Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Japanese Like Einstein More Than Elvis?

Not to mention, Freddie Mercury

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2007 at 4:00 AM

A popular Japanese program called Japan Probe — the name makes us wince just to think about it — has compiled a list of “History’s Most Influential People.” This is from the Japanese point of view, remember, and some of the names may surprise you.

Of course, Number One is an obvious choice: Sakamoto Ryoma.

Who? According to Wikipedia, he “was the leader of the movement to overthrow the Tokugawa bakufu during the Bakumatsu period in Japan. Ryoma used the alias Saitani when he worked against the shogun.”

Oh sure, that guy.

The rest of the Japanese Top Ten includes, in order: Napoleon, Oda Nobunaga, Saigo Takamori, Miyamoto no Yoshitsune, Joan of Arc, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Albert Einstein, Yutaka Ozaki, and Akechi Mitsuhide. Never heard of some of these people? Well, do what we did, and use Wikipedia to expand your worldly knowledge.

But we’re stumped. We’ve always heard that the King of Rock-and-Roll was, now and forever, HUGE in Japan, but he’s only listed at Number 70. Now we understand that this is a list of all the people in the entire history of the world, so a Number 70 ranking might be acceptable.

But we blinked hard when we discovered this: Ranked above Elvis Presley was Freddie Mercury, the former lead singer of Queen (#52) and author Arthur Conan Doyle (#69). Sure, we like a good Sherlock Holmes mystery as much as the next fella, but ... Freddie Mercury?

Check out the complete list.


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