10 customs of modern Japan that surprise foreigners.
The culture and customs of Japan are very different from those of the West. The reason for this is the long development of Japan without the influence of Europe, and its strong position relative to its neighbors, and the difficult, harsh climate of the country, which brings up a stoic spirit in a person. Endless natural disasters force the Japanese to be united and strictly adhere to the hierarchy, as well as unwittingly endow the surrounding landscapes with the features of the gods.
By historical standards, Europe came to Japan not so long ago, and for a long time foreigners were treated with contempt. Apparently, this is why Western traditions did not have a crucial influence on Japan, they remained true to their ancient traditions and rituals. So, what surprises visitors in Japan? The
Japanese eat horse meat.
Raw horse meat in Japan is not a semi-finished product for sausage, but an independent, delicious food, known since time immemorial. The dish is called basashi. It is believed that it strengthens health, prolongs life and it is difficult to catch any infection from it.
In Japan, there are about 1,500 earthquakes a year.
Japan is located at the junction of tectonic plates, which, for reasons unknown to scientists, often move, giving rise to earthquakes, eruptions and tsunamis. Fortunately for the Japanese, most aftershocks do not reach even one point. But when the elements still begin to rage, the victims are huge.
In Japan, vending machines are used to sell everything.
In addition to the well-known snack vending machines, Japan has learned to sell eggs and live fish, flowers and toilet paper, umbrellas, bags of rice, books and much more.
Unusual rules of etiquette.
While eating, the Japanese can’t eat more than they can! Etiquette prohibits: moving dishes, putting bitten pieces of food, piercing food with chopsticks, using a spoon, pouring yourself a drink, and much more. And what is possible? It is allowed, for example, to squish, smack and slurp when eating noodles. This display of impatience shows how delicious the food was, and is considered very decent.
The favorite sport of the Japanese is not sumo, but such an unpatriotic American baseball.
Perhaps it was because baseball was the first foreign game to appear in Japan. They even gave it a Japanese name — yakyu. Unlike football, which appeared around the same time, which was mainly engaged in the military, baseball came to the student environment, to people a priori open to new experiences and youthful gambling.
Japan has a high suicide rate.
It is so high that it is in the first place in the causes of death in the group from 15 to 34 years. The reason for this lies in the cultural roots of Japan. For a long time, suicide was considered a courageous act, atoning for any guilt. Writers and poets have described hara-kiri,seppuku, and shinju, kamikaze pilots, and banzai attacks. Perhaps it is easier to find a way out in death, when society morally supports such acts. The reasons for suicide are different, but the most basic is the loss of a job.
The whole family usually washes in one bath.
A tradition that came from past centuries, when water was heated on a fire and poured into a barrel, in which the whole family was then washed. In modern Japan, most apartments have only showers installed. Baths are available in country houses and taking them is a great luxury, because water is very expensive. On the other hand, the Japanese take a bath to relax and pre-wash under the shower, so the water in the bath remains clean.
In Japan, streets are numbered, not named.
In Japan, when a place is designated, it is described from larger to smaller: prefecture, city, district, block, house, apartment. The first three are named, and the last three are numbered. The numbers of the houses are assigned in the order of their development, so it is difficult to find the right house, because the numbers are randomly scattered around the block.
In Japan, you can adopt an adult.
But why? “any Westerner would be surprised. An adult does not need custody and protection. To this, historians will answer that in all countries there was a custom of adopting adult men, if there were no boys in the family. In Japan, they still try to pass on their last name to the centuries, to draw a line of the family in the future. Therefore, the option of adopting a daughter’s husband is quite appropriate. Or, on the contrary, the daughter’s husband can adopt the parents, so the inheritance is divided into a larger number of applicants, and taxes to the state are reduced. Everything is done for the benefit of the family.
It just so happens that the average Japanese never gets a job. No. He is accepted into the family. In Japan, frequent job changes are not encouraged, the employee enters the company very young and ideally works in it all his life. Now the interests of the company are his interests, even if he is just a cleaner. Colleagues now become those with whom you will have to communicate for many years for 12-15 hours daily. Therefore, it is better to keep a low profile and maintain good relations with everyone. This means that they have to have a high level of conformity. It comes to the point that the employee is embarrassed to get up and leave, even though his working day is over. After all, everyone else is still here!