Archive for Statistics

Cinemas cutting prices is bad news


A couple of weeks ago I published a translation of a survey into Toho Cinema’s proposed 300 yen cut to a standard admission ticket, but since then I came across a Japanese-language article telling me why it is a portent of things to come.

First, the article listed historical prices for cinema tickets, calling it cartel pricing. However, there was no adjustment for inflation, but I found a site with historical CPI data, so I’ll use January 2011 as a base.

YearPriceCPICPI-adjusted price
1957130 yenN/A
1959200 yenN/A
1965250 yenN/A
1970550 yen31.8480 yen
19751,000 yen53.8812 yen
19801,400 yen73.91,115 yen
19951,800 yen100.91,523 yen
20111,500 yen99.41,500 yen

I think that table is saying that the correction to 1,500 yen makes prices cheaper than what they were in 1970. If the price remains at 1,800 yen, the 1970 price adjusted for inflation is 576 yen, which means that current prices are within 4% of what they were in 1970 allowing for CPI; this actually destroys the author’s argument about how prices have risen drastically since 1970. However, let’s move onto the other points.

Currently, although 1,800 yen is the standard price, one day a week is Ladies’ Day, where women get in for 1,000 yen. Furthermore, over 60s get in for the same discounted price, but Toho Cinemas are talking about getting rid of Ladies’ Day and limiting the OAP discount to the over 65s. The reason for this is that at the moment over 60% of tickets sold are at 1,000 yen, just one-tenth are at the full price, and another tenth at 1,500 yen, so if this goes through it will mean eight times as many people paying more than paying less!

The final statistic provided is that in 2004 the average ticket price was around 1,200 yen, but by last year it had dropped to under 1,100 yen, according to unnamed sources in the cinema business. Although there seems to be a bit of a slippery-slope argument here, it is iinteresting food for thought!

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Booze and fags and Japanese kids

Under-age drinkingRather than just another survey on consumer interests, here’s something a bit different, a look at recent trends in smoking and drinking rates amongst Japanese schoolchildren. The multiple surveys were conducted and analysed by Central Research Services.


I only have concrete demographics for the 1996 and 2000 surveys; both surveys asked students at about 70 to 90 junior and senior high schools, getting over 100,000 replies both times, representing over 60% of the students enrolled in each institution.

The remarkable drop in smoking and drinking rates is quite surprising, and I must admit to being a bit skeptical about the results on first reading. However, the survey report referenced a paper entitled Decrease in the prevalence of smoking among Japanese adolescents and its possible causes: periodic nationwide cross-sectional surveys (English) that tried to explain the huge drop. Their conculsion is as stunning as the statistics themselves – more schoolchildren have no friends, thus no peer pressure to indulge in such underage vices.

Photo from Don’t fry leeks,please on flickr.
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Yahoo! JAPAN’s 20 most clicked-through headlines of 2008

Yahoo! JAPAN recently annouced the results of a number of their “Best of 2008”, and one of the categories was the most clicked-through headline from Yahoo! News. The data was collected from all headlines displayed through Yahoo! NEWS between the 1st of November 2007 and 31st of October 2008.

You’ll notice that all of them are basically domestic stories, and most of the topics are either (or both) entertainment or death-related. You will note that nothing about politics, such as the minor matter of a change in prime ministers appears in the list, but in Japan’s defense I wonder if because these topics might have multiple reports, the clicks per story get diluted.

Click-through each link to find some English reporting on the story.
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Winning the year-end jumbo lottery

If you won 300 million yen in the lottery, would you quit your job? graph of japanese statisticsHere’s a bit of a short survey that has rather interesting results; iShare looked at the end of the year Jumbo Lottery.


Between the 21st and 25th of November 2008 430 members of the CLUB BBQ free online email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.5% of the sample were male, 13.3% in their twenties, 54.4% in their thirties, 23.5% in their forties, and 8.8% in their teens or fifty or older.

First a lottery tip: if you can spare 300 yen, buy just one ticket. This measurably changes your odds from absolutely zero to infinitesimal. Buying a second leaves your odds still infinitesimal, so don’t bother.

Next, the lottery does seem to have a lot of misconceptions surrounding it, mainly focussing on the drawing method and the relatively small first prize, leading many to think that it’s even more of a tax on the innumerate than the average one. However, the term “lottery” is misleading, as most people imagine the pick six from fifty-type schemes that are prevelant in the west, whereas Japan’s is more like a raffle – all the sold tickets go into a hat and winners are drawn from there, so if it is a sell-out all the prizes (in theory) will be claimed.

This year there are 70 first prizes of 200 million yen (roughly 2 million US dollars), 140 almost-first prizes of 50 million yen, 6,930 almost-almost first prizes of 100,000 yen, 140 second prizes of 100 million yen, 700 at 5 million yen, and so on, assuming they sell all 70 blocks of tickets. In total, there are 700 million tickets for sale (about 6 per man, woman and child) for a total value of 210 billion yen. I make that just over 99 billion yen in prize money, or 47.3% of the sales, leaving just under 111 billion yen in the pot. Once television and print advertising, sales overhead, amakudari-inflated old-boy director salaries, and everything else are paid for, that leaves a little bit left over (can anyone point me to figures for administration costs on the lottery?) for good causes, but I have little idea what they fund.

Oh, there’s a headline figure of 300 million yen advertised as the top prize, but I’m not really sure how one ticket can get the extra 100 million.

So, back to the survey.
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Japan’s busiest railway lines

In yesterday’s post I pondered out loud about whether or not the line I commute on is the busiest one in the Osaka area or not, so I decided to look for some statistics. With surprisingly little effort, I found the data for last year, 2007, for Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya areas.

The degree of crowding was averaged over one hour over all the trains passing through the segment between two stations, and I presume also averaged over the year. As a baseline, 100% is full, not just all seats taken, but also the straps and a few people around the doors. 150% is touching shoulders, but can still easily read a newspaper. 180% is bodies touching, but can just manage to read. 200% is just a bit too close, but you can still just manage a magazine or book. 250% is sardines.

So without further ado, here they are for the main lines around each of the cities:
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Gake no Ue no Ponyo web site user profiling

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea was the sweetest film I’ve seen since My Neighbour Totoro, and over 8 million Japanese seem to agree with that sentiment. The official Ponyo site itself has racked up just under a million visitors, 995,000 to be precise, (low in my view) from home computers in July, the highest ever figures for the film maker Ghibli’s properties, with the main ages of the visitors being 34% in their thirties and 29% in their forties. By sex, 57% were female. Previous records were 701,000 in November of 2004 for Howl’s Moving Castle, and 444,000 in July of 2006 for Tales of Earthsea.

For all of the Ghibili sites visitors jumped from 114,000 in June to 1,123,000 in July.

For box office sales, number one for the first half of the year was 相棒, aibou, with 311,000 predominantly male viewers in May alone, with over half of the total being over forty years old. In July, the top movie was Hana Yori Dango (Boys before Flowers) with 576,000 ticket sales, 85% of them to females, and 38% of the viewers 19 years old or younger.

Story from the Japanese original on IT Media.

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New under-the-radar Q&A site making waves

There was a short report on IT Media about a new female-oriented site that is threatening to break into the big time. This under-the-radar idiom is お化けサイト, obake saito, or ghost/monster site. At least I hope that’s what the meaning is!

The site is entitled 発言小町, hatsugen komachi, or in English Talk Town might be a reasonable translation, a sub-site on the Yomiuri Shimbun’s site. Although the monthly unique visitors from home computers are a factor of ten to twenty behind the big boys, the average time spent per unique visitor is far ahead of the competition, as this chart shows.

Site NameMonthly uniquesMonthly usage (h:mm:ss)Site genre
Hatsugen Komachi670,0001:21:50Bulletin board
YouTube18,320,0001:17:38Video viewing
2 channel9,400,0000:56:19Bulletin board
Yahoo! Chiebukuro13,230,0000:13:03Q&A site
Oshiete! goo6,420,0000:05:08Q&A site

One important issue when comparing sites is that the user profile is older and female-biased, as the following tables show.

Site nameMaleFemale
Hatsugen Komachi4654
2 channel6040
Yahoo! Chiebukuro5446
Oshiete! goo5446
Site nameTeenagers20-29 years old30-39 years old40-49 years old50 years old and over
Hatsugen Komachi7%10%36%30%17%
2 channel16%11%28%29%16%
Yahoo! Chiebukuro16%12%27%27%18%
Oshiete! goo12%13%29%28%19%

Looking at other articles, two of the main selling points of the site to the female population are that all posts are moderated before posting and that the a lot of the highlighted content on the front page reads like the problem page of a woman’s magazine.

Story from the Japanese original on IT Media.

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Music CD and DVD sales in Japan dying; Western music biggest loser

I just read an article on IT Media about music sales figures for 2007, published by the RIAJ, the Recording Industry Ass. of Japan.

The total units sold (CD, DVD, VHS, vinyl, etc) for the year were down 8% compared to last year at 318.66 million disks, with revenue down 4% to 391.1 billion yen (over 3.5 billion US dollars), making an average price per disk (or tape, etc) of 1,227 yen, or just over 11 US dollars. Note that this includes both singles and albums. Why the average earnings per disk increased by 4% is not discussed.

Sales of audio-only recordings were down 10% to 266.82 million disks, with a 5% revenue drop to 333.3 billion yen. From that total CD sales were down 10% to 260.34 million disks (representing 97.5% of all sales) and revenue down 5% to 327.2 billion yen. Album sales dropped 11% to 198.65 million disks with revenue down 5% to 280.2 billion yen, making an average price per disk of 1,410 yen or almost US$13 per disk. The biggest loser was Western music, which saw a drop of 23% in unit sales, representing a 17% revenue cut.

On the other hand, music videos were up 6% to 51.85 million disks or tapes with revenue up only 2% to 57.8 billion yen, representing about a 4% drop in price per unit. From that figure, almost all the sales were of DVDs, up 6% to 51.53 million disks with revenue up 3% to 57.4 billion yen.

The sales figures for pay downloads are scheduled to be released towards the end of February.

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Twenty most popular English sites on Japan

Following up a lead I saw on a post on SEO Book, I downloaded a list of the top one million web sites by traffic. With a quick search for the key phrases “japan”, “nippon”, “nihon” and “tokyo” and a sort, I condensed the 600 or more hits down to the short list below of the top twenty most visited Japan-related domain names. Note that the vast majority of the sites were actually pr0n-related, so I deleted them (and one dodgy search engine spam site) and thus present the edited top twenty. The full data is from Quantcast. FAQs about the data, and an interesting search feature, can be found here. Oh, and I’m at position 225,812, just in case you’re wondering.

UPDATE: I just had a trackback from The Otaku, and I see that site should be in the table at position number four. If there’s anyone else I’ve missed, please give me shout!

UPDATE 2: I forgot Danny Choo too! In he goes at number 9, although quite frankly he barely passes my pr0n filter.

UPDATE 3: And 3yen and! Sorry guys!

UPDATE 4: And JREF comes in at number 12.

UPDATE 5: Thanks to a post on Japanator, I’ve revisited the list, and found many (too many?) extra sites, all manga and anime-related.
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Where to find young Japanese women on the net

ITmedia News recently reported on some research by Video Research Interactive into where F1 women (F1 just seems to be the marketing code-word for the women between the ages of 20 to 34) spend their time on the internet. There were two sets of figures recorded; one on which sites had the biggest percentage of F1 women, and which sites had the largest absolute numbers of F1 visitors. The data was collected over an unstated period, but I suspect it was for all of 2006.

It’s perhaps interesting to note that mixi has a significantly high number of young women users. I’m also rather surprised to see Geocities as the seventh overall most popular site in Japan. I thought the US version, at least, was basically dead.
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