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Maciamo
Oct 7, 2003, 11:30
There is a proverb in Japanese that says 金の切り目が縁の切り目(kane no kirime ga en no kirime), which translates as "When poverty comes in through the door, love flies out of the window" or "Out of money, out of friends".

縁 (en) is a Buddhist concept difficult to translate into English, but it refers to fate in meeting people, finding love or friends. So the proverb here contradicts the Buddhist idea by saying that 縁 (en) doesn't exist without money.

Personally, I'd rather say that interesting, funny or even beautiful people don't need money to make friends. It's very sad to think that people would only be interseted in one's money rather than their personality or feelings.

People could say it's just a proverb, but what bothers me is how many people (in Japan) have said it to me and believe it to be true. Proverbs are said to reflect a culture's mindset. Something I have never comlpetely understood is the "hostess bar" or "snack bar" system in Japan, where men pay to befriend women. The hostess' job is to make the customer believe she really likes him, but not necessarily as a lover, but more often as a friend or a person altogether, as there is rarely sex involved. In this case I understand very well that people think that money buys relationships, but it's only an illusion.

In my 2 years of teaching private lessons in Japan, I've been able to ask dozens of women, usually between 25 and 35, if they considered love or money more important in a relationship. I expect that if I asked this to Western women, most who say that love is more important, as the Western culture (in any language I believe) has the proverb "Money doesn't buy happiness" and most people will remind those who they feel are too materialistic or money-obsessed.

But Japanese don't seem to see any problem in liking money more than people. I've been told many times things like "With money I can go shopping so I am happy". And of course Japanese females love shopping like I've never seen in any European like it. The same craze for shopping applies for Korean and Chinese women.

Please read my previous topic regarding the meaning of marriage in Japan (http://forum.japanreference.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3677).

neko_girl22
Oct 7, 2003, 11:43
well we have no money but have heaps of friends in NZ and Japan :p

kirei_na_me
Oct 7, 2003, 12:01
Well, it is no secret that I agree with you 100 percent on this topic, Maciamo.

I sometimes do feel that money is the root of happiness for many Japanese people--women in particular. I have had my closest Japanese friend(male) tell me that a marriage is basically supposed to be about practicality. The husband makes the money, the wife uses it however she sees fit, or simply however she wants. I was asking him didn't he think it said something that men are required to reveal their income in personal ads over there, and his response was something like, "well, what else really matters?". I can't help but feeling sad over that.

It's amazing how I kind of assumed that role--a role I never thought I would take on. To me, marriage was supposed to mean love first then everything else. Now, I feel I've kind of settled into the Japanese wife mode, which I find a little uncomfortable, to say the least.

You know that saying they have over there..."Teishu genki de rusu ga ii"...and I've found most of them mean it, too...

ghettocities
Oct 8, 2003, 16:59
I'd say yes, but not JUST money, they are seemingly based on 100% materialistic values.

Josh

http://www.ghettocitiesclothing.com

budd
Oct 8, 2003, 18:58
i don't know -- got a few Japanese friends that won't even take gifts from me, much less money
yet a sister of a friend (american) be calling me at 7:00 in the morning begging for $20 -- and she not a crackhead, just woresome

Maciamo
Oct 8, 2003, 22:02
Originally posted by budd
i don't know -- got a few Japanese friends that won't even take gifts from me, much less money
yet a sister of a friend (american) be calling me at 7:00 in the morning begging for $20 -- and she not a crackhead, just woresome

That's because politeness, courtesy or good manners are very important to Japanese. With extremely politeness there is always a good deal of hypocrisy or self-restrain. That doesn't mean they don't like money, but social norms are so developped that people finding money in the street will even bring it back to the local police box (koban). Japanese like money but honestly earned (except politicians of course :p )

ghettocities
Oct 9, 2003, 01:08
Originally posted by Maciamo
That's because politeness, courtesy or good manners are very important to Japanese. With extremely politeness there is always a good deal of hypocrisy or self-restrain. That doesn't mean they don't like money, but social norms are so developped that people finding money in the street will even bring it back to the local police box (koban). Japanese like money but honestly earned (except politicians of course :p )

Yeah that reminds me of this time I went to this outdoor flee-market type deal in Shinuku one weekend, well there was this really beautiful girl there trying to sell eye-liner that looked like they had been acquired through dumpster-diving, well that's all she was selling, I felt sorry for her cause she was all doing her best to sell it but everyone just kept giving her **** like she got it out of the trash or it wasen't even worth them time to even try so when I was next to her I told her that I wanted to give her money because she wasen't selling anything, I then gave her a few thousand yen, she went crazy, I walked off, moments later she tapped me on my shoulder with a small box of eye-liners, I shook my head and smiled, walked off again, she then ran in front of me, bowed with her holding the money out saying it was really sweet but she was unable to accept money she didn't earn.

I was impressed,

Josh

http://www.ghettocitiesclothing.com

budd
Oct 9, 2003, 03:44
that is sad

Kaminoko
Oct 10, 2003, 09:17
Most arguments worldwide in a man-woman relationship are due to money, regardless of race. When a divorce settlement is due, what is the argument over...money! (And kids if you have them). When you're struggling through life, and your husband goes gambling, what does the wife complain about...money! Mostly it's no different. But I guess Japan may have it a bit worse...

Is it that much of a surprise that money reigns over love, when there is a breakdown of what "family" is supposed to mean anyway?

The average child growing up in Japan will be somewhat distanced from their parents. Some of my friends went to school 7 days a week! 5 days normal school. 2 days "special school" - a life of study, study, study...to get a good job, to get money...

The father is out working all day long, and then goes out with his superiors in order to entertain to get a promotion/status in the eyes of others. What time does he have for "love"?

It's not a wonder that women in Japan would go for money over love, for what kind of example have they been set? If they didn't have a good example of what it means to be a family, why would they want kids of their own anyway? We read the newspapers, and we see the population shrinking, we read of teen girls selling themselves - not because they don't have money, but because they want more money.

At present, materialism is king, and love has no meaning. There are no good examples to follow...All they can hope to follow is the next pop star, or the next Beckham hairstyle. And there is no hope. No hope of a job due to recession. No hope of love, due to their own dysfunctional family system. No hope of happiness, except the small possibility that having money will buy it for them.

A glimmer of fleeting happines, without the hope of long-term joy.

Sorry, this is something that really grieved me when I was over there. I hate family breakdowns. Too many people are hurt. Life is too short, to be angry, to be cruel, to be selfish.

budd
Oct 10, 2003, 15:46
american women about getting money also, look at the marry a millionaire shows
i just got off the plane and i've seen about fifty i'd give my wallet to already (the girl running the cash register at this starbucks is super cute -- but i must stay focused! gaman gaman yo!)

qchan
Oct 10, 2003, 17:06
Konnichiwa!:wave:

I think most Japanese are not liking money, but thinking it's very important.
We are worrywart(心配性) and we want to be prepared for any kind of things.
Compared to other countries, we save many money.

Average Household Savings
Japan $45,118
France 17,649
Germany 17,042
United Kingdom 7,451
United States 4,201
http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/8Comparison.htm

Household Savings rates
Japan 13.4
Germany 11.0
France 9.0
United Kingdom 3.1
United States 0.5
(Italy is the highest 13.6)
http://www3.jetro.go.jp/iv/cybermall/whyjapan/10a_1.html

Specialist says that we save many money because we were agrarian people. We have the national character that we prepare for future trouble (like preparing for famine or damage from cold weather) and avoid uncertaintness.

Main reasons for saving money are
1. preparation for sickness, disaster
2. providing for old age
3. for children's education
4. just for safety
5. to buy a house
6. for children's marriage
7. for vacation, leisure, recreation
http://www.saveinfo.or.jp/kinyu/yoron/per97/per9704.html (in Japanese)

We may look like we are sad people prefering money above all and not knowing what love is(and there are some people like that), but many Japanese are thinking money is important because they love their family and want to live happily and safely.
I know (and I think many Japanese know) that saving many money doesn't mean we're happy, but we're doing our best for our family in this way. (ganbatte imasu!):angryfire


Thank you for reading my poor English.:bow:

Shadow
Oct 10, 2003, 23:05
Originally posted by qchan

We may look like we are sad people prefering money above all and not knowing what love is(and there are some people like that), but many Japanese are thinking money is important because they love their family and want to live happily and safely.


Wow, nicely put...

I'm an asian, and I somewhat feel the same way... IMO, If there's no savings (there's no $$$), and it's hard to provide happiness and stability for someone you love... "Money cannot buy happiness" is absolutely true but money does give a jumpstart in finding and preserving happiness!

kirei_na_me
Oct 10, 2003, 23:48
Originally posted by qchan
We may look like we are sad people prefering money above all and not knowing what love is(and there are some people like that), but many Japanese are thinking money is important because they love their family and want to live happily and safely.
I know (and I think many Japanese know) that saving many money doesn't mean we're happy, but we're doing our best for our family in this way. (ganbatte imasu!)

Is it love or is it pride? Maybe it's a combination. I don't know.

By the way, your English is good, qchan. Don't worry about it!

Mandylion
Oct 11, 2003, 10:58
Bit of a tangent; on tv last night I happened across a show that has teenagers/young adults going over the issues of the day. I can't remember what it was called. The topic last night was, roughly, how important is money in a relationship. They had a group of about 10 people (17-20 years old) and to my surprise, they got really fired up.

One young lady said that if she met a man who had the looks, and the type of lifestyle/life experience she found attractive, if he didn't have money she would move on. Boy, did they rip her a new one...

To make a long story short, the group came down against the money as most important idea. They didn't throw it out the window, it is important, but in their future mates they were more interested first in love and then in how dedicated a work/family member they would be. Flashing big wads of cash around figured quite far down on the list. They weren't interested in a millionare lay-about (said they would have no drive and ambition) but someone who was willing to go out there day after day and bust their butt, no matter how much they made in the end. Overall, after taking letters from viewers, it seemed that the young folks who watch the show know the importance of money, figure it into their future plans, but the majority don't let it be the final word in their relationships.

qchan- Thanks for your post. It was great. I have some different ideas on why Japanese people save so much, but I don't have time to go into them now. You English is great! I second KNM's post :)

Haivart
Oct 11, 2003, 23:19
That's an over-generalization. Not ALL are. Those shows are about getting yourself seen on tv to bolster your ego and to try and get something fast, without working for it.




Originally posted by budd
american women about getting money also, look at the marry a millionaire shows
i just got off the plane and i've seen about fifty i'd give my wallet to already (the girl running the cash register at this starbucks is super cute -- but i must stay focused! gaman gaman yo!)

Maciamo
Oct 12, 2003, 00:02
Originally posted by qchan

We are worrywart(心配性) and we want to be prepared for any kind of things.
...
Specialist says that we save many money because we were agrarian people. We have the national character that we prepare for future trouble (like preparing for famine or damage from cold weather) and avoid uncertaintness.


This relates to Hofsted's cultural analysis, which I have already evoked here (http://forum.japanreference.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4391) . Japan's uncertainty avoidance level is very high (92%) which is why Japanese plan and prepared so much everything and worry about the future. But if we believed Professsor Hofstede's analysis, it is not a characterstic unique to Japanese, and some European countries have in reality a higher uncertainty avoidance level than Japan. For example Belgium (94), Portugal (104) and Greece (112). Hofstede's survey is 20 years old and things might have evolved a bit (though culture cannot change so dramatically in sucha short time).

I read a few months ago in the monthly statistics section of the Economist that Belgian and French people actually saved a higher proportion of their salary than Japanese, but that was the top 3 for industrialised countries.

Maciamo
Oct 12, 2003, 00:16
Have you also noticed that most Japanese TV programmes, be them about food, lifestyle, games, quizz, etc. always revolved around money. They can't present a restaurant (and god knows how many programmes are about restaurants in Japan !)without putting an exaggerated stress on the price of each item (with "sugooooii" voices in the audience as much when it's cheap as when it's expensive). Even travel programmes are usually about food sampling and they systematically say the price and often go as far as indicating it in large fonts on the screen as if it were more important than the tatse of the food itself.

Japanese also discuss more freely than most Westerness their salaries, how much cost their house or how much they spend each month in clothing or for their hobbies.

Half of the time, when I've been somewhere on holiday people will ask me if I enjoyed it AND how much was life in this or that country, or how much I spent for the plane, hotel and so on.

If you don't know what to talk about with Japanese people, money is always a good topic, for they don't get bored to hear how much cost whatever you have ever bought or imagined to buy in your life.

kirei_na_me
Oct 12, 2003, 01:27
That's something I have also come to notice over the years. Having grown up thinking it was rude to talk about how much you spent on something to someone else, it was very strange hearing the Japanese people I knew talking so openly about it.

Yes, a show like Iron Chef is a good example. They are always making sure to mention just how tremendously expensive the theme ingredient is.

Elizabeth
Oct 12, 2003, 02:14
Although my experience has generally been with other women being most insistant on the question of cost or price, sometimes even over the objections of their husbands. Which can be quite comical, actually, -- as if they weren't fully aware of how the other would react ;).

mdchachi
Oct 12, 2003, 08:51
And there is no hope... No hope of love, due to their own dysfunctional family system. No hope of happiness, except the small possibility that having money will buy it for them.

A glimmer of fleeting happines, without the hope of long-term joy.

Sorry, this is something that really grieved me when I was over there. I hate family breakdowns. Too many people are hurt. Life is too short, to be angry, to be cruel, to be selfish.


If you hate family breakdowns that make sure you don't come to the U.S. We have many physically even sexually abused children. Children living in poverty. Many children born to young, unwed mothers. Much more crime committed by children. Many teen runaways prostituting themselves to escape from family situations. In comparison, Japan family life looks pretty good.

kirei_na_me
Oct 12, 2003, 09:03
There are good and bad things about every country/culture.

Kaminoko
Oct 12, 2003, 09:16
Originally posted by mdchachi
If you hate family breakdowns that make sure you don't come to the U.S. In comparison, Japan family life looks pretty good.

I know what you mean...I lived in the US for a year...spoke to quite a few in those situations - but problems can never be compared. Your paralysed body doesn't make someone else's amputated hand better. And it is because of the breakdowns that I'm moving to Japan in the first place. The good thing about the US is that there is a lot more support for those hurting than in Japan.

I guess grieving is something I'll have to live with since these are the type of people I give my free time to...Reality hurts, but we can all help to make life a little bit better eh? No point trying to escape the problems that exist! Better to try to meet them head on...I've had to all my life!

Cheers!

Carolgirl00
Oct 12, 2003, 15:18
hmm, just wondering, how are the rates of physical/sexual child abuse in Japan? Anyone know?

qchan
Oct 12, 2003, 17:07
When I first read the posts here, I thought people here were feeling too negative about being interested in money. So in my last post, I wrote the positive side about it. I couldn't understand why you were feeling strange about it, but after reading about the tv program and people talking about money openly, I begin to understand. I didn't think it strange before you pointed out, it was normal for me.

I thought maybe difference between Westerner thinking rude to talk about money and Japanese talking about it openly, comes from whether your from country of Christianity or not. I read in a book that Christian society concidered commerce and financial business as negative things historically. But in Japan those business were encouraged since fifteen century. In Osaka (a commercial city), there's a greeting 「もうかりまっか?」「ぼちぼちでんな。」("mookari makka?" "bochibochi den na" - it's Osaka dialect). It literally means, "Are you making a lot of money?" "Well, just so-so.". It's a greeting same as "How are you?" "Fine, thank you.". This may be sound very rude greeting for Westerners...

So one of the reason why Japanese interested in money and talk and ask about it a lot is maybe because Japan isn't a Christian country. We don't have negative feeling about being interested in money, compared to western people. When Japanese talk or ask about money we don't mean to be rude, just asking it from simple-minded curiosity.

From Westerner point of view, Japanese are too interested in money, and from Japanese (my) point of view, Westerner are feeling too negative about being interested in money.


Originally posted by Maciamo
If you don't know what to talk about with Japanese people, money is always a good topic, for they don't get bored to hear how much cost whatever you have ever bought or imagined to buy in your life.

And for Japanese, even though you don't know what to talk about with Western people, you shouldn't talk about money because it's very rude for them.
These kind of cutural differnce are very interesting, and I really enjoy learning about it. This topic is very interesting for me.:)


kirei na me, Mandylion - Thank you. I wasn't sure if my English was making sense. I feel relieved.:relief:

Elizabeth
Oct 12, 2003, 21:59
Originally posted by qchan
So one of the reason why Japanese interested in money and talk and ask about it a lot is maybe because Japan isn't a Christian country. We don't have negative feeling about being interested in money, compared to western people. When Japanese talk or ask about money we don't mean to be rude, just asking it from simple-minded curiosity.
Certainly no one is implying Japanese are intentionally being rude....only that this could just as well work in the reverse, that Japanese are interested in money for it's own sake in the absense of any other value system Japan has never developed or has never taken root there (whereas Christianity teaches it as a means to end. Otherwise even churches wouldn't have the basic tools to support themselves. Where did the capitalist work ethic originate from, after all). The notion that westerners aren't interested in money is completely off the mark :sorry:.In many ways they are less modest about showing off their wealth than the Japanese seem to be. Don't they have these sorts of vignettes on J-tv as well? That take the viewer on guided tours of grossly overbuilt American homes, with a particular concentration on the luxury and wastefulness of our lifestyle, panning in on any lazy, overweight bystanders ? I could have sworn I came across two or three segments in that vein last time. :blush:

mdchachi
Oct 12, 2003, 23:52
> I thought maybe difference between Westerner thinking rude to talk about money and Japanese talking about it openly, comes from whether your from country of Christianity or not.
> I read in a book that Christian society concidered commerce and financial business as negative things historically.

Good point, qchan. Yes, that's true. My mother often says "money is the root of all evil." I don't know if she got that saying from Christianity but it's a common sentiment around here.

Maciamo
Oct 13, 2003, 00:40
Another good reason not to ask someone how much money they make/have, or to boast about one's wealth, is that it makes people envious, and "envy" is one of the 7 deadly sins for Jews and Christians (and Muslims too ??). The second reason not to be too interested in money (always think and talk about it), is that greed (covetousness) is another of the 7 deadly sins.

That seems almost irrelevant to me as I am not even remotely Christian, but I feel that people who only care about money to find happiness are loveless, intellectually shallow, immature and possibly immoral ultramaterialstic individuals. My reason are that happiness can be attained - and I talk of personal experience, through personnal relationships, love, affection, intellectual and personal achievements, experiencing the world and finding a philosophical (or religious) sense to one's life. As sad as it sounds, I often feel that the average Japanese ommit especially the intellectual, philosophical and even amorous points above. Isn't it funny that in a (pseudo-)Buddhist country, people are so little inclined to find their own self and lead an ascetic life toward enlightenment. I could (and have) throw all my material possessions if I had books to improve my knowledge, time to meditate on the meaning of life. It seems however that this idea is completely foreign to Japanese, eventhough it is what Buddhism teaches (well not the fast-food-like joudo and jodou-shin sects of Buddhism which have the largest number of followers in Japan !). Most Japanese are too materialistic and lack the depth of thought necessary to enjoy themselves with anything else than eating, drinking and having sex. Women are better as they have more hobbies, but sometimes I feel they just feel relieved to spend their money on some courses where they rarely excel (and easily quit for something else) or in shopping for more than they can afford... it seems that they are reassured that they are enjoying life because money flows, and are miserable if they don't have as much as the others. Sorry but for me such people will always be shallow, lacking in personality, self-esteem and intelligence. :sad: But we can console ourselves by thinking that as long as they have money they are happy (and even after 13 years of economic decline, they still seem quite happy :p ).

Mr_Hanson
Oct 13, 2003, 01:02
I'm just going to jump right on in on this...

First off, I think Christian society has an aversion to speaking of accumulated wealth (or lack thereof, in most cases) because greed is a major sin. Of course, it helps that if for a long time, you subjugated whole countries and monarchies to a corrupt system where the money was taken for (not given to) the church so everyone could get into heaven. Of course, now in our secular societies (in the "west", anyhow), Christianity has lost governmental power, but the mores stay the same. That's why I think westerners are less keen on talking about money matters... even though SHOWING what you have has always been accepted behavior.

Other than that, great discussion! I liked reading qchan's actual Japanese perspective on this!

--Kris

Elizabeth
Oct 13, 2003, 02:34
Originally posted by Maciamo
Most Japanese are too materialistic and lack the depth of thought necessary to enjoy themselves with anything else than eating, drinking and having sex. Women are better as they have more hobbies, but sometimes I feel they just feel relieved to spend their money on some courses where they rarely excel (and easily quit for something else) or in shopping for more than they can afford... it seems that they are reassured that they are enjoying life because money flows, and are miserable if they don't have as much as the others. Sorry but for me such people will always be shallow, lacking in personality, self-esteem and intelligence. :sad: But we can console ourselves by thinking that as long as they have money they are happy (and even after 13 years of economic decline, they still seem quite happy :p ).
Well, I can't say that I know many (actually just one comes to mind and he had a great sense of the injustices there) Japanese that seem quite happy.....but I think it is safe to say as a whole they do have an extremely well-developed interest in personal relationships that may override some of these other deficits. I've personally never experienced such loyalty as from close Japanese friends -- no matter how selfish or childishly I've behaved at times, even asking straight out to be left alone, they will continue to keep in touch, if more remotely, and make the appropriate inquiries out of a sense of obligation as well as true concern it seems in many cases.

The note about classes is hilarious -- a few women I know taking tea ceremony, flower arranging, or incense lessons actually do realize they are doing it in hopes of finding a deeper spiritual meaning, but even so it is just once a month, with time off in the summer, and for holidays, etc and so what if you may miss one from not feeling well or being off shopping....:p

Elizabeth
Oct 13, 2003, 03:41
Originally posted by Mr_Hanson
I'm just going to jump right on in on this...

First off, I think Christian society has an aversion to speaking of accumulated wealth (or lack thereof, in most cases) because greed is a major sin. Of course, it helps that if for a long time, you subjugated whole countries and monarchies to a corrupt system where the money was taken for (not given to) the church so everyone could get into heaven. Of course, now in our secular societies (in the "west", anyhow), Christianity has lost governmental power, but the mores stay the same. That's why I think westerners are less keen on talking about money matters... even though SHOWING what you have has always been accepted behavior.

Other than that, great discussion! I liked reading qchan's actual Japanese perspective on this!

--Kris
Perhaps the root source of this attitude difference comes in the relative lack of income inequality in Japan vs. the US and even Europe. With most people believing themselves in roughly the same position economically, talking about money becomes more like a game, a harmless, even fun, safe social outlet that subsumes other stressors.

And showing off one's wealth was, generally speaking, NOT accepted behavior in America before the first generation of robber barons (ie oligarchs) and capitalist magnates of the mid/late-19th Century. Before that as far as I'm aware, the overriding Puritan/Protestant ethic was that doing well materially and sharing the wealth or gifting back to the church provided visible proof of God's kingdom being built on earth, evidence that the "right" people had been endowed with specific talents, were using them to the fullest but not crediting themselves for the fruits of that labor. On the other hand, was traditional Japanese culture full of greed and covetousness? I'd rather doubt it, but of course there is also the shortage of real estate there in which to show off your goods, not matter how pleasant they may be. :eek:

Elizabeth
Oct 13, 2003, 09:20
Originally posted by Maciamo
Most Japanese are too materialistic and lack the depth of thought necessary to enjoy themselves with anything else than eating, drinking and having sex.
And as couples have sex much less than Westerners, that leaves food and drink as their most treasured assets. I don't know, though,.....most Japanese I've talked to still say that friendship and lovers if possible are the most important things in their lives. They just aren't very skilled at making them sometimes :p

kirei_na_me
Oct 13, 2003, 10:00
I now have the philosophy that if you find someone that gives you that rush and makes you extremely happy and truly understands you, you should never marry them... :p

Maciamo
Oct 15, 2003, 10:30
I have move the discussion about Japanese magazines here (http://forum.japanreference.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4660) to avoid a too long off-topic.

Maciamo
Oct 15, 2003, 10:34
I've just seen a TV ad for AFLAC were children were made to sing "yoku kangaeyou, o kane daiji da yo" ("let's reflect well, money is so important"...). Typical of the Japanese mindset. I lots of western countries that would sound plainly immoral to make inculcate such materialistic views to children.

torakris
Oct 15, 2003, 12:35
Originally posted by Maciamo
I've just seen a TV ad for AFLAC were children were made to sing "yoku kangaeyou, o kane daiji da yo" ("let's reflect well, money is so important"...). Typical of the Japanese mindset. I lots of western countries that would sound plainly immoral to make inculcate such materialistic views to children.

I am assuming this is the commercial to which you are referring:

http://www.aflac.co.jp/duck/duck_cm_song.html

Now see I would translate this sentence in a completely different way,
"Let's think carefully, money is a precious thing" and then considering that next line is something to the effect , " What insurance company will never raise its rates?" followed then by cheers of "AFLAC, AFLAC", this is no different then any commercial I would see in the US that is basically touting we are the best value for an insurance company don't waste your money elsewhere.

There is nothing immoral or materialistic about the song.
I find all your comments made in that post to quite offending and hope there will be an apology to any Japanese readers. Of the hundreds of Japanese I know, I no two have the same "mind set", this is a country of individuals, no different then any country in Europe. There is nothing immoral or materialistic about the song.

Maciamo
Oct 15, 2003, 22:10
Originally posted by torakris
There is nothing immoral or materialistic about the song.

Well maybe not taken apart, but placed in the context of what I have said before, it takes a totally different dimension. What's more, I am just judging though the Judeo-Christian moral system (=> see the 7 deadly sins), which anyway don't apply in non Christian Japan. I suppose you are also Christian because you seem offended by the fact I call the Japanese immoral in regard of these standards. As you probably know (I hope), "moral" as nothing of universal. I am not Christian myself, so it's neither good nor bad to consider Japan immoral by Christian standards, as Christian might very well be immoral by another religion or philosophy's standard as well. Japanese have Buddhism and Shinto in their culture and neither of them is a moral religion, so you can't really judge Christian back from their point of view.

I guess you misread me. I said exactly :
In lots of western countries that would sound plainly immoral to make inculcate such materialistic views to children.

That doesn't mean I adhere to such moral views myself ! If you knew me better, you'd be aware that I detest everything that is Judeo-Christian. However lot's of Westerners (maybe not you or your acquaintances, I have no idea...) would consider this obsesion about money and obvious materialism as immoral (by their Judeo-Christian standards). I am in a position of outside observer, neither Japanese nor Judeo-Christian, but knowing well enough each mentality I think to analyses points of divergences or similarities between them.

Just in case you missed the point of my argumentation, I was just comparing Japanese midset/culture with Judeo-Christian values and realised that Japanese spoke more overtly and unashamedly about money - because it isn't immoral in their culture !

Elizabeth
Oct 16, 2003, 02:08
Originally posted by Maciamo
Well maybe not taken apart, but placed in the context of what I have said before, it takes a totally different dimension. What's more, I am just judging though the Judeo-Christian moral system (=> see the 7 deadly sins), which anyway don't apply in non Christian Japan. I suppose you are also Christian because you seem offended by the fact I call the Japanese immoral in regard of these standards. As you probably know (I hope), "moral" as nothing of universal. I am not Christian myself, so it's neither good nor bad to consider Japan immoral by Christian standards, as Christian might very well be immoral by another religion or philosophy's standard as well. Japanese have Buddhism and Shinto in their culture and neither of them is a moral religion, so you can't really judge Christian back from their point of view.
Perhaps all that torakris was implictly trying to imply was that on the scale of Japanese immorality and materialism this ranks as something extremely minor and that Christian/Westerners (apparently this wasn't written from a Christian perspective -- or you two would be in agreement) cannot/shouldn't judge back on 'Buddhist ethics' either :D

Kaminoko
Oct 16, 2003, 06:16
:box:

Alright people...don't you think that we should quit assuming what everybody else thinks like?

If you're not Japanese, all you can do is observe and speculate about the Japanese. If you're not Judeo-Christian, then don't assume they would react in a certain way either...all we havea are hypotheses that need to be experimented with.

If one truly "detests" everything Judeo-Christian, then fine, but there's no need to go and judge everyone who is, and imply an insult to those who are Judeo-Christian.

I truly believe that Maciamo does not mean to insult or offend those who are Japanese or have moralistic religious beliefs, and would definitely apologise if he did!

So do the Japanese prefer money above all?

:eek:
No they do not... Circumstance has caused culture to think in a certain way...but deep inside most human beings have the hope that true love and happiness can be gained - Regardless of Race and Nationality!

They prefer money above all else just as much as the next human being in another part of the world!

I noticed someone earlier said that the Judeo-Christian belief was that money is evil:

"For the love of money is a root to all kinds of evil" - 1 Tim 6:10. This is the Judeo-Christian belief. Not Money itself.

:relief:
So please...can we put an end to argumentation?

Thanks!

kirei_na_me
Oct 16, 2003, 07:13
Good points, Kaminoko... ;)

I don't think Maciamo owes anyone an apology. He's just stating his observations and stating his opinion based on those observations. After all, he's no stranger to Japan or the Japanese people. He just has a pretty politically incorrect approach, which some people find offensive. It is naive to go around thinking any culture is perfect. I think a lot of people--including myself at times--have a tendency to take things too personally when something negative is said about something they hold dear.

Hmmm...I wonder if anyone would say that an apology was necessary for some of the Americans here who have been generalized in some way or another(like it matters to me)? Or anyone else, for that matter...

torakris
Oct 16, 2003, 07:16
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Maciamo
[B]Well maybe not taken apart, but placed in the context of what I have said before, it takes a totally different dimension.

This is the problem I originally had. You have your beliefs that that the Japanese prefer money overall, and that is fine people can believe what ever they want to. The thing is when you take that song and translate it in to your own words, words that fit into your belief, and then try to pass it off as proof to others (omitting the important line that is spoken after the song is sung) that the Japanese are money obsessed, then I find a problem that has nothing to do with morals just everyday manners and common sense.
By the way I have been an atheist for the past 22 years and my background (BA's in East Asian Studies and Cultural Anthropology and an MA in East Asian Archaeology) has given me plenty of knowledge to know that similar morals exist regardless of religion in almost every place on earth.

I aplogize to others for continuing this conversation that was asked to be stopped and thus will do so now.

budd
Oct 18, 2003, 12:36
i have given Japanese people such little piddling gifts, with them expressing EXTREME gratitude... :)
i have been an american ALL MY LIFE, and i KNOW that i WOULD NEVER get the same reaction from a fellow american

am i meeting the wrong americans?

then where are the right ones?

"Hmmm...I wonder if anyone would say that an apology was necessary for some of the Americans here who have been generalized in some way or another"
no, an american would have just cussed people out so bad, enough to get the topic closed, if the situations were reversed

eidii-kun
Oct 23, 2003, 13:03
Originally posted by Kaminoko
Most arguments worldwide in a man-woman relationship are due to money, regardless of race. When a divorce settlement is due, what is the argument over...money! (And kids if you have them). When you're struggling through life, and your husband goes gambling, what does the wife complain about...money! Mostly it's no different. But I guess Japan may have it a bit worse...

Is it that much of a surprise that money reigns over love, when there is a breakdown of what "family" is supposed to mean anyway?

The average child growing up in Japan will be somewhat distanced from their parents. Some of my friends went to school 7 days a week! 5 days normal school. 2 days "special school" - a life of study, study, study...to get a good job, to get money...

The father is out working all day long, and then goes out with his superiors in order to entertain to get a promotion/status in the eyes of others. What time does he have for "love"?

It's not a wonder that women in Japan would go for money over love, for what kind of example have they been set? If they didn't have a good example of what it means to be a family, why would they want kids of their own anyway? We read the newspapers, and we see the population shrinking, we read of teen girls selling themselves - not because they don't have money, but because they want more money.

At present, materialism is king, and love has no meaning. There are no good examples to follow...All they can hope to follow is the next pop star, or the next Beckham hairstyle. And there is no hope. No hope of a job due to recession. No hope of love, due to their own dysfunctional family system. No hope of happiness, except the small possibility that having money will buy it for them.

A glimmer of fleeting happines, without the hope of long-term joy.

Sorry, this is something that really grieved me when I was over there. I hate family breakdowns. Too many people are hurt. Life is too short, to be angry, to be cruel, to be selfish.

You certainly have a way with words Kaminoko, but I would say that adults would worry more about the money. But now it seems also that children are getting more and more interested in the money instead of the love involved. But currently, I would HAVE to say that children would think more of the love. Reading all this really crushes me that people actually prefer money over love...

Timothy
Oct 23, 2003, 21:46
Actually all women & men prefer money above all if you think about.

If you dress down they would ignore you, so it goes to show money first.

would you approach a tramp!?!?

Maciamo
Oct 24, 2003, 00:09
Originally posted by Timothy
Actually all women & men prefer money above all if you think about.

If you dress down they would ignore you, so it goes to show money first.

would you approach a tramp!?!?

I completely disagree that you need money to look good or dress well. It is indeed very possible to dress up and spend little money, as it is possible to wear the most expensive brands and end up looking like a tramp. Sense is more important than finance. Compare prices, find the good deals at sales or buy fakes, but I assure you that money has very little to do with looks.

kirei_na_me
Oct 24, 2003, 01:31
Speaking of material items, it kind of amazed me how much value the Japanese people I knew/know tend to put on material things, though. My husband has bought me Louis Vuitton bags, platinum jewelry, and countless other expensive items because he assumed I wanted them for show. I'm not going to lie and say I don't like them, but I would've never really thought about all of that stuff if he didn't buy it. I was happy with what I had before, which I thought was pretty classy. I thought Louis Vuitton was only for the super rich or celebrities, whereas he acted like it was an everyday purchase. Also, when we went to Paris on our honeymoon, he bought a whole layette set for our first son from the Baby Dior boutique. He also bought a sweater and hat set from there that our sons have only worn maybe three times total. It doesn't matter, though, because he can say he has it. Oh well, I guess I can pass it on to my grandchildren.

My sister-in-law and friends from Japan also ask us to buy stuff from here that would be more expensive in Japan and then ship it to them. They want Ralph Lauren clothes, they want Chanel cosmetics, they want a Gucci watch, etc. etc.

I'm not saying I don't know any Americans who aren't like that, but as I grew up on a farm in small town Virginia, I didn't grow up around a lot of people like that. Where I'm from, people had a lot of money, but they didn't show it. I learned about all of that later, after I got to be a teenager and especially when I went to a ritzy college with all those NYC girls. It just seems that the Japanese people I know are just a little more fanatical about stuff like that. At least the ones I've come into contact with...

budd
Oct 24, 2003, 01:35
i think men just want money to get women
two/three months ago (?) i was talking to a friend at a resturant while she was working -- me sitting, she standing
the friend is a server, so i order food so as to not be a freeloader
this brunette (dominican? argentinian? i forget) comes and sits down next to me
the FIRST question out of her mouth is "What do you do?"
was jocking me hard, so i gave her my card, work for the same company
never heard from her again, but three/four weeks ago saw her jocking this striped polo shirt guy two times our age... think she looked up my job description? i do

edit:"My sister-in-law and friends from Japan also ask us to buy stuff from here that would be more expensive in Japan and then ship it to them. They want Ralph Lauren clothes, they want Chanel cosmetics, they want a Gucci watch, etc. etc."
my mom/sister/aunt all get crunk over dooney burke and coach, not to mention my uncles and their pioneer/sony entertainment systems competing for one-upmanship
everybody has something that they want.

Maciamo
Oct 24, 2003, 10:20
Originally posted by kirei_na_me
I was happy with what I had before, which I thought was pretty classy. I thought Louis Vuitton was only for the super rich or celebrities, whereas he acted like it was an everyday purchase.

Louis Vuitton bags and wallets are a must have in Tokyo. Few are the young women who don't have at least one. It amazes me that they absolutely want to all have almost identically the same when just the wallet cost over 500US$ (in Tokyo). But of course they should care about changing their handbag every 6 months or so. That's what my wife does. She reassured me saying she didn't buy "brands" (LV, Chanel, Prada...) anymore, but still succeeeded in spending about 1000US$ in one day last week. She is not an exception. Her friends and my female acquaintances are often like that. Those who aren't are just not not "oshare" (fashionable, caring about their looks), so it's more a matter of personality than finance. If they want to do heavy shopping, they find a job that allows them to pay for it. It's not hard, just a regular
OL earns about 200.000 yen/month, and lots of them have free food and accommodation by staying with their parents. So they have about 2000$/month to spend on shopping and beauty. Contrarily to other Japanese, young women save very little. Without them, most of the shops of Ginza, Shibuya or Shinjuku would close.

kirei_na_me
Oct 24, 2003, 10:48
*gasp* $1000 in one day... :o

I care about my looks, but gosh...

den4
Oct 24, 2003, 10:57
Originally posted by kirei_na_me
*gasp* $1000 in one day... :o

I care about my looks, but gosh...

$1000/day? mere pocket change for the well-to-do.... :D or the well-to-do wannabes... :D

many of the young wimmin and obasans that go mad in them bargain sales in Tokyo don't look that great even with their LV bags and Chanel accoutrements and Tiffany items....

budd
Oct 29, 2003, 01:34
i still don't see the difference.
i still don't see the difference!
i still don't see the difference?