There's a stereotype that all Japanese people are very clean and neat. This stereotype is just not true. Some folks in Japan keep a clean house, but some roost in pigsties. And, yes, many of those folks are female.
See, in Japan, that's the other stereotype: that guys' rooms are usually messy, with discarded instant ramen packages and drink bottles everywhere. Conversely, ladies' abodes are supposed to be neat, cute, and frilly. This is a stereotype in lots of different countries—make that, an untrue stereotype in lots of countries. Some ladies are slobs! Some dudes are not!
For years now, Japanese men and women have been uploading photos of their filthy rooms to online bulletin boards. The photos are disaster zones and show pics of people's "oheya" (汚部屋), which literally means "dirty" (汚) "room" (部屋). It's a pun of the Japanese word for "room", "oheya" (お部屋), which uses the polite marker "o" (お). These photos have nothing on the "daraku heya" (堕落部屋), or depraved rooms of female geeks.
A Japanese research firm recently released a study that polled over 550 females between the ages of 20 and 29 about whether or not they were residing in dirty dwellings. Nearly 23 percent said they lived in a dirty room—and had been told as much. Almost 34 percent said they thought they lived in a dirty room, but hadn't been told as much. Then, 8.7 percent, let's call them dirty room deniers, were told they resided in unclean living conditions, but thought their room was fine. That's well over fifty percent of those polled who either think they live in filth or have been told as much.
Then, there were 34.6 percent who haven't been told that their room is dirty—and, likewise, don't think it is, either.
In the last few years, several well known female celebrities have showed just how dirty their apartments or houses are. Usually, Japanese people, like people anywhere, are reluctant to show off their residence if it's not clean. Some of the dirty room celebs have been comedians like Naomi Watanabe. But, more and more, fashion models, like Haruka Christine are revealing that, yes, they live in squalor—like many females their age.
This is just a sample, and the internet has far messier residences to offer, but below you can see photos of Japanese "dirty rooms" from over the years. Some belong to men. Some belong to women. Perhaps the sex toys and hug pillows can clue you into whose room is which. Then again, maybe not!
Culture Smash is a regular dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.