For a country that may look small on the global scale - Japan has been on the forefront of global politics, technology and economy for a long time. Deeply rooted in its historical specificity, it has been a major power for most of the 20th century and the 21st century. In the recent generation, Japan is popularly considered as the home of anime, sushi and exciting oriental culture. It is also a country which runs on top-notch fashion and the entertainment hub of music and literature. Japanese people are regarded as extremely hardworking, polite and Tourism, especially to places like Tokyo or the Amerikamura or the "American Village" or even the nightclubs are hot choices to visit to get a deeper understanding of the city, language and lifestyle.
But everything is not so squeaky clean - it is also quite strange to know that Japan gas give birth to some of the world's most bizarre, absurd and eerie. Let's find out three of these interesting things of Japan and turn over what it means in terms of Japanese culture and social dimensions.
Imagine hiring someone to be your daughter, son, sister, brother, mother, father or even grandparent. While this may throw your head back in a laughing fit, this is in fact, something normal in the society of kimonos and karate.
With society heading towards loneliness, citizens - especially senior citizens - find themselves alone and in need of company. Japan's 'Rent-A-Family' service caters to the lonely, frustrated and individuals craving for quality time with a loved one. It's a booming industry that helps a childless couple feel the essence of what it is like to have a baby, a grandmother to enjoy spending time with her 'son' and 'daughter-in-law' when her own are too busy to meet her.
The job may not be everyone's cup of tea: stand-ins should not come in to the job looking for a quick buck, but should rather genuinely understand the philosophy behind someone's isolation. Stand-ins receive $188 for a three-hour service, but this not 'good' business' as it leaves customers happy and fulfilled.
The fact that this industry is growing shows the need for 'family-bonding' in a society characterised by nuclear family structures and long working hours. Japan's strict, rigid working rules -which result in lower family time- can answer why citizens prefer said rental service.
2.The Virgin Killer Sweater
The Virgin Killer Sweater is described to be an "ultra-revealing sweater “which exposes most of the breast and posterior through the sides and some of the bottom. This outfit can also be seen in anime, from where the real-life sweater was derived from.
This sweater is designed to cater shy, virgin males, who upon seeing women in this skimpy clad outfit will set their mind into a sexual frenzy, therefore the name, 'Virgin Killer' Sweater. Why these sweaters sell like hot cakes in Japan can only be answered by the country's slightly weird obsession with everything 'cute'. No wonder we see Hello Kitty cos players and anime style restaurants. Women are encouraged to wear revealing clothing when serving customers and portray a dumb, childlike demeanour.
Reports and psychology say Japan's extremely high work ethic maybe behind the need to tantalize and rouse men. With extreme pressure from a young age, children often cram in 12-hour days at school as well as finding time for extra-curricular activities. A sense of childhood is lost by the time they grow up. They're still stuck in the "cute" phase their childhood brought them and reproduce these in their sexual fetishes. Quite unfortunate, isn't it?
The Momo challenge was a hoax in 2018 that blanketed the internet with horror and terror. It was bloated out of proportion when internet users dramatized a sculpture that was originally made by Keisuke Aisawa in 2016 called Mother Bird.
The sculpture shows a woman whose skin is tightly, with a grotesque looking smile on both ends of her face. Her eyes are horrendously popped out, and some of her fringe on her forehead. However, it was this picture that was circulated through the internet without anybody double-checking the real image. Thus, the Momo Challenge was born.
Similar to a previous internet challenge Blue Whale, The Momo challenge consists of an anonymous person named 'Momo', to text someone an automated message, make them do numerous challenges that ultimately results them in ending their lives. What's sinister about the Momo challenge is that it has taken many lives, especially children.
On Asian Boss' video, most Japanese participants were shocked by the image and all of them refused to play the game, if they were given a chance. But it definitely shed light to the darker aspect of Japanese school culture, where young children might be committed to do something harmful to themselves for attention from peers.