About 40% of Japanese Men Sit To Tinkle

19 12 2007

Photo from Flickr; The amount of adult Japanese men who admitted to sitting while peeing has grown from 15 percent in 1999 to now 49 percent, according to Fuji TV. Image from Japan Probe

As I have said before, newspapers do not have to worry about disappearing in the digital age because many blog posts stem from news articles. This is the case with this awesome nugget of little known Japanese fact. Mainichi Daily News reported that about 40 percent of adult Japanese men sit on the toilet to urinate, according to a survey done by Matsushita Electric Works Ltd., a manufacturer of Western-style toilets.

The survey, which was conducted with 518 men as well as 518 women, shows that mothers and wives encourage the men in their families to sit down so as to avoid unnecessary spraying and urine cleanup. I guess we know who wears the pants in those households. Since 1999, the number of Japanese men who sit to do number 1 has skyrocketed. Matsushita started designing toilets with larger holes years ago to accommodate male sitters.

The number of men sitting while peeing is probably larger than what Matsushita is reporting. Not all men probably want to admit to the habit because they fear that they would appear feminine. Japan Probe was one of the first blogs to post about the article. They also included interesting graphics and a video from Fuji TV news, who did a report on the findings.

Read more after the jump!


C’mon, Kyoto, you can do better than this

7 12 2007


All of the large Japanese newspapers have bureaus if not their headquarters in Tokyo. Some people forget that Tokyo was not always the center of activity in Japan. The city of Kyoto, which means “capital city,” was Japan’s capital from 794 until the late 19th century.

The Kyoto Shimbun News is a community newspaper that focuses on the cities of Kyoto and Shiga. The paper has a company mission of upholding “justice, freedom and truth.” The Kyoto Shimbun Web site looks like something your novice programmer designed, however, its simplicity and to-the-point features are appealing to foreigners.

The site is offered in both Japanese and English. The English version of the site is regularly updated with three “fluffy” main stories on the home page. While that’s not a lot of content, the way that the page is designed with images and article summaries make it okay visually and easy to read. The articles are extremely short. They are more like news briefs than articles. I think that they could afford to fit more of the articles on the home page. They could also invest into making slide shows which visitors would find helpful. I like the “Guide,” “Photos,” and “Festivals” navigation. These are topics that they don’t have to spend time maintaining. The Japanese version of the site is a little more meaty in order to better inform the paper’s main readership – one of the 1.5 million Kyoto inhabitants. Still I think it leaves a lot to be desired.

Just to be fair, let’s compare this site to that of an American community newspaper that serves a similar amount of people – Philadelphia.

Read more after the jump!

Does Japanese culture allow criminals to get away with murder?

10 11 2007

Photo of Saito from With-Malice.com; I’m not sure where they got it because I couldn’t find it; A Japan policeman “on the job” from Flickr

According to a recent L.A. Times article, a 17-year-old sumo wrestler with bruises, cuts and burns on his face and legs was declared by police to have died from “heart disease.” The news has already made laps around the world in the last few months. BBC, The New York Times and everyone else and their mama has reported on it, however, I think The L.A. Times brought up something new.

“As is common in Japan, Aichi police reached their verdict on how Saito died without an autopsy. No need for a coroner, they said. No crime involved. Only 6.3 percent of the unnatural deaths in Aichi are investigated by a medical examiner, a minuscule rate even by nationwide standards in Japan, where an autopsy is performed in 11.2 percent of cases.”

This is the same Takashi Saito that Reuters reported on in June. Because of the teen’s profession, “heart failure” was spun to make sense as a health-related cause of death.

Read more after the jump!

To blog or not to blog?

30 10 2007

I want to thank everyone who has been reading my blog over the last couple of weeks. BlackOtaku has had more than 1,000 page views. Most of you got here by searching for news about the cover art for Kanye West’s new album. Some of you got here because you were interested in anime or manga or more specifically hentai (naughty). Many of you sit in front of me in class and have to visit and comment on my site to get a grade. No matter, I thank all of you for your support. I love writing this blog because it gives me an excuse to not only read about Japanese popular culture but also to analyze it.

Photo from Flickr

My professor wanted me to post about what I thought makes a blog a blog and what specifically makes a “good blog.” While answering those questions, I also came up with a stance on the role blogs play for the newsroom. BTW I am using examples selected by my professor. Some times I feel that the class is restricting as to the sites we study and the online styles we are taught. I’m currently boycotting The Washington Post web site because it’s my professor’s favorite web site to use as an example (I think he is secretly a WP recruiter). Check out some of the sites I enjoy in my blogroll to the right. Let me know what blogs you guys visit.

Read more after the jump!

It may be ova for NOVA

20 10 2007

Hilarious pic (by burlydude3) found on Flickr. Usagi, the pink rabbit, was a very popular marketing tool for NOVA whose branches are frequently located near train stations. Marketers came up with the NOVA slogan “ekimae ryūgaku” (study abroad near the train station).

Sadly, NOVA’s train has left.

One of the easiest ways to get into Japan is through NOVA, the largest of the eikaiwa (English-teaching, privately-run companies in Japan).

Basically, what NOVA does is ship dumb schmucks (normally recent college graduates) over to Japan to teach. I heard they aren’t too selective, and they treat you like crap when you get there. But if you need a visa it’s one step better than advertising yourself as a mail-order bride. NOVA is the largest employer of foreign nationals employing some 7,000 foreign workers.

NOVA has had its experience of legal woes, but within recent months trouble in Osaka is leading the chain to cut at least 200 of its 900 branches and creep eva closer to bankruptcy.

Read more after the jump!

In Japan, They’re Not Afraid To Let It All Hang Out

16 10 2007







From Mainichi Daily News; The cover of Shukan Taishu, a publication that Mainichi uses for some of its “more interesting” articles; From DannyChoo.com; The sign says “Warning: Perverts lurking.”

News in Japan is just a whole lot sexier. Check out some of the more popular headlines from Mainichi Daily News:

  1. “1 in 17 Shibuya teens found to have contracted STDs”
  2. “Young salary man nabbed for abducting 12-year-old girl he met online”
  3. “Woman dies, 2 other people in critical condition after blaze destroys sex shop in Naha”
  4. “Jealous schoolgirl torches 32-year-old, longtime lover’s Tokyo home”

Their WaiWai section pushes the envelope even further. These stories are often steamy and come with disclaimers at the bottom of the articles:

WaiWai stories are transcriptions of articles that originally appeared in Japanese language publications. The Mainichi Daily News cannot be held responsible for the contents of the original articles, nor does it guarantee their accuracy. Views expressed in the WaiWai column are not necessarily those held by the Mainichi Daily News or the Mainichi Newspapers Co. WaiWai © Mainichi Newspapers Co. 1989-2007.

Read more after the jump!