Trivia Questions

Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu (A Happy New Year)!!

Here are the trivia questions. (Thank you, Josh! The first 6 questions are from Josh.) Please pick one, research, and post (if available and applicable, please add photo images). Please also make sure to include the references. If others have already responded to the question you chose, move on to another question. Due is this Wednesday at 4pm, but hurry! Others may have chosen your favorite trivia question to answer.

Have fun!

1. How old is the art of Origami and how did it start?

2. Are there any descendents of the Samurai living in Japan today?

3. What kinds of ethics and virtues did the Samurai follow?

4. What are some common superstitions in Japan?

5. Is it possible to ski down Mt. Fuji?

6. What are some examples of popular Japanese music today? (Bands, etc.)

7. What is shinkansen? How fast does it go?

8. What is kotatsu?

9. What are some famous traditional sports in Japan?

10. What are the average life expectancies for Japanese men and women?

11. Describe about Japanese cuisine.

12. What are the 3 most common Japanese last names?

16 Responses to “Trivia Questions”

  1. Mark says:

    By any chance, was there a typo in question 8? Did you mean ko_TE_tsu instead of ko_TA_tsu? Kotetsu-kun is the the high-jump world record holder — for pigs. Kotetsu-kun was raised on Mokumoku Tedzukuri Farm, and managed to jump 70 cm (over 2 feet, 3 inches)!

    For comments and pictures from the farm (don’t worry if you can’t read Japanese, just scroll down):

    Someone’s blog entry (with picture, but not in mid-jump):

    Guinness World Record listing:

  2. Brandon Rhone says:

    Source: Wikipedia

  3. Brandon Rhone says:

    1. How old is the art of Origami and how did it start?

    Origami has been in practice since the Edo era (1603-1867) 折紙 (origami)

    It started for ceremonial reasons and was then known as noshi (熨斗). Origami also has various forms such as dampening the paper to creat sharper folds. Origami also uses dufferent shapes like triangular paper and cirular sheets of paper. Akira Yoshizawa was one of the grandmasters of the craft and recently died in March 2005

  4. Josh says:

    I’ll take number 4 then… (I’ve wanted to know for so long, and now I have a legitimate excuse to learn!)

    The code that the Samurai follow is called ‘Bushido’ which literally means “The Way of the Warrior”. There are eight virtues according to it which all Samurai must try to live by.

    1. Justice and Honesty

    2. Courage and Contempt for Death

    3. Self-Control

    4. Sympathy for all people

    5. Politeness and Respect for etiquette

    6. Sincerity and keeping their Word

    7. Absolute loyalty to superiors

    8. Duty to defend the honor of one’s name and guild

    A little side information:

    Duty is the primary philosophy of the Samurai warrior. This is because the Samurai were spawned from the clan battles between the Minamoto, the Fujiwara, and the Taira, and eventually became a social class all their own by the 10-11 century. They were either known as Samurai (knights and retainers) or the Bushi (warriors) and some were related to the ruling class while some were simply hired men. They were totally loyal to their feudal landowners, the Daimyo, and recieved respect and land in return for their help into expanding and protecting their Daimyo’s clan.

  5. Greg says:

    ummmmmm……. As far as I can tell, topics 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 have been done so far. So, I guess I’ll do topic 10. Japanese men live an average of 77.6 years, Japanese women live an average of 84.6 years.

  6. Sarah McNeil says:

    A Shinkansen is a high speed bullet train that is a very easy and efficient way to travel Japan. The Shinkansen is the busiest train in terms of passenger transport in the world. The train departs every five to fifteen minutes from Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. The fastest line, called the Hayate, goes 275 mph at max speed.

    There are some great pictures of the train if you might like to check it out.

  7. Laura says:

    yes, it is possible to ski Mount Fuji, though there are no ski areas there. People climb and ski on their own

  8. Heather says:

    Here are some traditional Japanese sports that I found.

    ·Sumo – A Japanese form of wrestling in which a fighter loses if forced from the ring or if any part of his body except the soles of his feet touches the ground.

    ·Judo – A sport and method of physical training similar to wrestling, developed in Japan in the late 19th century and using principles of balance and leverage adapted from jujitsu

    ·Kendo – The Japanese martial art of fencing with bamboo swords. Kendo combines martial arts values with sport elements, with some practitioners stressing the former and others the latter.

    ·Kyudo – (“Way of the Bow”) is the Japanese art of archery (the art of shooting with a bow and arrow).

    ·Karatedo – Karate is a combative sport that came from China. The competitors of the match do not wear any kind of protection and use only their hands and fists. Compared to other combative sports, karate is a more practical martial art.

    ·Naginata – the study of the use of a sword-like weapon, similar to the European halberd or glaive. While originally a weapon of war, the naginata now has both a form appropriate for modern competitive sport as well as a wooden form (somewhat less lethal than the original steel one) for the safe study of the ancient forms.

    ·Kemari – The object of it is to keep a ball (called Mari) in the air. The one who kicks the ball is called a mariashi. A good mariashi makes it easy for the receiver to control the mari, and serves it with a soft touch to make it easy to keep the mari in the air.

    ·Iaido – is a sword based martial art that trains the motions associated with drawing a katana from its sheath, striking an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then re-sheathing the katana with smooth, controlled movement.


  9. tyler says:

    here’s a great site with loads of bands and a clever url:

  10. Karen says:


    the three most common Japanese surnames are:

    1. Sato 佐藤,

    2. Suzuki 鈴木, and

    3. Takahashi 高橋

  11. Meg Sullivan says:

    Sorry I forgot to put my picture in

  12. Meg Sullivan says:

    Here are some superstitions that I found

    1.)There are “evil years called, yaku-doshi are they are different for men and women, for men they are 24,42,60 and for women 19,33

    2.)You must not cut your finger nails or toenails in the evening or you won’t be with your parents when they die

    3.) Don’t whistle at night or a snake will appear

    4.)4 and 9 are unlucky as they are associated with death

    5.) Dont stick your chopsticks up right in rice as it’s done on a funeral alter

    6.)Don’t pass food from one chopstick to another

    as it’s done with cremated bones at a funeral

    7.)If you lie down after you eat you’ll turn into a crow

    There are also superstitions dealing with blood

    A type mean you are deligent, methodical,

    steady but nervous

    B type means you are orginal but fickle

    AB type means you are sociable and sensitive

    O type means you are durable and resolved

  13. Mark says:

    I don’t really like that it is one person per question. Well, I guess I’ll choose an easy one this time.


    A kotatsu is a table, usually low-set, with a heater underneath and a quilt. The idea is that Japanese houses are not well heated, so you snuggle up to one of these things to keep warm. Cats love them.



  14. tyler says:

    I don’t know if any of these are popular per se, but here are some of my favorite (coincidentally Japanese) bands. Shonen Knife: one of the best “punk” (I’m not sure if they quite qualify as punk rock but they’re in that neighborhood) groups ever. It was formed in the late eighties / early nineties by three female secretaries from Osaka. They boast such classic songs as “Frogphobia” “ESP” “Cannibal Papaya” and “Mayonnaise Addiction.” Many of their songs are sung in heavily accented English but there are also Japanese versions.

    Otomo Yoshihide is a jazz musician who is definitely worth checking out, lots of free-form atonal compositions. Off key singing and weirdness, if you’re into that kind of thing. I recommend “Dreams” it is a bit more melodic than many of his recordings and would probably be a good introduction.

    Deerhoof is the second best band in the history of music. I’m not sure if they count though because only one of them is Japanese, the bass player, Satomi Matsuzaki. She writes almost all of the songs and sings, albeit mostly in English, but also in Japanese and Spanish. I recommend “Apple O’,” it is a fantastic album. Kind of like Jazz and Punk rock mixed together. Very Post-modern.

    My housemate likes Puffy Ami Yumi a lot, despite the fact that their target audience appears to be Japanese girls aged 10 – 15. They do have some good melodies but I have no idea what they are singing about. I’m assuming love songs. They did the theme song for a show on Cartoon Network. Teen Titans or something like that.

    The 5. 6. 7. 8.’s, of course, are great, you probably know them from a short scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. They play “Woohoo” and “I’m Blue” right before Uma Thurman chops off about fifty people’s heads and other miscellaneous appendages. They mostly do cover songs of 50’s standards, but they rock pretty hard and scream a lot. The only 5. 6. 7. 8.’s recordings I own are on vinyl, so you’ll have to download them if you want to hear them. The rest of the stuff I might be able to make cd’s if you give me the blanks and ask real nice.

    Here are websites. (for Otomo Yoshihide)

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