From Face-Lifting Cushions to Stylish Sushi Knapsacks

By: Joey Haar - Jul 15, 2016
When looking through these Japanese oddities, it's clear that culture varies wildly from one area to another. A watermelon-shaped dumpling may seem bizarre in the West, yet something completely normal to a North American -- say, a bucket-sized movie theater beverage -- is likely shocking in Japan.

With an understanding of this cultural rooting, none should expect Japanese oddities like the layered bean desserts or potato-inspired ice cream featured here to do well in the dessert industry in North America. However, these products give far more insight into the Japanese sensibility than any Western ideas or products could ever hope for.

Thinking about the differences between Japanese culture and North American culture, or between any two cultures at all, can provide a better framework for hypothesizing what drives interests globally.