Camembert is Japan’s favourite cheese

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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 three Japanese are proficient with an abacus

I always thought that abacus use was a required part of the primary school curriculum in Japan, but looking at the results of this survey from Katte2Q regarding abacuses it seems it is not, though perhaps pretty close to it.

In primary school I used to use a slide rule, but I doubt I could use one today.

Here’s some video from Japan national abacus and mental arithmetic speed competition – the finger fidgeting you see is invisible abacus – at that high level the arithmetic is all muscle memory, so an abacus is not really needed:


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Almost one in four bought tickets for this summer’s national lottery

Katte2Q took a look at Japan’s tax on the stupid, takarakuji, Japan’s national lottery.

Note that Japan’s lottery differs from many around the world, in that it is a raffle (that is, numbered tickets) with fixed-value prizes rather than the more common pattern of picking six numbers from 1 to 50 to win a share of a pot. Actually, that other kind is also offered by the same organisation, but it is the four or so times per year big raffle that is the format that people think of when they hear mention of the lottery.

The national lottery annoys me greatly, in particular the advertising. The main lottery features many big names in story-driven adverts that must run up a significant production and salary budget to produce, and last year their scratch cards featured a kid’s cartoon character, and the year before was based around being addicted to one more scratch…

Here’s an advert from more innocent times:


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Bicycle riding in Japan

Katte2Q took a short look at bicycle riding.

I used to ride a bike when I very first came to Japan, riding to work perhaps two or three times a week or so, and occasionally going further afield, but then I moved out too far from work, but too close to the station to need the wheels. It would probably be classed as a cross bike, but when I moved one time I just left it in the bike park at my old residence…

Here’s a typical scene of bikes parked around a shopping area; nearly all the bikes are the typical city bikes, three gears if you’re lucky, and brakes that squeal something awful!

More bikes
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One in four Japanese is totally lacking in wisdom… teeth

This short but interesting survey by Katte2Q into dentists and teeth revealed a few interesting numbers regarding Japanese teeth.

The Japanese for wisdom teeth is 親知らず, oyashirazu, or literally “without parents’ knowing”, which might suggest to the casual reader that it has something to do with one’s parents not noticing their adult child’s back teeth appearing, unlike with baby teeth and the main adult teeth. However, I have seen some sites that explain this further as meaning one’s parents tended to be dead before the teeth appeared…

I’ve not had mine removed, but my dentists have never mentioned anything about them, although I’ve got a slight (false?) memory of seeing an X-Ray with the bottom ones horizonal rather than vertical. Next check-up I’ll have to remember to ask!

Here’s an interesting dentist’s sign:

Untitled
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3 in 4 Japanese have a radio, 1 in 4 listen to it every day

The web site Katte2Q recently conducted a survey into radio listening habits.

I’ve not got a usable radio at home; the only thing with a receiver is in a box, but I suppose one can listen to net radio, but looking at the results here perhaps not all people were aware that their phones or PCs could do that.

Here’s quite an odd-looking vintage radio from Panasonic:

(Left) A Vintage Panasonic Toot-A-Loop AM Transistor Radio, Model R-72, Made in Japan and (Right) An Inexpensive Knock-Off, A Marksons' AM Wrist Radio Made in Hong Kong
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