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20 Interesting Facts About Japan

Greg Arden . . . Comments

This list was sent in to me yesterday. In light of the devastating earthquake that hit Japan shortly before, I thought it would be a good list to post.

Over the years, Japan has become one of the most interesting countries in the world. Its unique culture, great food and technological edge has fascinated and inspired the rest of the world.

However, some of Japan’s customs and tastes have been widely misunderstood, and have even baffled some. Nonetheless, these 20 interesting facts have given the world a chance to see Japan as it is: An intriguing, culturally rich and economically sturdy super-power.

So, without further ado, here are 20 interesting facts about Japan (in no particular order). Please note, that while some of these facts are negative, they do not reflect any racist opinions held by me, or Listverse:


Facts 20 – 16


20. Raw horse meat is a popular entree in Japan. Sliced thinly and eaten raw it is called basashi – it is pictured above.

19. Over 70% of Japan consists of mountains. The country also has over 200 volcanoes.

18. A musk melon (similar to a cantaloupe) can sell for over 31,473 yen ($300.00).

17. The literacy rate in Japan is almost 100%.

16. There are vending machines in Japan that dispense beer!


Facts 15 – 11

Aokigahara 3

15. Japanese people have an average life-expectancy that is 4 years longer than Americans. Maybe American’s should eat more basashi!

14. Some men in Japan shave their heads as a form of apology.

13. Japan has the second lowest homicide rate in the world, but is also home to the extremely spooky suicide forest, aokigahara. One occupant of the forest is pictured above.

12. Japan has produced 15 Nobel laureates (in chemistry, medicine and physics), 3 Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize laureate.

11. Younger sumo-wrestlers are traditionally required to clean and bathe the veteran sumo-wrestlers at their wrestling “stables”…including all the hard-to-reach places.


Facts 10 – 6

10. Japan’s unemployment rate is less than 4%.

9. Japan consists of over 6,800 islands.

8. “Tetsuo: Iron Man” (no relation to the comic book, or Robert Downey, Jr. film), a relatively popular, extreme, “Cyberpunk” film (a “cyberpunk” film is a science fiction film that involves technology – and the abuse thereof – and social unrest), was based on a play the director Shinya Tsukamoto wrote and directed in college. It is an excellent film and you can buy it here. The trailer is above.

7. A Paleolithic culture from about 30,000 BC is the first known inhabitants of Japan.

6. Prolific Japanese film-maker Takahi Miike made up to 50 films in a decade during the peak of his career.


Facts 5 – 1


5. Animated Japanese films and television shows (.i.e.: Anime) account for 60% of the world’s animation-based entertainment. So successful is animation in Japan, that there are almost 130 voice-acting schools in the country.

4. 21% of the Japanese population is elderly, the highest proportion in the world.

3. In the past, the Japanese court system has had a conviction rate as high as 99%!

2. Japanese prisons (as of 2003) operated at an average of 117% capacity.

1. Raised floors help indicate when to take off slippers or shoes. At the entrance to a home in Japan, the floor will usually be raised about 6 inches (15.24 cm.) indicating you should take off your shoes and put on slippers. If the house has a tatami mat room, its floor may be raised 1-2 inches (2.54-5.08 cm.) indicating you should take off your slippers.

  • Amar

    Very good list

    • brad

      good list very inpressed

  • ToKiLoKi12

    Hearts out to to all those in affected by the earthquake in Japan… unless you bombed Pearl Harbor… In that case, F*** you.

    • Isaac

      You’re unbelievable

    • ianthemagnificent

      I guess America’s never attacked another country…

      • ToKiLoKi12

        I’d be interested in seeing how much aid we’ve received from those countries after Katrina

        • SleepySasquatch

          America dropped two nuclear weapons on Japan. Pearl Harbour was comparably petty. And Japan has asked for no international aid, if anything they seem to be taking the whole incident pretty well.

          • Royce

            The nuclear bombs did not really kill that many people. It was the fire bombing of Tokyo that did the most damage, but most people automatically assume that nuclear bombs=lots of death.

          • Bob

            Royce, the bomb codenamed Fat Man killed 39000 people in the initial blast and injured 25000 more. Not to mention the people who died from radiation exposure in the aftermath. Little boy killed between a 130000 and 150000 people, aftermarth included. Thats alot of dead people. The firebombing of tokyo on the other hand killed around 100000 people. So you’re wrong.

        • Dave

          A shitload, moron:

          Washington — If the saying “a friend in need is a friend indeed” is true, Japan is one of the best friends the United States ever could have to provide support while so many Americans are suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
          Japanese private citizens and the government alike have sent a virtual tsunami of assistance to the victims of Katrina, which devastated 90,000 square miles along the U.S. Gulf Coast in August. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes and hundreds lost their lives.
          Japan has pledged more than $1.5 million in private donations. The government of Japan has donated $200,000 in cash to the American Red Cross and some $800,000 in relief supplies — from blankets to generators — already are arriving to aid the most needy. Japanese firms with operations in the United States have donated some $12 million in total, including Honda Motor Corporation ($5 million), Hitachi ($1 million) and Nissan (more than $750,000).
          The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo was overwhelmed by the generosity of one Japanese individual — Takashi Endo — who donated $1 million from his personal funds to Katrina relief efforts. Endo said he was moved when, during a business trip to London, he saw a televised report about a mother separated from her children in the chaos of the flooding in New Orleans. The story so disturbed him he could not sleep that night; the next morning he resolved to do something to help.
          Yuji Takahashi, president and chief executive officer of the Japan Petroleum Exploration Company Ltd., which has operations off the coast of Louisiana, donated $100,000 to U.S. federal government hurricane relief efforts. Takahashi said that when he learned of the destruction caused by the hurricane, he felt as if his own family had been affected.
          In a note accompanying the donation, Takahashi said: “I have no doubt that your people will stand in the face of difficulties and rebuild their lives in the near future.”
          Private citizens have sent the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo more than $2,000, and the embassy’s Web site and telephone operators have directed hundreds of inquirers to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund Web site as well as the American Red Cross, the Japanese Red Cross Society and Peace Winds donation sites.
          Mayors from cities all over Japan have donated tens of thousands of dollars. Governor Hirohiko Izumida of Niigata Prefecture, for example, provided a donation of roughly $9,000 while stressing the ties of mutual friendship and gratitude that link the people of Niigata and the United States. Niigata suffered a devastating earthquake in December 2004 and received substantial U.S. aid, including logistical and material assistance from the American military.

    • FJ

      It’s quite sad that this is not the first time I’ve read a comment like this, mainly from Americans.

      But it seems you forget that although Japan killed a few thousand SOLDIERS at pearl harbour, the USA killed hundreds of thousands of CIVILIANS with atomic weaponry a few years later.

    • Britain

      I’m an american, and I just gotta say you have to be a little more understanding. Check your facts because they didn’t just kill SOLDIERS, there were CIVILIANS at pear harbor too so stop emphasizing your words. And I think most of our wars are justified. except maybe vietnam, we admit that was a mistake, but then again it was a tense time with the cuban missile crisis and spread of communism. Russia was doing the same stuff. And you can’t say it like we’re all bad. We’re not our grandpas and grandmas who did all the crazy stuff. Just like I don’t call every German a Nazi. And you guys think you’re special? Every country has been an buttmunch at sometime. I know it’s a cliche for Americans to say it, but if it wasn’t for us you’d all be speaking german and japanese right now. I think you can forgive us for a few hot-headed comments. So stop pointing out all of our flaws as a country, nobody is perfect. Ask the prime minister of Italy or the head of state of libya.

      • Shirokuma

        Forgive you for a few hot-headed comments why exactly? I know that history is still written by the winners, but since when do americans have the jester’s licence??
        But I’m probably talking against a wall anyway; only someone who was stuffed with capitalist propaganda from the very childhood would use dim catchphrases like “spread of communism”.

      • Arsnl

        Here i go with my noble mission to correct the internet.
        After some googling i found the amazing figure of 68 civilian deaths at pearl harbour. 68? Thats like what stalin would order killing in 15 mins. And no you didnt win ww2 cuz it was mainly a russian affair. Let me run a few stats for your simple soul: russia: about 9 mill military deaths/ 12 mil civilian deaths, germany 5mil/2-3 mil, us 500.000/ bout 2000 civilian deaths. So yeah. You are 1 order of mangnitude lower that russia. Sure it was a team effort but really can you still believe what you just wrote.
        Cuban missile crissis: sorry to say but the us had missils (pershing i think but i may be wrong) in turkey before the soviets brought missiles in cuba. So yeah you were no angels yourself.
        Also nice work comparing yourself to a dictator. Such high standards.

        Btw do you really have to confirm that old stereotype that americans are selfcentered (to say it mildly). Open a book do some reading, google. Stop being ignorant.

        • Britain

          You guys are right, we’re strong but our pride blinds us. Sorry for my ignorant comment, you guys were right in your replies to toki’s statment.

        • Elizabeth Lopez

          FDR knew about Pearl Harbor before it occured. Look it up, jingoistics. Wars are money-making propaganda for the most part. Yes, when a country is being threathened, one has to defend themselves, that’s simple nature, but most of these soldiers invade a country and run around as if they’re Christopher Columbus discovering the natives’ hidden gold stash. it’s silly to compare what country has killed the most to witch one has killed less, It doesn’t make it better or worse. I know some vietnam vets and WWII vets who still feel like going insane and loosing their touch with reality, and also crapping their pants at the sight of children’s playful wrestling. So really, Why discuss something as pointless as who-killed-whom when there’s dead bodies stuck in the bottom of the sea?? People may call me Un-american, but really, I don’t want to live my life blindfolded. I want to point what’s right and wrong, not being content and blind in the laps of compliance……..My best wishes to the Japanese victims and sufferers.

        • Auburn Tiger

          Granted, Russia would have lost without everyone else, but it was like watching a strongman try to open a jar and then some regular dude walks up and unscrews it like it’s nothing. You KNOW that big guy loosened it for you. That being said, who else REALLY fought in the Pacific front? Like everyone else, America still had to look out for number 1.

        • Andres

          It’s called Pearl Harbor, not pearl harbour. Pearl Harbor. Repeat with me: H-A-R-B-O-R. It’s a proper name, therefore not subject to spelling preferences and it MUST be capitalized. Pearl Harbor.

          And the Soviets didn’t seem to mind the Jupiter (not Pershing) missiles in Cuba much until they got this impression that Kennedy was this weak, inexperienced Boston pretty boy who could be pushed around and internationally humiliated. Now, I’m not justifying (though I could) the presence of those missiles in Turkey, and yes, the Soviets did make a good case that the US had to remove them as a quid quo pro for having Cuban missiles removed, but rest assured that Khrushchev wouldn’t have escalated the conflict the way he did by putting missiles in Cuba, had he not convinced himself that he could manhandle Kennedy and profit from his inexperience.

          In other words, CLEARLY the US were no angels during the Cold War, but don’t come here suggesting that the sole cause of the CMC was the Soviets trying to stand up for themselves against that bully called the US. Much on the contrary, it was more like they were trying to bully the US around after they perceived weakness in their foe.

          As for WWII, yes, we DID won the war, as did the Soviets and the Brits and the Chinese and anyone who contributed toward the victory. It is clear and undeniable that the Soviets contributed the most toward victory, but they couldn’t have possibly won the war by themselves, ergo victory is shared. Through Lend-Lease, the US supplied vital logistics to the Soviet Union, without which they would have simply not been able to push back against the Nazis. It is known (and I guess you know it, since you know the millions and millions of KIA the Red Army had) that man for man, they were being badly beaten by the Nazis. Without their sheer numbers, they would have lost. And to mobilize such staggering number of troops, you need the logistics to do so. The Soviet army heavily relied on railroad transportation to mobilize their troops, but their locomotive production was shut down after the invasion, so they were able to only manufacture about 92 of them. Through Lend-Lease, the US provided more than 2000 locomotives. Not only that, they also provided about 66% of their trucks. No Lend-Lease, no mobilization capabilities, no millions of soldiers, no pushing back, no victory. Besides that, obviously, the US provided other supplies with an aggregate value of more than 100 billion 2010 dollars. In total, the US provided more than 50% of the monetary resources and provisions for the Allies, twice as much as the Soviets. Of course, this does not even come CLOSE to the value of the millions of human lives that the Soviets lost, so it is undeniable that they contributed FAR MORE toward victory than the US and the rest combined, but I wouldn’t say it was an order of magnitude more, considering the US still took care of most of the expenditures.

          The stereotype that Americans are self-centered is no more valid than that of Europeans being self-centered. You wouldn’t believe how Eurocentric you guys are. You think you do everything better than anybody, too, and you surely think that your continent is the best in the world. Tell me that isn’t so and I’ll laugh to death. What happens is, you guys have your heads so far up your own as$es that you can’t see that you’re every bit as self-centered as we are. You think you are justified in being so and not us. That further proves my point.

          So, I’m sorry, but it is my mission now to show that your “correcting” the Internet needs to be heavily corrected, too.

          • Arsnl

            Whoa there bessy. Relax.
            1) dont attack grammar spelling etc. Its pointless, doesnt prouve anything. For example: “we DID won”. See it gets nowhere. Plus english isnt my first language. So relax.
            2)i said its mainly a russian thing. And you admitted i was right. Of course you supplied freaking trucks. Thats essential. Trucks. Now, calming down, arguing what would have happened if this or that is pointless. Of course you had a bigger wallet. You didnt have an invading army to worry about. But mainly, again mainly the eastern front was a russian affair. Of course you contributed with something. But im sorry all the trucks in world would have been useless if there werent millions of civilians that could be used to block the bullets. The order of magnitude was for the casualties. Plus the tanks, mostly they were russian (and frankly they were better than what you sent) the planes.
            I was much more reasonable than that guy that said we should thank you for not speaking german now. I didnt say you did nothing. It was a team effort. With the major player being the ussr. Thats a fact.
            3) how can you justify creating an unbalance in the mad policy. You had the capabilty to strike moscow. Of course russians would get a bit stressed. The rockets had to go.
            4) I am eurocentric cuz im european. Do you want me to be us centric? Dog centric? I cant. Im european and a human. Its just i generally dont start shouting how great i freakin am. Its called modesty. But clearly you know very little about europeans. We rarely argue (and never when we are sober) that our continent is the best. Cuz you know, its a big continent and im sure you dont argue with asians how great mexico or guatemala is.
            5) on another comment of yours: you dont do that great when you compare nobel prizes/capita. Uk does better than you and a few more. Plus its kind of a stupid argument. Its like me saying how great and smart europeans are cuz we built the lhc. They are not correlated.

            In conclusion, stop and read my reply and the context in which i wrote my comment before you go in this tiresome rant mode. You mostly agreed with me.

          • mykivonferro

            I think you missed a few vital things here, such as the immense influence American business had in WW2; nearly all US Steel companies, IBM, Telecom companies, Ford, GM… amongst others who not only traded with the Nazi regime, but CONTINUED to do business with them either directly or with their subsidiaries in the country (GM>Opal) once the US finally declared war, which was pretty much treason but hey who cares about that right when we’re pulling in millions. American companies built the backbone supply chains, tanks, and a lot of infrastructure of Germany during that period. That’s been well documented. Perhaps had US business not been so greedy and more morally inclined they’d of severed trade with the country. The vital strength the US supplies provided to the Nazis through their trading was incredible. Think how much that might have been weakened had it ceased.

          • Arsnl

            @mykivo…: they should make a movie about IBM during that period. It would be like a schindler’s list. Only in reverse. With a ben kingsley typing on punch cards:
            “…Jew #5.999.998, he has a kid right? Well then add him too: Jew #5.999.999. We need to put more adolf. More. Or the authorities will get suspicious. Ok ok Jew #6.000.000. Done. ”
            I still think letting poland in the hands of stalin was a bit more evil. They being allies and all.

          • Crazed8

            Even though the troll will be feed, How many of those Soviet KIA are self inflicted?? It Has been noted even on this website that the Soviet Army would shoot any retreating people who where untrained soldiers. As for Pearl Harbor; The US has forgotten lessons learned from that time. As we see base alignments and armies and naval fleets put in 1 nice little package for a nuke..

          • ikkuh

            pearl harbour mofo

          • pene

            japan has a good factory production of cars omg i luv justin bieber

      • fendabenda

        And what is wrong about being able to speak German or Japanese, exactly? Except of course, you Americans can’t even speak (let alone spell) English. I’m still glad that you don’t call every German a Nazi, though. You’re more intelligent than most Americans and Jews.

        • Nightmare

          1) Check your sentence structuring.

          2) What do you mean, “you Americans?”

        • Andres

          You’re missing a comma between “except” and “of course.” But what would this ignorant, close-minded American know? We’re so ignorant we couldn’t even win a Nobel Prize if we wanted to. Oh, wait, we actually have—more than 300 of them. Und ich kann auch Deutsch.

          Your stereotypes are so dumb and old—and inaccurate—that I can’t help but feel sorry for you. You think you’re so smart and superior, yet you can’t even punctuate well.

          • fendabenda

            I’m always missing a comma or two here and there and everywhere. No need to feel sorry for me, I can do that all by myself. :) And wtf does a Nobel Prize have to do with my earlier comment? You must know that the Nobel Prize is awarded by the Swedish Nobel Association, not by Americans.

          • fendabenda

            Excusez-moi, I meant the Nobel Foundation, not Association.

        • Suna

          Hey now. . . I’m an American. I see no problem with German or Japanese, in fact I’ve studied Japanese for going on seven years, and German for two. Please, I cannot express this enough, do not lump all Americans together. It’s about as racist as anything else. Same with the remark about the Jewish people. Even if you’re American yourself. (Not saying you are specifically.) There are some smart, literate Americans out there. Contrary to popular belief. Yes, I have seen my fair share of idiots here and it saddens me greatly. Seeing as most I see these days are from my generation.
          I talked to a Swiss man the other day, and he was shocked to see that I even knew where Switzerland was. . . He said most Americans he talked to didn’t. Come on, seriously? Who on Earth was this man talking too?

        • Ricky

          Ha! Americans don’t speak or can’t spell English?
          By sheer numbers alone, America has anywhere else in the world beat for English as a native language-215 million to the U.K.’s 61 million.
          Furthermore, when spoken aloud, “BBC” English and “American anchorman” English(an educated Ohio accent) are only separated by a few choice vocabulary words. Both are almost equally intelligible across the world to all English speakers, and both emphasize precise enunciation of nearly every vowel and consonant.
          Also, a small query-if the manner in which the British speak their particular dialects of English is “proper”, than why do nearly all English-speaking singers sound like midwesterners when they sing?

          • fendabenda

            I don’t know why nearly all English language singers sound like mid-westerners, but you’ve got a point. They do. Except the Pogues. Maybe it wouldn’t sound so “rock’n’roll” to pronounce your lyrics in QE.

        • neil

          Not all americans are like that, you’re stereotyping us, not to be a diick.

        • Baurus

          Fendabenda, comments like your little neo-nazi accusation of Americans and Jews are not helping matters. As a Jewish person, i hold no ill will toward people of Germany who are good. They are not responsible for what their grandparents did. They are innocent unless they become Neo Nazis like what is happening in parts of Pomerania right now. Those who are taking over preschools and raising children to be Nazis take all responsibility, but most Germans despise Nazis and do more to stop them than many people from other countries. As for Japanese people, I lived i. Their country amongst them and they are wonderful people. Except for moronic Neo- Nazis and people from fascist regimes and extremist nations, No one living today deserves blame for things that happened 66-70 years ago. Do I forgive the NAZIs? No. And I never will. But 21st Century Germans are not the Nazis and do not deserve blame.

      • No_wing

        Yes your government justifies war….and you believe it….that’s the way the great nation of USA works…

      • SleepySasquatch

        Agreed, if it wasn’t for America we’d all be speaking German or Japanese right now. Oh, also Britain, the Polish/French/Nordic resistances, Russia, Australia and various colonies, but y’know, they were just background players. U.S.A! U.S.A!

        If it weren’t for the complete alliance participation the US would have been crushed, and I say that with no malicious intent. I like America, its chocolate is incredibly tasty.

        All the same, there’s no justifying this sudden hatred of the Japanese. Firstly, most the people to be blamed on either side are dead now (and no, you do not talk on their behalf) and secondly, I’d say both sides gave as much as they got, if not more. People have died horrifically either way and to try to justify insulting comments towards a whole nationality as a result is ridiculously infantile.

      • indie_skies

        There is no such thing as a justified war.

        • bob

          a lot of wars aren’t justified, but some definitely are. don’t you think fighting to stop the evil of the nazis is good enough justification for war?

      • Name

        This may seem a bit off topic, but PLEASE don’t use the “be happy you don’t speek German” thing, it makes you and the rest of America look stupide when you realize they DO speak it. Alot of european countries teach their kids german because it’s a big country in the middle of europe and has alot of power, and has nothing to do with Nazis. It’s the same reason alot of countries teach their kids English or that people keep saying we need to learn Chinese: the countries that already speak it are more powerful and it makes it easier to comunicate.

    • Jaime Suarez

      Can’t we just end all this arguing? We’re all human.

      • Britain

        Amen broski. And one thing we all have in common is we all love listverse <3

        • oak

          what we are seeing here is the power of “trolls”…that first comment that brought up pearl harbor was actually a fish hook, notice how “amar” has not commented again?..some trolls don’t even know they are trolls…

          • oak

            apparently, i’m a dumbass and read the wrong name…sorry amar

            tho my statement about this commentary being trolled is still relevant

      • Nightmare

        Denied, I am not human. The arguing shall continue in SpartaVerse.

    • ConVixen

      Dude, really?

      The past is the past. You can’t blame today’s descendents for their ancestors mistakes.

      That’s just as bad if me, an African-American, were to get pissed off at every Euro-American just because one of their ancestors probably owned one of my ancestors.

      Don’t forgot that past but don’t live in it either.

      >>Love-Spread It Around-We Need It More Then Ever Today<<

      Far as the nation vs. nation on who had shedded the most blood debate…

      Every nation has it's bloody and horrible past.

      Far as WW2, The U.S. was wrong for it's bombing of Hiroshima, Germany was wrong for it's taking over campaign and bombing the vast majority of western Europe, and Japan was just as guilty in WW2 with the war crimes commited in China, Korea, and the Phillipines by them.

      In other words, ain't nobody innocent in the game of blood, sweat, and tears.

    • Bullamakanka

      What a moronic thing to say. Imperialist Japan of the war period bombed Pearl Harbor, and the Japanese paid for it in a bloody war that ended with two nuclear bombs. Look at Japan today … they have 55 nuclear reactors throughout the country, and are more than capable technically to create their own bombs to retaliate for the two dropped on them… if they wanted to. But they don’t. They got past the errors of the war, and obviously embraced modernity with incredible results. A shining example for the world. This earthquake/tsunami should be treated for what it truly is, a disaster that has crippled a nation, and clearly in need of sympathy and support from all. Your ignorance is not needed.

      • Hunter

        Japan is not allowed to develop nuclear weapons. I think it’s part of the sanctions or punishment against them for WW2.

    • Chillaxinate

      ^You ALL just fed the troll. Congrats.

      Also, This list seemed to lack depth. I definitely didnt know most of the facts, but not too many were very intresting anyway. Japan is so unique I think we could get come more intresting facts.

      • ToKiLoKi12

        you must’ve missed the first part of the post where I said “hearts out to all those affected by the earthquake in Japan…”

        i’m fairly certain there are plenty of Jews who haven’t forgiven the Nazis.

        • Mac

          America is the only country in the world that used Nuclear weapons on innocent people . Do you think the Japanese have forgot that incident .

    • Gouki

      Please. Leave Pearl Harbor out of this generation. They forgave us for the nukes *which were way worse* and we should do the same. Really. It was over 60 years ago. Get over it. It’s not like the British are still pissed about the revolution. Let it go.

      • Mac

        Yeah it’s not like people die from radiation poisoning year’s and decade’s after. And don’t forget all the birth defects that were cause to innocent people ,year’s after THE BOMB was drop on Japan , by the Americans.

        So should the family members of innocent people that where kill by American soldiers forgot . If there wasn’t any terrorists group when they invaded , now there a hole generation that want to kill American.

        • ConVixen

          Dude, chill out.

          America is not the only place on the face of the earth that has done horrible things. Yes, we did drop a nuclear bomb that we were wrong for and shouldn’t of done. Even General MacArthur regretted it.

          But come on now, I’m quite sure if N.Korea could nuke out Japan just like how they were playing “nuke em’ boys” at S.Korea I’m quite sure they would.

          Not only that, with the way the U.S. military has rushed in to help in that region, I’m quite sure the Japanese are more than greatful for their help and I hope it can change some problems and resentment that were going on between the Japanese and Americans since WW2.

          But with that said, if you have issues with Americans/U.S. Military just say it.

          Don’t wait for a tragic event like this to show your narrow mind and ignorance.

          There are far too many other things to be worried about than some who was wrong and/or who was right.

          • Mark

            Yeah my problem is not with American civilians it’s with the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX . The military ‘s job is to consider the worst case scenario and to try to plan for it . The goal for the MIC is to weaponized space, the space race is on . Come to planet earth where weapons are in orbit 24/7. That makes us (human race ) look so friendly. Listen to one smartest president the U.S ever had .

    • Selkie_Dutchess

      i’m not agreeing with this guy but- rape of nanking, unit 731 (or 713? can’t racall) and the general invasions of countries by japan killed millions of innocent civilians.

    • Gary

      seriously? id think the nukes would have put that to rest considering the nuke at hiroshima alone killed around 72 times the number of people that was killed at Pearl Harbor…

    • MikeT

      The Japanese military made a strategic move that was supposed have been preceded by a declaration of war. However, that declaration was not translated in time and the attack commenced before that. The officers involved in the attack were extremely upset at this, for this went against the Bushido, warrior’s code. As to the military personnel involved in the attack, they were soldiers under orders, same as here.

    • Vanessa

      Youre retarded. IJapan has done a lot to right its wrongs since the war. Grow up.




      lol to the last part! xD

    • bob

      hey why dont you leave the americans alone

  • Is there something that I am missing that makes #8 particularly interesting? Other than that though, fine list. Nice of you to recognize Japan after the quake.

  • magoopaintrock

    Japan is a cool and beautiful place, which is why i’m so disappointed that this author didn’t put any real effort into this list. Boooooooo.

  • slurpycow112

    not really sure what to feel about this list..

  • Jael

    Regarding #16, the Japanese vending machines sell more than beer. I went there five years ago and found vending machines that sold the following: cigarettes, neckties, underwear, and blood. I really don’t want to know what the blood was for.

    • Julius

      Cigarette dispensers aren’t that unusual. You can find them in most of europe. Beer in vending machines I’ve only seen in Spain before though.

  • Isaac

    @#2 comment.
    Are you fuc*ing serious? You’re trash

    • ToKiLoKi12

      how? elaborate.

      • Isaac

        If you can’t see it then that’s sad

      • Metalarchives

        Many Americans commented on the recent tsunami which hit mainly Japan by saying shit like “karma for Pearl Harbor” or some other stupid and inconsiderate remark which seems to be a specialty for Americans. First of all that was almost 70 years ago, and the Japanese more than payed for it, losing the war, their Empire, their prominence in Asia and hundreds of thousands of their people.

        Japan today is a great ally of the US, probably the only US ally in far East Asia, with South Korea. So that’s some shitty way to treat one of America’s only allies in the region. Japan is also a strong democracy and a highly civilized country.

        Good thing in Western Europe we’re not so stupid as to carry grudges with neighboring people who are today just like us and great allies. A Frenchman or Englishman who’d cry “hurray” if there’s an incident in Germany which kills thousands of civilians, because “karma for WW2”, would simply pass for a damn douche bag and be hated by everyone who heard.

        Good thing many other Americans are on the contrary considerate and intelligent people. America’s a weird country, you both have the greatest thinkers and intellectuals, but also the damnedest most stupid idiots ever.

        • ConVixen

          ~Good thing many other Americans are on the contrary considerate and intelligent people. America’s a weird country, you both have the greatest thinkers and intellectuals, but also the damnedest most stupid idiots ever.~

          So true of my country!

          I have to actually work and live with the idiots D:

        • boone_olmy

          Thats not true in my experience. My friends from Holland and Norway absolutely hate the Germans. They cant understand why I (as an American) dont. In my opinion at least half of the people from every country are ignorant… America doesnt own the patent on this.

          • iuuk

            In that case you know some stupid Dutchmen, but indeed, there are plenty of those. I’m Dutch, and no one I know (shockingly a lot of Dutchmen) ‘absolutely hates’ the Germans.
            But on the other hand, the Dutch are getting more xenofobic by the minute. If only we could breed faster we would be the number 1 most hated country ever. Just you wait, it’ll be our patent soon. The USA doesn’t stand a chance against our rabbitlike powers.

        • Auburn Tiger

          Hate to break it to you, but unless you’re living in an isolated, unheard of, island nation of geniuses, you’re probably living amongst a fairly large amount of stupid to average people. Everyone does. That’s just how the world is. There are smart people. Just not very many. That’s what makes them smart. Intelligence is relative. If everyone were smart, then no one would be smart. Let that sink in for a moment. That’s some heavy shit.

    • shantay


  • Shirokuma

    List probably typed down by the author in haste, without much thought or further elaboration, just to match the current news?
    Some of the “facts” are interesting, some marginal and some are not worth the space provided.
    Really not a good research.

  • Elle

    Nice list.I like Fact # 1…i don’t think you can find this in any other culture.

    • Sorcy79au

      Korean’s also take off their shoes when entering houses/establishments. Usually the house/establishment has spare slippers that visitors can use (while wearing their own socks to protect from nasties).
      The reason they take off their shoes (to begin with anyway) was because they generally sit on the floor to eat, watch tv, etc. as well as sleep there also, so they didn’t want their dirty shoes to be worn inside.

    • Johan

      People in South East Asia still take off their shoes before entering their homes. In Malaysia, country/village homes are built on stilts between 2-5 meters and any raised houses like these are natural indicators that you need to take off your shoes before entering. It’s interesting to see residents in modern urban houses also practice this custom today.

  • Randomizer

    A friend told me something about Japan a few days ago and I wanted to know if its true or not? She said that in Japan if a you(an expat) were hit by a japanese guy’s car the japanese police would handcuff you and take you to jail. Seems unlikely to me.

    • Britain

      Probably for temporary detaining just so they know where you are, but I imagine you wouldn’t actually get a sentence.

  • hardcoremilk

    I am somewhat of an Anime Otaku. But all in all. my sympathies go out to all the victims of the 8.9 earthquake.

  • fraterhater

    #14 My hair just doesn’t grow fast enough to keep up.

  • Bella

    This list is mediocre at best. Japan is an immensely fascinating country & not enough effort and research was put into this. I will personally write a list about Japan & it will be thoroughly researched!

  • Will Trame

    When I was stationed in Europe, the barracks I lived in had a beer-dispensing machine. Unfortunately, it was located in the laundry room, therefore the beers that came out were hot.

    I fondly recall all the Japanese animated programmes that came out when I was a kid….Marine Boy, Speed Racer, Eighth Man, Ultraman, the list goes on. This was definitely a good list as I have always been fascinated by Oriental philosophy. It was indeed a shame about the recent earthquake/tsunami.

  • Bella

    TokiLoki you are rather sick..

  • jeffthemaori

    See, here in NZ there is no way we could have beer vending machines, but if we did, I would start dancing in the street singing “Heaven…..i’m in heaven…..”!

    Stella Artois vending machines for me, yes siree!

    • FMH

      No, you wouldn’t. I don’t know whether the Japanese found a solution to the problem, but here in Germany, the beer always gets shaken when falling out of the machine. When you open it, it spills everywhere.

      • our jo

        Dang, never considered that, there was me thinking beer vending machines were the best idea ever :(

  • Another interesting fact about Japan:

    They were prepared for what struck them. Except for the nuclear emergency. It would suck for them to experience a second Hiroshima…

    • Arsnl

      They did experience a second Hiroshima. Its called Nagasaki. Well one was an uranium bomb the other was plutonium. But still.

    • venusbloo

      They already have, it was called Nagasaki.

    • OK,OK, then a 3rd nuclear event. Jeez… Pedantic, much?

      • venusbloo

        “Pedantic” shouldn’t have had a capital letter. :)

  • ianthemagnificent

    “The literacy rate in Japan is almost 100%.”

    To be honest I think this is true in most developed nations.

    It’s a good list but some such as “Japanese prisons (as of 2003) operated at an average of 117% capacity” are not really that interesting.

  • Arsnl

    How about calling this list 18 interesting facts, 1 fact out of the blue (8) and one blatant lie (13).

    Are you telling me that japanese have thr second lowest suicide rate? Were did you get those stats. You’re reading them upside down. They have one of the highest suicide rates. Thats why their govt is trying desperatly to cut it down. Quite dissapointing to see a false fact in a list. I hope someone will change it.

    French eat horse meat too. But its cooked. Geesh. Brigitte Bardot had a campaign to stop the consumption of such meat. Seabiscuit gets a whole new meaning.

    In the light of john galliano’s remarks, i never understood koizumi’s visits to that shrine. I get it. Many more people are included. But why did they include war criminals. And why hasnt he said anything against that.

    • Arsnl

      I appologize for this comment. Mea culpa. No excuse here. Embarrassment level: 7.

    • Magnumto

      Second lowest homicide rate, not suicide rate.

    • jared

      Are you daft? It said “homicide” not suicide.

    • Ushi

      Yes, I agree. The suicide rate is considerably high for it’s population. Also horse meat is NOT popular all over Japan. So it should NOT be called a “popular” entrée. And, yes, I live in Japan.

  • Tooky

    I did see a documentary once that interviewed a Japanese ex homicide detective who quit because of the corruption in the system. He said that any unusual death is only declared a murder if the police know who the killer is so that their arrest rates are impressive and any murder which doesn’t have a clear suspect is simply declared accidental or natural causes. Hence Japan having the 2nd lowest homicide rate in the world and 99% convictions.

  • japan has ridiculously high general price levels

  • Nikolle

    Nice list.

    The thought of eating basashi again turns my stomach. Bleh. Once was enough for me.

  • archangel

    would’ve preferred more effort on the list. I’m actually surprised at the beer drinking vending machines when I saw them in Tokyo… those would otherwise be ‘overused’ here in Australia lol.

    Hearts out to all the affected people there.

  • Bob

    Almost all countries have a literacy rate of 100%!

    • Elemarth

      Developed countries, you mean. It goes down to 26.2% when you’re talking about all countries.

      • Elemarth

        (I mean that’s the lowest literacy rate for a country. Not that it’s the overall rate.)

    • Dani

      Not true. Only about half of the countries have a literacy rate above 90%.

      • ParusMajor

        That’s silly. Surely everyone can read. ???? ? ??????.
        ?? ??? . ????

        Haha! I love Google Translate! :D

        • infoeek

          actually google translate is inacurate. oh and it kind of isn’t impresive wen i understand perfectly what you typed.?????? ?????? ?? ???, ??? ?????????? ? ???????? ????????, ????? ??? ???? 11 ???.
          ? ???? ? ?? ?? ???? ?? ?? ???.??????
          what you wrote in Russian:even in Russia
          what you wrote in Korean:Or korea
          what you wrote in traditional Chinese:Or in China

          • ParusMajor

            And what do you think I’m trying to do, exactly? I know I’m not the only one who can use Google Translate. I don’t think that I’m any more intelligent than other ppl just because I can use it as well. Tôi mu?n tôi là thông minh nh? b?n

  • Bella

    Bob, you’re an idiot

  • Interesting list, though not enough detail I fear. Tsukamoto Shinya’s work (or, indeed the Underground Cyberpunk movement) deserves a list of its own, as does the history of Aokigahara.

  • Suicide forest? No thanks! I’m sure there are plenty of other forests to visit in Japan.

  • James___uk

    Nice list, some really cool facts here I must say

  • mom424

    Meh list this morning. Would have preferred fewer ‘facts’ and more depth on the important ones. For instance, lots of people eat horse meat; more interesting to me is the Japanese habit of eating every damn bit of whatever they ingest..figure there can’t be much waste in a country where folks eat chicken heads/brains…

    I think the literacy rate is actually a true reflection of the education level in Japan – there is an assumption of 99% literacy rate in the USA, but how literate? Spell your own name? or actually be able to read a contract and understand it. Using that criteria, my guess is that the Japanese win hands down.

    The devastation in Japan is heart wrenching; doesn’t matter how well prepared you are, Mother Nature can trump it. I do believe that the Japanese will have their country and citizens looked after in record time. Much quicker than the Hurricane Katrina clean-up…. that still isn’t done. What kind of excuse is there for that?

    • Name

      usual mom post. anti-usa bullshi**

      • mom424

        You’re absolutely correct. My comment came off much harsher than intended – I apologize. If it makes you feel any better, I could talk about the horror going on in our Aboriginal communities, the disproportionate number in our prison system, Canadian school boards that are allowing creationism to be taught (or at least allowed to leave evolution etc out of the science curriculum) and a host of our own special home-grown ills. I’ll try and be a little more circumspect next time.

  • Sakemaguro

    What do you mean when you say prison system that is effective at a level of 117%? I dont understand.

  • oouchan

    I love Japan. My daughter and I plan on going and have been studying the culture so most of these I knew.

    Great and interesting list.

  • Auburn Tiger

    Interesting facts. As usual. It’s so sad that such a proud and hardworking country would experience such a disaster (I mean it’s sad for any country, but Japan’s pretty cool). Before anyone comes at me with angry comments, I don’t value any human life more than any other (unless it’s my family, a friend, a really important physicist, etc). There’s just a lot of cool stuff in Japan I haven’t seen yet and it would be so sad if some history were destroyed.

    • Arsnl

      Van der Meer died.

  • kf1985

    I love Japan, i went there on my gap year and while there i have never met people who are so kind, respectful and also really curious. Everyone i met made me feel welcome. As awful as recent event are the Japanese can handle it, while they will always remeber those that were lost.

    One more point for the record- in my opinion the Iron man film is the scariest film i have ever seen. I watched it when i was 17 and i was traumatised, everytime i see a drill i have flashbacks- not good! :s

  • BryanJ

    Good list, but I would have added a summary of the earthquake as fact #1.

    On March 11, 2011, the coast of Japan was hit by a 9.0 megathrust earthquake. The epicenter of the quake was reported to be 130 kilometers (81 mi) off the east coast of the Oshika Peninsula, T?hoku. The earthquake was the largest in Japanese history and the subsequent tsunami formed a wall of water up to 10 meters (33 ft) tall that struck Japan, with damage reported as far away as Chile.

    The Japanese National Police Agency has officially confirmed 1353 deaths, 1743 injuries, and 1085 people missing across twelve prefectures, but estimated numbers are far higher.

    The earthquake caused extensive damage in Japan, including heavy damage to roads and railways as well as fires in many areas, and a dam collapse. Around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.4 million without water.

    Many electrical generators were taken down, and at least two nuclear reactors partially melted down, which prompted evacuations of the affected areas and a state of emergency was established.

    It was the 4th most powerful earthquake in the world overall since modern record-keeping began in 1900.

    This earthquake released a surface energy (Me) of 1.9±0.5×1017 joules,[38] dissipated as shaking and tsunami energy, which is nearly double that of the Sumatran earthquake in 2004 which killed 230,000 people.

    The tsunami warning issued by Japan was the most serious on its warning scale, implying that the wave was expected to be at least 10 m (33 ft) high. Waves of that height were witnessed flooding Sendai Airport, which is located near the coast of Miyagi Prefecture.

    When said and done. The death toll will be much greater. Like the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Cyclone Nargis, the damage by surging water and the tsunami may be far more deadly and destructive than the actual quake. There are reports of “whole towns gone,” including 9,500 missing in Minamisanriku, Kuji and Ofunato having been “swept away … leaving no trace that a town was ever there.

    At Fukushima I and II emergency power systems failed, leading to severe problems including a large explosion at Fukushima I and leakage of radiation. Over 170,000 people have been evacuated.

    In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Japan’s Nikkei stock market index saw its futures slide 5% in after-market trading.

    The share prices of the biggest reinsurance companies Munich Re and Swiss Reinsurance Company fell following the earthquake on speculation that they may face losses “somewhere in the $10 billion range”

    Sadly, the facts go on.

  • cherylandjon

    First I want to say,my heart goes out to the people of Japan,it’s a beautiful country.
    on a silly note,they also have vending machines that sell used womens panties.

  • jerbear

    The eating of basashi is like chevat in france I believe, but the french cook the steaks. This is a good list comparing to skimming the fat from the cream. There should be some more head scratching, mind bending facts in the future, but good list none the less!

  • stormysiren

    Please do not judge all of us Americans by this ignorant comment. There are many terrible things done in times of war, and no one is blameless. If you ask me, dropping bombs on cities full of civilians was a bit worse than bombing a military base. Not that either of those things were good in any way….

    • stormysiren

      Oops, that was in reply to ToKiLoKi12. Wasn’t supposed to be a new comment!

    • ConVixen

      Amen sister!!

      But then again, it’s the internet. A place where common sense doesn’t exist.

      Or even appreciated for that matter.

      But I appreciate yours : D

  • kaye

    Interesting Fact #21: Tentacle erotica (, was allegedly invented to circumvent the Japanese ruling disallowing the depiction of penetration by the male sexual appendage.

    • Name

      I tried that tentacle ***** once, its not something i will try again, like, NEVER, its just creepy and disgusting, so pls u guys, for your own sake, DO NOT TRY IT

      • fendabenda

        What? Tentacoo wape?

  • abcba123

    #8 isn’t very interesting, the rest is good though

  • Harriet

    I know you shouldn’t make sweeping judgments, but I can’t help but notice there’s always at least one American who manages to lower the tone with some stereotypical stupidity and ignorance.
    God bless America.

  • OmegaMan

    Hope they save as many as they can.

    By the way, good list. And at an appropriate time too. Listverse (Jamie) was on the scanner of most of the users after the list about New Zealand was published post- earthquake. Many idiots opposed it in a curiously childish manner. So it is a good thing Jamie that you published this list. And guess what, very 2nd comment on the list started the same idiotic discussion again. How anyone can discuss such irrelevant issues at a tragic time like this always amazes me.

  • NnaYllek

    At the end of the day Pearl Barbour was a tragedy and people lost their lives and it was horrible. But that doesnt mean the Japanese deserved this. I`m sure most Japanese people dont agree with Pearl Harbor and even though I`m not American I`m sure a lot of your veterans would be disgusted to hear people thinking the Japanese deserved this tragedy.

  • Kris

    I always tell people about the beer-in-vending-machines thing here and they always seem surprised. It’s true, though. One 5-year-old can get on all fours, and another can stand on his back to put the money in and grab the beer.

    Surprised at this list’s omission of tentacle porn.

  • ConVixen

    I think it’s time for me to rant and give condolences in the same post…

    To all the Americans who are making this American and other Americans look bad by posting your ignorant and vile comments refrencing Pearl Harbor…


    You are disrespecting the victims in this recent tsunami attack and you are disrespecting the victims in the Pearl Harbor attack.

    I’m quite sure if those Pearl Harbor victims were still alive today, they would give what they could to help out with the victims of the tsunami attack.

    Oh yeah, as a veteran who has a grandfather who is a WW2 vet, he would be highly disturbed and ashamed by your comments just like I am.

    Now, to the other people who want to turn it into a nation vs. nation debate..

    Remember, every nation has it’s bloody and horrible history and in the game of blood, sweat, and tears…

    Ain’t nobody innocent.

    Oh yeah, don’t feed the trolls.



    To the people of Japan who have suffered a horrible natural disaster and God forbid, the likes of another disaster from the nuclear plant…..

    I can’t give you enough of my condolences, prayers, and chairity.

    I don’t think it would be enough.

    Light the candle in hopes that the nuclear plant won’t have a disaster and we’ll have a even bigger problem that will affect the whole earth. Pass it on.

    >>Love-We Need More Of It Nowadays-Pass It On<<

    • ToKiLoKi12

      Don’t build your house near the ocean if you’re not prepared for natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis to occur. Don’t build your house on a fault line if its not built to withstand an earthquake. My house in the mid-west has a basement (for tornadoes) and my beach house is built on stilts. Tired of wasting money on Aid for people simply because they’re naive about the dangers of what could happen in that environment.

      aid for victims to relocate? sure.
      aid for rebuilding in those areas? retarded. Even more retarded to think that something like that won’t happen again. If you’re going to build in the area, make sure the buildings can withstand it. Japan is a technologically forward country, they’re perfectly capable.

      • ConVixen

        Aid for victims to relocate? Relocate where?

        Tell the Japanese to get in the dab smack center of Japan or move to some other land?

        Tired of wasting money on aid? Sweetheart, ain’t nobody forcing you to “waste” money on aid.

        Nice to know your house in the midwest has a basement for tornadoes.

        When tornado alley rears its ugly head, I’ll make sure to tell the folks in the midwest to move to the coast.

        I’ll make sure to tell folks in the northeast and northwest to move to the southeast and southwest.

        I’ll make sure to tell folks on the coast to move inland.

        I don’t care where you live. You are still on planet earth. Every inch of the earth is prone to mother nature’s pms moments.

        If that’s the case then, maybe all of us humans should high tail it out of earth.

        Yes, the Japanese are very technologically forward people. But you know what? Mother nature is a b**** to anybody ANYWHERE.

        That house with the basement and the house with stilts, I hope they withstand mother nature when she’s ready to beat the crap out of the U.S. again.

        If not, the world sure as hell ain’t gonna miss ya :)

        Have a nice day and love someone :D

  • bruno cobain

    i think you meant takashi mike, there is an S missing, unless you aren’t talking about the famous j-horror director who directed a movie called Gozu (i think???) and the 13th episode of masters of horror season one
    sorry for any possible mistakes in spelling, i’m portuguese
    btw i love this website, regular visitor, i’ve been reading every list since i found you over a year ago

  • Emma

    I don’t think beer dispensing vending machines are that rare. I saw them all over the place in Europe. My apartment in Austria had both Jack and Cokes and shots of hard liquor in addition to beer and wine in its vending machines.

  • P Sullivan

    This list is ok its let down by the misspelling of TAKASHI Miike’s name and I don’t really see whats so interesting about Tetsuo: The Iron Man granted its a good movie but that doesn’t make it an interesting fact.

  • Devet10

    Its so sad seeing Japan with it advancements in technology, health care and education etc to be reduced to almost nothing. Definitely are the people of Japan and all those who are affected by the Tsunami in my prayer and I urge anyone who can to donate to a reputable charity to help these people out. I got mad at a coworker yesterday, when they sad that “they were overpopulated anyways” and that”majority of them are old people” regardless of anything no country or place should have to go through this trauma.

  • CeeJay

    Japan is second in the world with Fortune 500 companies at 71. US is first with 139. Impressive because Japan has about one third the population of the US. I know my prayers are with the Japanese people right now.

  • Wow.. Great info

  • Fliplover

    My thoughts and prayers to the victims of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear problems.

    That said, I would like to offer another fact. The Japanese people are some of the most racist on earth.

    Before everyone goes off on me, let me state for the record that I am currently employed at my second Japanese corporation, have traveled there many times, and have a very good friend married to a lady born and raised in Japan. So my coworkers and me have experienced it first-hand.

    If I go there with an African-American co-worker we cannot get into over half of the restaurants we have tried. I have even been told “Japanese only” when I am alone or with my Caucasian co-workers attempting to enter an establishment.

    Many of the negative feelings American have stem from the 1980’s when several Japanese leaders made sweeping, disparaging comments about American workers. Even today, they celebrate “Golden Week” a made-up holiday where most companies close for the week to bring their productivity down to the (presumed) American level.

    As for the comment from Shirokuma about the winners writing history, Japanese textbooks gloss over WWII and fail to mention that they were the aggressors in the war. I learned about My Lai in school, but no Japanese I have ever met was taught about the atrocities Japanese solders committed, but were well versed in the holocaust, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Stalin and Mao.

    • fliplover

      Oh, and I have a very good Mormon friend who did his missionary work in Japan and learned to speak the language fluently. He tell me the most smiling and helpful people were the ones who said the rudest things in Japanese when they assumed he couldn’t understand them.

      I don’t wish any evil or harm on anyone, but the Japanese aren’t the peaceful, friendly people that everyone condemning ToKiLoKi12 have made them out to be. That still won’t stop me from sending my prayers and money, though. Maybe if the rest of the world is generous enough, they’ll soften. Probably not, but one can try…

      • Dani

        So, what was the point of bringing up how rude they are?

  • FACT : Less people were killed in the recent Japanese tsunami than in WWI and WWII COMBINED!!!

    • Arsnl

      FACT: balls are hairy.

  • cindy

    Why do japanese people like to eat raw food? I hope my question isn’t offensive it just seems weird to me

  • BRiX


  • Bowser23

    Good God, people. Can’t a war 50+ years old be left to rest?! Both sides have mostly forgiven it. The movie Peril Harbor focused on a friggin love affair!
    In the time since we’ve both become enthralled with one another.
    People, maybe in the thousands are dead! Give politics a rest and be concerned with helping them now!

    • bleumoonselene


  • Kim

    I’d like to eat some basashi now. Oh my dearly beloved Japan…

  • freckledsmile99

    Good list.

  • There’s no way I’m going all the way to Japan to see the suicide forest! I bet we’ve got plenty of suicide forests in America that are just as good!

  • getanylink

    but now japan realy need the help. pray for japan

  • bleumoonselene

    Nice to see such worldly comments. The past is the past people.

    Can we for once forget about it and come together in crises?

    Stop being jerks and care about one another. Japan has just gone through the worst thing in decades, maybe even in history.

    The world as we know it may never be the same again. Nice to know you guys could give shot about it.

  • MikeT

    Items 2 & 3 hold a hidden secret: the vast majority of convictions are based on confessions. The Japanese police routinely interrogate suspects for long periods of time, over 24 hours is not uncommon. Promises are made that the sentence will be lighter if they sign a police written confession (but rarely are). In the case of foreigners, rare is the time that a translator is present to read the confession. In violation of international law, the accused is not granted access to their embassy or have embassy officials visit them. Needless to say, after 24 hours of interrogation, many accused sign the confession, even thought they cannot read it. Real detective work is rare.
    There is no trial by jury; instead it is a panel of judges, relying on confessions of the accused.
    The prison system operates from a penal code not updated since 1918. Prisons also have their own set on internal rules. Most of these rules are not communicated to the prison population and are bent or ignored by the prison staff. Solitary confinement is not uncommon for minor infractions, such as sleeping on the wrong side of the body. These prison rules are so secret that not even the Diet, the Japanese equivalent of our Congress, is allowed to know, citing “prison security”.
    Amnesty International, the United Nations , Human Rights Watch, all have condemned Japans police and prison system, putting them under the classification of a Third World corrections system.

  • Ricky

    regardless of how anyone feels about Japan for any past occurrences, it is worth noting that they are our 4th largest trade partner(about 270 billion a year), and as such, we have a vested interest in assisting them in clearing the destruction and rebuilding their cities and economies.
    not too mention our multiple strategic military installations on the island.

  • R.C.

    150+ posts of mostly hatred…

    Does anyone really wonder what is wrong with the world today?

    BTW…Great list…Thanks

  • Diamona


  • Interesting, just found out your site by searching google and this article is exactly what i was looking for. Could you please tell me whether you have an rss feed for this site? I would like to add this site to my rss feed reader, so i’ve looked for the rss icon but cannot seem to find it…

  • Mariah C

    Ha wow I guess people really take some things offensve

  • oliveya

    I think this website is perfect for children. That’s easy for me to say becuase I am one. Also I have a project to do so this website can really help me out.

  • christiana



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  • Wow, definitely need remove irrelevant and hateful comments. I was hoping to read some more interesting facts given in some of the comments, but I guess I aimed too high?

    Anyways one interesting thing a friend told me is that no matter where you are in Japan you’ll never be more than 100 miles away from the ocean.

  • While the literacy rate of reading and writing basic kana is indeed very high, a lot of people read kanji (Chinese characters) wrong because a single, same looking character has several different ways of reading depending on how it’s used.

    Also, taking shoes off indoors is given in many Asian households, not just Japan. That’s why you leave your shoes in the lower entrance area or outside before stepping into the living space of the house. :)

    Oh and Japan is vending machine heaven. They have ones that sell fresh flowers, underwear and even porn. XD

    • *cough* I meant adult reading and video material. lol

  • soaseaftesy


  • brieanna mcneil

    What a cool country you guys have hopefully i could come and vist your country and meet some of yous oh and sorry about your earthquake.

  • sinisters TOOL

    I sure do want a taco right now, man. I love you Japan. I also love you people commenting. I love Listverse. Peace, happiness and love.

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  • Rose


  • Chikara

    Good list, I hoped for more though

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  • Ray


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  • steph

    To me Japan is one of the greatest country in the world, japanese eat healthy and leave longer than many others arround the Globe.

  • Corrina

    I love fat men!!!!!

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  • Alicia Rogers

    EVERYONE needs to stfu!!!! this was suppose to be interesting facts about Japan. Not Pearl Harbor, cubun missle crisis, or any nazi!! God you guys sound like MORONS! it makes me laugh reading your crap.

  • Boo

    Don’t hate America because we bombed Japan. I fully support it. They killed alot of us including my grandfather so honestly if you think we did the wrong thing no; they got us so we got them back twice as hard. I personally hope we have another incident just like pearl harbor.

  • Eaj no Kami
  • rathanraj

    superb japan:)

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  • hobosland

    this info is dumb and stupid

  • saji

    awsm culture

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    You fat bro? you fat?

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  • J.J.

    I got 2 good facts. TWO GOOD FACTS!!!!! This list is janked up.

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  • cool and useful informaation….

  • Salma

    First, I’d like to say:


    Whether you like it or not.

    Second, for the people that have commented on other people’s posts and looked at their grammar mistakes… I’m just appalled. Who are you to comment and tell people that their grammar isn’t good?!?

    First : This is the Internet, my friend. People who comment on posts do not usually focus on grammar, unless it’s some type of grammar discussion.

    Second: We are not all here ‘perfect’ at English, like you are. So get a grip on yourself.

    AGAIN, THIS IS THE INTERNET. Have you heard of the phrase : ‘World- wide?” Yes, many people from around the world are commenting on this article.

    Okay I’m done with that point.


    These comments are very irrelevant to the topic. Yes, you’re discussing about Japan, but what got WW1 or WW2 in this?

    I just noticed that this post will be also irrelevant, but oh well.

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  • kesleigh powell

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  • Fry guy

    Yeah i have to agree with you TokiLoki12 but the they did stop the creation of the Americas fleet but the japan thought they might have been thinking of invading them so yeah also its a good thing america launched the atomic bomb because Russia was creating a atomic bomb who knows what they where going to do with it. Thats what started the cold war because american made the bomb first….. thank goodness that they did be fore Russia or i dont think things would end to well

  • Healayhewmymn


  • gabris


  • bubbles

    Just to add to #16 — There are also vending machines that dispense cigarettes, hot beverages, hot meals, and underwear. Alcohol is sold at all convenience stores. Nobody ever asks to see your ID, and it is perfectly legal to drink out in public.

    Other fun facts about:
    Gambling is illegal.
    Clothes dryers are rare to find.
    You will not find California rolls anywhere.
    Chicken sashimi (essentialyl raw chicken) is a dish served in alot of restaraunts (tried it and it’s frickin delicious)

  • tommy

    thats retarded

  • tyler

    thnx helped for homework

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  • ????sunshine

    Japan is a very interesting place that I learned that i should do that for a project at my school

  • sierra

    I love Japan! Japanese are my fav. people! I’m a american but i wish i was japanese!!!!!! <3

  • mefa

    gorse byoch

  • sergio

    thats an amazing list

  • luci

    i am a child iam doing this for my homework and i didnt even understand half of that STUFF GRRRRRRRR

    • NeLlie


  • NeLlie

    This sucks.