Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Uniquely Japanese? Cont:

Maid Cafe

So the other one: the other one is about part-time jobs the girls in Shibuya are interested in trying at least once. This was not from a news article or a program but a TV show that does all kinds of rankings.
I don't remember all jobs of the top 10 on the chart, but I remember the following were included:

-working at a "combini" (convenience stores)... because it's fairly easy work, fun, and relatively young
-cafe staff... because it's kinda stylish (cafes in general are considered stylish here)
-staff at a gasoline stand... apparently some people like that particular smell of gas (which makes me feel sick)
-staff at a movie theater... you get some chances to see the latest movies for free or with discount

Uh... obviously my memory's pretty bad.
Well, the most popular or intereseted job among the girls (18-25 yrs old more or less?) in Shibuya was a


This was quite surprising as I knew there are people who are interested in going there as regular customers but not so much who wants to work as a maid. I mean, not so much anyway among those who don't have the slightest appearance of being an Akihabara kind of person, and also among those who already have one or more jobs. It seems like the maid cafe trend is still present in Japan. I thought it already kind of stabilized as a regular part of the subculture. Maybe it's still simmering as a trendy trend.


It's near the end of a school year and that means that a variety of companies related to school stuff like stationary and study goods as well as children (grade school to up to high school) like clothing, shoes, bags, are busy getting ready for the new school year.

Pens in various colors - not coloring pens but colored pens - is a must-have for young Japanese students especially girls. If you get a glance at their notebooks you'll find them very neat and colorful. As a matter of fact, I was one of them up until about 8th grade. Then one day I realized that three colors (black of pencil, red and blue pens) looked more smart.

The Japanese stationary companies announced the release of a new series of colored pens just recently. The business is so big, big enough to make the developers come up with new pens at least every year if not every season, with colors, scent, lame, erasable, extra fine, etc. etc. and for the media to pick it up as a small pleasant news topic for the beginning of the new school year.

Cherry Blossoms

This isn't really part of the "Uniquely Japanese?" topic but since it's a fairly big news I think I'll jot it down over here for the sake of those who are expecting to enjoy some hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in Japan this season. The Met Office announced the blossoming forecast for this season and said that the sakura blossoming is very early this year due to warm winter coming from global warming. How early - two weeks.
The blossoming forecast is announced for the blossoming of this kind called
Someiyoshino which is by far the most numerous kind that is most widely spread in terms of area also, so its a good tree to set as a blossoming guide.

Usually sakura starts blossoming from the southern and warmer regions including Kyushu & Okinawa, Shikoku Island and Shizuoka Prefecture being the head starters. According to the Met Office, the Someiyoshino in Shizuoka is expected to blossom by the end of next week which is 15 days earlier than average. And because Someiyoshino is not the earliest kinds to blossom, there are several earlier kinds that are at the peak of its beauty right now already so the hanami season from now is really going to fly by quickly.
If you have plans for coming to Japan in April for the blossoms, you might want to head to the northern regions.

No comments: