Why are Japanese salarymen always puking on the sidewalks?
“Japanese vomit is kind of special express of satisfaction. We Japanese are making loud sounds when eat soba noodles or udon. This mean ‘Thank you wonderful soba chef! This is delicious!’ So when Japanese is vomit, we say ‘Oh! That was great nomikai! I having so much fun now!'” “Ask Kazuhide”, Japanzine March 08. More serious attempts at an explanation tend to start with Japanese lacking certain hormones, but as countless researchers have proven that behaviour such as British boys getting rowdy is overwhelmingly cultural this might be a classic case of “many a true word..”
Why are adults quite happy to been seen in public reading manga comics?
First of all, the vast majority of Japanese adults would in fact be highly embarrassed to be caught reading a manga, let alone a pornographic one, in public. The salarymen you seeing reading dodgy comics and magazines on trains are the same who slurp their pasta, spit on the ground etc. in ways that well mannered Japanese never would. Manga does remain more popular amongst adults than in other countries, though. Amongst the salaryman population, this is because they hardly have the energy to read anything more demanding, especially as reading difficult kanji can put a strain on even strong readers. There is also no social pressure to spend your free time productively and an acceptance of reading manga etc. for nostalgic reasons.
Why do Japanese guys cuddle each other as they stagger back to the station?
By doing exactly the opposite of what they would usually do, they show that they are properly drunk and relaxed and had a good time.
Why is facial hair so rare in Japan?
Some Japanese guys have problems growing a full beard, but it is more a case of image. For example, bushy beards are still usually a sign of radical politics if not actual communist party membership
Why do Japanese esute beauty parlours offer young men depilation of their stubble?
It could be the influence of Photoshop (photos from Europe are retouched again to make the skin look ultra smooth before they are used in Japan), or it could be because so many “stylish” male celebrities are gay but in the closet, a New Mannish attempt to get popular with the ladies, or a reaction against their gruff macho fathers.
Why are there men sleeping in cars and cafes in the middle of a working day?
A lot of them are salesmen. As sales is about the lowest status white collar job in Japan (hence why it is one of the few jobs available to mothers returning to work) quite a few salesmen are slackers. Luckily for them, their job is out of the office where there are plenty of places for a nap as long as their wife and/or parents don’t find out. There are also examples of men being too scared to tell their wife they have lost job and so leaving for “work” everyday in shirt and tie, only to spend months killing time in a cafe. There might also be the occasional homeless guy dressed smartly so he doesn’t get moved on
Why are there so many haircare products for men?
It could be because other parts of a schoolkid’s or businessman’s appearance is so standardized that it is the only part they feel they can express themselves in. There is also the factor that looking older than your age with grey hair etc. in a seniority based system can make it look like you have been passed over for promotion.
Why do Japanese (especially men) use an open handed chopping motion to show they want to get past?
Apparently, originally it was meant to show that you were not carrying a sword. The fact that polite table manners in France means keeping your hands above the table is apparently for the same reason.
Why do some men hold handbags?
While this is well passed its peak (in one survey in the bubble years “office ladies” voted it the single most annoying thing about their male colleagues), you do still see it amongst those who haven’t realised the 80s is over yet. The fashion reasons were copying everything that happens in Italy and many of the male fashion role models being gay and (needless to say in Japan) not out. The practical reason could be that it is rude to carry a big bag like a backpack in a busy train, and absolutely taboo to leave it on your back.
Why did the samurai topknot hairstyle disappear?
Apparently the first impetus to cut off the topknot (just the same as the start of wearing Western clothes and eating Western food) came from the Meiji period conscription army that replaced the samurai class. As the topknot would not fit under western-style military hats and helmets it had to be cut off. This was spread slowly to the rest of the country by a government campaign to get rid of all traditions (also spitting, mixed bathing etc) that could make foreigners think the Japanese were “uncivilised” and so extend the amount of time the Japanese had to suffer under the indignity of the same “unequal treaties” on trade that the Japanese had forced on the Koreans.
Why is there no separate shower gel for men available in Japan?
See the two reasons above, but also due to a lack of a macho culture about these kind of things, a lack of room in Japanese bathrooms, and because the wife makes most of these kinds of buying decisions for her husband.
Why do strangers keep pointing out (some almost angrily) that my bag is open?
Because that is exactly the kind of slackness that pisses that late middle aged guy off about young people and/or foreigners
Why aren’t construction workers and drunken all male groups more lecherous?
This is entirely my own theory, but I reckon the testosterone level of Japanese males in just lower, as evidenced by less body hair, less balding with age etc. There’s probably something cultural going on as well, but can’t work it out.
Why do blonde gaijin women get so much more attention?
If you are going to go for Western women, you are going to be looking for something really different from the Japanese.
Why is the word for geek (おたく otaku) and the polite for you (お宅 おたく otaku) the same?
They could just be homophones, something which Japanese has a huge number of, but one explanation link the two. One sign of the lack of social skills of otaku was using overformal language like お宅 with each other, so much so that it eventually became their name for each other