I don't know if you have to have lived with a Peeler to realize this, but when eating fruit, most Japanese people remove anything vaguely resembling skin. We are not talking bananas or kiwifruit, but peaches, grapes, apples, pears and plums. They would probably peel the individual sections of raspberries if they could find an efficient way to do it.
I first discovered this shocking local custom when I noticed the beau's brother's ex-girlfriend popping her grapes, every single one, out of their skins before they saw the inside of her mouth. Now I thought a great number of things were strange about this cute little girl who looked like she was in grade school (yes, the idea that his brother has a loli-con, or Lolita complex, has crossed our minds) so I thought this was a custom in the realm of cute girls and fruit. Until the beau peeled an apple before slicing it up for me. When I mentioned that I was hardly ill-equipped to handle foreign objects in my mouth and could probably eat an apple without choking on the skin, he replied that he was merely protecting me from all those nameless toxins. The skin of an apple is the best part! How do you know you're eating an apple and not some sweet starchy mess if there is no Crunch?! And grapes! This whole nation is missing out on the feeling of puncturing a tight grape skin with one's teeth.
So that I am not thought completely Euro centric I will mention that there are several Japanese blog entries about how strange we are for eating fruit with skin intact. Some people mention the toxins, others are of the opinion that a peach tastes better without its skin, but most of these bloggers only discovered our strange non-Peeler customs when living across the Pacific. It's time to spread the fruit skin love! I have failed in my personal attempts and now fruit at Chez Geisha is half-peeled and distributed according to whether you are a Peeler or a non-Peeler.
For those of you who are corporate bitches in Japan, if you really want to start a revolution try eating an unpeeled apple WHOLE at your desk. Or a raw carrot. From people's reactions you would think you had just pulled out a raw chicken drumstick and started gnawing on it. Very caveman 2008.