Lined up randoseru school bags at a department store in JapanUncategorized

September Back-packs to School

By Andrew Edsall While September is viewed as the start of the school year in the US. Japan's school year starts in April, and my eldest son will enter the local elementary school. While there is pride as a father, there is also a sense…
Marketing is downstream from cultureUncategorized

Marketing is Downstream from Culture?

By Dominic Carter Politics is Downstream from Culture Before he passed away in 2012 the controversial American right-wing alternative media figure Andrew Brietbart often repeated the mantra ‘politics is downstream from culture’. Many would agree that American politics and culture have become even more overtly…
thinking of skipping market researchUncategorized

Thinking of skipping your Japan market research?

By Dominic Carter Japan is a Unique International Market The Japanese market is rich with opportunity, but it is also full of unique challenges and risks not faced in other international markets. Japan has a dense population composed of the most educated, capricious, and quality…

The Business of Omotenashi

By Dominic Carter Much has been written and spoken lately about the “Cool Japan” initiative. With the slogan having been in common use since the early 2000s, the idea of Cool Japan is not a new one. It encompasses a large range of modern Japanese…
Karaoke Japanese leisureUncategorized

Karaoke -love it or hate it, it’s here to stay

By Debbie Howard   One aspect of Japanese leisure culture to which nearly every visitor to Japan is exposed is the ubiquitous practice of karaoke — the practice of singing popular songs with recorded background music — usually involving copious libations and a modicum of self-humiliation. In my 29…

Japan’s biggest pop star is not even human

By: Debbie Howard   She has over 170,000 uploaded YouTube videos, 1,000,000created artworks and 100,000 original songs under her name, some of which have been topkaraoke picks in Japan for several years in a row. She has 2,3mn (and growing!)followers on Facebook — more than any other…