Japan uses big data to map cultural climate change

Cool Japannica learns where Manga and Anime are hot


Big data boffins at Tokyo University have found a novel way to help Japan’s faltering economy: by producing an interactive trending map for manga, gaming and other content producers to see where in Asia their products are most popular.

The Asia Trend Map was developed by Tokyo University associate professor Matsuo Yutaka with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), collects and crunches data on how many times an anime, manga or game title is mentioned on the web to assess its popularity.

Information sources include tweets and Wikipedia updates.

Beneath the map, there’s a breakdown of what’s trending in each Asian country covered, and clicking through will bring up more detailed info on the potential size of the manga, anime and game markets for that country, plus a popularity forecast for the top titles there.

Users can also search by title, which will bring up a smaller weather forecast style map of Asia to show its current rating in each country alongside its predicted popularity.

For example, at the moment, hit TV cartoon show Doraemon is sunny (aka “rising fast”) in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and India, but cloudy ("no change") in Russia, Vietnam, Korea and Bangladesh, and raining (“falling”) in Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines and China.

Doraemon interactive trending map big data

It’s thought the map could therefore help content producers in Japan target their export strategies more intelligently, while also reducing the need for them to invest in costly market intelligence campaigns.

The map is all part of “Cool Japan”, a government initiative a bit like Blair’s Cool Britannia project, but without the play-on-words, designed to market what the land of the rising sun still does better than anywhere else - quirky cartoons, video games and animated TV.

Unlike its erstwhile Brit equivalent, however, this is more than a mere coat-tail jumping PR act – the Japanese government has ploughed ¥50 billion into a public private fund dedicated to the project, according to Naver Matome (via RocketNews24). ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • 5G C-band rollout at US airports slowed over radio altimeter safety fears
    Well, they did say from July, now they really mean from July 2023

    America's aviation watchdog has said the rollout of 5G C-band coverage near US airports won't fully start until next year, delaying some travelers' access to better cellular broadband at crowded terminals.

    Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement this month that its discussions with wireless carriers "have identified a path that will continue to enable aviation and 5G C-band wireless to safely co-exist."

    5G C-band operates between 3.7-3.98GHz, near the 4.2-4.4GHz band used by radio altimeters that are jolly useful for landing planes in limited visibility. There is or was a fear that these cellular signals, such as from cell towers close to airports, could bleed into the frequencies used by aircraft and cause radio altimeters to display an incorrect reading. C-band technology, which promises faster mobile broadband, was supposed to roll out nationwide on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile US's networks, but some deployments have been paused near airports due to these concerns. 

    Continue reading
  • IBM settles age discrimination case that sought top execs' emails
    Just days after being ordered to provide messages, Big Blue opts out of public trial

    Less than a week after IBM was ordered in an age discrimination lawsuit to produce internal emails in which its former CEO and former SVP of human resources discuss reducing the number of older workers, the IT giant chose to settle the case for an undisclosed sum rather than proceed to trial next month.

    The order, issued on June 9, in Schenfeld v. IBM, describes Exhibit 10, which "contains emails that discuss the effort taken by IBM to increase the number of 'millennial' employees."

    Plaintiff Eugene Schenfeld, who worked as an IBM research scientist when current CEO Arvind Krishna ran IBM's research group, sued IBM for age discrimination in November, 2018. His claim is one of many that followed a March 2018 report by ProPublica and Mother Jones about a concerted effort to de-age IBM and a 2020 finding by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that IBM executives had directed managers to get rid of older workers to make room for younger ones.

    Continue reading
  • FTC urged to probe Apple, Google for enabling ‘intense system of surveillance’
    Ad tracking poses a privacy and security risk in post-Roe America, lawmakers warn

    Democrat lawmakers want the FTC to investigate Apple and Google's online ad trackers, which they say amount to unfair and deceptive business practices and pose a privacy and security risk to people using the tech giants' mobile devices.

    US Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and House Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA) requested on Friday that the watchdog launch a probe into Apple and Google, hours before the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for individual states to ban access to abortions. 

    In the days leading up to the court's action, some of these same lawmakers had also introduced data privacy bills, including a proposal that would make it illegal for data brokers to sell sensitive location and health information of individuals' medical treatment.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022