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

  1. #126
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferin View Post
    is this supposed to be funny? i think it is, but only because it's so hypocritical. i'm not japanese, nor have a ever lived in japan, but i was doing research for fun on japanese inventions and all i could find are incredibly rude and ignorant parodies bringing up silly japanese inventions to disparage them.
    if you want to talk about how much anyone is focused on food and sex go look at the aids rates in america and the obesity.
    ridiculous.
    AIDS rates in America? Are suggesting the reasons why Americans get AIDS is because we have too much sex? There's other ways to get AIDS, and other nations have higher AIDS rates than the US. Obesity? You think it's a problem in America because many Americans eat too much? Not because of our high fat diets?
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  2. #127
    Koyaniskatsi yukio_michael's Avatar
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    Can we agree that common characteristics are more prevalent than uncommon ones? Can we agree that there is a difference between normal, and abnormal behavior?

    To those who refute what "normal" is, you are the outlier, not the norm. This is how stable societies work.
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  3. #128
    Regular Member Sukotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yukio_michael View Post
    To those who refute what "normal" is, you are the outlier, not the norm. This is how stable societies work.


    Hmm.
    In the US, what is presented on television, sit-coms, advertisements, etc. is often deemed to be normal, even if it is abnormal and anti-social, including the medium itself. If most individuals are glued to their tube society may be relatively stable, but not necessarily healthy - physically or otherwise or even a healthy stability.


    How much television does Japan watch?
    That might be a pretty good measurement of superficiality.
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  4. #129
    Deus Ex Machina Dr. J. M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sukotto View Post
    Hmm.
    In the US, what is presented on television, sit-coms, advertisements, etc. is often deemed to be normal, even if it is abnormal and anti-social, including the medium itself. If most individuals are glued to their tube society may be relatively stable, but not necessarily healthy - physically or otherwise or even a healthy stability.
    I've never heard of someone who modelled his/her understanding of what is normal and what is not on television...
    But since you're talking about the United States... well I guess this suspenses my disbelief...

  5. #130
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. J. M. View Post
    I've never heard of someone who modelled his/her understanding of what is normal and what is not on television...
    But since you're talking about the United States... well I guess this suspenses my disbelief...
    Of course most Americans or other Westerners can compare mass media images with the reality of life around them and for the most part can distinguish the two without the need to live out a tv fantasyland dream. When television and its programs are imported globally into under developed countries, though, and the only context is that it is Western, which must mean cultivated, elite, superior, etc. it's a very serious problem that such unreal, unobtainable behaviors, styles, body images become so completely idealized or sought that it can deeply tear at the fabric of that native society.

  6. #131
    Koyaniskatsi yukio_michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sukotto View Post
    Hmm.
    In the US, what is presented on television, sit-coms, advertisements, etc. is often deemed to be normal, even if it is abnormal and anti-social, including the medium itself.
    I think it's deemed to be an 'ideal'. To a certain extent, you can entertain people by spectacle, but there is a core desire to relate to the characters whom the masses watch on television--- These peoples lives may be far-fetched and impractical, but we relate to them because we could imagine ourselves doing what they do.

    Then there is fantasy, or outright spectacle, which serves its own purposes in providing a thrill, a desire, a hatred--- Pulp novels have always been traditionally good at conveying this sort of thing, but there are aspects of television which do the same.

    I'm not saying that a well socialized society is a good society--- I mean, you have to trust that the people who are socializing you, largely your government, and your schools, have the best intentions... If their intention is to sell you something, at the expense of a bit of mindless entertainment each night--- it might not be so nefarious as The Army during war-time, making military duty or service seem thrilling, glamorous, & exciting.

    I think a lot of us agree that the quality and content of Japanese television itself is pretty abysmal... There aren't as was said, any sort of documentaries or information outside of a general rehashing of samurai code, or something from antiquity which serves no purpose when you're trying to learn about the world around you, not just of yourself.

    I'm told the layout of British television is built around channels which serve certain demographics specifically, and British television too is rife with cheap thrills and good fun for the proles. But it also has great documentaries and news stories which help broaden peoples horizons...

    In the United States, we have the Public Broadcasting System & National Public Radio... It's unfortunate that largely their biggest contributors are oil conglomerates, but they do offer an alternative to the big three.

    Eventually, we'll live in a society where we dictate our own entertainment by specifically tailoring our televisions to get just what we want and nothing we don't, but at the expense of also tailoring the additional information comming at us, suggesting things we might like, or want to buy.

  7. #132
    Regular Member Sukotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. J. M. View Post
    I've never heard of someone who modelled his/her understanding of what is normal and what is not on television...
    But since you're talking about the United States... well I guess this suspenses my disbelief...


    haha. For me I could say it started with the realization that music is not visual and eMpTyV. So therefore, try to avoid what is on that station. Or better yet, avoid that station all together. And since music videos are pretty much a commercial for record albums, why not avoid commercial radio as well. This stuff started to spiral and now look at whenever the president talks on TV.
    You can judge things pretty much on whatever he says, things are or should be the opposite. "Saucer---, Saucer----" (anime joke )

  8. #133
    puzzled gaijin
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    Superficiality is difficult to measure sometimes, but the language issues seem to be way off base. Every language borrows words, and grammar varies from language to language. How people use a language, yes I suppose tht could indicate whether some people are superficial or not, and Japanese opinions of food to tend to lean that way, as not terribly enlightening that is.
    As to morality issues, certainly the Japanese look at it differently, but I don't know if you could say they are superficial, more that they have a different outlook on sex and relationships. some Americans preach a lot about it, the French have mistresses, and the British..well..
    TV is pretty bad everywhere, but yes, certainly the US has a lot better programming than what is on Japanese TV (and a lot of rubbish too, on American TV, that is).
    Shop staff have greeted me as many as 3 times within that time, as well as at multiple shops.
    The 'sheep mentality' is misleading sometimes, but especially when you apply it to certain types of mass consumerism, yes it is sadly widely spread.
    The opinion of women is slowly changing, but yes unforunately women are not perceived as holding up half the sky here!
    Many American men don't visit strip clubs, or if they do, not very often (I've been once in my life). In Japan it's not uncommon to meet some people who regularly go to both strip clubs and hostess bars.
    loquela, do you think you need to interview half the population to get an accurate picture? Haven't you heard of statistical sampling?
    Last edited by gaijinalways; Feb 21, 2007 at 19:11. Reason: typos

  9. #134
    Regular Member Taiko666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinalways View Post
    and the British..well..
    er.... would you care to elaborate?

    Does your view of British sexual morality lean towards Victorian upper-class prudishness or Austin Powers 60s swinging?

  10. #135
    Cute and Furry Ewok85's Avatar
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    Been a while since I posted here

    I strongly believe that people are the same no matter what, and it comes down to culture and environment that determines their opinions and actions.

    To get an idea of why Japanese are how they are you need to look at the schools. Its all about groups and vertical hierarchy - sensei/sempai/kohai system. Aisatsu is the grease that keeps the social system running - no thinking, just reacting. Same with the entire educational system - memorisation of facts, no critical thinking or discussion of topics.

    Just on that, I was an excellent student in my first year of Junior High school, within the top 1% or so of my year. But soon after that my grades in Japanese, English and other non-science subjects took a plunge taking my averages down. I can't criticise and analyse poetry. I don't give a toss on how to draw (but received perfect grades for CAD, heh). When I came to Japan I was shocked at the pure lack of discussion and debate during lessons, and that evaluation of all topics was done on hard correct/incorrect answers. There was very little in the way of research topics, and the few that did come up were researched lightly and more credit was given to presentation and amusement level over actual details given and level of understanding made.

    Continuing with the school system, from elementary school you are entered into a group, all of you the same age, born within the same April-April window. For the rest of your time in elementary school you have all your lessons with the same group of people, within the same classroom everyday, and eat your lunch with the same people. These people become your dokyusei - same age students - and its a term you will hear people even in their old age use as these group bonds last forever. You have little contact with those outside your grade level or even classroom.

    Junior/Senior High you may be at a different school, but this fixed class group system remains, spending yet another 6 years with the same people.

    The sempai/kohai system is so important because everything in Japanese life revolves around it. Its a vertical system where you do not question or speak out against those above you, and in return they look after the people below them. Part of this is why the Japanese academic system is so poor, with little interaction, discussion and sharing of information between the educated elite. This also shows in companies where people do not speak out when there are problems or issues.

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  11. #136
    puzzled gaijin
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    Originally Posted by gaijinalways
    and the British..well..
    Taiko666 posted
    er.... would you care to elaborate?

    Does your view of British sexual morality lean towards Victorian upper-class prudishness or Austin Powers 60s swinging?
    My point is that all Western cultures are not alike, nothing more.

  12. #137
    Regular Member Taiko666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinalways View Post
    Originally Posted by gaijinalways
    Taiko666 posted
    My point is that all Western cultures are not alike, nothing more.
    I know... I wasn't criticising. I was just wondering if the amusing stereotype of British morality was still prevalent.

  13. #138
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    Awesome, should I have to write a term paper about nihonron, I will use this 40-item-list as an entry. All I am missing now is a Japanese version - 卓越した日本民心の40点列記 or something like that. ;)

  14. #139
    puzzled gaijin
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    What is morality? There is such a thing in the UK?

  15. #140
    Deus Ex Machina Dr. J. M.'s Avatar
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    oh well, the joy of hedonism... *rolleyes*

  16. #141
    Regular Member loquela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinalways View Post
    loquela, do you think you need to interview half the population to get an accurate picture? Haven't you heard of statistical sampling?
    No, of course I don't. Yes, of course I have.

    BTW statistical sampling doesn't give an 'accurate' picture. It provides a statistical representation.

    My comments are based purely on a review of the entire sample of the 're searcher's' comments on this website( I have read them all). And of course, I have only come to a statistical conclusion.

    However, common sense leads me to believe that his point of view does not represent the entire population of Belgium (if his Residence represents his origin). I comment only on my own personal experience of him. Not his nation.

    It is usually a good idea to reflect on that. If you visit a strange country, you are always temp tempted to compare your own personal experiences with the people you meet in that country.
    Consider: Are ALL North American Rednecks? Are all Brits Punks? Are all French great lovers? Course not! Consider the facts, your experience and your LACK of experience. Many people (some of them ignorant and looking for advice) come to forums like this for help...

    If you think that is too intellectual, I pity you.
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  17. #142
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    Wink

    You can't be serious. lol.
    ook, despite the fact that my grandma is pure Japanese (as is a nice portion of my family; though I am not), I don't claim to be the surpreme all-knowing being about the majority of the population of Japan.. but you make it sound like they're all ignorant, lechorous, gluttons with little values.
    Of course there's going to be people like this, but there's going to be people like that everywhere.
    And yeah, Japanese men (not saying all of them now), are kinda perverted. That's why there's a fairly big problem with men touching woman and even young teenagers on the overcrowded trains. But again, there's plenty of people like that in other crowded places with woman. I've seen guys that are complete strangers with the woman they're interacting with, grind chicks at concerts. There was this band, it wasn't one that I felt like moshing for, but I really liked them so I moved up front. There was this guy, with a blonde and pink mohawk trying to push me out of the way to grind this chick in front of me. I didn't let him past me, so he proceeded to try the same with a girl that went with my friends and I there.
    Also, you mentioned manga and magazines being 90% of the literature income at convenient stores. It's a cheap, pocket sized source of literature.. plus you can't expect someone to go into a 7-11 or something and buy a copy of The Da vinci Code, or A Brief History of the Mind.
    Also, their school systems are still pretty intense with 6 day weeks (though I could be wrong.. I think my grandma told me they changed it a couple years back) and "cram" schools.. and about the rude questions they ask to foreigners, America's never had such a great history with immigration; plus, at least to my knowledge, a lot of them don't go around saying "If you're going to be here, learn to speak Japanese!" As a final note, the same is returned to many asians, even ones not of Japanese descent (do you use chop sticks? etc. etc..). You don't know how annoying it gets to hear people ask "Do you use chop sticks?", or other attempts at friendly chit-chat about my culture.. but I just put on a faint smile because I know they're just trying to be polite or nice.
    I'm not saying they're culturally perfect (and really, no country is), but you make them sound worse than they really are. Although they aren't all exactly as quaint or "refined" as people they were thought to be so long ago. But saying that all the (or, greater than 50%) are superficial.. well, such generalizations shouldn't be placed on any nationality.

  18. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie View Post
    AIDS rates in America? Are suggesting the reasons why Americans get AIDS is because we have too much sex? There's other ways to get AIDS, and other nations have higher AIDS rates than the US. Obesity? You think it's a problem in America because many Americans eat too much? Not because of our high fat diets?
    Come on.. you and I both know that it has something to do with sex. Either that or America shoots up a hell lotta drugs. Also, we are the world's fattest country. And it's not just the high fat diets, it's lazyness and the amount we eat too. Also, the "it's just because our food has too much fat in it!" doesn't help us either. It proves not only do we lack self control, but that we lack good descisions concerning what we put into our body.

    Japan, whether you consider it an advantage or disadvantage, many people use bikes or walk. An older cousin of mine was actually hit by a car on his bike and left alone while he was studying abroad over at Chiba U. A few years back. But because of the dense population, small island thing.. there's too much traffic in major cities. Also, public trans is pretty bad too.. so many opt to either hoof it or bike; as I previously mentioned. So despite any on-the-go or fast food intake, their obesity rates aren't that high.

    I'm actually not fat myself.. I try to keep in shape by working out every day, not eating fast food and such.. but my body refuses to gain weight. either fat or muscle. I have to put forth extra effort to gain either.. otherwise I end up losing weight rather than gain it (yes, I can actually lose weight by going to mcD's and loading up).. which isn't all that good when you consider my age and height.

  19. #144
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    Yes, having unprotected sex with someone with AIDS, people inherited AIDS from their affected mothers. Getting AIDS through contaminated blood. You're making it seem as though the reason America's AIDS rate is because we're so obsessed with sex. That makes no sense, considering there are other ways to get the disease.

    Especially considering the fact that the group of people who are now the fastest growing of people getting AIDS are married women.

  20. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by cicatriz esp View Post
    I would just throw in my two cents here that the majority of the population of LA are not, in fact, American citizens.
    This is 100% not true. Perhaps in SOME neighborhoods. But this is a complete falsehood that should not be perpetuated.

    Joe

  21. #146
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    Maciamo, I find it sort of funny that you would have a list of 40 reasons for being superficial. I live in San Francisco and know all sorts of people from different walks of life and find that your list fits my city perfectly. Other places that I have been, I have had similar experiences. So I don't find yur observations all that enlightening.

  22. #147
    Back home maushan3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigokurengo View Post
    Maciamo, I find it sort of funny that you would have a list of 40 reasons for being superficial. I live in San Francisco and know all sorts of people from different walks of life and find that your list fits my city perfectly. Other places that I have been, I have had similar experiences. So I don't find yur observations all that enlightening.
    Welcome and... Maciamo retired from the forum

    Mauricio

  23. #148
    Regular Member greentea's Avatar
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    they have casual sex with several partners without protection and don't worry about STD's
    This isnt the first time I have heard that the Japanese are very "free" sexually,so is it common place is Japan to sort of have a boyfriend/girlfriend then a bunch of "on the side" things?

  24. #149
    Regular Member basuotoko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maushan3 View Post
    Welcome and... Maciamo retired from the forum
    Mauricio
    When is he coming back? I like his posts. A little over the top at times, but generally pretty informative.

  25. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    - when travelling abroad, they care little about the local culture except food
    I could be wrong about this, but I think (generally speaking, mind you) that Japanese people care little about the local culture AND the local food. I've been on several tours in Guam and in Hawaii with Japanese tourists. All I really remember about those trips were the complaints ABOUT the local food and the inquiries about where can they find a good Japanese restaurant.
    I say that I could be wrong about this because my foreign friends and I are always trying to find really good traditional Japanese restaurants. We want the full experience while we live here in Japan.
    I guess then I should offer up this question to be fair to Japan:
    How many people visiting or living in Japan go out of their way to eat Japanese food and experience Japanese culture?

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