The Japanese might be known for their sushi, anime, and latest tech, but their popular products don’t stop there. The country has become a major player in several industries by offering unique takes on everyday things. Although it’s difficult to standout in the global scene, the Japanese always surprises the world with their unique innovations and cultural products. Because of this, they’re known to do these 5 things better than the rest:
- Cosmetics and Skincare
Even if South Korea is currently making big waves in the cosmetics and skincare industry, Japan hasn’t fallen behind. Brands like Canmake, Shiseido, and SK-II are quite popular among the Japanese and international crowd, amassing cult followings across the globe.
Even though Japanese beauty products share similarities with their Korean counterparts, they’re still quite unique. If Koreans invest in finding creative ways to apply skincare products, the Japanese focus more on minimalist and simple applications. They use time-tested ingredients and century-old formulas that are proven to hydrate, brighten, and exfoliate the skin. The Japanese skincare regimen also strays from the 10- or 12-step craze. A typical nightly ritual usually consists of only a few steps, but one that uses effective products with long-lasting results.
One interesting thing about Japanese cosmetics and skincare products is that they are found in the most unusual places. If you’re a girl on the go who’s visiting Japan, you can buy beauty creams in cosmetics vending machines scattered around the country. You can also find popular makeup brands in Japanese drugstores. The bigger the store, the more products there are on the shelves.
Japanese fashion has something for everybody, from the trendy working girl to the expressive high school student. Stores like Uniqlo and GU provide fashionable casual wear, while urban fashion districts like Harajuku and Ginza serve as the forefront of Japanese street fashion.
Japanese fashion is also distinct from other countries. When you think of street fashion, you’d imagine the western style of denim clothing and bohemian chic. Japanese street fashion, however, includes everything from traditional clothing to more ‘out there’ pieces such as high platform shoes, LED illuminated skirts, and vintage inflatable jackets.
Japan also produced several well-known designers who’ve made it big in the fashion industry. Some of these people include:
- Tae Ashida – Known for her elegant women’s ready-to-wear lines.
- Shigeki Morino – Creator of Patchy Cake Eater, a menswear fashion line that uses playful and colorful styles and contemporary designs.
- Rei Kawakubo – Founder of Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market
The Japanese diet consists mainly of soy, seafood, veggies, clear broth, green tea, and rice. It’s a semi-vegetarian diet that has less sugar and fat but with a boost of antioxidants. Although these food items may seem unappetizing to some people, they are still prepared in a way that will whet anyone’s appetite.
In Japan, they eat with their eyes. This means that the food presentation adds to the taste of the meal and the person’s enjoyment. The Japanese also pay special attention to the seasonality and quality of their food, so they always use the best ingredients and they prepare each meal with the utmost care.
Tea comes in all types of flavors and forms. The U.K., for example, has the English breakfast, China has oolong, and Japan has matcha or green tea.
Green tea is derived from Camellia sinensis, a special plant found in the rolling, misty hills of Southwest China. Although China does have its own version of green tea, it can’t be compared to Japan’s beloved matcha. For one thing, Chinese green tea is dried through a process called “pan-frying”. Pan-frying stops the oxidation of the leaves and lightly ferments the tea. In contrast, matcha is steamed then air-dried, a process that allows the young tea leaves to lock their green color and vegetal, sweet flavor.
Matcha is quite popular even outside Japan. One of the reasons behind this is that matcha is filled with all sorts of goodies like antioxidants, vitamin C, the ability to lower cholesterol, and its naturally sweet flavor. The Japanese love matcha so much that they use it as a flavor for Kit Kat, mochi, and various desserts. They even have the Japanese tea ceremony – a cultural activity that involves the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha.
The Japanese are known to live beyond their 70s. In fact, the oldest verified Japanese person was Misao Okawa, who died at the age of 117. What’s the secret to their longevity? No, it’s not stem cell research, but it’s usually attributed to a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a well-balanced diet.
From childhood to old age, the Japanese have made a habit of eating the right foods, getting enough exercise, and taking good care of their health. Japanese schools, for example, instill this practice by providing their students with proper nutrition, conducting regular body measurements, and teaching the importance of the use of the infirmary.
When it comes to daily exercise, the Japanese love to walk around town and often ride a bike to work or school. Most of the population don’t own cars as they’re expensive to maintain. Apart from walking and biking, the Japanese also do “Rajio Taiso.” Rajio Taiso is a kind of exercise usually done in the morning to maintain a person’s health condition.
The Japanese culture is well-known for its dedication to innovation and deep respect for nature and time-honored traditions. Many people see these values in the products coming from the country and, in an attempt to embody the said values themselves, have incorporated these Japanese habits and products in their lifestyle.