The HairCutCast

Wow, youse guys are so lucky! Two and a half podcasts flom Japan in one weekend! Oh how I envy you.

There are photos in the gallery. The truth is they’ve been there for quite a while.

Some of the topics of discussion I had with the woman who cut my hair:

  • I am a podcaster. That’s why I took all those photos while I was waiting, and it’s also why I have microphones in my ears.
  • She never heard of podcasting, but she knows about MP3 players.
  • She said, “So this is kind of like watching a video clip filmed while riding a roller coaster and feeling like you’re there, eh?”
  • She’s still using Windows 98. Needs to upgrade but not looking forward to the pain of transferring all her programs to a new computer. The other day she cut a guy’s hair who said he has three PCs that are still running Windows 95. I said he must really like it.
  • Until 8 years ago, it was illegal to run a shop like QB House because of strict sanitary regulations. Also, the minimum price for a haircut was regulated. ($30-$40 minimum) In fact, the association for hair cutters still requires members to fix their prices. QB House isn’t a member.
  • The 300th QB House in Japan will open soon. There are stores in other countries too. She mentioned Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
  • You get to keep the comb.

QB House links:

  • Business is booming. The number of customers is in orange, the number of stores in blue
  • The “service unit.” Nice and sterile sounding, eh? You can hold your mouse over areas of the image to see explanations most of you won’t be able to read. But it’s cool because it’s in Japanese, right?
  • The next generation cutting station will include a video monitor to bombard customers with advertisements deliver various information to customers.
  • Employment info. Full time employees make about US $22-45,000 a year. Part-timers make $10/hr and up, which means the company is really raking in money, but keep in mind that rent and electricity here are quite expensive.

Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

11 thoughts to “The HairCutCast”

  1. Hey there. Terrance from Kobe-Beef turned me on to this podcast. I put it in my pod-catching client this morning and voila, got my hair cut while at work!! Excellent sound quality and overall experience. Please do more binaural recordings!! Thanks!

  2. Rich you brilliant bastard! Very envy inducing soundbarber tour. Also, listened to the Kabukicho tour more carefully and thought that was great too. Definitely picking up pointers on how to soundsee.

    Take it easy,

    1. Ha ha, I staked a claim on the haircut first. You do realize that I have a patent on soundseeing tours in Japan, right? If you want to implement my technology, we’ll need to discuss exuberant licensing fees. You might want to bring some Vasoline to the bargaining table.

  3. Just listened to this episode and the “airwash” (i.e. blow dry) literally blew me away. Had to take off the headphones to make sure no one was coming at me with a hairdryer. Amazing sound quality.

    Random questions:

    Why are Japanese public announcements always done by women with very high voices?

    Do your kids speak Japanese? Would love to hear, if so.

    Best wishes, Rich. Keep it up!


    1. It wasn’t a blow, it was a suck to clean up the clippings. You were listening in reverse.

      Most, but not all public announcements are in squeaky female voices. I’ll answer it in the next podcast.

      Speaking of the next podcast, I’ve been planning all along to feature my kids on it. And since you requested it, I’m kinda psyched to do it now. I’ve got hours and hours and hours of recordings I did with my kids to edit.

  4. This is the first podcast I listen here. Until getting haircut, it was kind of boring. Then it became so- relaxing, I think your Japanese is good enough to draw information from anyone. Conversation with women who cut your hair is somehow “higher level than most of the podcast exsists online”. Hire her, lol.

    Good work. Geez, now I feel I wanna go back to Japan-.

  5. This is my first time listening to any podcast, and I really enjoyed it! A friend of mine recommended your site to me when I asked what I could listen to on my new MP3 player. I’ll be listening again – thanks!

  6. Excuse me, I don’t see the url to subscribe to the podcast. Would you please put a big red arrow “copy this url to subscribe to the podcast”? Thank you.

  7. Listening to the begining of the podcast just as you get inside QBNet you can here the Super Mario Bros. theme song, which also happens to be my cell phone ring tone. The sound was so realistic I found myself digging around in my pocket to pull out my phone.

    As for ideas for future podcasts, I would personally like to here the sounds of your train ride home.

  8. i’m currently living in malaysia and there are at least one of these hair cut stores in every major shopping complexes in the kl region. i’ve noticed two variants so far, the RM10 for ten-minute cut (the first one that appeared here), and another one that charges RM12 for a twelve-minute cut.

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