Japanese urban myths part 1

Japanese urban myths part 1

Since Japan is so different from the outside world, a lot of rumours and myths happen to go around. Some are based on facts, some are just wrongly interpreted or misunderstood. Here are the top five of what people believe is true, but it isn’t!

1. You can buy used underwear in vending machines

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It is true that there are vending machines all over the country selling the craziest things one can imagine, the ones with underwear might have been available once upon a time, but are now nearly extinct. So if you happen so search one, do not get too disappointed if most of the ones you find are selling plain drinks or snacks.

2. It’s considered okay to sleep at work

居眠りをするビジネスマン

There is this funny rumour going around the internet, that Japanese will not get disturbed or scolded when they sleep at their workplace. Some believe, that they are actually admired, because it seems that “they work so hard that they get tired and the rest is well earned”. But the truth is, that as in any other country, Japanese employers will get fired, if they continuously sleep in the office.

3. Japanese are cold and emotionless

This is actually the total opposite and probably evolved, because non-Japanese were not familiar with the culture and, therefore are not able to interpret facial expressions and behaviour well enough. Let me tell you this: Japanese have generally a very high emotional IQ.

4. Noodle slurping is ok

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It is often said, that even though Japan is well-known for excellent manners, noodle slurping is accepted or even encouraged. This might be half true, since it still needs to be done well-mannered. For beginners, this procedure might end up in putting one’s foot in one’s mouth and should better not been tried if inexperienced.

5. Ganguro is the height of fashion

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Extreme tanned girls with huge amounts of foundation, the darker the better, platform shoes and bleached hair, this Japanese trend is called Ganguro. To fight again conservative parents and society, these modern hippies are almost extinct now. Where Ganguro fashion and lifestyle once has been extremely popular, nowadays this style is out of fashion. It’s peak was 20 years ago, 1995. Funny how media still enjoys it!

6. Hello Kitty is a cat

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Who would have thought, that the creator of the most popular global icon of cute was not joking, when announcing in 2014, that Hello Kitty is not a cat, as the name “kitty” is suggesting. According to her, Hello Kitty is a little girl, living in England with her mother and father. She owns a pet cat, though, called “charmy kitty”. Her real name is Kitty White and she was born on November 1, 1974. She is a Scorpio and her blood type is A.