Stereotype: Japanese people stay so thin because everything they put in their mouths is healthy. And fishy. And sometimes raw.
Truth: Compared to the percentage of their fellow countrymen who are not, a greater percentage of Japanese people manage to stay thin because their lifestyles simply call for it. More commuting via bike, more walking than driving and parking, more pimp-slapping giant crustaceans from outer space, etc. Unfortunately though, even this is slowly being offset by 'heavy' influences from the west--most noticeable in Japanese food, which isn't nearly as healthy and wholesome as everybody wants to believe it is.
How about a new stereotype then? All Japanese food is actually fried. Crisp and flaky on the outside, moist and delicious on the inside; fish or fowl, entrails, appendages of every sort, or just good old breast meat, Japan knows how to fry with golden brown impunity. Forget about the raw fish/chicken/horse Asian cuisine that has everybody talking, if it's fried, it's in Japan. And probably delicious.
Anecdotal proof? After spending a week with my brother in Hawaii (a group of islands that may very well be deep-fried themselves), and basking in the respective glories of half-pound hamburgers, wet burritos, deep-dish pizza, onion rings, ranch dressing, bottled root beer, and other such "kamehameha" sucker punches that surprised my unsuspecting colon, I thought it would be nice to meet with some friends and load up on greens upon arriving back in Okayama. So, we hit up a quiet cafe/izakaiya type place above street level and set about ordering.
What was the first item to arrive at our table?
Fried chicken cartilage.
I rest my flimsy case.