From bathtime rituals to unconventional eating habits, these families take pride in upholding their unique traditions.

For many families around the world, everyday life is punctuated by routines peculiar to their particular household. Whether it’s a mad schedule of daily events that has people coming and going in a frantic rush, or a more leisurely calendar of relaxed mealtimes and ordered activities, there’s bound to be something in the family routine that works well for you but has other people scratching their heads.

In order to take a peek into the secret lives of Japanese households, the country’s largest Q&A site, Oshiete! Goo, decided to put this question out there to its viewers: “What are some of the weird and wonderful family rules unique to your household?

Let’s take a look at eight of the top answers below!

8. We bathe in this specific order: dad, mum, and then children, from eldest to youngest.

In Japan, where a family shares the same bathtub, it’s not unusual for the father to soak first, followed by other family members in order of age. However, with many fathers returning home late after work these days, upholding this tradition, as this family does, could mean that the youngest family members won’t be bathing until the wee hours of the morning.

▼ No word yet on where the cat fits into this bath-time hierarchy.

7. After using the toilet paper, we fold the end into a triangle

This custom of folding the end of a roll of toilet paper is one usually seen at cafes and restaurants, to help give the bathroom a neat, freshly cleaned appearance. For many people, the idea of doing this at home would be a big pain in the posterior, so you’ve got to admire this family’s commitment to keeping their private quarters spick-and-span.

6. We all have to be together until 9 p.m.

According to this respondent, hiding away in individual rooms at home is detrimental to building bonds that help create a sense of family. By sitting in the family room together, no one person is left to feel lonely or depressed in their room after having a bad day, as there’s always someone around to make you feel like you’re not alone.

▼ This is definitely a rule we can get behind, as long as everyone gets along!

5. We have set positions in front of the heater

While seating positions around the family home often come about naturally and without much thought, this particular household has made seating a priority, with rules about who should be closest to the heater. In this case, it’s the eldest sister who sits nearest the heater, but when she feels hot, rather than moving away from the appliance, she turns it off, so that her mother and siblings are forced to rug up until it’s turned back on again.

4. We always wash our hands and feet when we get home

Well, this is certainly taking cleanliness to a whole new level! While it’s not unusual to wash your hands after being outside, where you might’ve picked up germs on the train home, for example, washing your feet is a whole other story. According to this particular respondent, he didn’t think his family’s routine was that unusual until he mentioned it to some friends, who were astounded by this ritual.

3. We eat pasta naked from the waist up

This bizarre response actually has some logic behind it, as this family found that pasta dishes with lots of sauce on them tend to spill on clothing, causing hard-to-remove stains that the mother has to end up dealing with. According to the mother, this rule has been so well implemented that she now doesn’t even have to remind family members to take their tops off when eating sauce-topped pasta meals, and they even do it in winter too. It’s worked so well that she now wants to implement it for curry and udon noodle dishes as well.

▼ Thankfully, eating topless isn’t a rule they enforce when eating out in public.

2. Blowing bubbles into drinks is only allowed at home

These parents have decided to teach their young children some manners by restricting their drink bubble-blowing activities to inside their home and their grandparents’ homes only. They say they wanted to enforce a total ban, but they understand it’s one of the fun things you do while growing up, so they decided against an all-out prohibition.

1. We all make our meals on our own

While many housewives are still in charge of cooking and cleaning for the entire family in traditional Japanese households, with more women joining the workforce family members are slowly getting used to pulling their own weight when it comes to doing household chores. That’s what works for this particular family, with each member happily making whatever they please for their meals whenever they desire.

Looking at this list of unusual household rules, it’s clear that people don’t always fit into the cookie-cutter mould of what makes up a stereotypical Japanese family. Beneath it all, though, it’s the shared sense of humour and camaraderie that really ties these families together, which makes us wonder if they’ve ever sat down to write out a family motto, like these families have. The results would definitely be hilarious!

Source: Oshiete! Goo
Featured image: Pakutaso
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