Rates dropping, but majority of smokers don’t plan to quit

Japan has always been a smokers’ paradise, although things are slowly changing. This survey from DIMSDRIVE Research revealed a number of interesting facts about smoking in Japan.

Most restaurants in department stores are now all non-smoking, and most of the major chain restaurants are decreasing or even eliminating smoking spaces, although even when there is a separate smoking area, often just one person can soon stink out the whole place out.

Conversely, unless it is a healthy-themed restaurant, privately-owned cafes and restaurants are most likely to be smoking OK. Things are changing for the Olympics but quite half-heartedly. As can be seen in Q1, almost three in four people over seventy are current or ex-smokers, and there are a whole lot of politicians in that age group, so they don’t really seem to care about rocking the boat.

Note that due to excessive advertising from Japan Tobacco, public perception of the largest smoking problem has been twisted to mean accidentally poking kids with cigarettes as illustrated by this advert:

smoking puts kids eyes out

Just one in three have had three or more days away in last five years

In last 5 years, have you had 3+ nights of travel? graph of japanese statistics

This survey conducted by DIMSDRIVE Research for From Planet looked at long holidays, where “long” was defined as three or more nights away from home, excluding returning to one’s parents.

It’s pretty sad that anything more than a long weekend is a “long” holiday, but I’m surprised that the number taking more than three nights away is so low. It’s understandable for domestic travel, I suppose, as room rates are rather expensive, but three nights overseas barely gets you anywhere! I suppose that’s why even with more than three days away, Hawaii and Taiwan are the most popular destinations.

Cold turkey most popular way of quitting smoking in Japan

Do you smoke? graph of japanese statisticsNot having smoked, I cannot really relate to the answers in this survey from DIMSDRIVE Reseach into smoking and non-smoking, but I do have experience of quitting alcohol (well, at least going from a daily habit to once in a blue moon) with cold turkey and lots of water only.


Between the 25th of November and the 10th of December 2009 (the reporting is rather slow!) 9,638 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.3% of the sample were male, 11.5% in their twenties, 32.8% in their thirties, 31.3% in their forties, 16.7% in their fifties, and 7.7% aged sixty or older. In addition, 64.0% were married, and 52.4% of the total sample had children.

Q1B at a first look appears to be contradictory to common sense, with men with children more likely to smoke than those with no children, but for women the position is reversed. However, for men this is probably explained by smokers being older, with the non-smoking message getting through to the younger generation who are in turn less likely to have had children yet. For women, the opposite trend is present – the younger generation is smoking more, plus of course as in Q7, getting pregnant or having children is an incentive for women to quit.

3D movies: Majority of Japanese viewers satisfied

Would you like to watch another 3D movie at the cinema? graph of japanese statisticsWith 3D movies now becoming the norm, it seems, this detailed look at this subject of 3D movies by DIMSDRIVE Research reveals some interesting attitudes.


Between the 20th of January and 4th of February 2010 8.596 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.0% of the sample were male, 1.0% in their teens, 11.3% in their twenties, 32.9% in their thirties, 31.2% in their forties, 16.2% in their fifties, and 7.4% aged sixty or older.

I’ve now been to two 3D movies; first was Up, which would have been better in 2D, quite frankly, as I didn’t see what I was paying the extra 300 yen for, then it was Alice in Wonderland (note that this survey was conducted before the general release in Japan, and I’m surprised that peope claim to have seen it! Toy Story 3 similarly is still not out in Japan), which was a very good movie and was perhaps better in 3D, although the nose pain from the glasses makes me not really keen on going to see 3D movies if I can avoid it. For Alice, the only 2D English versions were either early morning or late at night, so 3D was unavoidable.

Temperatures of drinks in Japan

Do you know the 'Sayu Diet'? graph of japanese statisticsHaving done alcohol consumption earlier in the week, today I take a look at a survey from DIMSDRIVE Research into temperature of drinking water, etc, with a faddy diet as a bonus!


Between the 6th and 8th of November 2009 9,947 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 55.9% of the sample were male, 0.6% in their teens, 8.4% in their twenties, 27.6% in their thirties, 32.7% in their forties, 19.0% in their fifties, and 11.7% aged sixty or older.

The fad diet is the Sayu diet, 白湯 in kanji, the drinking of water at between 40°C and 50°C. Looking at the answers below, it appears it should raise one’s metabolism and burn more fat for the same food intake. Who knows if it works or not, although I would guess that the answer would be no, it doesn’t!

Book-buying habits in Japan

About how many books do you usually read? graph of japanese statisticsHere’s a survey I translated last month but it fell through a crack and I forgot to publish it! It was performed by DIMSDRIVE Research, and looked at book purchasing.


Between the 29th of October and the 13 of November 2008 9,566 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor panel completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.2% of the sample were male, 1.1% in their teens, 12.8% in their twenties, 31.3% in their thirties, 31.4% in their forties, 16.1% in their fifties, and 7.3% aged sixty or older.

This was one of these surveys that I really liked the idea of, but as I started translating it I realised it wasn’t living up to my expectations, thus I ended up laying it aside and forgetting about its existance!

Note that books here include manga comics in book form, I believe. I’d have loved to have seen the average spend per person per month on books, how many of their monthly book purchases are from second-hand stores, and how often people swap or borrow books with friends or from libraries.

Fish-eating (and vegetarian statistics) in Japan

Do you like eating fish? graph of japanese statisticsAlthough the topic of this survey from DIMSDRIVE Research Inc was fish, the most interesting figure for me was some data to allow me to estimate the number of vegetarians in Japan.


Between the 1st and 16th of Octoer 2008 9,524 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.5% of the sample were male, 1.3% in their teens, 13.7% in their twenties, 34.% in their thirties, 31.2% in their forties, 14.5% in their fifties, and 5.1% aged sixty or older.

The vegetarian numbers can be derived from first noticing that 0.7% don’t eat fish according to Q2, then 2.7% of these 0.7% say they don’t eat fish because they are vegetarians, meaning that a whole 8 people from the original 9,524, or 0.08% of the sample, which makes a mere 10,000 vegetarians in the whole of Japan! Of course, monks would inflate the figures, although note that the average local priest is not averse to even grilled beef!

Note that here fish refers to fish only, not other beasts of the sea like octopus, squid, prawns, shellfish, or indeed whale.

Murdering curry in Japan

Do you like curry rice? graph of japanese statisticsI think it might just be Scottish slang, but “I could fair murder a curry/Chinese/Mick Jagger” indicates a not inconsiderable desire to consume said item, and of course the second slang meaning fairly describes how people feel on first tasting Japanese curry. This survey from DIMSDRIVE Research looked at how the Japanese consume curry rice.


Between the 23rd of July and the 7th of August 2008 9,921 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group completed a private online questionnaire. 52.7% of the sample were female, 1.3% in their teens, 13.7% in their twenties, 34.0% in their thirties, 29.6% in their forties, 15.1% in their fifties, and 6.3% aged sixty or older. In addition, 14.0% lived alone, 64.1% were married, and 51.9% had children.

The name “curry rice” helps differentiate from “proper” curry; this Japanese invention, served at countless restaurants up and down the country, is usually half a plate of standard Japanese short-grain sticky white rice and half a plate of spicy stew. At home the stew is usually prepared from dehydrated blocks of sauce.

My wife cooks lovely curry with lots of potatos, but what most of the prepared mixes lack is a complexity of flavour. I was over in the USA last week and had a curry at a cheap food court, but just to get long-grain Basmati rice and a complex blend of spices that had soaked through the ingredients over many hours was heaven!

Nutritionally-balanced foods in Japan

Given the lifestyle (or to be cynical, lack-of-lifestyle) of the average company employee, it’s no surprise that functional foods like nutritionally-balanced foods are rather popular over here. This recent survey from DIMSDRIVE Research Inc tried to find out most about this topic of nutritionally-balanced foods.


Between the 16th and 24th of April 2008 8,477 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.6% of the sample were female, 0.6% in their teens, 13.9% in their twenties, 36.4% in their thirties, 30.2% in their forties, 12.9% in their fifties, and 6.0% aged sixty or older.

I’ve recently been eating SOYJOY for lunch in an attempt to lose weight and save money. I succeeded in both, dropping about two and a half kilograms in three weeks, but then last week I went on a business trip to Nice and managed to put it all right back on. SOYJOY is nice on its own regardless of the particular flavour, and at work the also have another one I like, wheat based with a maple flavour, but I can’t for the life of me remember the name, although I do know it’s from Asahi, perhaps from wheat left-over from the beer-making…

I’ve never heard of “Natural Brown” before, but it’s a quite unappetising name and suggests to me the laxative effect it might induce!

Finally, here’s a random CalorieMate advert:


Mineral water consumption in Japan

Partner's water bottle

I use a built-in water purifier for drinking water at home, so consumption of mineral water is limited to the occasional half-litre bottle at the weekends when going out. To see how the Japanese use it, DIMSDRIVE Research conducted a survey into this topic of mineral water.


Between the 19th and 27th of March 2008 8,383 members of the DIMSDRIVE Monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.9% of the sample were female, 1.3% in their teens, 14.9% in their twenties, 33.3% in their thirties, 29.9% in their forties, 14.7% in their fifties, and 5.9% aged sixty or older. 51.7% lived in a house, 47.0% in a flat (apartment), and 1.3% other. By family size, 13.0% lived alone, 23.8% with one other, 25.1% with two others, 24.1% with three others, and 14.0% with four or more other people.

The pictured bottle sounds even less appealing than the Engrish standbys of Pocari Sweat and Calpis, but it’s actually mineral water for your four-legged friend, not Dogpis!

Getting back on track, my purchased brand is determined by seeing which one is 110 yen in the convenience store, although I can’t remember the brand right now, but it is a Japanese one. I’ve tried the oxygenised water a couple of times, but I didn’t really notice any difference.