Three Japanese people the world respects

In the recent issue, Newsweek Japan has come out with a special feature titled: “100 Japanese people the world respects”.

 

Not only the world-renowned athletes such as Ichiro (former MBL player) and Naomi Osaka (professional tennis player), but also there are many influential Japanese known only in certain countries.

In this feature, I would like to introduce three Japanese whom I am interested in.

 

Marie Kondo (Tidying consultant)

In 2010, Marie Kondo, “KonMari” became famous in Japan as an author of a bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. Also, Netflix’s hit show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” has been broadcasted since January 2019, and her popularity spread all over the world. In recent years the word “KonMari” has been used in a sense of “tidyng up”. The KonMari Method encourages to keep only those things that spark joy, and to thank them for their service- then let them go. KonMari philosophy has changed the way of thinking about lifestyle, not just how to clean up the space.

 

Hirokazu Koreeda (Film director)

I am sure that many of film fans might already know him well. His 2013 film, “Like Father, Like Son (“Soshite chichi ni naru”)”, won the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. And in 2018, his film, titled “Shoplifters (“Manbiki kazoku”)” won the the highest prize award “Palme d’Or” at the Cannes Film Festival. Unlike Hollywood style, Mr. Koreeda’s works are not flashy. The themes of his works is usually family matter and relationships, which are very thoughtful. Also, because of the theme, his movies would be very helpful to learn Japanese daily conversations as well.

 

Kazuo Inamori (Entrepreneur)

Mr. Inamori was a founder of Kyocera and KDDI. In 2010, as requested by Japanese government, he took over as chairman of near-bankrupt Japan Airlines (JAL) with no salary. Furthermore, he successfully achieved a V-shaped recovery of 200 billion yen in operating profit in just two years from that, and now is called the god of management. “Seiwajyuku” , the learning groups of Inamori management philosophy, are spread into Brazil, the United States, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore, and his books are sold well in China as well.

 

As the opposite perspective, I hope someday you might be featured as “100 foreigners the Japanese respect” For that, I will do my best to contribute more for your learning Japanese language. (^ ^) /

What are the popular SUBSK models in Japan?

■ What is “SUBSK”?

Do you know the word “SUBSK”?  This is a new Katakana word derived from an English word “subscription”, meaning a service or business that users usually pay a “monthly fee” or royalty depending on the period of use.

 

■ The most popular SUBSK model

Traditional services such as newspapers (many Japanese subscribe to newspapers as well), membership fee for gym, and house rent fall under this category. Recently, IT related services are increasing, for example, Microsoft office software is 37,584 yen for purchase-type, but 900 yen for monthly for subscription type.  Adobe’s Photoshop was 96,000 yen at the time of purchase (as of 2003), but the current monthly fee is 980 yen. While the sale unit price drops, Even the sale unit price drops, Adobe’s revenue has increased significantly by a successful user acquisition strategy. In addition, the all-you-can-listen service, such as Apple Music and Spotify are also popular .

 

■ Why the SUBSK is getting popular?

Why is the number of SUBSK service increasing? Let me analyze the reasons from both sides of  users and companies.

(1) Users

Cost: SUBSK is much cheaper than purchase type. In addition, initial costs, upgrade costs, support costs, etc. are all unnecessary.

Easiness: You contract the service only for the period you want to use. If you are not satisfied with the service, you can cancel it immediately.

 

(2) Companies:

Service improvement:  The services make the companies much easier to analyze the reason of cancellation and undertake service improvement. It is easy to plans for constant growth  and also it is highly valued in the stock market, therefore new market entrants  is increasing.

Customer LTV (Life Time Value) Improvement: The longer a company succeeds in attracting customer to its product, the more customer LTV will be improved even the unit price is low.

If these two functions(service and customer LTV improvement) work well, a virtuous cycle, that is “user satisfaction” > improvement of repeat rate> “sales improvement”, could be created.

 

■ What are the recommended SUBSK services in Japan?

Let me introduce some of the popular and unusual services in Japan.

 

(1) Amazon Prime Video

With an annual membership of 4,900 yen, you can watch movies, dramas, and animations. The annual fee for such Amazon Prime has been raised from 3900 yen to 4900 yen stating on April 12,2019. However, this price is less than half of $ 119 in Amazon USA, so it’s still a quite good deal, I think. Because of viewing restrictions depending on the area, Amazon prime membership of other countries will not work in japan. It is necessary to apply for Japanese prime membership, if you want to watch Japanese content.

 

(2) Sutadiisapuri (study supplement)

This service is recommended for families with children attending schools in Japan. It is a service that is used by 339,000 elementary and junior high school students in Japan because the video classes at the preparatory school are all at a 980 yen for a month.

https://studysapuri.jp/

 

(3) THE STELLA

A monthly service delivering 1 or 2 bottles of premium and cult wines depending on the plan.

https://www.the-stella.com/service/

 

 

(4) Bloomee LIFE

A weekly service that delivers flowers for appreciation.

https://bloomeelife.com/

 

(5) YClean

A shirt delivery service with both rental and cleaning of 20 shirts for 1 month.

https://yclean.co.jp/

 

(6) airCloset

A service that a professional stylist coordinates the entire body and delivers a set of clothes.

https://www.air-closet.com/

Please let me know if there are other services available in your country (^ ^) /

The Japanese craft beer market trends

 

Recently, it is getting much easier to find bars and restaurants offering craft beer in such places as my workplace “Yokohama” and living area “Shonan”.

Also, I found there are a lot of my non-Japanese friends who love craft beer.So in this edition, I would like to introduce recent craft beer popularity in Japan.

 

■ Three reasons why Japanese craft beer industry is currently booming

Reason 1: Softened the liquor tax law in 1994

Japanese government softened the strict laws that governed the granting of brewing licenses. Up until then, to become licensed, a brewery needed to be able to produce 2 million liters of beer each year and the law contributed to the domination of major breweries such as Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, and Suntory. With the change in regulations, breweries needed only to demonstrate a capacity of 60,000 liters, allowing new, smaller breweries to enter the market.

 

Reason 2: Changing name from “local beer” to “craft beer”

Because many of small brewers were in rural areas, the name as “local beer” was used as first, and after that, the term as “craft beer” gradually spread. The word “craft” is associate with the word “handmade”, so this name seems to be contributing toward craft beer popularity.

 

Reason 3: Global craft beer boom

Craft beer is booming worldwide with the United States at the head. There are also a lot of cases that people who have drunk good craft beer overseas come also to drink craft beer in Japan after returning home.

 

 

■ How to find bars and restaurants serving craft beer

The following sites introduce bars and restaurants serving craft beer, so it is better to search them.

(All sites are Japanese only. Please search from the address where you live.)

 

My CRAFT BEER

General information website about craft beer

https://mycraftbeers.com/brewery-map

 

beer-cruise

A website created by a person visiting breweries across Japan

http://beer-cruise.net/

※ This site is published based on the location of the brewery.

Please note that it is not a drinkable place.

 

■ Writer’s recommendation

I will introduce three bars in Tokyo and Kanagawa, which are highly populated area in Japan.

 

Craft Beer Market (Tokyo)

http://www.craftbeermarket.jp/

Every 30 kinds of craft beer costs 480 yen.

This bar has many locations.

 

YOKOHAMA BAY BREWING (Kanagawa)

https://www.yokohamabaybrewing.jp/bar-restaurant

It is located in “Kannai” and “Totsuka”.

A very famous bar in Kanagawa region.

 

MacKenDy (Kanagawa)

https://www.facebook.com/mackendybrewery/

Stone hearth baked pizza is also served.

Located near “Tsujido” Station.

 

 

■How to drink craft beer from various part of Japan at home

For those who has difficulty to go to bars alone, online shopping is recommended.

You can purchase various craft beer from all over the country and also compare the taste.

Here are my recommended craft beer that I actually has tasted, so please try to check them out if you are interested.

 

Japan national craft beer flight set 9 bottles

https://amzn.to/2Hcr9Og

 

Craft beer (local beer) canned beer flight gift set (18 kinds 18 cans)

https://amzn.to/2EOP6HZ

 

6 kinds of craft beer flight set <Thanks beer, including the world’s best IPA “YOKOHAMA XPA” >

https://amzn.to/2TFB7NT

 

“Shiga Kogen Beer” Craft beer flight set 6 kinds 6 bottles

https://amzn.to/2HpQdkc

 

“Fuji Sakura Kogen Beer” Craft beer flight set 4 bottles (Pils Weizen Laoh Schwarz Weizen 1 bottle each)

https://amzn.to/2HtBncn

 

“Fuji Sakura Kogen Beer” Craft beer flight set 12 bottles (Pills Weizen, Laho, Schwarz Weizen, 3 bottles each)

https://amzn.to/2TBmTOh

 

Yona Yona Eeru  350 ml x 24 bottles Yona Yona set with original glass

https://amzn.to/2EUqMUP

 

Please let me know if you have your recommended beer and bars (^ ^) /

Must watch Japanese YouTube channels for business

YouTube’s popularity has greatly grown within these years in Japan.

There seems to be more people searching on YouTube rather than Google, especially on finding a way to do something. However, in fact, many of YouTube channels in Japan are made for young generation, not for business use. So this time, I will introduce my recommendation of Japanese YouTube channels for business persons.

 

Horiemon channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXjTiSGclQLVVU83GVrRM4w

A channel by Mr. Takafumi Horie, a famous IT entrepreneur commonly known as “Horiemon”.  There are a lot of fan of him, however, some people do not like him very much because of his frankness of speech. He is extremely well briefed on various business, not only IT business, but also rocket, gourmet and so on. In this channel, Mr. Horie discusses new business ideas with people in vogue such as best-selling authors. Also, he answers various questions from the readers of his mail magazine that gives beneficial ideas for business. This channel is updated frequently and well-organized.

 

 

NewsPicks

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfTnJmRQP79C4y_BMF_XrlA/featured

A channel by News Picks, which is a content curation media for business. (I introduced NewsPicks in this article https://goo.gl/ih8A8b ) Many business talks with well-known entrepreneurs and innovators are up on this channel.

There are also videoshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOlE7uqvvLE)of Mr. Kosaka known as “Pico-Taro” who is famous for “”Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen”.  He talks about the hidden story of Pico Taro’s birth. Japanese subtitle in this channel is excellent, so it will help your listening practice as well.

 

 

TEDXTOKYO

https://www.youtube.com/user/tedxtokyo/videos

A channel of TEDxTokyo which is the Japanese version of TED.

Although quality and quantity of this program are inferior to the above two, it will be helpful for those who are interested in an interview and a presentation in Japanese.

 

 

Industry Co-Creation

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJg5PAsj8fP45Fn8Pr5a3LQ/featured

Industry Co-Creation is an entrepreneur conference that is gathering of company founders and business leaders. Movie of pitch events is the main content of this channel. This channel will be helpful for those who are interested in an elevator pitch or a presentation.

 

 

BBT 757 program

https://www.youtube.com/user/BBT757program

A channel of online university “Business Breakthrough University (BBT)”, presided by a well-known management consultant, Mr. Kenichi Ohmae. It covers such topics as MBA, business news, and business trends.

 

 

Sekai wa ima  – JETRO Global Eye

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7yNsJvQ0wMOh6cdtUajLXQ

A channel of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) which supports overseas expansion of Japanese companies. A content format of the channel is like a real TV news program, and the narration is made by a professional narrator who speaks beautiful Japanese.

It is especially recommended for people involved in trade.

 

 

Kigyoo TV

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeKbsDj3ESBP5VuYTItN35w/featured

A channel of “Kigyoo TV”, a movie learning media for entrepreneurs.

The main contents of this channel is interviews of venture-business entrepreneurs.

 

All the channels I introduced this time are useful not only for Japanese listening practice but also to your business. So check them out!

PS

I will introduce another channel as an extra edition.

 

Dad has naturally curly hair

https://www.youtube.com/user/masatoikebe/featured

A family channel of “VAN LIFE”, “Vehicle Night” enjoying outdoor such as hiking, surfing, skiing, snowboarding. There is no useful business information, however, I recommend this channel for people who want to enjoy outdoor activities with family in Japan.

There are many information on ski resorts, travel stories from Chiba to Hokkaido by car, and so on.

Are Automatic Captions on YouTube so accurate?

 

I introduced the live caption and subtitles feature for Skype in the previous article, so this time I would like to share with our readers the Auto Translate Captions on YouTube.

 

To test the auto translate captions on YouTube, I chose a video that TV Tokyo’s popular news program called “World Business Satellite” introduced our company (Japan Online School).

 

The following six people (A to F) appear in that video.

A: Japanese / narrator / male

B: Japanese / narrator / female

C: Japanese / Japanese teacher / female

D: Japanese / company manager / male

E: Foreigner / male (Japanese Level = Intermediate)

F: Foreigner / female (Japanese level = advanced)

 

Here is a compilation video of YouTube’s automatic captioning based on the original speech.

 

The accuracy rate of automatic captioning in each 6 patterns (A to F) was as follows.

 

A: Japanese / narrator / male: 81.8%

B: Japanese / narrator / female: 97.3%

C: Japanese / Japanese teacher / female: 88.6%

D: Japanese / company manager / man: 87.3%

E: Foreigner / male (Japanese level = intermediate): 56.6%

F: Foreigner / female (Japanese level = advanced): 85.7%

 

Concerning the average accuracy rate, native Japanese speakers (A to D) achieved 87.0%, while non-native Japanese speakers (E & F) of 65.2%. As expected, recognition of native speakers’ speech is more accurate than non-native speakers.

 

Also, the results varied even among foreigners; Ms. F who has almost native level proficiency in Japanese was recognized with high accuracy, while Mr. E with intermediate level was recognized only about half of his speech.

 

As in the following cases, there were some sentences that became completely wrong meanings from the original.

 

〇 <Buchoo>, chotto <yoroshii> deshooka.

(Department manager, is it okay?)

× <Moochoo>, chotto <dooji> deshooka.

(Cecum slightly at the same time)

 

○ Tokyo<Shoji> e dasu kikakusho nandesuga, <me o tooshite> itadakenaideshooka.

(This is a proposal for Tokyo Shoji. Could you please check this for me?)

× Tokyo<Soojigen> e dasu kikakusho nandesuga, <fuufu o twitter> itadakenaideshooka.

(This is a proposal for Tokyo Soojigen. Could you please tweet a couple for me?)

 

Although the automatic captioning can be affected by background noise and video’s audio quality, the accuracy rate of two foreigners (Mr. F and Ms. E) was almost equivalent to speaking fluency evaluated by a professional Japanese teacher.

 

Therefore, I can say that those whose speech is correctly recognized by YouTube’s automatic captioning have a considerably advanced level of Japanese.

 

So please give it a try (^ ^) /

 

※Accuracy level of automatic captioning on YouTube varies depending on contents of programs.

It recognizes such programs as news and dramas of which texts are mainly based on script more accurate. On the other hand, comedy shows and live interviews are less accurate.

※ This information is as of January 11, 2019.

 

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