In this article we will see 100 facts and curiosities about Japan. Our website is full of curious articles about Japan, we will see aspects of its culture, interesting places, food curiosities and much more. Everything about Japan in this article!
Each country has its own unique culture. There is no point in saying that one country is more original than the other. Except when it comes to Japan. Japan has a lot in common with Asia. However, in some ways, it also resembles Europe or even the USA.
It can be said that Japan is a mixture of culture, but it keeps its tradition strong. But still, there are several reasons that differentiate Japan from any country. Some of the curiosities in this article will show how Japan is a unique country!
Curiosities about the History of Japan
Japan has in its history an example of how it is possible to take a drastic turn in a country's situation. To get an idea, just take into account that the Land of the Rising Sun spent much of its history closed to trade with the rest of the world and with a kind of feudal government, the shogunate (also written shogunate).
It was only after the commercial opening of Japanese ports in 1854 and the restoration of centralized power by the emperor in 1868 that the country began a period of economic and military development, which also led to expansionist practices that put it in conflicts with many countries, especially China and Russia (or the Soviet Union).
After the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the end of World War II in 1945, Japan began to create a pacifist constitution, which emphasized liberal democratic practices.
Since then, the Land of the Rising Sun has undergone periods of recovery and reaffirmation, with broad growth that has now made it the third largest economy in the world and one of the most technologically advanced countries full of curiosities for the curious.
No Crimes - Japan's robbery rate is very low, one robbery per 100,000 inhabitants. While in Brazil there are 600 thefts for every 100,000 inhabitants. Also the rate of firearm deaths is only 3 per year.
Everything in Japan is cute - The term Kawaii dominates Japan in everything, no matter if you are a child or adult, any place you will come across something cute.
Japanese Service - Japan has the best services in the world. Japanese services are almost always polite and diligent.
Team work - It may seem that the Japanese are individualists. But in Japan, teamwork is essential. Self-sacrifice for the team is highly respected. Trying to do things on your own or showing off is scorned. They take the saying: O nail that sticks out is hammered down.
Martial arts - Japan has dozens of martial arts, including Judo, Karate, Kendo, Kyudo, Yabusame and Aikido.
Ninjas - The Samurai had strict rules of conduct for battle, while the Ninja was more flexible. Ninja were the spies of feudal Japan. They were specialized in military strategies that involve espionage, sabotage and murder.
Samurai - The Samurai class was abolished in the late 19th century by Emperor Meiji. Today the samurai culture, the art of fighting, its tradition remains strong in Japan.
Ukiyo-e - It is a painting style similar to woodcut developed in Japan throughout the Edo period (1603-1867). It was a technique widely disseminated through paintings executed with the aid of wooden blocks used for printing between the 18th and 19th centuries (end of the Edo period). They usually have stories of geishas and quickly became popular around the country making highlights to this day.
Youth Subcultures - Young Japanese people are free to express themselves, and they end up creating different styles of fashion and costume, Japan's youth culture is quite exploitable. See a Japanese subculture guide.
Japanese Cars - Japan is a major manufacturer of cars, which it distributes all over the world. But have you noticed the difference between Japanese cars? It is not just the side of the steering wheel, the designer is totally a unique style for the country.
Robots - Japan is betting on robots. Half of the world's 800,000 industrial robots are in Japan. 90% of research on robots of the world happens in Japan.
Comedy - Japanese television is full of comedy, a different comedy that may be foreign to Western eyes.
Japanese toilets - Japan has the world's most advanced toilets full of buttons, heaters and the like. But it also has the most primitive public toilets in the world.
Curiosities about Places in Japan
The Japanese territory consists of more than 6,800 distinct islands, the main ones being Hokkaido, Honshu (where the national capital is, Tokyo), Shikoku and Kyushu.
With a population of more than 127 million inhabitants spread over an area of about 377 thousand square kilometers, Japan is the 30th nation with the highest population density in the world, with around 337 people per square kilometer.
The climate in the Land of the Rising Sun presents a strong difference between the four seasons due to the influences of the cold air masses coming from Siberia in the winter and the warm ones coming from the Pacific in the summer.
Typhoons are common between August and September. In addition to the variations throughout the year, the Japanese regions also have temperature variations, with the North being the coldest area, the Center still a little cold and the South with milder weather.
With more than 70% of its territory covered by forests and mountainous terrain, coastal plains are the most populated areas in the country.
The fact that the archipelago is located in the Pacific Circle of Fire means that it has more than 200 volcanoes, 80 of which are still considered active - including the famous Mount Fuji. In addition, the positioning of the Japanese territory makes it prone to earthquakes, registering an average of 1,500 quakes per year.
Attractions - Japan is full of places for leisure, entertainment, famous parks around the world like Disney and Universal, in addition to endless temples, castles, mountains, islands that make it a unique and attractive country.
Public phones became aquariums - Because public telephones have become practically useless due to the use of cell phones, telephone booths have been transformed into aquariums in Osaka city.
Roller coaster under water - The roller coaster at the Cosmoworld amusement park in Yokohoma, Japan, promises strong emotions even underwater.
Takachiho Park - Boating next to the natural falls of Takachiho Park is one of the main attractions of this beautiful place. The region is known for having a veritable corridor of small waterfalls and is constantly visited by the Japanese in all seasons.
Love Hoteis - Motels in Japan are quite popular, and diverse, just take a look and you will see the huge difference from the West.
Hostess - It is quite common, lonely men, to go to Hostess club. Where they can drink, and have fun in the company of a woman, in an innocent way, just talking. Some sometimes fall in love, and often give gifts to such girls, but rarely does any marriage or courtship take place.
Karaoke - It originated in Japan and spread throughout the world. Japanese Karaoke still has its strong influence throughout the country and its famous karaoke box.
Trains - Japan is a paradise for train lovers. The vast majority of Japanese people travel to work and school on trains. Cars? It is a hobby for the weekends.
The smallest spacious house in the world
This 55, 24 m² house, created by Japanese architect Kota Mizuishi, was designed on a triangular plot of 29.07 m². The residence, located in western Tokyo, overlooks the river.
All built in wood, the upper floor received steel cladding, and the tip of the triangle has an indentation on the upper floor to provide a small covered parking space.
On the upper floor are the child's bedroom, the kitchen / dining room and the living room, where there are two large windows that integrate a narrow table and a balcony.
The double bedroom and the bathroom are on the lower floor. The attic has a space with two skylights and a window facing the river, in addition to providing a wide view of the kitchen.
Built in 13 months, the house cost the equivalent of 360 thousand reais. This house is proof that there is little space, when you can enjoy it with genius. Here, what is probably the smallest spacious house in the world
Curiosities about Food in Japan
Food in Japan has changed a lot over the past centuries due to various political changes. Traditional Japanese cuisine has great influences from Korean and Chinese cultures, but it has also received some Indian and Westerner aspects.
A typical breakfast in the Land of the Rising Sun includes steamed rice, miso soup, green tea and a variety of additional dishes, which can include a rice porridge called nanakusa-gayu, rolled omelets known as tamagoyaki and the famous tofu. In addition, it is also possible to start your Japanese day by eating eggs, ham, grilled eel, pickles, salad, dried seaweed and natto, as fermented soy is called.
Lunches are usually made up of bowls with various types of pasta or rice, known as donburi, accompanied by fish, meat or vegetables. We have an article on curiosities about Japanese food.
At dinner, the variety of foods available is simply huge, with pork dumplings called nikuman and fried and grilled meat, poultry and fish of all kinds, with exotic names like teppanyaki, tonkatsu and yakitori. Obviously, famous items like sushi, tempura and fried rice are not left out.
Cooking in restaurants - If you want to go to a restaurant to avoid cooking, know that in Japan there are restaurants where you cook your food or barbecue.
Bars and restaurants - Japan is full of small bars and restaurants, scattered everywhere.
Sales Machines - In Japan there is a vending machine for every 23 people. There are over a million vending machines all over Japan and can be found anywhere, in front of a market or even in the woods.
Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron grill to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan (鉄板), which means iron plate, and yaki (焼き), which means grilled, cooked or fried in the pan.
In Japan, teppanyaki refers to dishes cooked using an iron grill, including steak, shrimp, okonomiyaki, yakisoba and monjayaki. This is an interesting art and a show apart from the cook, as you can see in the photo:
Curiosities about Japanese Customs
Despite all the climatic and territorial difficulties, Japan has established itself as a prosperous country, with one of the highest life expectancies and a large population of elderly people - reaching an impressive total of more than 50 thousand people over 100 years of age.
Still, the Japanese are among the people with the highest suicide rates in the world, being the main cause of death for Japanese men between 20 and 44 years old.
Famous for their strict rules of etiquette, the Japanese have the habit of introducing themselves first by their surname and then by their first name, and it is common to refer to someone by their surname while not getting intimate.
In addition, it is customary to add respectful suffixes such as "san", "kun" and "sama" when referring to another person. Using a person's first name, especially if the suffix is omitted, is reserved for close friends and family.
When entering a Japanese home, it is common to see an elevation of about 15 cm on the floor, which serves as an indication of the need to change your shoes for shoes more suitable for use indoors.
When there is a tatami mat, an additional elevation of up to 5 cm indicates the point where you need to go without any shoes. Something curious for such a modest culture is the fact that making noise while eating pasta is considered a compliment to cooks.
The Japanese police - As crimes rarely occur in Japan, police officers spend their time patrolling and looking for bicycle offenders. There are small police stations scattered throughout the country, and few police officers use weapons.
Cosplay - Japan is infested with people in costumes, mainly in Akhabara.
Language Formality - Japanese is one of the most formal languages in the world, there are different ways to talk, one more polite and formal, as well as several ways to say each word. This can make the language quite complex.
Japanese Fashion - Japan has its unique fashion tradition and a thriving industry.
Omiyage - It means memories. No matter where you go, you will always find stores selling small souvenirs for you to buy, in a totally different way from everyone, you will be scared by the unique diversity of products.
Rules and Etiquette - To a long list of rules and unique labels, which is much longer than this article.
Gokon - They are group meetings, they usually go to restaurants and bars to meet people, many couples know each other that way.
Otakus - They are similar to American Nerds, but take their lifestyle more seriously, and are usually addicted to anime, games and manga.
Anime and Manga - Something fundamental in Japanese culture, which is everywhere, differs from any animation in the world, it addresses any type of theme, from golf games to attacks by giant robots.
Uniforms - It is very common to find people in Uniform, in all places, even outside the school some students wear their uniforms. It is an essential part of the culture, and as it is seen, it differs from any country.
Length / Bend - Japan is a country full of humility built with customs. Bowing is the most common length, and it is one of the ways to apologize. Read our article on greetings in japanese.
Slang and Abbreviations, regional differences - Japan looks like a small country, it has only 47 states. Your language has only 109 Silabas, and many words are identical. This does not prevent Japan from having thousands of slang words and the habit of abbreviating a word. Each region may have different ways of saying a phrase or word.
Curiosities about Festivals and Religion
Japanese culture goes far beyond manners and food, obviously. Throughout the year, the country is dotted with a series of distinct festivals and celebrations, some of which are even reproduced by Japanese communities here in Brazil.
An example of one of the biggest festivals in Japan that are played by these bands is Tanabata Matsuri (the “Festival of the Stars”), which always takes place close to the 7th of July.
Tanabata originates from a Japanese legend in which a princess named Orihime, daughter of a powerful god, fell in love with a commoner. The father allowed the two to join, but when he noticed that they did not fulfill their obligations, he condemned them to stay on either side of the Milky Way.
Lovers can only meet on the seventh day of the seventh month, but only if the wishes made by humans are fulfilled. Therefore, it is customary at the time of the party to write an order on a colored card and attach it to a tall bamboo.
There are, however, celebrations in Japan that do not win their reproduction in our country and therefore end up sounding quite weird to us. This is the case of Hadaka Matsuri, which brings together thousands of men dressed only in a fabric - called fundshi -, which covers their private parts. The idea is to collect sacred items in temples and shrines to attract good luck.
Festivals - Do people think there are no parties in Japan? It’s the most… There are thousands of festivals exclusive every year, across the country. If you play there are more festivals than Brazil.
Religious Blend - Japan is full of traditions, superstitions of various religions, most Japanese do not have a fixed religion, they mix Buddhism with Shinto and even Christianity and do not attend churches, just visit temples and live according to their traditions.
Masks - Japan is Full of Masks, it is very common for Japanese people to use masks to avoid allergies or flu to others.
Japanese Folklore - Japanese folklore is also unique and is full of ghosts, monsters and demons.
Other Curiosities and Bizarre of Japan
1) In Japan, there are only 3 homicides involving firearms per year;
2) The most durable company in the world, the temple builder Kongo Gumi, operated in the Land of the Rising Sun from the year 578 until 2006;
3) Japanese trains are among the most punctual on the globe, with an average delay of only 18 seconds;
Square watermelons are grown by farmers in Japan as they are easier to stack and store;
The country has more pets than children;
4) The birth rate there is so low that geriatric diapers sell more than babies;
98% of all adoptions in Japan are from adult men, who join a family so that business can continue from father to son;
5) The Japanese who survived the sinking of the Titanic were called cowards within their country for not having died with the other passengers;
6) In the Land of the Rising Sun, 90% of cell phones are waterproof because young people even use them in the shower;
In both Korea and Japan there are cafes where you can pay to play with kittens while having your drink;
7) There are over 5.5 million vending machines on Japanese soil, offering everything from drinks like cold tea, hot coffee and beer to items like underwear;
8) Sleeping during working hours is acceptable, as it is seen by the bosses as a sign that the employee is working hard;
9) There are employees on the Japanese subway, called oshiya, who are in charge of making people fit inside the trains - even if it is at the base of the push;
10) During World War II, Japan bombed China with fleas infected with bubonic plague;
11) In Japanese schools, teachers and students come together to clean classrooms and the cafeteria;
12) The total number of Chinese killed by Japanese soldiers during World War II was higher than the Jews executed by the Germans in the holocaust;
13) Raw horse meat is a popular dish in Japan, cut into thin slices and called basashi.