Top News in Japan for 2010

So what are the news that captured the hearts of the Japanese in 2010? According to a street interview made by Nippon Television the top five come from a variety of fields and originate around the world.

1. Rescue of the Chilean trapped miners: Apart from being seen as a real life drama intertwined with a love story, the Japanese appeal was the “ganbaru” message: “Don’t give up, when it gets tough”.

2. Vancouver Olympics / Soccer World cup in South Africa: During this year’s Olympic the Japanese participants were able to get a higher than usual number of medals, which helped to boost the national pride. Similar then during the world cup up to 64.9% people were following the Japanese soccer team on TV!

3. Home electronics / smart phones: Similar to the rest of the world iphone, ipad and android are creating a new boom. 3D TV was introduced, but some unique Japanese inventions became popular so far only locally. Portable beauty sets like a mist sprayer in the size of a mobile phone (モバビュー, sold for example by Big Camera) is a newest trend for younger women. For the salarymen smart phones that can be used as well as a projector came on the market. Rice bread machines from Sanyo have become hugely popular as they produce directly from rice instead of rice flour fresh bread. Or where else in the world would you find a solution for a healthy way to steam fry your gyoza (made by Hitachi, including present campaign of free local gyoza).

4. Tokyo Sky Tree: The picture above shows Tokyo Sky tree tower in the process of being built. At the end it will be a 634m high tower, which is being built as the newer version of Tokyo Tower. The previous version of the digital broadcasting antenna has become too small for skyscraper dense Tokyo and a higher version was needed. Step by step the area around Tokyo Sky Tree is becoming a new tourist attraction. Guides on where to take pictures, what souvenir to buy are already available and most recently tours related to Tokyo Sky Tree are promoted.

5. Conbini sweets: In 2010 the quality of sweets sold at the Conbinis (Convenient Stores) has increased a lot. Due to the general popularity, even buying sweets as an “omiyage” (give away or souvenir) became trendy. In response the convenient stores stopped printing the price on the sweets and special omiyage bags are available.

Further noted trends were the increased interest in Korean Pop or the revival of “Gegege of Kitaro” (a manga series created in 1959 by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki) with the NHK morning drama “ゲゲゲの女房”. Honestly I was surprised that the Sakamoto Ryoma boom made it into the top 5. Compared with the most favorite news in Japan, what was your favorite news for 2010?

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)

P.S. Sorry to disappoint “Wednesday interview” fans, but there will be no update until next year.

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