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Japan|Critique on Nikkei Newspaper’s “Top 30 Trendy Products of 2018” December Issue

Dec 6, 2018.Ichiro KumegawaTokyo, JP
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The annual "Nikkei Top 30 Trendy Products of 2018" are out. Although generating an economic effect of 50 billion yen, the number one on the list was pop star "Namie Amuro". This is absolute drivel. It’s troubling to know that the value depicted on this list has got low standards. Speaking of which, there are a few fashion and lifestyle items that I’d like to touch upon.


1. ZOZO (Ranked 4
th)

Placing 4th is ZOZO, which launched its body measuring data kit app "ZOZO Suit" this year. Not much surprise here, however there’s an undeniable fact that this has sparked a fire within the clothing customization wars.


2. KASHIYAMA the Smart Tailor (Ranked 28
th)

This company came out earlier with customizable wear before ZOZO suits which started from the end of last year. Naturally, catching on the rumors of the ZOZO suit, leading apparel maker Onward Holdings’ subsidiary, Onward Personal Style immediately came out with their version, that is KASHIYAMA the Smart Tailor. The company seems to have the upper hand with its presence in department stores but mainly coming from its brick-and-mortars. It’s said to make 3.6 billion yen in sales. Sometimes you need a strong rival in order to awake from a stupor.


3. Tokyo Midtown Hibiya (Ranked 15
th)

Although Tokyo Midtown Hibiya is only 50 metres away from Ginza and outside of a commercial area, a total of 12 million visitors had gathered within half a year. Rather than the idea of profiting from fashion retailing, working in high-rise buildings or low-rise buildings with food and drinking establishments creates a greater impact in attracting the populace.

4. Manga 「How do you Live?」(Kimitachi wa dou ikiru ka) (Ranked 6th)

Quoting Nikkei newspaper trendy list, “Exceeding more than 80 years, this novel is the biggest revival hit”. This is an enlightenment children’s novel written by Genzaburo Yoshino in 1937, 80 years ago. Japanese book and magazine publishing company, magazine house made a smart move by placing manga artist Shoichi Haga in charge of serializing it into a manga. It’s said that the novel has sold over 3 million copies, however that number is not the actual sales. There were voices saying "Totto-chan: The Little Girl at the Window is the biggest bestseller with over 4 million copies, however nearly a million copies got returned …Is bluffing the numbers really okay?” At the same there were various parodies born from “How do you Live?” such as "How do you live, Oldman?" and some even ridiculed the publishers, "How do you live, Publishers?” in relevance to the prolonged recession of the publication industry.

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