Archive for Rankings

Tat from the 90s that Japanese can’t believe were all the rage

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Number 3 will shock you, as the clickbait is wont to say, but in this case “Kill it with fire” might actually be an appropriate response to more than one of these nostalgic items from the 90s that people cannot believe were popular.

Putting myself on the spot I’m mostly drawing a blank, so let’s get straight to the results:

1. Tamagotchi, 401 votes

Tamagotchi

This virtual pet came in an egg-shaped case. I remember the fuss over it when it came out and I fancied trying one out, but I never got round to it. It’s now available as an Android app, but it’s not free, and also not compatible with my phone. Oh well…

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Japan’s most interesting university names

goo Ranking recently looked at actual Japan university names that people find most curious.

I’ve reported the official English name, but also added in italics short explanations if needed as to why things might have been lost in translation. The “Gakuin” that appears in many names is the Japanese for “Institute”, but for whatever reason the University’s official English name leaves it in Japanese.

Here’s one that didn’t make the list, partially because it’s run by a bonkers cult. The Japanese name is the English transliterated as it’s not actually an approved university, so it cannot use the Japanese daigaku.

Happy Science University 01.JPG
By あばさー投稿者自身による作品, パブリック・ドメイン, Link

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Roots of the names of Japanese and overseas companies

goo Ranking recently took a look at how the names of comapnies came about, ranked by how surprising people found them.

I guessed that Sony was from Latin “sonus”, but I was surprised to see that it also came from the “sonny” of “sonny boy”. Lotte coming from a Goethe novel is a story I want to hear more about!

Here’s a random, but perhaps interesting shop name:

Boo Boo House
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Kyoto’s fifty most overrated tourist spots

Kyoto city and the surrounding prefecture are full of historic spots worth a vist, but of course some places are going to be over-hyped. So, goo Ranking recently conducted a survey looking at Kyoto prefecture tourist spots that didn’t live up to expectations.

1st: Kyoto Tower, 113 votes

Kyoto Tower

The clear winner here, mainly as the modern-looking tower is out of place in old Kyoto, but also that most of the interesting buildings are too close and difficult to photograph well. I’ve never been up it myself, but looking at English-language reviews, it is worth it. By the way, the shape of the tower is modeled on a candle.
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Unrealistic Japanese romantic situations

This survey from goo Ranking looked at romantic situations people find unrealistic; many of those below are from corny manga comics or Hollywood movies. Number 16 in particular features in far too many human dramas, be they on TV or movies there is inevitably a scene involving some kind of romantic incident in the pouring rain.

Here is an example of the overused cliche of running to school with toast in one’s mouth:

Toast in mouth meme
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Japan’s favourite cat breeds

Today is Japan’s Day of the Cat, as one (rather tortured, it must be admitted) way of reading 22/2 is nya-nya-nya, the Japanese equivalent of meow-meow-meow, so this is a perect excuse for goo Ranking to publish, and for me to translate, Japan’s favourite cat breed.

Mine is probably the bog-standard ame-sho, as it’s known in Japan, the American Short Hair. Looking at the list of breeds and votes, I think once we pass number 20 or so, people are just voting for cool-sounding names rather than any knowledge of the actual breed. I suspect the big vote for Other at the end is for people looking for the standard Japanese three-colour cat, which doesn’t seem to appear on the list, or just people hoping “moggie” was a breed.

Here’s a typical Japanese moggie or two:

Kiji-tora family and infant b&W 2
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Stuff guys didn’t want to learn about women’s public baths

goo Ranking recently took a look at what turns men off about women’s public baths; for men it was which actually did put them off, for women what they presumed men didn’t really want to know.

Actually, I’m surprised that there’s no answer regarding foreigners in some way! Thinking about it, foreigners often complain about being stared at in public baths, but perhaps we shouldn’t worry excessively as the Japanese are also staring at their fellows.

For me, the most unattractive on the list would be hair strewn all over the sinks. I have to tidy up after my wife washes her hair in the bathroom, and that’s off-putting enough, so multiply that by how many ever hundred of customers…

Here’s a typical sento, a public bath distinct from an onsens, hot springs, as the water is ordinary heated water, not naturally geothermally heated.

Sento
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Japan’s favourite characters

Today let’s have a ranking from Macromill Research for a change, a look at Japan’s favourite characters.

My favourite is number 10, followed by number 8 then 5, I suppose. Number 3 would be much higher-ranked if it wasn’t for the fact that in Japan it is only the Disneyfied version that does the rounds.

Let’s do this ranking graphically and in reverse order:
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Business book titles that tempt Japanese to read further

goo Ranking chose a bunch of business book titles and presented them to their monitor group to choose the titles that made people want to learn about the contents.

Note that all the title translations are my original work, but there might be official English titles for some of them.

Number three sounds most curious, but I’ve not travelled in the Green Car enough (ie, never) to make any judgement as to where it is true or not. I can quite understand number one, but some of the ones like “Being good at cosplay equals being good at work!” just sound a bit too forced to be worth picking up.

Number 6 says successful people don’t drink can coffee, but here’s proof that a world executive boss has can coffee:

Boss coffee in green
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Surprisingly popular with foreigners sights

Perhaps some of my readers have made the New Year resolution to head to Japan, so here are a few suggestions for where to go from a survey by goo Ranking into sights that Japanese are surprised to hear are popular with foreigners.

I’ve linked all the sights to either their official sites or to other reviews of the places. I’ve never really understood the attraction of the Shibuya crossing; perhaps I was too used to other busy crossings in Osaka before it appeared on my radar? The Robot Restaurant looks utterly cheesy and I’ve heard it’s quite overpriced for what it offers. The one I’d recommend the most (although probably the most out-of-the-way one) is number 16 Koyasan Okunoin, a graveyard with a lot of spooky atmosphere:

Okuno-in cemetery, Koyasan
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