Instagram used by over one in three young Japanese women

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Teenage girls, do you use Instagram? graph of japanese statistics
COLOPAL’s SmartAnswer recently conducted a survey into Instagram use, finding it most popular with younger girls and women.

Instagram is another thing that I’ve never got into, so I don’t know what I’m missing, but I suspect it is nothing much… If any of my readers feel like trying to convince me, please suggest accounts worth following, and I’ll give it a try. A quick search for “Instagram cats” gave me this:

From @misato_2cats: "I want you to have another cup of coffee,please!" #catsofinstagram

A photo posted by Cats of Instagram (@cats_of_instagram) on

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Electricity market liberalisation

How do you rate electricity market liberalisation? graph of japanese statisticsNext month the marketplace for domestic electricity will be opened up, allowing many companies to sell electricity direct to consumers, rather than the current situation of monopoly providers. Belle Maison Lifestyle Research Labs recently conducted a survey into electricity liberalisation to see how aware people were of their new choices.

I’ve already signed up with Tokyo Gas; they seem to have the best deal going overall, and they are only one of three companies that have no compulsory contract length, so we can change any time; many other providers have one or two year terms that may lock you into a bad deal.
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White Day gifts that make you run a mile

Today is White Day in Japan, a second chance for chocolate makers to sell overpriced gifts; Valentine’s Day in Japan is for women to give gifts to men, so White Day is the day men are expected to return the favour. Thus this survey from goo Ranking looking at what gifts from men would make women run a mile. Furthermore, just to keep the balance, I’ll also present what items their girlfriends pulling from their bag would make men run a mile in the opposite direction.

My White Day gift was a bit of a disaster this year – I had a brush with the ‘flu over the weekend, and today it was pouring down, so I was in no mood for going shopping, so it was just a quick choice of a couple of cakes from a shop on the way home.

Here’s some nice chocolates to celebrate what’s left of the day!

swiss chocolate adapted to japanese habits (27 of 124)
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What Japanese love and hate about cats

I cannot find a nice goo Ranking for Silly Sunday, so instead let’s have some kittens, with a look at what people love and hate about cats by @Nifty, which I’ll present as a ranking.

I’d love to visit this temple!

豪徳寺・招き猫 / Manekineko in Gotokuji - Setagaya, Tokyo

I’m very much a cat person, and I’m joint owned by two of them. Frequent vomiting is probably my least favourite thing, especially as one cat has a chewing habit, and never learns that eating his blanket, eating sticky tape, eating his cardboard bed, etc, are guaranteed to have him spewing up the next day.

By the way, translating this survey I learnt that the breed マンチカン, read Manchikan, is actually called Munchkin in English. When I tried Googling how I thought it was spelt, Google corrected me to Mancunian
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Two in five Tokyo home-owners think foreigners shouldn’t use Airbnb

Airbnb shouldn't allow foreigners to use their services graph of japanese statistics

Marketing Research Camp recently published a survey into Minpaku – literally “staying at private homes” – a Japanese term for “Bed and Breakfast”, and its more modern form, Airbnb.

This is a very interesting survey; the report here was based on a single question published on the web site (their full 61 page report is available for free download, however) and revealed a number of interesting statistics. In particular, the headline figure of 40% Tokyo-resident home-owners thinking that Airbnb and similar services should not accept foreign customers is quite an eye-opener. Recently, there has been a lot of news articles about poor-mannered foreign guests (and I’ve even seen other foreign residents complaining of this) being excessively noisy in common areas of flats where there is an Airbnb property, and the implication from the news being that the vast majority of the places are not people renting out a spare room, but one-room flats being bought (or indeed illegally subletted) in residential property specifically for Airbnbing while the owner lives elesewhere.

One local government in Tokyo (Ota ward) recently tried to regulate Airbnb-type rentals, but I heard just two properties applied for certification.

Just for the record, I do not approve of Airbnb-type rental outside of spare rooms in one’s own home, and I think there should be just as strict regulation of online BnB properties as there is of traditional BnBs.

Note that I’ve decided to move demographic information to the end of articles from now on.
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How to ruin a night out at karaoke

Ignoring the obvious line that a night out at karaoke is by definition a night ruined, goo Ranking’s survey for today is a look at what behaviour at karaoke turns people right off.

Demographics

goo Rankings asked iBRIDGE’s Research Plus to conduct this survey, where between the 18th and 21st of December 2015 500 members of their monitor group aged between 20 and 39, and 50:50 male and female, completed a private internet-based questionnaire.

I’ve not been to karaoke much, not least because I am tone deaf and one of my earliest visits was with a professional singer, so it was hard to get motivated. Fortunately, none of the below happened, and I don’t remember causing any of them either…

Here’s an entrance to a random karaoke parlour somewhere in Japan:

Singing people always smile
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Japan’s favourite chocolate

It’s Valentine’s Day today, but I cannot find a nice ranking, so instead here’s an ordinary survey from @nifty about chocolate.

Demographics

Between the 29th of January and the 4th of February 2016 3,364 members of the @nifty research group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

I don’t understand why mint scores so low in Q3; most of my foreign friends cannot wait until summer and mint chocolate sweets come into season, but whatever they are offering are difficult to find and the season ends all too quickly. On the other hand, in the second part of Q1, I cannot really believe that half the surveyed population eats chocolates four or more times per day!

Here’s some interesting chocolate flavours:

Tomato chocolate?
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Autonomous vehicles not that popular in Japan

Would you pay 100,000 yen for emergency braking assistance system? graph of japanese statistics

As this is very closely related to my current work, this survey from Nippon Research Center on autonomous driving is very interesting to me.

Demographics

Between the 1st and 7th of July 2015 1,200 members of the Japanese public were randomly selected and interviewed face-to-face. 50.3% of the sample were female, 6.0% in their teens, 12.4% in their twenties, 16.2% in their thirties, 17.8% in their forties, 15.2% in their fifties, 18.1% in their sixties, and 14.5% in their seventies.

In Q1, the four levels mentioned are described in this document. Level 1 is simple automation of a single function in specific conditions, like maintaining speed while using cruise control. Level 2 controls multiple function, like automated parking that exercising acceleration, braking and steering simultaneously. Level 3 is autonomous driving in specific situations, like motorway driving, and finally Level 4 is 100% full automation in all situations. As far as I am aware, Japanese manufacturers are at Level 2 for parking, lane keeping, etc, and although there are demonstrations of Level 3-like behaviour, they are very canned. Google are probably high Level 3, and Tesla claim Level 3 for motorways, but I don’t really believe it.

I love the smug Eikichi Yazawa’s “Look no hands!” in this ad:


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90% of Japanese like beer

How do you find beer? graph of japanese statisticsKyodo Press Agency recently conducted a survey about, and simply titled, beer.

Demographics

Between the 16th and 18th of January 2016 1,000 people from all over Japan aged between 20 and 69 years old completed an internet-based questionnaire. There was no information about how the sample was gathered, or even if non-beer drinkers were filtered out or not, but it does seem odd that in Q1 there is no “Don’t drink alcohol” option. It might be safe to assume that only beer drinkers were surveyed, though.

Happoshu is a (not very) beer-like substance, made, I suspect, by basically adding alcohol to fizzy hop tea. Third-sector beer is brewed from non-traditional ingredients like beans. Both non-beer types recently tend towards “healthy” labels of zero or low purine, sugars, preservatives, etc. Personally, I find the no or low-sugar non-beers quite good for weeknight drinking, as they leave less of a heavy stomach behind the next morning, and some are even quite passable, and certainly beat beer in the cost-performance stakes, as due to tax anomalies they are half the price of real beer.
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Japan’s zombie goods that refuse to die

goo Ranking had an interesting survey looking at what items looks as if they will disappear, but probably won’t.

Demographics

goo Rankings asked iBRIDGE’s Research Plus to conduct this survey, where between the 4th and 7th of December 2015 500 members of their monitor group aged between 20 and 39, and 50:50 male and female, completed a private internet-based questionnaire.

Most conspicuous by its absence in this list is the fax machine, although it doesn’t seem to be anywhere near one foot in the grave here in Japan. On the news, for example, when they are reporting press releases there is always a shot of a sheet of A4 with a low-resolution fax printed on it, rather than a nice formatted PDF or a screenshot. However, I do suspect that this must be a TV world in-joke, where on getting an emailed release they either print it out using a custom crappy fax font, or they fax it to their cheapest 10 dpi thermal paper-using fax for that authentic Ye Olde Faxe effect.

And talking of Ye Olde Faxe:

Faxing Wishes for the Star Festival, after Toshikata
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