Things you learned about Japanese culture from Anime and Manga
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27 / M / Florida, USA
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Posted 1/21/12 , edited 1/21/12
Post what you learned, and where you learned if from. Preferably not the stuff that's already commonly known. I'll start.

1: The Japanese use squid ink as a food condiment (Squid Girl)

2: There is a Japanese superstition that you will sneeze when someone is talking about you (Various)
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43 / M / Reno, NV, USA
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Posted 2/23/12
I wonder how good a window into the culture is anime or manga. I imagine it might be like a Japanese person who has never been to America, and whose only window into American culture is through The Simpsons or Family Guy. Many insights could be spot-on, and yet the whole impression could be very warped. The first anime series I watched was Hell Girl, and I thought it then, and am still inclined to believe it now that it's an insightful view into Japanese modern society, or at least some aspects of it (probably more the negatives than the positives). Yet, if Japanese society was exactly as depicted in Hell Girl, it'd be a wonder that the country would even exist as anyone and everyone worthy of notice by anyone else would likely have been banished to Hell long ago!

Anyway, some things I've learned from anime (I don't read manga much, myself):
1. Use of personal names in Japan. In America, we're generally pretty casual about it, especially younger generations. It's not uncommon for people who've just met or barely know each other to refer to the other by their first name, even in some business settings. In Japan, this seems much more formal. Calling someone by their first name seems to be a precious privilege granted only to close friends (e.g. Black Rock Shooter, between Mato, Yomi, and Yuu).
2. Women are considered over-the-hill if unmarried after 25 or so, at least traditionally. I hear this is changing among the young, with many more women nowadays in Japan marrying later, if at all. (e.g. Lucky Star, and the concept of Christmas cakes-- "unwanted after the 25th.") I recall a YouTube video my Japanese conversation partner shared with me, about a Japanese entertainment personality who was resorting to speed dating or something like that because she was "already" 28 and perhaps getting a bit desperate. A cute TV-pretty Japanese woman, single, 28 years old, with a good job and education would be a prime marriage catch here in the U.S.!
3. The Japanese school calender (e.g. Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, and so many others that take place in school). It actually took me a little bit to realize the school year begins around April in Japan, and not August or September as it does in the U.S.!
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Posted 2/28/12
I agree with sushipath: the use of names and the school schedule is what I learned mostly through anime.
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Posted 3/3/12
hm.. the way they address each other and i noticed that they stay at school from like 6am-5pm or something.... damn.. too long
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24 / F / Texas, USA
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Posted 3/4/12 , edited 3/4/12
I learned more about the Meiji Era with Rurouni Kenshin and about the Shinsengumi from watching Hakuoki Shinsegumi Kitan/playing Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom. I also learned about demons/kamis from Japanese folklore from Inuyasha lol Also about how Japan looks in general and what they do in schools
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43 / M / Reno, NV, USA
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Posted 3/4/12
Some traditional Japanese (or Asian) games make prominent apperances an anime as well. Card games like Hanafuda (Summer Wars) or the Hyakunin Isshu (100 poets) karuta (Chihayafuru) would have been completely unknown to me except through watching anime. As an amateur player myself, the Ma-Jiang (Mah-Jongg) feats in Saki seemed to me far too unbelievable to take seriously!
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38 / M / London
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Posted 8/21/12
The Kotatsu, the table with a futon on top and a heater underneath that people sit around at home. I'd never have known about that if I hadn't seen it in Lucky Star. Also, Shrine Maidens.
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46 / M / KC
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Posted 8/22/12
Lots of things, and I'm continuing to learn more as time goes by.

For instance, you'll see butterflies in a number of supernatural animes. The butterfly often represents a person's soul. A large group of butterflies, however, is an evil omen.
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24 / M / Dallas, Texas
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Posted 8/22/12
There is a simplified version of the game Go called Eigo (the Japanese word for English) It is easy for us barbarian gaijin to learn compared to the real thing. I actually managed to beat my host brother when I was in Japan.


Takoyaki is not nearly as good as represented in Anime. It's squid in a hushpuppy slathered in a sauce that is a cross between mayo and honey mustard. It tastes exactly like it sounds it would.

Seriously though. gotta love Japan.
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46 / M / KC
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Posted 8/22/12

trigunfish wrote:
Takoyaki is not nearly as good as represented in Anime. It's squid in a hushpuppy slathered in a sauce that is a cross between mayo and honey mustard. It tastes exactly like it sounds it would.


Sounds delicious to me. :)
One of these days I'm going to learn how to make it, but I have to buy the pan first.


trigunfish wrote:
Seriously though. gotta love Japan.


Agreed.
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28 / M
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Posted 8/22/12
Women become Christmas cake at 30.
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28 / M
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Posted 8/22/12

trigunfish wrote:

Takoyaki is not nearly as good as represented in Anime. It's squid in a hushpuppy slathered in a sauce that is a cross between mayo and honey mustard. It tastes exactly like it sounds it would.

Seriously though. gotta love Japan.


Guess you never been to Dontonbori in Osaka. Best takoyaki ever, and it's octopus not squid.
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46 / M / KC
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Posted 8/23/12
The Mongolian Blue Spot. You'll see it from time to time in anime; most recently in Joshiraku. It is usually a subtle way of indicating the character is childish.
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22 / F / AKL, New Zealand
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Posted 8/24/12 , edited 8/24/12
the rooftop is a cool hangout in high school...

i also want to try legit Japanese food IN Japan. although it's 'animated' food in anime, Naruto makes ramen seem much more yummier :\
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