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13 Japanese Traditions That Are Far Beyond Our Understanding

Japan is a unique country with old traditions that are passed down from generation to generation. This country is able to be modern, while never losing its individuality. Sometimes we’re even tempted to think that Japanese people are from a different planet or from the future. Their approach to ordinary things makes us feel excited and astounded.

Bright Side wants to share 13 reasons to be a bit envious of Japanese people’s lives.

13. Aesthetics are really important for Japanese people.

Aesthetics are a crucial part of everyday life in Japan. In traditional Japanese culture, there are several basic terms that determine the essence of beauty. Highlighting simplicity, the integrity of nature and people, and a thoughtful approach to life are among the most important components of Japanese aesthetics.

12. There’s no term for “looting” in Japan.

Japan is prone to earthquakes, but during natural disasters, there are no acts of looting in the country. If you search for “looting in Japan” on Google, you’ll find a lot of foreign articles that explain how no one robs houses or shops in Japan. It’s probably about discipline and courtesy. Japanese society has built a system that is able to ensure compliance with the rules, even in extreme conditions.

11. Adopting adult men is a common practice in Japan.

Adopting adult men is a tradition that goes back to the 13th century. In Japanese society, family plays an important role. As a rule, sons run their families and family businesses. But what can those families do that have only daughters? Adopting adult men allows families to expand their family tree and get new heirs who can inherit the family business. For example, Osamu Suzuki, the Chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation, is the 4th adopted heir of the corporation.

10. Japanese gardens are a kind of art.

The main Japanese gardening principles were established in the 13th century. Soil in Japan is a really valuable resource, and people try to use every inch of it. Japanese people want to be in harmony with nature, so they create beautiful gardens and small ponds with colored carp (koi) and turtles. These gardens symbolize the perfect world of nature.

9. Amazing animals

Japan is just what you need if you love animals. In this country, there are lots of cafes where you can pet cats, dogs, and birds. What’s more, in Hokkaido, located in the north, you can find really unusual inhabitants: flying squirrels, “crying rabbits,” red pandas, red squirrels, and so on.

8. Tokyo’s Disneyland is one of the best in the world.

Japanese Disneyland was the first Disney park built outside the US. It resembles the Californian one, but it’s bigger and is considered to be the most beautiful among all of the Disneylands in the world. Nearby, there’s a DisneySea waterpark. Today, the whole entertainment center located on Tokyo Bay shore is called Tokyo Disney Resort. It’s the most expensive theme park in the world.

7. Lifetime employment is common in Japan.

In big companies and public institutions, a lifetime employment contract is signed with an employee. A person is allowed to perform their duties as long as they’re healthy enough to do their job. After university, a Japanese person applies for a job and works with the same company until retirement. One of the most important facts is that an employee is tightly connected with their company and understands that their own welfare depends on their company’s success.

6. Admitting your mistakes is really important.

Bushido is the collective term for the many codes of honor and ideals that dictate the samurai way of life. Admitting your mistakes plays a crucial role in Japanese people’s lives.

5. The physical punishment of children is prohibited by law.

In 2019, the government of Japan approved a law that prohibits any corporal punishment of minor children. By the way, this rule applies to both parents and social workers.

4. You can organize a Pokémon wedding in Japan.

Japan knows everything about unusual celebrations. For example, weddings based on famous video games or anime are often held there. Recently, the Pokémon theme with huge Pikachus and an official stylized marriage certificate has become really popular. By the way, the wedding planning company has officially united with The Pokémon Company.

3. Tokyo is recognized as one of the best cities in the world.

In 2021, Tokyo was recognized as the fifth safest city in the world in terms of personal security, cybersecurity, infrastructure, and health. Experts assessed all the cities, from basic (safety and ecology) to specific ones. For example, urbanists took into account factors like reviving old industrial areas in a city and the cost of a glass of wine at bars.

2. Japan has the greatest number of centenarians.

In Japan, the life expectancy is the highest — 84 years, on average. Today, there are more than 80,000 people who are older than 100 years old in Japan. And there are several reasons for that. First, healthcare became a whole lot better in recent years. Second, the high welfare of citizens also plays an important role. Third, Japanese people have started paying more attention to elderly people: different gerontology centers that study various aspects of human aging and methods of struggle against it have appeared in Japan.

1. Hospitality

A Reddit user posted this picture and wrote, “A kind man insisted on buying an omelet for my elderly father while we were in a Tokyo market. Can anyone tell me why?” People in the comments said it was a normal thing in Japan, “He saw your father, knew he was a foreigner traveling there, and wanted to give him both something he thought he would like and a good memory of his trip.”

Would you like to visit this amazing country? Have you already been there? Share your impressions with us!

Please note: This article was updated in August 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit J-Mac11 / Reddit
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