This one has baffled me for a long time. In Japanese society (and not just Japan), it is common, even expected to take off your shoes before entering a home. The reason should be obvious: Walking around all day, you may unknowingly pick up dirt or dog poo so the keep the inside of your or anybody else's home clean, you would take off your shoes at the entrance before entering. I'm not even Japanese and even I take off my shoes before entering my home. I do so because I like the inside of my humble abode to be clean. It is simple common sense. But I guess common sense isn't very common these days. So the question I pose to you isn't the typical culture-shock "Why do Japanese people take off their shoes before entering a house" Merely my question is "Why don't Americans (and anybody else who doesn't do the same thing) do the same thing?" Surely, America, being one of the most religious 1st world countries in the world should be aware of the phrase "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" and should have the highest rates of taking shoes off before entering homes.