Japan is one of the most unique places in the world, with a rich and important culture, good education and technology. Japan is also well known for its delicious and much appreciated cuisine, sushi, as well as martial arts, the powerful Samurais, and the stunning architecture. Another thing that always puts Japan on the news, in a bad way, is the problems there with earthquakes and natural disasters. However, the people there remain powerful when things like this happen, constantly re-building and starting their lives again, which is definitely something we admire. Here are some odd and crazy facts about Japan that will definitely surprise you. Prepare yourself!
#1 Bad Teeth
You probably didn’t know this, and this will definitely shock you, but having bad teeth is a trend amongst the young people in Japan. The more uneven and sharp, the better. They call it “yaeba”.
#2 Eat Noisily
This one is extremely strange, but in Japan, eating noisily is classed as being a good thing, particularly when the food in question is noodles. When you make noises while sucking and chewing on the food, it indicates to other people that you think it’s delicious. So weird!
#3 Students Clean Their Classes
It is part of Japanese education for students to help with the organization and cleanliness of their classrooms. The Japanese justify this by claiming that children should learn at a young age how to be clean and autonomous. Perhaps this is something we should develop in Western education, don’t you think?!
#4 There’s No Illiterate People
Another curious and amazing fact about Japanese education is the literacy rates. According to government statistics, 100% of the people in Japan are literate. This is amazing!
#5 Black Teeth
And how about painting your teeth with black ink?! In the past, it was very common for Japanese women to paint their teeth black, because they were genuinely considered beautiful. Crazy!
#6 Painting Faces
And, speaking of painting, another strange habit that is considered to be ‘trendy’ in Japan is to cover your face in dark self-tan and contrasting makeup – this is something they call “Ganguro”. The ganguro (which translates to ‘black face’) are young people who paint themselves, as a form of protest against the standards of beauty imposed by Japanese society: black hair, pale skin, and subtle makeup.
#7 Canned Food
Japanese people simply love canned food. In fact, they love it so much that it’s pretty normal to find restaurants that specialize in meals made out of canned mood. You go inside, take a seat, pick your canned food of choice, and bon appetit!
#8 Strange Festival
The Hadaka Matsuri festival brings together thousands of Japanese men to take off their clothes (or almost) in public, according to ancient beliefs of body purification.
#9 The Suicidal Forest
The Aokigahara forest, located at the base of Mount Fuji, is one of the most popular places in the world to commit suicide. Dozens of bodies are collected every year in the forest as well their belongings, such as cars, which are parked for long periods in the entrance of the forest, waiting for owners who never return.
#10 Forever Alone
The “Hikikomori” is a type of isolation practice in which men lock themselves in rooms and don’t do anything productive. Psychologists claim that this behavior is closely linked to depression and social pressures.
#11 You Can Sleep In A Capsule
The world-famous capsule hotels allow you to rent a compartment for the night. These are ideal for businessmen or for people who failed to return home in time, and just need a place to sleep. The capsules are actually very comfortable, and they even have a television!
#12 The Most Expensive Tuna
It’s hard to believe, but Japanese people are willing to spend a fortune on a big and perfect tuna. The most expensive tuna ever sold in the world was in Japan, for a whopping $735,000.
#13 Rabbit Island
A very famous place in Japan is the island of Okunoshima, located in the Japanese Sea. It is home to thousands of rabbits that walk freely around the place.
#14 The First Company In The World
You probably didn’t know this, but the oldest company in the world is Japanese. The Kongō Gumi Co. Ltd is a Japanese construction company and was founded in 578 AD. Crazy!
#15 Peace And Love!
Soon after the end of World War II, Japan decided to change its constitution, and one of the changes says that the country disclaim any war or aggression. What a beautiful example to the world. We should all live in peace.
#16 They Love Coffee
We already showed you guys the incredible 3D latte art by Kazuki Yamamoto, and the reason why coffee art exists is because Japan is one of the world’s biggest coffee drinkers. They purchase about 80% of the Jamaican coffee production.
#17 Special Toilet Shoes
In Japan, it’s not common for the bathrooms to have a separate area for the bathtub, which means the entire floor is usually wet. So, when you visit someone’s home, you’ll probably have to wear a special pair of shoes when you want to visit the bathroom.
#18 You Can Sleep At Work
Yes, you read this right! In Japan, you can sleep at work. They consider it as a good thing, because it shows that you’re working hard to reach your goals. This practise is called “Inemuri”. It’s perfect to avoid stressful and unhappy people at work.