Why are hula and flamenco so popular with Japanese women?
Because dancing gives a sense of femininity and/ or eroticism that is missing from their romance free lives, and hula and flamenco are better than ballroom dancing because no men are necessary. Spanish and Hawaiian are also two great escape fantasies.
Why are the Japanese quite happy to say “I slept” or “I cleaned my room” as an answer to “How was your weekend?”
For one thing, unlike the UK for example there is no social pressure to do anything useful and educational in your free time. If you want to read kids’ manga or watch 5 hours of variety shows, nobody much minds. Actually, though, they might have done something more interesting but are hiding it in order to avoid speaking in English or not to attract unwelcome attention or envy. One more factor is that saying these things emphasizes the fact that they have been working hard all week- not something that the Japanese try to hide.
If Japanese people are supposed to be shy, how come they practice their golf swings and ballroom dancing moves on the station platform?
Most Japanese people seeing this might also think it is crazy, but for the minority of Japanese who go through life completely unaware of the subtle way in which people express their disapproval, the same systems that keep everyone else in line leave them to be as eccentric as they like. A general acceptance of people taking their hobbies very seriously might also be a factor
If regular pachinko pinball slot machine players have to wear earplugs, why don’t they just turn down the music?
The music both gets the adrenalin going and produces the trance-like stupor that is most of the appeal for a stressed salaryman
Why is tachiyomi (立ち読み-reading standing up in a bookshop or convenience store) such a big thing in Japan?
According to the this week’s From Our Own Correspondent (BBC Radio) it’s also big in France, where the other similarity is the popularity of comics-something you can easily finish in one visit. Once people get into the habit of doing it with comics, I guess it just spreads. Why the shops allow it, however, is still a mystery.