Posts Tagged: survey says


For years, Super Drama TV has aired Star Trek reruns in Japan. It’s been a real godsend for me, as most of the time the episodes aired at 6PM - prime dinner viewing. For a time there were two Trek episodes back-to-back, an embarrassment of televised riches for a nerd like me.

Super Drama recently finished airing Enterprise and, for the time being, has no Star Trek shows on the schedule. This made me sad, so I went searching through their website in the hopes of finding an indication of when Trek would return to the air. Imagine my surprise when I found a list of the supposed “best episodes” along with other rankings chosen by fans.

Long story short: Japanese fans love pilots and finales NO MATTER WHAT.

Read More


We’ve seen these figures before, but the latest survey suggests that Japanese married couples are increasingly not having sex. Even the young ones:

The ratio stood at 41.3 percent in the survey of 1,306 people aged between 16 and 49 conducted in September. The figure was around 32 percent in 2004 and topped 40 percent in 2010…

The survey equates “not having sex” with having sex fewer than once a month, so it’s possible there are couples out there who are super kinky but only bang bi-monthly for safety reasons, but it’s more likely these people simply don’t fuck.

(Of course, I say “these people” when - TMI WARNING YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED - I haven’t gotten laid since Setsubun. At least I have an excuse: my pregnant wife was exhausted for weeks at a time, and now that the baby is here we simply have no time to screw. Hell, with two kids in the house it’s hard work finding time to take care of myself, if you know what I mean*)

A Japanese edition of this story provides a bit more detail, and it’s disturbing: the largest age group of men saying they “have no interest in sex” (性交流することに関心ない) is 20-24 year olds. Are you shitting me? I’m 36 and as lecherous as I judge myself to be, I know I’m just a shadow of my former horndog self.

The survey did ask participants for reasons as to why they don’t copulate, and the most popular answers were “too tired from work” (仕事で疲れている, 28.2% of men) and “it’s troublesome” (面倒くさい, 23.5% of women).

The men’s answer I can almost understand, although Japanese men having been working themselves to death for decades and they always used to find time for the-old-in-and-out before. Similarly, I presume the women’s answer was shorthand for “it’s too troublesome to get away from all the other people living in this tiny house with us so I can spend a few minutes with my husband” but that too is old hat in Japan.

However, when reading this news in conjunction with this earlier survey, there seems to be a growing disinterest in sex. And that is seriously bad news for a society.

*I mean masturbating


Even though I personally have no further interest in dating, I do enjoy reading about the do’s and don’ts - particularly in Japanese. Today’s item is for the fellas, as ladies sound off on "dealbreaker"* behavior during dates. We’ve been down this road before, but that was specifically aimed at nerds. This is more general knowledge, with a few shockers.

Worst of the worst:

  • Getting angry at waiters or store clerks. Being an arrogant ass. 95%
  • Splitting the cost of a meal down to one yen (to the penny) 79%
  • Wearing “eccentric” (奇抜) fashion on a date, such as “native clothing” (民族衣装), Thai pants (google it, looks comfy!), and colored tights 75%
  • Saying the food “sucks” (マズい) while dining 72.5%

Things to avoid:

  • "Wild" (荒い) driving 62%
  • Dropping English words into conversation 60.5%
  • Holding chopsticks in a “terrible” (ひどい) manner 59%
  • Wearing the same clothes to every date 58.5%
  • Licking the wrapper of cake, pudding, yogurt, etc 45.5%

Probably safe (but it clearly bothers some women, or else it wouldn’t be here)

  • "Tattered/worn-out" (ボロボロ) wallet 35.5%

One last tip: Don’t go overboard with the towels they hand out at the restaurant. Quoted ladies grumbled about dates wiping down their faces, armpits, bellies, even their feet!

I’m rather surprised by the caution against unusual fashion, I thought so-called peacocking was a good idea, but these women just say it makes them feel embarrassed to be seen with such a person. As for the English part, well, I would hope that non-native speakers of Japanese get a pass on that.

I only translated the information for dating, if you read Japanese you can go through the article’s other pages by clicking the numbers in the red boxes at the bottom.

*Dealbreaker = ドン引き, literally “pulling away” from someone who creeps you out


If you’ve been reading these pages or you’ve talked to me in person or you’ve ever turned on a television in Japan, you know that Japanese television is awful. Awful, awful, awful beyond all synonyms of awfulness. With endless hours devoted to zooming in on plates of food and airing the same twelve “comedians” shouting at one another, I’m unable to comprehend how the Japanese people as a whole haven’t thrown their sets out the window in protest. As painful as it was, I just chalked up to ye olde “cultural differences” and kept on paying for cable.

Turns out I’m not alone. In fact, I’m in the majority: a new survey says over seventy percent of Japanese viewers think television is boring.

The survey, conducted by Research Panel, received over 175,000 responses and the number one answer, by far, was “television has become boring” (71.2%). 15.8% said “it hasn’t changed”, 6.7% said “it’s gotten more interesting” and 6.3% shrugged their shoulders. A few choice comments from the “it’s boring” crowd:

"The Internet is more fun"

"I only watch the news"

"All the shows look the same"

"It’s nothing but geinin* talking”

Granted, this survey appears to have been collected online and I doubt there was any scientific methodology behind its reach, but I still see this as a sign that even Japanese people are fed up with the entertainment slop they are being fed.

By the way, Iron Chef’s coming back a week from tomorrow! I am setting myself up for a huge disappointment, aren’t I.

* geinin, 芸人, is a Japanese word that collectively refers to all the people who appear on Japanese television shows. Not exactly the same as “celebrity” or “comedian”, two types of people who would be considered geinin.


In case I haven’t established this, I love movies. LOVE. MOVIES. And a big part of that love is going to a movie theater and seeing a movie on a big screen. Yeah, I rent and stream films from time to time, but a trip to the movies is an ideal day out for me.

Which makes it all the more painful when I realized the other day how seldom I do that now. I tried and tried to remember the last movie I saw in theaters. This was the best I could come up with, and I neither I nor my wife could recall the last film we saw together. Things just keep coming up and films I am excited to see slip into and out of theaters without before I get a chance to see them.

And unlike you American folks, I don’t have a super-convenient Netflix option where I can build a queue of movies I want to see and have them magically appear in my mailbox (nevermind watching them online). So the less I go to the movies, the less movies I see. Period.

A recent survey of Japanese moviegoers shows I am not alone: 54.7% said they haven’t gone to a movie theater in the last year, and almost 60% said that number hadn’t changed from the previous year. Again, it’s unlikely that all these folks are replacing the cinema with movies in other formats: some of them rent, but cable TV is not widespread in Japan and digital streaming services are extremely young. This means Japanese people simply watch fewer films.

Unsurprisingly, cost is a factor. A typical movie ticket in Japan costs 1800 yen (well over $20 US) with an added surcharge if it’s a 3D movie. There are promotional days where the tickets are cheaper, discount tickets are available in certain stores, and the concession prices aren’t quite so outrageous, but the bottom line is that’s the price most people pay when they go out to a theater.

The survey asked people if they would go more often and the answer is a resounding “fuck yes, are you stupid.” This chart says it all: the lower the price goes, the more people said they would go out to the movies more often.

Hopefully someone in the Japanese exhibition business is reading these numbers and using them to convince their crusty bosses that hey, no one wants to spend that much money on a single film. Especially when the number of digital viewing options will only increase as time goes on. Not only is Hulu making a push here, but (nearly?) every major mobile phone provider is offering their own streaming video service now. I pay for the former because it works across all my computers, game consoles, and touchscreen devices. Mostly I use it to catch up with old TV shows, as the movie selection is pretty thin (and not at all recent).

On the off-hand that someone in the Japanese exhibition business is reading what I’m writing here, why the fuck do American movies take so long to open here?   It’s June and I’ve still got two more months to wait before I can see The Avengers and Prometheus.


Because it amuses me, here are the results of a Japanese online survey asking how many ex-lovers would you forgive of your boyfriend or girlfriend. 1000 people responded, and while there is no age/sex breakdown of the respondents, quotes from both men and women were included.

1 - 5 exes: 672 people

6 - 10 exes: 109 people

11 - 20 exes: 10 people

Any number is OK: 209 people

I am surprised that the survey did not include a “no exes” option. Would this be considered unrealistic in Japan? Surely the fact that the majority prefers their partners to have less sexual experience rather than more suggests a reverence for virginity or some semblance of purity. That, or maybe they’re self-conscious about being compared to ex-lovers (which one 25-year-old male respondent specifically said). There’s also something very funny about the 10 people who draw the line at 20 exes. At that point, why not just shrug and say “who cares?”

Speaking of which, I am a bit disappointed that more people didn’t vote for “any number is OK.” I don’t need (or want!) to know actual numbers when it concerns my wife’s sexual history, but whether it’s two boyfriends or two dozen that doesn’t change the fact that she fell in love with me. I must admit it was comforting to hear that I was her first non-Japanese boyfriend though; it made going home to New York for a year much easier. On the other hand, it made meeting her family the first time a lot more stressful! Good thing they turned out to be great people.


As a public service announcement to any Japan-oriented geeks out there, here are nine habits that Japanese women say make you an unappealing nerd (aka, otaku). Most of this is common sense stuff, but just in case you think nerds are cool in Japan, please think again. Avoid the following:

  1. Wearing a T-shirt or other merchandise featuring anime characters
  2. "Mastering" otaku dances/clapping (i.e. something like this)
  3. Talking at length about how cute an anime character is
  4. Describing a game character as “my wife”
  5. Reading manga while sporting a huge grin (esp. porn manga)
  6. Using anime-like language in e-mails or texts*
  7. Making lots of odd anime-inspired noises in everyday life*
  8. Asking to be addressed with a silly anime nickname*
  9. Putting on a ladies’ voice to sing an anime theme song

Numbers 6-8 deal with specific qualities of the Japanese language as it is used in anime circles, stuff I can’t really explain because I don’t swing that way.

Personally, I have totally done #1, though never anything with cutesy girls and never when I was dating. Now that I’m married I can get away with it, but I still don’t own anything with maids or schoolgirls on it. I have certainly come close to #s 5 and 6, the former because I can easily get enthused about nerdy stuff and the latter because as a student I often experiment using alternate Japanese. Again, neither situation involved anything “cute” (and certainly not porn!) so maybe that made it safe. I never tried #9 because I don’t have the range to go very high.

Frankly, I’m surprised there wasn’t more video game stuff on this list. I can’t imagine Mako would have dated me if I played as many games in 2005 as I do now.


Whenever you read or hear the words “Japanese sex survey” only bad news will follow. Today is no exception. According to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, 61.4 of unmarried males and 49.5% of unmarried females between the ages of 18-34 are not currently dating anyone. But wait, it gets worse! According to the Japan Family Planning Association, 36% of boys and 59% of girls aged 16-19 have either “no interest in” or “feel disgusted by” sex.

Why aren’t young people pursuing relationships? Based on the blog post that I got the above data from, the most popular answers are “it’s too much trouble” and “there’s other fun stuff to do”

I hate to sound gloomy, but if this many Japanese people seriously can’t be bothered to fuck each other then there’s no amount of government incentive programs that will encourage more people to start families.

(usual caveats: I don’t know how big the samples were nor how this data was acquired. Indeed, the entire source post could be a complete fabrication! But as the Japanese population dwindles these numbers don’t sound very far fetched, do they?)


In the creepiest online poll I’ve ever heard of, respondents were asked “With whom could you fall in love: a middle school student or a 30-something adult?”

Out of 869 Japanese men, 407 (46.84%) chose the little girl.

In a much smaller sample, the women (only 175 respondents) overwhelmingly chose the adult.

All caveats aside (online poll is online, does not reflect society as a whole, etc) that is some unpleasant data.


Japanese gaming blog 4Gamer polled 6468 readers about the 3DS, its recent price drop and the Ambassador Program that gives early adopters free games. The respondents were overwhelming male (93.5%/6.5%) and split almost evenly between those with the device and those without. The results were somewhat surprising, and for the most part they suggest that Nintendo still has work to do to win over Japanese consumers (or at least, the enthusiast portion that reads websites like 4Gamer).

What game-playing devices do you own?

Instead of the usual “what game consoles do you own” question, the survey asked about consoles and devices that played games. This means computers and smartphones were represented, a smart move. The numbers break down about like you’d expect - PCs are number one because almost everyone has one, followed by the usual DS/PSP/PS2/Wii crowd. Note that in nearly every case, 3DS owners were more likely to own other game consoles than those who do not own a 3DS.

What devices do you use to play games?

When asked what consoles/devices they actually used to play games (not merely owned), Sony’s PS3 and PSP were the top choices but PCs and iOS/smartphones were close behind (also surprisingly close was the Xbox 360, not a popular console in Japan). However, what I find interesting is that the split between 3DS owners and non-owners was minimal on this chart. That runs counter to the theory that a major hurdle for the 3DS is people choosing cheaper mobile games over a dedicated console.

In polling current 3DS owners, a large number (over 30%) suggest that the offer of free games does little to placate their “anger or regret” regarding the sudden price drop. When combined with those who said the free games did nothing to increase their “appreciation” of the 3DS, that suggests a majority of current 3DS owners are not pleased with what they’ve gotten so far out of the machine. Yet a third were willing to recommend it “provided you like 3D or the games currently available”.

What of the forthcoming Super Mario and Mario Kart games? 21.7% said they weren’t interested and 24% said they weren’t sure they would buy either game. A combined 28.2% said they would “definitely” or “probably” buy both, with another 14.7% leaning towards buying one or the other.

What do you think of the 3DS software lineup?

Nearly half (49.4%) of the respondents with a 3DS said that they feel the current lineup of games is slim and they are “disappointed” (期待できない) with the system despite the promise of future titles.

When asked about buying a WiiU, 25.8% said they would do so “early” while 17.6% said they would wait in light of the 3DS dropping in price so quickly (8.6% said they weren’t buying early regardless). 21.3% were undecided and 26.7% said they were not planning on buying one at all.

Among those who do not own a 3DS, the outlook was even grimmer. Only 5.4% said they plan to buy one as soon as the price drops. 42.1% said there’s still no 3DS games they want, with another 15.3% flat out saying that they’re not buying a 3DS regardless of price. A whopping 60.1% responded to the above Mario question with “not interested.”

What video game console do you want the most?

When non-3DS owners were asked to choose which console they “want the most”, the PlayStation Vita was far and away the number one choice at 65.3% (PS3 was a distant second at 8.7%) and 65.2% said they would “definitely” or “probably” buy it. 26.5% said they were interested but not sure yet if they would buy one. Sadly, this question was not asked of 3DS owners, nor did they ask non-3DS owners about WiiU.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a small sample size not exactly representative of the majority of Japanese consumers (you know women be shopping etc etc). But these are still discouraging numbers coming from a group that seems to own/play a lot of video games.