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!

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How to act like a last century man in Japan

Although there are lots of articles out there telling people how to avoid looking like an ignorant foreigner in Japan, this is perhaps the first one telling people how to avoid looking like an out-of-touch and behind-the-times man. Specifically, the title was the words and actions that make people look like a Showa-era old guy, where the Showa era was the rule of the last emperor, ending in 1988.


goo Rankings asked iBRIDGE’s Research Plus to conduct this survey, where between the 18th and 21st of December 2015 500 members aged between 20 and 39, 50:50 male and female, of their monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire.

Although I fall into the danger area described below, I only manage two of them; condemning idols for their identical looks, and rather often following through on a sneeze with some extra vocalisation.

Cool Biz is a topic I have covered in detail previously on this blog, but just today I was watching some television and learnt that number 31 refers to the Prime Minister Ohira’s introduction of a lightweight working style following the second Oil Shock in 1979.

Low-Energy Look of the Ohira Cabinet
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Dead words from the 70s and 80s in Japan

Well, some of the words in the list have an even longer pedigree, but most of the ones in this list from goo Ranking of Showa era (1925-1989) words that people don’t know the meaning of.


On the 19th of November 2009 1,166 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 59.9% of the sample were female, 13.4% in their teens, 20.6% in their twenties, 28.2% in their thirties, 23.2% in their forties, 8.3% in their fifties, and 6.3% aged sixty or older.

This survey will be of most interest to students of the Japanese language, although I hope others can also enjoy it.

For these students of the language, I used a rather good online Japanese slang dictionary (note, Japanese only) as reference for the meaning of a few of the words.

It’s a bit of a curious twist that the only word I (and probably most of my readers) recognise is the number one unrecognised word, kimosabe!
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