When we found out there was a little horse meat in our frozen lasagnes we acted as though we’d been force fed our own children. In Japan raw horse meat is a popular entrée called basashi. Japan also has more than 50,000 citizens over 100 years old. Hand me a slice of Shergar.
In Japan there are more pets than children. This may have something to do with the ability to have the vet put your pet down without fear of ending up on the front page of the tabloids.
Japan and Russia are yet sign a peace treaty to end World War II due to their dispute over the Kuril Islands. All 56 islands are under Russian control but Japan continues to make claims to two large islands and a couple of islets. With no treaty between them both nations will save on paperwork when it all kicks off again, because it will.
It’s probably really some political leader like Prince Shōtoku or Oda Nobunaga but we’re pretending it’s Ishikawa Goemon, the Japanese Robin Hood. In fact one of his many supposed rebellious acts was an attempted assassination of the warlord Oda Nobunaga. Ishikawa, possibly a runaway ninja, stole from the rich and gave to the poor and is linked with several other anti-authoritarian acts. His end came when he was caught trying to assassinate warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi in revenge for the murder of his wife. When caught Ishikawa and his son were ordered to be boiled alive in oil. In one last act of heroism he saved his son’s life by holding him in the air. Ishikawa died but his final act of bravery saw his son pardoned.
Not great but getting better. Due to fallout of making Nazi alliances and a general lack of interest in the sport Japan didn’t take part in a World Cup until 1998, where they lost all three of their group games. Japan have qualified for every World Cup since, getting out of their group in 2002, when they co-hosted the tournament with South-Korea, and again in 2010 in South Africa.
They do have two Olympic quarter-final appearances and a third place finish to boast of. Though the first quarter-final was when Germany hosted in 1936 and the second was when they hosted the games in 1936. Their 3rd place finish came in Mexico in 1968, a result which is relatively untainted by horrific war-crimes.
They have been dominating the AFC Asian Cup, winning four of the last six.
Acceptable National stereotype
Polite, respectful, hard-working and intelligent ninjas. (okay the ninja should probably be more on the unacceptable side of things but ninjas are cool)
Unacceptable National Stereotype
Sexually repressed perverts who buy used girls’ underwear from vending machines. (this is an actual thing but it’s still unacceptable…isn’t it?)
Don’t Be Surprised If They
Lose all three group games but take their disappointment with grace instead of committing mass seppuku on the pitch.