psychology

“Why bother?” Survey says one in three Japanese young adults doesn’t see the point in effort

Spend much time talking to people in Japan, and you’re sure to hear the phrases “gambaru” and “shou ga nai” over and over again. The fact that they both come up so often in conversation is kind of ironic actually, since their meaning are complete opposites.

Gambaru means “I’ll do my best,” and gets used for any topic that requires effort, including school, sports, work, and even finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. Shou ga nai, on the other hand, translates out as “it can’t be helped,” showing that you’ve already given up.

Unfortunately, a recent poll suggests that an increasing number of people in Japan are saying shou ga nai, with roughly a third of young adults saying they feel like their efforts in life won’t be rewarded.

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Manga artist and adult filmmaker lists Miyazaki anime among the worst, “most dangerous” out there

With Japan’s relatively lenient attitudes towards sex and violence in cartoons, you might get the expression that the whole society has come to a consensus that anime artists can draw whatever they like. That’s not always the case, though, and in recent years a string of crimes committed by individuals with an obsessive love for animation and comics has rekindled the debate about how much, if any, legal control should be placed on anime content.

It’s no shock that a former manga artist and adult video director has spoken out in opposition to such regulation. What is surprising, though, is his pick for the creator of the most detrimental anime: Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki.

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Personality test-obsessed Japan devises “Frozen” princess personality test for women

If there’s anybody in the world that loves a good non-scientifically supported personality or psychological measurement, it’s the Japanese. You’ve got the thoroughly debunked blood type indicator, Western-imported horoscopes, the “which way do you fold your arms?” test, the “how you like your meat cooked says a lot about you” test, and, of course, if you have sword-shaped fingernails, you’re a complete and utter psychopath.

Well, given Japan’s propensity for personality indicators as well as Japan’s affinity for adorable Disney princesses, it was only a matter of time before somebody mashed the two together to create a Frozen princess personality test. Jeez, why can’t they take all this superstition and just LET IT GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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Does the way you cross your arms say anything about your personality? Japan thinks so

Everybody, go ahead and cross your arms right now. Done? Alright. Now, try to cross them the other way. If you’re currently crossed with right forearm on top, try to switch position so that your left forearm is on top. Feels incredibly awkward and unnatural, doesn’t it?

It turns out most people have a natural bias for arm-crossing direction, with slightly more than half of most global populations preferring the left-forearm-on-top approach, although the two preferences are basically 50-50. Some people apparently cross their arms either way without even thinking about it, although this population is exceedingly small.

So why do we humans find one way so natural and the other way so incredibly weird-feeling? It may have something to do with your psychological composition, according to the (admittedly somewhat unreliable) Japanese Internet.

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The little test that’s blowing Japanese netizens’ minds

While many Japanese people might not get “American jokes,” they do seem to be enjoying some certain English memes. For example, “The Little Test That Blows Your Mind,” which recently reappeared online, was translated and posted to a Japanese website, garnering over 1,500 comments.

If you’ve already taken the test, you’ll definitely want to see how your answer stacks up against these Japanese commenters. And if you haven’t taken the test yet, be sure to give it a try!

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Seoul anti-suicide initiative backfires, deaths increase by more than six times

Like many of the world’s largest and oldest metropolises, Seoul owes part of its development to its location on the banks of a river. In the case of the Korean capital, being situated along the Han River contributed to the flow of goods and resources necessary for a large community centuries before the development of trains or automobiles.

The Han River still flows through Seoul today, where the body of water is crossed by the Mapo Bridge. But while the bridge was built with the purpose of serving as a transit artery, it’s also been darkly co-opted by those looking for a place to end their own lives, and the site sees more suicides than almost any other in Korea. Unfortunately, a public service campaign looking to reverse the tragic trend has had the opposite effect, with suicides at Mapo Bridge increasing more than sixfold since the campaign began.

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Japanese psychologist explains what the seat you choose in a theatre reveals about your personality

There are a couple things that make going to the movies in Japan different from in the US. First and foremost there’s the price. General admission at just about every first-run theatre in the country is a whopping 1,800 yen (US $18.40).

Helping to take a little bit of the sting out of that, though, is the fact is that all seats are reserved. There are two advantages to this system. First, you never have to deal with the annoyance of one guy, sitting by himself, who’s saving the dozen seats prime seats next to himself for his friends, who will totally be here any minute.

Secondly, the seat a person uses can reveal things that give you a glimpse into their personality.

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Business is booming for yakiniku restaurants, but are customers chemically dependent on meat?

Yakiniku (Korean barbecue) restaurants have been popular in Japan for a long time now. People around here can’t seem to get enough of managing their own grill and eating copious amounts of pure meat. However, in recent years Japan seems to really be getting into red meat what with romantic meat themed video games and classily stacked Quarter Pounders for a king’s ransom.

Particularly around the summer season Japanese people appear to be craving red meat extra hard. News Post Seven reports that of all types of restaurants in Japan, the yakiniku sector has grown a hearty 14 percent compared to the previous year. It was the only type to grow over 10 percent – an impressive feat in this sluggish economy. As a result we are seeing other restaurants and bars adopting charcoal grills to tap into this success.

To answer the million dollar question of why Korean barbecue is going so strong, News Post Seven‘s Tatsuya Matsura came up with an interesting theory. Let’s see if it holds water and maybe a little BBQ sauce too.

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Paris Syndrome: A Psychological Condition that Hits Japanese Hardest

Paris: city of love, romance, food and… mental anguish?

In an article over on Gold Rush, writer Senya talks about the devastating psychological condition that has come to be known as “Paris Syndrome”; a condition that, bizarrely, seems to affect Japanese people in particular, with many visiting the city suffering from symptoms similar to depression that, in rarer cases, results in suicide.

What is it about Paris that has such a debilitating effect on Japanese? What could they do to avoid it or lessen the symptoms?

We delve a little deeper to find out…

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Bus Button Lovers Get Off at Tokyu Hands During Golden Week

“Next stop, Shibuya Tokyu Hands!”

That’s what one might have expected to hear at the department store that hosted the quirky Tsugi Tomarimasu Bus Button Exhibit on May 3 and 4. A private collector put his collection of over 100 bus signal buttons on display for the Golden Week shopping crowds.

Anyone who has ever ridden a bus is familiar with the buttons you push to signal that you want to disembark, and we all have a relationship with these buttons. Aggressive people want to initiate action and get where they’re going. Passive people want someone to push the button and take care of their needs. Kids just want to be big enough to reach the buttons! Read More

Tokyo Mob Blocks Ambulance. “You should be ashamed, Japan!”

There’s a shocking video that has people talking. Titled, “緊急走行を妨害する歩行者Unreasonable walkers interfering with an urgent run“, it shows an ambulance with its sirens blaring. But the thing is, when it comes to a six-way crosswalk (likely in Shibuya, Tokyo), the pedestrians just keep walking, preventing it from going through.

And it’s not just one or two people either, but dozens, maybe hundreds of people completely ignoring the ambulance, crossing the street at a normal walking pace. Read More

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