It has been more than 150 years since Japan opened its doors to the Western world after centuries of isolation, but some things in the culture of this country still seem unusual now.
Japanese culture is very interesting, especially for Western observers, many of whom immediately remember sushi, sumo and samurai battles when it comes to Japan.
Although these three things undoubtedly constitute a large part of Japanese culture, they only superficially present the diversity of this country and of its people.
With a surface slightly larger than Germany, this exciting country, as well as its 130 million inhabitants, refuses to lose its cultural identity among smart phones and high-speed trains.
Regardless of whether planning a trip to Japan or not, these curiosities about Japanese culture are likely to make you discover this country again.
Here are some curiosities from the Japanese culture that you probably did not know about.
Omiyage is more than a souvenir
The term “omiyage” is often translated as “souvenir,” but omiyage is something of a broader meaning.
Unlike souvenirs, which people often buy for them, omiyage is something that people bring back from their travels for their friends, family and colleagues.
Omiyage, are typically specific foods from different regions that are packed in beautiful, colorful boxes of food items individually packaged inside to divide them more easily.
While bringing souvenirs to the West is a beautiful gesture in Japan, bringing omiyage after the trip is a wait.
Christmas is a romantic holiday
Christians in Japan account for only about 2%, so Christmas is an innovation in Japan rather than a religious celebration.
Elaborating light installations and Christmas trees is a common thing, but most people celebrate the eve of Christmas rather than the very Christmas day.
Moreover, Christmas Eve is considered to be more a night of meeting, something similar to Valentine’s Day, with couples coming out to dine in a romantic entourage and exchange gifts.
There are some clues to your shoes
When you have to go to Japan ,yYou may know that it is polite to dismantle when you enter soeone’s home in Japan, but it might be difficult to determine if you need to remove your shoes in other buildings such as temples, sanctuaries and restaurants.
Fortunately, there are some clues you can point to, such as the positioning of the slippers around the entrance, is a clear indication that guests should remove their outer shoes and hang the sneakers.
In addition, if the floor is raised at the entrance, it means that guests should remove their shoes at the entrance before stepping inside on the raised surface.
The Japanese women blackened their teeth
For centuries, blackening of teeth, known as ohaguro, was a common practice for Japanese women, especially for married and geisha.
Besides being attractive, it was believed that this practice helps protect teeth against degradation and other dental problems.
Women applied different substances on teeth, such as tooth wax and ink blends, to maintain their black appearance.
Practice has been banned since the nineteenth century with the aim of modernizing Japan and making it more attractive to Westerners.
It is rude to eat or drink while walking
In Western countries, it is quite common to see someone eating in a bag of chips or enjoying coffee while walking on the street, but this is not the case with Japan.
Although not considered to be as rude as in the past, eating or drinking while walking is still regarded as a lower class behavior.
For example, when most Japanese buy food or drink from an automaton on the street, they will consume everything around the machine to avoid eating during the walk.
Baseball is extremely popular
Sumo can and is the national sport of Japan, one with which the people and the country are most often associated, but baseball is actually the most watched and played sport.
It was introduced into the country during the Meiji period and gained a huge popularity due to the strong American presence in Japan after the Second World War.
Japan has two professional baseball leagues as well as numerous high school leagues and universities throughout the country.
Japanese baseball games are particularly remarkable in the sections with lighted supporters, with people singing battle songs and participating in continuous applause in most games.
The positions of the sticks have significance
When dining in Japan, it is important not to put the sticks in the food, during the break, when you do not eat.
This, in fact, resembles a funeral ceremony in Japan and is considered a bad sign.
Also, for the same reason, it’s taboo to send someone’s food from sticks to sticks. If you want to forward it, use the sticks to place the food on the other person’s plate.
as and shoyu (soy sauce) sweet.
Consumption of horse meat is commonplace
In Japan, horse meat is consumed at the end of the 16th century. Its use in cooking has increased significantly in the 1960s, as the role of horses in agriculture and transport has declined significantly.
Crude horse meat, known as basha, is often served in restaurants.
It is usually eaten with raisined ginger and shoyu (soy sauce) sweet. This snack is called sakura niku (cherry blossom) for its pink color.
The first ghees were men
In fact, geisha means “a person of the arts” and the first geisha were the men who advised the feudal lords about the various amusements of the court with artistic performances and stories.
Geisha femenina took over this role at the end of the eighteenth century and was originally known as the Naisa geisha (female artist).
Female geishas became extremely popular, surpassing men in less than 25 years after their first appearance.
Everyone pours each other
When companies are drinking together the same glass, such as a sake, it is polite to rather fill each other’s cup than to personally pour.
Wait for someone else to fill your glass when it’s empty and keep an eye on others because they will wait for you to fill them.
If you no longer want to drink, then just leave your glass full.
There is a good way to appreciate the bonsai
You may know that bonsai are small trees in pots that are artistically stylized. The trees are stylized to be beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, at the same time imitating the way the tree could look in a wider form in nature.
Therefore, it is not surprising that, after looking at the general aspect of bonsai, viewers have to shrink their vision to the same level with the tree.
To appreciate the bonsai properly, viewers should try to think small when looking at the tree so they can imagine how they might look in their natural environment.
Noodle sorption in Japan is a compliment
For a country with many strict label rules, the fact that sliced sauerkraut is something perfectly acceptable comes as a shock to many Westerners.
As such, sorption is not only acceptable – he is actually encouraged. It is considered to be a sign that food is delicious and is a compliment to the chef.
Sorbitol makes it easier to eat cutlets while they are still hot, which is said to be the best way to appreciate their flavor.
Also, sorbitol can minimize dirt, helping to prevent the broth from shedding on your clothes while you eat.
Coffee consumption exceeds that of green tea
Although Japan is known for its tea ceremony, the Japanese consume more coffee.
They are responsible for the import and consumption of about 85% of Jamaica coffee production.
Despite the popularity of the drink, however, coffee is relatively a new product on the Japanese market.
As well as other important things from outside, the drink came to Japan hundreds of years ago, but began to become popular only in 1970, with the introduction of the first domestic commercial network, Doutor.