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Strange Laws in Japan You Didn't Know Existed

Photo by Keegan Hasegawa

Japan is known to be one of the safest countries in the world. But we can't say that these laws have anything to do with that...

1.Its illegal to put ice cream in a mailbox

Its hard to say how this law started but its basis seems to be around property damage. Whether you believe it or not, this law is enforced. In 2006 a 42 year-old post man was arrested in the Saitama prefecture for putting chocolate ice cream in someones mailbox...

2.Its illegal to show your thigh in Public

Yes, showing any amount of thigh in public means is illegal. You regularly see Japanese woman as well as runners in Japan wearing shorts that go well above the knee, so unlike the ice cream this law is almost never enforced.

3.A divorced woman has to wait 100 days before getting remarried but the man does not

Japan is known to be a conservative country but has been slowly making progress in moves towards equality. However, laws like this one are still an indicator that the nation has a ways to go. There are current talks about removing this piece of legislation.

4.Its illegal to give your neighbor their mail if it ends up in your mailbox

Being a good neighbor means returning their mail if it accidentally gets sent to you right? Well in this case doing so could result in the police taking action under Article 42 of the Postal Law. Best to return the mail to the Post Office for this one.

5.Married couples cannot live separately

Unless there is justifiable cause such as medical conditions or work-related living arrangements, married couples in Japan are not allowed to live in separate homes. This law was put into place in order to prevent divorce due to separation.

6.You cannot get rid of pigeons

Those bird poop stains on your car from those pesky pigeons are just something that you're going to have to deal with in Japan because its illegal to get rid of these guys.

7.Asking for money on the street is illegal

Asking for money on the street as well as on the internet by seeking pity is considered illegal in Japan.

8.Talking to a bus driver while its moving

Remember on those long family trips when your dad would get mad at you for asking "are we there yet?" Well, it looks like someones dad in Japan took that to a new extreme.

9.Carrying scissors over 8 cm long is considered possession of a sword

Forget the Katana, you can be a Samurai under the "Firearms and Sword Control Law" simply by carrying scissors over 8 cm long. Without justifiable cause (self-defense doesn't count) you can be detained.


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