Japanese culture is quite complex and full of mysteries. The more you explore about it, the interesting it gets. Different people think of different things when mentioning Japan or Japanese culture. Some talk about ancient Samurai warriors with their swords, while others feel fascinated by the pictures of a Geisha, serving sushi to customers. Of course, these elements are long associated with Japanese culture, but there's a lot more you may not know about Japan culture, which seems a little bizarre.
10 Bizarre Things About Japanese Culture
Cosmetic Surgery for Yaeba
Everyone loves straight, even teeth, but things are different in Japan. There's a trend for crooked teeth going from strength to strength, as many Japanese young women are going for "yaeba" or "double tooth". The procedure involves capping the upper canines temporarily or permanently. It usually costs around $400 in Japan, but temporary versions may be a bit cheaper.
Something very strange about Japan is that more than a million young people remain holed up in their homes for decades at a time. These young men have become "withdrawn" or "hikikomori". There is still no clear explanation of why so many teenagers are following this trend, but some of the contributing factors include the rise of the Internet, sheer academic pressure and overprotective parents.
Even though you cannot ignore the legends of the Yakuza, you will still notice a surprisingly low crime rate in Japan. You're not allowed to hold weapon, not even a ceremonial sword until you have registered it with the police. Japan is the only country after Monaco with the lowest homicide rate in the world. The interesting thing is that the conviction rate is quite high in Japan – it's around 99%. Capital punishment is allowed in Japan with 2 to 3 inmates getting executed by hanging every year.
Napping on the Job
You cannot sleep at work, can you? Oh, you can if you're in Japan because of a custom known as inemuri. Quite interestingly, the fact that you're sleeping at work implies you've been working so hard. What a bizarre thing about Japanese culture, right?
About 98% of adoptions carried out in Japan involve adults between 20 and 30 years of age. Anyone can find an heir through adaptation and keep their family name alive. The owner of a family business can adopt a boy if he doesn't have a son or thinks his son is not capable of running a business. It's called mukoyoshi and the companies like Toyota, Suzuki, and Canon has practiced this custom in the past.
Novelty food may not be that popular among Europeans and Americans, but they have their place in Japanese culture. You will find popular brands offering many varieties in Japan. Kit Kat for instance has hundreds of delicious varieties with flavors ranging from royal tea and soy sauce to strawberry cheesecake and corn. Fancy restaurants are easy to find where you can have a taste of limited edition food, including pumpkin burgers, watermelon-flavored soda, and much more.
The Cuddle Café
Now it's a unique concept you will only witness in Japan. It's called Soine-ya or "sleep together shop". The very first of these shops or cafés started last year in Tokyo. Here, you can sleep next to a pretty Japanese girl for a fee. Of course, you cannot ask for sexual favors, but you can purchase extras like "staring at your partner for a few minutes" or "touching the hair of the girl lying next to you". You may want to have this experience if of course you have enough money to splurge.
The Suicide Forest
There's a forest at the base of Mount Fuji, called Aokigahara and it looks quite like the Blair Witch Project. Historically, it is associated with demons in the Japanese culture and mythology. After Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Aokigahara is the second most popular place in the whole world to commit suicide. Over 50 people committed suicide in 2010. It's great for hiking, but be sure to mark your route with plastic tape to avoid getting lost.
Take a quick glance and you won't notice any real difference between Japanese vending machines and those you find in Europe, but there's something quite interesting – that is, their location and content. You can find them next to ancient temples and sometimes at the summit of Mount Fuji, with content ranging from underwear to eggs.
Japan is still quite a restrictive society, so it is obvious to notice weird Japanese porn in this part of the world. Japanese pornography has several unique features. Japanese erotica is considered youth-centric and sado-masochistic in the West. A big highlight is that though the hardcore sex acts are taped widely, the moral laws prohibit the performers to expose their genital organs. This has led to a trend called "bukkake", which involves a prominent display of "fluids" to confirm that performers are engaging in sex. The girl below is a popular porn. Guess who?
Video that explains more bizzare things about Japanese culture: