Japan

Japan’s 10 best-selling video games this century so far

In a recent article from Famitsu, the weekly video game magazine considered by many Japanese gamers to be the authority when it comes to their medium of choice for entertainment, a list showing the current total video game sales for all platforms in Japan between January 1, 2001 and September this year caught the attention of gamers both at home and abroad. Aside from the fact that the number of games sold in Japan over the last decade or so is simply staggering, Nintendo’s dominance in its home territory when it comes to total software sales is quite remarkable.

Join us after the jump as we see Japan’s 10 most popular video games of this century so far, and how, with a little help from some clever pocket monsters, Nintendo is absolutely raking the cash in.

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10 things Japan gets awesomely right

At the end of our recent article listing the 10 things that we think Japan gets horribly wrong, we assured you that we’d be back soon to focus on some of the positives and introduce the things that we really, truly love about living in Japan. True to our word, we sat down and decided on what we as (mostly) foreigners most love about this great little collection of islands, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

Although Japan is not without its faults, it is nevertheless an incredibly efficient and easy-to-live-in country, and we’ve discovered that there are numerous things that the Japanese get not just right, but awesomely right.

Join us after the jump for our top 10 things we love about Japan.

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Lonely this Christmas: Japanese gamers feeling left out in the cold as new consoles launch elsewhere

It’s been a few months now since gamers in Japan learned that, unlike the majority of the developed world, they would not be enjoying next-gen consoles at home this Christmas. While both North and South America, the UK, Europe, even our pals down-under in Australia will be stroking their shiny new hardware and yelling at friends for leaving greasy fingerprints on it, video game fans in Japan will be left to either play with their existing consoles or try to import.

Sony and Microsoft’s decisions to focus on Western territories for the launch of their respective new consoles certainly makes good business sense – after all, the Christmas period accounts for between 30 and 40 percent of annual video game sales, and the West is by far the more lucrative market – but reports here in Japan suggest that some gamers’ perception of Sony in particular has been harmed by the move, with some once loyal fans saying that they feel the company is simply “not taking things seriously” anymore.

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Why do Japanese people obey traffic laws? Chinese students give their opinion

On August 11, Record China published an article based on essays written by Chinese students after their first visit to Japan. The piece, titled “How Japanese People Interpret Laws,” mainly focused on the students’ impressions of Japanese roadway rules and regulations and how strictly they are followed.”

Those readers who have had the chance to experience Japanese motorways might not have found the streets very safe at all. Narrow roads often mean narrow escapes from clogged intersections as pedestrians weave in-between eco-delivery bicyclists and taxi cabs. But compared to the hustle and bustle of mainland China, where the rules of the road mean every man for himself, Japan may very well seem an extremely tame, if not complacent, environment.

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Five things not to do on a romantic getaway in Japan

Who doesn’t want to take a vacation alone with their special someone? Couples’ vacations are quite popular in Japan with both the young and old. In a country that boasts a wealth of hot springs, rustic townships, and even big tourist-centered cities, there is no end to exotic places to visit. Shared vacations can be a great way to learn more about the local areas and spend some time with your Japanese boyfriend or girlfriend.

But what happens after the first couple days of excitement wear off? What do you do when he starts snoring too loudly or she takes too much time picking out an outfit to wear for the evening?

Here are some helpful hints for couples looking to take a trip with their Japanese partner.

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Self-styled ‘King of Psychics’ predicts major disaster for Japan, asks for new Twitter followers

Japan’s Twitterverse is abuzz with the news that US-born psychic Ron Bard has predicted a huge natural disaster in Japan with major loss of life by the end of 2013. Bard, who calls his work “parapsychological consulting”, is well-known in Japan and counts major players at companies like Sega and Merrill Lynch Japan among his clients.
Bard took to Twitter yesterday with a series of translated messages for his fans in Japan including one that read: “I predicted March 11, but no one believed me. You can save lives this time by retweeting this!”

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From nudity to mic hogging – Japanese women share their complaints about karaoke with men

Karaoke in Japan is quite different from what you find across most of the Western world. Rather than letting wannabe rock stars take to the stage in a crowded bar, most karaoke parlors in Japan offer private rooms for all of their customers, whether singing in a group or taking time alone to do some hitokara. Unfortunately, these closed quarters can lead to some awkward scenarios when single men and women share the mic at office after parties…

Earlier this month My Navi News conducted a short survey of the single women employed by the company. They asked 200 of these working ladies whether or not they’d ever had a man do something at karaoke which really made them want to draw away, and if so, to explain it in detail. The results were quite the eye-opener.

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Baby’s First Warmachine: the Perfect Mech for Your Tiny Supervillians!

As with most weeks in Japan, robots seem to be dominating the news, but this one’s much cuter and waaaay more alarming.

Sakakibara Kikai (or Sakakibara Machines), a well established manufacturing company in Gunma Prefecture, has released a video of their KID’S WALKER CYCLOPS out for a test drive. (No buildings were destroyed by errant missiles in the filming of this video.) Read More

Grand Theory of Moe: the Past, Present and Future of Maid Cafes

When it comes to Japan, Akihabara is one place you’ll find on almost every tourist’s map. The name alone immediately brings to mind everything from games, manga, anime, figurines and AKB48 to Gundam, computers and electronics. Still one thing stands out as being particularly iconic: maid cafes.

Most visitors to Tokyo have stopped by one of these cafes at least once, and even if you haven’t, you’re probably familiar with the concept: cute, young women in fluffy “maid” skirts serving drinks and food while giggling with customers and, often, putting on shows. But have you wondered where these cafes came from? Read More

Fantasy Art: Amano Yoshitaka Art Gallery

Should you happen to be in Tokyo this Golden Week, you have until Tuesday (May 7) to check out a free (!!!) art gallery displaying some beautiful works by Amano Yoshitaka. If the name doesn’t ring any bells, some of the projects he’s worked on surely will: Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, and the incomparable Sandman: the Dream Hunters.

And if you happen to have a few extra yen laying about, you can also pick up some original pieces! The least expensive one we found was only about 40,000 yen (US$402), and the most expensive we spied was about 3.8 million yen (US$38,381). Even if you can’t pick up the original art, you can still get postcards, posters, notebooks, and calendars with Amano’s brilliant art. And! You’ll get a poster just for coming by!

Photo and event information below! (Some of the photos are not safe for work!!!) Read More

Looking for Love? Break the Ice Over Red Meat at this Barbecue Joint Famous for Turning Patrons into Couples

Typically a heaping plate of raw meat isn’t exactly the type of food you’d picture putting people in an amorous mood, but this tiny watering hole-slash-barbecue joint in Kanda (one station over from Tokyo) is famous for bringing patrons together through the magic of a hot grill, cold drinks, and very, very close quarters.

The interior of the restaurant, Rokkakai, is only 6.6 square meters, meaning complete strangers are pretty much forced to crowd around and share a single, rectangular table. We can see where this might result in the odd coupling, but that’s apparently not the only secret behind the location’s uncanny ability to bring people together.

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Wasei English: 20 Words of English Origin that Japanese People Often Mistake for the Real Thing

How many of you have ever heard of the Japanese word ‘wasei eigo’? A direct translation into English would be “Japanese-made English”, but put more simply the word refers to English words that, after a little tampering, have been adopted into the modern Japanese lexicon and used on an everyday basis. Despite having their origins in English, wasei eigo words often have quite different meanings to those on which they are based. Consequently, Japanese visitors to English-speaking countries using terms like “baby car” and “key holder” — words that are thought to be “English” in Japan — are often met with raised eyebrows and blank stares from native English speakers.

So come with us now as we look at the top 20 wasei English words that cause Japanese people trouble when they break them out while abroad.

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Why Foreign Businessmen are Receiving Lessons on Doing Business the Japanese Way

Below is an account from Sayaka, a reporter over at our sister site Pouch. It is an intriguing look at differences in business culture between Japan and the west. It makes one realize that there is no perfect business strategy as such but by incorporating the best parts from each culture, one can get pretty close to their own perfect business model. Moreover, Japan’s business culture has to be one of the most unique in the entire world.

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New Reports Show Going Without a Bra Actually Good for Women, Men Everywhere Rejoice

The old wisdom that going without a bra too often would cause a woman’s bazongas to stretch out and droop like a pair of baseballs in training socks is going out the window thanks to a series of recent reports to the contrary, and Japanese women are apparently responding by going out in public unsupported in record numbers.

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What’s Your National Stereotype? Japanese Sinking Ship Joke Has Got You Pegged

You’ve all heard the joke about the sinking ship, right? This joke explicitly reveals the deep inner motivations of the men of many different nations. It’s famous for hitting the nail on the head when it comes to cultural stereotypes. Really, this joke knows you better than you know yourself. Popular in Japan, it also goes down a treat at drinking parties worldwide.

So, what is this joke that so accurately pinpoints cultural stereotypes? Here it is…

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A Chinese Perspective: Some of the Most Surprising Cultural Differences upon Coming to Japan

On February 1, a Chinese newspaper writing primarily for Chinese nationals residing in Japan published an article titled “Some of the Things that  Surprised Me when Coming to Japan”. Written by Chinese men and women who have experienced the Japanese lifestyle, the publication gives accounts of some quite startling differences between Chinese and Japanese customs and what is taken for granted as common sense.

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New iPad App “The Legend of Momotaro” Brings Japanese Folk Tale to Life

Telling the age-old story of a hero born from a giant peach, Ghost Hand Games’ new app The Legend of Momotaro landed on our iPad last weekend. Promising an inspiring interactive experience while telling the classic Japanese tale, we fired it up right away. A couple of hours of reading, listening and screen-tapping later, we were left with no doubt in our minds: technology really can do great things for an old reading experience.

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Japan as it Once Was: 20 Stunning Photographs

Surrounded by multi-story buildings and forever glued to our computers and smartphones, we often forget that the world we live in was once a much simpler place. People took time over writing letters, arranged to meet with friends and loved ones well in advance and, without streaming video and compact, waterproof music players to keep us entertained, took the time to appreciate the little things in life.

As a reminder of Japan’s once much more subdued yet intrinsically beautiful lifestyle, RocketNews24‘s sister site Pouch presents us with the following collection of photographs, which feature stunning Japanese gardens, arching wooden bridges over rivers, and ordinary folk just going about their day some 100 years ago.

So grab yourself a cup of tea, switch your phone to silent mode and take a few minutes to appreciate just how different life in Japan used to be.

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