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

  1. #151
    Regular Member basuotoko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David0022 View Post
    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?
    I generally agree with Maciamo about the Japanese and their obsession with food, but you do make a point. I remember when I led a group of Japanese students around my university in America for one month as part of an exchange program. There were a few girls in the group that became "sick" because there was not enough rice in their diet. One girl even cried because she needed to eat rice. I kid you not. But most of the students were open minded and willing to try different foods.

    Maybe after a few weeks (or days, depending on the person) their curiosity for foreign foods diminishes and they want rice and sushi again?

    Of course, a good way to understand Japan's view on the outside world is to watch their TV. There are many travel shows, and most of the time the hosts are eating food and repeating the same three words over and over as if they were verbally challenged.

    おいしい!うまい!きれい!

    Again, not everyone is like this, but watch Japanese television or look at a travel guide and you'll see.

  2. #152
    Back home maushan3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldiegirl View Post
    @Ferin...obesity is not a form of being superficial or shallow. It's main cause is poverty. America is one of the few countries that our poor don't suffer starvation they suffer obesity because the only food they can afford is cheap, high fat, fast food. As for AIDS I think you should check the statistics of African countries and other Asian countries before making your statements, you might be suprised.
    This is very true. May I add that not also do the poor lack money for low-fat foods, but they also lack the education regarding nutrition, and this is also seen to some extent in the middle class. Let me explain: If you research the statistics at a middle-class public and private school and then comparing them, you will see that the percentage of overweight people outnumber by far the percentage of overwight kids at a private school. Now, I'm not talking about an innercity public school, I'm talking about a public school in the suburbs, people who could afford eating more healthy. But it all comes down to this: Rich people tend to look after their self-image a lot more, you know, appearance in business deals and how pople look at them is generally very important, so they educate their kids to watch out for themselves and eat healthy, play sports, etc.

    Mauricio

  3. #153
    Regular Member Pepe's Avatar
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    LOL, the first third describes Italians perfectly!
    Having said that, all generalisations are wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by David0022
    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?
    I spent a couple of hours researching the web to find a nice Ryokan in Narita so that my girlfriend and I can experience a traditional Japanese inn during our 14 hour layover. I chose the one I found because they also offered a traditional Japanese breakfast which I am hanging out to try. My better half has also given me the duty of arming myself with the knowledge to find a traditional Japanese restaurant in Narita. Am I the exception to the rule? I doubt it.

  4. #154
    Sister Earth Goldiegirl's Avatar
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    I love Japan and for the most part have no genuine problems, but the one thing that really annoys me is all the "bad sushi in America" complaints. I am truly sorry that in the middle of Wisconsin, you can't get sushi that tastes like it does in Japan. There is nothing I can do about it and it's not Japan. If you want great beer, sausages and cheese you've come to the right place. Otherwise, please don't order the sushi!
    I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it. ~Jack Handey

  5. #155
    p͗͂Ȃ bakaKanadajin's Avatar
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    Trying to compare Japan to 'the west' wont work because as it's been pointed out, what's contained within most people's basic conception of 'the west' is far too diverse to generalize about. I think thats the first recurrent mistake I've seen in this thread.

    I also think alot of what the OP said is unverifiable, for example you simply can't verify that when most Japanese people go abroad they don't endeavour to go beyond food and learn about a country's history and culture as best as they can within the logistical confinements of a standard 1 week vacation. Even if they did focus on food, as the OP pointed out food is something to be celebrated whether in Japan, America or Belgium, I'd argue that tasting the food is a worthy activity and doesn't automatically make anyone superfiical. It sounds as if the OP believes that anyone who isn't there to do write a thesis or do wax paper rubbings of cathedrals is somehow a superficial individual.

    By contrast, Americans and Canadians keep tourism industries (read: resorts) alive by spending 5-7 days a year sitting on a beach getting drunk. There's nothing wrong with that of course.. but by contrast alot of the young Japanese people who I've met expressed a desire to travel abroad in order to learn that country's language. As for the Japanese travel industry, I'd say most of the flyers outside your Sunrise/JTB locations are geared towards interesting vacations to fairly exotic places, not mindless resort packages.

    Several of the OP's original comments about the Japanese believing money = happiness, talking about sex alot, having corrupt politicians, etc., are simply not confined to Japanese culture and to argue otherwise is ignorant. For example stating that America possesses a wide range of social classes and individuals of widely varying levels of education does not automatically negate the fact that within these smaller groups the same topics are not re-hashed over and over again. Rich people talk about money and sex in their own unique 'rich people' way, poor people have their own socio-economically influenced experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I mean, there is still a part of the American population that are not rednecks or LA surfers right ? And they have more to discuss than food, sex and money. But what do Japanese businessmen and politicians do after work ? They mostly go drinking in hostess bars to talk about sex, food or money.
    Verify this, please verify that the American middle class is well-informed and regularly meets for intellectucal discussions on their nations foreign policy. This would first necessitate the ability to have an open debate and criticize their government, something many American's aren't willing to engage in these days. Canada too. Complacency in politics is a hallmark of any industrialized nation that's conquered civil conflict and has relatively secure borders. Voter turn-out in North America is very low.

    Also please verify that Americans do in fact discuss topics beyond money, cuisine, relationships, neighbourhood gossip, etc. and that businessmen do not also talk about business and money after work ad nauseum. Please verify American businessmen travelling to Europe or within America to say, Nevada, don't also partake of the sex industry. Better yet, it would be safe to admit these arguments are just too broad to be taken seriously. The OP is neither right nor wrong, they really cant be, they're just thinking aloud at best.
    I will not deny that many conversations I've had with Japanese people do not also take a similar route initially, but instead of debating the OP allow me to present a few of MY observations, which are in no way set in stone any more than the OP's are.

    - After meeting a Japanese person at a bar and engaging in the usual pleasantries of where everyone's from and what everyone's doing, if tactfully introduced a topic of more serious discussion is usually well-received provided its nothing personal, obscene or inflammatory.

    - On the contrary, I have seen several interesting television programs about travelling abroad, animal/wildlife programs, etc. on Japanese TV. I won't deny that there's alot of junk TV out there, but remember Japan is not as tied to the TV as North America is. The importance of TV to American culture is so strong that an explosion of documentary, history, mystery, horror, racing, sports, etc channels is a natural progression. It's comparing apples and oranges.

    - The number of bookstores in Tokyo compared to Toronto tells me that the Japanese love reading, they love learning, and reguarly engage in personal study and leisure reading. The number of people reading books on the train is just as high as the number of people playing a Playstation portable. Looking in convenience store windows is not an accurate way to study a country's literacy habits.

    I'll cut it short here. Many of the OP's 'top 40 list' has nothing to do with superficiality at all. The Japanese don't generally value sleep so perhaps they're a little sleepy at school and require cram schools. If anything I think it reflects their LACK of apethy towards studying, not abundance of it. At any rate, how is this 'superficial' behaviour?

    Japanese sales staff repeat themselves alot, welcome, how can I help you, thanks very much, etc. Great, so this makes them superficial? How about saying they have a great service industry and being served in Japan by pleasant sales staff, waitresses, etc was a breath of fresh air compared to the bitter, sour staff in the West who think the customer is privileged to set foot in their crappy little store or eatery. Regardless, how is this 'superficial' behaviour?

    Again, I'll cut that short because this post has taken me 15 minutes so far and no one will read it most likely
    :P

    I'm not here to argue and debate with the OP really, I just felt after giving the thread an objective reading that it really wasn't a strong analysis and probably borders on offensive to most Japanese people, it was written without good reason.
    Last edited by bakaKanadajin; May 21, 2007 at 05:56. Reason: formatting

  6. #156
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    Hello,

    I'm a 27 years old french guy who lives in Paris.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    The French and Belgian are also very interested in good food, but it isn't the main topic of conversation, even at the restaurant !
    Believe me, the average french people don't discuss about things like the opposition between Rousseau and Voltaire. Popular subjects are rather non-intellectual things like sports or the last bluckbuster movie from the USA. Oh, and we often speak about politics. It would be a good thing if we were knowledgeable enough on that subject instead of repeating what the TV wants us to think.


    Quote Originally Posted by Han Chan View Post
    Most people in the west eats crap food even though they could afford to eat much better food.
    I agree with this. Fast food restaurants or pre-cooked food are very, very popular among young people. Of course we have many nice restaurants, but I have the feeling that junk food is getting more and more popular.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    If only what they were reading was intellectual.
    I wouldn't say that the average french people are "intellectual". The Age of Enlightenment is over, now it would rather be the age of consumerism, leisure, advertising, junk food, stupid movies, gossip columns, etc. ^_^. It is true that some of the best-selling books are about politics, but read fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoplelisation. It is in french, but there's one sentence in english: "According to critics of the way things are going, French politics is pipol-ising: in other words, it is becoming obsessed with the image of individuals, rather than the substance of policy". However, when I look at the best-selling books on amazon.jp and amazon.fr, it is true that it seems to be a bit better in France.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    There are debates about society, politics and/or culture almost everyday on the main French and Belgian TV channels
    Yes, but Pop Idol is far more popular ^_^. The 2 biggest TV channels are both known to air crap. However, it is true that we have some TV channels dedicated to politics or news, and it's a good thing.


    Have you heard of the Paris syndrome ? Read japundit.com/archives/2006/10/25/3924/ : "The Japanese have long had a love affair with Paris, nurtured by dreams of sophisticated manners coupled with physical elegance, exquisite food and lots of Louis Vuitton handbags". Paris was once a beautiful city, people had sophisticated manners, were extremely elegant (see paris1900.free.fr/Images/Pl_Chatelet01.GIF) and the food has always been exquisite. Nowadays (probably since the events of May 1968), it is another story... People are ugly (shorts and flip-flops everywhere), incredibly rude, manners/etiquette are regarded as outdated values, etc. I guess that the whole western world is like that, and this is the result of individualism (wanted by the protesters in 1968). The japanese are not individualists, and I wouldn't want to go to Japan if they were. Their country has many downsides, but for me the fact that they're not at all individualists makes me want to go and live there. If they would change all the "negative" points that you mention, I'm afraid that they would become another western country. It has been said here before, the countries in the western world are different from each other, but not that much. That's why, as an anti-individualism, I couldn't go to Germany or the USA. For me it would be the same thing, though the language and several things are different. I hope that the World will always be rich enough so people can choose their prefered place. The Japan is like that, and if it were to change, I'd prefer the change to be a return to the old Japan rather than occidentalization.

  7. #157
    puzzled gaijin
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    [QUOTE]That's why, as an anti-individualism, I couldn't go to Germany or the USA. For me it would be the same thing, though the language and several things are different. I hope that the World will always be rich enough so people can choose their prefered place. The Japan is like that, and if it were to change, I'd prefer the change to be a return to the old Japan rather than occidentalization.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, they would be, that is why the nationality of Euopean sometimes doesn't describe a lot.


    You're not a Luddite too, are you? things usually don't revert back, and I wouldn't want to live in a society with a rigid 'caste' system as the old Japan was. Wait a minute, did it change?

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinalways View Post
    You're not a Luddite too, are you?
    Don't get me wrong. I am a progressist on many subjects (for example, I'd like gay people to be able to marry) and I love many aspects of the modern life. But things do not necessarily improve over the time (or we should just go on and be patient for the world to tend to perfection). Thanks for giving me the occasion to learn a new English word .

    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinalways View Post
    things usually don't revert back, and I wouldn't want to live in a society with a rigid 'caste' system as the old Japan was
    Some people would want to live in such a society, and some wouldn't. The 6 billion people on earth can't want the same thing. You may know that some Japanese people wish they could revert back to the old Japan. I can't say for sure what I'd prefer because my knowledge of Japan's history is quite shallow. What I know for sure is that I'm fed up with the post-1968's individualism, and that considering this, Japan may be a very good country for me. I can't think of one western country where individualism would be below my acceptable level. Oh, the new french president says he wants to put an end to the heritage of may 68, but I don't think he'll succeed.

    So the point was that, in my opinion, Japan is very likely to become another western country with prevailing individualism. And I don't consider that it is necessarily a good thing. If I'd want that, I would better stay at home because I already have it.

  9. #159
    puzzled gaijin
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    Interesting take on that, individualism. Perhaps it is not the individualism but the competitveness that often accompanies it that you dislike. Competition in Japan is waged in a different way, you might find you don't like it any better. Individualism is expressed here, it just often is not encouraged and in some cases it is quickly trod on. People instead often compete via consumerism and name dropping, and the latter tends to lead to elitist behaviour, with status items used to reinforce those differences. The old Japan is still here, but some of the old values are being transformed, but in one sense, power is still shared by only a few.

  10. #160
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    I like competitiveness, as long as it's not about stupid things like consumerism. I think that I'd like the japanese education system. In France it is rather "let's pretend that everybody is equal by making school exams easy". To my opinion, an individualist society can not be based on competitiveness. The pro-individualism people at the end of the 60's wanted to abolish competitiveness (and it seems that it worked, unfortunately).

  11. #161
    Daydreamin' FrostPixie's Avatar
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    That list can apply to most countires.
    - their favourite topic of conversation is food
    True for many places. If it's not what you want to eat it is what you are currently eating or what you previously ate.
    - when travelling abroad, they care little about the local culture except food
    When us Brits go on holiday it is for sun, decent beaches, booze and food (be it local or British). Very rarely do we care about culture other than seeing 'must see' sights while our sun burn is healing.
    - when they do not talk about food, they talk about money or sex
    True for everywhere. It's either "I wish I was eating that", "I wish I could afford that" or "I'd do that".
    - The proverbs "money doesn't buy happiness/love" or "don't judge a book by its cover" have no significance in Japan
    If a guy can't get a girlfriend he pays a hooker (money buys fake love), if a girl is feeling down, she will go shopping to cheer herself up (money buys happiness). And what about these young girls marrying wealthy men with a life expectancy lower than their new wife's IQ? Their money bought them some love. And everyone is judged by their appearance, everywhere.
    - 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)
    Chavs flaunt their sportswear brand names, celebrities advertise which designer's dress they are wearing, businessmen wear expensive suits, etc. And a wedding dress is probably the most important dress a woman will ever buy, in ANY culture.
    - 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.
    My step-sister was ill once and her boyfriend tried to buy her some codeine but they refused to serve him because he had a red mohawk and wore a band t-shirt and they assumed he would pop them as soon as he got outside the pharmacy. If someone walks into a shop with chains on their trousers the shopkeeper will keep an eye on them. If a beautiful woman walks into a shop she will get more help/be treated with more respect than an unattractive woman would be. It's human psychology, everyone does it whether they realise or not.
    - they think an opuent and expensive wedding is necessary for appearances' sake (even if that is way above their means)
    Everyone tries to outdo each other with weddings. Especially celebrities. And ordinary folk. Your friend got married in a church? You will get married in a cathedral. Your friend wore an Elie Saab dress? You will wear a Vera Wang dress. A lot of people get in debt because of ther wedding.
    - they judge people from their appearance and tend to be easily prejudiced (e.g. toward foreigner-looking persons)
    This happens EVERYWHERE. Foreigners are often ignored, even natives of that country who have darker skin or different features will be treated differently because they deviate from the 'norm'.
    - 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
    This happens in every country, just as we assume young children are ignorant and old people are deaf and senile so we speak more slowly to them.
    - 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
    Every language has words that are interchangeable with another. But yes, Japanese uses a lot of foreign words, but so does English (especially American English) and French, Italian, Spanish, etc.
    - 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.
    Heh, come to NE England and you will witness the same phenomenon. People drift off in the middle of sentences and replace words with clumsy hand gestures. Some people (everywhere) grunt and glare as a form of communication, lol. If we can find a way about getting a point across using as few words as possible, we will. We are very lazy.
    - they tend of lack sexual morals and don't mind cheating "as long as their partner doesn't know"
    This happens all the time in other countries. As long as people can get away with it, it is 'alright'. They are cheating on their partner? It's alright, they don't know so it won't hurt them (the person cheating). Often people want to cheat but don't because of fear of losing the security they have (ie. a partner's status or income). If they can find a way of getting away with it, they will do it.
    - they have casual sex with several partners without protection and don't worry about STD's
    [sarcasm]That's why STDs and unwanted pregnancies are unheard of in other countries.[/sarcasm]
    - they have a computer but don't know much how to use even quite simple functions, due to a lack of interest for technology
    Most people own PCs or moble phones or whatever because 'they are useful' but don't have a clue hwo to use them. It is true everywhere.
    - they throw away a dysfunctuning electronic equipment (e.g. computer) or machine, rather than try to repair it
    I do that because more often than not it is cheaper to buy a new one than to have the old one repaired. And if you buy a new one there isn't the chance of the problem coming back.
    - 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)
    Nobody likes DIY. We often attempt it ourself, make things worse and then have to call in an electrician/plumber/carpenter to fix the mess that we made worse. So it's usually more time and cost-effective to call a service straight away than attempt anything ourselves.
    - 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.
    Quite a few people in my year got few or no GCSE's. GCSE's are the exams you sit in England at age 16 and without them it is very difficult to get a decent job or to get anyone to take you seriously at all unless you go to college and do more courses. Most people I know (and most people my age) know no foreign languages (other than how to count), couldn't point out Peru on a map or name all the English monarchs. In UK schools we are taught no European history apart from the World Wars (and even then we only learn about the German side of things). And most children just aren't interested in school at all.
    - manga, porn and fashion magazines account for over 90% of convenience stores' literature.
    In newsagents here you will find shelves full of porn, a fair amount of fashion magazines, one or two movie/music magazines and a couple of kid's magazines. We have specialist stores for manga and comics and even then they are still sold by major book stores.
    - 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
    I am reminded of a time my friend and I kept walking in and out of Gap just so the security guard would say 'hello' and 'goodbye'. In some shops (particularly shoe shops) staff will say 'goodbye' and 'thank you' if they see you leaving.
    - they can't think by themselves, and believe the media, commercials or what people tell them much too easily
    I believe you just summed up America and a vast portion of the UK right there. The amount of times I've got or heard someone being got with the "Do you know they are removing the word 'gullible' from the dictionary?" line is insane.
    - they buy on impulse rather than after careful comparison and analysis
    A hell of a lot of women do this. It's called impulse buying and sometimes we return the items, sometimes we don't. I VERY rarely go out looking for something and when I do I usually end up buying something else on impulse. Though now that I'm trying to save money for university I make myself think about whether or not I will use it and if I really need it. It has been hard, lol.
    - 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)
    And Western cuontries aren't like this? There's the fashion bandwagon which everyone jumps on. If one of the Beckhams does something, everyone does it, if Madonna says something is cool we all think it's cool.
    - 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.
    There is no such word as originality where I live. If someone shows up for work/school/whatever with a new, original, funky piece of clothing everyone will turn up the next day wearing a replica. Louis Vuitton is as common as anything else in the UK now. Granted, most are knock-offs but they still look the same.
    - 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).
    When new things open over here they will have queues stretching around the block for the first week or so then after that they will be virtually empty. It's called a fad, they come from time to time.
    - 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)
    True to a certain extent here. There are a lot of housewives, women tend to do most of the housework, cook, take kids to school, run errands and be there when their husband gets horny. Love comes into the picture sometimes. But a lot of cultures still have the misogynistic attitude that men are better than women, etc. etc. If they WERE better than women then why give them such obvious weaknesses (ie. one swift kick to a certain area would easily shut them up).
    - politicians are corrupted and inefficient beyond redemption, because they only care about themselves, and not the nation's welfare.
    Are you describing Japan or the US here? Also the UK to a certain extent.
    - 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)
    Men don't mind paying huge sums of money to get a woman to sleep with him. And in a lot of bars in western countries, barmaids flirt with punters for free. Heck, in some places they will pour your drink down your throat for you.
    - 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
    There is the stigma of the 30/40-something spinster/bachelor in most countries. Some companies prefer their executives to be family men to set a good example so being unmarried can hurt some people's careers.
    - 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.
    We may have pre-nups (but not everyone does) and nobody ever thinks they will get divorced when they marry. If they did then what would be the point in getting married in the first place?
    - 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.
    My mother originally got custody of me when she split from my father (they weren't even married), my friends with divorced parents all live with their mothers (apart from one who lives with her step-father). Most mothers get custody of their children. Otherwise there would be no 'Fathers 4 Justice'. And when you ask most dads for help with your homework it's either "I'm busy" or "ask your mother". (Yet when your grades come in they have no problem with letting you know their disappointment, even if you got good grades). Most of my friends with separated parents either don't see their biological father or see him very rarely.

  12. #162
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    "The Japanese have long had a love affair with Paris, nurtured by dreams of sophisticated manners coupled with physical elegance, exquisite food and lots of Louis Vuitton handbags". Paris was once a beautiful city, people had sophisticated manners, were extremely elegant (see paris1900.free.fr/Images/Pl_Chatelet01.GIF) and the food has always been exquisite. Nowadays (probably since the events of May 1968), it is another story... People are ugly (shorts and flip-flops everywhere), incredibly rude,
    Hmm, that's interesting. It's true that even in places such as England (I know the English and French stereotypically hate each other) there is still the image of Paris as a 'romantic' place. Yet the last time I went to Paris it felt far from romantic. There were people coming up to us on the streets and rudely shoving merchandise under our noses trying to get us to buy it and my friend was trying to get served at a food place and was treated rudely (by other customers, I think), being pushed out of the way and treated as though he shouldn't be there just because he was English.
    When he told us what happened I was scared of going to that place to get food, lol. I tried not to speak and put on my best (still terrible) French accent when I was thanking the person on the til.

    I don't think that anyone can truly understand a culture unless they were brought up in it or have lived in that country, experiencing the culture first-hand for quite a few years. An outsider's opinion is always different to what the reality is. And culture can be different in different areas of a country. For example, living in Norfolk is totally different than living somewhere like London. There can be a culture shock moving from city to city sometimes.

  13. #163
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    Man you touch the depth of Japanese life style. Wish more time to discuss them.
    I was born and brought up in Iran, a beautiful country full of history.
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  14. #164
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    Actually, if a lot of this is true, which it seems from what I've always heard so far, Japan is a very represive, sad country, with low standards from what I see. I would say it was more respectable in it's Feudal Times.


    I'm not saying that any country is better, but how sad Japan really is. I am just daring to go there and have a compltely diffrent experience from what's been laid out for me so far.

  15. #165
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    Heart Japan has many sides

    I have begun to see many of these characteristics too... I just shake my head and reaffirm that people are the same everywhere... I was very disappointed in "normal" Canadian lives. T

    This is all normal. And everyone wants to be normal, right? Everyone wants to be accepted by everyone else. A highly educated person, who spent all their time and money becoming an informed member of society, is useless if you want to be very social. If you want to be social, you work with the people most of your life, and you become involved in what everyone else is doing... you don't persue your own interests, and spend uncountable lonely years going into debt, studying to be intelligent. That is pointless. What does it get you? You turn 30 years old and you have nothing but debt and a brain. You don't have a family and you are uncertain of yourself and your worth to the people around you.

    You think to yourself. I am smart now.. I can get a good job and pay off that debt... I will be smart and people will be attracted to me. I will be intelligent and a better judge of cultures and what life is about. I will be tolerant and I now have a lot to offer.

    If you study business, money and the media or design... you are set. But deeper subject of controversy and philosophy threaten ones identity and begins to open a sphere of possibility that begins to look like a scary abyse.

    People in general don't want their values challenged. They all have their opinions and values. Unless it affects them personally, they don't change. They look for people who are similar to bond with.

    Even educated people stoop down to the level of common societal norms of conversation and activities, just so that they can communicate with anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    In fact, I have only concentrated on one particular aspect of the Japanese midset : its shallowness (so this study is totally biased from the start, as it does not include anything else). I could very well do one to prove how much more polite, disciplined, or respectful the Japanese are. But it is not the object of this analysis.
    I'd like to also make it clear that this topic of conversation itself is only one side of the story.

    Living here, I have to admit that I am fully and thoroughly impressed with the courtesy and discipline that people have. They make me smile all the time. I find myself waving and saying "domo" all the time, I have fun with it and I let it make me happy. Yes, people do not show their emotions and frequently think the opposite of what they say... but really, it makes it easier for everyone in the long run. Japan is a place where one must allow life to happen. Allow the light electronic tunes, "Thank yous" and "welcomes" to make your day brighter. I think of these words as bird songs... a bird always has the same voice, but sometimes the song is different.

    The problem with education is that one becomes too critical of everything they see and hear.

    I was disappointed in "normal" Canadian lives, but now I am beginning to see that sometimes, ignorance is bliss, and in this new era of ethics, please don't tell me that bliss is wrong. If it is, than the opposite is hell!
    The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on.
    I've gone back to Canada March 2009. I will miss all of you! Thank you for everything. I will stay in touch.

  16. #166
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    Obviously, a person who wrote this article had such big heartbreak coming to Japan.

    Initially I thought a couple of them are funny. And some of them are true and I agree.

    But while reading them through carefully, I came to the conclusion that a writer of this article is extremely shallow minded and seeing people from only one-sided eyes.

    Quite honestly, with the way this writer put his views, I must say this person does not appreciate other cultures and unable to see the reasons behind of behaviors.

    The words "jokes" should not even be used in this article. You can debate how Japanese people are superficial, and I do share the same view, but I found that there are way too many inappropriate ways of expressions used. They sometimes sound even disrespectful.

    I am a Japanese, and I welcome any comments if you want to debate with me.

  17. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by okaeri_man View Post

    lol, this is very true. isn't it common knowledge that their are 4 seasons (in all places on earth)? or do they just think the seasons in japan are more clear-cut than any other country, and therefore foreigners haven't really "experienced" the changing of the seasons?

    actually, all places on earth do not have four seasons as would be defined in Japan or in many similarly situated regions. Many places define their seasons by other climate changes that are more significant, many have more clearly defined seasons than four, others have less, and still others have seasons drastically different in numerous other ways.

    It is a very diverse world...


    It is a pretty silly question though....if I weren't an American I might make some comments about it being an excuse for not knowing geography...but...lol, we Americans are surely no better on average...

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