Underwater Basket Weaving in Japan

Despite my title suggesting Mickey Mouse degrees, this survey from goo Ranking looked at perhaps actually interesting, but at least unique university faculties and departments.

The Voice Actor Animation Song Course is offered by Senzoku Gakuen College of Music so I suspect rather than just heading down to karaoke to belt out the Pokemon title song, it is actually a valid course for people learning voice acting, as doing theme songs seems to be often part of the job description.

I searched for “japan motivation university”, and this is one of the first thing that turned up on Flickr; a design for a Japanese university’s chapel and Centre for Christian Culture:


Everyday things that would suprise people from 30 years ago

With the reign of the Heisei emperor coming to a close, goo Ranking took another look back at the previous emperor’s, Showa, era, this time asking young people what everyday things they thought people from 30 years ago would be surprised by.

I actually quoted some of the answers from this survey in a short work-related presentation. When we had an earlier discussion, the Japanese in the team were hard-pushed to mention anything concrete that had changed in the home electronics field, which did surprise me.

Personally, I think one of the biggest surprises would be home digital recordings of music and video eliminating the need to rewind. I remember hearing from a friend about how they couldn’t get their kid to understand the concept of rewind and fast forward.

Even 10 years ago, no-one was using public phones:

Pentax645+75mm SuperG 06p 一列に.jpg

Nostalgic goods from 30 years ago

There’s been a good number of these surveys from goo Ranking looking at nostalgia, with this one being for goods from the Showa Era, from post-war to 30 years ago.

I remember these rocket pencil things; I didn’t think much of them then, but I’d forgotten all about them until seeing this list. My wife’s parents still have a dial telephone (hmm, is it dial or is it push-button but in a standard Bakelite form factor?) complete with cover – ah, that explains why I cannot recall the dial as it’s always covered! I also had a couple of these water games, but I cannot for the life of me remember what the English name for it was.

This might be art, or perhaps just someone got angry after one too many tapes got eaten by their Walkman:

hawthorne vintage lamps & furnishings

Things Japanese don’t see much of when out and about these days

goo Ranking recently asked their monitor panel about things they don’t see much of these days.

I’ve got a feeling there is a public phone somewhere around my local station, but now I think about it I cannot picture where it is at all. I suppose given the lack of phones, number two, telephone card vending machines too are going away. Black bin bags at number 4 is a strange one at first glance, but remember this is what people see on the road, and given that most local governments either require particular paid bags or specify transparent or semi-transparent bags, people no longer throw out their rubbish in black bags.

I’ve not really been here long enough or paying enough attention to notce what there is less of, although with the growth of 24-hour convenience stores, beer vending machines have definitely decreased.

Here’s an atmospheric public phone or two:

Public phone.

Brakes, flourescent squid and parasites are the subjects of Japan’s most niche museums

This rather fun survey from goo Ranking asked people to choose the most niche museums from a list.

I’ve not been to any of the places listed here, but the Kaiyodo Figure Museum looks kind of interesting. The most niche museum I’ve been to in Japan was the Gas Light Museum in Kobe, but it has long since closed down.

I’ve linked each result to the official (as far as I can determine) home page, and the English version if available by means other than auto-translate. For those of you counting, just 25% have English pages – and less other foreign languages – which is a pretty poor showing.

Here’s the firefly squid in their natural environment:


Unbelievable otaku common sense from 30 years ago

Although otaku (nerds, basically, of manga comics and anime in the main, though not exclusively) are not shunned by polite society these days, 30 years ago in the Showa era it was a different kettle of fish. This survey from goo Ranking sheds some light on common knowledge from 30 years ago that is unbelievable today.

Note that the demographics for the survey is for people who at the most would have been ten years old 30 years ago and have grown up with manga and anime being mainstream, so perhaps they were hearing much of this common knowledge for the first time when answering the question.

Also note that although manga and anime are the main focus, computer otaku are also covered by some of the questions.

In number 2, most foreigners seem to still use the term Yaoi, but I’d never heard of Doujinjo, so I wonder how much they were reacting to the second term rather than the first, or is it just my lop-sided knowledge?

In number 12, I have absolutely no idea what sanding down varnish has to do with anything or why people can not believe that was done.

I searched for vintage manga and this came up:

sailormoon hoteru michiru jupiter neptune uranus

Which prefecture would one regret never visiting?

This might be a useful survey for visitors to Japan; on a limited budget, where should you visit? goo Ranking asked which prefecture people would regret all their life not visiting.

The top 10 is no real suprise, and Fukuoka is the only place I haven’t been to; Fukuoka city has a quite famous night-time street food culture that I’d like to see, but perhaps not eat as it’s mostly ramen…

15 and 16 are the first mostly-unknown prefectures for me. Toyama has mountains and fluorescent squid, but Shimane is just the back-of-beyond for me. It has a couple of well-known shrines, but so has every other prefecture. Next-door Tottori is 32nd, but it has huge sand dunes that I might be interested in seeing, as well as a quite famous coffee culture.

I put last-place Tokushima into a picture search engine, and here’s the first (well, second; first was a scenic valley
) photo that popped up. This is the traditional dance, Awa Odori, which is performed at an annual festival that I thought was popular.