What was hot in Japan in 2010?
Japan's "consumer mindset" has been exposed for another year by Dentsu -- Japan's largest advertising agency -- with the release of their top 20 Hit Products list.
The survey carried out in November used a system called Dentsu Buzz Research to analyze word of mouth "buzz" in Internet blogs and asked respondents to rate "recognition," "have/had interest," and "is/was popular" from 130 items.
It also included a prediction for the top 20 products for 2011.
While it may be no surprise that the smartphone topped the list, some of the trends that swept the country came high.
Most notable was taberu raayu, formerly a spicy oil to go with soy sauce for gyoza but now including garlic and other ingredients so it can be added on rice.
Tech products feature strongly, while the power of TV dramas helped figures dead and alive boost their profile.
2011's predictions meanwhile are heavy on new technology.
Top 20 hit products 2010
No. 1: Smartphones
No. 2: Twitter
No. 3: Munchable chili oil (taberu raayu)
No. 4: Digital broadcasting-equipped flat-panel TVs
No. 5: Ryoma Sakamoto (1836-1867; popular historical figure whose profile was raised by TV Drama "The Legend of Ryoma")
No. 7: Tokyo Sky Tree
No. 8: Eco-point energy-saving home appliances
No. 9: 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa
No. 10: LED light bulbs
No. 11: “B-grade” local gourmet food (inexpensive food in a casual setting)
No. 12: Akira Ikegami (journalist and commentator)
No. 13: Domestic fast fashion brands (low prices brands like UNIQLO)
No. 14: GeGeGe’s Wife (TV drama based on the 2008 autobiography by Nunoe Mura, the wife of manga artist Shigeru Mizuki, known for his manga character GeGeGe no Kitaro, a ghost boy who saves the world from evil spirit monsters)
No. 15: 3D movies, TV, cameras and other 3D products
No. 16: Hybrid vehicles
No. 17: Imported fast fashion brands (21 Forever, H&M etc.)
No. 18: AKB48 (48-member all-girl idol group)
No. 19: Tablet information devices
No. 20: Yoichi Watanabe (war photographer and popular talk-show guest)
Click to the next page to see what will be big in 2011
Dentsu's predictions for what will be big in 2011
No. 1: Tokyo Sky Tree
No. 2: LED light bulbs
No. 3: Electric vehicles
No. 4: International flight services at Haneda Airport
No. 5: Smartphones
No. 6: 3D movies, TV, cameras and other 3D products
No. 7: Hybrid cars
No. 7: E-book readers
No. 9: Discount airline tickets
No. 10: Tablets
No. 11: Home solar power systems
No. 12: Digital broadcasting-equipped widescreen flat-panel TVs
No. 13: Compact data communication devices
No. 14: Home fuel cell (clean energy) systems
No. 15: Group purchase coupons
No. 16: Bread and sweets made with rice powder
No. 17: Blade-less electric fans
No. 18: Cloud computing (including related books)
No. 18: B-grade local gourmet food
No. 20: Alcohol-free beer-like beverages