Here are 10 world records held by Japan for the shortest, thinnest, fewest, daintiest, briefest and smallest:
1. The shortest escalator
According to the Guinness Book of World Records (and we should believe Guinness because they make beer!), Japan boasts an inordinately short escalator. A 5-second ride, the escalator at Okadaya Mores shopping mall in Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture has a vertical rise of just 83 cm (about 5 steps).
2. The shortest poem
Japanese poet Ohashi Raboku (1890-1933) holds the record for the world's shortest poem. With just four Japanese letters, this haiku: hi e yamu means "Sick with the sun" (translation: Donald Keene).
3. Thinnest latex condom
There's a world record for that?! Yep. The Okamoto 003 model, made by Okamoto Industries Inc., is 0.038 mm thin.
4. Fewest profanities
Of all the languages of the world, Japanese is one of the cleanest, sporting very few profanities. The words shimatta and kuso can mean "sh*t" "damn," and other far worse expletives, none of which is any worse than saying "Oh, crap!" in Japanese. There is no f-word used by the general populace either.
5. Country with the least chance of getting hit by a bullet
According to an article by Max Fisher in The Atlantic, you're least likely to get hit by a bullet in Japan. The article states that "Japan has as few as two gun-related homicides a year."
6. Diet with the daintiest portions
Mini-morsels in diminutive portions would describe a typical Japanese obento lunch which can be bought in convenience stores. The biggest section of an obento is the main section: rice. The "salad" section typically has one cherry tomato, one leaf of lettuce, and just enough shredded cabbage for a newborn baby mouse to nest in. Another section of the obento will hold a couple pieces of sashimi with a bit of wasabi and a dab of soy sauce. A side of seaweed wrapped and tied, shares real estate with one slice of cutely carved carrot and a piece of neon pink fish cake. One more section holds nine beans. The bonus section sports one shrimp and a blob of mayonnaise. The extra bonus section offers a small sausage the size of your pinky finger. Thankfully, there is a dessert section: one grape, one half slice of orange, and a sprig of parsley.
7. Briefest festival
In June and October of every year, over 100 people take part in the Enrei-no-Onodachi Memorial Festival in Okaya city, Nagano Prefecture. As this festival lasts a mere five seconds, you wouldn't want to arrive late. Although the festival has been known to take as long as 20-30 seconds, even so, it is the shortest festival in Japan. What exactly do the participants do during those precious few seconds? They bow, of course. The ceremonies commemorate the revered visits of the Meiji Emperor (in June, 1880) and the Showa Emperor (in October 1947) to a mountain top.
8. Smallest capacitor
Electronics maker Murata Manufacturing Co. is number one in the world in ceramic capacitors, those thingies that store electric energy and are inserted into gadgets such as smartphones, digital cameras, laptops, medical equipment and even hybrid cars. Smaller capacitors enable companies to make smaller devices with longer battery life. How small is the world's smallest capacitor? To be exact, 0.25 mm x 0.125 mm, or, as miniscule as the period at the end of this sentence.
9. Smallest toilet
This infinitesimally small toilet was designed by Takahashi Kaito of SII NanoTechnology. It is, believe it or not, a nano-toilet. This makes sense if you are looking for solutions to problems of the future that no one else has considered. Imagine if you will, a nano-medical context in which nano-robots take part in drug delivery to certain parts of the body. Now, how are those robots going to excrete their number ones and twos? Via nano-toilets we send them with, of course! No more clogged arteries.
10. Smallest doors
Although the Japanese are beginning to increase the height of doorways in houses to accommodate a population that is growing in height, don't think small doorways will become extinct in Japan any time soon. "Nijiriguchi," the doors into traditional Japanese tea houses, are purposefully built to be around 65cm x 60cm, requiring guests to crawl into the tea room. The purpose of the tiny entrance is to accentuate the crossing over of a symbolic barrier from the chaotic outside world into the serene, inside world of the tea room. In the old days, it also meant that if you were a samurai warrior, you had to take your sword off to fit inside.