Archive for Rankings

Stuff that happens in morning rush hour trains in Japan

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goo Ranking took a look a few months ago at typical happenings in the morning rush hour train.

Number 10 may be a completely wrong translation, but as far as I can tell it is a reference to a popular manga comic, but even after reading the article on JoJo Stands I am none the wiser!

I’m lucky with my commute, as I usually start it from the beginning of the line, so I can be assured of a seat within 10 minutes of arriving at the platform. Once or twice, though, I’ve been unable to get off at my stop as the train was just far too busy to fight through from my seat to the door.

Here’s what I hate (my evening commute is often like this), people shoving in backwards:

Tōkaidō Line at Kawasaki station
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Post-war common sense that is inconceivable now

This survey from goo Ranking took a look at what post-war common sense things are now inconceivable. The “post-war” era was defined in this survey as the Showa Era, 25th December 1926 to 7th January 1989, the reign of Emperor Hirohito.

For number 20, I hear that many schools still serve up whale once a year or so.

At number 26, I’m not really sure what is so incredible about 100 yen for a soft drink can; although if one goes to a vending machine or a convenience store and pays full price, a Coke will be about 140 yen – just 40% inflation in 30 years – but 100 yen in a supermarket is quite believable, and a quick check of net supermarkets tells me it’s about 80 yen per can when buying a case of 24.

For number 30, similar to number 26, the price currently is merely 260 yen, another 30% over 30 year increase, with 8% of that being due to sales tax, and it didn’t actually reach the 200 yen price until 1996, 7 years after the end of the Showa Era!

The bullet train is now all non-smoking except for air-tight booths in some carriages, although the first time I rode on one it still allowed smoking in certain carriages, including the one I had chosen in my ignorance!

2010_05_130025
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Japan’s favourite space movies

For a change, today’s ranking is from an @nifty survey into weather, but just to pad it out or something they added an extra question about favourite movies set in space, which has a distinct lack of weather, but let us press on regardless.

Interestingly, those under 39 years old seem to have much less interest in SF movies, or movies in general, perhaps? I could blame it on the internet, where movies might be devalued by their ease of consumption, whether it be legal or illegal access, whereas the older age groups have stronger memories of visiting cinemas to deeply experience the movies.

Depressingly, Armageddon remains rather popular; Rotten Tomatoes gives it a mere 39% rating, although the audience score is a better 73%. I must admit to not having watched it, but I suppose Bruce Willis is rather popular over here…

Here’s a great photo of one of ANA’s Star Wars jets:

Fantastic pan-shot of ANA's freshly delivered Boeing 777-300ER in C3PO Star Wars livery takes off from Kansai International Airport! #AllNipponAirways #KansaiInternationalAirport #KIX #Japan #ANA #c3po #starwars #disney #boeing777 #Repost 凄いかっこいい写真by @soh
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Typical happenings at a Japanese dentist

Finally I found a good goo Ranking after a long blank stretch, this look at typical happenings at Japanese dentists.

I hate the whole idea of dentists, but it’s a necessary evil, and of course the feeling after getting de-plaqued makes the visit worth it. I also hate hands in my mouth, especially when the dental assistant does flossing; I cannot floss myself, so I use interdental brushes or pre-strung flossing things.

Here’s a random dentist sign:

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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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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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Celebrities that drive you to drink

This is in a good way (well, assuming you accept that celebrities should be promoting beer), which celebrities in beer adverts give people a thirst.

I couldn’t find a nice ranking from goo this week, so instead I’ve borrowed a result from an @nifty survey into beer that I will probably fully translate the remainder of this week.

Japan gets them started young; on the left is “Beer for good children”, on the right is “Children’s drink”.

Beers for Children
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Women’s overdone ultraviolet blocking techniques

With summer coming up, goo Ranking took a look at what ultraviolet blocking techniques turn people right off. As is usual for these questionnaires, people selected the worst from a list of options.

I think the long black sleeve-like arm covers are the worst, followed by (shh, my wife does it too) those who won’t even go onto the balcony for five minutes without rubbing it on everywhere. I am hopelessly pale with next to no melanin to protect me, yet I manage to survive a 15 minute walk from the train station to work without getting burnt to a crisp.

Anyway, here is some essential advice when choosing sunglasses:

IF IT IS A TRAVEL, IT IS THIS SUNGLASSES!
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Snoozing favourite secret office activity

Today we have a fun little survey from goo Ranking looking at what Japanese surreptitiously get up to at work.

Note that the two different kinds of dozing; at 4 we have “sleep”, which implies, perhaps, leaving the office and finding a quiet corner to lie down for 40 winks, whereas 9, “snoozing in the toilets” is just what it says, taking some extra time in a cubicle at the office. I’m kind of surprised “boozing” doesn’t appear in the list, but I’d like to know how much of the “other” category was this.

I’m not really aware of people doing surreptitious stuff in my office, but perhaps that shows how skilled they are at it? If I were to be cynical, not that I ever would be, it would be “work”, as everyone seems fully occupied with busy work and meetings and document preparations, but how things actually progress is still a mystery to me.

Here’s someone sleeping on the job:

Sleeping
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Hikikomori, zangyo and hentai surprisingly understood abroad

I don’t quite believe this goo Ranking of Japanese words that people are surprised to learn are understood overseas; of course, I have no reason to dispute the results, but as this style of survey is picking a selection from a list of words, I cannot really understand why the survey compiler picked zangyo, overtime as a representative word. I’ve done a quick search of the BBC and New York Times, and while both have stories mentioning hikikomori and hentai, zangyo draws a blank.

I’m surprised at Doraemon and Sailor Moon featuring so high on the list too, as I am aware from watching Japanese television that these cartoons and any others are rather popular all over the world.

I just searched for hikikomori on Flickr, and on the first page was two pictures of bugs in rice. So, instead I took the first usable photo for otaku, which turned out to be an instance of too niche a Japanese word to be understood widely abroad, the ita-sha, the sort of car no-one other than an otaku would be seen dead in.

ITA-Sya. (OTAKU car)
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