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Thread: Lefthanders in Japan

  1. #1
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    Lefthanders in Japan

    I am curious, is Japan a right-handed orientated society? The reason I ask is because I asked whether you could get left-handed Kyudo gloves. The genreal response was no. It seem that the Samurai were all right-handed and tough if you left handed, use the right. Do the Japanese have a problem with left-handers? It is a bit of a swine if you are left-handed and you can't get items for your sport. I can do things with my right, in fact I am very dexterous, but I am left eye dominate and I have a tendancy to do thing with the left hand. I would like to konw, as I would like to visit Japan and not discover, while there, that left-handedness is a taboo, as in some Muslim countries. Thanks for any input
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    Lovely Angel BrennaCeDria's Avatar
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    I don't know about taboo, but my friend Mami told me it was very rare in Japan for a person to be left handed. It wouldn't even have come up, except she was curious how common it is here in America (and she's left handed, also).

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    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    I know a lot of lefthanded Japanese people; my mother and my brother are. I think they have made themselves righthanded for their convenience.

    There isn't a store like Ned Flanders' "Leftorium" , but I don't think lefthanders will have problems. They are not taboo in any extent.

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    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
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    I think it's a matter of convenience. I think the Japanese just think it's not practical to be left-handed.

    My oldest son started showing left hand dominance when he was small, and my husband was always there to switch whatever he was holding to his right hand. It was like, be right handed or die.
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    相変わらず不束者です epigene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    I am curious, is Japan a right-handed orientated society? The reason I ask is because I asked whether you could get left-handed Kyudo gloves. The genreal response was no. It seem that the Samurai were all right-handed and tough if you left handed, use the right. Do the Japanese have a problem with left-handers? It is a bit of a swine if you are left-handed and you can't get items for your sport. I can do things with my right, in fact I am very dexterous, but I am left eye dominate and I have a tendancy to do thing with the left hand. I would like to konw, as I would like to visit Japan and not discover, while there, that left-handedness is a taboo, as in some Muslim countries. Thanks for any input
    Right-handedness has been regarded "correct" in Japanese because it is ingrained in the culture. The strokes in writing (with a brush in the old days) assume use of the right hand, and traditional placement of dishes on the dining table is planned for a right-handed person. I don't know whether "left-handedness" was taboo in the old days, but it was certainly difficult to achieve cultural refinement back then.

    Lefties are not considered "bad" nowadays and are actually regarded an advantage in sports (such as baseball). My daughter is left-handed but was taught to use the pencil and chopsticks with her right hand (difficult when she was small) at my husband's insistence (for refinement in Japanese culture, he said). She is now ambidextrous (can do everything with either hand) and she loves it!! I have also heard that ambidextrous people are versatile because they use both left and right sides of the brain.

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    Fire Star Man -Rudel-'s Avatar
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    I've seen one male left hander the other day at a Ramen shop. No one seemed to stare at him for being left handed. I think the modern society doesn't mind so much either. Perhaps some of the grandparents expect the children and grandchildren to be righties.

    By I myself am a left handed person too.

    I write, and eat left handed but when it comes to throwing, punching, I am right handed. Wierd! Epecially my fighting stance when I am a left foot kicker and right hand puncher.
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  7. #7
    Heimin
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    About 30 years ago, there was a derogatory term used to refer to left-handed people: "Giccho".

    If it's not in use any more then their attitudes must have changed.

    Epigene-san,

    Do you still often hear the word?

  8. #8
    相変わらず不束者です epigene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy Brown
    Do you still often hear the word?
    Not any more... I think it's no longer politically correct.

    There are so many you can't use any more. (I guess you can figure what they are )

    When I watch news on TV, I sometimes hear the news reporter or anchor apologizing for use of "inappropriate (futekisetsu)" words. Most of the time, I can't figure out what inappropriate words had been used.

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