Aka Manto is a malicious spirit from Japanese urban legends that kills people in public bathrooms. In one version, it first asks its victims to choose between red and blue toilet paper: if they pick red, the victim is sliced to pieces, if they pick blue, they’re choked to death.
During the 1936 Berlin Olympics, two Japanese pole vaulters who tied for second place refused to participate in a tie-breaker. Upon returning to Japan, they cut their medals in half and fused them to one another so each athlete ended up with a half-silver, half-bronze medal.
Dr. Seuss drew anti-Japanese cartoons during WWII. When he met the survivors of Hiroshima, he realized “A person is a person no matter how small”. He later created Horton Hears a Who! as an apology, dedicating it to a Japanese friend.
Japanese Emperor Hirohito, in his radio announcement declaring the country’s capitulation to the Allies in WWII, never used the word “surrender” or “defeat” but instead stated that the “war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage.” The Emperor spoke an ancient version of Japanese that the common folk were not familiar with. Immediately following the broadcast local government employees explained what was just said to the attendance.
In 2018, Japan’s new cybersecurity minister admitted that he never used a computer.
A Japanese rail company has apologised after a train left a station 25 seconds early. The operator said, “the great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable”.
The Japanese never ate salmon sushi until the 1980s when a Norwegian businessman, hired by Norway’s government to offload excess salmon, made a deal with a Japanese company to sell the fish in its grocery stores, leading to its popularity today.
Most post-war homes build in Japan are practically disposable: they have almost no resale value and typically last no longer than 30 years.
Japanese football fans always clean up their stadium after their World Cup Finals games, a tradition stemming back to the 1998 World Cup