February Blog Matsuri and Google Friends Connect

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First, Deas over at Rocking in Hakata has an epic edition of the Japan Blog Matsuri, with a pretty massive set of 26 entries to the Foreigh Food Matsuri. Enjoy!

Second, I’ve signed up for Google Friends Connect for some reason:

Feel free to add yourself to the list and… I’m not really sure what happens after the and, but there must be some good reason why everyone at JapanSoc.org is signing up!

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Poorly-understood job titles in Japan

Here’s a quick ranking survery from goo Ranking to squeeze in as my entry to the September 2008 Japan Blog Matsuri on poorly-understood job titles in Japan. As the theme of this month’s Matsuri is language, I’ll list the original Japanese too. I’ll bet many of my readers will be stumped by some of the translations too!

Demographics

Between the 25th and 28th of July 2008 1,072 members of the goo Research online monitor panel completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.3% of the sample were male, 5.7% in their teens, 14.4% in their twenties, 31,0% in their thirties, 28.1% in their forties, 10.5% in their fifties, and 10.4% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.
It’s interesting that most of the confusing job titles are English ones. Number 7, Vice-President, refers not to people like Dick Cheney, but to something I notice in start-ups, where everyone in at the founding and/or with substantial shareholdings gets an honorary vice-presidentship for their troubles. I’m not sure what number 14 is doing on the list – an orchestra conductor is a 指揮者, shikisha – do they mean bus conductor?

I used to have an unofficial job title of Transcontinental Code Monkey (I might even still have the T-shirt somewhere), but that’s another story.

Oh, and for the Blog Matsuri I though this or this would have been much more appropriate, but the translation defeated me!
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April Japan Blog Matsuri announced!

This month’s volunteer host is Deas at Rocking in Hakata. To fit in with the season, this month’s topic is tourism. As usual, there is a lot of scope to be creative with this one, so we are awaiting your entries.

Also note that since we are coming up to Golden Week, entries will be accepted until the 7th of May, so you have may time to post all about your coming Golden Week fun!
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March Japan Blog Matsuri

In keeping with the cherry blossom season, Bill over at Rising Sun of Nihon spread out the blue ground sheet underneath the sakura, cracked open two six-packs of refreshing blog content, and partied well into the night, belting out that familiar refrain of Uniquely Japanese.

Big thanks to Bill for doing the hosting, and I am in awe of his mad networking skillz in getting so many to take part this month. Next month’s host and topic will be reported in due time. Future volunteers are most welcome to get in touch!

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Japan’s Three Great… ranking

As my entry for the upcoming Japan Blog Matsuri, this time being hosted by Bill at Rising Sun of Nihon, may I present the latest research from goo Ranking on one of the strange and uniquely Japanese (well, I’ve never heard of such a thing back home at least!) custom of enumerating famous locations, etc, as the Three Great Things. The research for this was conducted between the 18th and 20th of January, but no further demographic information is available. All the sights will be linked to relevant images or web pages, so feel free to click through to see what the fuss is about. However, some of the text may be Japanese if I can’t find a suitable English web page. Note there is also a WikiTravel article on a few of Japan’s Three Greats. Also note that the order they appear doesn’t imply a 1, 2, 3 rank.
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Rising Sun of Nihon hosting the third Japan Blog Matsuri

Bill over at Rising Sun of Nihon has picked the short straw and has graciously volunteered to host the third Japan Blog Matsuri, this time on the subject of Uniquely Japanese. I think that’s a subject with a lot of potential for collecting together some interesting posts, so either create a new post or dust off your favourite recent post on that subject, and send it in either through the widget below or directly to Rising Sun of Nihon by the end of March, please.
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February’s Japan Blog Matsuri

Good news: this month has seen the submissions for the Japan Blog Matsuri double!
Bad news: doubling two only gives you four!

However, I also have a volunteer to host next month’s Matsuri, and I’ll introduce him along with his entry towards the end of the article.

First up is Juice from the blog Juice on Japanese Girls with his entry on #Getting the digits#, an article on how to use your mobile phone to aid your chat-up attempts on Japanese girls. I must be getting old as I barely understand the English on that page!

To tell the truth, I was rather reluctant to accept this entry as I felt it was not quite “proper”, but on further consideration I decided that it was just me being rather old-fashioned about the whole affair. I’ve since read more of the site, and whilst being happily married I personally don’t find anything useful there, perhaps it might be of interest to others. Let me or Juice know what you think!
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February Japan Blog Matsuri – Japanese Gadgets

The theme for this month, closing date midnight Japan time on the 28th, is “Japanese Gadgets”. Any and all entries welcome, from news of the latest toys to how you use your gadgets in your daily life.
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The first-ever Japan Blog Matsuri! January 2007 edition

Just in case you’d thought I’d forgotton about it, here are the posts for the inaugural Japan Blog Matsuri, on the theme of matsuri, or festivals.

First up is James at Japan Probe, who, sort-of getting into my recent theme of organ transplants, submitted Videos of the Hounen Matsuri: An amazing fertility festival, which as you might suspect from the title, features none-too-work-safe videos of a massive willie. If you’re impressed, you still have time to get to this year’s event on the 15th of March in Komaki, Aichi (north of Nagoya).

Next is John from Fried Chicken Arcade, who covers the Dontosai Matsuri at Osaki Hachiman Shrine in Sendai, where people burn their New Year decorations for good fortune in the coming year.
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Announcing the start of the monthly Japan Blog Matsuri!

In order to get a bit more of a community and interaction going on here with my fellow Japan bloggers, I have decided to hold a Japan Blog Matsuri (outline and guidelines described there), basically a chance for everyone to recommend their best, or favourite, or most under-appreciated blog post for the month, based around a different theme every month.

The theme for this month, closing date midnight Japan time on the 31st, is rather appropriately “matsuri”. Take it any way you want, not just as the obvious report from a festival, but apparently it can also mean tangle or jasmine the plant, not the tea. Posting on 政, “matsurigoto”, politics, is however perhaps stretching it a bit. Visit this page to submit your posts, or just email me directly.

To get the ball rolling, if you are keen to contribute to this month’s Matsuri or even host in future, please post a comment! It would also be nice to get a logo designed, if anyone has any artistic ability.

Why contribute or host?

From a purely altuistic point of view, think of all the good you’re doing the community! From a pragmatic point of view, submitters will be getting an extra link (perhaps keyword-rich?) and the associated traffic, and perhaps might pick up an extra regular reader or two in the process. For the host, they’ll hopefully be links back from the blogs you collate, with associated traffic, plus of course going down on the record of hosts on the Japan Blog Matsuri home page.

Finally, if you fancy doing some domain name speculation, if someone purchases a jbmatsuri-based site URL and designs some sort of landing page, I would be open to discussing setting the primary URL for the Japan Blog Matsuri to that web site – this would be a free transaction, naturally, but I’d have to feel happy about who I was entrusting the Matsuri to. Having it as an unofficial home page would be no problem to me, and of course easily doable without my consent.
jbmatsuri

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