Insane Japanese Traditions
I thought that since I'm going to Japan at the end of the year (literally booked my tickets today!) I'd take a stab at writing about Japan. I'm leaning a lot about Japan and Japanese Culture and Traditions... here's what I've learned so far...
Seppuku (Hara-Kiri) - You Messed Up. Kill Yourself.
One of the most gruesome Japanese traditions has got to be Seppuku or as we call it, Hara-Kiri... or as we also call it... suicide. Seppuku was originally reserved only for Samuria. It was better to die with honor, than to fall at the hands of your enemy. It's basically a ceremonial disembowelment and is usually part of a bigger, more elaborate ritual, performed in front of spectators. That's right... you can get a front row seat! A proper Seppuku involves taking a short blade, traditionally a "tanto", jamming that into your stomach and moving the blade from left to right in a slicing motion. It sounds like it sucks. Not for me.
Geishas Are Performers You Can Get It On With
Geisha girls look super cool. They are also called Geiko or Geigi... they are traditional female Japanese entertainers whose skills include but are not limited to performing various Japanese arts like classical music, and dance. You have to be an apprentice first and those apprentices are called "Maiko." The early Geisha were basically performers that you could have sex with if you wanted to... Japanese men didn't like having sex with their wives, because wives are meant to keep the house and take care of the kids... not for sex in old timey Japanese culture... so the men would go and get their freak on with a Geisha instead. I guess it's a gig.
Public Bath Houses Are The Way To Go
Japanese people love to take group baths together and bath houses are very popular. Many hotels in Japan have public baths... like the one I'm staying in, so I will have to take a bath in a room full of strangers. The bath houses use to be a necesity in Japan, but now they are more of just a tradition. You have to clean yourself before you're allowed in the bath THANK GOD. No splashing, no soap, and no gawking is allwed in the bath. People have baths in their homes now, so going to a public bath is just something you do to relax... like going to a sauna or getting a massage. It's also a great way to check out other peoples tattoos.
Tea Is A Way Of Life
The Japanese fell in love with tea when they discovered it in China. I'm assuming that I'm going to drink a ton of Tea in Japan and perhaps I'll do the tourist thing and take part in one of those elaborite tea ceremonies. The Japanese also believe that different teas have different healing capablities. There are teas to lower your cholesterol, lose weight, and make you better in bed. I may have to pick up a few of those while I'm in Japan.
Japanese Gardens Are Super Cool
There's nothing I love more than a Japanese garden. They are so beautiful and calming and soothing. Traditional Japanese gardens can be found in people's homes, city parks and historical landmarks like Buddhist temples and Shinto shirines. Traditionally you had to learn how to do a proper Japanese garden from a sensei or master, but now you can just go to a trade school or Jr. College and pretty much learn the same thing. Sa-weet!
Japanese Sword - The Ultimate In Travel Troubles
Look, the Japanese love their swords. Long blade or short... it doesn't seem to matter. They have tons of names for them and are known for crafting the straightest and sharpest blades in the world. If you're gonna buy a blade, go Japanese for sure. I wonder if I could get one of those suckers on the plane and bring it back home with me? I'm sure Homeland Security would be cool with that.
Sumo Is The Greatest
You KNOW I'm getting tickets to the opening day of the Grand Sumo Tournament held in Japan's famous Ryogoku Kokugikan arena. Sumo is one of Japan's coolest traditions and I plan on going to a Sumo tournament before I die.
Japan Hates Paris Hilton
This week, Japan banned Paris Hilton from entering the country because of her guilty plea to drug possession in Las Vegas last week. She was rejected at the Japanese airport and had to spend the night in a room that resembled a prison cell, and THEN was sent packing back to America! Japan really hates Paris Hilton. I kinda like Japan for giving her the ol' boot.
I love everything about Japan... what are your favorite things about Japan? Would you go to a bath house or go to a Geisha? If you know anything about Japan, please tell me things I should do and places that I should go while I'm there! I'm so excited!
Seen you in Japan, Lance!