Sometimes it seems that Japan has been custom-made to surprise us all, and I’m not just talking about the Cheeseburger flavored Cheetos they have here. One interesting aspect of Japan is how low-tech the country can be, and in a world in which Google is king and Yahoo a memory of the early days of the Internet, Yahoo Japan is still the leading search engine for most users here, and the Japanese version of Geocities is still going strong. One of the few perks of our small mom-and-pop liquor store is that we get to sell Shonen Jump a day before major book chains, and I’m always amazed at the people who stop by to buy the issue, including men in their 40s wearing business suits and driving expensive Mercedes Benz cars. A huge number of Japanese smoke, and yet they are the longest-lived people on the planet, which is certainly surprising. (My 84-year-old father-in-law smokes like chimney yet is so healthy his doctor asked if he could do an autopsy when he eventually dies so they can find out what his secret is.) I also read that Japan was on track to becoming the world’s largest market for music CDs. While digital distribution of music through services like iTunes Japan is certainly popular, there are many fans who prefer to buy music on physical media, which keeps pushing Japan’s worldwide share of music CD sales higher.
From Yahoo to music CDs, Japan can seem a little retro