Archive for Lifestyle

Japan’s favourite eggs are chicken, salmon and cod

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This survey from @nifty looked at egg-based foods, covering both bird eggs and fish roe.

My parents often ate cod roe and herring roe; I only tried cod once as a child, but I can still remember the unpleasant texture. Although we ate a lot of salmon in our house (my father would regularly catch many fish) I cannot remember salmon roe ever appearing on the table. I don’t know if it was that he only went fishing after the spawning season, or he chucked them away, or what. Next time I’m on the phone I’ll have to ask!

By the way, note that percentages with one decimal place are exact values, but with no decimal places are estimates read off graphs.

Here’s some typical salmon roe – to me it just looks too polished and deeply-coloured, so I always suspect there must be artificial colouring added (they do it to farmed salmon meat, so why not eggs too) and something else pre-serving for that extra shine:

Japanese New Years Cuisine (Salmon Roe)
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Young Japanese women and Instagram

The sweets maker Kanro recently released a survey that looked at Instagram and lifestyle, with young women being the focus.

One reason for this survey is to promote a photo competition. Follow either Kanro’s Twitter or Instagram account, take a photo of yourself with a package of Kanro’s Pure Gummi and upload it, tagging it with #ピュレフォト and #キャンペーン実施中 by the end of the year. After that, 1,000 people will be selected (at random, I presume) and will receive 6 bags of limited edition colourful Pure Gummy.

My Instagram account is mostly stuff I find interesting and the occasional food plate, and I’ll like just about anything with kittens in it.

Here’s a selection of fruity gummy:

Gummy Candy
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Beware of zombie demons this weekend at Shibuya

Since this weekend is the last before Halloween, lots of people will be dressing up and congregating at places around Japan, this short survey from MAKEY, a smartphone app that teaches make-up techniques, into Halloween costumes looked at what middle and high school girls and university students would like to dress up as.

Here’s what was going on at Shibuya last year:

Shibuya Halloween 2016 (October 31)
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If the world ends tomorrow, what do you want to know today?

Rather oddly, this quickie survey by Mynavi News into what people would want to know if the world were ending tomorrow, found almost half the sample were interested in merely what would be their last supper.

For me, I certainly wouldn’t be wasting time going home for dinner; I would be choosing my own! I’m not sure what secrets of the pyramids people are interested in; the main pyramids seem to have a lot of hidden tunnels, but every investigation of them turns out to be a damp squib, and I am certain there is no supernatural aspect to them, which I think is what that question is getting at.

I’m not sure how to illustrate the end of the world, so instead let’s listen to it; the Japanese band “Sekai no Owari” translates literally to “End of the World”, so here’s a recent single that what also the theme song for Mary and the Witch’s Flower:


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Japanese average three credit cards in their wallets

@nifty recently published a report looking at credit and point cards.

I normally carry five credit cards with me, along with probably close to 10 credit card-sized point cards. Note that I don’t know if this survey included cards registered in mobile phones with Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Japan’s own Osaifu Keitai system. Now I think about it, I’ve never seen a survey on that, although I’ve seen a number on electronic cash including mobile phone-based systems. I’ll have a search later this week and see what I can find.

For point cards, I’ve got one (d Point from Docomo) that is also a smartphone app, but I only use the physical version, and I have two virtual-only card apps (Tokyu Hands and Afternoon Tea).

By the way, if you live in Japan you must get yourself an electronic superstore point card at the very least; there’s 8% to 10% point back, and Yodobashi Camera’s online store beats Amazon easily on price once you factor in the points, and most of its delivery is free. I also would trust Yodobashi, Bic Camera etc, to install a washing machine or the like; my image of Amazon is that they use a regular delivery service that will just dump the box on your doorstep. (This is most likely wrong, of course, but that’s just how I imagine things!)

Let’s for a change use one of my own photos; here is a railway and department store company’s advert for their credit card; note the unconscious sexism with the boy kitten commuting, the girl kitten going shopping.

DSC_0099
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Clothes washing and ironing in Japan

I discovered this survey following some Japan visitor mentioning that everyone seemed neatly turned out, but retorted that ironing seems infrequent, and most of the well-ironed clothes are likely from the dry cleaner’s. So I did a quick Google search for data to back up my supposition, and found this survey from Sankei Living and P&G into clothes washing and ironing.

The survey also mentioned that in 2016 people did on average 6.4 washes per week, down from 8.6 in 2011, but in the same period the weight of clothes per load increased from 2.6 kg to 3.1 kg per load, so a weekly total of 22.4 kg in 2011 to 19.8 kg in 2016.

We do a washing every day, but my wife never irons, and I do a couple of shirts and a pair of trousers once every week. My mother always ironed, right down to socks and underpants, though.

Here’s a typical washing day scene in a Japanese flat:

Cleaning time in my place !
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Camembert is Japan’s favourite cheese

According to this survey from Katte2Q, there’s a lot of cheese fans in Japan, and a worryingly large number of fans of cheese-flavoured plastic. I remember the first time that I ate Japanese processed cheese squares; after grilling it was difficult to tell whether or not I had remembered to remove the wrapper…

By the way, much of the Camembert available in Japan is actually from Hokkaido (as is some of the Mozzarella), as illustrated by this pack of Hokkaido Camembert cheesy Collon:

Camembert Cheese Collon
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One in four Japanese love natto

Natto is many a foreigners’ nemesis, but this survey from @nifty into natto and tofu found that many Japanese too find rotton beans foul.

I’ve tried a few times to eat it, but I just can’t cope with the smell; fortunately my wife too hates the stuff! Tofu on the other hand is wonderful! If you want to experience a wide range of tofu cooking, my recommendation is Hakkakuan (branches in various cities) – they have full course tofu with all-you-can-eat freshly-made tofu topped as desired with sour plum-coated sesame or coarse sea salt.

Here’s four cute blocks of tofu:

tofu square [2/365]
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Dog people outnumber cat people almost two to one

@nifty took a look at animals and pets.

Especially given that a new baby panda was recently born in Japan’s most well-known zoo, Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo, I was surprised to see pandas relatively low in the listings; penguins beating dolphins also seemed a bit odd.

I wouldn’t really recommend a visit to Japanese zoos; the two inner-city ones I’ve been to, Kobe’s Oji Koen Zoo and Osaka’s Tennoji Zoo are more prison camps than zoos. Safari parks are a bit better, and aquariums are impressive, although they could do with more space for the dolphins and whales.

After Ueno zoo’s baby panda, perhaps the most popular amongst the internet generation is the Siamang gibbon in Higashiyama Zoo in Nagoya with its distinctive old guy scream:


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One in three Japanese are proficient with an abacus

I always thought that abacus use was a required part of the primary school curriculum in Japan, but looking at the results of this survey from Katte2Q regarding abacuses it seems it is not, though perhaps pretty close to it.

In primary school I used to use a slide rule, but I doubt I could use one today.

Here’s some video from Japan national abacus and mental arithmetic speed competition – the finger fidgeting you see is invisible abacus – at that high level the arithmetic is all muscle memory, so an abacus is not really needed:


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