Beware of zombie demons this weekend at Shibuya

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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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Drone ownership, usage and image in Japan

The Outdoor Research Institute recently reported on a survey they conducted into drones. There most likely were more than three questions, but the press release only gave us these below.

I’ve not had a drone, and don’t really have any desire to get one. In particular in Japan there are too many restrictions in place to make it of much use, I feel.

Here’s a nice night drone shot from Okinawa, although flying over towns at night needs special permission, I believe…

Night in Mihama, Chatan
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Obscure yet interesting magazines

I’m not sure who ranked the magazines as “interesting”, or even what criteria interestingness was judged, but there’s some odd titles in this survey from goo Ranking of obscure yet actually interesting magazines people would like to read.

I have no clue why snails poll so high; perhaps there is some love for them (are they tasty?) amongst the Japanese people. The Buddhist priest and funeral magazines would be perhaps interesting for insider information – Buddhist funerals (and on-going yearly rites, grave maintenance fees, etc) as performed by your local temple are remarkably expensive, so it might be interesting to see how it is discussed behind the scenes.

I don’t find “Automatic Recognition Monthly” obscure in the least, and we probably have a subscription at work somewhere…

Here’s a issue of “Linux for Schoolgirls”, or something…

Ubuntu Magazine - Japan
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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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Stuff that happens in morning rush hour trains in Japan

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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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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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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