The Japanese are serious about cleanliness. The word for clean is "kirei." Kirei also means pretty and/or beautiful. People often sweep the street in front of their homes. They remove their shoes in the "genkan", or entryway before entering a home. They even shower before bathing and even squat to use the bathroom to avoid touching the toilet.

If there are toilet slippers set in front of the door, it is considered bad etiquette not to use them. (Even if they’re Hello Kitty) The bathroom floor is considered dirty and so using bathroom slippers helps to confine filth. So even if you’re already wearing a pair of slippers that you put on in the entryway, take these off and put on the toilet slippers before entering.

Everything Japanese Encyclopedia::Japanese Culture

After 1662 entries, the Everything Japanese Encyclopedia became too big to fit in a single volume. After much deliberation, it was decided that the EJE would be broken up into separate tomes; this is one of those.

This portion of the EJE is devoted to all aspects of Japanese culture that make that society what it is. Certain portions of that culture have been placed in their own nodes, such as Japanese Art, Japanese Literature, Religion in Japan, and Japanese Myths and Legends. If, during your wanderings through the nodegel, you spot a node that has been overlooked by the watchful eyes of the Encyclopedists, drop me a /msg.



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