Japanese cosmetics have long ago been considered as some of the best in the world. After all, the Japanese are well known for having pearly white skin, just like their Korean and Chinese cousins. Their secrets are well-kept and much sought after. Now, commercial firms are aiming to capitalize on these ancient secrets.
Shiseido Co Ltd, Kao Corp, and Kose Corp â€“ do these names sound familiar? At the very least, you probably recognize Shiseido, as it is a brand that is sold all over the world. These are the three biggest cosmetics company in Japan, and they are banking on really really expensive face creams to boost their businesses. Last year (or this year rather), they all launched their own versions of a face cream that is supposed to battle the effects of aging.
Guess how much it costs? How about 120,000 yen ($1,316)? Yup, women have to shell out that much money for each bottle of this cream; women who are 40 years old and above, that is. And this is what the companies are banking on. Their products, they say, are a hit with a certain age range, regardless of the social standing. True enough, their face creams are selling quite well despite the economic problems that the country is facing. They are also targeting women of the same age range from neighboring countries â€“ and it seems to be working well for them.
How about you, would you spend that much on a bottle of anti-aging cream?
Posted December 31st, 2009 by Maki+ | Comment (1)
Japan gets more than its fair share of foreign celebrity visitors, especially when compared to its other Asian neighbors. This could be due to the reason that other nationals are already enamored with Japan and its culture to begin with. It could also be because the Japanese people appreciate artists and performers from other countries. Whatever the reason, we can always expect something big happening in this country, entertainment wise.
This week, itâ€™s Susan Boyle whoâ€™s visiting Japan. She is there to be part of a TV show. Mind you, this is no ordinary TV show. In fact, it has been dubbed as the best local variety show in the country. More than that, Susan Boyleâ€™s appearance in the show will be broadcast live all over the country on New Yearâ€™s Eve.
If you thought that Susan Boyleâ€™s fame is limited to the western world, then you are mistaken. The Scottish singer was greeted at the airport by countless fans, all of the clamoring for a song right then and there. She declined, however, saying that they would have to wait for the show to be aired to see and hear her perform. According to the grapevine, she will be singing I Dreamed a Dream, the song which propelled her to worldwide fame.
Susan Boyle, the church volunteer, may not have won Britainâ€™s Got Talent; no one can deny, however, that she has surpassed other contestants. And you know what? The Japanese are quite happy to be part of her success. I wish I had that show on my cable TV. It would be interesting to watch, donâ€™t you think?
Posted December 30th, 2009 by Maki+ | Comments (11)
Well before the Winter Olympics begins, Mao Asada is already making her country proud. She has been under the spotlight again as she just got a fourth national title â€“ straight. She was the world champion in 2008, but has since then met a series of failures, disappointing many fans. With this recent win, however, critics are saying that Asada is back in form, and that she is once again in the running.
Japan’s former world champion Mao Asada, returning to form with a fourth straight national title, is rekindling a hot rivalry with South Korea’s Kim Yu-Na ahead of their Olympic debut.
Asada nailed her trademark triple axel in the free skate to triumph at the Japanese championships on Sunday, prompting a nationwide sigh of relief for one of the country’s few gold medal hopefuls at February’s Vancouver Winter Games.
“It is important to aim high. I want the gold medal,” the 19-year-old said on television on Monday. “I will aim to perfect all of my programmes.”
It was the first time that the 2008 world champion has stood on the top of the podium in any event this season, which has been fraught with her failures in landing the highly demanding 3.5-revolution jump.
Her countrymen are definitely happy with her most recent performance, but Asada is probably the most fulfilled person at this point. This should be a good booster for her as she prepares for the Winter Olympics in February, which is just a couple of months away.
Posted December 29th, 2009 by Maki+ | Comment (1)
Just the other week, some colleagues and I were discussing a woman who supposedly married the Eiffel Tower. Naturally, we were all bewildered by the whole thing. We just couldnâ€™t fathom how a person could marry an inanimate object!
So when I read about a Japanese man marrying a video game character, I was not all that puzzled. In a news report published by Reuters, I learned about SAL9000 â€“ thatâ€™s the Japanese guyâ€™s online moniker â€“ marrying Nene Anegasaki, a character in the video game Love Plus. I am not familiar with the video game, but from what I have been reading (and based on the name as well!), it is a dating simulation game.
SAL9000 says he is an â€œotaku,â€ which is the Japanese term for young adults who have an extreme passion (or even obsession) with video games and fantasy. I think it is also being considered as a sub-culture, and in their own world, it is acceptable to call characters their â€œwives.â€ SAL9000 says that since he has been calling and thinking of Nene Anegasaki as his â€œwife,â€ the logical thing to do was to marry her!
The couple exchanged â€œI doâ€™sâ€ several weeks ago, and they spent their honeymoon abroad â€“ in Guam. They have been traveling the famous city of Tokyo as a couple, with SAL9000 documenting their dates diligently. As for the new husband, he says his wife can rest assured that he will never cheat. Ahh, where have I heard that before?
Posted December 20th, 2009 by Maki+ | Comments (2)
I had always thought that Japan would be one of the first countries to embrace the iPhone. I was wrong â€“ as were the other people who thought the same way. The iPhone has been out for a few years now, but it isnâ€™t till recently that the Japanese welcomed the iPhone.
Countless people have speculated on the reason for the initial coldness the Japanese displayed towards the iPhone. Some say that maybe the mobile phone is simply too functional and lacks the glitter that the Japanese like. Others say that it could be that the Japanese were merely reacting to something Western and not made (and designed) in Japan. Whatever the reason, it is now moot as the Apple iPhone has captured countless Japanese technophiles â€“ and is going strong.
You want proof that the iPhone is indeed making it big in Japan? This could very well be the biggest proof of all. Try visiting the app store. The chances are that you will be overwhelmed with the huge number of applications, and mind you, these are not your run-of-the-mill apps that you can find. They are the products of super creative Japanese minds, and from what I hear, these apps will blow your mind away. Another indication that the iPhone is starting to make waves is that more than apps, hardware is also being developed and released, not to mention the bling (stickers and accessories) that the Japanese is known for.
So for the naysayers out there, the iPhone looks like it is proving itself once again. This time, to one of the biggest and critical markets in the world.
Photo courtesy of The Telegraph
Posted December 1st, 2009 by Maki+ | Comments (2)