Fun Facts About Japan

When people think of Japan, they tend to picture its cities filled with towering residential structures. But much of Japan is actually covered with wilderness!

Japan associates the number four with death, which explains why buildings rarely contain a fourth floor and cutlery is typically sold in sets of three.

1. Japan is the world’s largest importer of seafood

Japan stands as one of the world’s leading importers of seafood despite being an island nation. China was its primary trading partner last year and purchased nearly one fifth of Japan’s fish imports (or an aggregate total of 87.1 billion yen), while Hong Kong and Macau, both Chinese-ruled territories, each bought 75.5 billion yen worth of fish from Japan.

Japan may appear strange as a nation so reliant on imports, but its proximity to countries with vast fishing grounds makes this entirely natural. Furthermore, Japanese people enjoy one of the highest life expectancies worldwide due to a healthy diet, active lifestyle choices and access to quality healthcare.

Another fascinating fact about Japan is that making slurping noises while eating noodles isn’t considered impolite! Instead, slurping is seen as polite because it shows your enjoyment for your meal and shows your appreciation of it.

When visiting a Japanese home, it’s a custom to remove your shoes as a mark of respect and to prevent dirt and debris from entering. Furthermore, signs with reminders such as “Please remove your shoes inside.” can often be seen.

Although this fact about Japan may not be exciting or fun to remember, it is nonetheless significant. Since Fukushima’s nuclear catastrophe, many Chinese have become fearful about Japanese seafood products; this anxiety has had an adverse impact on domestic seafood markets in China, prompting government support and Tepco (the operator of Fukushima plant) compensation of local businesses for lost sales.

2. Japan’s love of manga is bigger than its love of toilet paper

Japanese audiences adore manga – this comic-esque media form boasts an enormous fan base and has become one of the country’s primary industries, with some series having been running for four decades or more!

Manga (pronounced manga-ka) is an international form of storytelling originating in Japan and now read worldwide. Western audiences may recognize some iconic manga characters like Astro Boy and Dragon Ball from television and movie adaptations; its distinctive style with impressionistic backgrounds and big-eyed characters makes it instantly recognisable across cultures. American comics seem to believe “comics are only for children,” while manga writers (manga writers) create stories tailored to readers of all ages (adults included), often depicting death or other real life events – something American cartoons tend to shy away from.

Manga has quickly become an integral part of classroom and office reading curriculums nationwide, as children read it to foster strong work ethics and learn valuable life lessons from it. Manga also serves as an effective educational tool that explores serious social issues like racism and AIDS without alienating young readers.

Japan is home to an enormous publishing industry and an equally expansive manga cafe industry, known as kissaten in Japanese. These cafes allow people to relax while reading manga – an odd, bizarre yet entertaining pastime!

3. Japan has more black bears than any other country in the world

Japan may be best known for its bustling cities, yet the country also has stunning natural attractions that draw people in from across the world – its sky-scraping mountains, picturesque beaches and verdant forests are some of them! Explore more by traveling through this captivating country!

These natural wonders may add beauty and tranquility to Japan’s city life, but they can be problematic for its bear population. According to Japan Bear Network research, increasing numbers of bears are venturing into areas where humans reside due to decreased yields of acorns and other food sources that normally drive them out into rural communities in search of sustenance.

Unfortunately, this trend has led to an increase in bear attacks against humans. In 2004, alone, over one hundred individuals were injured by bears ranging from young children to elderly residents and many incidents were caused by bears wandering into hen houses to feed on chickens or persimmon trees for fruit nibbling.

Prior to recently, local governments’ standard response to bear sightings was to call in a hunter and have it killed. Unfortunately, this approach neglects bears as natural components of Japan’s landscape, as they coexist peacefully with human development as long as their needs are fulfilled.

Though most bear encounters in Japan end with them running away, the high kill rate isn’t helping, according to experts. To protect bear populations and ensure they flourish, local governments need to provide better education about bears and their habitats as well as create more protected wilderness for bears to inhabit.

4. Japan has the world’s most expensive square watermelon

Watermelons are an internationally popular summer fruit and are beloved refreshment on hot days. But in Japan, they’re more than just a treat – some Japanese square watermelons can cost as much as $1000 each! That’s right; one single Japanese watermelon may cost that much!

Reason being, these melons aren’t designed to be consumed; rather they’re meant for display and admiration. Used at festivals and as gifts for friends and family members alike. Furthermore, their symbolic representation can act as a source of energy to overcome summer heatwaves by acting as an indicator of perseverance.

Growers utilize custom boxes to craft these unique watermelons. As it develops, its unique shape will take shape as it fills out. Though their fancy appearance may make them seem oddly unappetizing, their taste remains familiar – square watermelons were first invented back in 1970 as a storage solution; since then they’ve become one of Japan’s signature culinary creations.

There are various theories as to why watermelons take on their unique square form, with farmers most often creating one to fit better in a refrigerator. Today, square watermelons remain popular novelty items across Japan where they’re often given as gifts on special occasions or simply because.

Japanese square watermelons may seem pricey, but that shouldn’t fool anyone: there are other expensive fruits in Japan as well, including Yubari King melons which can sell for $22,500 and White Jewel strawberries which cost $10 each! Just some of Japan’s bizarre yet true food facts that will leave an impression!

5. Japan has a Kanamara Matsuri festival

Kawasaki, Japan is home to Japan’s most celebrated fertility festival: Kanamara Matsuri or “Festival of the Steel Phallus,” an annual event that takes place early April and focuses on everything involving male reproductive organs. Though known for its controversial celebration of sexuality, its origins can actually be quite fascinating.

This festival can be traced back to Kawasaki’s red-light district during Edo period when women would visit Kanayama Shrine for protection from sexually transmitted diseases and trade success. Over time, its focus shifted to pregnancy, marriage, business and sex related matters and ultimately became part of national calendar in 1969.

Recently, this festival has gained widespread recognition throughout Japan and overseas due to its growing popularity; popularly dubbed as “penis festival.” Originally intended as an aid for women suffering from STDs to pray and seek treatment without stigma or discrimination; nowadays more than 30,000 people attend each year- many from overseas!

The festival offers an intriguing insight into the intricate relationships among tradition, religion and sexuality in Japan. Additionally, it is a rare chance to gain new perspectives of Japanese culture from an alternative angle; and may help reverse Japan’s declining birthrate by dispelling taboos related to sexuality and fertility issues and encouraging positive views about both subjects.

Kanamara Matsuri takes place annually on the first Sunday in April at Kanayama Shrine and celebrates penises through decorations, snacks and portable shrines paraded around. One particularly infamous mikoshi donated by a local drag queen club called Elizabeth has proceeds going directly towards HIV research research efforts.

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