Crazy Stuff in Japan – Double Facepalm
Japan is a weird nation, period. There are dozens of internet pages dealing with the odd inventions and disturbing trends that inhabit the land of the rising sun: their live shows, food preference, fashion, plastic surgeries, unhealthy anime obsession and many, many more. Most of these trends (if not all) are Japan exclusive, leaving the outside world unscathed and I am thankful to God for that. I saw most of these during my stay in the “Alien Country” and to me, they killed sanity, pushed common sense out of the window and gave a new meaning to the term “bad taste”.
As a foreigner, I’ve been shocked at most of these trends and habits that fill the typical day in Japan, but on the other hand, many of these are the result of the Japanese wishing to make the best of the situation and stimulate practicality in everyday utensils and appliances. The only problem that I have them is their bizarre and ridiculous look, besides the fact that most of them are simply useless like the tissue paper holder that is put on one’s head like a disgusting novelty hat. I’ll present several cases of extreme Japanese craziness that I found interesting and mind-blowing.
Japanese spheric umbrella
Meant for all those people that truly hate the rain. As you can see, the falling nylon around the umbrella prevents rain from pouring in, completely encasing the person like a suit of transparent armor. Thank God that I didn’t need one of these…
Oh, I hate these cushy anime abominations. These Japanese-sized cushions became immensely popular even overseas (the “waifu” gag) and what’s worse, easily available at a reasonable price. The whole idea is the possibility of sleeping with your favorite girl from any anime or manga imaginable, especially those from the “Dead or Alive” series; they can be explicit with the certain “details” and there are also two-faced variants available. Bah.
This tradition is almost old as the Japanese themselves. In Japan, people sleep in all possible poses and in many different places like the anime-propagated schools, buses, parks and metros just to name a few. There is nothing unusual (for a Japanese) to come across pure strangers leaning on each other’s backs and sleeping or the entire team sleeping tightly in the office between meetings. Though shocking at first, this was the first thing that I got used to there. Fun fact: during the WWII, Japanese soldiers slept during the march on their feet and in full combat gear.
Multi-storied parking lots
If you are familiar with the lack of space and overcrowding in Japan, this unusual invention could be considered as a stroke of genius. Parking cars up one another is a brilliant idea to solve the mentioned problem, especially if you can drive your car out without denting the chassis or breaking the headlights. Fortunately for all of us sloppy drivers out there, the entire process is automatic, thereby leaving no room for nail biting and worry.
Japanese toilet slippers
This household addition may seem exaggerated and redundant, but there is some truth in it. The whole idea is to prevent the contact between human feet and bathroom tiles that are seen as the potential source of bacteria and infection. Knowing that Japan is indeed a “hygiene freak zone” this move is all but unnatural, but a bit hard to get used to for foreigners.
Japanese vending machines
This phenomenon needs no introduction: entire Japan in a metal box, in all her weirdness, ingenuity, perversion and practicality. In the rest of the (sane) world, vending machines sell drinks and sweets, but this trend got obsolete in Japan whose vending machines sell dresses, ties, umbrellas, instant meals, inflatable pillows, used schoolgirl panties (death-like silence in the audience), male boxers, jeans and many more items that foreigners may find, least to say, odd to be in there.
Yabea teeth culture
Sick, sick, sick, just sick. This dental misfit of a trend raised the profit of all dentists in Japan that have been paid to wreck the teeth of teenage girls and young women that are the focus group. After the costly procedure (between 120$ and 300$ per tooth last time I checked), your teeth will be crooked to give the illusion of “double teeth” that will stand out in every family photo. The variations of this trend include the fixation of small fangs or a magic tooth, but to me, all are disgusting.
I know that there are a whole lot more weird inventions and habits in Japan, but these are the ones I have seen/experienced first hand. In my opinion, most of them demonstrate the degree of Japanese paranoia and preoccupation with order, hygiene and practicality that have changed the entire psyche of the society.