Strange Facts About Japanese Culture
JAPAN - STRANGE FACTS
-Raw horse meat is a popular food in Japan.
-Any Japanese citizen who has a dog must carry special bags to pick up dog droppings. Hygiene and their eagerness to address cleanliness is part of Japanese ethics.
-Even though one of the richest people in the world, the Japanese do not have servants. The parents are responsible for the house and children.
-Commuter trains are often so crowded railway staff are employed to cram passengers inside.
-More than 70% of Japan consists of mountains, including more than 200 volcanoes.
-Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan. It is an active volcano.
-Religion does not play a big role in the lives of most Japanese and many do not understand the difference between Shintoism and Buddhism.
-In just ten years Hiroshima returned to what it was economically vibrant before the fall of the atomic bomb.
-Japanese children clean their schools every day for a quarter of an hour with teachers. This led to the emergence of a Japanese generation who is modest and keen on cleanliness.
-A nice musk melon, similar to a cantaloupe/rockmelon, may sell for over US$300.
-There are four different writing systems in Japan: Romaji, Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji.
-Coffee is very popular and Japan imports approximately 85% of Jamaica's annual coffee production.
-If you go to a buffet restaurant in Japan you will notice people only eat as much as they need without any waste because food must not be wasted.
-Japan's literacy rate is almost 100%.
-Sumo is Japan's national sport closely followed by baseball.
-Sumo wrestlers eat a stew called Chankonabe to fatten up. Many restaurants in the Ryogoku district of Tokyo serve this 'nabe'.
-Most toilets in Japan have a built-in bidet system for sphincter spraying. These are known as washlets and are now the norm in homes and nicer restrooms. However, in some train stations and other public restrooms you may still find the traditional Japanese "floor toilet".
-A hygiene worker in Japan is called "health engineer" and can command salary of USD 5000 to 8000 per month, and a cleaner is subjected to written and oral tests.
-When you use the restroom in someone's home you may need to put on designated bathroom slippers so as not to contaminate the rest of the home.
-Noodles, especially soba (buckwheat), are slurped somewhat loudly when eaten. It has been said slurping indicates the food is delicious. The slurping also serves to cool down the hot noodles for eating.
-Due to gases produced by power plants, Japan sometimes suffers from acid rain.
-Japan is the world's largest consumer of Amazon rain forest timber.
-Vending machines in Japan sell beer, canned coffee, cigarettes, fresh eggs, uncooked rice, even used panties.
-Children in schools brush their teeth (sterile) and clean their teeth after a meal at school, teaching them to maintain their health from an early age.
-When moving into an apartment it is often required to 'gift' the landlord some cash, usually equal to two months' rent.
-Some of the most well-known companies in the world are Japanese such as Toyota, Honda, Sony, Nintendo, Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Sharp.
-For first to sixth primary year Japanese students must learn ethics in dealing with people.
-On average there are around 1,500 earthquakes every year in Japan.
-Average life expectancy in Japan is one of the highest in the world. Japanese people live an average of 4 years longer than Americans.
-Japanese students take half an hour to finish their meals to ensure proper digestion because these students are the future of Japan.
-Japan is the largest automobile producer in the world.
-The Japanese language has thousands of foreign loan words, known as gairaigo. These words are often truncated, e.g. personal computer = paso kon. The number of foreign loan words is steadily increasing.
-Tsukiji market in Tokyo is the world's largest fish market.
-There is no examination from the first to the third primary level because the goal of education is to instil concepts and character building.
-Although whaling is banned by the IWC, Japan still hunts whales under the premise of research. Contrary to popular belief, whale meat is not a delicacy. Many Japanese dislike the taste and older Japanese may be reminded of the post-World War II period when whale meat was one of the few economical sources of protein. The harvested whale meat ends up in restaurants and supermarkets.
-Japan is made up of 6,852 islands.
-The term karaoke means "empty orchestra" in Japanese.
-In a Sumo training "stable" the junior rikishi Sumo wrestlers must wash and bathe their senior sumo wrestlers and make sure their hard to reach places are clean.
-The rate of delayed trains in Japan is about 7 seconds per year!!
-Japan does not have any natural resources, and they are exposed to hundreds of earthquakes a year, but this has not prevented its becoming the second largest economy in the world.
-Rampant inbreeding of dogs has resulted in one of the highest rate of genetic defects in the world for canines.
-Raised floors help indicate when to take off shoes or slippers. At the entrance to a home in Japan, the floor will usually be raised about 6 inches indicating you should take off your shoes and put on slippers. If the house has a tatami mat room its floor may be raised 1-2 inches indicating you should to take off your slippers.
-Ramen noodles are a popular food in Japan and it is widely believed extensive training is required to make a delicious soup broth.
-On average, it takes about 7-10 years of intensive training to become a fugu (blowfish) chef. This training may not be needed in the future as some fish farms in Japan are producing non-poisonous fugu.
-Ovens are not nearly as commonplace as rice cookers in Japanese households.
-Geisha means "person of the arts" and the first geisha were actually men.
-It was customary in ancient Japan for women to blacken their teeth with dye as white teeth were considered ugly. This practice persisted until the late 1800's.
-Some Japanese companies conduct a morning exercise session for the workers to prepare them for the day's work.
-In Japan non-smoking areas are difficult to find in restaurants, including family restaurants. Many of Japan's politicians have interest in the tobacco industry and anti-smoking laws are almost non-existent. If you are planning a trip to Japan you may want to think twice if you are sensitive to tobacco smoke.
-Japan prevents the use of mobile phones in trains, restaurants and indoors.
-The Japanese name for Japan is "Nihon" or "Nippon" which means "sun origin".
-Many companies hire people to hand out small packages of tissues which include a small advertisement flyer. Some non-Japanese are surprised when they are handed a free package of tissues.