The following was submitted by Haibane
on the Japanese culture.
I have run and participated in numerous games with a Japanese setting, not necessarily anime-inspired but simply because I love the culture, the society and the scenery. While anime does sometimes inspire me, I also gain inspiration from the people, their folklore and mythology and their cute schoolgirls (well, at least I'm honest).
Because of this I've found a need to use a number of Japanese words and phrases in my games and people have come to me asking for a good online Japanese-English dictionary and a quick reference for their use of honorifics. I've also offered advice on the unusual (to western minds) Japanese bathing culture.
If you would like to put up some links in the links post, Alxnjsh, perhaps under some suitable heading such as 'Resources For Games Based in Japan' or something like that, I can offer:Online English-Japanese Romaji DictionaryInformal Japanese Words & Phrases #1Informal Japanese Words & Phrases #2
Traditional Japanese Public Bathing:
Bathing (that is washing, not swimming) in Japan is completely different to the West. It confuses many role-players but when done correctly in a role-play it is different enough to be interesting and also offers more sensual opportunities for erotic encounters than the customary private bathing in the West.
You disrobe and wrap yourself in a towel outside the bathroom, usually in a communal locker room or ante-room. The bathroom itself has a large wet area where you enter, usually with a shelf to put bottles of shampoo, etc on. This shelf is often set near floor level and may have a row of sinks set into it and shower wands and hoses over. A mirror is usually fixed above this and a row of wooden or plastic stools is arranged in front. Bathers sit on the stools, rinse themselves with the shower wands or with water poured from small wooden or plastic buckets, then soap their bodies and wash their hair, rinsing off and then, only once they are completely clean and soap-free
do they climb into the hot bath which is deep enough to completely submerge other than the head, where they soak, and if others are present, socialise.
In Japan it is extremely rude and bad manners to get into the main bath without first washing clean and also bad manners to get in while still a bit soapy.
In private houses the majority of homes still have such a layout, though on a smaller scale, naturally.
In hot springs areas (Japan has many due to being sited over the junction of tectonic plates) hotels and inns have an indoor washing area and the hot soaking area is a naturally heated outdoor mineral bath.
Since the Second World War almost all public baths separate the genders but the communal aspect gives plenty of opportunity for socialising, doing business and of course, for our purposes on Elliquiy, roleplaying. It takes only a minor fantasy element, or a pre-1945 setting, to allow mixed genders and away you go.
In most modern Japanese hotels western pattern private bathrooms, en-suite with the bedrooms, can often be found in order to cater for the preferences of international guests. Such hotels often still have a Japanese style communal bathing area for local guests or foreign visitors who wish to sample local customs.Here
is a good article on the social custom of public bathing. Please note that at the very foot of this article a child is depicted being bathed by a parent but I think this is a fair inclusion of a minor being shown on Elliquiy considering the usefulness and relevance of this article.This page
from the manga "I's" also shows all these details.