Best Japanese language blogs 2010
While estimates suggest that more blogs are written in Japanese than any other language -- despite worldwide English speakers outnumbering Japanese by five to one -- how to find the good ones?
Japanese blog about anything and everything, but we've selected some the of best -- and quirkiest -- blogs of 2010.
1. あたし 主婦の頭の中 (Inside the head of a Japanese housewife)
Why we like it: A diary by a 40-something Japanese housewife and former flight attendant who describes her daily experiences.
She presents her amusing anecdotes with funny pictures she draws herself.
Sample entry: “'Scene: kimi to boku no miteiru fuukei' -- Day one of my participation in Arashi's concert.”
“Recently I found a pimple coming out on my face after letting my hormones drive me crazy at a concert of Arashi the previous night... ”
Find it: http://ameblo.jp/yuka703
2. 変形学生服好きでたまんね～ (Crazy about yankii school uniform)
Why we like it: How familiar are you with bontan, the modified school trousers for bad teenage boys in Japan who want to show off their presence? This blog is run by a 30-ish bontan aficionado who, apparently, still indulges in the habit.
He likes to swagger across his neighborhood with this attention-grabbing outfit, to the astonishment of many passers-by who sometimes throw admiring glances at him. His use of language is very polite, so don’t be afraid to speak to him if you catch a glimpse. He’ll probably be nice.
Sample entry: Feels fantastic!
“When you go outside with bontan, you sometimes hear the sound of your bontan rustling by the wind, which makes me all the more excited ... ” Text always accompanied by a huge, punchy picture.
Find it: http://tanranbontan.blog61.fc2.com
3. クララの八百八町 (808 towns presented by Clara)
Why we like it: As a foreign female living in Japan for 10 years, Clara has received many eager questions about Japanese culture.
She started this blog to share her knowledge with those interested in visiting Japan in future.
Her super-fluent Japanese is overwhelming.
Sample entry: “How to deal with the crowds in Tokyo”
“If you are in a square, if you don't know what drives the crowds, don't understand their dynamics, you are scared because you don't know what might happen the next second ... ”
4. Food Event*Hunter G
Why we like it: A collection of food-festival information in Tokyo.
A must-read blog if you’re looking for any opportunity to enjoy Tokyo’s local food on the cheap. Most of the festivals listed here don’t require admission fee.
With little prose, it's essentially just a handy reference for food lovers.
Sample entry: "Food events schedule in December"
"Nov. 27th to Dec. 25th, Christmas Market 2010, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., in Roppongi Hills. For more details, please visit here ..."
Find it: http://foodeventhuntg.blog90.fc2.com
Why we like it: With the increasing number of Japanese now interested in making their lives more stylish and fashionable, Honeyee is a place where creatives gather to offer you insights into their cutting-edge lives.
Fashion, art, interior designs, traveling, gourmet meals, cars, -- everything you need to make your life better is here, especially if you’re planning to live in Tokyo.
Check out the blog before you’ve moved in Tokyo, so you won’t be left behind by the city's fast-changing fashion.
Sample entry: "Mirror Mirror" -- by Andrew Bunney
"The Sid Vicous Mirror. Were these an extension of the hologram-style badges or the bridge between posters and badges? I associate this with a craze for pop-star badges in bubblegum packs too. Was this just a UK thing? The image isn't on the surface, but under the glass somehow. I'm not sure when I last saw pop or movie-star mirrors. Sometime in the '80s... "
Find it: http://www.honeyee.com/blog
6. 背が高く見える靴専門店のブログ (Magical shoes that make you look taller)
Why we like it: For anyone ashamed of themselves for not being tall enough -- no need to worry anymore.
This blog introduces you to a pair of magical shoes that will provide you with five to 10 extra centimeters of height.
Sample entry: "Sneakers with an extra five centimeters height"
"Today, I'd like to introduce a pair of denim sneakers that will make you look about five centimeters taller than you are. This one doesn't show off so much, allowing you to enjoy a rather natural disguise."
Find it: http://segatakakunaritai.seesaa.net/
7. Lily’s Diary
Why we like it: Lily is a Japanese female writer as well as columnist who has published several bestselling books, including “Tabako Katateni Otokono Hanashi” and “Saigo no Otoko.”
Lily talks about love lives of women, with her freewheeling writing captivating many female readers across the nation.
Sample entry: "My new book Kobore souna kuchibiru to be released today!”
“We all want to be happy, but the sad truth is, what you think is happy doesn't necessarily match what I think is happy.”
Find it: http://lilylilylily.jugem.jp/
8. ナタリー：音楽、マンガ、お笑いのニュースサイト (News about music, manga and comedy by Natalie)
Why we like it: Natalie provides you with the latest Japanese music information, as well as news about Japanese manga and owarai (comedy program) worlds. If you want to be an expert on the entertainment business in Japan, there is no way you can miss the blog.
Sample entry: "Revealing his true self in a new album: Naotarou Moriyama"
"Naotarou Moriyama, a famous Japanese male singer, will release on December 15 his new album that features some of his songs that have been shelved for some reasons, including one titled 'unko' [poop]."
Find it: http://natalie.mu/
9. 勝間和代公式ブログ：私的な事柄を記録しよう!! (Sharing my insight: An official blog by Kazuyo Katsuma)
Why we like it: Kazuyo Katsuma, a famous economic critic in Japan, offers you her sharp insight into a number of current events in Japan.
But she also writes about her private life. Something you might feel more familiar with, if you're striving to develop your life as a successful business woman with kids to take care of, like her.
Sample entry: “Want to reduce your body fat? Then walk.”
“I have met a rush of eager questions so far on my Twitter about how I successfully reduced my body fat to less than 25 percent, and as far as I'm concerned, the only advice I can give is just walk. That's it.”
Find it: http://kazuyomugi.cocolog-nifty.com
10. 稲妻聖七のSENA’S JOURNAL (Journal by Sena Inazuma)
Why we like it: If you’re looking for something cute or relaxing, here is a blog run by a seven-year-old Japanese boy named Sena.
Young as he is, Sena describes his daily experiences not only in Japanese, but also in English, showing off an advanced intelligence for a kid this age, especially considering how few Japanese children of his age are fluent both in written and spoken English.
Embellished with his cute pictures, the blog will definitely make you smile.
Sample entry: “A cookie bad man”
“I went to Universal Studios Japan last weekend. There was the Halloween party there. My costume is Cookie Batman, not Cookie Monster.”
Find it: http://ameblo.jp/inazuma-sena