Third Tuesday Random Five

Yes I know it’s Wednesday.

1. Japan has a great fondness for purikura machines. They’re all over the place, especially in the arcades/shopping centres which litter the cities. Purikura is short for ‘purinto kurabu’ – the Japanese pronunciation of ‘print club’ – and they’re glitzy versions of your garden variety passport photo booth. Lots of people get their photos took whenever they go somewhere with friends, and maybe cut them out and stick them in purikura books (the photos have are sticky-backed). It’s all part of ‘making a happy memory’; apparently a most important concept here. Some of the purikura booths have moving scenery/ backdrops or even costumes for you to put on before you squeeze into the tiny space with as many friends as you can fit. Then, after the photos have been took you can ‘graffiti’ them or mess around with graphics using an electronic pen.

2. I don’t know if it’s just the Kansai area, or a country-wide issue, but it seems like many Japanese people are obsessed with eating crab meat. Especially during the winter; it feels like every two minutes there’s another advert on TV for a special offer you can send off for and recieve 25 crabs for £50 or something, with lots of people acting like they’ve just won the lottery over it. Crab is always advertised as being a rare and expensive delicacy, although as far as I can see, it’s available almost everywhere, and most of it is priced OK compared to other fish-type food. Maybe I’m missing something here. I mean, they even have mini-break holidays that are entirely organised around the eating of crab…

3. ..which leads me onto this fact: ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffets are quite popular here, but they always seem to have a time limit on them. It’s usually 90 minutes. S has been (with work) to an ‘all-you-can-beef’ weekend (continuing with the theme of food-based minibreaks) and was bemused at the way certain people were elbowing each other out of the way at the buffet bar. To get to the meat. I don’t think ‘all-you-can-eat’ combined with a time limit brings out the best in human nature.

4. If a Japanese person tells you that “you have a small face,” it’s a compliment. Small faces and heads are apparently very fashionable.

5. Nudity is not constructed here as it is in the west. Possibly due in some part to the onsen culture (the prevalence of hot-springs communal bathing) the body is not always seen as sexual when naked. So, for instance, kids might get changed in the playground for sports; or sometimes an old person just gets naked in front of you. I’m joking about the old person. It actually only happened twice, with the same old person…

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3 responses to “Third Tuesday Random Five

  1. Actualy I was at the “all you can Beef too” and I saw S do his fair share of shoving. His sharp elbows were praised amongst his peers but feared by his rivals….oh and whilst I write this I am reclining in an onsen naked a the day I was born.

  2. I have a big head and face. I don’t think i’d be appreciated in Japan. Do you?

  3. Sara, you would be worshipped for your red hair!

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