ICHIYA’s POP Eye – Convenience Stores

 From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Moshi Moshi Nippon’s “ICHIYA’s POP EYE”.
  Today’s topic is Convenience Stores!
  Japanese convenience stores are amazing. First of all, they sell a variety of wares. They offer fruits and vegetables as well. Besides, they carry stamps, cosmetics, shirts, pants and even socks. Convenience stores also offer prepared meals. If the client purchases a hot snack such as a frankfurter sausage or a potato, the staff will reheat it for him. 
  When all is said and done, nothing surpasses oden、Japan's soul food. Tofu, jelly, fish-paste cake, octopus. Mix it with kelps and sliced dried bonito to cook an excellent soup. Eat while it is still hot.
  Some convenience stores put much effort into developing their own products, such as soy sauce, bento sets or cosmetics. Others carry unique varieties of popular foods such as karaage or soft-serve ice cream.
  Goods available in Japanese convenience stores change quickly. 70% of the goods offered by one chain changed in a year. Pretty amazing, isn't it?
  You can send parcels and pay utilities charges. They also boast terminals which allow you to purchase concert or museum tickets or pay for your insurance. In other words, a Japanese convenience store is like a post office, bank and municipal office rolled into one.  
  It goes without saying they are open around 24/7. They even boast toilets. Many people go in only to use the toilet.
  Some convenience store have spots with chairs and tables where you can eat a meal. Just like a restaurant. Others have table tennis areas and karaoke rooms, where you can eat and drink while singing your heart out.
  Ever heard of car sharing? It's a service which allows several people to use the same car. Some convenience stores have parking lots of their own which offer car sharing services. 
  Say goodbye to your laundry problems. Just place your clothes into a box, pop back a few days later to collect your laundry. It's very convenient - I should know!
  Stuffing so many functions into small boxes is Japan's forte. Japanese convenience store are the answer to the question of how many people's need can you meet at the same time. 
  Convenience stores first appeared in America, but Japan improved on them over the course of forty years. Since their introduction, they have evolved considerably. That's what I call 'Cool Japan'! Japan now builds convenience stores in America itself. It is a representative example of Japanese successes in business. 
  How about such convenience stores in your own country?


ICHIYA’s POP Eye – Mobile Games

 From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Moshi Moshi Nippon’s “ICHIYA’s POP EYE”.
  Today’s topic is Mobile Games!
  In recent times, portable games for smartphones and mobile phones have been gaining popularity over video games for the home, and the world of small and compact is where Japan shines. 
  The first portable gaming device to have come out was a product called “Game and Watch” by Nintendo followed by products like Nintendo’s “Gameboy”, Bandai’s “Tamagotchi” and Sony’s “Playstation Portable”. In the last 10 years, games for mobile phones and smartphones have seen a rapid development. 

  The smartphone market has almost doubled in the last year and accounted for almost 50% of the overall games market. The international social game market is now worth $7 billion and half of this market is in Japan. It is developing into an enormous market.
  On top of that, the Japanese send on average, $20 a month on smartphone games, which is 50 times more than the average spent on American social media games like on Facebook. That’s 50 times. For some reason, Japanese users spend a substantial amount on mobile games. 
  As a matter of fact, Japan was the first country in the world to combine mobile phones and the Internet 15 years ago. Since then, the Japanese have enjoyed and have become familiar with playing games and shopping on their mobile phones even before the introduction of smartphones. The custom and social system to spend money on mobile phones has already been established. 

  Japanese mobile games are based on the technology developed for video games. The graphics and music is excellent, and games of a diverse range of genres have been developed, such as games where the player nurtures a character like “Tamagotchi” and farming games where the player grows vegetables.
  There is a game from Kyoto that allows players to visit tourist attractions in Kyoto. The game merges the real historic locations with the world in your smartphone. It is a serious endeavor undertaken to revive the towns in the area through games. Attempting to revitalize towns using the power of pop culture is typical of Japan and and interesting isn't it? 

  There aren’t many cruel games in Japan. Games involving bloodshed or killing is rare. Instead, the Japanese want to develop games that can be enjoyed by different generations, like nurturing and dating games. 
  There are serious games too, for example, educational games for brain training. These are games that allow the player to do number exercises in a game setting and these series have several million copies worldwide. There are researches being done on the effects games can have on the revitalization of the brain. There are schools that use these games during class everyday. They are used in retirement homes as well. 

   Japan will continue to create fun mobile games. Don’t miss them. 


ICHIYA’s POP Eye – TV Game

 From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Moshi Moshi Nippon’s “ICHIYA’s POP EYE”.
  Today’s topic is TV Game!
   “Pac-Man”, “Super Mario Bros.”, “Sonic the Hedgehog”, “Street Fighter” and “Resident Evil”- Japan has given birth to a diverse range of TV games (video games). Have you played with them? Japan has also given birth to many TV gaming consoles like Nintendo Family Computer, Sony Playstation, Sega Dreamcast. Have you owned one? 

  The Japanese game market is worth $10 billion. Although anime, movies and music account for a part of media content that is exported overseas, games make up 95% of the total value exported. The video game industry is large and popular worldwide. 
   Video game technology was born in America. Japan imported this technology, developed games that were for everyone and began their own unique development of games. The Family Computer first appeared on the scene 30 years ago. At the time, shooting games and sports games were being made all over the world, but Japan was making games that no on else in the world was making, for example: games like “Tamagotchi” and “Seaman”  where characters are “nurtured”; fighting games where 2 characters fight each other; games that simulate history and games like “Dance Dace Revolution” and “Taiko no Tatsujin” where players compete on musical and dance skills in game arcades, were created and gained popularity. 

   In particular, story-oriented games featuring anime characters are popular. Role playing games are the perfect examples of this. Numerous RPG games, such as “Dragon Quest” and “Final Fantasy” were created. 
  The most Japanese of all is the “dating game” where the player empathizes with a character and showers him/her with affection. The player becomes impatient when things don’t go his/her way and the character can be mean- but he/she is so adorable… It’s truly absurd. 
  Apparently, there are many people in Japan who feel awkward dating real people, but in games, a player can always fall in love with a character. The player can escape from reality by going on dates with the perfect partner and by becoming the perfect man or woman him/herself.

  Dating games aren’t just for men, there are those for women as well. There are even games of the “boys’ love” genre where boys fall in love with each other. Japanese women have always enjoyed romantic dramas and manga, and now they can enjoy romance in games as well. 
  It is a little worrying though, to be preoccupied with a virtual world right? But the reality is, most people enjoy games while keeping reality and the wold of games separate. The game serves as a trigger for people to start gaming communities, they host parties, and exchange information. 

  How about it? Please give Japanese games a try. 


ICHIYA’s POP Eye – Men’s Fashion

 From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Moshi Moshi Nippon’s “ICHIYA’s POP EYE”.
  Today’s topic is Men’s Fashion!
  Japanese teenager is fashionable. They have their own, unique and outrageous style.  For foreigners, it may seem that their styles are too famine. Though they pay great attentions to style and cleanness. They are very fussy.
  There are many men’s brands and countless numbers of men’s fashion magazines. Moreover, men’s magazines are targeted at specific demographics, such as junior high students, high school students, college students, 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s.
  Men’s Fashion magazines in Japan also vary in many different specific categories, such as casual, street, and vintage. There are even special magazines for watches, shoes, and accessories. 
  Of course, there is one specialized  in Japanese kimono for people like myself. Isn’t it strange?
  There are so many men’s cosmetics too. Popular items are deodorant skin care products and sweat wipes as well as perfumes and hair-tonic with good fragrant. There is a kit to tidy eyebrows for men. Some report says teenagers in Tokyo spend 80 percent of their monthly allowance into fashion. Isn’t it quite amazing? 
  In Edo era, which is approximately 150 years ago, people did the similar things. Combing hair with oil everyday, making sure there is absolutely no loose hair at all, arranging eyebrow with a rising intonation, and pulling all the beard off completely, etc. Back then, men also shaved and drew their eyebrows. 
  They enjoyed kimono by layering a few different colors, though the colors of the fabrics were quite conservative like navy blue, and the combination of collars and strings. They also enjoyed various coordination’s, such as patterned liners and cigarette case accessories.
  Japanese men may not be good at communications and are quiet. They don’t actively speak up at international meetings or parties. However they have a passion to express themselves through fashion, even though they may not be able to express themselves with words so well. 
  Please pay attentions to Japanese men too.