It is just recently that Japan opened its doors to the outside world. For a long time, they made sure that their nation is free from any intervention from other countries. So it’s no surprise that there are customs and traditions that are quite odd for all non-Japanese.
Below are examples of the weird things going on in the Land of the Rising Sun that may sound ridiculous to you but are completely acceptable for the Japanese:
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Tired passengers falling asleep on other people’s shoulders on the train
People tend to sleep anywhere possible because of exhaustion. However, in Japan, they don’t find this awkward at all.
Mr. Kanso—a Japanese restaurant that only serves canned goods
This restaurant doesn’t have a menu. People just grab what they like and eat it with disposable utensils.
The ominous number 4
The Japanese word for “four” is very near to the Japanese word for death, so the number is avoided as much as possible.
Kancho—a prank where kids shove their index fingers up their victim’s butt
This is a popular among children in playgrounds.
Inemuri—the act of sleeping on the job as a sign of hard work
Sleeping while working has a positive ring for the Japanese. Some people even fake it to get praised for working hard.
Slurping noodles shows that you are enjoying your meal
It may sound gross, but this is a good compliment for the chef.
Hikikomori (The Missing Million)—the act of withdrawing from society
This odd practice by very young men, where they seclude themselves from the outside world living only with food from their parents, is considered a sickness because some of them don’t recover and tend to stay inside for the rest of their lives.