- All schoolgirls in Japan wear uniforms. Many straight men in Japan have a fetish for schoolgirls and their uniforms. A lot of the popular pornographic comic books feature uniformed schoolgirls. I have no idea what the age of consent is in Japan, but it has to be fairly young.
- Pornographic comic books sometimes feature sex and romance between young men, but these are only read by heterosexual women! There is a special comic book genre just for this called yaoi. (The reason for yaoi's popularity with straight women is complex and deserves its own post.)
- It is socially acceptable to look at pornography on a train or bus in Japan.
- Bicycles are common, but there are no helmets to be seen in Japan.
- You take a shower before you take a bath. Really.
- Fish and pickles are breakfast items, as are pungent, fermented soybeans.
- Many toilets have automatic water jets to clean your bum. They even include blow driers. Ladies may push a special pink button on the control panel. Electrically heated toilet seats are everywhere.
- Pancakes in Japan contain shrimp and squid instead of blueberries, are covered not with maple syrup but with mayonnaise and thickened Worcestershire sauce, and are topped not with butter or whipped cream but with seaweed, pickled ginger and dried fish flakes. I cannot tell you how tasty they are. Truly delicious.
- Riding in a car with an infant in your lap isn't the capital crime that it is in the U.S.
- The Japanese postal service is amazingly efficient. Most streets are not named. A special block numbering scheme compensates for the lack of street names.
- There's a lot more to shoe etiquette than just taking them off in the vestibule. Slippers are sometimes provided, sometimes forbidden, and special shoes are required while using the restroom. (I made a few innocent mistakes and was quickly corrected. Shoes matter in Japan.)
- You can sometimes see vending machines next to rice fields. Vending machines are everywhere.
- Traditional Japanese men's underwear (called fundoshi) is really sexy. Google it if you dare. I'm not going to corrupt your morals by providing a hyperlink. Okay, maybe just one, but I'm not asking you to click on it.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Even more random things about Japan
What I learned on my summer vacation. The list continues: