In Japanese culture, shaving your head is a common form of public apology or an acknowledgement of failure.
In Japanese folklore, Ijuu is a strange beast that lives in the forests. If you are hiking and run into Ijuu, don’t be scared. Just offer to split your lunch with it and the beast will most likely repay you by carrying your heavy backpack.
The Kublai Khan invaded Japan in 1274 with 33,000 troops but failed due to weather. Kublai Khan again invaded Japan in 1279 with 140,000 troops & made it 15 km away from the city of Fukuoka but again failed due to a typhoon. It was here the term kamikaze (divine wind) was born.
The common fitness target of 10,000 steps/day came from a Japanese pedometer company who gave their product a name that means “the 10,000-step meter” because the Japanese character for “10,000” resembles a person walking: 万. There is no known science behind a goal of 10,000 steps.
Ancient Japan had female warriors called Onna-bugeisha, who would fight alongside Samurai in times of war. They started to lose their importance by the 17th century, when roaring ideals of fearless devotion and selflessness were gradually replaced by quiet, passive, civil obedience.
The Japanese repair broken pottery with gold lacquer to highlight imperfections. The process is called Kintsugi. The art of Kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride.
Japan’s rail workers use pointing-and-calling, a system of associating one’s tasks with physical movements and vocalizations to prevent errors. It is known to reduce workplace errors by up to 85 percent, according to one 1996 study.
People in Japan are renting cars, but not to drive them anywhere. Car rental companies looked into it and discovered that people were using them to take naps, eat lunch, do work, change clothes, recharge cell phones, and store things (when storage lockers at train stations weren’t available).
Okinawa has some of the longest living people on earth, and it has the highest rate of people over a hundred in the world. Two thirds of them are still living independently at the age of 97. Okinawans have also been found to have low rates of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. According to the article, it’s because of their diet.
Japan is giving its elderly population discounts on ramen if they give up their drivers licenses.