Japan - from Asahi to Zen
Traditional terms, and a pop culture glossary through the eyes of a raw gaijin.
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Naked Sushi,   Nanpa,   Narita Divorce,   Nemawashi,   Nihon Jinro,   Ningyo,   Ninja,   Ninjitsu,   Nio,   Nips,   Nippon,   Nipponese,   No (Noh),   Nokodo,   Noren,   Nose, Blowing   Notemburo   Nure Ochiba

Naked Sushi
My absolute favourite of all the varities of pay-for-pleasure activities on offer in Japan.    It's the Oriental equivalent to "Nine And A Half Weeks".

Basically, you pay a fee, and you get to have a meal of sushi.    The slight twist is that you get to eat it off the beautiful body of a Japanese babe.    Don't ask me where you put the soy sauce....

After you're finished eating your sushi, you're free to enjoy dessert...

See Also:    AV,   Bukkake,   Cosplay,   Enjo Kosai,   Girl Hunter,   GRO,   Hentai,   Kogal,   Salaryman(6),   Soaplands,   Underwear

Picking up girls.    It is still considered to be slightly sleazy in Japan, however it is done.

Technically nanpa just refers to guys hitting on girls, be it in bars, or wherever.  Some guys are looking for long-term relationships, but most are just after a quick trip to a Love Hotel.   

Nanpa also has a more extreme form, where guys in sharp suits hang around outside train stations and in busy shopping malls, just trying to get random girls to come sleep with them, for a price.    In this case, they are perhaps a little bit hentai, and are sometimes known as Girl Hunters.

See Also:    Girl Hunters,   Gyaku Nanpa,   Hentai

Narita Divorce   Narita Rikon
Thanks to the practice of Omiai Kekkon, (arranged marriage) and the pressure to avoid becoming Christmas Cake, it's not uncommon for newlywed Japanese couples to know each other only slightly.   

When such couples get married and go on honeymoon together, it may be the first significant amount of time they've spent with each other.    Naturally enough, some people come home from their honeymoon, land at Narita airport (near Tokyo), and immediately decide they've made a huge mistake.

The result of all of this is what has become known as the "Narita Divorce."

See Also:    Christmas Cake,   Omiai Kekkon

Prior Consultation

Originally this meant to cut the roots of a tree before it was transplanted, so that it can be moved more easily.

If people hold meetings without prior consultation, how can they possibly distinguish between their honest feelings and offical stance?    Prior consultation is used so that each side can get a feel for the other's opinion, and adjust their expectations accordingly.

See Also:    Meetings,   Wa

Ninjitsu ( The Art Of Stealth )
cuddly ninja Ninja were people provided with special techniques in the art of war, hand-to-hand combat, espionage and stealth.    They flourished during Japan's Warring States Period (1465 - 1568), when they would often be called upon to destroy enemy stores and munitions, sneak into heavily-defended castles, assissinate rival leaders and disappear without trace afterwards.    Ninjitsu is a martial art based as much on psychological tactics as physical ones.

Obviously, there are no Ninja to be seen in Japan today...

See Also:    Martial Arts

traditional japanese doll Japanese traditional folk doll.

Nio (or Kongo Rikishi)
Two muscular, fearsome Buddhist kings (teri) who stand guard at temple gates, usually one open-mouthed and one closed.

I haven't really managed to work out the protocol for them yet. some people seem to bow three times to each, others don't.    Some folks seem to boy coming in, others going out.. the mystery deepens.    But this is good news for Gaijin, and as a general rule, you should probably avoid bowing whenever possible.

Nippon    Nips, Nipponese
Nippon is a Japanese term used to refer to Japan.    Previously, "Nipponese" was identical to "Japanese", however, during World War II, when it was shortened to "Nip", it became a derogatory term, much like "gouk" or "hun".    At present, Nipponese is no longer in use, and "Japanese" is considered to be the correct term.

No (or Noh)
Highly-stylized largely-incomprehensible dance-drama, using masks and elaborate costumes.    I've never been, and if you find yourself reading this website, the chances are that you shouldn't go either.

See Also:    Arts,   Kyogen

A split curtain hanging in shop and restaurant doorways to indicate they're open.

red noren Along with dishes of mouth-watering plastic food, this is probably one of the funkiest souveniers you can bring back from Japan, and I highly recommend a trip to Kappabashi (near Senso-ji) if your time in Tokyo permits it.

Nose, Blowing
Blowing your nose is considered to be a little bit rude in Japan.    Maybe it's roughly equivalent to flatulence in western culture.    It's not the end of the world or anything, but it'd be better to avoid doing it in public.

The basic reason behind this is a folk belief that anything leaving the body is dirty, so it's far better to sniff for an hour than to blow your nose once.

See Also: Self

Outdoor hot-spring pool, usually in natural surroundings.

See Also:    Onsen,   Rotemburo,   Sento

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