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 find Japan weird, bizarre and crazy? 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 call the world’s attention. Starting with the individuality of each person.
Each individual is different with different values and perspectives, but in Japan people are pressured to act in a certain way such as wearing uniforms at work and school, behave and smile even if they don’t want to do that.
Out of people’s view, the Japanese have their moment of freedom, which ends up arousing extreme peculiar tastes that reflect freedom of expression. This involves everything from tastes, cuisine, products, customs and media consumed.
As one of the largest economies in the world, Japan is quite capitalist, generating an industry of products that always try 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 its needs. Things like sections of adult products in ordinary 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 peculiar tastes and commercialize it.
Are things in Japan really weird?
The American meme “Only in Japan” was perpetuated by people who clearly didn't look beyond an image 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 the obvious filtering through the media, that is, it is strange because the article passes this idea on to strangers. I am not saying that there is no bizarre in Japan, otherwise it would not even have this website.
If you live outside Japan, the first thing you need to know is that most of the things you see have already been filtered through the media. They choose what they think they can sell and, in general, they don't bother to share facts, but lies and things out of context.
It is not new that Western media (particularly) like to make fun of "strange Japan". Just look at comments from journalists and television articles about Japanese products, clothing and customs.
Things like Bagel head, B-Style, yaeba, bizarre products, peculiar tastes, foods with strange flavors, crazy gadgets 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 generate news. The vast majority of Japanese people work, make friends, have an active social life and enjoy some healthy leisure activities. Only this is not news, it does not arouse curiosity in foreigners.
Are anime strange 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 may change your opinion about finding Japanese works strange.
Have you ever heard of the program in which a lone scientist creates three super-powerful homunculi that fight against enemies like a transvestite devil, a monkey with its skull open exposing its brain and a gang of green-skinned mutant men?
Or the one where a talking and walking pair of legs gives birth to a talking cow and chicken that often interact with a demon obsessed with their own ass? Or the one where a talking purple dog tries to protect its owners from strange things?
Or the one in which a retarded child and his abusive and cynical friend manage to turn the dark reaper into his personal slave? There is also an evil brain that 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 just got used to such a presence and even created a taste. I don't even mind the presence of characters loli.
What you call 'strange' 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.
Strange Foods from Japan
Some question Japanese cuisine that differs from Western cuisine in several ways. In addition to the traditional use of fish and seafood, Japanese cuisine is often artistic, we can see this in dishes like obento lunch boxes or 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 rise to strange flavors.
Moreover, Japan does not usually eat as many strange foods in the 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 eye-catching dishes.
Japan is not the only strange place
If you actively look for strange things in any country, you will find tons of conventional and also isolated examples that look absolutely bizarre from the perspective of someone outside the culture.
If you look carefully, even on Brazilian or American TV you will find bizarre commercials, sweets with strange flavors, foods being sold in buckets and other peculiar things. Just watch Western cartoons to see more bizarre than anime.
Japan has its fair share of peculiarities, but probably none more than any other culture would have from the point of view of a stranger. The fact is that there is a whole industry and an impetus behind highlighting Japan for its “strangeness”.
In fact, I think that having the distinction of being the “strangest” country in the world has many 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 trade.
Just remember not to believe everything you read, and that for every strange thing you think about an aspect of Japanese culture, there is probably something that she finds strange about yours. Thanks for reading the article, thanks for the shares!
Some Bizarre and strange things from Japan
In order to finish the article, we will share below a list of articles published on our website that presents some strange and bizarre aspects of Japan:
- Hilarious and Bizarre Japanese TV Commercials
- The most bizarre Japanese products from the Japan Trend Shop
- The most ridiculous, idiotic and bizarre anime that exist
- The most bizarre Japanese Game Shows
- Erotic and bizarre products from Japan
- Erotic and bizarre products from Japan
- Most bizarre festivals from Japan
- The most bizarre Games created in Japan
- Bizarre videos of Japanese school girls
- Kabuki - The Bizarre Japanese Theater
- Japan Style Guide - Visual Kei, Decora, Harajuku