Friday, December 02, 2011

From My Email: Pop Culture, and a Discovery about AKB 48 (What Else?)

A couple of people and I got to talking about W. David Marx and Cool Japan, which got me to thinking about Japanese pop culture. The following is the relevant part of an email, uncensored, with one word corrected, one punctuation mark removed, font changed, and, oh yes, a hyperlink added. Otherwise, RAW. I think that I’ve picked up on something that no one, anywhere, has noticed.

Also, I’m seriously thinking about posting something mean-spirited about Ronald Dore. What do you think?

The best way to kill off One Piece (which I never liked BTW) would be to have the MEXT political team do a public announcement endorsing it. (On the other hand, PM Noda is a dead ringer for Komawari-kun, if they ever get around to doing a live-action version...)

Speaking of popular culture, look at the following list of AKB 48 members who have finished in the top 10 in voting, with their top finishes.

O Ohshima Yuko 大島優子 1
O Maeda Atsuko 前田敦子 1
O Shinoda Mariko 篠田麻里子 3
O Itano Tomomi 板野友美 4
C Watanabe Mayu 渡辺麻夕 4
C Takahashi Minami 高橋みなみ 5
C Kojima Haruna 小嶋陽菜 6
C Satoh Amina 佐藤亜美菜 8
VO Miyazawa Sae 宮澤佐江 9
O Kasai Tomomi 河西智美 10

"O" as in old-fashioned, "C" as in contemporary, "VO" as in...very old. Old-fashioned means that they would have been the kind of names that were predominant as I was growing up. Let me also note that "Tomomi" is gender-free (岩倉具視, haha), although most three-syllable "-mi" names are more likely to be conferred on females. Contemporary means the kind of names that girls in their teens and twenties typically have. Very old means Meiji-, Taisho-old. As further proof of how name preferences have changed, there is only one other "-ko" in the whole bunch. (To be fair, her top finish so far has been 38. Next AKB member to bare all?) In fact, beyond these nine most popular members, contemporary names predominate the list. Is this all just coincidence? I think not.

Finally, as an example of: Japan Cool (not Cool Japan) influence .

Personally, I miss the old version . I must be growing old.

Have a nice weekend.

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