About Me

I'm Phil! American living in Japan. Teacher. Ex-independent professional wrestler. Student of Japanese. Traveler. Article writer for Mythic Scribes. Also written four manga, novels, and various short stories and poems. For my fantasy-related blog, check out http://www.philipoverbyfantasy.blogspot.jp/.


Drill Bits: random thoughts, bloggy stuff
Japan Hammer: topics about Japan
Story Time: stories I felt like posting

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Japan Hammer: Weird Japan Part 2

So here's part 2 of Weird Japan. I review the weirdness of certain images or ideas from the internet regarding Japan. All credit for linked images goes to their respective sites.

5. Yamanba or Mountain Hags
Nice makeup...

Weirdness: 2/10

This isn't so weird. Maybe this extreme is a bit weird, but the Ganguro style was relatively popular in Japan in the 1990s and early 2000. You don't really see it much outside of Tokyo, so it is weird to see somewhere like Yamanashi or something. This immediately turns heads of foreigners though and is widely regarded as one http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifof the weirder styles. It still exists in smaller and less extreme pockets, but Japanese people don't seem to be very bothered by it.

4. Random People on Food
Tastes like...something.

Weirdness: 4/10

This is Putin Pudding. It's higher on the weird scale as it's not an American or Japanese celebrity on the food. And the last thing I think of when I see pudding is Vladimir Putin. The idea of putting public figures on food probably won't end here. It's definitely eye-catching. And a bit weird.

3. Ridiculous Parodies of American Culture
I am cholesterol incarnate!

Weirdness: 5/10

Almost any time my students think of American food the first thing they say is hamburger. So suffice to say, Japanese have tried to emulate the outrageous, gluttonous extremes of American food by making these monstrosities of beef. I've seen these tower burgers all over the place. I'm assuming they're made for more than one person? Anyway, it's moderately weird when first seeing it but then it starts to become the norm at some burger joints. There's always the "WTF Burger" at any given place.

2. Ridiculous Blends of American and Japanese Culture
Limit Break: McOmnislash!

Weirdness: 8/10
This is only so weird because it's also very creative. Taking Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders and blending them with Final Fantasy 7 characters Sephiroth and Cloud is pretty unique. The most common examples of this sort of splicing of culture are the McDonald's Big America series. Hamburgers with eggs and salsa and whatever other thing they can come up with. Just bizarre mixtures.

The popularity of Colonel Sanders specifically is rather interesting. There's a famous story about a group that threw a Colonel Sanders statue in a river near Osaka that was dredged up like 20 years later. Mysterious!

1. More Stuff for Lonely People
Forever alone...

Weirdness: 9/10

This is just weird to me. It's not really a sex thing. But more of a comfort thing. Which is weird they have pillows shaped like a woman's lap. It makes me sad that people buy these things. I'm hoping they aren't that popular.

I'm assuming this is weird in any culture though.

Well, that's it for part 2. Next blog I'll explore cute Japan! What really is cute and what is just "meh."

So what did you think of the Weird Japan blogs? More? Or any other suggestions?


  1. First, the lap pillow slightly freaks me out. Second, I'm in love with the photos of Ronald McDonald and Sanders. The brawl would be hysterical. What I find really weird about Japan is their lack of push for their ancient culture and traditions. I never see or hear anything about traditional events, festivals, etc. Maybe I'm jsut not looking in the right places. I would love to see old temples, rice fields, and traditional style homes. I'm sure the hustle and bustle of city life is great. However, all I see is the constant need to be modern. What happened to the beautiful heritage of Japan?

  2. Oh, there's tons and tons of it. If you're interested I could post something about temples and such for my next blog. I used to live in Fukushima which is far more traditional than where I live now, Yokohama.

  3. That would be fantastic! Anything would be great! Thanks.