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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Japan -- Sun

In Japan, women only dry clothes in the sun. It is believed that
the Sun Goddess frowns on any clothes dried in dryers.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Gods
BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan -- References

In Japan, references are needed not only in the business world,
but also socially. A person must have references in order to get
married. This is referred to as "NOKADO".

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan -- Introductions

The Japanese wait until they are introduced to another person
first before introducing themselves. They will break this rule only
if it is absolutely necessary.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan -- Household Roles

In Japan, the father has no part in raising the children. The
mother does this, as well as controls all the money and the household.
The wife pays no attention to the husband once they have children.
All of her time is devoted to the babies. They do not have
babysitters; only the husbands are allowed to go out with each other -
no mothers allowed to socialize without children. They believe that
Western women are too self-centered and seek too much self
satisfaction.

The main objective of the Japanese is to have the best of everything
for their children. Fathers will drive 3 hours to work if they have
to in order to give their children the best schools.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan -- Geisha Girls

In Japan, Geisha Girls are different from how Americans perceive
them. They are not at all similar to prostitutes, but are expensive
entertainers. They study certain instruments, or dancing, or other
form of entertainment from an early age and are hired at a large fee
to display these skills at social events.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan -- Groups

In Japanese writing and speaking, the words "I" and "me" are not
to be used. If these words are seen in any type of written word, they
are crossed off. These shows how much the Japanese value groups, and
not individuality.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan -- Abortion

In Japan, abortion and birth control are not allowed. There is a
strong concern for the spirit of the unborn. They have abortion
cemeteries for victims of abortion. In these cemeteries, there are
stone figures of babies, on which are placed little knitted caps.
These babies are called "water babies".

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): NAME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan -- Prostitution

In Japan, sex is viewed differently than in America. Sex is seen
as involving pleasure, not necessarily related to love or procreation.

In areas of prostitution, silk flags are hung with approximately 50
ways of having commerce with a prostitute.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan-Suicide

In Japan, suicide is an acceptable way to solve problems. The
Japanese feel that the spirit is more important than the body and
still lives on after death.

In fact, in Japan there is a lovers' leap. Lovers whose families
won't allow them to marry tie themselves together and jump together.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): cliff

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Formation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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All Souls Day

People in the areas of southern Mexico and below (Guatemala and
Honduras) celebrate All Souls Day by taking food to the graveyard to
gather with and honor their deceased ancestors.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- November 2 All SoulsDay of the Dead
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan-Handshakes

In Japan, shaking hands has a meaning and action that is virtually
the opposite of that in America. The Japanese use what Americans
call the "wet fish" handshake. This is not firm, barely touching each
other, no actual shaking. You should not look into each others' eyes.
This greeting is literally translated into "my eyes are shamed".
This means that they are not worthy of meeting the other person
(humility).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Japan-Status

In Japan, everyone has name cards with their title on them. These
cards let everyone you come in contact with (usually in a business
setting) learn what status you have achieved. This exchange of cards
lets the exchangers know who is subordinate to the other. The
subordinate person (in Japanese, this person is subservient) must bow
lower than the other.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of space: distance, height, depth
SPEECH -- Gesture
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 01-00-1990

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Whenever my brother or I did or said something
stupid my father would put his hands about six
inches from his ears and keep them at an equal
distance while moving them so it looked like he
was pulling a towel through his ears. He did
this to show us that we were acting as if we
didn't have anything in our head. The most
effective use of this was when my mother would
say something stupid and my father did it behind
her back. I have never seen anyone else do this
and my father can't remember when he started
doing it.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00001970S

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When I was younger, my friends and I always had
pajama parties for our birthdays. There were a
lot of things we did to stay up late but one of
them was always considered the most scary. We
turned all the lights off and lit one candle just
before midnight. One of us would turn around with
our eyes closed ten times while standing in front
of a mirror and saying bloody Mary. As it was
turning midnight you were to look over your shoulder
and Bloody Mary's reflection was supposed to be
in the mirror. I never saw anything, but it was
still looked upon as a solemn practice. My
friends sometimes said they saw something, but
I think it was just for the effect of scaring us.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
686 First / Once / One / Newness

Date learned: 00001980S

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When all the cows lie down in their
pasture, it will rain soon. My neighbors told
me this on my first trip to the country. We
had a long ride to reach our destination so I
think they might have just told us this so
we would look out the windows and keep ourselves
occupied.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 00001980S

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Never get married on Friday the 13th of any month or your
marriage will be doomed with divorce or some other tragedy.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Measure of time Month
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 01-00-1980

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TELEPHONE ANSWER

JOE'S BAR AND GRILL, WHAT'LL YA HAVE?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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TELEPHONE ANSWER

SHOOT, IT'S YOUR NICKLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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LUCK

IF YOU SPILL SALT THROW SOME OVER YOUR LEFT SCHOULDER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Conversions

Date learned: 00001960S

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KNOCK-KNOCK JOKE

KNOCK-KNOCK.
WHO'S THERE?
BOO.
BOO WHO?
WELL YOU DON'T HAVE TO CRY ABOUT IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00001940S

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