Japanese culture

It’s Just Like a Handshake… 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

I have encountered many things in Japan that prompted me exclaim in disbelief, “that did not just happen!”

For example:

“I did not just see a guy peeing on the side of the road”

“That bunch of strawberries does not cost $20!”

“That lady did not just ask how big my husband’s thing is”

But the one that takes the cake, something I’ve said (on several occasions) is “that kid did not just stick his fingers up my butt.” 

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“Japanese People are Never on Time.” Twitter Comment Starts Online Debate About Overtime in Japanese Workplaces

In Japan, if you aren’t ten minutes early to an event, you are late.

Planning parties was especially difficult when I studied abroad in Japan.  If I told all of my friends to come to my apartment at 9pm, my Japanese friends would show up at around 8:55 (5 minutes late) and my American friends would roll in at around 9:45 (or whenever they felt like it).  To remedy this problem, I learned to tell my Japanese friends to come a half hour later than my American friends.  After that, everyone arrived to my parties at around the same time.

In the land where trains magically run on time every day and no one is ever late to work, you would think the world could agree that Japan has mastered the art of time management.

However, one Twitter user isn’t convinced of Japan’s ability to follow a time table.  The tweet in question was made by an Indonesian nurse who is working in Japan.  It reads, “Japanese people are never on time.  They are very strict when it comes to being late, but never stop working on time.”  

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People of the World Speak: 9 Random Reasons to Love Japan

A few months ago, we found the top 25 things in Japan most likely to blow foreigner’s minds. This time, we asked foreigners (all men) to tell us what makes Japan such a great place.  Those surveyed came from France, the United States, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Malta, and Ireland.

Ranging from seemingly mundane to large-scale societal characteristics, our readers explain why they love Japan.

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Bull Sumo in the Oki Islands 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

Starting this week, RocketNews24 will feature blogs written by people living in Asia who we hope can offer a unique glimpse at the country they call home. The first of these is You, Me, And a Tanuki by one of our own writers, Michelle. Originally from California, Michille is currently one of only two foreigners living in a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan.  We’re still looking for more unique and interesting stories from Asia to share with the world, so drop us a line if you’d like to have your own blog featured on RocketNews24.

The Oki Islands, nestled in the Sea of Japan, have a tumultuous history.  Once used as a place of exile for fallen emperors, the islands have been shaped by its unique past and transformed into an area rich in traditional culture and events.  One such event is ushi-tsuki, or bull sumo.  Used as a form of entertainment for the exiled Emperor Gotoba and dating back to 1221, the tradition of bull sumo is still proudly preserved by the local people of Oki.       

Unlike the famous “man vs. beast” bull fighting of Spain, Oki’s bull fighting pits bull against bull in a fair battle of brute bovine strength.  The match is over when one bull gives up and runs away and neither bull is injured in the ring.  There are even weight classes and bulls of comparable weight fight against each other.  Humans are present in the ring, but only play a supporting role facilitating the fight. 

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