The Vapors were an English new wave and power pop band, that existed between 1979 and 1982. Despite purposely releasing their hit song Turning Japanese, as their second single, so they didn't become one-hit-wonders! The Vapors are only remembered for that one song, that still makes 80s kids snigger every time they hear it. The idea being that in the UK "Turning Japanese" is a euphemism for masturbation, making reference to the way that lads eyes "squint" at the point of climax.
Which is all very funny, but unfortunately not true. Until The Vapors released the song, there was no such phrase in British English. It's thought that the mistake occurred when the band toured America, and the audiences there picked-up on the lyric, spreading the masturbation rumour. Along with being connected to the British school-boy slang "Jap's eye", for end of the urethra, an urban legend was born. One that has persisted, following the song throughout its history, and possibly sending the band into music history as being a novelty band, with one silly song about wanking.
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The song from 1980 used the term "turning Japanese" as an expression of turning into something you never expected. A reference to teen angst, at losing their loved one. The lyrics of the song constantly refer to the protagonist looking at photographs of his lost love, and sinking deeper into a feeling of loneliness. The use of "Japanese" was a random lyrical choice, and likely buying into the new wave sub-culture's love of all things Japanese in the late 70s and early 80s.