Japan by numbers

Odd, informative or interesting Japanese stats

Over 250 – The number of autonomous domains called han during the Tokugawa Shogunate, and hence of the feudal lords called daimyo

Around 60% – the percentage of vocabulary in a Japanese dictionary that comes from other languages

6% to 10% – the percentage of vocabulary in a Japanese dictionary that comes from European languages

Two or three million – The number of burakumin (descendants of the traditional untouchable underclass)

8,000 dollars for every Japanese man,woman, and child – The amount of American debt that Japanese individuals, companies and goverment owned, according to Dennis Laurie in Yankee Samurai (1992) pg 76

80-90% – How many of Honolulu’s beachfront hotels owned by Japanese companies, according to Dennis Laurie in Yankee Samurai (1992)

One- The number of scientists in Japan who won a Nobel Prize in the 90s. For the US it was 44, and for Germany and France 5 and 3 (data from The Geography of Thought pg 195)

11 million- The number of Japanese who emigrated to Latin America

90%- The percentage of emeralds sold in Japan that come from Colombia

500,000- The number of dams in Japan, of which 3,000 are “major dams”  From “Going with the flow” by Michael Hoffman, The Japan Times 20 July 2008

nearly 1/2- the percentage of people who join the yakuza who have lost one or both parents

184,091- the peak membership of organised criminal firms in Japan, in 1963

0.1%- The percentage of the Japanese population that is in the yakuza(1957-97). The percentage for Cosa Nostra in the US is well under 0.02%.

6000- The number of sokaiya in the early 80s\

Almost 90%- The annual staff turnover at Nissan factories in the mid-1960s, according to David Halberstam in “The Reckoning” pg 417. Puts “the traditional Japanese model of lifetime employment” and the fickleness of today’s Japanese youth into perspective…


5 million- The number of people who bathe in the hot springs at Ikaho every year (Getting Wet pg 20)


14,000- The number of “sudden deaths during bathing [in Japan] in 1999, making bathing a more dangerous activity than driving” Getting Wet pg 28


670,000 gallons- The amount of spring water that gushes from Japan’s hot springs every minute (Getting Wet pg 37)


25,565- The number of mineral springs in Japan (Getting Wet pg 39)


16 million years old- The age of some of the hot spring water in the Nobi plains of central Japan (Getting Wet pg 40)


30 years- The time starting in 1814 that “the London Times, the best informed of all contemporary newspapers, carried no authentic news regarding the secluded Empire” of Japan. Aliens in the East by Harry Emerson Wildes pg 213
– “In 1823, the Times published a brief article describing Japanese paper handkerchiefs… Eight years elapsed before any further mention was made about Japan. The silence was broken by a remarkable “story” which declared that the Shogun required all young people to grow to a certain specified height “or to suffer the bastinado until they do”. Japan did not again enter the English news for ten and one-half years”


 5 percent- the difference in cancer rates between Hiroshima A-bomb survivors and New Yorkers (Getting Wet pg 161)


1/3- The amount of Japan’s annual budget used up by paying foreign experts in 1874


over 400- the number of plots of land Mori had to buy up in order to build Roppongi Hills


22%- the percentage of all samurai sons who were adopted into other families between 1599 and 1794


90%- the percentage of cultivated land farmed by its owners in Japan after the land redistribution in 1946 organised by the American occupation authorities. Much higher than America at that time, no doubt

45- How many consecutive years Tokyo real estate market values went up for before the crash of the 90s

110- The number of golf courses in Japan Goldman Sachs owned as of mid-2004

3%- In 2004,the percentage of “Japan’s citizens who exchange e-mail with foreigners, compared to ten percent in Vitnam and China” Saying Yes to Japan pg 21

17 minutes- The amount of time per day that the average Japanese father spends with his child
2,201- The number of men arrested for assaulting women on trains in Japan in 2004. In London (only) in the same year there were 352 arrests in just the underground

32- The number of “young adults who used the Internet to plan their group suicides in 2003” (Shutting Out the Sun pg 195)- hardly sounds like enough people to trigger a national panic and continue the myth of Japan having the world’s highest youth suicide rate, but such is the world of what people write about Japan…Wrong

80%- The percentage of marriages between foreigners and Japanese that involve a Chinese woman and a Japanese man

3,000- The number of riot police at a China:Japan football match in North Korea. Japan Times, 2 March 08

36.9%- Males in the third year of middle school who said they desired sex in 2005, down from 86% in 2005. A Shukan Asahi article quoted in Japan Times, 2 Mar 08

600- The membership of the National Confederation of Male Virgins (www.cherrybb.jp). Japan Times, 2 Mar 08

361- The number of inhabitants of Kourijima, for whom a $250 million dollar bridge was built in 2005 (Shutting Out the Sun pg 109)

106- The age of Jesus when he died in his Japanese home, according to a local Aomori legend/ attempt to get tourists

1.9 billion- The number of manga sold in Japan in 1995 (Wrong about Japan pg 13) 350,000- The number of women who have abortions in Japan every year
25-The percentage of the world’s condoms used in Japan. 8 times as many Japanese couples as Western couples use condoms
400- the record number of qualifications that one Japanese man has
70%- the number of foreigners who leave Japan every year – Being a Broad in Japan pg 462

2/3 – approx percentage of all guns seized by police that are from the yakuza

3 minutes- The average time it takes to drive over the bridge to Kansai international airport. The journey costs 1700 yen (about 8 pounds)
8.8 meters- the length of the longest tapeworm in Meguro Parasitological museum in Tokyo.
55%- the percentage of the Japanese coastline which is covered in concrete
97%- the percentage of major rivers in Japan which are dammed and/ or diverted from their original course
400- The number of different types of fish delivered to Tsukiji wholesale fish market in Tokyo everyday
1,740 km- The distance from the centre of Tokyo to Tokyo’s city limits on the island of Okinotori, also the southernmost point in Japan.
21,000- the number of ramen noodle restaurants in Greater Tokyo
140,000- the number of people killed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, centred around Yokohama and Tokyo, at a time when the population was much smaller.
500,000- the number of homes destroyed in the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923
100,000,000,000 yen- The cost of each kilometre of the 15km Tokyo Wan Aqualine bridge/ tunnel linking Kanagawa and Chiba west and east of Tokyo

Two thirds- Fraction of women in Japan who have been groped on a train.
8%- the amount of park space Tokyo has compared to London 42.8 servings a year- the number of servings an average ramen noodles eater eats
60- The number of exits from Shinjuku station
243- The number of different vendors in the food hall of the Tobu department store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo’s largest department store
532- the number of MacDonald’s restaurants in Tokyo.
2,300 tonnes- The weight of fish delivered to the Tsukiji wholesale fish market in Tokyo everyday.
80,000- The number of restaurants in Tokyo (there are 15000 in New York and 6000 in London)
250,000 The number of people who cross Shibuya pedestrian crossing in central Tokyo every Saturday.
3, 200,0000- The number of people who pass through Shinjuku station in Eastern Tokyo everyday. This is more than the total population of Panama.
1,400,000,000,000 yen- The total cost of Tokyo’s Oedo circular underground line,  the most expensive underground railway line ever built.

50 people a day- The average use of Shinjuku station when it was first opened. Now it is more like 3 million.

$700- The hook up fees for a single domestic phone line in 2002

94- percentage of house hunting gaijin who have been refused service by at least one estate agent, according to Metropolis magazine

100,000- The number of passenger cars made in Japan in 1958. 19 years laterin 1977 the exports alone were 4,000,000

$5000- How much a Japanese man paid to have his initials put on the headrests of his Rolls Royce in “Harry Potter writing”

$130,000- The price of a night in the Xmas suite of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Tokyo, with diamonds hanging on the Xmas tree

$15,000- The price of a special glass of martini at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Tokyo (it has a diamond at the bottom of the glass)

1.2 meters- The record growth of a bamboo plant in one day

2- Number of ex-prime ministers executed after WWII

200,000- the number of people executed at Kotsukappara outside Edo (Tokyo) over 300 years

4- The number of department stores you can visit without even leaving Shinjuku station building

6.2 tons- The amount of water a single shinkansen (bullet train) holds

10 centimetres- The thickness of the layer of ash on Edo (Tokyo) when Fuji last erupted in 1707

10%- Percentage of the world’s earthquakes that affect Japan

10 meters- The length of a sumo wrestler’s mawashi belt

10 days- How long the largest refridgerator in the famous Tsukiji fish market could feed Tokyo for if it was full

23- The number of Japanese Gojira (Godzilla) movies made

36 seconds- The annual schedule deviation of an average bullet train, including during typhoon season, snow etc.

40 meters- The height of the tallest bamboo plants

40 kilograms- The amount of salt thrown in one day of a sumo basho

50 people a day- The average use of Shinjuku station when it was first opened. Now it is more like 3 million.

56- The number of main divisions in Japanese Buddhism. There are 170 sub-divisions.

60- The number of times the Ise shrines have been completely rebuilt to the original plan (once every 20 years)

62 years- Length of reign of Emperor Hirohito (Showa Tenno)

70%- The percentage of the total foreign film cinema ticket sales in Japan that Titanic got in the year it was released

85%- The percentage of people in Tokyo connected to the city sewage system (the rest have trucks come round to empty their sewage tanks)

90 seconds- The time between trains on the Chuo and Yamanote lines during the morning rush hour

120 years- The length of time some bamboo grows before it flowers and produces seeds (once in its lifetime)

186- The number of volcanoes in Japan. 60 are still active.

253 kilograms- The heaviest weight of the Hawaiian-born sumo wrestler Konishiki

300kph- The fastest regular speed on the Nozomi shinkansen (bullet train) between Osaka and Fukuoka, for a while the fastest scheduled train in the world

$700- Hook up fees for a single domestic phone line (2002)

920- Number of Japanese executed after WWII

1000- The number of different species of bamboo

3000- The number of people on a single rush hour Yamanote loop line or Chuo cross city train

6000- Number of deaths in the Kobe (Great Hanshin) earthquake in 1995

8,600- The number of staff involved in running the Tokoy to Osaka shinkansen (bullet train) for one day

300,000- Number of people made homeless by the Kobe earthquake in 1995

2,500,000- The number of souls of Japanese soldiers who died for the Emperor from 1868 until 1945 enshrined in the

3,000,000- Number of people using Shinjuku station everyday

6,000,000- Number of Japanese soldiers and civilians who returned to Japan after WWII

1700- the number of earthquakes following the 1923 Kanto earthquake around Tokyo

76percent-Support from the Japanese public for allowing women to lead Japan as Empress

30,000- The number of homeless in Tokyo, according to some NGO estimates

7 years- How long Masako Owada held out before agreeing to marry Prince Naruhito, according to “Princess Masako” pg 2. If only she could have held out longer…

60 degrees- How far Princess Masako must bow every time she meets her in-laws, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, according to “Princess Masako” pg 4

124- The number of ancestors whose deaths the Emperor must mark with religious ceremonies every year, according to Princess Masako pg 12

6 months – How long Manjiro Nakahama was stranded on a Pacific island in 1841 until he was picked up by American whaler

18 months – How long Captain Jukichi drifted in his ship until it drifted all the way to Santa Barbara in 1813

Ten million –GIs who passed through Japan during the Occupation, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and subsequently

Seven inches – The difference in height between a 13 year old boy in 1950 and a 13 year old boy in 1990

$2 million – How much ex-president Ronald Reagan was paid by Fuji Sankei for PR work

“Only about 1.5 percent of Japan’s elderly are accommodated in nursing homes, far below the US proportion of 5 percent. However, three or four times as many Japanese are bedded down in hospitals as in nursing homes… Thirty-four percent of the elderly in Japanese nursing homes are bedridden, compared to with just 6.5 percent in US nursing homes. Half of all senile patients are kept under lock and key.”

About Face by Clayton Naff pg 275/6


  1. January 14, 2008 at 9:20 am

    […] numbers from Nippon on the Japan by Numbers page on the right, and more salaryman explanation also coming […]

  2. January 1, 2009 at 3:08 am

    […] More scary, impressive and odd number with a Nihon connection here. […]

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