Western toilet style vastly preferred

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This survey into toilets is rather interesting, and a bit surprising that nearly half the Japanese men have at least occasionally felt the urge to go whilst travelling to work.

One interesting result from the stand or sit debate is that Kyushu men, who have the stereotype of being very masculine and uncompromising, were to type here, with over 50% making a stand for a man’s right to stand.

I’m a bit funny when it comes to public toilets; I’ll only use department store ones if I need a poo, but I can very easily be turned off by simple things like some cling-ons left on the bowl or just a funny smell, and no toilet seat cover makes me feel very uncomfortable for some weird reason!

Here’s an advert for getting caught short in the train – geri-portation is a terrible pun on geri, the runs, and teleportation:


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Three in four Japanese like okonomiyaki and takoyaki

The two soul foods of the west of Japan are okonomiyaki, a sort-of savoury pancake, and takoyaki, a ball of dough with octopus testicles inside. This survey from @nifty looked at what the whole country thinks of okonomiyaki and takoyaki.

I love okonomiyaki; it’s great on a hot summer’s evening in front of blazing hot plate with an ice-cold beer or three. My first few years in Japan I ate it at least twice a week at a local shop, as it was one of the few easy vegetarian meals even with little language, as they cook everything right in front of you.

I’ve never had takoyaki, however. It always smells too strong for me, and the dancing fish flakes look quite unappetising!

Okonomiyaki: mayo and ginger top it off -- ready to eat!
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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.
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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
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Japanese quite open to home robots, Roomba and friends most popular

Would you like to have a robot around the house? graph of japanese statistics@nifty recently surveyed its members to find out their opinions on robots.

I don’t know what ASIMO, Honda’s walking robot, is doing in the list of household robots; as far as I am aware it is nothing more than a technology promotion, with no plans to commercialise. I’m also surprised to see Panasonic’s Mr Evolta, which again I understand to be just a vehicle for promoting their recharable batteries. Regardless, it’s interesting to so how well-known these names are.

This is my favourite robot statue that pre-dates the more famous life-size Gundam, a life-size Testujin 28-go.

Tetsujin 28
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One in seven over-sixty Japanese have prepared for their death

Do you know the term 'shuukatsu'? graph of japanese statisticsA word that came into fashion about five or six years ago is 終活, shuukatsu, an abbreviation of the phrase “Activities for one’s end of life”, basically getting one’s finances, will, paperwork, funeral plan, etc all in order while one is still able, so as not to be too much bother for one’s relatives after kicking the bucket. This survey from @nifty looked at this subject, shuukatsu, end of life preparations.

I’ve got my grave prepared – it’s a family plot out in the wilds of Shiga prefecture for myself, my wife, and her parents. Since Japanese funerals are quite expensive, my wishes would be to get everything over and done with with the minimal of fuss and expense. I’ve still got a tonne of paperwork from the UK to sort out though…

At least my place looks prettier than here:

墓地明石天文台よりP9160008.jpg
By 白蛇の騎士白蛇の騎士, GFDL, Link

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Pineapple pizza popularity poor

@Nifty reported on a survey they conducted into pizza.

I’m surprised that in Q5 mayonnaise is not on the list of disliked ingredients; I like a potato pizza, but usually it comes with lots of mayo and corn, and Pizza La in particular seem to drown just about everything they do in mayo. The only good thing about Pizza La is their summer ebimayo (prawn mayonnaise) advert series:


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How present-day Japanese view New Year

Just in time for the New Year, here is a survey from @nifty into New Year, looking at a few aspects of how Japanese really pass the New Year, rather than the usual rather fanciful reporting one often sees around these holiday.

We buy in most of ours, but I find most of it rather bland and uninteresting. I could just eat black beans and egg rolls all holidays, but unfortunately I have to endure bland and often cold foods for about a week or more.

Here’s some home-made Osechi that is rather heavy on the vegetable side, not that that is a problem:

Mimi's osechi
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Why Japanese work and don’t work

This combined survey and ranking from @nifty into working revealed a few attitudes that were new to me, so hopefully my readers will enjoy it too!

First, less than a third report taking a sickie or slacking on the job; I can understand, perhaps, people not wanting to admit slacking even in an anonymous setting, but in my experience with my employer, who offers more holidays than people can take, I feel that many people find it easier to phone in sick rather than go through the proper channels to request a holiday; I have no data to back this up, though!

I’m not sure if 25% workplace romances is high or low; I suppose it depends on whether or not the majority were affairs or not. I do remember when I joined our work union, at the introductory meeting they reminded everyone that one of their offerings were regular matchmaking-like social gatherings.

Here’s someone sleeping on the job:

Sleeping
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Summer holiday outings

My summer holidays in Japan ends this weekend, but if you’ve still got some time, here is a survey from @nifty into summer travel that might give you some ideas for what to do.

My summer holidays have amounted to going to the cinema, and this weekend I have an appointment at the dentist…

I’ve not seen any fireworks in the Tokyo region, but I’ve viewed the top three in the West Japan list. I’ve also been to all the five listed West Japan World Heritage sites, but only one of the zoos, although many zoos in Japan are pretty depressing places with tiny cages for huge animals.

Now, pictures of the top (or close to top) locations in Q2 to Q6:

Sumida River Fireworks

Sumida river Fireworks

Naniwa Fireworks (no decent Tenjin photos to be found)

P8104207

Kiyomizu Temple

Stage at Kiyomizu

Ueno Zoo

Ueno zoo, Tokyo, Japan

FujiQ Highland Haunted Hospital exit

[FujiQ Highlands]  Haunted Hospital
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