Nogizaka46 Seijin no Hi 2013

Four members of Japanese pop group Nogizaka46 – i.e. Sayuri Matsumura, Nanami Hashimoto, Mai Shiraishi and Misa Eto – were dressed in traditional kimono costume to celebrate Seijin no Hi (Coming of Age Day) on January 13.

Seijin no Hi is a national holiday (second Monday in January each year) for Japanese who reached the legal age of adulthood (20) to celebrate their new status. Many would don in kimono and visit a shrine that day. Image via Melosnomichi

Nogizaka46 Japanese Seijin no Hi 2013

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KARA, Japanese Christmas, fried chicken

A Japanese commercial featuring Korean pop group KARA, for convenience-store-chain Family Mart’s fried chicken for the upcoming Christmas celebration…

Fried chicken is synonymous to Christmas party in Japan. It’s a long story… in short the tradition started in the 1970s after an ingenious marketing campaign by Kentucky Fried Chicken (very popular in Japan) – that fried chicken was the best alternative to the customary Xmas turkey which was scarce in those days.

KTB girls, aerobic exercise, corporate culture

South Korea’s KTB Investment & Securities has released a video of some girls (presumably the firm’s female employees) doing some simple “aerobic exercises”…

Reminded me of my old Japanese employer, where staff would get together in the morning to do some stretching exercises. We didn’t have much girls (95% male) in our department though, unfortunately… else I might have stayed there a bit longer ;)

Group exercise is a common corporate culture in Japan (and Korea to a lesser degree). Besides whatever benefit it brings, missing an exercise session – usually the first thing in the morning – literally means that someone is late for work, it’s serious matter.