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."

Life_wrecker Xoxo : Weird Japan thousand times better than weird America

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??

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

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!

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.

Jade Cummings : Hey Greg, when I watched the part of your today's video is the mask which it's a 'cultural thing' in Japan. A lot of people used it for fashion, getting a flu etc. That's what somebody told me about it!

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.

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.

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.

대현 Daehyun : I dont think its weird, I think its unique. Like every other country.

benedictus benn : Im a simple guy. I see LWIF, I hit like.

Jonah S : japan is more than “weird”. it’s a nation, a gem like no other.

ladyflimflam : I saw a Maid Cafe video from Simon & Martina I think. It occurred to me that it was kind of a modern iteration of Geisha culture. In as much as a Geisha is a restaurant hostess and entertainer who guides you through a meal and leads games and conversation, the Maids seemed to fulfill much the same role.

Vicky Payeur : You do really good videos

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.

lindalately : I really want to visit Japan one day. My cousin studied abroad there for two semesters and absolutely loved it.

Some 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.

LFP_kid panda : Going to McDonald’s anyone want anything

Ana Figueroa : I personally think that what can be called “weird” can also be called “interesting” 😁💜💜

Mateo Celi : i used to study on france with lots of asians, i remember once i told em that here in my country, Ecuador we eat cuy (Guinea pig), apparently the Guinea pig on asia its a pet hahaha they even wear them with clothes, it was super funny to watch their faces full of terror hahaha

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.

Cl4r!ty Yellow : I hope you get million subs soon you deserve them you videos have great quality and i want to shift to japan in my retirement time and it might seem wierd but i already saw a house which i will take XD anyways keep making great content love from India

佐々木裕人 : There nothing that is wired is this World !! It totally depends upon you how do you take that thing , for example wether you are wearing mask for protection or hiding yourself it totally up to you , if you don't like that but there might be some people who likes that loves wearing masks daily in General !!

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

Alex Garcia : So a Kancho is basically what Kakashi gave to Naruto when he was off guard during their bell test. So it was a thing common in Japan

Wrathorn : Those grapes have super thick skin, really hard to chew! That's why literally no one eats the outside. Sometimes they import them to America in Korean shops

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.

around the world : I wish to visit japan

Moryanka Chalia : Says anime *shows shinchan*

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

Tigerlilycoconut : Out of all that..... the thing that I found “weird” was... Aiko eating grapes😂. However, I did live in japan several years, so the tv shows, clothing, and behaviors are just “normal Japanese” things, but never once saw someone eat grapes like that. 😂😂 maybe Okinawans just do it differently.

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!

Mariam Muttawa : I just subscribed today, I am loving this channel

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.

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.

Levis. H : honestly, Japan isn't that weird as the media and people from the outside makes it to be. they are just different and unique in their own way. personally, I think they are the Asian version of Germany but even more technologically advanced.

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

mx2000 : What's definitely weird is Japanese TV...

Tipper1941 : Masks should be mandatory.

The Mad Lolita : OMG did you collaborate with Yuta?! :D Edit: America needs more fishheads tbh, missing out on those delicious cheeks Edit edit: wasn’t that green blob a Marimo with eyeballs? Edit edit edit: That’s not acceptable American mainstream music videos. 1) nothing about Katy Perry is acceptable to me as a Californian who’s very tired of hearing stereotypes about people in LA projected on the whole state, 2) as a parent of a five year old child, I don’t let her listen to anything but Radio Disney rn

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.

fixpacifica : The Great Courses Plus has a pretty good course on Japan. *I wrote the above before I saw the plug for the course at the end of the video.

H A J I M A : I always learn a lot about the Japanese culture from your videos, thank you for providing us with great, high quality videos!

H A J I M A : Children’s hentai ?? iM-

Mr Rishi The Cookie : 5:00 *Vsause music plays*

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. ^^

Nigz Art Tube : We also present fruits when we go to someomes house.

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

NK Montreal : As an asian from Canada and past 30 years of age, I still "kan-cho" my friends 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️