30 April 2012

How Nihongo has given birth to new languages, and the case of the missing Beef Misono, Chicken Teriyaki, and Torikatsu

Read this interesting article from Tofugu, entitled "How Japanese gives birth to new languages," via this (ad-supported) link: http://j.gs/uxx. That article reminded me of the most popular "Japanese" fast-food chain in the Philippines, Tokyo Tokyo, and their Beef Misono (and now, even Tuna Misono).

19 April 2012

Stats Update

2 years in and here are The Japan! Japan! Blog updated stats.

I'm nearly at 6,000 pageviews for 266 posts (inclusive of 53 posts from my Japan blog version 1.0 from 2005, and of pageviews of those 53 posts since I copied them here).  That's an average of more than 20 pageviews per post. Not bad.

My top article is my "Welcome to Japan (Part 1)" post, which has had 237 pageviews. The other members of my top 5 articles are:
I think those articles are appropriately my top 5. Interesting though is that, while the "Welcome to Japan" series is understandably in the top 5, the other three posts are about food. It's just past lunch and I feel hungry again. Hmmm, this reminds me though that I should update the restaurants list in Atsugi, and Tokyo, respectively because some of these restaurants do not exist anymore.

Anyway, my number 1 traffic source is Google Search. Interestingly, I found out that when you do a Yahoo! search for "Sayote in Japan," my blog article "Upo, green papaya, and sayote alternatives in Japan" is the number one search result, while in a Google search it is only the third result.

Pageviews by Countries as of 19 April 2012. Courtesy of Blogger.
In terms of countries where my audience comes from, this is more or less the breakdown:
  • United States 2,162 
  • Japan 1,294 
  • Philippines 505 
  • Germany 272 
  • Netherlands 172 
  • Russia 153 
  • United Kingdom 106 
  • Ukraine 93 
  • Canada 47 
  • France 44 
  • Others 1,070
It's very interesting that my blog has had the most visits from the US, and visits from the Philippines only rank 3rd, considering that my expected audience are Filipinos coming to Japan. But then, there are many Filipinos in the US, and maybe most of my traffic from the US are from Filipino-Americans. Or my Filipino-American relatives. Or, I would think there are many Americans who are very much interested in Japan, Japanese culture, and travelling to Japan, and they see my blog and look at it as a blog in English by a foreigner in Japan, and so they can relate. What surprised me the most though was the many visits from European countries. Of course, English might be spoken and understood in those European countries more than in other countries and it helps that my blog is in English. I did meet one German national who stayed in Japan for a few months as well, and I did visit the Netherlands for a week on official business, but I'm not sure if those two things have anything to do with the (small) traffic from those countries. Finally, the list also shows that, no, I'm not the only one visiting my own blog regularly just to increase my pageviews because I haven't been to the US nor use US-based proxy servers to look at my own blog. Haha. I've actually disabled that (i.e. counting of my pageviews in the stats), of course. But I guess Japan as a traffic source coming in as #2 and not #3 or lower is not much of a surprise. Anyway, these are very important stats, readily accessible through Blogger, and they give me good insights as to what things I can do to better improve and tailor my blog to my actual audience.

[I checked just now: back in September 2010, I only had around 180 pageviews and my audience came from only 7 countries. And back in May 2011, I also had similar stats as today, except of course I had much less pageviews. I also think that having a video blog on YouTube, and cross-posting on Facebook, Twitter, and occasionally Google Plus, provides a ton of additional exposure for this blog. Great!]

Finally, it is also very interesting that I still have more visitors using Internet Explorer instead of Chrome. That has a ton of implications behind it. And, nearly a quarter of my visitors are using Macintosh computers and around 8% are on mobile devices. Very interesting.

Pageviews by Operating Systems as of 19 April 2012. Courtesy of Blogger. 
Pageviews by Browsers as of 19 April 2012. Courtesy of Blogger. 

16 April 2012


April 16 marks my 2nd anniversary here in Japan, and the 2nd anniversary of The Japan! Japan! Blog (version 2.0). I hope to stay just 1 more year here and earn my degree by March 2013, but that is unless I could find a nice job here afterward. Fittingly enough, after 2 years here, it is only today that I learned that "arigatou" ("thank you" in Japanese) actually has a Kanji, although in most cases I only see the Hiragana version of it:
ありがとう (Hiragana)
有難う (Kanji)
Apparently the first Kanji means "possession" and the second one means "difficulty," and combined it becomes "in trouble" (in Chinese) or "grateful" (in Japanese) and is actually pronounced something like "yuunan" or "arigata."  The う is Hiragana obviously, not a Kanji character, and instead it is placed to make sure the "arigata" is pronounced as "arigatou."  This is just my speculation but I think "arigatou" might be short for "arigata wo," that together with "gozaimasu" literally means "There is gratitude" or "Gratitude exists."  In any case, you'll probably see "arigatou" in Kanji in very limited instances, and if it would be written in Kanji, it would be in a situation where politeness is necessitated and you would usually see it with "gozaimasu," which generally turns greetings into polite form, like "ohayou gozaimasu" (good morning), and so on:
To all readers of The Japan! Japan! Blog as well as viewers of The Japan! Japan! Video Blog, and to all the people I've met in Japan who has made my stay here so far a very enjoyable experience, どうもありがとうございます / Dōmo arigatōgozaimasu / Thank you very much po. ("Po" being the Filipino equivalent of "gozaimasu," in terms of turning an ordinary sentence into polite form.)

14 April 2012

Sakura Hanami in Chidorigafuchi

The Japan! Japan! Video Blog Episode #36 features our videos from our trip from Atsugi to Chidorigafuchi in Tokyo for some cherry blossom (sakura) viewing (hanami).  It's over an hour long, because the cherry trees are just so nice to look at, plus there's just so many of them. If you want you can skip over the "intro" which features some along-the-train-route sights of Tokyo, and start at around the 10:30 mark to see sakura already. We also dropped by the Nippon Budoukan and the Yasukuni Shrine.

10 April 2012

Check out Culture Japan

I think I've previously linked already to Danny Choo's website (www.dannychoo.com) which features some interesting and well-produced content on Japanese culture. He's done a number of videos on Japanese culture as well, encapsulated in the series aptly called "Culture Japan." These videos have even been featured on Tokyo MX TV in Japan, across the whole of Asia on the Animax Network and across America on Mnet America. Here's the official trailer for the just-concluded Season 1 of Culture Japan:

While this is a full-length (more than 1 hour) digest of Season 1:

To watch more Culture Japan videos, including the Season 2 trailer, check out their YouTube channel:


09 April 2012

Hanami in Zama

In the Japan! Japan! Video Blog Episode #35, we feature my first sakura hanami (cherry blossom viewing) experience at the Camp Zama base in Zama, Kanagawa, Japan. I just discovered that "Karupasu" (Calpas?) Russian sausage thing! Know any place where I can snag some of those?

For the stabilized version of the video, click this link: http://youtu.be/6Q7cKtkoerQ