When you think of Japan, there are quite a few things which likely come to mind right away. From karate and karaoke to sake and sushi, there are innumerable items that we associate with Japan and its culture. Perhaps Japan makes you think about cars like those produced by Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Maybe it’s the anime or Japanimation which some of us watched as kids or continue to watch now. Gamers know the country thanks to Nintendo, Sega and Sony. For the history buff, there are the samurai, the shogun and the Emperor. Whatever the imagery, Japan means different things to different people.
Of course there are aspects to Japan, its culture and society which we find bizarre and unconventional. Hello Kitty still confuses more than one western observer as you try and make sense of why there is such an attachment to the fictional character. In fairness, that same thing could be said for any Japanese viewers trying to make sense of Honey Boo Boo. So we’ll call that one a draw. On a more serious note, however, Japan often fascinates the outside observer because it is one of the more western Asian countries, yet maintains strong cultural differences to anything you’d find in the US.
The following list looks at 15 of the more bizarre, strange and unconventional aspects of Japan and Japanese society. From unique geographic locations to food, fashion and festivals, many of these things would be completely out of place if they existed in North America or Europe. That said, a few of the following items create a buzz because they combine traditional Japanese culture with western marketing and consumerism to produce some truly interesting creations.
15 A Poop Museum
That’s right, this is a museum which features exhibits about toilets, waste and all things related. If you are lucky enough to travel to this Tokyo museum be prepared to look at the bathroom and #2 in a whole new way. If you like rides, this place is for you. Put on your poop hat (We mean it, they give you a hat that looks like feces) and ride down a slide into a giant toilet. From there you can look at all kinds of toilets and look at different types of poop. Don’t worry, there is also a display of animal feces so you can get a well-rounded education.
14 KFC at Christmas
13 Toilet Slippers
12 A Suicide Forest
11 Train Stuffing
Subways and commuter trains are a great (and sometimes the only) way to get around the city quickly. Sure you have to put up with the occasional loud or smelly passengers or even a poorly placed piece of used gum, but in most cases it beats sitting in traffic for hours as everyone tries to get to and from work. In Japan, commuter trains are a vital way of life, especially in the larger metropolitan areas like Tokyo.
10 Unconventionally Flavored Treats
Compared to North American culture, the culture of Japan definitely has some big differences. In the area of food, the Japanese probably have some of the most bizarre (or coolest depending on your tastes) creations. Take ice cream for example. When you want a flavor that is less conventional you likely turn to something from Ben and Jerry. After all, at one time coffee, cookie dough and Rocky Road were rather unconventional ice cream flavors.
9 Special Pillows for Men and Women
8 Vending Machines for Nearly Everything
7 Bagel Head
6 The Capsule Hotel
5 Mr. Kanso
3 Creepy Hunamoid Robots
Have you ever watched the Terminator series and wondered “Could robots ever get to this point?” The answer can be found in Japan and all signs are pointing to a terrifying ‘yes.’ Ok, so we aren’t up to the T-1000 series capability yet, but a quick look at the humanoid robots being developed in Japan are interesting and a bit disturbing. Most people think of Honda’s Asimo when they picture advanced Japanese robots. Other than arms and legs and the ability to walk he’s not very threatening or weird.
2 The Liberation Wrapper
Restaurant chain Freshness Burger noticed that one of their biggest hamburgers was rarely being purchased by female customers. After looking into the matter they discovered that women were embarrassed to eat the burger because it went against ochobo – the desirable trait of having a small and modest mouth. In short, having a large and open mouth (something needed to take on the big burger) was deemed as unattractive and embarrassing.
1 The Kanamara Matsuri
There is one Japanese legend which states that a demon named Vagina Dentate hid inside a bride’s vagina and chopped off the groom’s man bits on their wedding night– you can’t make this stuff up. In order to solve this problem a blacksmith fashioned an iron phallus to break the teeth of the demon. Today, that legend has turned into Kanamara Matsuri or Festival of the Steel Phallus which is celebrated every first Sunday in April in Kawasaki, Japan.
The festival started in the 1970s and continues to get bigger every year. Unless you frequent adult entertainment conventions, you’ve probably never seen anything like this before. At this festival you’ll see considerable tributes to penises. Penis costumes, penis flats, penis candles, penis popsicles, penis costumes and penis shaped foods – it’s all here. Considering the number of pictures of Japanese and foreign visitors posing in compromising positions with phallic shaped objects, we’re going to say this festival, while weird, demonstrates similarities in North American and Japanese culture.
Sources: telegraph.co.uk, list25.com, carbonated.tv, distractify.com
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?Get Your Free Access Now!