2018’s least understood words

goo Ranking this time published a ranking gathered not from their usual monitor pool, but instead by collecting search statistics on words that people most often searched for the meaning of through docomo’s mobile internet search engine.

The statistics were collected from the 1st of January until the 23rd on October by looking for searches of the form “__ meaning” and “what is __”; the Japanese terms were variants on 「◯◯意味」「◯◯とは」, for those of you curious. Note that all bar two of the words are English, and one of these two is an English word abbreviated and made into a Japanese-form adjective.
kanji dictionaries

1. SNS

Even when spelt out, the full term Social Networking Service probably means little to the average Japanese…

2. 忖度, sontaku

This is a very old Japanese word, from the 10th century according to the text, and came to the fore during revelations of suspicions of political influence by the Prime Minister into dubious dealings. The word itself sparked much debate, including if there was an equivalent English term. I would translate it as “doing what you think the boss would hope you would do, not what you think is best”. Here is Reuters explaining the word and the scandal surrounding it.

3. Account

This is in the sense (usually) of an online account, rather than a bank account, which has a proper Japanese name.

“Premium Friday” most mentioned buzzword on Japanese user-generated content

The site E-Guardian recently published their list of the top net buzzwords of 2017 by collecting statistics from 5ch, Facebook, Twitter and blogs to see what terms were referenced the most.

High-speed mobile data congestion in Tokyo; iPhone worse than Android

Mobile Marketing Data Laboratory recently conducted a study into data packet congestion in LTE 4G networks in Tokyo. Packet congestion was defined in this survey as when on an LTE connection the web page under test – Yahoo! Japan’s top page was used – fails to completely load within 30 seconds.


Between the 10th and 14th of June 2013 the investigation team visited the six busiest stations on the Tokyo Yamanote line, choosing two spots on each to test, during both the morning peak period of 7 am to 9 am, and evening peak of 5 pm to 7 pm. 100 connections were made from each collection point, for a total of 1,200 tests for each phone.

Specifically, the stations and locations were Shinjuku South and East entrances, Ikebukuro in front of South ticket wicket and Seibu East entrance, Shibuya in front of Tamagawa ticket wicket and Hikarie entrance, Tokyo Yaesu Central entrance and Marunouchi North entrance, Shinagawa Minato South entrance and Central ticket wicket, and Shinbashi Kasumori entrance and SL Plaza. For the tests, au and SoftBank iPhone 5s tested out Apple connections, and Android was represented by docomo’s Xperia Z, au’s HTC J butterfly, and SoftBank’s Aquos Phone Xx.

Instead of a graph, here’s Shinbashi’s SL Plaza:

17:01 Shinbashi

SL is the abbreviation used in Japan for Steam Locomotive, as you might have guessed!

Smartphone and tablet market share in Japan

Who is the maker of the tablet you use the most? graph of japanese statisticsJust a quick pair of statistics for today, taken from the article by japan.internet.com on the SmartPhone Contents Report Vol.04 by Video Research Interactive.


Between the 8th and 12th of February 2013 21,789 internet users completed an internet-based questionnaire. For the final report, the data obtained from the survey was weighted according to Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications statistics on internet users in 2011.

Sadly, my employer does not make it into either of the lists…

Where Japanese F2 women spent their November

Just a quick statistic today, a look at an investigation by Video Research Interactive (VRI) into web sites visited by the F2 demographic, namely women aged between 35 and 49 years old.

Statistics gathering methodology

Taking the 200 most popular Japanese web domains in November 2012 as a base, VRI used their own particular methodology to determine the percentage of visits that came from the F2 demographic between the 1st and 30th of Novermber 2012. It is not noted whether the counts included smartphones and mobile phones along with PCs.

Note that over all 200 domains, the F2 demographic made up 15.7% of all visitors.

In lieu of a picture, here’s an ad for Belle Maison:

Typhoon out-Tweets iPhone 5 in Japan

Today I present a statistic rather than a survey for a change, a look by Biglobe’s Twipple service at the top-trending Twitter keywords (not hashtags) for September 2012, as reported by japan.internet.com.

About 1.384 billion Tweets were generated in Japan in September 2012, and these formed the data from which the following top ten was generated. It is also noted that “typhoon” racked up 57.15 million tweets on its peak day, whereas the second-placed “iPhone 5” managed just 6 million at its peak.

One in four has smartphones, one in three of them are iPhones

Smartphone operating system share. graph of japanese statisticsjapan.internet.com recently reported a survey by the US company comScore into the domestic mobile marketplace.


Between April and June of 2012 4,000 mobile phone or smartphone users aged 13 or above completed a survey, but information on how the sample was generated, more detailed demographics, etc was omitted. Furthermore, the data has been post-processed, I think, to reflect the overall demographics of Japan, so the numbers below can be treated as statistics rather than survey results.

Note that in Japan around 102,700,000 people aged 13 or above have mobile devices.

If we further note that 23.5% of the population own smartphones and Apple is 32.3% of that, in S1 that would put Apple at 7.6%, just behind Sony. Unfortunately, we cannot do a similar simple calculation to estimate Samsung’s market share in Japan.

Japan’s best-selling home appliance brands of 2011

I recently got this interesting set of statistics on home appliance market share, from a survey conducted by GfK Marketing Service Japan. The data was collected from a database called ACSISS-E that is updated daily based on sales in a representative sample of Japanese electrical superstores.

The report named the top three brands in each of 22 categories of home appliance. I will try to find their data on audio-visual equipment, mobile phones, etc to report on later in the week.

Note that according to a survey last month, electrical superstores are probably the most popular place to shop for electrical items, not the internet as one might think.

Also note that most of the brands below are premium ones; Zojirushi are about middle of the road, and Tiger are cheap. Panasonic have the best showing, but they are usually close to the most expensive in each category.

Here’s a random Sharp microwave in a random person’s house:

Sharp Carousel Microwave