If you're picturing Japan, we understand if your first thought is samurai assassins who smell good or their legendary lady samurai assassins (whose scents have been lost to history). But did you know that before aliens picked New Mexico as their favorite tourist spot, UFOs were seen in 19th century Japan? Did you also know that Edo Japanese firefighters had the sickest drip? We know those things, here at Cracked, because while samurai and anime and Godzilla reinventions are awesome gateway drugs, it turns out that Japanese culture and history are fascinating in their own right. Who knew? We did, we already established that. Still need proof? How about the very bizarre history of Christianity in Japan, that's quite the ride. But it's just an appetizer for these stories from Yoshiwara. All that and more below: 

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9 Beloved Characters Made Horrifying by Japan

Japan can take apart other people's inventions, like radios or TV sets, and put them back together better, cheaper and likely in the shape of Hello Kitty. However, the Japanese skill for reverse engineering works less well when it comes to reconfiguring our beloved pop culture icons.

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