Japanese, a recent survey found, is the most common language for blogging. With 70-some million blogs now in all languages, Japan edged out even English and Chinese for the top spot of blog language. A third of all blogs in the world, or virtual world, are written in Japanese. Japan is now number one -- at blogging.
"Blog," of course, is a term that can apply to anything from company home pages to serious muckraking to photos of a new pet kitten. There is seemingly a blog for every human experience. Most blogs have gone up in the past two years, with thousands of new ones added everyday. Blogging even serves as a plot device in films and TV dramas. Yet, why are Japanese in particular so interested in expressing their opinions online?
Of course, Japan has a highly literate population with a fascination for new gizmos and techie games of all kinds. Digital cameras, easy-to-use software and teensy keyboards, in short, all the tools and techniques for blogging, are now part of tech-loving daily life. Yet, what does it say about Japanese culture and life that so many people express their thoughts, record their activities and find friends by blogging?