Is Japan Really Bizarre and Strange?

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Why does Japan produce so many bizarre and strange things? I don't think this question is appropriate, the real question is why do westerners consider Japan weird, bizarre and wacky? In this article, we will try to answer both questions.

Why does Japan produce so many strange things?

Before we reflect on this generalized and wrong idea, let's really analyze some points that make Japan and its culture reach extreme sides that draw the world's attention. Starting with the individuality of each person.

Every individual is different with different values and perspectives, but in Japan people are pressured to act a certain way like wearing uniforms at work and school, behaving and smiling even if they don't want to.

Outside of people's view, the Japanese have their moment of freedom, which ends up awakening extreme peculiar tastes that reflect freedom of expression. This involves from tastes, cuisine, products, customs and media consumed.

As one of the largest economies in the world, Japan is quite capitalist, thus generating an industry of products that are always trying to innovate and invent, giving rise to bizarre things that we hear about in the west.

Even though Japan is closed in some ways, it has a very open cultural environment, thus expanding the limits of creativity to satisfy your needs. Things like adult product sections in regular stores scare foreigners.

I believe that everywhere in the world you find the same people with the same bizarre tastes. What sets Japan apart from the rest of the world is that the Japanese are open-minded to talk about their quirky tastes and market it.

Is Japan really bizarre and strange?
Japanese Inventions to Relieve Stress by Screaming!

Are things from Japan really weird?

The American meme “Only in Japan” was perpetuated by people who clearly didn't look beyond a picture or an article and probably didn't care about the truth as it made them feel better.

This is a classic case of misunderstanding due to the lack of context and obvious filtering through the media, that is, it is strange because the article passes such an idea to strangers. I'm not saying that there is no weirdness in Japan, otherwise I wouldn't even have this site.

If you live outside of Japan, the first thing you need to know is that most of what you see has already been filtered by the media. They choose what they think they can sell and are generally not concerned with sharing facts, but rather with lies and out-of-context.

Unsurprisingly, Western media (particularly) likes to poke fun at “strange Japan”. Just see comments from journalists and television articles about Japanese products, clothing and customs.

Things like Bagel head, B-Style, yaeba, bizarre products, peculiar tastes, strange tasting foods, crazy contraptions are all niche things present in a small place in Japan, not a trend that deserves to carry the concept of Japan.

The fact is that strange and disturbing things make news. The vast majority of Japanese people work, make friends, have an active social life and enjoy some healthy leisure activities. But this is not news, it does not arouse curiosity in foreigners.

Is Japan really bizarre and strange?
Japanese Television Shows!

Are anime weird and bizarre?

I've seen people complain about Japanese animations, but have you ever stopped to think about Western animations? Perhaps some reflection on western productions can change your opinion about finding Japanese works strange.

Have you ever heard of the show where a lone scientist creates three superpowered homunculi who fight enemies like a transvestite devil, a monkey with an open skull exposing its brain, and a gang of green-skinned mutant men?

Or the one where a pair of talking, walking legs gives birth to a talking cow and chicken who often interact with a demon obsessed with his own ass? Or the one where a talking purple dog tries to protect its owners from strange things?

Or the one where a retarded child and her abusive, cynical friend manage to turn the dark reaper into their personal slave? There is also an evil brain which is a talking brain implanted in a purple bear.

For people things like loli in anime it can be extremely strange, but for fans of Japanese culture and anime, they simply got used to such a presence and even created a taste. I myself don't mind the presence of characters loli.

What you call 'weird' may be the result of how Japanese anime artists explore the creative possibilities of things. In addition to their creative and meticulous nature, Japanese creators are protected by Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution which guarantees freedom of expression.

Is Japan really bizarre and strange?
Things we only see in anime...

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Weird foods from Japan

Some question Japanese cuisine, which differs from Western cuisine in many ways. In addition to the traditional use of fish and seafood, Japanese cuisine is often artistic, we can see this in dishes such as lunchboxes obento or in the sushi itself.

Another curious aspect is capitalism generating thousands of different flavors of industrialized products such as snacks, soft drinks and sweets. Japan is very passionate about unique and seasonal flavors, giving birth to strange flavors.

Besides, Japan doesn't usually eat as many strange foods to Western eyes as other places in the world. There are some local delicacies in the mountainous region of Nagano like wasps, horse sushi and strangely flashy dishes.

Is Japan really bizarre and strange?
Strange food also exists in Japan

Japan Isn't the Only Weird Place

If you actively look for weird stuff in any country, you'll find tons of conventional as well as isolated examples that look downright bizarre from an outsider's perspective.

If you look hard, even on Brazilian or American TV you can find bizarre commercials, strange flavored sweets, food being sold in buckets and other peculiar things. Just watch western cartoons to see more bizarre than anime.

Japan has its fair share of quirks, but probably none more than any other culture would from an outsider's point of view. It's just that there's an entire industry and impetus behind highlighting Japan for its “strangeness”.

In fact, I think having the distinction of being the “strangest” country in the world has a lot of positive aspects that can come with it. Being weird gets people's attention, and having someone's attention can be a powerful thing, which helps commerce.

Just remember not to believe everything you read, and that for every weird thing you think about an aspect of Japanese culture, there's probably something she finds weird about yours. Thanks for reading the article, we appreciate the shares!

Is Japan really bizarre and strange?
some japanese products

Some Bizarre and Weird Things from Japan

In order to finish the article, we will share below a list of articles published on our website that present some strange and bizarre aspects of Japan:

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