Oricon Inc. is a company that releases Japanese music charts, similar to the Billboard charts in the US. The name "Oricon" is derived from the English words "original confidence". Founded in November 1967 by Koike Soukou as Kabushiki Gaisha Original Confidence (株式会社オリジナルコンフィデンス), it was later taken over by its subsidiary, Oricon Inc. in April of 2002. The official Oricon website is entitled "ORICON STYLE".
As of January 2008, Oricon samples sales from around 3,020 retail sources in Japan and provides rankings of CD Singles and Albums, as well as DVDs, Anime, Chaku-Uta, and other media releases. Results are released every Tuesday, which has become the date for artist releases as well, creating a "release week" type schedule.
Oricon maintains several ranking lists and publishes them on its website. While paying customers have access to the full lists, a slimmed down version is available for free.
The freely available lists include the Single Top 20 and the Weekly Top 30 for singles and albums, lists for Western and independent music, lists for DVDs and movies, lists for books, lists for television programs and commercials, and even lists for computers and electronics.