More strange tests...cont'd from yesterday...only in Japan

Good morning everyone,

It's looking pretty cool out there today-and for the rest of the weekend and into next week, actually. We can expect highs to be around 20C or so and it'll be overcast this weekend (but no rain as of right now) before clearing up on Monday. Well, partially clearing looks like it's going to remain pretty cloudy all week along with the cooler weather. Today could be my last day to wear shorts to work...

Nothing too exciting happened yesterday...oh, except that earthquake in Tottori that scared the crap out of me. Luckily, no fatalities (or even any injuries) have been reported.

So, we can finish off the list of strange exams in Japan. If you haven't read yesterday's blog, it's the first half of the list.

3. Housewife Certification Exam

Are you sweeping the floors the right way? Doing food shopping and laundry as efficiently as possible? Well now you can find out officially how much of a housework prodigy/failure you are with the Housewife Certification Exam!

This one is just depressing. Here’s what the exam’s own website says about itself:

“When asked ‘what is the merit of taking the Housewife Certification Exam,’ well unfortunately it’s only something fun to try and show off your skills. It doesn’t have any tangible benefit and is not necessary for finding a job.

“But people who have taken it say that even if it doesn’t help with work, it can still be a great conversation topic, and it’s good since it tests skills that are fundamental to living.”

Yes, I love getting together with my friends and talking about exams we want to take! “Dude, have you taken the Retirement Power Certification Exam yet? Oh my God, you are missing out!”

And unfortunately if you haven’t taken this one yet, it looks like you’ve missed the boat. The Housewife Certification Exam is no longer officially running, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at some sample questions:

Q1: When doing your household finances, what percent should be set aside for spending money?
A: 10%
B: 15%
C: 20%

Q2: What direction do you iron clothes in?
A: Against the stitches in the fabric
B: Diagonal to the stitches in the fabric
C: Along the stitches in the fabric

Q3: Which is best for washing baby clothes?
A: Low alkali detergent
B: Neutral detergent
C: Laundry soap

The answers: Q1 – A (10%), Q2 – C (along), Q3 – B (neutral)

Well I don’t know about you, but I feel like tying a bandana around my head, scrubbing some floors, and competing to see who can make the best kyaraben lunches.

There hasn’t been any updates on the exam’s official website for a couple years, but hey, it might be worth it to check back every now and then. You don’t want to be the last of your friends to get certified in sweeping the floor correctly!

#2. Otaku Certification Exam


Many people don’t even like being labeled otaku themselves, but apparently there are those that embrace it so much they want to take a test just to prove how much more of an otaku they are than anyone else.

This is a monster of a certification exam that only has a 6.2 percent pass rate. To put things in perspective, Tokyo University – the hardest college to get into in Japan – had a 34.2 percent pass rate in 2015. Also, the Otaku Certification Exam was only held once, in 2005, so unlike Tokyo University you can’t pull a Love Hina and keep trying to get in every year.

Not intimidated? Well try on these practice questions for size:

Q1: Choose the order that puts the Dragon Quest series’ releases in order of highest-selling to lowest-selling. As a baseline #8 sold 3.6 million copies, and none include overseas sales.
A: 7-3-8-6-4-5-2-1
B: 3-7-8-6-5-4-2-1
C: 7-8-3-5-6-2-4-1
D: 8-7-3-4-5-6-2-1

Q2: The names below are all main characters from the Final Fantasy series. If put in chronological order of appearance, which would appear at #2 and #5?
Cloud, Firion, Tina, Tidus,
Squall, Butz, Cecil, Zidane

Q3: Which console had the codename “Dolphin” before it was released? Which console had the codename “Katana” before it was released?
SNES, Dreamcast, GameCube,
PlayStation 2, Sega Saturn, Xbox

The answers: I have no idea!

Unfortunately the official Otaku Certification Website has been down for a while. It took hours of searching just to find those sample questions, and even then they didn’t come with answers. We’ll all just have to wonder what the right answers are until a wizened otaku comes along to enlighten us.

The Otaku Certification Exam would have easily taken first place on this list if it weren’t for one other very special – and very specific – certification exam.

And the #1 craziest Japanese certification exam is…

#1. Naruto Certification Exam


Oh baby! Break out the shuriken and Sexy-no-Jutsu ’cause it’s time for the real-life chunin exam!

No, I’m serious. You can choose between three levels on the Naruto Certification Exam: genin (easy), chunin (medium), and jonin (hard) – just like the three levels of ninja in Konoha Village. Here’s what the official site says about the test:

“This exam will test your knowledge of Naruto with questions about scenes, quotes, character profiles, jutsu names and much more that only the most elite Naruto fans can answer.”

So let’s get right to the sample questions. Here’s one from the genin level:

Q1: When Naruto first used the summoning jutsu, what did he summon?
A: Slug
B: Snake
C: Tadpole
D: Konohamaru

And from the chunin level:

Q2: What type of seal did Orochimaru put on Sasuke?
A: Earth
B: Light
C: Heaven
D: Darkness

And finally, from the jonin level:

Q3: Neji’s final, dying words to Naruto were: “Because you said _____.”
A: “You look up to me.”
B: “I was a dunce.”
C: “I was a genius.”
D: “I was your brother.”

The answers: Q1 – C (tadpole), Q2 – C (heaven), Q3 – C (genius)

How did you do? Did you get them all right? If so, good news! The Naruto Ceritification exam is alive and well and ready for you to sign up and take in February 2017. Just go to the official exam website, register, watch the entire series a couple of dozen times while taking copious notes, and you’ll be all set.

But just remember: if you get caught cheating five times, you and your team are disqualified. Believe it!

So there you have it, the top five craziest Japanese certification exams. Are you planning on taking any of the ones on this list, or any other certification test in Japan? The Kanji Kentei and the JLPT are both pretty popular for foreigners, but as we’ve seen, Japan has a different flavor of test for just about anyone out there.

I wonder if I should make a new test...but what could I make it about? English? Nah, there are already too many. Running? Nope. People would think that they had to actually 'run' to take it. Canada? Maybe. But I'd have to study more about it first...ha ha! Any ideas?

Have a great day!


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