One topic that’s interesting to explore is the Western custom of kissing and its history with Japan. While the English word “kiss” was imported during the Meiji Period, when Japan was modernizing as fast as it could, the concept of kissing goes back at least to the Heian Period (794-1185), where it’s described in literature from that era. As often happens in Japanese, English speakers are happy to find a convenient loan word available to use, the English word キス kisu, but eventually you have to learn the archaic but often aesthetically beautiful Japanese word, which is 接吻 seppun. While private kissing between lovers is fine, the Japanese are very conservative when it comes to this act, and would never do it in a public place. They’re extremely suspicious of the European custom of cheek kissing as a greeting between friends, and this is often used as the basis for comedic misunderstandings in anime. Drawing their favorite anime and game characters kissing is a favorite pasttime of Japanese fan-artists, whether it’s as a reward for a job well-done or exploring the various possibilities of yuri tonsil hockey. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, follow J-List to see some of the random images I post each day.
Some info on the history of kissing in Japan.