I used to teach middle school kids in Japan, and this is one of the funnier things I observed in the classroom:
GIRL: It's hot in here, isn't it?
BOY: It is.
GIRL: Shall I open a window?
BOY: Yes, about five centimeters.
The girl opened the window all the way.
BOY: I said FIVE CENTIMETERS!
To say there are a subset of Japanese people concerned with precision is a bit of an understatement. And speaking of block planes, I guess it comes as no surprise that Japan is home to an annual wood-planing competition.The masters make it look easy, no? Then you see someone with no experience try it, as in the latter part of this video:
I have this fantasy that in the background, the boy and girl I taught back in the '90s are now the grown judges standing in the back of the gymnasium, with the man taking measurements and the woman writing them down.
MAN: Nine microns.
The woman writes a "10."
MAN: I said NINE MICRONS!