When FATS mentioned he wanted a story about Japanese culture I jumped all over it. I have always been fascinated with the culture and history of Japan. Heres a run down:

cat samThe Samurai: Having taken many a martial art classes over the years, whether it be Skr-u Karate, Jiu Jitsu or phku taekwondo the underlining theme tends to be the warrior spirit, the code of the samurai, or the way of the east. These Samurai warriors were so dedicated to the art of war that they required to supply there own weapons; it was insisted it be crafted only for that specific warrior. As Confucius said “a warrior with a stinky’ rear must find better bath”

The Yakuza are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. These guys are so hardcore that they cut off one’s finger, as a form of penance or apology, upon a first offense. The transgressor must cut off the tip of his left little finger and give the severed portion to his boss. Sometimes an underboss may do this in penance to the oyabun if he wants to spare a member of his own gang from further retaliation.

Its origin stems from the traditional way of holding a Japanese sword. The bottom three fingers of each hand are used to grip the sword tightly, with the thumb and index fingers slightly loose. The removal of digits starting with the little finger moving up the hand to the index finger progressively weakens a person’s sword grip.

The idea is that a person with a weak sword grip then has to rely more on the group for protection—reducing individual action. In recent years, prosthetic fingertips have been developed to disguise this distinctive appearance.

yakuzaMany yakuza have full-body tattoos (including their genitalia). These tattoos, known as irezumi in Japan, are still often “hand-poked”, that is, the ink is inserted beneath the skin using non-electrical, hand-made and handheld tools with needles of sharpened bamboo or steel. The procedure is expensive, painful, and can take years to complete.

When yakuza members play Oicho-Kabu cards with each other, they often remove their shirts or open them up and drape them around their waists. This enables them to display their full-body tattoos to each other. This is one of the few times that yakuza members display their tattoos to others, as they normally keep them concealed in public with long-sleeved and high-necked shirts. When new members join, they are often required to remove their trousers as well and reveal any lower body tattoos.

Yankee: They “Yankee Youth” is a derogatory term used for Americans in many parts of the world, especially in Latin America and Asia.

Around the 1970′s, groups of young thugs began appearing on the streets of Osaka’s America Village area wearing Hawaiian shirts. Because of their love of American goods, they started to be called yankees.

In a country where there is little open rebellion, yankees scare the crap out of people. Just by riding their noisy bikes around they seem to get everybody in an uproar and generally ruin everyone’s day.
vending 1The Vending Machine: Did you know in this Land of the Rising Sun there are around 5.6 million coin and card-operated machines. That’s approximately one vending machine for every 23 people. This means there are more vending machines in Japan than people living in New Zealand. Heres a few things you can purchase from theses machines: Beer, Sake, cold meals, hot meals, Crepes, fresh head of lettuce,fishing bait, soiled school girl panties,raw eggs, full sized electric car,Porn, french fries and hotdogs, and of course a pet rhinoceros beetle.

pride fcWrestling: In a country of short people they sure love there oversized, bulging muscled, streeting fighting warriors. Weather it was Pride FC, Dream , Sengoku, Shooto, or Pancrase they sure loved to watch two men fight in a ring. Weather the fix was in or it was a real fight the crowd loved it and came out in force, sometime over 100,000 strong. This day in age it is shunned to use steroids in sports however in some fighting leagues in Japan it was in the contract that you had to, yup mandatory!!

God love all of there souls for providing us westerners with so much interesting internet stories