Hikikomori, zangyo and hentai surprisingly understood abroad

Advertisement

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)
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,

Comments

Pak chi (cilantro) disliked by almost half the Japanese

This survey from @nifty looked at Chinese and other Asian dishes.

I’ve not tried much Chinese food in Japan, but it does have the image to me of being like the cheap carry-outs I remember from Scotland. I’ve not tried much Korean either, but I’ve at least had a reasonable number of the South-East Asian dishes.

There’s a Bamiyan Chinese restaurant just one minute walk from my house, but I won’t go in: it’s half smoking with very little separation, and anyway, I have some degree of misophonia, with noodle slurping being my biggest pet hate (excessive plastic bag rustling in the train is another), so I couldn’t possibly enjoy any food.

I rather like pak chi; I think the first time I encountered it was a Vietnamese restaurant in Shinjuku, and since I’ve also had pak chi crisps (nice!) and pak chi lemonade, which was interesting.

Here’s some random gyoza:

Nomenclature.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,,

Comments

Japanese kids’ loved and hated fruit and veg

Today’s survey was a look at children’s liked and disliked fruit and vegetables.

My most hated vegetable as a child, Brussels sprouts, are very much a rarity here in Japan, so I suspect not many children have tasted one, let alone have an opinion on them. I think the most interesting result here is how few children actually have disliked vegetables.

When Inside Out (or Inside Head as it was called here) came out in Japan, a scene featuring broccoli was changed to green peppers, because as you can see below, just one percent of Japanese children admit to green pepper love, versus 18% for broccoli.

Here’s some loved and hated strawberries:

Strawberry People ClubMed Kabira Press Tour
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,,

Comments

Custom Search

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
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,,

Comments

Japanese and physical newspaper consumption

Unlike many other countries, Japan’s physical newspaper market is generally healthy, as far as I am aware, and this survey from @nifty into newspapers appears to back up my opinions.

Note that some of the figures have one decimal place and some have none; this is because some figures were published to one decimal place, but others I had to estimate off a graph.

I didn’t know half of these uses in Q6! Here is a random cat helping his owner to read the newspaper:

うめ
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,

Comments

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…
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,,

Comments

No smoking law; public says not just for Olympics, not just for Tokyo

With Tokyo Olympics coming up, one of the hot topics is that the International Olympic Committee and the WHO have agreed that they should promote a smoke-free Olympics, in order to protect against second-hand smoke, but with Japan being a bit of a smokers’ paradise and with the government owning a third of Japan Tobacco, they are a bit lagging on things. However, recently a bill has been introduced that would require all restuarants over 30 square metres to go non-smoking. To see what the public thought of this, Intage Research conducted a survey into going non-smoking.

Despite extensive advert campaigns like the one pictured below, Japan Tobacco seems to have failed to convince the general public that the problem of smoking is not disease but manner issues like litter. Furthermore, Japan must be about the only country with more restrictions on outdoor smoking – for instance many major train stations ban smoking within a radius of a kilometre or so – versus indoor – basically no restrictions in restaurants. I remember my first experience in Japan many years ago; they asked “Smoking or Non-Smoking?”, we said “Non”, so they lifted the ashtray off the table. Things have got better now, but not much…

Anti-smoking ads

Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,

Comments

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
Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,

Comments

Worries about Buddhist services

A bit of a curious topic here, a look at worries about Buddhist services, conducted by the graveyard intermediary service, Ohaka no Hikkoshi or Graveyard Moving Service, as one of their services includes moving interred ashes from one location to another.
Having just recently used Buddhist funeral and grave services, fortunately my denomination has a very smooth funeral service, and since my wife’s family has certain connections, we got various free upgrades. I suppose the only worry is the home altar butsudan, as most of them seem to be made of the cheapest veneered chipboard, but priced as if they are chiselled out of the finest virgin ebony.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,

Comments

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…

Read the rest of this entry »

Read more on: ,,

Comments

« Previous entries Next entries »