Ten Ways The Japanese Do It Worse

5) School Bullying: Teacher Pests

"Leave them kids alone!""Leave them kids alone!"
Umm, aren't schoolteachers supposed to prevent bullying and protect their students? Not in Japan, if the near-daily parade of news headlines is to be believed. "Teacher collared for kicking female student in stomach", "Teacher reprimanded for wrongly accusing boy of sneaking into girls' dressing room", "Ex-teacher sentenced for posting photos of dead children on Web site"... and this is from one newspaper's website over the past one week! Kids bullying kids has always been a problem in Japan's schools, but how do you find a solution when teachers are part of the problem? (image from Pink Floyd's "The Wall", headlines from Mainichi News)

4) Women's Rights... make that Wrongs

Office Ladies Unite!Office Ladies Unite!
Women's rights in Japan have achieved historic heights of late, but they're rising from near-medieval lows. The "party line" on women in Japan seems to be, they can work - for a while - but by their mid-twenties it's time to quit, get married and start squeezing out puppies. Until then, workplace equality amounts to office ladies wiping every desk equally clean. At least they're allowed to drive... (image via boingboing )

3) Wasteful Packaging: Quantity = Quality?

Coming soon to a landfill near you...Coming soon to a landfill near you...
Far too many Japanese snacks, foodstuffs and consumer products are packed as if they need to survive a very bumpy ride to the store... lasting 50 years. What's surprising is that this is a country that takes great pains to reduce waste and recycle whenever possible. Why then, does a plastic package of crackers have each and every cracker individually wrapped? Trying to eat a few cookies reminds one of those Russian dolls that nest inside each other, over and over and over again. Is it a "quantity equals quality" thing? Who's benefiting here? Certainly not the planet. (image via Chase The Stars )

2) Whale: The Other White Meat

Whale of a LunchWhale of a Lunch
Y'know, I'm not a radical animal rights activist and I can understand that some societies hunt whales as part of their culture. I can also deal with the need to study whales so that we may better understand their needs, and by doing so allow us to devise better ways of protecting them - and sometimes that entails killing them. All I ask is that we be honest about it. Japan, you're not being honest. In 2005, Japan killed 1,243 whales under the guise of "scientific research". This year, 50 Humpback whales will be added to the quota. Whatever Japan's scientists are looking for, they're going through a heck of a lot of whales in order to find it. Oh, and the meat from these whales? You'll find it on supermarket shelves and served in school lunches. "Waste not, want not", right? Scientists did make one notable discovery: whale meat is loaded with dangerously high levels of PCB, mercury, and dioxin. Yum!!! (image via able2know )

1) Sex...

No fooling aroundNo fooling around
If you thought the whale thing was bad, how about finishing dead last in a sex survey - two years running! Sad but true, according to recently published results of the Durex Global Sex Survey. The survey quizzed 26,000 people from 26 countries pertinent (more like impertinent) questions about their sex lives: Who has sex the most times annually? The Greeks, at 164... Japan was last at a dismal 48. Who are the most satisfied with their sex lives? Nigerians, at 67 percent... Japanese were last at a miserable 15 percent. The percentage of Japanese who experience painful intercourse? About double the world average. Ouch! Betcha it's those toxins in the whale meat that are messing things up... hey, what goes around, comes around! (image via T-Shirt Humor, content via Mainichi News )

Our countdown of the Ten Ways The Japanese Do It Worse ends on a flaccid, unsatisfying note perhaps, but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel... uh oh, it's a train! Freudian imagery aside, sure Japan has its problems but who doesn't? It's just like being married: for better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, love the one you're with (thanks to CSNY).

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Steve Levenstein
Japanese Innovations Writer

Read: 10 Ways Japanese Do It Better
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Read: 10 Types of Woman You Need to Avoid

Jul 11, 2007
by Anonymous Even Steven (not verified)

What is "better" or "worse"

is arbitrary and a matter of opinion (which you are entitled to have).  I prefer to think of these things as "different" without judging them.

Jul 11, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

judgement day...

It may be that there's a fine line between Opinion and Judgement, and i think certain degrees of both are required when assembling ANY "Top Ten" listing. How can it be otherwise, unless it's a statistical list that ranks by the numbers. On the other hand, chances are every person who puts together a Top Ten list with a set theme is going to have a different list - based on their opinions and - yes - judgements. Just my opinion, of course :o)

 Since when did "judgement" become a 4-letter word, anyway?  

Jul 11, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Judgment is an 8 letter word, not 4

But it often spelled with 9, so 4 letters plus 5.

It isn't so much that making judgments is wrong but that when making cross-cultural comparisons, making judgments isn't really the best thing to do.  A culture should be seen and understood from its own perspective; one shouldn't use one's own culture to judge others.

Jul 30, 2007
by Ana (not verified)

An intance where I can say, 'LOL'.

I thought that was really good and incredibly hilarious!  Not judgmental as more 'What the heck?' ( I mean, it should definitely count for something that you did a 'better' article before you did this.)

And plus, Japan has pretty much the same attitude about us.  I can guarentee it.

Jul 30, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Here's LOL-ing at you, kid...

Spot on, Ana, i never seek to criticize as it's not my place. What i write is taken from MY point of view, and that's usually somewhere between bewildered and bewitched. 

I'm totally certain that there's a Japanese version of me typing away on how odd WE are!

Sep 18, 2007
by Matsumoto Jun (not verified)

Whale meat

Whale meat is sooo tasty though! Its like super tender beef.

Dec 4, 2007
by Anonymous Tyo (not verified)

Kore mo

Totally great! I love your collections!

Mar 11, 2008
by Anonymous

the jpopmusic thing

You obiviously never heard of jpop before. Not all music in japan is like that. A famous lady name Utada Hikaru is a jpop star and she never does those things. It is more of a relaxing tune. At least Morning Musume isn't talking about sex, and they aren't fools all the time while singing. So get a life bitch lol.

Mar 12, 2008
by Anonymous

J-pop rocks!

J-pop rocks!

Sep 23, 2008
by Anonymous

No J-Rock rocks! XD

Lol there are lot of dumb things about each country :S

Engrish engrish!!

It's not as bad as American's who speak in Japanese with their original accent :S Like wtf

KAWAII urgh I hate it when people randomly add romaji to their sentences, epsicially that word :|

Lol desu desu desu

Dec 28, 2008
by Anonymous



I think America has things that make it even WORSE. Anyone care to list them?

Let's start with music. ;O Or lack there-of.