Let's Talk About Weird Japan

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By the Numbers : You have really upped your game. Your production values have always been good, now they're better. Same with content, which is thoughtful and thought provoking. Any big city is not that country. New York is not USA, London is not UK, or Moscow is not Russia. These cities are real, valid, and functioning in their own rights. But they are not the whole country. Same with Tokyo. And within each of these cities, it is not hard to find people and situations that are weird, and especially weird things that make good pictures. Alongside of the weird are the vast armies of rather ordinary people who go about their daily lives in seemingly unrenarkable ways. What makes them weird? Because they are not usual, normal, or commonplace. They stand out in the crowd. One day in Tokyo, I got off the subway surrounded by men in dark suits, white shirts, and dark narrow ties. Like a river of people we flowed up to the streeet where we were met by other rivers of men in dark suits. Then, there he was. A man walking towards me. What made him stand out? He wore a brown suit! Did he represent the whole? Not likely. No more than with the maid cafes, or any other "oddities."

Nasser Feed : The weird thing about Japan is the obsession with school girls

Jessica McGee : I wish wearing masks was more common in the west! It's so polite and considerate! Great video as always!

BibbidiBobbidi Bunny : Some things about Japan that seem unusual to me are the availability of cigarettes and alcohol in vending machines, the fact that men are not afraid of "cutesy" things, and the fact that there seems to be a process to everything that MUST be followed. Also, I've noticed how openly Japanese people tend to talk about bodies, even commenting on things that might be frowned upon in other places. I've heard people casually talk about someone being "fat" or they have "big ears." They aren't necessarily being rude or mean, but pointing out flaws doesn't seem to be a sensitive topic in Japan. In Australia, some things that others might find weird include our habit of shortening words (we do it a lot-almost excessively), the fact that we are so casual with colleagues, bosses, even university teachers (it's not uncommon to call your boss by his first name), the whole "byo" thing, and the fact that it is perfectly acceptable (with exceptions) to go to a store, fast food eatery, or voting booth shirtless, shoeless or wearing swimwear.

Jedidiah Young : Great video. In high school I was an exchange student and was really let down I didnt see all of "weird"Japan. Recently I took my wife to Japan for our anniversary and took a few detours into those niche cultural areas and was still underwhelmed. I think the internet paints this unfair image of what Japan is like. I think the weird stuff most westerns will find is how quite things are, how clean things are, how quickly trains board and how efficient things are. It's a great speed of life.

rockshot100 : I would hate that "reaction TV thing". It is like American sit-com "laugh tracks" or "canned laughter", taken to a highest level. It is patronizing and yes I could go off on a rant about that as well.

NoPlaceLikeCheese : Living in NYC, I wish we adopted the mask thing here. I get sick way too often.

Andrea Ruiz : As im from Mexico, one thing foreigners find strange is the fact that we eat bugs like ant eggs, grasshoppers and other kinds of bugs. They are actually amazing and filled with protein. You can find them in markets but there are a lot of mexicans who also find it weird! I agree that you say that what looks weird for others maybe is not for the whole country. Love your videos!! been watching them since forever.

A Simple Dog : I wish people here would wear masks, once someone at school gets sick we all get sick smh

Mikeztarp : I've never tried peeling the skin off grapes, but I always find it annoying to eat, so I might do that from now on. I just didn't think they could be peeled this easily. To be fair, I've also never seen grapes this big.

XSportSeeker : Love the nuanced tone you used on this topic Greg... I often talk about this but in a way more sharp tone. xD Put simply, the stuff you usually see on international news coverage, specially for countries like Japan on a western publication, is often times sensationalized, exaggerated, or made to look weird/unique on purpose. There is a secondary intention there, and it's often not a great one. It changes at times, but sometimes it's demeaning (as in, our culture is superior to theirs), sometimes it's fetishization, sometimes it's targetting specific subcultures to make it look like it's a mainstream thing, sometimes it's for the clicks or for the views... And it's also often in a judgemental tone, not to provoke discussion or to make people think, but rather superficial and one sided. Which is quite unfortunate. I often say that if your own culture was seen through the lenses often applied by international news about Japan, or other foreign countries, it'd look as "weird" if not weirder. You don't even have to go that far I guess... tabloids will usually give a sense of how that goes. But still, tabloid news is not the same as international news because at least on tabloid news you have the full expectation that it's purposedly made that way for the clicks. International news often portray themselves as serious, composed, when they often actually are not. It gets to a point where a whole ton of these weird things that are often covered in international news are there mostly for tourists instead of japanese people. The weirdest thing most tourists will think about Japan when they visit there will probably be how not weird Japan actually is. It's a really good exercise to go through all these supposedly weird and unique things that are often talked about Japan, and see if there isn't something there in your own culture that looks or sounds extremely similar. Look hard enough, you'll often find that there actually is. I'll just talk about one thing that came up recently that is not an example of weird thing, but how international news tend to distort things, in this case by shallow coverage: the "Fukushima disaster". Fukushima is actually the 3rd biggest prefecture in Japan, the Daiichi power plant tsunami flooding and subsequent meltdown was bad, but the plant is located on the west coast of the prefecture, and the area that is still dealing with problems around ionizing radiation is a radius of a few miles around the plant, not much more than that. It was catastrophic, I'm not trying to diminish how severe the whole thing was, but it affected an area much smaller than most people imagine. The vast majority of the prefecture was not affected all that much, and it's a prefecture that almost reaches all the way to the east coast of Japan... it has lots of mountains, lots of onsens, lots of interesting stuff to see, different terrains, lots of cities and culture, lots of stuff that even most tourists don't see (because most tourists only go to Tokyo and Kyoto)... because it's a huge prefecture, not only a power plant. And yet, as it was labeled "Fukushima disaster", people specially from outside Japan thinks the entire prefecture is condemned or something, when not even the capital city of Fukushima which is located more towards the north of the prefecture didn't change much. :P I don't think many people realize this, but the capital of Fukushima, that has the same name, never saw anything related to ionizing radiation out of the Tohoku 2011 disaster. They had problems in infrastructure and public transportation because of the earthquake, but that's mostly it. So I think it's awesome that Greg often makes videos de-mystifing Japan... I think it's needed, because it's something you don't see a lot on traditional media.

piggy66 : It's cool! but why didn't you talk about porn? crazy japanese game shows? panties vending machines? love hotels? hentai (you only mention in passing) ? I know these are x-rated topics, but these are what the west often think are the weirdest aspects of japan! Could have given at least a 30 second summary

Mirian V : So i live in rural japan but when i went to tokyo last time i got terribly sick. I noticed a lot of people in public do not cover their faces when they cough or sneeze. One guy actually sneezed right onto the back of my head, causing my hair to fly. While waiting in line for food we were handed menus and the couple in front of me actually just coughes all over theirs. Its no wonder people wear masks when people in such a densely populated areas do not use more caution when it comes to spreading germs.

Jocelynne McDaniel : The mask thing gets on my nerves here in the US, I dont have a spleen so I have to be super careful about getting sick and when I wore a mask to school in highschool I was told by teachers to take it off and people would be so rude but I'm just trying not to die because sick people wont just stay home. I don't understand how its weird??

Isori : Really, if only "professional jounalism" could be fair like this... I guess that when there is someone screaming with neon lights on a hill it must be hard to see the people sipping coffee beside you. In most cases, Japanese stereotypes are not too negative, but it really pushes my buttons when there are articles or videos like "Hey look how weird this Japan thing is because Japan." It's unfair, unhelpful, unrealistic, unprofessional and just shameless attention-grabbing. But even worse than this kind of journalism is Japanophiles who forget Japan isn't Disney, it is a country full of "boring" everyday life as much as everywhere else. (Sorry about ranting) And if you think about it, it is the same every time a country tries to talk about another one from a "journalistic" point of view, which if not infuriating, it is very sad. Great work, by the way!

Yithiru : This was a very good look on the "weird" side of Japan. On the topic of tv dramas, at first I was quite confused watching 恋空 and 14才の母 since in both shows the girls get pregnant even though you don't even see them kiss. But you get used to it and it becomes endearing. Eating 納豆 and seafood is something I doubt I will ever get used to though... I can't even stand the smell haha.

Jessica Smith : I love this video. I took my family to Japan for the first time last year. Before we went, I explained a few things they would see that they should consider "normal" for Japan. You've covered most of them in this video. We really enjoyed watching you go over them in detail. Everyone in my family was like, "Yeah! I saw that a lot!" The kancho thing made everyone crack up really bad. I taught my children to kancho from a very early age so they knew exactly what that was. Thank you for another very fun and informative video.

ThatGuy : 13:38 japans has been doing reaction skits way before youtube i swear they live in the future

Life_wrecker Xoxo : Weird Japan thousand times better than weird America

kun jyopao : 奇妙じゃなくてただのやりすぎなんだよ 俺が海外に言って自分の文化とまるで違うことを見たとしても奇妙だなんて絶対思わないわ。その国の文化や風習なんだと理解できる。 正直、奇妙だ奇妙だとりあげて笑ってるあんたらも奇妙だわ

NyanCheeseYT : 1000 years of death!!! *Naruto Reference*

Fled From Nowhere : Japan is weird not because what we consider weird is normal for all of them, but simply because they have the ingenuity and the balls to create those weird things. Sure, maybe most of those weird things strike Japanese people as weird, too. But Japan's awesomeness comes from the fact that they still make those weird things despite how weird they might be seen by society.

Joanna Marie Segura : I wish you featured the square shaped watermelons because that's weird and genius! 😊

nZurah : i never really write comments on YouTube but all your videos are just fantastic, so informative and professionally done. I hope you see this comment because there are a lot of people out there that are extremely happy to see a video of yours pop up in their sub box :) can't wait for the next one!

veabruhilda : Teapot Genitalia Man 😂😂😂 cracked me up because I'm immature like that. But I love your videos. Sad I just recently discovered your channel, but I have been binge-watching for days now.

X averius : What a great video! I have a request for you: would you compare Japan to Canada using the five points of Hofstede? I find this tool very helpful when trying to understand a society. What surprise me about the Japanese is that they are actually quite individualistic. I then interprete their orde and discipline as a way to excel oneself. If you don't fall in line you are making a fool of yourself. Would you say that this is true? And that it's looked down on someone who doesn't publicly try their best? I would love to hear your opinion on this!😀

Andreas Björkman : teapot... genitalia... man? That's just stupid enough, I'll give it a watch.

Afiq Amyrulz : OMG Shin chan is the best! HAHAHA thats my childhood right there

A Fun and Friendly Name : If an aliens ever come to Japan, they will have the wrong idea and think the world is so much cooler than it is.

Lukas Mihara : 10:30 I know you usually don't eat the skin of many fruits in Japan, but to me that's just 勿体無い The skin of Japanese grapes is a bit bitter, but I still eat it, I just seperate the skin and the flesh inside my mouth and eat the skin first, so that I have the sweet flesh at last. That way I waste nothing, and it still tastes very good. ^^

rockshot100 : The fact that you buy a new modern house in Japan and it doesn't come with central heat or AC, I think is weird.

Seiha Riebe : soap land bb

you are correct and I am wrong : 3:01 if she is his girlfriend, this guy has balls of steel

Akimoto4u : so Americans consider civilized and healthy living weird! while they fill themselves up with desert dwelling scribes and bushmen

Gurosama Bltch : LMAO teapot gentialia man wasn't even one of Filthy Frank's creations XD

Turtle Lover : Some made an anime character out of the kfc guy. Look it up it’s really weird.

Joanna Marie Segura : I miss watching Shin-chan, I can't find most of the Filipino dubbed episodes here on YT. 😭😭😭

abc : The nudity thingy is actually exactly the same as in Finland. Even many finnish family movies have full nude sauna scenes and japanese bathing rules are almost identical to the finnish sauna rules.

Meta Capitalism : You are great! Love your family, love watching your channel. We lived in Japan many years ago with our two daughters. My wife is from Japan. We may even be living there again soon.

HaiLsKuNkY : in the uk we have the rent a boyfriend/girlfriend thing, they are called escorts.

bhumika chaudhari : I love how people like you introduce their cultures to the world. It helps everyone understand that not everything will be the way they do it in your country and helps them become more accepting

Gurosama Bltch : I find the floating heads on japanese TV shows hilarious XD

SerAkanat : Very educational video! I'm Japanese myself, but growing up in America I've noticed most of the points you've mentioned, but I never considered the double standard when Americans talk about the "weird" Japanese tv shows whilst having the raunchiest music videos. I guess it's all about what you're used to.

Joanna Marie Segura : I love bitter gourd! We sometimes cook it with egg, kind of like omelette bitter gourd! 💕

sirluke7 : Nice! Yuta had nice clean, trimmed fingernails... Okay... I still won't eat what's on his plate..

Rebecca 123 : Japanese always use masks. Tokyo street is full always and the metros too! But really appreciate Japan. Their way of bringing up the kids to do all types of work at school is great. Family life also, i feel is class and crisp. Thank you for showing us how life is like in Japan! Greg, why dont you make a video on the morning routine of the kids?

lynxWabbit : Amazing video Greg!!!

Fled From Nowhere : 2:58 What? Isn't that girl his girlfriend?

Namez : great video, the production is great, as well as the narration. Had my attention the whole 24 minutes! Keep it up.

Afand Ryan : What the?! The road is so clean!!!