(Almost) all of Japanese culture in 6 minutes

This short film has just about everything about Japanese culture in one cute story: “yuru-kyara” mascots, seemingly fragile yet quite strong old ladies, very funny inefficiences within an efficient society, conformity, earthquakes, elevator girls, technology, traditional bento shops, modern shopping malls, very helpful people (or at least they’re trying to be) working together to overcome difficulties.

The title is Gokurōsama, which is hard to translate but means something like “good job!” and it’s the graduation project from a group of students at a French computer graphics animation school.

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Wind telephone

About the “wind telephone” in northeastern Japan, where you can “talk” to loved ones you have lost:


1. A short article from Atlas Obscura


2. Audio (with transcript) and video from Spotlight English


3. A more challenging audio (with transcript) from This American Life

 

Faux-lidays

Today is 7/10 — which can be read as “natto” so it has become natto day, one of the “faux-lidays” Japan is so famous for.

Others: 11/11 is Pocky Day and here’s something about Meat Day and Cat Day, and here’s a list of many more. The humor is something akin to Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be with you.”)

Natto is inexpensive and healthy, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. And if you’re not a fan, maybe try something more palatable like natto spring rolls. Here’s a recipe.

What’s your favorite way to eat natto?

What other “faux-lidays” do you know about?