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Thread: Do you find life in Japan noisier or quieter than other places where you have lived ?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by celtician
    Perhaps this shouting through loudhailers and "sound trucks" are leftovers from the second world war so 'Jap" is appropriate in this case with emphasis on Dumb
    Forgive me if I have missed the point here somewhere, but I cannot see any connection whatsoever between sound trucks and WW2.

    If you're the kind of person who likes to troll (post inflammatory crap to get other people angry) then good luck to you, but frankly I think you're in the wrong forum.

    I'm sorry to the other decent members of this forum because I hate getting dragged into these kind of pointless arguments, but there's only one "emphasis on dumb" that I can see here, and it goes by the name of celtician.

  2. #27
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    The song the driver of the kerosene truck always played: "It's a small, small, world we live in...." Jeeze, that song stayed in your head all day!

    The song that the driver selling clothes poles played: "Somewhere over the Rainbow"

    The yaki imo guy: Yakiii imo, ishi yaki imo." These are sweet potatoes cooked on rocks.

    The volunteers walking around the neighborhood on winter nights yelling, "Hi no yoooooji," Be careful of fires, and slapping two sticks together.

    The distant ambulances and police cars screeming through the night. There seemed to be at least one a night.
    These are not so annoying noises. Some even have their charm. What I dislike is the manners of some people, especially the door-to-door salesmen who ring 3 or 4x even when I ignore them because anyway they'll walk away when I open the door and they see I am not Japanese; the delivery men shouting in addition to ringing to be sure that the the whole neighborhood knows that Sato-san has received a parcel; the hundreds of drunk salarymen shouting, guffawing and vomitting in the streets almost every night; people advertising products in loudspeakers, especially if they are passing around my house in a van/truck, and even more if they are advertising for religious sects, as they often do in Ginza, or stupid politicians who can't say something more interesting that "I am Yamazaki, vote for me. I am Yamazaki, vote for me,. Thank you, thank you.".

    This could lead us to a new debate about the meaning of "manners" in Japan vs western countries. I never quite understood how it is bad manner in Japan to eat while standing or walking, blow one's nose in public, for women to make up in trains or not to get out of the train to let other people get off, but on the other hand it's ok to shout at the face of people in deafening loudspeakers, take all the pavement/sidewalk by walking 5 people side-by-side and not letting faster people overtaking them, grope women in trains, or not let people with few purchases pass before you at the supermarket counter. If these are not good manners in Japan, then we could easily affirm that a sizeable portion of Japanese population is very bad-mannered indeed.

    But compared to where I live in the states, Japan is a much noiser place, and I really don't mind it. Here the department stores, malls and restaurants are so quiet by comparison. Too quiet.
    I used to like the cacophony of the electronic shops, stations and restaurants, but sometimes one aspire to some quiet when going out, which is difficult to get in Japanese cities.

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  3. #28
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Originally Posted by Pachipro
    The song the driver of the kerosene truck always played: "It's a small, small, world we live in...." Jeeze, that song stayed in your head all day!

    The song that the driver selling clothes poles played: "Somewhere over the Rainbow"

    The yaki imo guy: Yakiii imo, ishi yaki imo." These are sweet potatoes cooked on rocks.

    The volunteers walking around the neighborhood on winter nights yelling, "Hi no yoooooji," Be careful of fires, and slapping two sticks together.

    The distant ambulances and police cars screeming through the night. There seemed to be at least one a night.

    These are not so annoying noises. Some even have their charm.
    Maybe you misunderstood my post. These were sounds I enjoyed.

    What I dislike is the manners of some people, especially the door-to-door salesmen who ring 3 or 4x even when I ignore them because anyway they'll walk away when I open the door and they see I am not Japanese; the delivery men shouting in addition to ringing to be sure that the the whole neighborhood knows that Sato-san has received a parcel; the hundreds of drunk salarymen shouting, guffawing and vomitting in the streets almost every night; people advertising products in loudspeakers, especially if they are passing around my house in a van/truck, and even more if they are advertising for religious sects, as they often do in Ginza, or stupid politicians who can't say something more interesting that "I am Yamazaki, vote for me. I am Yamazaki, vote for me,. Thank you, thank you.".
    Here I have to agree with you. Having not lived in Japan for more than two weeks/year since leaving I forgot about these somewhat annoying things. The politicians used to bother the heck out of me, especially during the day when I was teaching a class at my home or theirs. I could tell that even my adult Japanese students were somewhat embarrassed at them. When I was a student I was not home much in the day, so I hardly experienced the door to door salesmen. I usually just completely ignored them.

    As far as the drunk salarymen are concerned, I never much experienced them near my apartment as I lived in the suburbs, but they were in abundance around the stations. Usually I just ignored them as, after time, I became accoustomed to it and hardly gave it a second thought. It became 'normal' after some years.
    This could lead us to a new debate about the meaning of "manners" in Japan vs western countries. I never quite understood how it is bad manner in Japan to eat while standing or walking, blow one's nose in public, for women to make up in trains or not to get out of the train to let other people get off, but on the other hand it's ok to shout at the face of people in deafening loudspeakers, take all the pavement/sidewalk by walking 5 people side-by-side and not letting faster people overtaking them, grope women in trains, or not let people with few purchases pass before you at the supermarket counter. If these are not good manners in Japan, then we could easily affirm that a sizeable portion of Japanese population is very bad-mannered indeed.
    This may prove to be quite interesting. Bad mannered by whose standards? Yours? Mine? European? Middle Eastern? African? But isn't 'manners' a matter of culture? Here in the US it is considered bad manners to slurp ones food, but in Japan it is quite acceptable. In other countries it is considered good manners to give a loud belch after a good meal while in other countries it is not. In some Middle Eastern countries it is considered rude and bad manners for a man to cross his legs and show the sole of his shoe while in other countries it is quite acceptable. So who sets the standards on what is bad and good manners in a country that is not one's own?

    Maybe the debate should focus on why the Japanese do not think of other people and their feelings when out in public, such as walking 5 across down the street, or let the person with one or two items go ahead in a supermarket, or why they do not give up their seat to old women and pregnant women. Or the mother holding her young child over the curb so they can pee? I don't think it is bad manners per se because it seems to be quite acceptable there. That's the way it has always been and, even if other Japanese do not like it, they rarely say anything about it. I think it is more a lack of feeling/empathy for others and maybe that is what is lacking in the culture.

    But getting back on subject.

    As far as pachinko parlors go, I used to, and still do, spend alot of time in them (thus my handle) and they are VERY noisy and can actually do damage to your ears. However, you do get used to it and regulars (pachipros) learn to wear ear plugs. I always take a few pairs with me when I am going to Japan.
    Also, Pachinko is VERY popular among young women these days, especially the Office Ladies (OL's) and college women as well as housewives. Thus alot of machines have become "cute" to lure them in and I hate it! I am amazed at the number of women playing these days. Sometimes they outnumber the men on a weekday! Playing a "cute" machine is no fun at all. Many Japanese males, especially salarymen, play at least once a week if not more on their way home.
    I used to like the cacophony of the electronic shops, stations and restaurants, but sometimes one aspire to some quiet when going out, which is difficult to get in Japanese cities.
    I too enjoy the cacophony of the city and train stations and yes, it is very difficult to get some peace in Japanese cities. However, out in the suburbs, away from the train station, it is pretty quiet. That's why when I go back to live, I will settle out in the suburbs, in a bedroom town where there is nothing but houses, apartments, and the local park. There you can actually enjoy some peace and quiet on a nice spring day, take a leisurly stroll or a nice bike ride. Sure there will the usual noises of the politicians or salesmen selling their wares, but it is so much better as you have the best of both worlds and they are usually about 10 minutes apart.
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  4. #29
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    of all the noises in japan i hate macdonalds irrashaimase
    but i havent been there for over a year and have no plans to go there soon so i dont have to worry about that
    i live beside route 16 and its noisy but im used to it now

  5. #30
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Ahhh Rt16. Many memories traveling that road from Sagamihara to Yokohama to party!

    McDonalds? Believe it or not I met my wife at one in Sagamihara 24 1/2 yrs ago! She didn't work there or anything. We just happened to share the same table together. Someday I'll post that story.

  6. #31
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    my friend also met her (maybe future) husband there
    i think a smile would be enough though

  7. #32
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    Is this acceptable?

  8. #33
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    This may prove to be quite interesting. Bad mannered by whose standards? Yours? Mine? European? Middle Eastern? African? But isn't 'manners' a matter of culture? Here in the US it is considered bad manners to slurp ones food, but in Japan it is quite acceptable. In other countries it is considered good manners to give a loud belch after a good meal while in other countries it is not. In some Middle Eastern countries it is considered rude and bad manners for a man to cross his legs and show the sole of his shoe while in other countries it is quite acceptable. So who sets the standards on what is bad and good manners in a country that is not one's own?
    There are two kinds of bad manners:

    1) those that are just a matter of form or politeness, such as slurping, blowing one's or belching, which some will consider disgusting while other won't mind.

    2) actions that actually harm or disturb other people regardless of their sensitivity or accustomization to a certain level of disgust. For example, pushing or molesting people in trains, ring at sb's door until they come to open even when ignoring them, or not letting people walk past you in the street because you can't "break your formation" with your pals. In any case, none of these things are not considered good manners in Japan, which is what I was trying to imply when I wrote " If these are not good manners in Japan, then we could easily affirm that a sizeable portion of Japanese population is very bad-mannered indeed."

    Maybe the debate should focus on why the Japanese do not think of other people and their feelings when out in public, such as walking 5 across down the street, or let the person with one or two items go ahead in a supermarket, or why they do not give up their seat to old women and pregnant women. Or the mother holding her young child over the curb so they can pee? I don't think it is bad manners per se because it seems to be quite acceptable there. That's the way it has always been and, even if other Japanese do not like it, they rarely say anything about it. I think it is more a lack of feeling/empathy for others and maybe that is what is lacking in the culture.
    It's just a matter of education and personal sensitivity. What I wanted to say is that I am surprised that people who are generally so little sensitive as to pee, spit or vomit in public, slurp their tea and noodles, make enough noise to distrub an entire neighbourhood, push or grope people in trains, read porn (sometimes even touching themselves) in trains and refuse to give their seat to old or pregnant women... how can such people be pointing an accusing finger to someone eating a sandwich blowing their nose in the street ? I'd say it is not only in conflict with their lack of sensitivity for other things, but it is also incoherent, as the Japanese do not mind eating ice-cream in the street, but will openly criticise someone who eats even a croissant. I remember vividly that I was scolded by my in-laws because my mother-in-law had seen me eating a sandwich from the combini in the street !

    Also, Pachinko is VERY popular among young women these days, especially the Office Ladies (OL's) and college women as well as housewives.
    I rarely see young women queuing at my local pachinko parlours (just before 10am when it opens). My wife and her numerous friends never play pachinko and can't even enter in one. So it may depend on other factors than age too.

  9. #34
    Regular Member Mars Man's Avatar
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    Wow!! Maybe my long-term stay here has helped me kind work myself, unconsciously, into the woodwork. But I would say that some people here do have problems with not being able to think of those at the other end of them there loud speakers on wheels. I don't mind the yaki imo folks--even bought some--or the clothes pole salespeople, the old farm equipment collecting people and such, BUT I hate election time!! All that panic in their voices "Yoroshiku onegai itahimasu!!!", "dare dare desu!!!"

    Otherwise, I don't really have any complaints here in Shiga--a small village of about 6000 slow moving country folk which merged with Matsumoto (Nagano) this past April. In fact, a few of my little ladies friends from the big Tokyo area came here to visit and couldn't get to sleep at night because. . . it was too quiet! (I'm probably the noisiest being (along with my three sons) in the neighborhood. I held an outdoor concert here in my back yard some four years ago with about 12 different bands joinning in, and when we have BBQs I play hide-n-go seek with my little two boys and their cousins, running around and screaming up to about 9:30 or so. I'm legally American and am noisy--but I have no big complaints now, just the elections.

  10. #35
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    Some poor psychologist should do a thesis on how the Japanese support the noise levels in a Pachinko arcade (usually the lower classes and TB tarento) As Maciamo already said "one jumps out of one's skin when the door opens!" The 'Pachinkos' must be slightly deaf by now so they need these sound trucks to shout at them so they can hear who to vote for. That's all.

  11. #36
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    Speaking of politeness....The Japanese don't even have their own word for thankyou!
    Yet another borrowed word is "Obrigado" (Portuguese loan word) = arrigato The truth!

  12. #37
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    I could never live in a big city, i like being able to see the countryside inbetween buildings and on the horizon from my house, i like the fact i can walk right out to farmland and little woods, especially good when im feeling completely faithless with the world.

    I like the fact tree's are just as common a sight within my city as the buildings, and the fact the areas i know and how to get around pretty much cover the city, except for residental neighbourhoods ive never visitted.

    I like the way there's an actual quiet durring the night for sleep, and the middle of the day aswell.

    I like the way its just small enough, just less important enough that life in general is fairly laidback (for a city) and that traffic-jams are the odd rarity or shortlived tradition of 5pm, and that i can actually strike up a conversation with a stranger if i wanted to, but its large enough that there isnt that too creepy community spirit that exists in smaller towns.

    Finally simply because its where i live, it has its merits, but, ontop of that my city has been my home since i was eight, i know it like i know myself, so its part of me, from the alley's off main street right up to the linn of dee in the cairngorms.



    Anyway, moving on from my rant , i would love to visit japan, and i will, and see the sights, i considor myself a bit of an explorer, but to live in a japanese big city?...when someone thinks city of cities, its either new york or tokyo ide emagine so...nah, i wouldnt want to live in a big city, at least not too far in.

    But who knows, anythings possible.

    Yet another borrowed word is "Obrigado" (Portuguese loan word) = arrigato The truth!
    Any links to support that claim?
    An interesting hypothesis, suprising if it is indeed fact.

  13. #38
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celtician
    Speaking of politeness....The Japanese don't even have their own word for thankyou!
    Yet another borrowed word is "Obrigado" (Portuguese loan word) = arrigato The truth!
    Term of the day: "false cognate"

    Look it up.

  14. #39
    Regular Member zero g's Avatar
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    well I would stay at a city and then explore most of Japan, I know I'm from california but I would visit Japan despite the bad noises...
    Hajimemashite...

  15. #40
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zero g
    well I would stay at a city and then explore most of Japan, I know I'm from california but I would visit Japan despite the bad noises...
    That's not that bad as a short-term visitor. It can get annoying when you have lived there for years and aspire to some quiet at ANY time of the day.

  16. #41
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    If you want some quiet time, then you might consider moving out of Tokyo....

    That's sort of like living next door to a glue factory and wondering why it stinks.

  17. #42
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    Buy some ear plugs.

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