They say you can tell a lot about different countries and their people by comparing consumer trends between them. However, a recent comparison between the best selling books on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.jp has both Japanese netizens amused and horrified at the results. Which country is more well-read? We’ll let you be the judge!
This year, my sister-in-law and nieces gave me an Amazon card for Christmas. The bookstore near my apartment in Yokohama doesn’t stock English-language books, so it’s an extremely thoughtful gift, but I haven’t actually visited Amazon’s site to pick out my new reading material, since I’m still in the middle of a lengthy novel I started during my recent flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles.
With a couple of hundred pages left to go, it might be a while before I actually use the card, and while I’m leaning towards a National Geographic subscription, I still haven’t ruled out the alternative of putting the card towards purchasing a giant robot, since Amazon Japan now sells those, too.
Amazon Japan decided to hold its own Cyber Monday sale a few weeks after the North American counterpart. Through the campaign and sales data, they have announced the 20 most wanted Christmas presents in Japan. Clinching the top spot was none other than Sony’s PlayStation 4 which while not the dazzling success that it has been outside Japan has seen strong sales numbers since launch.
But what else do the people of Japan really want this Christmas? Check out the rest of the list below!
Aside from the fact that they still exist in large numbers, one of the interesting things about video stores in Japan is the range of titles they offer in the new release section. Perusing them, you might find future Oscar candidate or big budget Marvel production sharing the exact same shelf space as the latest made-for-cable offering that would make Sharknado look like Fellini.
However, sometimes films get a little too close to their apparent sources of inspiration which can lead to confusion among Japanese people. One such movie the misleadingly titled Alien vs Avatar. It’s a film title that has led netizens to question “Hey, aren’t they both aliens?” While universally panned by all who have seen it, one online reviewer in Japan thought it was particularly great… copyright issues aside.
A while back, we took a look at an odd online retailing episode when a Japanese customer ordered a single persimmon from Amazon Japan. Sure, it was weird enough to find out that Amazon sells produce, not to mention that you can purchase it in individual pieces. What really got our attention, though, was the comically oversized box it shipped in.
But just when we thought the company’s packaging couldn’t get any crazier, we received our most recent order from Amazon. What’d we order? Cardboard boxes. How’d they ship it? Inside six more cardboard boxes!
When you hear the word “piranha,” the image that comes to your mind may be of hordes of vicious fish with razor-sharp teeth stripping you down to your bones in a matter of minutes. But it seems the tables will be turned for a limited time at the Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe, where guests will have the chance to chow down on these predators from the Amazon. And as you can see from the picture, yes, the infamous carnivorous fish look ferocious even when they’ve been turned into a tasty French-style dish!
Tales have oft been told of the mythical items to be found when journeying through the maze of shopping aisles in Japan’s online realm. From unusual manga characters to riot shields, it seems anything might be possible once you’ve entered through the magical portal known as Amazon Japan. Now it seems that visitors who stop by to make purchases are just as interesting as some of the items on offer, as self-proclaimed heroes and brave warriors from across the nation are buying swords from the marketplace and providing feedback on the efficacy of their items. Latest reviews are aimed at an innocent-looking plastic sword, which is said to be under-performing when it comes to vitality levels and magic ability.
With the end of this year fast approaching, we now enter the season of reflection for 2013 via ranking lists. In these last fleeting days let’s take a moment to see which albums, apps, shoes, books, and cockroach traps Japanese shoppers flocked to buy online in the largest numbers. Perhaps then we can form a clearer picture of what life in Japan was like for this two-thousand thirteenth year of our lord.
Gamers in Japan who have yet to place an order but are hoping to pick up Sony’s newest console when it finally launches next February may well be disappointed come launch day. Amazon Japan is already reporting that it has sold out completely, and although it is hoping to guarantee more units soon might not be able to meet demand.
As with most new must-have items, numerous retailers offering the console at considerably inflated prices are already starting to appear online. Whether or not for its own gain, Amazon Japan has urged its customers via Twitter to be aware that those paying more than 40,000 yen (US$385) for a PlayStation 4 are being ripped off.
As you may have heard, e-books and the Internet are leading the charge to burn down libraries, destroying civilization, and generally ruin everyone’s day. While this may be a bit of an exaggeration, there’s no denying the impact that these disruptive technologies have had on how we read and where we buy our content.
This is true even in Japan, which has a rather significant publishing industry and a large pool of eager readers, where physical books and magazines have had high sales well into the 21st century. While the country is known for its technology, Japanese consumers have been slow to adopt new modes of purchasing their texts.
But all that’s starting to change.
A friend of mine once shared an image with me of the product recommendations section from Amazon.com, which showed a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 paired with a bulk pack of adult daipers. Apart from shut-ins who would rather soil themselves than leave their military-based shooter and go to the bathroom, it’s hard to imagine why Amazon’s super computers would suggest that the two products were a perfect match.
An equally odd product pairing appearing on Amazon JP caught the attention of Japanese netizens earlier today, but rather than giving them a good chuckle it has quite freaked them out.
Sighted in the upper reaches of Amazon Japan’s offices, these elevator doors–designed to resemble the company’s tear-open delivery boxes–were snapped by a Japanese Twitter user and shared online this past weekend. Suffice it to say, they just made our day.
We’re sure that you’ve all by now had the experience of ordering a single item online only for it to arrive on your doorstep up in an enormous, oversized box or buried beneath a ludicrous amount of polystyrene. I have personally received boxes as large as a shoebox for a single videogame and spent the best part of five minutes trying to detach a single shrink-wrapped paperback book from a giant slab of cardboard that it was adhered to by Amazon’s over-zealous packing robots.
On Wednesday this week, however, a Japanese Twitter user may just have received the greatest example of surreal Amazon packaging yet.
Fashion models who appear on online shopping sites get a lot less attention than their counterparts on the runway and in print. Industry and magazine models are chosen to represent well-known brands; there’s a sense of distinction to be had in saying you were on the cover of Vogue and walked the runway for Gucci, and you can pose confidently knowing that eyes go to you first and the product second.
Models on online shops, however, are seen by designers as nothing more than fleshy mannequins, employed to make their clothes look good.
But no longer! Now there is a Japanese website that shines the spotlight on internet retail fashion models, proving to the world that they’re more than just another pretty .jpeg!
While browsing online store Amazon, you’ve no doubt stumbled upon a few interesting or downright strange reviews of products written by fellow shoppers. Some of the reviews are both well written and informative, helping us make the best purchasing decisions possible; others, meanwhile, might cause us to wonder how the human race has survived this long, or make us consider contacting the authorities.
One review on Amazon Japan, however, has caught the attention of hundreds of shoppers and has become something of a talking point online.
The review, written by a self-professed middle-aged man, is of a videogame that sees gamers select clothes for, dress and style young women as fashionably as possible, and is intended mainly for the younger female audience.
This male reviewer, however, was incredibly taken with the title, going so far as to say that it has changed the way he sees the world…
Pokémaniacs, ready your credit cards because Amazon Japan launched their Pokémon Store, a special page dedicated to the sale of all things Pokémon, on October 17.
We don’t know about you fine people, but when our old bulletproof riot shields start looking a little worse for wear, we usually turn to good old Amazon for a replacement.
Just last week, in fact, I was buffing a few scratches out of my trusty ArmaLite-R50 model when my boss informed me that he’d stumbled upon a bargain on Amazon JP– a brand new bulletproof shield for just 650,000 yen (US$8,300 )…
Rather than the item itself, however, it’s one particular customer review of the shield that’s making headlines online this week… Read More
Kiva Systems is a company that found some success selling their warehouse robots to many major retailers looking to keep up with the juggernaut that is Amazon.com notable clients of their included the GAP and Toys “R” Us.
However, just recently Amazon responded with a big capitalistic FU to their competitors by buying Kiva Systems. This means that Amazon now kind of owns the distribution systems of many of their rivals. The price of $755 million doesn’t sound too crazy now, does it?
But as we shall see, the real loser in this deal is the human race. This is because along with this acquisition, Amazon is now the proud father of Kiva’s army of tiny orange warehouse robots. Kiva’s promotion video gives us a bleak view of how the world will look when the robots take over.