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The economics of men’s cosmetics; top six meaty menus; CM of the week: Toyota

Though everyone is fretting about Japan’s economic future, the young people who are destined to become tomorrow’s leaders have had little opportunity to share their own ideas on the topic. NHK’s new information program, “Oikonomia” (NHK-E, Tues., 11:30 p.m.), a madeup term based on the English word “economics,” aims to correct that oversight.

This week, the show looks at the financial potential of men’s grooming. Lately, young men have become quite attentive to their appearance, and are spending more and more money on cosmetics. Experts discuss what sort of beauty products do well in a recession, as well as the economic ramifications this development will have. They also tackle that age-old question: Do good-looking people automatically make more money?

Carnivores are celebrated on this week’s two-hour special version of “Onegai Ranking Gold” (“Do Me a Favor Ranking Gold”; TV Asahi, Sat., 6:56 p.m.), which runs down the top chain restaurants in Japan with regard to the popularity of their meat dishes. The producers surveyed 10,000 average meat-eaters and based on their responses came up with the best six “menus.”

The hosting comedy duo Bakusho Mondai leads a panel of comedians through the list, which is explained in mouthwatering detail. Naturally, reporters go to the source — the restaurants themselves — to find out what the big deal is. Two hours is a large chunk of time to fill up, so expect a lot of chewing.

CM of the week

Toyota: As one of the richest, most successful companies in the world, Japan’s premiere automaker can afford to stuff as many big-name stars into its latest ad as 30 seconds allows. Takashi Sorimachi, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Tsurube Shofukutei, Atsuko Maeda and Koji Sato, many of whom reprise characters they created in other CMs, live in the sleepy, American-looking suburb of Toyotown, where hybrids rule. “Toyotown is a pretty corny name, isn’t it?” Hikari Mitsushima asks Masato Sakai as they drive through the neighborhood, observing the odd behavior of the residents. “I get the feeling there are a lot of strange people here.”

Any community where every single person is fixated on the same brand of automobile isn’t strange, it’s driven.

  • Carl

    Re “Oikonomia” allegedly being “a madeup term based on the English word ‘economics,’” while I’m too lazy to get this from a proper dictionary site I know this sentence from Wikipedia entry is nonetheless accurate: “The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek οἰκονομία (oikonomia, “management of a household, administration”) from οἶκος (oikos, “house”) + νόμος (nomos, “custom” or “law”), hence “rules of the house(hold)”"