The Twitter Japan blog releases a list of top hashtags for each week. Tweet Beat investigates the buzz behind the hashtag.

A tweet is a wish your heart makes


May everyone’s wishes come true. Hikoboshi casually greets Orihime in English.

#七夕 (Tanabata, the Star Festival) takes place at different times depending on where you are in Japan, but July 7 is the first major date. It’s a holiday for making wishes and celebrating the once-a-year reunion of legendary separated lovers Hikoboshi and Orihime. The accompanying decorations make for great tweets, but the concise format (and this tool that allows your text to mimic the shape of a traditional paper tanzaku) is also perfect for sharing wishes.

Write your wish on a tanzaku.

Some people expressed personal aspirations or concerns:

“I want to belong to Amuse.”

“I wanna be a hottie.”

“May I become fluent in Japanese.”

“May my smartphone not break until I can buy a new one.”

“I want friends.”

Some looked outward:

“World peace.”

“May black kigyo go under.”

“May I be able to repay many favors.”

One person wrote a wish for the manga character Detective Conan, and one, instead of wishing, realized that he hadn’t done anything Tanabata-ish at all.

May all my follower’s wishes come true.

Summer anime take the trends by storm

Of last week’s top trending hashtags, all except three were anime-related, and while the NTV Friday Roadshow showing of Studio Ghibli’s #耳をすませば (“Whisper of the Heart”) grabbed the top spot, most of them were fans buzzing about summer season premieres.

July 1:

#inuhasa (“Dog & Scissors”), based on the light novel by Shunsuke Sarai, is the story of a bookworm who is killed during a robbery, reborn as a dog and terrorized by a novelist.

July 2:

#monogatari (“Monogatari Series Second Season”) further adapts NisiOisiN’s urban fantasy light novel series that began with “Bakemonogatari.”

#bc_anime (“Brothers Conflict”) is adapted from Atsuko Kanase and Takeshi Mizuno’s light novels where a girl ends up with 13 stepbrothers when her dad remarries.

July 4:

#symphogear (“Senki Zesshō Symphogear G”) is the second season of an original anime where idols battle aliens with music.

#love_lab_tv (“Love Lab”) is based on Ruri Miyahara’s 4-panel gag manga about students at an all-girls academy preparing for romance.

#danganronpa (“Danganronpa: Kibō no Gakuen to Zetsubō no Kōkōsei The Animation”), based on the videogame series by Spike Chunsoft, takes place at a high school where students have to kill or be killed.

#c3部 (“Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3”), based on the manga created by Ikoma and Momoka Midorito, focuses on girls who play military survival games.

#rozen (“Rozen Maiden – Zurückspulen”) adapts Peach-Pit’s second “Rozen Maiden” manga about living dolls.

#kitakubu_anime (“Chronicles of the Going Home Club”), based on the manga by Kuroha, is a school life comedy that follows a group of girls who have fun going home instead of doing extra-curriculars.

#鯖アニメ (“Servant x Service”) is based on the manga by Karino Takatsu about government office workers in Hokkaido. The hashtag appears to be a pun on “servant” and “mackerel” (saabanto, saba).


We went with #鯖アニメ as the hashtag as a way to get people who don’t know about it to be like “An anime about . . . mackerel?!” . . . I’ll leave it up to you guys.” — Karino Takatsu

July 7:

#makaiouji (“Makai Ouji: Devils and Realists”), adapted from Madoka Takadono and Utako Yukihiro’s manga, follows a guy who is strapped for cash, accidentally summons a demon and ends up a candidate for substitute ruler of hell.

If you can believe it, these are only the anime that premiered last week and made it into the top twenty trends; there were other shows that weren’t as heavily tweeted, and all the shows of the season have not even premiered yet! You can check a digest of recent and upcoming titles at Anime News Network.

Political Activists Stage ‘Twi-Demo’

I might be called stupid, I might be called an otaku, I might be called net-uyo, but today I just love Japan, and hate anti-Japanese. That’s it.

“Will you betray your country? Will you quit being Japanese? The Upper House election is a #愛国競争 [patriotism competition]!” shouts the website of a rightwing movement staging demos on Twitter. “Round 1: Our nation’s people are angry about the comfort women hoax! Twi-demo” was held 9-11 p.m. on the day the campaigning officially kicked off, July 4.

There were two main issues on the table. One was (United States Congress) House Resolution 121. Introduced by Mike Honda and passed in 2007, it recommends that Japan apologize to comfort women. Demo organizer Nadesiko Action [sic] is promoting a White House petition to repeal it.

A secondary hashtag #撤廃署名 (“repeal the signature”) seems to refer more to the second main issue, the Kono Statement of 1993, which acknowledged the coercion of comfort women by Japan. The demo participants are collecting signatures to pressure for a repeal of this as well.

The enemies are here in Japan! Now is the time to stand up and fight to reclaim the nation of Japan! Look to the right! THE RIGHT!

As for the demo itself, the official round-up is here. It sounds like at least one of their tags made it to the #1 trending spot and they estimate that there were around 10,000 tweets.

Many people people posted tweets directly related to the themes of the demo, even some in English. Others mixed in their own themes:

One participant combined distrust of Koreans with an explanation of the Hinomaru (rising sun) flag.

A Tanabata tanzaku tweet made with the tool mentioned above wishes for the dissolution of NHK. Incidentally, the people who believe the national broadcasting company is somehow controlled by Koreans or Chinese, protects their interests, runs commercials that promote their products on purpose and is in-general anti-Japanese, are pretty vocal on NHK hashtags, so they are hard to miss.

Conservative girls are beautiful / Leftist girls are ugly.

A fan of erotic manga finds it baffling that the “patriot right” will recognize the necessity of comfort women and then restrict ero-comics like child pornography. One of the many hashtags is a play on the words “porn” and “brain.”

A tweet calling out specific politicians hits them with the slang 害国人 (gaikokujin) meaning “people harming the nation,” but it’s hard to ignore the homophone 外国人 (also gaikokujin) “foreigners/non-Japanese.” One could imagine, coming from a nationalist, that play on words only deepening the insult,and it seems to tie in to the “Will you quit being Japanese?” taunt.

At least one voice takes a cynical view:

We still haven’t figured out who is the biggest patriot yet?

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