Why are there plenty of young Japanese kids with fairly light bright brown hair but few older people?

According to a letter in the Japan Times, kids with naturally brown hair are treated like they are as rebellious as those that dye their hair that way, and might even be forced to dye it black to look more natural/standard. That could be a factor, as could hair naturally becoming darker as you become older, in the same way as I started blond and cute and then to my horror turned ginger as a teenager…


Any other theories?


Why do the Japanese choose such dull coloured cars?

“This phenomenon is a direct result of pigment shortages due to import restrictions imposed by the government more than 20 years ago.”

From this post in the An Englishman in Osaka blog. Read the rest of this entry »

Why is a bit of cleavage still so daring in Japan?

 It’s at least partly the danger of low cut becoming very revealing when you bow

“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down”

This overwhelming favourite Japanese proverb amongst Japan watchers is a MYTH. If you have ever seen a Japanese school teacher or mother at work you can instantly see that there is no hammering going on. The nail that sticks out is indulged until it decides it would rather not stick out after all in case that indulgence disappears.

See the Japanese Myths section for more Nippon stereotype busting.

Why is normal to see cyclists crossing a pedestrian crossing on red, but much rarer to see a pedestrian do the same thing?

My personal theory is that being a pedestrian is being part of a group and so the usual Japanese social pressure to conform exists, whereas the route, speed etc of cycling is totally individual and therefore you are totally free. As a pedestrian in Japan, it is also possible to switch off totally just by following the person in front, so jumping the lights or even looking at them can just seem like a pain.