Fascinating Facts About Japanese Culture.

1. It is widely accepted that one of the go-to Christmas dinners in Japan is KFC. They reserve their orders months in advance to guarantee their dishes.

2. Having a traditional Christian "white wedding" (in a church with a priest, white wedding dress with veil, wedding rings etc.) is very fashionable, even if you aren't remotely Christian.

In the 70s, a Japanese pop star was married in Hawaii where the whole Christian ceremony was televised on national television, and now it's extremely popular in Japan. Foreigners can be paid good money to officiate weddings, even if they aren't licensed ministers. Just being white or non-Japanese, and being able to speak english adds to the authenticity of the whole thing.

3. Japanese people are so polite and bowing is such a large part of their culture that they have a phenomenon of the "bow off", where 2 people bowing to each other do not want to be the last to bow for fear of being rude and just shallow out their bows until they're free. On top of that, there are many intricacies with regard to their act of bowing which seem arbitrary to us who are not familiar with their culture but every little detail, from how straight your back is to the degree of your bow, conveys different meaning to the other person.

4. The Japanese have a word, Karoshi, which translates to "death from overworking". Their culture places such a high emphasis on working hard that people have quite literally died from working too hard.

5. When a Japanese points at himself, he points with his index finger right at the tip of his nose. In most other countries I've been to, people point at their heart with the palm of their hand to refer to themselves

6. It's frowned upon to eat while walking.

7. The Satsug dialect (spoken in the southern tip of the southernmost of the four main Japanese Islands, Kysh), although being replaced by standard Japanese, was so unintelligible, it was used by the Japanese in WWII like the U.S. used Navajo code talkers.

8. Japan has the world's oldest hotel, founded in 705 CE.

9. Japan is obsessed with vending machines! But these aren't your garden-variety chip and pop vending machines. They offer many goods, including beer, Pringles, raw eggs, fried chicken, and even (Continued)

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Vending machines even exist for entire Smart Cars!

10. Japan has the worlds oldest company. Kong Gumi The Worlds oldest company operated from 578 AD until 2006

11. Even though samurai swords are famous in Japanese culture worldwide, there are many laws governing their ownership, including the requirement of a permit.

12. Depending on the area of the country you're in, squat toilets may be most common. Modern areas certainly have the Western-type sitters, but squatters can still be common in older structures and rural areas.

13. The literacy rate (people who can read and write) of Japan is one of the highest in the world, at almost 100%. Many think that Japans rigorous education system is the reason behind it. Japans unemployment rate is less than 4%.

14. To gesture someone to "come here," don't crook your finger that's demeaning, maybe how you'd signal to a dog. Instead, motion with the palm down, all fingers hooking inward at once.

15. In many countries, slurping your food, such as a soup, or noodles, is seen as annoying, and youll get weird looks. But in Japan, if you slurp, its seen as complimentary to the chef, so slurp away if you find yourself enjoying soup in Japan.

16. Japan has the second lowest homicide rate in the world, behind only Iceland. The homicide rate there is .50 per 100,000 people.

17. While slurping your soup is seen as a compliment, there is something commonly done in Western culture that is deeply frowned upon. Can you guess what it is? (Answer on the next page!)

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Answer: Blowing your nose in public! It is deeply frowned upon.

18. Japan contains the highest proportion of elderly people in the world, about 23% of Japanese people are over the age of 65. Older people are revered and honored in Japan, even being the first to be served food and drinks at a meal.

19. Melons are very expensive in Japan. One can go for up to $400.

20. The life expectancy of the Japanese is 84 years. This is 4 years more than that of the United States.

21. In Japan, there are about 130 voice acting schools. This is due to the success of the anime industry.

22. Squid is the most popular pizza topping.

23. There are places in Japan called Lactation Bars where you can actually go to drink fresh human breast milk. You can have a shot or even get it straight from the nipple.

24. Police in Japan usually carry around paint balls to shoot at fleeing motorists. This allows them to identify them more easily.

25. 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. The American style smile (big, wide, and white) would have been seen as "exposing too much bone".

26. There is a competition for the fastest shirt ironer by Japanese men that takes place every year.

27. Never stick your chopsticks upright in your rice. If you did, you would be telling everyone that... (Continued)

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Chopsticks upright in rice is only done when food is offered to the dead. When it is not an offering its considered a bad omen.

28. Japan is the number one importer of reggae.

29. Kit Kat bars have the following flavor choices: Sweet Potato, Passion Fruit, Sakura Flower, Pumpkin Cheese Cake, Red Bean Paste, Apple Vinegar, and Green Tea covered with chocolate.

30. Beer cans have braille next to the flip top. Neat!

31. 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.

32. Ovens are not nearly as commonplace as rice cookers in Japanese households.

33. Some Japanese companies conduct a morning exercise session for the workers to prepare them for the day's work.

34. Late-night dancing was illegal in Japan until 2015

35. Japan has one of the most timely public transit systems in the world. The average delay of a Japanese train is just 18 seconds.

36. For the Japanese, it is impolite to tear a gifts wrapping.

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37. Japan has more than 50,000 people who are over 100 years old.

38. 98% of all adoptions in Japan are of male adults so that family businesses can remain within the family.

40. The Japanese person who survived the Titanic crash was called a coward in his country for not dying with the other passengers.

41. In Japan, 90% of mobile phones are waterproof because youngsters use them even in the shower.

42. In Japan, teachers and students come together to clean the classrooms and cafeteria. This type of teamwork not only takes some of the load off of teachers and school cleaning staff, it instills a sense of community in students and teaches them valuable skills.

43. In Japan, there's a festival that is a celebration of the penis and fertility.

44. In Japan, Ronald McDonald is calledDonald McDonald due to a lack of a clear "r" sound in Japanese.

45. In Japan, there's a 'Crying Sumo' contest, where wrestlers compete to see who can make a baby bawl first.

46. During WW2, a Japanese Consul saved 6,000 Jews from the Holocaust by writing them all Visas to Japan even after the government told him not to.

47. About 1 million Japanese men are estimated to be locking themselves in their bedrooms for years. Why? (Find out on the next page!)

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These Japanese men have become socially recluse for a multitude of reasons, including agoraphobia and social anxiety. Thus, creating social and health problems, a condition called "Hikikomori." More recently, researchers have suggested six specific criteria required to "diagnose" hikikomori:[4]

1. Spending most of the day and nearly every day confined to home,

2. Marked and persistent avoidance of social situations,

3. Symptoms interfering significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships,

4. Perceiving the withdrawal as ego-syntonic

5. duration at least six months, and

6. No other mental disorder that accounts for the social withdrawal and avoidance.

48. In Japan, tipping a server is considered rude.

49. People who cannot afford to live in a house in Hong Kong and Japan take advantage of McDonalds' "doors are always open" policy and live in their restaurants. They are known as"McRefugees."

50. "Kodokushi", meaning "lonely death", is a common Japanese phenomenon of people dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a long period of time.



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