Japanese culture puzzles many people, including Japanese. Let's take a look.

Heart. From your local convience store. This is serious advertising?

Evidence of Culture



Double poster

Double Click. I take a photo of a doubly cute thing taking pictures. Man below is looking elsewhere. Culture meaning: security in public places and promises of material wealth, popularity and abundant cuteness.

Kabuki drama poster.

Kabuki Drama. With posters this dramatic, culture can't be far away. However, the gender thing becomes a bit hazy. Both may actually be men. But we don't care. He's more feminine than I'll ever be. This is one reason I love Japanese culture.

Poster for

Smokin' Clean. What sort of cultural blindness is this? If a single smoker puffs away in the forest, is that clean? Does he get to toss the butt overboard anywhere he wants?

Smokin' Dirty.

Smokin' Dirty.What sort of culture allows people to smoke inside and in restaurants? Japanese culture doesn't care enough to stop this insidious practice. Nevertheless, look what a jazzy smoker he is. This old smoker has so much style it hurts! You know that he is one secure smoker. This is "Smokin' Dirty and Lovin' It."

Bridal poster in Iwama hills.

Marriage Proposal. This large metal sign for the local big marriage hotel graces a particular hairpin curve along the Iwama mountainside up to the local jinja. Isn't she lovely? Whenever I see her, I am usually dirty and sweating from the hike up and down Mt. Atago from the dojo to the hilltop Atago-san shrine. She has the power to make me feel refreshed, feminine and sooo dainty. Her proposal? That I would have the veil, white dress, flowers, and, oh yes! the guy if I am only as frilly as she is. Now that is a powerful cultural icon!


Hung Out To Dry. How laundry is performed is entirely cultural. This is not a scene from the backwoods of Hicksville. No, dear friends, this scene is repeated everywhere throughout Japan. From every apartment tower veranda to every mountaintop hamlet, let laundry dry. The pole (hoshi-zao) is a stroke of genius as clothes dry neatly. In summer though, they may never dry. You just have to bring it in and wear it before the mold takes over. Oh, culturally, dryers are regarded as frivolous. Even so, I came to really prefer this method and the element of equality. Everyone can see what you wear underneath those fashionable and refined clothes.

Japlish Corner

Convenience store named Kira Heart. This is their motto.

"Only Taste of Heart"