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need help to get rid of so called "general knowledge" about japan

cowo

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i'm new to this forum.
so the first thing i want to do is to get rid of false informations about japan which got "general knowledge" in other countries.
i write a list list of things i think to know or heard about japan and you can say true or false. maybe (if you are in the mood) even a bit more.

1. the fact almost everyone knows is that you can buy used underwear of schoolgirls at vending machines.

2. a lot of schoolgirls prostitute themselfs to be able to afford their lifestyle

3. there are several ranks of sharpness for a japanese sword (the real one) and the least one is as sharp as a razor blade.

4. they used convicts to demonstrate the quality of a new sword in medieval japan. cut them in half.

5. Kamikaze does not mean suicide but something like "sons of the wind".
i can't remember the whole story, but i tell it as far as in know.
in a previous war (ww-I ?) the overwhelming fleet of the enemy (korea ?) was heading for the japanese mainland. the situation was hopeless, but then a big typhoon destroys the complete fleet . this miracle saved japan. so at the end of ww-II, when the situation got hopeless, the japanese suicide-pilots called themselfs "sons of the wind". they wanted to be the heirs of the "miracle" which saved japan years ago.
therefore the term "to commit kamikaze" is nonsense.
for that matter, what does "banzai" means?

6. sushi does not necessarily means raw fish, algae or somthing rolled. but simply bite-sized food.

7. decorated and varnished chopsticks are actually not for eating but are traditional gifts for certain celebrations and belong more in a show-case than on the dining table.


i'm too tired to come up with anything more but i also think it's enough for now. what or how much of the above i believe i'll tell you later. :D

cya
cowo 🙂
 

Gaki

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Originally posted by cowo


5. Kamikaze does not mean suicide but something like "sons of the wind".
i can't remember the whole story, but i tell it as far as in know.
in a previous war (ww-I ?) the overwhelming fleet of the enemy (korea ?) was heading for the japanese mainland. the situation was hopeless, but then a big typhoon destroys the complete fleet . this miracle saved japan. so at the end of ww-II, when the situation got hopeless, the japanese suicide-pilots called themselfs "sons of the wind". they wanted to be the heirs of the "miracle" which saved japan years ago.
therefore the term "to commit kamikaze" is nonsense.
for that matter, what does "banzai" means?


Kamikaze = heavenly storm / winds of god

The story was about invading Mongolians, in the 13th Century (i cant remember exact century) ~ banzai is kind of like a cheer , i cant think of an English equivilant.
 

jeisan

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ill ansewr what i can.

1. the fact almost everyone knows is that you can buy used underwear of schoolgirls at vending machines.
false, though you cen get beer in vending machines.

2. a lot of schoolgirls prostitute themselfs to be able to afford their lifestyle.
true, its even got a name, enjo-kosai

5. Kamikaze does not mean suicide but something like "sons of the wind".
i can't remember the whole story, but i tell it as far as in know.
in a previous war (ww-I ?) the overwhelming fleet of the enemy (korea ?) was heading for the japanese mainland. the situation was hopeless, but then a big typhoon destroys the complete fleet . this miracle saved japan. so at the end of ww-II, when the situation got hopeless, the japanese suicide-pilots called themselfs "sons of the wind". they wanted to be the heirs of the "miracle" which saved japan years ago.
therefore the term "to commit kamikaze" is nonsense.
for that matter, what does "banzai" means?

i think acctually kamikaze means divine wind and stems from when a typhoon blew off a chinese invasion.
 

NANGI

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Konnichiwa Cowo-san!

1. the fact almost everyone knows is that you can buy used underwear of schoolgirls at vending machines.

There is a few used underwear shops. But I don't know vending machines. I have never seen it. Oh, I have never gone used underwear shops too.:D

2. a lot of schoolgirls prostitute themselfs to be able to afford their lifestyle.

Yes, a lot of schoolgirls prostitute themselfs to money. But it is a handful of schoolgirls comparatively. If all schoolgirls is prostitute, they can not get big money by reason of an excessive supply. They can get big money by reason of rarity.

3. there are several ranks of sharpness for a japanese sword (the real one) and the least one is as sharp as a razor blade.

I think that a lot of people believe the best Japanese sword has very sharp edge as like a razor blade. But it is not necessarily correct. If Japanese sword has very sharp edge, they get a nick in the edge when the clash of swords. Japanese sword that has very sharp edge as like a razor blade is a appreciative sword.

4. they used convicts to demonstrate the quality of a new sword in medieval japan. cut them in half.

The Japanese didn't use convicts to demonstrate, and Japanese sword can not cut them in half.

5. Kamikaze does not mean suicide but something like "sons of the wind".

Kami means a god, Kaze means a wind. Kamikaze means divine wind in literally. But it means suicide attack.

6. sushi does not necessarily means raw fish, algae or somthing rolled. but simply bite-sized food.

Yes, you can eat various sushi, meat sushi, egg sushi, cucumber sushi and etc.

7. decorated and varnished chopsticks are actually not for eating but are traditional gifts for certain celebrations and belong more in a show-case than on the dining table.

Chopsticks are utility goods but not appreciation or gifts, even if decorated and varnished. The Japanese has own chopsticks that is decorated and varnished, and they use it every day.

Those answers are my view. Please answer if you have other opinions.

NANGI
 

Mandylion

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Originally posted by cowo


3. there are several ranks of sharpness for a japanese sword (the real one) and the least one is as sharp as a razor blade.

4. they used convicts to demonstrate the quality of a new sword in medieval japan. cut them in half.


All from The Samurai Sword: A Handbook. John M. Yumoto, 1958, Charles E. Tuttle Company

3. Re: sharpness issue. Pg 46. " Samurai swords may be classified by length or by the type of mountings in which they are found."

It makes no metion of sharpness. I think such a system would be a bit pointless, as swords dull with time. It would be very hard to classify something by a variable. Also, like the above poster mentioned, a razor sharp edge would be easy to damage. Also, a razor edge is not the best for cutting things aside from your fillet of fish. It is not what you need to kill someone in armor. A lot of the cutting effectivness of a sword comes from the geometry of the blade itself and how it is used, not how sharp it is. A blade needs to bite to cut (slide along something). Try this; next time you are cutting meat, take a knife and without sliding it along the flesh, push down. Now try it again sliding the knife and pushing down. Which required less effort?

4. Re: cutting tests: pg 81 under "Inscriptions on tangs" 15) Results of cutting test. These cutting tests were unique, both in the way they were conducted and in the objects cut in tests, These were a group of professionals who tested the sharpness of swords by cutting helmets, copper plate, oak poles, sheaves of straw with bamboo centers, and even , in the Edo period, condemed criminals and corpses. The testers kept close records of each test. "

It does not say all swords were tested in such a way. If they were, all swords would have marks on the tang. Fact is, swords with such records are rare.
 

Lyn

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hmm I think kamikaze meant god wind (as in Kami = god Kaze= wind) and that It comes from a war japan won only because of a stor (windy thingo) and a lucky shot ^_^; but I guess other ppl should now more
 

Elizabeth

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Re: Re: need help to get rid of so called "general knowledge" about japan

Originally posted by jeisan
5. Kamikaze does not mean suicide but something like "sons of the wind".
i can't remember the whole story, but i tell it as far as in know.
in a previous war (ww-I ?) the overwhelming fleet of the enemy (korea ?) was heading for the japanese mainland. the situation was hopeless, but then a big typhoon destroys the complete fleet . this miracle saved japan. so at the end of ww-II, when the situation got hopeless, the japanese suicide-pilots called themselfs "sons of the wind". they wanted to be the heirs of the "miracle" which saved japan years ago.

i think acctually kamikaze means divine wind and stems from when a typhoon blew off a chinese invasion.
Yeah, it warded off a second Mongol invasion in the 14th Century I believe. Even before the outbreak of WWI the Korean penninsula had been officially annexed as a territory of Japan so any suggestion of superiority there is laughable. Not to mention the enormity of a typhoon able to decimate an entire modern war-fighting fleet. :p
 

cowo

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Wow, that was fast.
Thank you all very much.

1. I think an actual shop for used underwear is even more weird than a vending machine. :D

2. I saw it in a documentary about japan on tv once. So i thought it has to be true.

3.+4. Thanks Mandylion, that was informative

5. So the guy who told me that story mixed it up a bit.
Are there any other divine winds, or is it a name for this specific storm which blew away the mongol/chinese fleet. Did it get the additional meaning of "suicidal attack" not until WW-II?

6. So i was right about that. :)

7. Darn! Then i have to stop laughing at my friends who use that kind of chopsticks. But i still prefer the plain wooden ones.

cya
cowo
 

Mashu

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Originally posted by cowo

for that matter, what does "banzai" means?

I read a while ago that Banzai is a war cry which, if my memory serves me right, means "To live for 1000 years"
 

den4

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Nangi pretty much summed the stuff up....
but one more point: usually you offer guests one set of chopsticks and use a "reserved" set for yourself and your family. People rarely "share" their chopsticks with others...and you never stick your chopsticks up, vertically, in a bowl of rice...bad juju. Also never offer food to another person using your chopstick to their chopstick, since that's bad juju, too....both activities are reserved for funerals, and you don't bring funeral activities into the home --aside from when you're holding a wake... but that's just something I learned about chopsticks... :D
 

cowo

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Hi den4
Thanks for the information. I'll keep that in mind when i go to a japanese restaurant next time. :)

cya
cowo
 

SalaryMan

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1. the fact almost everyone knows is that you can buy used underwear of schoolgirls at vending machines.

TRUE : Infact .. not far from where I live is a set of vending machines at the side of a small street in hotaka. I know for a fact that there is a USED UNDERWEAR machine there. It has a pic of the supposed girl who wore it too. These things are LIES .. The underwear is normaly something that an old lady has put on and took off or hasn't been worn atall. I'll get pics :p

2. a lot of schoolgirls prostitute themselfs to be able to afford their lifestyle.

Well ... Involantary prostituation comes natural to some people here. However, school girls usualy work in a 7-11 or a small restaraunt .. they have no bills to pay so the money they earn is usualy purely for spending money. That's how they afford a lifestyle such as what they have.

3. there are several ranks of sharpness for a japanese sword (the real one) and the least one is as sharp as a razor blade.

Not sure ... But I do know that you must have a license to own a sharp one.

4. they used convicts to demonstrate the quality of a new sword in medieval japan. cut them in half.

This wouldn't supprise me and sounds just like something japan would do now even ( perhaps their execution of prisoners is done this way ? )

5. Kamikaze does not mean suicide but something like "sons of the wind".
i can't remember the whole story, but i tell it as far as in know.
in a previous war (ww-I ?) the overwhelming fleet of the enemy (korea ?) was heading for the japanese mainland. the situation was hopeless, but then a big typhoon destroys the complete fleet . this miracle saved japan. so at the end of ww-II, when the situation got hopeless, the japanese suicide-pilots called themselfs "sons of the wind". they wanted to be the heirs of the "miracle" which saved japan years ago.
therefore the term "to commit kamikaze" is nonsense.
for that matter, what does "banzai" means?

I have no idea on this. banzai is a cheep ( as someone else said ) sometimes used as we would use "hip hip hooray"

6. sushi does not necessarily means raw fish, algae or somthing rolled. but simply bite-sized food.

Sushi can mean cooked beef in the middle of a roll of rice covered by a sheet of nori.

7. decorated and varnished chopsticks are actually not for eating but are traditional gifts for certain celebrations and belong more in a show-case than on the dining table.

Hmm I have some decorated chopsticks which I do use occasionally , but yes .. sometimes the "special" ones are kept for show.
 

sentofuno

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convicts were sometimes beheaded. but i can't remember if it was to test the blade or for.. 'practice'

i read it in the book of five rings or the hagakure, but i forget which.
 
D

DragonChan

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For the whole 'used underwear vending machine' thing, when I was in Kyoto (only for five days) my friends and I found a vending machine that sold what it claimed to be used womens underwear. Whether or not it actually was pre-worn, or just new stuff to amuse perverts, we'll never know. But I think one of my friends has a picture of us standing in front of it. I'll scan the pic if i ever find it.
 
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