“Unique” is often the word many would use to describe Japan and its people. From its food and cuisines to its traditions and customs, there is a certain distinct character that makes Japan unique.
However, looking at it from a deeper perspective, we realise that their culture is profound and has more interesting aspects to it than just the food, festivals, clothes or even technology for that matter.
Japan is often considered to be an odd place with a confluence of many cultures, traditions and technology. An interesting aspect of this country is that its people still practise and hold onto their strong cultural identity amongst the din of smartphones and bullet trains.
10 Interesting Facts About Japanese Culture:
1) The literacy rate in Japan is almost 100% and Japan’s unemployment rate is less than 4%.
2) Crime rates are particularly low in Japan and it is illegal to own a handgun or swords.
3) Japan has the second lowest homicide rate in the world.
4) Kit Kat chocolate is quite popular in Japan with several different flavours that are unique to the Japanese market. Part of its popularity is down to its name, which is similar to the phrase “kitto katsu” (literally translated as “you shall surely win”) and is used as a sign of good luck. Students are often given the candy before an exam as a good luck charm.
5) The Japanese corporate culture values an employee who naps on the job. “Inemuri,” as it is known, is a quick nap meant to recharge the batteries and is seen as a sign of hard work and commitment.
6) Japan’s elderly population comprises 21% of the nation’s population, the highest proportion in the world. As a growing number of elderly folk are living in single households, a new phenomenon known as ‘Kodokushi’ (lonely death), where an elderly person passes away with nobody noticing their deaths for long periods of time, is becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in Japan.
7) Japanese animated films and television shows account for 60% of the world’s animation-based entertainment.
8) Japan has produced 15 Nobel laureates (in Chemistry, Medicine, and Physics) and one Gauss Prize laureate.
9) Sumo wrestlers live in sumo stables where they are trained from young. Being an ancient traditional sport, there is a strict hierarchy in both the sport and in the stables. Younger sumo-wrestlers are traditionally required to clean and bathe the veteran sumo-wrestlers at their wrestling “stables”.
10) Raised floors in Japan help indicate when to take off slippers or shoes. At the entrance of a house in Japan, the floor will usually be raised to about 150mm indicating that you should take off your shoes and put on slippers. If the house has a tatami mat room, its floor may be raised 25-50mm indicating you should take off your slippers.
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