Why was adoption quite common in Japan?

Especially the internationally unusual but still existing habit of adopting a son-in-law into a family to be the head of a household with no sons or no sons who want to take over the family business. It would seem to be anti-Confucian, Confucianism being often given as a reason for the lack of adoptions in Korea. No idea, not even many possible ideas, just the one so far:

Made acceptable by the legal need for each household (“ie”) to have a male head, unlike in Korea where family connections were larger and the head of a clan was head of a much larger group??

Why did the shoguns never try to make themselves Emperor?

…which would be basically what happened in China and most other places most of the time

If we are to believe Karel Van Wolferen in The Enigma of Japanese Power, it is because having a powerless figurehead goes right back to the beginnings of recorded Japanese history.

It occurs to me that maybe they were satisfied with the next best thing, which was to marry their daughters into the family and so ensure that the Emperor had at least some of the same blood (is that what the NHK jidaigeki drama Atsuhime is about?? I find it so dull that I lose concentration after 5 minutes)

Why do the trains stop so early?

 “The taxi lobby is incredibly powerful in Tokyo. The government should run one train per hour through the night, like they do in New York City, but the Taxi Association gives the politicians so much money that they voted to shut the stations down” Japanland pg 227

See the Japanland page on http://quotejapan.wordpress.com more quotes from this book

Why are pachinko places so loud?

“The lights are deliberately kept low and the noise unbearably loud in order to inhibit social interaction” (the biggest of the many stresses of being Japanese) Read the rest of this entry »

Scary Japanese stat of the day

8,000 dollars for every Japanese man,woman, and child Read the rest of this entry »