Via BoingBoing, Japanese uber-blogger Joi Ito announces that the Technorati Japan website is up and running in beta.
According to Technorati's Top 100 ranking, the number one blog in Japan is Kawori's Chronicle, by Kawori Manabe, a popular aidoru (translation: "idol", basically a bikini and fashion model).
You might be thinking, "Well, of course her blog is popular. She's a model who probably posts lots of sexy pictures of herself on it."
But Kawori's blog has hardly any pictures of her at all. There are a few thumbnail links to e-commerce sites selling her photo books, but that's about it. (There's certainly nothing on it like this.)
Kaori's blog is essentially just a low-key diary of her day-to-day life. Here's a sample, translated from her latest post (I've tried to preserve her formatting as much as possible):
Why not get a new curtain for a change ☆Her posts like these get hundreds of trackbacks each. Go figure. There are plenty of serious Japanese blogs, as I noted in this post, but the most popular one is pure fluff.
...I was thinking,
so I went to the "Franc Franc" store.
Guess what happened?
There was a nice curtain,
But ready-made sizes don’t fit.
For my windows,
the width has to be 100 cm, height 165 cm
and I need two of them,
But the ones that are ready-made are in between
So I decided to get a custom order
And asked the store clerk:
"Excuse me, I want to order a curtain"
Clerk: "Do you know the width?"
"Uh, yes, the width is...
Clerk: "Huh?... 100 meters...??" :-o
"Yes, 100 meters"
Clerk: "Umm...you mean 100 centimeters, right?"
"Um, yes, 100 cm"
...Like, what kind of a room would need a 100-meter curtain!
I was thinking.
After that, I was able to place my order with no problem, but
when I thought about a 100-meter curtain, it was so funny that
while I was ordering I almost burst out laughing and tried to cover it by coughing.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to its arrival.
Last week I was able to relax so,
I will try hard to post more later on.
Marxy comments on the state of Japanese blogging here and here.
Japan Media Review looks at the Technorati rankings and adds some background on Kawori Manabe:
While still a student at the prestigious Yokohama National University, Manabe won the "Dream Girl Grand Prix" contest sponsored by the young men’s magazine "Hot Dog Press," according to the Japanese-language Wikipedia. That launched her career as an "idol" (Japanese slang for starlet or heartthrob), and she went on to gain particular fame as a swimsuit model, and later as an actress in advertisements, movies and various television programs. But she's also a proficient PC user, and before beginning her blog had written her own Web page in HTML (this, according to an interview that appeared on the National Police Agency's security portal web site, of all places.)JMR also notes that one of the books linked on Kawori's site is a beginner's guide to investing in stocks that credits her as co-author. I'm betting most of the heavy lifting was done by Oki Matsumoto, who is famous in Japan for being one of the youngest people ever to become a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and who subsequently left to launch his own online brokerage.