Monday, December 1, 2008

Five random things on Japan 3

1.Japan does not have daylight savings like many other countries do. Daylight savings time was introduced in Japan by the Occupation authorities in 1948, but was later (1951) abandoned by the Japanese government. There are people in Japan petitioning for it and some parts of Japan have tried to implement it. For example, some parts of Hokkaido attempted this year to implement daylight savings time but it didn't work. Here is an article with more information: Japan's meager daylight savings.

2.The Japanese word for “body fat” is shibō 脂肪 and has the same pronunciation as 死亡 “death.”

3.Japanophilia, shinnichiha in Japanese, is an interest in, or love of, Japan and all things Japanese. To be called a Japanophilia in China or Korea is a grave insult (if you don't know why look up World War 2).

4.There is a saying about the tallest mountain in Japan (Mt Fuji). The saying goes that there are two types of fools; those who never climbed it and those who climb it twice. The reason for the saying is because the mountain is so beautiful when seen from a distance that everyone is tempted to climb it, but if you climbed it once, you quickly realize that all you see is ugly rocks. This saying has not stopped tens of thousands from climbing it more than twice though.

5.The public radio station (NHKradio) in Japan, during the early morning, broadcast Radio taisō, which is warm-up exercises (calisthenics) along with music. It became popular in Japan just after World War II and is still used among students and workers in companies to help raise morale and form group unity. The exercises reflect the general role of exercise in Japanese culture-to serve as a symbol of unity and cooperation among the Japanese, as well as to raise energy levels and encourage good health. This can be seen in many manga like Yotsuba&!. The pages below are from the Yotsuba&! manga showing Yotsuba doing radio exercises for the first time.

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