As we all know, Japanese are recognized and adored for their ancient temples, kimonos and delightful cuisine, but they are pretty weird when it comes to celebrating various customs and competitions, from making babies compete to cry out the loudest to preparing people for death.
Sounds abnormal to many, but let’s just agree that we all have a knack for cringe and weird things and we DO enjoy them.
So keeping reading to dig into this realm of madness.
NAKI SUMO: THE CRYING BABY FESTIVAL
Pretty sure nobody likes crying babies, but making them cry for mere entertainment is probably something only Japanese can think of doing.
In this 400 years old Japanese tradition, Naki Sumo, each baby is put together with a sumo wrestler who is supposed to make the baby cry before his opponent, with the chants NAKI-NAKI which translates to CRY-CRY. If both cry at the same time, the one with the loudest cry wins.
This tradition stems out of the belief “naku ko wa sodatsu” which means “crying babies grow”. For Japanese, It’s healthy plus it wards off bad spirits.
SHUKATSU FESTIVAL – “TRY BEFORE YOU DIE” FUNERAL FESTIVAL
While the mere thought of death can be super scary and it’s not something we can casually talk about, the Japanese have reserved an all-out festival to prepare people for death.
Participants can select their funeral attire, don it, slip into a flower-filled coffin, and have their picture taken. They will know exactly how they will appear on the day of their funeral. Even funeral makeup can be applied to their faces to achieve a deathly pale complexion. They may also request that the attendants cover them with white blankets and close the lid.
It might be a good practice to psychologically prepare people for the unpredictable death, yet it’s SCARY.
These practices might be bizarre and Japanese are, undoubtedly, weird people but there is a huge chunk of population who enjoys it. Madness can be fun too unless it’s not harmful or dangerous.