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9 Interesting Facts About Japan

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Maya is interested in Asian cultures especially Japanese, and enjoys researching, learning and writing about it.

Japan, a unique, interesting and sometimes weird country. Japan is known as a technologically and socially advanced country, clearly this has given it a lot of popularity. But not only that, Japan is also popular for its absorbing culture, traditions and etiquette.

In this article you will be able to learn some interesting facts about Japan.



1. Japan Has Very Low Crime Rates.

In fact, Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, what makes it one of the safest countries out there.

It is normal to see people in public transport such as subways or trains taking a nap with their bags open and or with their cellphones in hand.

It is also very common to see young children go to school and come from it alone, or go on errands without an adult accompanying them.

People do not lock their homes always.

So, if you want to live in a super safe country, you should consider Japan as an option.



2. The First European Country To Visit Japan Was Portugal.

Portuguese trading ship, a carrack, "nau" in Nagasaki, picture from the seventeenth century.

Portuguese trading ship, a carrack, "nau" in Nagasaki, picture from the seventeenth century.

In 1543, the portuguese visited Japan for the first time, being so the first Europeans to visit that country. This first visit was quite important and significant in the history of Japan, since it marked the beginning of the Nanban trade period, that lasted from 1543 to 1614.

In this period the Portuguese and Japanese traded a lot of goods with each other, like technologies and even cultural practices. Also European guns, ships and armors were introduced to Japan.



3. Japan Has Lived A Period Isolated From The World.

That was because of the big influence that Europe was having on Japan, that started since the Portuguese visited Japan for the first time in 1543 as I mentioned in the previous fact.

In 1635 Tokugawa Lemitsu the shogun of Japan at that time (the governor of Japan at that time), took the decision of closing off Japan to all foreigners. And he also created a new law, that was called the Sakoku Edict of 1635, it implied that anyone seen using any European product would be severly punished.

That law lasted for nearly 200 years.

Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate

Tokugawa Ieyasu, first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate

4. You Can Take Naps On Your Job.

It's allright if you feel tired and want to take a nap in the middle of your work schedule. To put it in another way, naps are encouraged on the job because that will improve the workflow and speed.

It's also considered as a proof that you have worked hard.

But, wait! You can't spend all your time taking naps without working. You'll end up getting fired from your job if you don't work as you should.



5. Japan Has A High Suicide Rate.

The suicide forest, Aokigahara.

The suicide forest, Aokigahara.

Apparently, Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

There's a forest located in the base of Mt Fuji, it's called Aokigahara or the suicide forest, and it's the second most popular place to commit suicide after the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco.

The high rate of suicide is due to pressures at work, schools and also not enough access to therapists. This is one of the most unfortunate facts about Japan.



6. Slurping Noodles Is Not Considered Impolite.

According to Japanese people (and other Asian countries), slurping your noodles is considered polite, and it is considered as a sign that you like the food and are enjoying it, basically it displays appreciation for the food.

So if you go to a restaurant in Japan, you can slurp your noodles and enjoy them.



7. KFC Is The Traditional Christmas Eve Meal In Japan.

KFC Christmas pack

KFC Christmas pack

A lot of Japanese celebrate Christmas, but not in the way that you might expect. The tradition in Japan is that you have to head to your local KFC on Christmas Eve. And you probably have to wait hours in a queu to make your order, (ordering weeks in advance is a very common option too).

Nearly 3.6 million Japanese celebrate Christmas Eve with a KFC meal!



8. The Number Four Is Avoided.

In Japan they try to avoid de nunber four ('shi') as much as possible, because it sounds similar to the Japanese word death ('shi').

If you look carefully you will notice that buildings don't have a fouth floor, and items are sold in sets of three, five, etc. Basically they are trying to avoid encountering the number four in their daily life as much as possible.



9. There Are More Eldery Than Kids.

Japan is facing a lack of childbirth, wich is actually a big problem for their society. But, what are the causes?

Well, if we are talking about todays Japanese society, people don't have the time or money to have and take care of a family.

Another cause is that they have long lifespans.

And now Japan is having a society where you can find more seniors than children.

Another interesting thing that I found is that they sell more adult diapers than kids diapers!




Well how many facts did you already know?

I hope you have learned new things about Japan through this article!

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