The ratings system was added after I did a poll and the majority of voters said they'd like to see one. The system does not affect the content of reviews in any way and are added at the end as a thumbnail version. They can be completely ignored by those who didn't want them or don't like them.
The system is essentially a 5-point one, but with my own colorful spin rather than simply an adoption of many of the existing systems. I chose sumo wrestlers faces because it relates to Japan and one of my first loves in Japan. Consider these a reflection of my emotional responses to the products.
The system was put into use on March 20, 2009, so any reviews before that time will not include a rating.
Please keep in mind that an "indifferent" rating doesn't mean I didn't like that particular item or get some pleasure from consuming it, but that I wouldn't purchase it a second time. Indifferent ratings are on products which are sometimes "so-so", but also on those which aren't addictive enough to warrant another investment in the calories. Some of the more interesting products may get indifferent ratings simply because they were great for a sampling, but not worthy of a revisit.