in “No Photo” areas reminds me of this curious case (scroll down a little).

Here’s a couple of trains manners posters:

Please do it at home.
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Coffee habits of the Japanese

Throughout the year, which do you drink more of? graph of japanese statistics

@nifty recently released a survey looking into coffee.

I most often drink convenience store coffee; it’s cheap and fresh and quite, quite drinkable, and with convenience stores near to the office, I quite often take a cup with me to work.

I’m quite surprised, however, in Q4 to see that Starbucks over-roasted drip coffee gets chosen as the favourite drink from there. I find it often quite undrinkable, but having said that, I was as Starbucks this morning (at last year’s Medicine Nobel winner’s hospital, Kitasato) and I have to admit that today’s blend was quite drinkable.

Here’s an old-school coffee shop that still survives despite Starbucks and friends:

Roman Coffee Shop, Matsue, Japan
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Famous people’s irritating Facebook posts

goo Ranking recently asked its visitors what SNS (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) posts by celebrities annoy you; I thought I recently did a similar survey for ordinary people, but I cannot find it right now…

I don’t follow any celebrities, although I occasionally see their Facebook posts through friends of friends. However, I just skip over them, so I have nothing irritating to report.

Here’s a collection of various celebs without their faces on:

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Grave concerns in Japan

What is important when selecting a grave? graph of japanese statistics

Excuse the poor pun of a title, but this survey into purchasing and moving graves by the Japan Stone Products Cooperative Association perhaps needed a little bit of levity on this weighty topic.

I’ve got my family plot bought (here’s a web site with a newspaper article on it, along with rather incongruous adverts), or at least it will be mine after 72 easy monthly installments, and perhaps this summer I may be able to take time to go and visit my future home
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Japan’s most unwelcome helpfulness

goo Ranking recently published an interesting survey into arigata meiwaku, unwelcome helpfulness, when other people read your mind wrongly.

My pet niggle is when convenience store staff put a fork in with my salad instead of the usual chopstick without asking me what I actually want.

I posed this question to a Japan expat forum on reddit and got a bunch of rather interesting replies from longer-term foreign residents of Japan. The most voted-for answer was having people jump in to help if you show even the slightest hesitation around railway ticket machines, which I must say I’ve only experienced once. Next is getting people ask you “Can you eat Japanese food?” and otherwise helping out with the “correct” way to fully enjoy the meal; I do get that too and it is very irritating! What have my readers experienced?

Here’s an example of number 6 – some people are saying that there is social pressure to refold the toilet paper back into a triangle after use!

Kawaii TP
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One in three Japanese clinging to their feature phones

Which carrier do you use for your main mobile phone? graph of japanese statisticsInternetcom recently reported on a survey by MMD into feature phones, bog-standard non-smart phones.

My two-year mobile phone contract is up for renewal this month, and after a short visit to my local Docomo shop, I found that I will be paying about 7,000 yen, the cheapest data plan they offer, for up to three gigabytes of data, free wifi and a few free minutes, not that I actually phone anyone much. On the other hand, I can get a cheap SIM, including getting my current number moved over, with the same 3 gigs of data and fee wifi, for about 1,500 yen per month. A hard choice…
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