Like everyone, I’m a big fan of using Internet search to artificially raise my IQ, finding information or verifying it before putting it in these J-List posts. There are certainly some limitations to search — looking for how to repair or hack a popular personal electronic device always seems to send me to shops offering to sell me a new one instead, and there’s a marked lack of attention paid to the classic Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side comics by search engines, in my opinion — but by and large it works pretty well. Japanese users use Google, too, enough that ググる guguru has become a generic verb meaning “to search for via Google,” though searching in Japanese is a little more involved. First, you generally need to know the kanji name of the person you’re searching for, and using the wrong kanji for your favorite AKB48 idol will probably give you very different results. For this reason, many Japanese first search on Wikipedia, where they can grab the correct kanji from the article that pops up, and do a second search to find specific information. I often find myself searching for information in both English and Japanese, often in side-by-side-windows, since the results can often vary wildly.
Searching for information in Japanese can be a little involved.