Japan is an incredible nation, rich with its own distinct culture and stunning geography. There are countless interesting facts about Japan that you may be unaware of!
As four is often heard to sound similar to Japanese words for death, there are few fourth-level buildings or flatware found there.
1. The Japanese language is one of the most difficult in the world
Japanese culture is fascinating and mysterious to many people, yet at the same time is one of the safest countries on the planet, boasting an island dedicated to bunnies, multiple villages of cats and even the largest amphibian in existence! All these qualities combine to make Japan so intriguing and mysterious for visitors from other countries. But don’t let their bizarre customs fool you; Japan is actually among the safest nations on earth with amazing animals such as its iconic bunny population; their ancient customs still apply today and there’s plenty to see and experience in terms of incredible bunny population numbers on mainland Japan itself! But don’t let any foreign visitors’s expectations; Japan truly is safe! With amazing bunny islands dedicated solely dedicated to cats as well as having world largest amphibian.
Japanese is an intricacy that combines Chinese characters and hiragana (a phonetic alphabet). While initially difficult to learn, katakana provides an easier path. Children must master over 40,000 characters by high school graduation but only 2,136 must be studied formally as part of this language: these characters are known as kanji; each of these has an ancestral form in Chinese that they still resemble today; unlike their predecessors however.
Japanese use both katakana and romaji to represent the sounds of their kanji characters. While romaji is easier than kanji itself, mastering both languages remains challenging.
At first glance it may seem strange that such an idyllic and peaceful country like Japan contains an active volcano such as Mount Fuji; yet that is exactly the case. Last erupted in 1707 and considered a national monument by most, its last eruption caused so much destruction it swept entire houses off their foundations and caused tsunami waves!
Japan is famous for their extensive use of reclaimed land. Indeed, 0.5% of their country consists of such islands – these include Tokyo Bay, Osaka Bay, Akita village in Akita as well as airports.
Japanese are well known for their creativity. Over four decades ago, someone came up with the brilliant idea to genetically engineer watermelons so they would fit more neatly in refrigerators; this led to square watermelons becoming a popular food in their country.
2. The Japanese don’t use the definite article
Japanese are one of the few languages who do not utilize a system of honorifics to show respect and deference towards whomever they’re speaking to – one thing which sets Japan apart from all others around the globe.
Though Japan may appear to be filled with skyscrapers and businesspeople dressed in suits, there’s much more to this fascinating place than meets the eye. Home to its vibrant history and culture, Japan will undoubtedly impress anyone who visits. Here are a few fun and eye-opening facts about Japan that are sure to blow your mind!
One of the hallmarks of Japan is its stunning gardens. Carefully planned and meticulously maintained gardens are considered works of art in Japan, often featuring elements from nature like waterfalls or ponds in order to create an atmosphere of harmony and balance in each garden. Plus, many beautiful Japanese gardens serve as homes to numerous plants and animals!
Japan is famous for its high-speed trains, which have set numerous world records. The Shinkansen, running between Tokyo and Kyoto, can travel at up to 480 km per hour – more than twice as fast as any other train in existence!
Japan may come as a shock, given that nouns do not distinguish between count and mass nouns in terms of plural versus singular nouns; therefore it’s crucial when traveling in Japan that you know how to distinguish between singular and plural nouns (for instance Edo no hitobito can mean “many people from Edo”, rather than “two people from Edo”.
Japanese have an unfortunate term for death due to overwork, known as “karoshi”. This phenomenon is estimated to account for at least 10% of deaths across Japan – so taking breaks during working in Japan should always be taken seriously.
3. The Japanese don’t have a national flag
Hinomaru (Japanese national flag) features a red circle representing the sun against a white background, although its design may not be as striking or iconic as those used by America or even European Union members.
It was adopted as the official flag of both army and navy in 1870, replacing one featuring 16 red beams fanning out from a red circle. That flag had become widely popular during 19th Century expansionist campaigns into China and Korea that saw military campaigns commit atrocities against local populations.
While Japan boasts several different flags – such as one featuring a golden sun – none has ever been officially adopted as its national flag. One explanation could lie with how Japan defines patriotism: reports indicate that its people don’t feel quite as attached to their nation’s flag as Americans do, perhaps because they do not require constant reminders of nationality.
This lack of attachment may also stem from Japanese society not feeling compelled to fly their flag in public spaces, although it’s legal and doesn’t violate any regulations to display the Hinomaru at homes or businesses; however, doing so would likely be seen as sign of right wing activism/reactionary politics as well as hooliganism.
Kimi ga Yo, Japan’s national anthem, only became official in 1999 and has not been widely adopted by Japanese society since. Many households and businesses continue to largely resist playing it out of fear that it promotes right-wing ideologies such as emperor worship – leading many households and businesses alike to refrain from playing it even today. For this reason, Hinomaru is rarely seen outside government buildings or major events such as New Year’s Day.
4. The Japanese have a different calendar than the rest of the world
Japan is widely considered one of the most advanced nations, yet there are some little-known facts you may not know about it:
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, Japan’s oldest family business since AD 705, boasts the Guinness World Records title for longest continually operating hotel.
Japanese in the past used an unconventional method for marking their year: they utilized a lunar calendar with 13 months to match up with solar cycles of 365 days. Only until 1873 did Japan adopt the Gregorian calendar instead.
They still use the lunar calendar for many purposes, though it differs by two and a half months from Western solar calendar. That means if you were born during the Year of the Rabbit it will likely be recorded as being born during Year of the Dog when visiting your doctor or registering your marriage.
This could be partly attributable to Japanese people having less children compared to earlier. Between internet access, anime popularity and general indifference to procreating themselves – there simply aren’t enough kids being produced here in Japan to keep its population going.
Japan has one of the lowest birthrates worldwide and an increased life expectancy, leading to a shrinking workforce and ageing population, an inadequate number of grandchildren being produced and decreasing marriage rates – creating an unstable situation.
Japanese have found some innovative solutions to these issues, like creating square watermelons that fit more conveniently in refrigerators without needing to be cut up!