70% of Japanese will watch World Cup at home

Who do you think will win the 2006 World Cup? graph of japanese opinionMyVoice surveyed thier community at the start of May to find out what their plans were for the upcoming 2006 FIFA World Cup™. They got 14,800 replies to their private internet questionnaire, with 54% of the respondents female. 4% were in their teens, 22% in their twenties, 39% in their thirties, 23% in their forties, and 12% in their fifties.

I’d like to watch a number of the World Cup matches, but sadly wifey controls the remote! I’ll probably have to make do with the highlights on news programs, which will no doubt be 95% covering the Japanese team, then 5% for the rest of the matches. I’ve got little confidence in Zico as the manager; despite him winning the silverware at the Asian Cup, I just don’t warm to him.

The press seems to have already written off the qualifying round as a mere formality despite Croatia being rather strong, and of course there’s Brazil there too.

Digital music players beating CDs and MDs

Which type of portable music player do you use the most? graph of japanese opiniongoo Research recently published the results of some detailed investigation into the use of portable music players. Over four days at the end of March they interviewd by means of a private internet questionnaire 2,183 members of their monitor group. The respondents were 48.2% male, with 19.1% in their teens, 17.5% in their twenties, 19.7% in their thirties, 21.2% in their forties, 16.6% in their fifties, 4.8% in their sixties, and 1.2% seventy years old or more.

Note that MP3 player refers to either memory based or hard-disk based players only like iPods or D-Snaps, not CD players that support MP3 file formats. I am not sure under what category phones with music playback support are recorded; perhaps they are “Other”?

I’ve recently been testing a Sony NW-A3000 but I couldn’t really recommend it to anyone. The 20 Gb hard disk is nice, of course, but the PC-based software is unwieldy to say the least, as is the player software. Pet hates include that random shuffle seems not as random as it should be, doing Pause then Play will result in a one-second or so skip, and recharging the player resets the player back to the first track. I’ve heard that the iPod balances out the volume, but the Sony doesn’t, so I have to keep fiddling with the sound levels. On the other hand, I did manage to find an almost complete archive of Just A Minute, but on the downside I perhaps scare the other train passengers as I try to stifle laughs during my commute.

Google Video, YouTube best-known brands in Japan

Have you used a video sharing site? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com, in conjunction with goo Research, looked at the use of video sharing sites. 1,011 internet users from all over the country completed an online questionnaire; 57.5% of the sample were female, 24.2% in their twenties, 43.9% in their thirties, 23.0% in their forties, and 8.9% in their fifties.

YouTube is apparently a current hot topic of discussion, with over 2 million Japanese visitors reported. My main concern regarding these places is the copyright isssues, as there are many blatant rips of Japanese TV being uploaded, which is illegal regardless of any added value the uploader has attached, for example Lazer Ramon HG’s subtitled adventures!

Half of internet users view television station web sites

Do you often view television stations' web sites? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com, in conjuction with JR Tokai Express Research, investigated how people use television stations’ web sites; both PC-centric and mobile phone-targetted sites were included. By means of an internet-based questionnaire, they obtained the opinions of 317 employed persons from all over the country; 71.3% were male, 22.1% in their twenties, 43.5% in their thirties, 25.2% in their forties, 7.6% in their fifties, and 1.6% sixty or over.

This survey, I feel, poses more questions than it answers. Which programs’ sub-sites within each channel’s offering are people choosing to view? Getting program details covers too broad a ground from just getting a synopsis for a movie to checking out some of the factual (or not quite so factual, as the case may be) information presented by a show after the broadcast. Why did Q1SQ2 not investigate if people gave feedback to shows or played web site games? What about different usage patterns for PC-based and mobile-based access? I suspect these answers may be obtained if one is willing to part with cash, though!

Dancing bear syndrome: non-native Japanese speakers

In November last year, DIMSDRIVE Research interviewed via an internet-based questionnaire 3,604 people (1,620, or 45.0% male) regarding what foreigner they thought was good at Japanese.

To most people who have never been to Japan this probably sounds like a really bizarre question to ask, but with Japan having only about 2% non-Japanese residents, and with the vast majority of these actually being born in Japan and often bred as Japanese (Google for zainichi), the number of non-native speakers of Japanese is very low, and of course Nihonjinron tells the Japanese that we gaijin cannot learn the language properly. (Actually, Japanese is relatively easy for basic speaking fluency, as most verb and noun conjugation is regular, the core vocabularly is quite small, and pronunciation is mostly straightforward. However, the intricacies of polite language and kanji (although kanji is not excessively difficult, there’s a lot of it to learn!) inhibit most people from getting to perfect mastery.) In fact, being told you are good at Japanese by a Japanese person is more often than not お世辞, oseji, flattery, bordering on the line of patronisation, which I suspect is the reason that the third-placed person is there.

Everyone loves a Hard Gay!

fuu!infoPLANT carried out a survey to find the most popular comedian in Japan, either single performers or manzai double-acts. 8,302 people filled in their choice through the opinion poll offered in an iMode mobile phone menu option during one week at the start of October. 30.4% of the respondents were male, and 69.6% female.

The most often chosen solo performer was none other than the man of the moment here, Lazer Ramon HG! “Hard Gay Number One Fuuuu!”, as he might exclaim. HG’s a guy who inspires as much hate as he does love – I find him very funny, on the whole, mainly as he is far more spontaneous than the average comedian, whereas others hate what they see as the negative image of gay people that he portrays. Although he does dress up like the stereotypical leather man, the character behind it is rather a fun-loving sort of image, I feel. Of course there’s the other category of haters that find his pelvic thrusting at children (not as bad as it sounds, really) a bad influence, which I say I must agree with, and I would try not to let any kids of mine watch him.

Television on your mobile

Personally, I’ve always thought it was a daft idea, and never knew why companies are pushing it so hard over here in Japan. The last thing you want from a mobile is for the battery to run out, and trying to follow the action on a tiny screen with a non-existant aerial seems like a lesson in frustration. This survey seems to back up my opinions. It was carried out at the end of July, amongst 2,156 people from a private internet survey group, 55.1% male, predominantly under 50 years old.