Who doesn't love a listicle titled "(X) surprising things you never knew about (Y)"? What surprises me about a lot of commentary on the Japanese film industry — from insiders and outsiders alike — is how it substitutes judgment calls (usually of the "Japanese films are crap" variety) for out-in-plain-sight facts.

Of course, numbers don't tell the whole story, but they are at least a beginning. And sweeping generalizations may be fun to make, but the truth is usually boring and gray, isn't it? Here, in no particular order, is a list of my own favorite myths and misrepresentations, including ones I've been hearing since I started to write about the industry 25 long years ago.

1. The film industry is dying