Wednesday, December 18, 2002
As you may know, Google have just published their annual figures detailing who searched for what and where. I'm sure loads of other bloggers have critiqued this so I'm just going to concentrate on the Japanese list. The top ten of most popular queries is filled with astonishingly dull things like wallpaper, maps and postal codes. More interesting are the most-searched-for people. I'm going to be honest now: I've never heard of any of the top ten women. Which just goes to show that I should never try to pass myself off as an expert on Japanese pop culture. I've just looked up the number one J-babe, Otoha. Unsurprisingly, she's a pop singer. But I don't understand why Ayumi Hamasaki and Hikaru Utada, the country's two biggest female singers, aren't on the list. Weird. could be because their fans are all teens who do all their surfing through their mobile phones and don't use Google? Anyway, the number one J-dude is Gackt, another pop star. He makes Boy George look butch:

Another pretty boy is at number two - Beckham - and there are three other footballers on the list: Nakata, Inamoto and Nakamura. Nice to see the soccer players outnumbering the baseball stars - purely because of the World Cup effect, I think. When I got here in March, the only reaction I got when I mentioned the WC was a shiver of fear at the thought of all the hooligans (fuurigans) who were expected to arrive in their thousands, loot the shops, rape the women and drop litter. By the end of the tournament everyone in the country had a favourite team (usually England or Brazil), a fave player (Beckham or, amazingly, Oliver Kahn) and a Japan team T-shirt. Watching thousands of blue-feverish kids go nuts in Shibuya the night Japan beat Russia, running back and forth across the road, jumping up and down on top of phone boxes while the police shouted at them through megaphones, is one of the highlights of my time here.

I've just added an About Me page to this site. I want to add lots more - articles, book reviews, and a navigation bar! I have a lot to learn.