The land of the rising sun, Japan is a beautiful country which has a rich history. The country has grown and developed over the years. However, even to this day, there is something about Japan which mystifies us. The following is a list of 15 facts about Japan, which you might not know.
1. Japanese women used to blacken their teeth for years
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One of the most interesting facts about Japan is that married women and female Japanese entertainers called Geishas used to practice Ohaguro also known as the tooth blackening ritual. Women used tooth wax along with ink to make a paste and apply on their teeth. Surprisingly enough, it was considered attractive and at the same time, it used to protect the teeth from infections and decay. It was in the late 19th century when this ritual was banned in an attempt to urbanize and modernize the Japan culture by letting go of old customs and traditions which had become redundant.
2. The Japanese consider slurping as a compliment
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While the rest of the world considers slurping to be a bad habit, the Japanese consider it to be perfectly acceptable. As per Japanese culture, slurping is the best way to enjoy a big bowl of noodles while it is still hot and flavorsome, that apart, it is less messy and prevents the food from spilling everywhere. They believe that slurping the food is a compliment to the cook because it is a sign that food is absolutely delicious and it is highly encouraged.
3. Consumption of horse meat is common in Japan
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Horse meat also known as Basashi in Japan is commonly consumed especially in restaurants. The cooking has increased significantly since the 1960s, which is why it is believed that the use of horses in agriculture and transport has diminished over the years. Nicknamed Sakura Nike, which means cherry blossom meat because of its pale pink color, it is also eaten raw with sweet shoyu and grated ginger.
4. Eating or drinking while walking is considered very rude behavior
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In the early days, it was considered extremely rude to eat or drink while walking. Though the same is a common practice in the western countries, in Japan it is still looked upon as a low class etiquette. Japanese people really respect their food, which is perhaps the reason why they do not appreciate eating and walking at the same time. People who wish to eat something on the road stand at a corner, eat/drink and then start walking again.
5. Christmas is considered to be a romantic holiday
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While the rest of the world celebrates Christmas as the joyous occasion which marked the birth of Christ, the Japanese celebrate it as a romantic day, just like Valentine’s day. It is important to note that Christians comprise only 2% of the Japanese population, which is why it is not much of a religious holiday. Couples usually go on dates, especially on Christmas eve and also exchange presents.