Insights of Japan

In Search of Human Connections in Social Distancing

Online nomikai

When I wake up in the morning, one message keeps coming into my email box. “Zoom Nomi (Drinking party on Zoom) will be tomorrow.  Please make sure that your PC has the Zoom platform!” On the day of the Zoom Nomi, there were over 30 people on the screen. I saw that each participant held a glass of beer or wine in his/her hand. The event organizer said, “Thank you for joining. Let’s start Zoom Nomi with Kanpai (Cheers)!” The participants held up their drinks high in front of their PCs, taking part in the toast. Then, we started talking and laughing without interruption as if Covid-19 could not stop […]

Customer Experience Pitfalls

contact company

Customer Experience (CX) and User Experience (UX) attract the interests of businesspeople in Japan. Google “Customer Experience” in Katakana, and you get 50 million search results. User Experience – over 4 million. We also notice that many companies are conducting customer research for their products and services. We recognize that companies are trying to enrich their customers’ experiences.

Influence of Majority

Standing in Line

Queuing is a part of Japanese habits. In rush hours, people stand in line to wait for trains to get on. At amusement parks such as Disneyland, people wait for one or two hours to get into popular attractions. Likewise, people are queuing up in front of restaurants or food shops to get in. Queues mean sales growth. My recent experience tells how the first customer attracts more people quickly in Japan.

Why Senior Women Love Shopping

Elderly women shopping

Women love to shop. And the women’s love for shopping does not fade by age. One Thursday at 9:30 a.m., I passed by a supermarket and saw five to six women making a line in front of the supermarket. They were all around aged the late 60s to 80s wearing walking shoes. Some people held their shopping carts, and others held mobility aids. “Why do they come early even to wait for opening the supermarket? ” I wondered.

Gaining Insights from Seniors

Communication with Elderly Woman

Interviewing senior people makes us well prepared. When I conducted a one-on-one interview with a woman aged around 65, I had to be in the interview room much ahead of time. Then, I prepared my mind for good listening and good observation. “Your respondent is here. Are you ready?” A receptionist told me 10 minutes before the appointment time.

Heterogeneous Generations in Elderly

A couple of days ago, I took a train in the suburb area of Tokyo. It was just before lunchtime, the autumn sun shone sharply through the windows, and all was a little chilly. There was plenty of space and free from the rush-hour crush of workers and students.

Seniors – An overlooked market

Japanese senior

On a Saturday afternoon, I sat down on a chair at the entrance of a department store to rest my tired legs after shopping. At the entrance, there were two elderly women with silver hair sitting next to me and were talking to each other. “Do you often come to this department store?” asked one woman. “No, the first time in three months. I used to come here for shopping every week when I was young.

Interests in Sensory Research among Japanese Professionals

Sensory workshop

On April 26, 2019, around 20 Japanese professionals with different backgrounds participated in our sensory workshop in Tokyo.People came to the sensory workshop with various degrees of sensory research knowledge and industries such as marketing research agencies, fragrance, and printing companies. One participant said, “I do not know what sensory research is, but it sounds interesting!” Another person said, “I have been doing consumer research, but I would like to learn more about sensory evaluations.”However, the participants had one common purpose: they wanted to know more about sensory evaluations and sensory research. Basics of Sensory Evaluations, First We went through the basics of sensory evaluations in the workshop, such as sensory […]

Kanji with Implicit Insights

Reiwa

The Japanese government revealed the name of the new nation’s era as “Reiwa (令和)” on April 1. The government says that the English translation of the new era name is “beautiful harmony.” This translation comes from the kanji characters instead of the sound, hiragana, or katakana. Kanji characters tell the meaning visually and instantly Kanji characters tell what the word means concisely. Taking an example of a book reading (読書): “Doku (読)” means reading, and “Sho (書)” means a book. “読書” is compact in writing, compared to the sentence: “本を読む.” You find that most Japanese have Kanji characters for their family and given names. Kanji characters for family names, including […]

Seasonal Cues and Our Senses

Sakura

Blooming Sakura tells us that spring is coming. The cherry blossom front (桜前線, “Sakura Zensen”) moves across Japan from the south to the north, from February to May. You may enjoy viewing the full blossoms of Sakura at the end of March in Tokyo. If you travel to the Tohoku and Hokkaido areas in late April to early May, you will enjoy viewing Sakura again. The cherry blossoms (Sakura) are the spring specialty. They show us the light pink of gorgeous flowers only a few days a year. When the cherry petals are fallen, we feel that the climate gets warmer. Iconic Things in Different Seasons Japan has four distinct […]

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