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Thread: PG-rated : 40 reasons to think that the Japanese are superficial

  1. #26
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth
    Actually there has been a well-documented downward trend in teenage pregnancy/abortion/births for at least the last decade, according to this source since1991. Figures may not be available for the current administration -- although no news has come in of a national reversal that I'm aware of.

    http://www.cwfa.org/articledisplay.a...egoryid=family
    What is that supposed to mean :

    The 2002 birth rate of 42.9 births per 1000 for females aged 15-19 is 31 percent lower than the 1991 rate, and the rate of 72.7 percent for females aged 18-19 indicates a 23 percent decline,
    72% of women between 18 and 19 get pregnant in the States ?? Even per mille seems so high (7 people out of 100). 19 is still teenage and I have never heard of anyone of that age getting pregnant among my European acquaintances. However in Japan I have (and many times).

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  2. #27
    遠いから行きません GaijinPunch's Avatar
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    I know I'm late on this, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I think we just have very different ideas of what the word "culture" means. What I meant is that they don't learn about the country's history, mentality, society, arts, religion, customs,
    No, that's what I think of when I think of culture. Maybe my wife is the bad apple, but all I do is follow her through her Japanese tourist books which take you to places in whatever country, and talks about all the things you listed.


    I know they don't because I checked all the popular guidebooks my wife bought when we were travelling (chikyu no arukikata, etc.),
    Maybe your missus is just buying the wrong books?

    [quote]To tell you frankly, I don't know. But I never talk sex with any other men. What's the point ?[/quote[

    Didn't say there was one, nor was I defending it... just saying it's not unique to Japanese by a stretch.

    Yes, but that is not the point. Many Japanese think that money is happiness.
    Again, I'd say no. I don't think I've ever talked $$ with any of my Japanese friends. I only knew one that wanted to be a pop star to be "remembered" he said... not rich, and not famous.

    but that they make up a much bigger percentage of the total broadcasting time than on European channels.
    There's no way I'll defend Japanese TV. It sucks... I've just never lived anywhere where it's any better.

    What I meant is that there are people who can't even use the control panel of Windows or don't know how to use MS Word.
    There's millions of them... all over the world. And as an engineer who makes his bread & butter b/c of such people, I say kanpai!

    I know very few people who work 60h/week. 9 to 5 (or 6 or 7) jobs are still the most common in Japan.
    Are these the same people that want to be rich? Yeah, those are the "hours" but you wind up working more. Trust me... I worked in metropolitan Tokyo for the entire time I was in the country. There are people leaving office buildings well into the night. Office buildings don't even close the front doors usually until midnight. Here in the states? My building is a ghost town at 18:00.

    One last thing:
    For those under the illusion that Japanese is limited -- you need to study more. Of course it's limited if you're thinking in another language. There's tons of stuff you can't exactly translate from English to Japanese. There's only a million or so onomotopeai's (sp?) in Japanese that I dare so most people here would not fathom. If you come from an English speaking country you're probably more likely to have been exposed to different types of English, which cause for more flexibility. I'll give you that.... but that's about it.

  3. #28
    夜露死苦! TwistedMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    because remorse is part of the Judeo-Christian mentality, even for those who do not follow these religions.
    very true. I'm an atheist, yet I look at some of the things said in the bible and I live by them as much as any religious person would.

    "do unto others as you would have done unto yourself" or some such sentence is in there somewhere.. It makes perfect sense.
    If everyone lives by it (and many do) we can keep the people hurt at a minimum.. and as long as it's at a minimum, tho odds of me being hurt are minimal.

    I guess thinking about things like that makes us able to put ourselves in someone else's position and think "how would I feel if the tables were turned?". If we realize it wouldn't feel good, most of us feel regret. sympathy for the other person and the knowledge that I did that to him/her.

    I'm not saying this is something the Japanese are incapable of or even bad at. I wouldn't know. I'm just trying to agree with the part of Maci's post I quoted.
    夜露死苦!

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  4. #29
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    mechanically answered without thinking

    - their favourite topic of conversation is food
    you do not like eating?

    - when travelling abroad, they care little about the local culture except food
    if there ever was any local culture.

    - when they do not talk about food, they talk about money or sex
    or dying and death like some americans

    - The proverbs "money doesn't buy happiness/love" or "don't judge a book by its cover" have no significance in Japan
    ya buy "love": if your money is used up the love ends.

    - clothes do make the man in Japan (which explain the success of brand clothes, black suits and even that of cosplay, bunny girls or the importance that Japanese women attach to their wedding dress)
    and here clochards are entering the city council and getting jobs by 1:3 lottery.

    - people indeed do not get treated the same way (be it in a shop, by government officials, by the police or whatever) depending on how well they dress and look.
    and how polite they ask. even here staff does not give out things just for money

    - they think an opuent and expensive wedding is necessary for appearances' sake (even if that is way above their means)
    that's offensive. 39 reasons.

    - some Japanese companies have a tiny head office in Tokyo (esp. Nihombashi) just for appearances' sake, as it is said to give them a higher status.
    nice, very nice.

    - they judge people from their appearance and tend to be easily prejudiced (e.g. toward foreigner-looking persons)
    and you see the good in people with dirty clothing, sunglasses and big cars.

    - they use gestures and speak strange Japanese to foreigners who address them in fluent Japanese (or before they have a chance to speak), as if they had convinced themselves that somebody who didn't look Japanese could not possibly understand their language
    it is a way to express dislike for people who do not look japanese enough.

    - however Japanese language is so deficient in vocabulary and acurate expressions that it has to borrow thousands of new words from other languages every year
    like geek, ***** and nerd?

    - the structure of Japanese language is so inflexible and clumsy (no relative sentences, few tenses, few nuances) that Japanese people end up speaking with isolated words (often adjectives, see below) rather than making full sentences.
    which are well understood.

    - they can't debate and dislike serious intellectual discussions (probably due to the language issues mentioned above)
    do you easily debate lacking any reasons?

    - there are very few intellectual programmes on TV (documentaries, debates, political analysis, social phenomenons, literary discussions...), due to a general lack of interest of the population
    literary discussions on tv?

    - people on TV usualy repeat the same few adjectives all the time (oishii, omoshiroi, hidoi, kirei...) , as if they were linguistically challenged.
    news in europe are repeating one thing all day: dying and death.

    - people in everyday life actually do speak like mentioned above
    they speak all day of earthquakes and they may die of that probably?

    - they ask the same routine dumb questions to foreigners ("can you use chopsticks; can you eat sushi, is there 4 seasons in your country, etc.")
    rather can you afford sushi? we have sushi here in europe.

    - they tend of lack sexual morals and don't mind cheating "as long as their partner doesn't know"
    and we are holy churchgoers.

    - they have casual sex with several partners without protection and don't worry about STD's
    offensive. 38 reasons.

    - they have a computer but don't know much how to use even quite simple functions, due to a lack of interest for technology
    - they throw away a dysfunctuning electronic equipment (e.g. computer) or machine, rather than try to repair it
    ya western secretary woman all have little repair shops at home.

    - they call an plumber, electrician or carpenter to repair things in their house, because they are not interested in DIY (Japan is a service country par excellence, due to people's lack of knowledge or interest in a wide array of things)
    if they have a house.

    - they go to juku after school because they sleep or are too slow to learn at school (slowing down the teacher's rythm) and can't assimilate the necessary knowledge to pass the exams. They still end up learning much less than European children in foreign languages, history, geography and critical thinking.
    more supid than the people here?

    - manga, porn and fashion magazines account for over 90% of convenience stores' literature.
    if you go to a manga shop it is obviously.

    - shops staff repeat "irasshaimasse", then "domo arigato gozaimashita" like robots to anybody that enters or exit, even if the same person comes in and out three times in 5 minutes
    a japanese would not do that on the same day

    - they can't think by themselves, and believe the media, commercials or what people tell them much too easily
    ya we all think think and think.

    - they buy on impulse rather than after careful comparison and analysis
    so do we

    - there are virtually no magazines that test and rate products such as electronics, books, movies, games, etc. They only introduce these products without critical commentary (because the makers/sellers would sue them for being critical !)
    would complain about them for being critical. ya i know our magazines are announcing everthing as BS to increase sales.

    - they are a nation of followers that suffer from the "sheep syndrome" => if every jumps in the river, let's jump in the river too ! (i.e. lack of critical and independent thinking)
    here we are individually arguing with police staff

    - as a result, when something becomes fashionable, everybody must have it (e.g. Louis Vuitton handbags), even if that means it looses its uniqueness or originality.
    people need nike for better living

    - when a restaurant is "introduced" on TV, one can be sure that it will be full to the brim for the week to come, then people will forget about it as quickly as they had rushed on it (just to show how influenceable the Japanese are).
    restaurant introduced on tv? have you hallucinated that?

    - they think that most women are just good to serve tea, smile, be beautiful and make children (I mean, the cultural influence is so strong that many Japanese women also think so, not just men)
    now they think.

    - politicians are corrupted and inefficient beyond redemption, because they only care about themselves, and not the nation's welfare.
    our politicans are anwering emails, you know, and giving jobs to jobless people immediately, including a sugar-free candy.

    - people accept that politicians are as mentioned above, because they don't expect their own kind to act in a more virtous way
    and recruitment agencies serving coffe, take a seat, very firendly, job in five minutes.

    - men don't mind paying huge sums of money just to chat with bar hostesses, because they can't get a girlfriend (sad) or feel that it give them some form of status (shallow)
    - about one out of three Japanese men frequents or has already been to one of these hostess bar.
    as long as it is only chatting...

    - not being married after the age of 35 or 40 can hurt some people's credibility or status, as people think that there is 'something wrong' with them
    often it is indeed

    - they care a lot about marriage, but little about the eventuality of divorce, so that prenuptial agreements are almost unheard of, because people 'don't like to think that bad things could happen' - while Westerners cannot not think about this eventuality and be prepared for it. Similarily, very few Japanese write their testament. Japanese seem to worry a lot, but rarely about things that matter most.
    this should really change. people should have a coffin at home, if they need one, it is too late, obvioulsy. +3 bonus reasons

    - many Japanese fathers do not think that they have a role in their children's education. This is so culturally ingrained that in case of divorce, the mother almost always get the exclusive custody of the child(ren), and the father often 'never' see them again - and often doesn't care much anyway.
    offensive. 37 reasons.

    - they find pleasure in asking foreigners what kind of Japanese food they can't eat - even if they can't eat it themself (never really understood the purpose of those questions)
    do they have clumsy cheese?

    - many Japanese are convinced that their nation is "unique for being unique" (i.e. they think that all the world is a big melting-pot, but Japan is the only country that is 'pure' and homogenous, which makes it unique, and they are the only nation to enjoy such uniqueness.).
    people should have something japanese, and not a mind concept, japanese would be american hostages which were forced to learn kanji.

  5. #30
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    I see through your reply, alexriversan, that Irish people (if you are), are indeed a bit more similar to the Japanese (or Americans) than the European average, as nekosasori (who lives in Ireland) remarked before. Island (or isolated country) mentality ?

  6. #31
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    maciamo, talking topics family, wedding customs and polgygamic relationships are likely considered as offensive. a phrase book containing "a list of fourty words" in the index would not sell in japan.

    i do not know why people try to point out one's origin and i do not see an importance in it.

    do japanese laugh about europeans who always say "jesus christ" out of no particiular reason? or who label themselves as moro, geek and nerd?

    i have difficulties imagine a japanese articulating "lord buddha" within a "discussion" without logical connection to the communication. but you wrote communication would often be imperative.

    probably we should tell the japanese, the word "ghey" would not be gender specific, means it can be applied to a woman which bets large sums of money on horses, lives in a luxerious house and uses tarot cards to figure out which horse to bet.

    notice this does not necessarily include physical intercourse within a relationship. probably the japanese know it theirselves because words are not attached to genders.

    i wonder more and more

  7. #32
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexriversan
    maciamo, talking topics family, wedding customs and polgygamic relationships are likely considered as offensive.
    Why ? Are you a puritan ?

    do japanese laugh about europeans who always say "jesus christ" out of no particiular reason?
    I don't know, but I do (laugh at them). Anyway, that's mostly an English expression (well there are other religion-related expression in other languages).

  8. #33
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    Why ? Are you a puritan ?
    not at all. as far as i have understood, japanese society tolerates many things (like unusual vending machines)- as long as they do not try to enter university, to teach small children and giving out lollies to same. it works because it is not talked about more than necessary.

    i worked on my unecessary hate feelings for a while.

  9. #34
    Regular Member cicatriz esp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirei_na_me
    Well, there are those kinds of people everywhere, but yeah, I would say living in LA has a lot to do with that opinion.
    I would just throw in my two cents here that the majority of the population of LA are not, in fact, American citizens.

  10. #35
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    - when travelling abroad, they care little about the local culture except food
    i disagree in part in germany japanese people are famous for having little digital cameras and stuff and taking tons of pictures of everything instead of looking


    well

  11. #36
    Heimin
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    Yet another stereotype/generalization.

    Maciamo,

    Do you ever have anything remotely good to say about Japan or the Japanese?

  12. #37
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    yeah, you must add that in Europe stereotypes are a big thing because you have so many unique countries bordering each other

  13. #38
    The Funky Homosapien. King of Tokyo's Avatar
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    Even if I wanted to agree on some of your points, I can't. Why? Because every topic you make is some negative generelization about Japan and more specifically Japanese people. I don't understand why you'd want to be in a place that you complain so much about. It doesn't make sense.

    America, land of opportunity, mirages and camouflages - more than usually
    Speakin loudly, sayin nothin, you confusin me, you losin me
    Your game is twisted, want me enlisted - in your usary
    Foolishly, most men join the ranks cluelessly
    Buffoonishly accept the deception, believe the perception

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Tokyo
    Even if I wanted to agree on some of your points, I can't. Why? Because every topic you make is some negative generelization about Japan and more specifically Japanese people. I don't understand why you'd want to be in a place that you complain so much about. It doesn't make sense.

    let me show you.

    Im living with Americans right now. In the South. They (Americans) say 'bout Americans that they are:
    - stupid
    - fat
    - hard drinking
    - hard cussing
    - redneck
    - hardcore christians
    - etc blahbla bush blah

    but they don't say "All Americans are allways this way and that's all their choice and they don't want to change it."


    see i think what he wants to say is that, well, they might be superficial but that doesn't shape them as a nationality. see that's a trait or so if one grows up with it hes unlikely to not continue it.

    i would make an example if i knew any stereotype or so about canada but i seriously don't know anything about canada because nobody ever talks about you (your next to the big US they are allways the donkey) - really no offense ment.

    I can understand your point but I allso agree with the thread starter


    well hope you got my point right and i didn't offend you in any way O.o

  15. #40
    Heimin
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    [QUOTE=Shas]
    i would make an example if i knew any stereotype or so about canada but i seriously don't know anything about canada because nobody ever talks about you (your next to the big US they are allways the donkey) - really no offense ment.
    [QUOTE]

    Canadians are colder, hockey-loving Americans without guns who have health care, half of whom think they're still French.


  16. #41
    Regular Member cicatriz esp's Avatar
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    Canadians own more guns per capita than Americans do.

  17. #42
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy_Brown
    Yet another stereotype/generalization.

    Maciamo,

    Do you ever have anything remotely good to say about Japan or the Japanese?
    Haven't you read any of the articles in the Culture, Glossary or Practical (including Travel Guide) sections of this site to say such a thing ? As I wrote almost everything in these sections, and there isn't anything negative to be found in over 200 pages, I think your vision of not having "anything remotely good to say about Japan" is very much restricted to what you want to see. How many of my almost 4000 forum posts did you read ?

  18. #43
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Tokyo
    Even if I wanted to agree on some of your points, I can't. Why? Because every topic you make is some negative generelization about Japan and more specifically Japanese people. I don't understand why you'd want to be in a place that you complain so much about. It doesn't make sense.
    See my reply to Leroy above (funny that my reply to you both should be the same, as Leroy means "the king" in French and "King of Tokyo" lives in Canada, no far from the French speaking part ). I think you should read this thread : Can you separate reason and emotions in your mind ?

    Why would I be criticising the economical and political system if it was not to change it and improve ? (because continuing like this, Japan is doomed in the long run). Otherwise, when talking about most of the Japanese culture (history, Shinto, Buddhism, traditions, festivals, kimono, food, fireworks, sightseeing, etc.) I not only have positive views, but did more than 99.9% of any other foreigners interseted in Japan to promote this culture via the practical, culture and glossary sections of this website.

    Note that my rant about Japanese people only concerns 2 things : education and discrimination. In my views, the discriminatory practices come from ignorance or misinformation fed to the population via the education system and media. If I may put it this way, the two "evils" that spoil the spiriut of the Japanese people are the education sytem and the media, both of which are closely monitored by the government. So the source of all evils, be them economical, social or educational is always ultimately the Japanese government.

    As they (the government) don't seem to realise it, and the people don't not do much to change things (because they are just too passive and compliant due to the education system), someone needs to take care of letting the world know the truth about Japan, and hopefully, when enough people around the world will have become aware of the situation, there might be some pressure from outside to change things, as in Japan history has shown that things just do not change (even for centuries on end) if there isn't some kind of external pressure (be in Perry for the Meiji Restoration, or MacArthur after WWII).

    Why do I spend some much time and energy to improve the situation in a country that is not mine and which I could leave anytime I want ? Reading your answer (or Leroy's), somebody like you will probably never understand. It's called passion and (cynical) idealism. Living in Japan with my Japanese partner, these two characteritics of my personality force me to react to everyday situations, reflect about the causes of the problems I come across, analyse how the society in which I live works, and find solutions to improve ir. I have lived in several European countries, and did the same as for Japan.

    As a matter of fact, before coming to Japan I wrote hundreds of pages about things that had to be changed about European politics, economy or educational system. I submitted the relevant dosuments to a few leading politicians or university professors. But there was IMHO much less to complain about in Europe than in Japan, as most of the issues were already common knowlege, and the solutions were already being tackled by the various governments and the EU. Looking at how much progress has been achieved in the EU in the last 10 or 20 years, I can only applaud. But looking at the same period of time in Japan, all I see is that the situation has mostly deteriorated, except for a few minor, but notable positive changes, such as the increasingly better position of women in society or a few measures to revive the economy.

    Anyway, the keyword to understand my posts is the Latin/French/Italian saying "Who loves well chastises well".
    Last edited by Maciamo; Mar 31, 2005 at 11:17.

  19. #44
    Comicbook Artist Vikthor's Avatar
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    Wow!
    There are so many things in common between the Japanese and the Argentinians (sadly, it´s nothing to be proud of)!

  20. #45
    Heimin
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    Interesting observations, although stereotypical & does not reflect on every person.

  21. #46
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireyRei
    Interesting observations, although stereotypical & does not reflect on every person.
    Perhaps (if you are Japanese) you could try to shed some light on issues regarding attitudues the Japanese have towards foreigners and other many other things as well.

    That is all.
    "Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."
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    by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  22. #47
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    "Is this not a worldwide phenomenon, turn on the TV in the US, and you can see "Hi, I'm pregnant at 13 yrs old," as a theme."

    The difference is, atleast in Tokyo, the issue of making unprotected sex under the age 15 ILLEGAL came up. In America, we don't really care, because it gives us something to feel good about ourselves for, and because if you have a child, you'd better take care of it, nevermind the fact it could've been rape, eh, etc..

    Also, is we banned underage sex, the Christians would win, and that wouldn't be right.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyber ape
    Also, is we banned underage sex, the Christians would win, and that wouldn't be right.
    the christians are very strict: no sex at all if man/woman are not married.

    the reaction was lots of young people broke this rule, you know what happend in the sixties: rock'n'roll, then the hippie era/the disco thing.

    indirect the christs are evil: the produce rule-breakers.

    new rules must be designed to be moderate, more education what happens if young girls get pregnant, the diseases and so on.

    ----------

    to make drugs criminal- this does not solve the problem.
    drug intake is an active action of disconnection from the family/relationships.
    right educated people refuse illegal substances.
    not because they are illegal.
    because they are in good relationships with their family/partners, and know the effects of these substances.

    not to say that these things may occur together: drugs, prostitution and underage pregnacy.

    -----------

    it may sound conservative, i know. extensive information about the results of underage sex (pregnancy, problems with parents, poverty, drugs and so on) might be labelled as propaganda.

    people who know these results do not need excessive regulations by law.

    my personal opinion is that the family must agree to such relationships, and must be able to support them financially. otherwise, it would be social illegal for these people to get intim.

  24. #49
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    Maciamo: based on the amount of time you've been in Japan, these statements make you sound very naive.

    we all notice these things in the first few months, care to dig a bit deeper and you'll actually find that Japanese people are vastly more interesting that you think. Maybe you just hang out with real idiots and get a bum deal at every turn, but this is not a good image for yourself considering that you moderate on this forum and should be swimming in worldly knowledge and understanding/acceptance of different cultures. Most importantly setting an example for those who visit here after knowledge.

    I agree that Japanese are slightly more slow on the uptake when it comes to expressing their knowledge and thoughts, however this is Japan, and in Japan that's the way it's done.

  25. #50
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadako
    Maciamo: based on the amount of time you've been in Japan, these statements make you sound very naive.

    we all notice these things in the first few months, care to dig a bit deeper and you'll actually find that Japanese people are vastly more interesting that you think. Maybe you just hang out with real idiots and get a bum deal at every turn, but this is not a good image for yourself considering that you moderate on this forum and should be swimming in worldly knowledge and understanding/acceptance of different cultures.
    Let me disagree. The longer I stay in Japan, the more people I meet, the deeper I dig into their thoughts, and the more these traits become clear and easy to generalised. It is no wonder I didn't write such posts in my first 2 years in Japan. I wanted to be sure, double-check and 'keep digging deeper' and meet even more people, analyse more carefully why they react the way they do, what they learned at school, see if they are just fakng ignorance and disinterest or if they really don't know and lack interest... If it is true that many foreigners notice these things in the first few months, few care to search for the causes of this behaviour or analyse in detail how the people they meet think.

    But I never said that all Japanese were like that, or I would have left the country long ago. I am just saying that these traits are dominant, and that people who do not fit at least half of these descriptions are a minority (let me remind you that 45% is a minority, if another group amounts to 46 to 55%).

    There is no reason to get annoyed by my analysis. I can find negative things to say (often worse than that) about just any society around the world. For example, the dominant negative traits of the French (especially Parisians) is that they are arrogant, overcritcial, care little about each other's feelings, prefer to disagree rather than to agree (basically all the opposite of the Japanese, from this point of view). The dominant negative traits of the Southern USA is blind religiousness, lack of interest in the world, etc. But as we have said before, this forum is about Japan. If you want to know about the positive and negative aspects of other countries, then you'll surely find them on some other websites.

    Maybe one of the differences between you and me, is that I do not contend myself with analysing the people I like, but all kind of people a country's society is made of, including the homeless, the criminals, the elderly, the children, the rich, the poor, the well-educated, the less educated, those open to foreigners, the racists, the nationalists, the bright, the simple-minded, the recluse and the extrovert... I am sure that most Westerners living in Japan do not take much care about this whole society, but just the people that come to them, mostly the young, better-educated than average and open to the world. It is a mistake to limit your judgement to these people if you want to consider the society as a whole. Considering that you live in Shibuya, I understand that you have a quite different view of Japan that I do. Shibuya has been called a male gaijin paradise. It has everything a young Western designer like you would wish for. Go and live in the countryside with some bigoted 70 year-old, and you'll have a very different opinion.

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