- By Catherine A. TraywickCatherine A. Traywick is a fellow at Foreign Policy.
Here’s your "quirky Japan" story of the day: Apparently, it’s very impolite for women there to eat hamburgers in public — or so says one Japanese fast food chain that hopes to free women from the unbearable shame of opening their mouths too widely.
Freshness Burger claims that, for the longest time, its tastiest burger was only popular with men because Japanese women were too embarrassed to shove the sandwiches in their "small, modest mouths." So they came up with a novel idea: A hamburger wrapper that not only shields a woman’s chewing mouth from public view, but also depicts a soothing image of the lower half of a woman’s face. It’s pretty much a mask that women can hide behind while they, for the first time, enjoy ""the wild pleasure of taking mouth sized bites."
The company says that the wrapper was a huge success:
Meanwhile, in the U.S., fast food chain Carl’s Jr. has long taken the opposite approach: shoveling large portions of food in the wide open mouths of as many women as possible. Come to think of it, maybe it’s America that’s quirky, and possibly a little gross.