Bicycle riding in Japan

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Katte2Q took a short look at bicycle riding.

I used to ride a bike when I very first came to Japan, riding to work perhaps two or three times a week or so, and occasionally going further afield, but then I moved out too far from work, but too close to the station to need the wheels. It would probably be classed as a cross bike, but when I moved one time I just left it in the bike park at my old residence…

Here’s a typical scene of bikes parked around a shopping area; nearly all the bikes are the typical city bikes, three gears if you’re lucky, and brakes that squeal something awful!

More bikes
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Thirties Japanese answer “How is babby formed?”

There is a notorious Yahoo! Answers question, “How is babby formed?” that I have used as the introduction to this survey from Nissin into getting pregnant activities.

Nissin is the company behind Chicken Ramen and Cup Noodle, and their excuse for this survey was launching a new supplement for supporting baby-making for both male and female, featuring folic acid, zinc and lactic acid.

Rather predictably, but probably in line with much of the rest of the world, it seems that infertility or poor fertility is mostly a woman’s problem.

This sign says “Do not feed the monkeys”, but what the pregnant monkey is doing there is a mystery to me!

Please do not feed the monkeys
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One in four Japanese is totally lacking in wisdom… teeth

This short but interesting survey by Katte2Q into dentists and teeth revealed a few interesting numbers regarding Japanese teeth.

The Japanese for wisdom teeth is 親知らず, oyashirazu, or literally “without parents’ knowing”, which might suggest to the casual reader that it has something to do with one’s parents not noticing their adult child’s back teeth appearing, unlike with baby teeth and the main adult teeth. However, I have seen some sites that explain this further as meaning one’s parents tended to be dead before the teeth appeared…

I’ve not had mine removed, but my dentists have never mentioned anything about them, although I’ve got a slight (false?) memory of seeing an X-Ray with the bottom ones horizonal rather than vertical. Next check-up I’ll have to remember to ask!

Here’s an interesting dentist’s sign:

Untitled
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Retirement in Japan

It’s something we’ll all (hopefully, although Trump seems to be trying his hardest to save us from that worry…) have to face, retirement, the subject of this survey from @nifty.

I just recently started our company pension scheme, and I’ve managed to reconnect myself with one of my UK private pensions, and after a visit to a financial adviser last month, she informed us we had enough to survive, although enjoying might be a different matter… Most Japanese companies still have a hard retirement age of sixty, and some (like my employer) with schemes to reemploy people on rolling yearly contracts at no doubt reduced wages.

I skipped translating question seven, as it was a list of famous people who are growing old ideally; top for men was Tokoro George then Tamori, and for women it was Sayuri Yoshinaga followed by Tamori. However, my ideal, who features nowhere in either the male or female top ten, would be Beat Takeshi. I’d love to be as talented to basically not give a care about anything or, as is more probably true, to be able to appear to not give a damn.

Here’s some random Japanese people enjoying their retirement:

Energetic Seniors
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△□○ and other strange Japanese company names

I’m not sure how well this works as a translation, and I’m not sure how well my translations work, but this look by goo Ranking at over-stand-out company names that offer little clue as to what they actually do.

Number one seems an odd choice to me – it is just the present participle of one of the very first verb one learns, especially given the second name. Actually it comes from an innocent source; the company was originally “Sutematsu the Blacksmith”, which was shortened to “Yarisute”, based on the term(?) “Yari (spear) Sutei (not sure of what this means!)” and dropping the last “i”. However, in slang yari-sute is literally “to do and throw away”, or a One Night Stand.

On number 3’s website (a charter bus company, it seems) there is no explanation as to the origin of the “mokkori” part of the name, which is most well-known as part of the name of the pictured moss-ball character, Marimokkori:

marimokkori
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Guerilla downpours in Japan

In the last ten years or so it seems that sudden and difficult to forecast thunderstorms have increased; they have been named guerilla downpours, and this survey from Weather News looked at awareness of such storms.

The average guerilla storm will brew up in an hour or so, often going from bright daylight to night-like darkness and accompanied by a 5 to 10 degrees Celsius temperature drop, before dumping from about 50mm to over 100mm of rain in an hour.

Many Japanese, including my wife, seem over-anxious about lightning; I grew up where lightning was rare, then first experienced a serious electrical storm in France, which I watched with a beer in my hand from a hotel terrace, but now I’m not even allowed to look out the window…

Here’s some thunder and lightning everyone loves – Kaminari (thunder/lightning) Gate at Sensouji Temple in Asakusa. The large lantern guarded by the God of Lightning is a gift from Matsushita (now Panasonic) Electrical, and the very first product of the company was an adapter for light sockets that provided a plug along with the bulb, so might say the God of Lightning is guarding a gift from the God of Lighting.

Senso-ji_Temple-Kaminari-mon
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Taking paid holidays in Japan

A survey from the internet service provider (with a sideline in surveys) Biglobe into paid holidays revealed the sorry state of paid holiday usage in Japan.

As an employee of a company with proactive holiday-taking initiatives, such as three 10-day holidays per year, a recommendation to take two paid holidays per month (with follow-up if you fall too far behind), and a requirement to take a minimum of 80% of our 25 or so holidays (plus publics) each year with a recommendation to take all 100%, it still is difficult to take more than two consecutive days of personal holidays. Conversely, it is ridiculously easy to take a skive or a man-flu day, which I feel is more of a disruption than a planned week holiday.

At my place of work, I feel the main hindrance to taking holidays is little skill or training in delegation of tasks, plus schedules (if they exist) assume 100% attendance; everyone thinks they are far too important to leave their post for more than a day or two.
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Majority of Japanese live with cockroaches

at home VOX recently had a look at that summer pest, cockroaches.

I hate the buggers myself, and my previous house was filled with them, and I suspect last summer one died somewhere behind the kitchen units and stunk the place out for a few months. I tend to run away on encountering them, and get my wife to do the business with a can of bug spray.

Here’s a selection of the various smoke bombs and other goods for ridding one’s house of cockroaches and other nasties:

Japan Insect Repellent
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Tokyo

A simple title for this survey from @nifty, a broad look at many issues surrounding Tokyo.

I don’t really know which wards I’ve been to as I’m not sufficiently familar with the geography. Perhaps in the survey there was a short reminder of the main stations or sights in each ward.

I’ve been on just the one bus tour of Tokyo, and the one good place was the Geihinkan, the State Guest House or Akasaka Palace. Getting tickets is a little difficult, so a tour is probably the best way to assure entry.

_DSC6398
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Bay City Rollers known to a mere 1% of Japanese teenagers

Macromill recently conducted a survey looking at what’s in vogue with teenagers these days, and also looking at what was in vogue with older generations and how well they are known today.

In Q1 you will notice that 卍 (manji) appears – this is the Buddhist symbol which seems to be used by teenage girls these days to indicate someone who is strong or getting into the flow, approximately.

As a Scot, I am shocked that 99% of the youth of Japan is missing out on this:

And two-thirds are missing out on kitty rockers, despite featuring in an advert last year:


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