Top 5 Weird Japan Moments Over Lockdown

As we all wrestle with living through the lockdown in our homes we make sure to nail down a routine that keeps us sane, be it finding new recipes, being productive and discovering new interests. Here in the UK many of us have looked to the daily briefings from our government to receive some kind of semblance of normality or transition back to normality.

But even then, the daily briefings that we once turned to for reassurance, have become more of a farce. Charlie Brooker appeared on NewsNight last month, and said “It’s like eating fruit, isn’t it? If you watch a lot of the news, it’s good for you up to a point, but then it gives you the s***s.”.

Keeping up to date with the news in the UK can be quite depressing. But that doesn’t mean it its the same case when reading about how other countries are coping. Every country in the world has taken and implemented their own cautionary measures of adaptation to the lockdown but let’s just say Japan, as always, takes it their own level.

Japan wouldn’t be Japan if it didn’t, on occasion, leave us bewildered and dumbfounded with what they got up to on their shores. Weird Japan is wonderful, confusing and downright entertaining.

Last month Japan lifted their state of emergency from Coronavirus from 39 out of 45 of their prefectures and we can’t help but be impressed at how they’ve managed to tackle the virus. Then again, they’ve also made some questionable decisions, we’ve compiled 5 Weird Japan moments that happened over lockdown.

5. No Screaming in Amusement Parks:

As amusement and theme parks in Japan start to reopen to the public, they’ve released some unusual ‘guidelines’ created to maintain safety and reduce the risk of infection amongst the public. The guidelines feature rules such as:

  • No shaking of hands with the park mascots.
  • Ghosts in the haunted house must keep a safe distance from whomever they are spooking.
  • No loud vocalisation or screaming when on the rollercoaster.
  • Theme park Supervillains and Heroes must not ‘work the crowd’ too much, so as to avoid cheers and yells from spectators.

4. Japanese Aquarium Urges People to video call their Eels:

A Japanese Aquarium has established that a lack of exposure of humans of their Garden Eels over lockdown caused a detrimental effect on the Eels in captivity.

The Aquarium has urged the public to video call them during a 3 day ‘Face Show’ Festival via tablets placed outside the water tank to help the Garden Eels interact with humans again. It seems the Garden Eels self-isolated and became reclusive due to the lack of visitors, burrowing themselves in the sand in their tank, away from staff.

3. Remote Cheering App In Empty Stadiums:

As the lockdown lifts and the Japanese Football League resumes the remainder of its matches of the season, teams will play in empty stadiums. To combat this, Yamaha has developed an app that allows sports fans to tune in and communicate as if they were in the stadium themselves. This includes booing, cheering and chanting.

Apparently the app even encourages fans to berate opposing team players! All in real-time and across loudspeakers set up throughout the stands. Whether this affects the player’s performance or not is another story…

2. Robot Students At Their Graduation Ceremony:

This channel was suggested to me from a friend at a time where I thought I knew all the best Japanese lo-fi hip-hop and chill-hop study beats channels on Youtube. This is where the mixes start to become truly artistic; weaving together a central theme to the track, with the perfect accompaniment of melody and beat to really get you feeling how the artist wanted you to feel.

Ikigai’s Kudasai series is an absolute must for any lo-fi hip-hop fan out there who, like me, is a nostalgia junkie. Call me biased but I do think that these tracks and where they sit are some of the most chilled, relaxed and positive places on Youtube and the Internet as well! Everyone just wants to feel good and spread good vibes.

Where else can you go with like-minded people, reminisce about the love that you never lost, a journey to Japan you never went on, or a life you didn’t live.

1. Japan Plans For A UFO Encounter:

Footage of unidentified objects flying through the sky was recently released by the Pentagon. What they classified as “unidentified aerial phenomena” has led the Japanese government to draft up its own plans for dealing with a UFO encounter, which includes procedures to respond to, record and report any encounters.

This is less of a weird Japan thing and more of a weird timing in Japan thing. Not super sure if planning a UFO encounter should be top priority right now…

Originally published at www.japannakama.co.uk on June 3, 2020.

Japan Nakama are a London based online publication that investigates and explores all aspects of Japanese Culture.

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