You know that whole “all Asians look alike” thing? Well, it works both ways…
There’s a restaurant in my neighborhood that I ate dinner at shortly after I moved to Yokohama. Since in those days I worked night shift, I walked through the door around 9:30 p.m., asked for a table for one, and ordered my food.
It turned out to be one of the blandest, least satisfying meals I’ve ever had, but that restaurant is still in business, more than a decade later, so the food can’t be that bad. In hindsight, I think the fact that it was about the 20th meal in a row I’d eaten alone was affecting my sense of taste. Spending too much time by yourself can mess with your head, and the social aspect of eating with a friend can really add a lot to your enjoyment of the meal, which is why a researcher in Japan says that if you’re going to be eating by yourself, you should put a mirror on the table.
Everyone’s got his own unique set of aesthetic sensibilities and ideal vision of beauty. In general, though, guys like looking at half-naked women, and when they aren’t in a position to look at one, they’ll settle for imagining them.
As such, it’s perfectly natural and healthy to fantasize about women wearing sexy lingerie if you’re a young man who’s reached the age of puberty (or if you’re an older man whose mind didn’t really progress that far afterwards). But when you start coming up with systems to determine what kind of lingerie a woman has on, like theorizing that it matches her umbrella, well, you might be thinking about women in their undies just a bit too much.
Recently a psychology student posted a copy of the “Four Card Problem” which is a logic puzzle where players must flip over the minimum number of cards to possibly prove or disprove a rule. The way to play is quite simple, yet fewer than 10% of university students have been able to successfully answer it. Ready to step up and give it a whirl?!
Not you, psych students and graduates who have probably already seen this! Back off for a sec and give the rest of us a try first.
Think about how you slept last night. You probably rolled around a little, found a comfortable spot, adjusted a bit, then eventually slipped into sweet slumber in that position. If you’re like most people, every night you probably choose a similar sleeping position. And the position you choose can say a lot about your personality, your subconscious, and even your deep-seated fears.
We have a list of eight common sleeping positions along with the typical personality traits of each. Are the predictions spot-on for you, or were the psychologists sleeping on the job when they dreamed them up?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…