Japan is a very unique country, and although it is one of the most advanced in the world, many times we are unaware of its peculiarities. For this reason today we will talk about Japanese culture, from 10 of its customs or curiosities, to learn more deeply about the Japanese population.
It should be noted that many of these customs come from particular moments in the country’s history, and some of them, although it is difficult for us to understand, are extended throughout the Asian continent. With this we can conclude that Japanese culture leaves no one indifferent , for better or for worse.
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In many cases, Japanese culture is very similar to ours, and with the end of globalization already more than worn out, there are even more similarities, adapting both Japanese or Eastern culture and Western culture , features of the former. Even so, many differences are minimal or are in aspects that are not very relevant, while some others are more important. Here we leave you with 8 customs and curiosities of Japanese culture.
1. Fear of number 4
Like the number 13 in Western culture, the number 4 has negative implications for a fairly trivial element, and that is its pronunciation. Both the number 4 and the word death are pronounced /shi/, and for this reason, in Japanese culture we rarely find a room, floor or train seat with that number, because it is believed to bring bad fortune.
Another curiosity regarding the numbers is that when a gift is made, or the delivery of money at a wedding, an amount of money ending in 4 should not be given, for the above reason, but also, it must be an odd amount, which It cannot be divided between 2, so that the marriage remains united .
2. Blowing your nose in public
If one day you have the opportunity to travel to Japan and you get into the subway or any method of public transport, you will see that people, instead of removing their snot with a handkerchief, vacuum it and hold it, so the sound that here it seems very unpleasant, there it is usual. This culture of respect extends to examples such as wearing masks when you are sick , to avoid disturbing others.
3. No tipping
Although in other cultures, especially the American, it is not frowned upon, and on many occasions it is even mandatory, in Japanese culture it is frowned upon to leave a tip, and for two different reasons. First, because any gift that is an amountof money must be delivered formally and in an envelope, and the second because it discredits the workers.
This is explained when we understand that in Japanese culture it is understood that any person in his work gives the best of himself, so it is assumed that the price of the restaurant or service that you have consumed, included the best personal treatment or the best possible service, so tipping is unnecessary .
4. Eating while walking In ancient
Japanese culture, eating out was a luxury that only the wealthiest could afford. With the passage of time, restaurants and shops are becoming more accessible, but even so, eating on the go is still frowned upon, except in very specific cases, such as festivals , and where many of the usual Japanese conceptions are temporarily ignored.
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5. Problems of space in the subway
Many times we see viral videos of spectacular events or things that we are not used to, and one of the most common is to see videos of people overflowing the subway cars, and in the case of Japan, of a man or woman in charge of pushing people who don’t quite fit inside it. It seems surreal, but it is completely necessary, since every day more than 5 million people use the subway in Tokyo alone .
6. Sleeping on the subway or train
Japanese culture is synonymous with effort, dedication to a cause and above all for collective effort. Because of this, the Japanese tend to sleep for few hours, and to be under extremely high exertion, soIt is common to see people asleep in the subway and trains , and as if it were magic, waking up at the exact moment they have to get off (or that, or they get off at the station where they are at that moment, It’s not very clear).
7. Change of shoes at home
In Japan, the house is a very private and private place, and on this basis, we understand many of the requirements or procedures that are carried out at home, such as changing shoes when entering. Both in Japanese culture and in the rest of the Asian continent, it is common to wear slippers when entering the house, since it is very frowned upon to enter the room with street shoes.
8. Serve yourself a drink
When you are in Japan, if you are in a rather formal setting, it is very rude to serve yourself a drink. You are expected to serve drinks to other people at dinner yourself, and when someone else notices that you have no drink, he will serve you.
On a much more formal level, Japanese culture defines that the person at the bottom of the hierarchical scale of those present is the person in charge of serving drinks at that moment, which may seem very negative, but it is understood as a worker private , he has the opportunity to exchange a few words with his superiors, considering it an opportunity rather than an obligation.
9. Make noise eating
Despite the fact that in the Western world it is considered rude to make noise while eating, whatever it is, in Japanese culture eating noodles or ramen making noise is common. It can even be seen as rude not to make noise while you eat, because it can be interpreted as a lack of respect for the cook , since making noise means praising his culinary skills.
10. Vending machines
In Japan there are more than five million vending machines located throughout the country, and they are one of the most important sources of income in the place. There are vending machines or jidohanbaiki everywhere, and you find them in the most inhospitable places, where they sell everything from soft drinks to plates of ramen or hot pizza.. It is necessary to disprove the myth that you can also find used underwear in the machines, since it is not true.
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