However, they can be a bit over-sensitive about the whole thing. I'm in the middle of watching a tv show looking at "life in Hawaii" and they have pretty much based the programme on how dirty Hawaiian people's feet are. they showed a guy bringing sand onto the carpet in his house after surfing - the close up almost brought the presenter of the show to fall out of their seat with shock. Haha!
They obsessively clean everything. They are especially crazy about the floor. All schools, homes and other places have a system where you have to wear a different pair of shoes inside and outside. The schools all have little lockers as you come in where you keep the shoes you are not wearing. If you don't have inside shoes they will provide you with a pair of guest shoes which are like awkward rubbery slippers. Most indoor shoes are pretty much slippers although I've been advised that I won't be able to get away with actually wearing slippers- so now I'm desperately trying to find shoes to wear at my different schools. The problem is that my feet are way bigger than japanese people's so shoe shopping is hard. Those Spanish shoes chez got me from Barcelona just before I left have been a total godsend. However, they are starting to stink pretty bad as I've been wearing them everyday during the heat wave- and stinky feet just do not fly well here so I better get something new and clean smelling ASAP.
Despite the obsession with clean floors, I've been struggling to find a decent mop for my apartment. I settled on this stick thing which has a flat rubber base and you attach wet wipes to it... They sell them everywhere, so I assume its what people mostly use here. I've tried cleaning the floor with it but it was pretty pathetic - I felt like a little girl cleaning the inside of a Wendy house with a little handkerchief or something... But a lot of stuff in this country has that feel, it's hard to describe.
If your really interested this is what it looks like modelled on my tatami mat bedroom floor: