Fun Facts Not Available to the General Public- Only in Japan

Ok- what’s a fact that one would only know by living in Japan, a fact that would not be covered in a guide or culture book? The people of Japan have unique shaped feet versus other peoples in the world. So much different, that shoe manufacturers, Nike, New Balance, Asics, etc, have Japanese versions. What’s so particular to the Japanese foot? It’s wider and shorter compared to the Western counterpart for a person of the same height and weight. How do I know this? An afternoon spent grilling a hapless Nike executive who had the unfortunate luck of attending a tour alongside the curious, relentless, and unshakeable Ouiser. “I had my ways of making her talk,” and can only share one learned company secret as it’s the sole bit pertaining to Japan.

Some would argue that the styles are also different. My new running shoes, I copied from the Tasmanian Bloodhound:

For these, the length of my foot, as well as the girth, was measured around the widest portion of my foot. With a measuring tape. Bunions and all. My US size is an 8. My Japanese size is a 7 EE. As in double wide. Like the trailer. As in from whence I came.

Little did I know, all along, I’ve had Japanese feet. Finally, a pair of shoes that aren’t an inch too long to accommodate the width of my feet. Now I won’t look like a clown running. Or maybe I will.

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36 Responses to Fun Facts Not Available to the General Public- Only in Japan

  1. Wow! That is a great tidbit about Japan. I didn’t know feet could be so different in Japan. I wonder why that is so?

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  2. Hemlock says:

    Okay, I need to find someone in the states who has ‘Japanese’ styled shoes! Seriously, I’ve got the feet you describe, and it’s horrible trying to find shoes that don’t cause pain!

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  3. Fascinating! Really, amazing how different we can be in spite of all of us being Homo Sapiens (though I think I am a mutant, but that’s another story…)

    Love the shoes, they rock…I have a beaten up pair of red running shoes that I love (we call them trainers over here)

    You are just so incredibly lucky to be living there, as confusing as it must be, it sounds like an amazing country, full of lovely people. Japan rocks in many ways (I am a fangirl of Japanese rock bands, like X Japan and Luna Sea…)

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  4. Those shoes are hysterical! Apparently I too have Japanese feet! So, so interesting! Great post!

    Hugs from Haiti,
    Kathy

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    • amblerangel says:

      Isn’t it so true! Mine are perfect triangles- they perfectly in to Japanese shoes….Spouse is scratching his head as to why I would write this post- his feet don’t have these same problems therefore he doesn’t understand “Our” issues…

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  5. Michi says:

    Nice pair of running shoes you’ve got there!!! I would totally wear those! 🙂

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  6. Lisa says:

    I love your new running shoes!

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  7. Tori Nelson says:

    I have the feeling the poor shoe salesman would quit his job if he saw my feet, affectionately referred to as “ET plus an extra ankle” by my family 😦
    “Like the trailer. As in from whence I came.”– THIS! This needs to be a t-shirt, bumper sticker, and Welcome To Tennesee sign immediately.

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    • amblerangel says:

      You have my full blessing to head straight to the silk screener! But from my hometown no one would understand “whence” – “Is that some kinda blink?” You had me laughing imagining you doing your Coolio interpretive dance!!

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  8. The Nose says:

    I must get some JUST LIKE YOURS (and the Tasmanian Bloodhound) when I am there. The only thing worse for the offspring– Ouiser AND Aunt Nose dressed alike!!!! The only thing worse for the Japanese people in your building- Three American Women dressed alike! (and accidentally stealing their bikes- who took mine? the blond? the redhead? that Raven-haired crazy woman?? I can’t tell, they are all so tall, loud, and they look alike!!).

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  9. It was obviously your destiny to go and live in Japan then! 🙂

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  10. I don’t know anything about difference in feet, but those Nike are awesome!!

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  11. Olga SE says:

    Have you read the book by Ayako Sono “No reason for Murder”? Here is a link to my today’s post about it. It is from this book that my acquaintance with the country and love of it began. I wonder if the characters are like real Japanese people.

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    • amblerangel says:

      Thanks for the book tip! I’ll have to check it ou! Also- I’d love to do a guest post for you- let me know when and give me some guidelines- send me an email and I’ll get to work! Thanks for considering me Olga!

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  12. Bikerchick says:

    WOW! I wear 10M (11D in running shoes) I cannot even imagine what my Japanese size would be! I am sure a special order.

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    • amblerangel says:

      Here’s the rub- the biggest women’s size usually carried here is a women’s size 8 US- you can’t get them. For men- it’s usually a 10US. I have to special order from the US Offspring #1 and Spouse’s shoes….

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  13. 2summers says:

    I know this has already been said (I’m very behind in my blog-reading/commenting) but those shoes are KICK-ASS. I want some so badly.

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  14. CSI Susie says:

    I am going to negect my family to spend the rest of the night properly worshipping these shoes. When I take a break, I will light my current running shoes on fire.

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  15. Dana says:

    Sounds like I need to come to Japan! Do they also make these width adjustments for dress shoes and high heels? Fancy shoes are killer for me– always too narrow and long.

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  16. Some things never change.
    When I lived there 15 to 20 years ago, I couldn’t get shoes for my size 12 or 13 foot. The largest size was 28 (in Japanese sizing – about 10 or 11 US size). I knew many Japanese who had feet that were longer than this size, and they had to mail order their shoes or go to Korea to buy them.

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