The theatre – my favourite place in Japan

This month’s subject for the Japan Blog Matsuri is My Favourite Place in Japan, so here goes with my entry.

My favourite place in Japan is the theatre, and you can find me there about once a month, most often at Takarazuka. However, over the Golden Week holidays at the start of May I managed to experience the other side of the footlights. The less than four years old Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Nishinomiya, Hyogo decided to hold their very first public backstage tour for a hundred or so lucky applicants. Lets let the photos do the talking:

Me on stage!

April Japan Blog Matsuri: Slow Times in Japan

Here is this month’s Japan Blog Matsuri, with a bumper haul of sixteen entries, including a few new-to-me blogs, so I hope you all can find something new too.

First out of the trap is a fellow Kansai blogger, sleepytako, a name that already suggests slow times! His relaxation is getting gently boiled in various hot springs around the Kansai area, and the story also serves as a pointer to his rather useful Kansai Onsen Guide.

Next up is another Kansai resident, Harvey, who submitted an older post, but it’s about a walk I’ve always wanted to do myself, as I find disused railway lines fascinating. He walked a portion of the old Takarazuka to Sanda JR line.

Jamie at Frugalista Japan posted on not really a slow time, more a downright boring year in Yokkaichi, which I suspect might be near Tokyo, but it sounds far too dull to even bother looking up!

Japan Blog Matsuri


Baseball, skating and football top sports in Japan

Will Japan qualify for the 2010 South Africa World Cup? graph of japanese statisticsWith the Olympics over for another four years and the South Africa World Cup still two years away, this is a good time to take a look with MyVoice at sports, their third look at the subject. Incidentally, if you want to find out more about sports in Japan, be sure to check out this month’s Japan Blog Matsuri on sport in Japan!


Over the first five days of October 2008 14,560 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 1% in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 37% in their thirties, 30% in their forties, and 17% aged fifty or older.

I don’t have time to watch sport on the television, especially with wall-to-wall baseball, in which I have zero interest, and even if I had the time, the wife owns the remote control…

I used to be a big Formula 1 fan, having attended Suzuka thrice, but even though last month I came across the start of the Japan Grand Prix live on television, both Hamilton and Coulthard piled up on the first lap and the Fuji circuit was totally unfamiliar to me, so I gave up and did the hoovering instead.

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!


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!