i'm so not surprised at all.
the Japanese culture has a component that is about PRECISION.
It's in the food = Sushi, going back hundreds of yrs... precise cuts of fish, forming, shaping, presentation... cleanliness, fresh, premium.
It's in the precision cutlery, honing knifes, swords.
Attraction to the precision of baseball, a sport where a small sweetspot on a piece of wood strikes a ball... small margin of error. lots of frustration.
Attraction to golf, technique heavy.... precision... lots of frustration. but attraction to that rare moment of success makes it all worthwhile.
All their robotics and drive at miniaturizing precision devices...
The Lexus brand, relentless pursuit of perfection... seamless fit and finish.
Their calligraphers, photographers, precision. their history making optical glass for camera lenses...
Their attraction to artisanal bread baking... if you walk around Tokyo you will find bread baking behind glass store fronts. They make amazing breads and french pastries, it's insane.
These people are attracted to technique heavy things, to expensive and fine things... they aren't into knockoffs, low priced, low quality things. In fact they associate price with quality. they learn when they go to other countries, to be more laxed in stringent that association.
It does cause for some stress in the society... it wasn't surprising some of their young people who come here to visit feel more 'free'....
supposedly there's no pressure, self made or not, to drive to be perfect. guess you can 'lay low' here in USA, the choice is yours is the feeling.
Italian food seems to be the trendy food there, it's what's pricey there as Sushi is not in Italy, but here in NYC.
I've found some crappy pizza in many Tokyo places... i dont know what it was... it wasn't Naples style, certainly wasn't NYC style... which I was surprised i couldnt find since they're so into replicating things that are NYC in other facets.... the crust was like a cracker. the whole thing weighed like 1 oz, yet was like 10-15 bucks.