ranKing ranQueen

ranKing ranQueen

One day I was walking through Shibuya station and I noticed this new store.  "ranKing ranQueen"

Maybe every culture likes rankings.  In America we have the top 40 songs every Sunday and KROQ has the "hot 8 at 8" at 8pm every night and stuff like that.  A&E even started a series about top 10 everything.  Top 10 most dangerous jobs.  Top 10 best toys of all time.  Growing up in America I liked those programs but mostly because I was hoping my favorite song would hit the top or just curious what is the most dangerous job (according to A&E it’s crab fishing in the North Atlantic)

Here in Japan though where the culture tells you to "fit in", rankings are a way to find out what everybody else is buying and what’s popular so you can buy that same stuff and fit in too.  All of the electronic stores will have on display the top 3 selling digital cameras or the top 3 selling printers or the top 3 selling PDAs etc, basically so that as a good Japanese person you can just buy one of the top 3 and fit in with everybody else.

Well, this store, ranKing ranQueen, takes it to an extreme.  They rank anything and everything.  Where they get all their info I’m not sure but that doesn’t matter since the point for them is to get you to buy it because in doing so you’ll be just like everybody else.

Here’s some examples.

#1 Bath Powder
In particular, it says something like if you use this powder you will "Feel like a sauna" and "Sweat a ton!"

#1 bath powder

#1 disposable camera

#1 Disposable Camera
Actually it says "sharun" and film which I’m not quite sure what that means.

#1 DVD
Nothing too surprising here.  Very sad but not surprising.

#1 dvd

#1 cell phone

#1 Keitai Phone
Keitai = portable.  This is the N210k.  N = NEC.  I’m not sure why but NEC always seems to be #1

#1 Tea
There are a zillion kinds of tea in Japan and a zillion blends on top of that.  I’m not personally fond of this one.

#1 tea

#1 mask

#1 Mask
Like I said, they’ll rank anything.  This mask is of Prime minister Koizumi.  I’ve never seen anybody wearing one so I don’t know why it’s #1

#1 Mineral Water
Here in Japan you can buy water in many vending machines next to the coffees, teas and sodas.

#1 mineral water

#1 pasta sauce

#1 Pasta Sauce
It’s says "Bolognese from a store that gets tons of reservations"

#1 Soup
Cream of corn soup is #1 here in Japan.  I don’t think they consider miso soup a soup.  You can get this out of a vending machine too, ready to eat!

#1 soup

#1 takikomo rice

#1 Takikomi Rice
This not the #1 rice, it’s the #1 Takikomi rice meaning there are separate rankings for other kinds of rice.

Seriously I would guess they have over 300 little rankings.  The number 1 keychain character, The number 1 fingernail polish, #1 stationary kit, #1 headache medicine.

There’s act ually a TV program I enjoy watching called Ranking Kingdom.  It’s a little more in the American vain of "what’s selling" and less "what should I buy to fit in".  They also show the top ten comics, top ten video rentals, top ten selling video games but they also always have at least 3 random rankings.  They interview women in Shibuya and ask things like "What’s your favorite type of sushi?" or "How many pairs of shoes do you own?" or "Which fat celebrity would you date?".  It’s on Saturday night at 1:30am.  Last Saturday one of the random questions was "Which celebrity would look best in a swimming suit?"  #1 was Noriko Fujiwara.  She’s the spokesperson for J.A.L. and FujiFilm’s Digital Cameras and J-Phone and several other brands.

  • anon_mikeb
    I don’t mean to split hairs…

    >I’m not exactly sure how to translate that name.  It says “Bolognese >With Reservations at many restaurants”

    I don’t mean to split hairs, but I believe that 予約でいっぱいの店のボロネーゼ (yoyaku de ippai no mise no borone-ze) means something more along the lines of “The Bolognese of Popular Restaurants”.  Literally, “The Bolognese of restaurants with many reservations” as opposed to “Bolognese With Reservations at many restaurants”.

    Sorry for nitpicking.


  • Kiyo
    Nice post!

    I fully enjoyed this post. 🙂

    And mikeb is right. I, however, think 「店」 in this context is singular. They imply a certain restaurant that is extremely popular without clarifying the name; to draw consumers’ attention. I don’t think the restaurant does exist, though.

  • greggman
    Thank you for the translation

    I didn’t understand the で and the いっぱいの。  If it said “いっぱい予約を取っている店のボロネーズ” I might have gotten it.  That kind of grammer I guess is still hard for me.  Your explaintion makes sense but I’m still trying to figure it out in my head directly.

    予約で, in this case would mean “through many reservations”.  The hard part I have is making the jump from いっぱいの店 which would mean “many stores” by itself, to instead 予約でいっぱい which I guess means, “through many reservations becoming crowed” so all together it would be “The Bolognese from stores that get crowed through many reservations.”  Ugh!  Thanks again 🙂

  • anon_mikeb
    Bolognese Sauce Continued

    Hi.  Thanks Kiyo.  I think you are right.  店 should probably be singular.  Sorry about that.

    With regard to your question, Gregg, I think the answer lies somewhere in careful study of the particle で.  It’s all about で, I think.  As you know, there’s a variety of uses for it.  No doubt, you’re familiar with these two:

    1) by means of くるま で いきましょうkuruma de ikimashou Let’s go by (means of) car.

    2) place where the action happens

    いえで  テレビを みますie de terebi o mimasu(I) watch tv at home.

    3) cause, reason
    たいふうで 木が たおれました。taifuu de ki ga taoremashitaBecause of the typhoon, a tree fell.

    I know all of this is real basic for you, but it’s a good segue into discussing another usage.  I can’t find any references to this usage, but I’m sure I picked up somewhere along the way, that で can also communicate the idea of “with”.  I’d really appreciate it if someone could provide a gramattical reference. 


    The play ends WITH the death of the woman.



  • anon_m
    Disposable camera

    Hello greg for the first time,

    If these are the products released from FujiFilm, their names must

    be “Utsurun desu” which means ..”mighty snap”?? or sort of like

    photo with care-easy. Your way or reading “写=sha” is right in

    chinese manner (ON yomi), but in this case, pronounce in the

    Japanese way (KUN yomi) and it works.

    Your articles are always fun, thanks!

  • anon_branch
    what a strange place

    I happened to be reading about this place a couple hours ago… it’s owned by Tokyu Land. They get the rankings from sales data from the Tokyu department stores, Tokyu Hands et al… Perhaps Walmart should do this in the US baha

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  • Thanks a lot. I really appreciate to found this article.