22 Strange Japanese Habits That Confuse Foreigners

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  • Published on: Tuesday, May 28, 2019
  • Have you ever thought it’s a good idea to take a nap in the middle of the street? If not, then you’re probably not Japanese. Japan has a 40-hour work week, but most employees voluntarily work overtime, generally extending it to 60 hours. That’s why it’s become normal to take naps right in the workplace or even in the streets. Falling asleep on the job shows that you’re working hard, so some people even fake it to get appreciation!

    As for students, they are required to tidy up in their school during the day. The tradition includes mopping floors and cleaning bathrooms. It teaches the students to help and respect other people, and they sure take it seriously! However, high social standards have a downside, though...

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    Crime rates in Japan 0:54
    Why it's normal to take naps right in the workplace 1:17
    Hikikomori. Who are they? 2:39
    Japan's naked festival 3:18
    Cafes for miserable people 3:44
    Why are they so lonely? 4:07
    There are more adopted adults than children in Japan 4:26
    Being polite is crucial! 5:05
    Never tip your waiter 6:34
    Tattoos are considered ugly 6:52
    Leave your shoes outside Japanese homes 7:16

    #japan #JapaneseCulture #traditions

    Hikikomori, Hiasuki, 2004: By Francesco Jodice - OTRS 2013022110009441, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24823403
    Rush hour at Ueno station, Yamanote line: By Chris 73/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1758523
    Singapore MRT (Metro) at rush hour: By Tuan Minh Pham/Flickr, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, https://flic.kr/p/63Qg9x
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    - On average, the Japanese live 4 years longer than Americans. Their life expectancy is the second longest in the world at 85 years, beat only by Monaco with 89 years.
    - As per 2018 statistics, there are just 3 robberies per 100,000 people in Tokyo.
    - Japan has a 40-hour work week, but most employees voluntarily work overtime, generally extending it to 60 hours.
    - There are currently over half a million people in Japan called hikikomori — these are young adults who seclude themselves at home and won’t go out no matter what.
    - The literacy is close to 100%, which is the highest in the world, and the unemployment rate is only about 4%, which is, as you may guess, pretty low compared to most countries.
    - There are numerous festivals taking place all over Japan, and oh how strange they are to us westerners. For example, Hadaka Matsuri, or “naked festival,” is where thousands of men and boys take off their clothes and fight for a sacred object to gain luck for the year.
    - About happiness, there are “cuddle cafes” in the Land of the Rising Sun, which are made specifically for lonely and miserable people. There, you can pay to lay next to a person and share a moment of peace and understanding.
    - One of the reasons for loneliness might be that the Japanese are socially required to hang out with their colleagues after work.
    - Politeness is one of Japan’s trademarks known all over the world. There are numerous formalities to be observed in communication with different people, and they’re all rather strict.
    - What is considered polite in Japan may sometimes surprise foreigners, though. For example, slurping your noodles with gusto is a way to show your appreciation to the cook.
    - If you ever find yourself in a Japanese restaurant, don’t even think about tipping your waiter. It’s considered rude, and the reason is simple: they do their job, and they do it well because it’s an honor.
    - Tattoos are considered ugly and associated with yakuza (or organized Japanese criminal gangs), so no one will allow you entry to a public bath without them at least covered.
    - Slippers are a real thing in all Japanese homes and in many establishments. When entering someone’s home, you’ll be offered a pair, so make sure you always take your shoes off.

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