32 Weird Yet Incredibly Interesting Facts About Japan

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1Gambling

Gambling for cash is illegal in Japan. Instead, balls won from games are exchanged for prizes or tokens. These items are then exchanged for cash at a place nominally separate from the parlor.


2. In Japan, death by overwork is so common that they have a word for it, "Karoshi". Some examples of karoshi are: working 110 hours a week, working 3000 hours a year with no days off in 15 years, working 4320 hours a year, and working 34-hour shifts five times a month.


3. There is a pepper grown in Japan called the Shishito pepper. Only 1 out of 10 is spicy and there is no way of knowing beforehand.


4. If you are being violent or drunk in Japan, the police will get a large futon and roll you into a little burrito.


5. Japan has a sociological phenomena known as "Hikikomori", in which an estimated 1 million Japanese choose to completely isolate themselves from society by rarely or never leaving their homes.


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6Goldfish

In Japan’s Shima Marineland aquarium, a goldfish was thrown into an exhibition tank to be live-bait for a larger fish. The goldfish escaped through a tiny gap that led to a filtration tank, where it lived alone in the dark for 7 years, feeding off food scraps that made its way into the tank.


7. Japan was invaded by the strong Mongol army twice, and both times was saved by harsh storms that crippled the Mongols. They called these storms "Kamikaze" or "Divine Winds".


8. The oldest running company still in operation today is a hotel in Japan named Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, which was created in 705 A.D.


9. Older people lined up to clean Fukushima radiation in Japan, to save the young from having to do so.


10. In Japan, sometimes people organize a communal event called 'Rui-katsu' (tear-seeking), where people get together to watch sad clips and then cry to relieve stress.


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11Whale meat

Since the global ban on commercial whaling in 1986, Japan is thought to have killed more than 14,000 whales for alleged scientific-research. Their real motive behind whaling is to obtain whale meat which is a delicacy in Japan.


12. If you commit suicide in Japan by jumping onto an oncoming train or killing yourself in an apartment building, the train or building company can/will sue your family for clean up fees, loss of income and negative publicity brought on by your suicide.


13. The common raccoon did not inhabit Japan until 1977, the year when a popular anime caused many people to import them as pets, allowing many to escape into the wild.


14. Japan has the largest organized crime group in the world called Yamaguchi Gumi that is worth $80 billion. By contrast, Sinaloa, Mexico’s largest drug cartel, was worth $3 billion.


15. Chunosuke Matsuyama, a Japanese Seamen, sent a message in a bottle in 1784 that his ship had wrecked. It washed up in 1935 in the village where he was born.


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16Hirosaki Castle

Japan is moving an entire 400-year-old castle (Hirosaki Castle) 230 feet away to fix its foundations. They will move it back in 2021.


17. The only true Kobe beef comes from a pure lineage of Tajima-gyu cattle, born only in the Hyogo prefecture of Japan (Kobe is a city in this area) and fed off of local vegetation.


18. There is an 87-year-old woman in Japan who owns a restaurant by day and spins techno at a local club in Tokyo by night. They call her DJ Dumpling.


19. All of Japan's highways has tolls, and it costs more than $300 to travel across the country.


20. The only Japanese who survived (Masabumi Hosono) the Titanic, lost his job because he was called a coward in Japan for not dying with the other passengers.


21Benshi

Early movie theaters in Japan hired benshi, storytellers who sat next to the screen and narrated silent movies. They were descendants of kabuki jōruri, kōdan storytellers, and other forms of oral storytelling. With the advent of sound in films in the early 1930s, the benshi gradually disappeared.


22. To combat confusion, television broadcasts of Christopher Nolan's 'Inception' in Japan include text in the corner of the screen to remind viewers which level of the dream each scene takes place in.


23. Owl cafes is a trend that is growing in Japan where you can have coffee with owls.


24. Beetle breeding is a $100 million industry in Japan. In 1999, a beetle specimen sold for 10,000,000 yen which was about $100,000 at the time. The industry used to be illegal which caused surges in beetle smuggling. In 2001, two Japanese men were arrested in Nepal for trying to smuggle out 542 beetles.


25. Meth was invented in Japan. At first, it was used to curb hunger and energize Japanese citizens. Later it was given to Kamikaze pilots, soldiers, and wartime factory workers. It is now controlled and distributed by the Yakuza.

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