Wa-pedia Home > Japan Forum & Europe Forum
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 51 to 75 of 99

Thread: Some explanation about me in the last few months

  1. #51
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijin 06
    Don't take what you read in this thread about Japan as a representative sample of most foreigners experiences. Japan can be a hard place to integrate into, but if you make enough effort and are open minded enough then it is possible to live a happy life here.
    What do you know after your 3 months or so in Japan ? The problem was not that I was not enough integrated or not open-minded enough. It was rather the contrary. I tried to integrate so much that I became more natives than the natives (for some things at least) and did not tolerate that people behaved with me like if I was just a tourist that didn't know how to use chopsticks or what "ikebana" was. So you could say that if you are open-minded and like open-minded people, Japan can be a quite irritating place, as people are very narrow-minded, ethnocentric and ignorant of the rest of the world.

    Visit Japan for free with Wa-pedia
    See what's new on the forum ?
    Eupedia : Europe Guide & Genetics
    Maciamo & Eupedia on Twitter

    "What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?", Winston Churchill.

  2. #52
    “VË‚¶‚á‚ñI blade_bltz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 11, 2004
    Location
    Brookline, MA
    Posts
    13
    Well I asked about America because I've lived in Boston for my entire life (yes, all 18 years), and I think its an exceptional place to live. Right now, I'm at school in the Bay Area of California, and that is another phenomenal place to be. I'm not exactly a hardcore patriot...what with my Massachusetts liberal upbringing...but I see a lot of America bashing on this board. Despite the state of the country under the current administration, I will still attest to the fact that New England is a wonderful place to live. Maciamo, who knows, you might end up there one day.

  3. #53
    As the Rush Comes Duo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 25, 2003
    Location
    The EU capital
    Age
    35
    Posts
    71
    Well i won't hide that i think life in Europe, the EU countries at least, is better than life in the US... in general. I suggest you give a read to the "European Dream" by jeremy rifkin... an american workin in out of the US and Europe.
    Maybe what you sense is more this sentiment rather than american bashing... i doubt most members here bash at other countries rather what i've noticed is an objective criticism, you can see that in threads done for japan, the usa, and also in the Eupedia section you will see the same kind of criticism maciamo applied to japan employed towards belgium, his native country.

  4. #54
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by blade_bltz
    Well I asked about America because I've lived in Boston for my entire life (yes, all 18 years), and I think its an exceptional place to live. Right now, I'm at school in the Bay Area of California, and that is another phenomenal place to be. I'm not exactly a hardcore patriot...what with my Massachusetts liberal upbringing...but I see a lot of America bashing on this board. Despite the state of the country under the current administration, I will still attest to the fact that New England is a wonderful place to live. Maciamo, who knows, you might end up there one day.
    The major issues with the States are :

    - the food (maybe a bit better in NYC ?)
    - the laws (much too conservative, even in "liberal" states)
    - the government (esp. since the Bush administration, but I also dislike paranoiac secret services like the CIA, or the "cow-boy" FBI who think they can do whatever they want since the Patriot Act)
    - the insecurity (mostly linked to the lack of social security and big gaps between the rich and the poor)
    - fanatic Christians (born-again, KKK, etc.)
    - rednecks (well, less on the coasts maybe ?)
    - everybody is allowed to have a gun (that wouldn't make me feel secure at all - too many lunatics in the world)
    - low level of culture and knowledge of too mant people, and ignorance about the rest of the world and even about the USA (similar problem to Japan).
    - fanatic Christians (did I mention that ?)
    - too materialistic society ("sex & money = life")


    I am aware that many people do not fit these generalities, but that's how American society appears to most Europeans who have been there (and didn't stay there ). I suppose that people tend to be more open-minded, better educated and less religious in the North-East and West coasts. I can only judge from the people I met or what I see on TV, as I haven't lived there. I'll tell you after I've stayed there for a while.

  5. #55
    Five times to Japan. ArmandV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location
    Tarzana, California
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo


    I suppose that people tend to be more open-minded, better educated and less religious in the North-East and West coasts.
    Boy, that's "really" a great way to make a fair assessment. "Open-minded?!" You won't find that in those regions (Northeastern Liberal Elites and the Left Coast).

    "Liberals will defend to the death your right to agree with them!"

  6. #56
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 24, 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    The major issues with the States are :

    - the food (maybe a bit better in NYC ?)
    - the laws (much too conservative, even in "liberal" states)
    - the government (esp. since the Bush administration, but I also dislike paranoiac secret services like the CIA, or the "cow-boy" FBI who think they can do whatever they want since the Patriot Act)
    - the insecurity (mostly linked to the lack of social security and big gaps between the rich and the poor)
    - fanatic Christians (born-again, KKK, etc.)
    - rednecks (well, less on the coasts maybe ?)
    - everybody is allowed to have a gun (that wouldn't make me feel secure at all - too many lunatics in the world)
    - low level of culture and knowledge of too mant people, and ignorance about the rest of the world and even about the USA (similar problem to Japan).
    - fanatic Christians (did I mention that ?)
    - too materialistic society ("sex & money = life")


    I am aware that many people do not fit these generalities, but that's how American society appears to most Europeans who have been there (and didn't stay there ). I suppose that people tend to be more open-minded, better educated and less religious in the North-East and West coasts. I can only judge from the people I met or what I see on TV, as I haven't lived there. I'll tell you after I've stayed there for a while.

    Maciamo, I must ask you and I will ask you this in nicest way possible. But do you have any prejudices against Americans, and do you think that your perception about Americans may be inaccurate? And if you do, then that's alright. I just want to know how you really feel.
    "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."
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  7. #57
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by ArmandV
    Boy, that's "really" a great way to make a fair assessment. "Open-minded?!" You won't find that in those regions (Northeastern Liberal Elites and the Left Coast).

    "Liberals will defend to the death your right to agree with them!"
    Well, I am not a specialist of regional differences within the US.

  8. #58
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie
    Maciamo, I must ask you and I will ask you this in nicest way possible. But do you have any prejudices against Americans, and do you think that your perception about Americans may be inaccurate? And if you do, then that's alright. I just want to know how you really feel.
    If by prejudice you mean "preconceived idea not based on knowledge or experience", then the answer is clearly no, because have met hundreds of Americans, and been to the States.

    But in such as vast and diverse country, it is true that there are many amazing people, and also many people I wouldn't even want to meet. This is maybe truer in the USA than in any other country, just because the US is more cosmopolitan and diverse in every respect than any other nation on earth.

    I know I wouldn't get on with "fanatic Christians" (i.e. anybody who regularily goes to church, cites the Bible, is against abortion or stem cell research, or have Christian stickers on their car). Icouldn't even live in a place where 10% of the people I meet everyday are like that. And according to the statistics, there are much more than 10% of the Americans that are like that (just check this), even if millions are not.

    But my worries would rather go for the system itself. It is common knowledge (and statistically proven) that big American cities are more dangerous than European and Japanese ones. I also wouldn't like to live in a country where I am so much at odd with the political system and ideals. The US used to be a good place, politically-speaking until about 1943. After that, it only got worse decade after decade. So my problem with living in the States is not so much related to its people than to its government and system , and dare I say "culture" (food, values, attitude toward the world...).

  9. #59
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 3, 2004
    Age
    49
    Posts
    198
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I can only judge from the people I met or what I see on TV, as I haven't lived there. I'll tell you after I've stayed there for a while.

    Yes...TV is an excellent source! Thank you for being so well educated!

  10. #60
    Regular Member MeAndroo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 29, 2004
    Location
    Asago-shi, Hyogo-ken
    Age
    37
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie
    Maciamo, I must ask you and I will ask you this in nicest way possible. But do you have any prejudices against Americans, and do you think that your perception about Americans may be inaccurate? And if you do, then that's alright. I just want to know how you really feel.
    I've lived in the US my whole life and I pretty much agree with Maciamo's reservations, even if my definitions are different than his. Someone who goes to church regularly (define regularly), for example, is not a "fanatic," but true fanatics ARE a bit scary. Especially if you're an abortion doctor. But then again, religious fantacism certainly isn't exclusive to the US, nor do I think it's a defining trait.

    What I don't understand is the problem Maciamo might have with people who consider themselves Christians. It's not like they're banging you over the head with their Bible every chance they get.
    Go Trojans! Fight On!

  11. #61
    Happy 4321go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 19, 2004
    Posts
    119
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijin 06
    Don't take what you read in this thread about Japan as a representative sample of most foreigners experiences. Japan can be a hard place to integrate into, but if you make enough effort and are open minded enough then it is possible to live a happy life here.

    I have met (and work with) a lot of "foreigners", including Chinese who've been here a long time and they like Japan and Japanese people.
    Thanks very much ~"Gaijin 06"

    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    Do not make one, or a few peoples' experiences, decide for you whether you should go to Japan or not. As I've said in another thread, to deny yourself the experience of visiting Japan, if that is your desire, based on a few "bad experiences" is to deny yourself an education. Unless you've experienced it for yourself how will you ever know? Just because someone else had a bad experience doesn't mean that you will also. You may just find that you like the country.
    Also thank you ~!"Pachipro" ^_^

  12. #62
    Happy 4321go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 19, 2004
    Posts
    119
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    What do you know after your 3 months or so in Japan ? The problem was not that I was not enough integrated or not open-minded enough. It was rather the contrary. I tried to integrate so much that I became more natives than the natives (for some things at least) and did not tolerate that people behaved with me like if I was just a tourist that didn't know how to use chopsticks or what "ikebana" was. So you could say that if you are open-minded and like open-minded people, Japan can be a quite irritating place, as people are very narrow-minded, ethnocentric and ignorant of the rest of the world.
    Oh ,may be this is because of the impression of Japanese towards the occidental~.

    I think things maybe different for the Chinese who live in Japan~,because many Japanese tradition culture are copy form China ...they have no reason to treat Chinese just a tourist that didn't know how to use chopsticks or what "ikebana" was, etc..

    and I hope you can understand and forgive these behavior of Japanese, after all,Japan is the most eastern island of the world ~!It is its special part~...

    On the other side,many Chinese people believe that some foreigners which interested in China maybe more understand Chinese culture than theirself~ include me .

  13. #63
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by 4321go
    and I hope you can understand and forgive these behavior of Japanese, after all,Japan is the most eastern island of the world ~!It is its special part~...
    And the UK are the most Western islands of the Eurasian continent. Does that make British people that narrow-minded and ignorant ?

    By the way, I have met some Russians from Vladivostok (just opposite Hokkaido), and they had a much better knowledge of Western Europe, although they live as "East" as the Japanese, in a supposedly "less developed" country. I have had many friends from South America as well, but never was I asked a question or heard a completely false stereotype about some European country, like the ones I heard everyday in Japan. I don't think they were better educated, or had travelled more around Europe... But their attitude was clearly different. They wouldn't think that anything from their country didn't exist in Europe, and yet there is probably more difference between South America and Europe than between Japan and Europe (e.g. the climate, plants, animals, landscape, way of living...).

  14. #64
    Banned strongvoicesforward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 25, 2005
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    The major issues with the States are :


    - the government (esp. since the Bush administration, but I also dislike paranoiac secret services like the CIA, or the "cow-boy" FBI who think they can do whatever they want since the Patriot Act)
    Yes!

    And, even worse -- the abject apathy of the American people about the government`s invasion of privacy with these recent communication taps without going to FISA. The fact that this was permitted and signed through a secret executive order is alarming and people just don`t see that.

    It is a slippery road down to facsism and to create a spying state on its citizens is taking us closer and closer to an Orwellian future. There is no safety net in place to prevent the Patriot Act from being abused by just targeting people who dissent from the government. Dissent is not terrorism but it can be wrapped up to make it look like so.

    Now everything is getting the "terrorist" suffix afixed to it and as soon as it is then, hey, it makes it eligible for domestic spying. Now such people as environmental activists are labeled eco-terrorists. What is that? The problem is, as soon as someone dissents and organizes and practices some form of protest that could involve vandalism or destruction of property they become terrorists. That is ridiculous. Surely they may vandals, but terrorists? C'mon.

    At the turn of the century there were many bombings but at that time the word "anarchist" was applied. The thing is, the word became more and momre widely used that soon it lost its meaning. To many were beginning to look like they would qualify as anarchists.

    The same thing will happen with the word "terrorist" as it is being more and more applied to whatever group that dissents and could be made to fall under the Patriot Act.

    I am all for targeting terrorists, so long as a clear and not sweeping definition of the word is adhered to. The decision to target economic targets or just to cause loss of life is not a measure to define it by. I would suggest that the word terrorist must be strict to mean: those who advance an ideological view in order to advance political goals by targeting non-combatants or combatants with no regard or with the goal to killing, maiming and harming non-combatants in the near vicinity of the attack.

    Therefore, a suicide bomber who walks up to an remote Israeli police road checkpoint or runs into a barracks would not be considered a terrorist because of the direct targeting of combatants in the political struggle. Now, if it is carried out in a coffee shop or on a bus, it would be.

    Targets on property or infrastructure should be rightfully identified as vandalism or sabotage.

  15. #65
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 15, 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    291
    Quote Originally Posted by strongvoicesforward
    [size="3"]

    And, even worse -- the abject apathy of the American people about the government`s invasion of privacy with these recent communication taps without going to FISA.
    By "recent", I suppose you mean "by every president since Jimmy Carter".....

  16. #66
    Banned sabro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 23, 2004
    Location
    Near Lake Arrowhead, CA
    Age
    54
    Posts
    86
    Perhaps we should have looked at the "Data mining" controversy a little more closely when it first surfaced a decade ago. The technology has changed so much these days, but so has our percieved level of threat.

    SFV- I agree that our apathy is the problem and I am a bit mystified as to why concern about our civil liberties should fall along partisan lines. The expansion of the definition of the word terrorist is also worrisome - although my definition is a bit broader and would include acts designed to intimidate and create fear to advance their ideology for whatever purpose. Usually this involves acts likely to cause death or injury, but also I would include actions intended to engender fear which do not always cause death or injury (such as painting schwastikas on synagoges or burning crosses.) I would say that the targets would have to be peripheral and civilian, but I'm not certain I would exclude members of the military...(Although I guess that could include non tactical Aerial bombardment.) I need to think about this one...

    And Maciamo- I count myself as one of those "fanatic Christians" although I am not part of the Right or Moral Majority. I promise not to scream at you, assault you with random scriptures, support legislation to regulate you personal behavior, or to overtly try to convert you. But is subtle covert prosletizing okay?

  17. #67
    Banned strongvoicesforward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 25, 2005
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by sabro
    ...but also I would include actions intended to engender fear which do not always cause death or injury (such as painting schwastikas on synagoges or burning crosses.)

    I would call those "hate crimes" and we already have legislation to deal with that. I don`t think we should be making a law code that overlaps each other because there are spaces in between that are quite innocent. Once we start making these overlapping laws, that in between area, which may be legitimate dissent is then caught up in either one of these.

    If the criteria to just intimidate and cause fear is included in the definition of terrorism, then that is too subjective from the target of any protest point of view. Someone could scare a lady walking to her car at P&G from the office just because they are loud with a a megaphone. If she is scared and afraid to walk past a line of protestors then those protestors could be charged with terrorism.

    The U.S. just by sitting an aircraft carrier off Taiwan to intimidate and put a little scare into China could then be considered doing a terrorist act. They may incidentally scare passengers on a passing ferry. Fear is too subjective.

  18. #68
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by sabro
    I promise not to scream at you, assault you with random scriptures, support legislation to regulate you personal behavior, or to overtly try to convert you.
    Good, I can rest assured now.

    But is subtle covert prosletizing okay?
    Yes, but that won't work on me.

  19. #69
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location
    Goodlettsville, Tennessee
    Age
    64
    Posts
    129
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Perosnally I did not feel irritated by all the things mentioned above until my 3rd year in Japan. You can't "make peace with it" if you haven't come into conflict with it first. And small things like the ones I mentioned are not things that would normally annoy me, if they happened just a few times a year. It is the frequency and accumulation over the years, combined with an increasing realisation that a majority of the people in that country behave like that, that lead to frustration and irritation...
    The 3rd year you mentioned is critical in that many "frustrated gaijin" leave during that year as they are completely "fed up" so to speak. And there are some that become frustrated quicker. However, those that stay beyond that time to the 4th, 5th, or longer years usually make peace with it and accept it for what it is.

    Believe you me, I went through the same frustration so I know exactly what you have experienced. As I've mentioned previously, the majority of foreigners have a love-hate relationship with Japan with very, very few being completely at ease and comfort with living and working in Japan. While on the other extreme, there are very, very few who completely love living there and have no complaints whatsoever. For the vast majority of us, we struggle with it until we either accept it for what it is or we leave.

    Once I accepted Japan and the culture for what it is and stopped trying to change it to suit my needs, it became more comfortable and enjoyable living there. And, as with where I am living now, I still had my irritations and gripes (as I probably would have anywhere I lived in the world), but, as I do here in Tennessee (which is a fine place to live btw), I accept them and go on with life. I make the best of it.

    I guess I could have had a (slightly) more positive experience, had I lived in another area (with less conservative, elderly people), had another job (with less chances to be asked personal questions than as a one-to-one conversation teacher !). It would not have changed the way Japanese people are, but it could have made it more bearable by not hearing the same stereotypical comments and being asked the same questions almost everyday. But it was too late to change. I have reached a stage where just hearing a Japanese talk about the seasons, chopsticks or fireworks make me on the defensive, and being asked about them drives me crazy. When you have had an overdose of something, be it food, alcohol, music or some kind of people, you just can't have it anymore, even if you used to like it.
    I don't really think it would have changed your perceptions of Japan and the Japanese people and culture. Each person has his/her own experience and feelings regardless of where they live in the country.

    However, I still commend you for learning the language so fast and at least attempting to understand the culture. Many foreigners do not even do a tenth of what you have done while living there, but complain none the less.

    At least you have something to back you up. If someone says to to you, "Oh yeah? Did you learn to speak and read and write the language?" You can reply, "Yes, I did." If they say, "Oh yeah? Did you learn about their history and culture"? You can reply, "Yes, I did." Very few can answer in the affirmative.

    Let me ask you one question: How would you feel if a Japanese person came to Belgium, became fluent in the language, history, and culture, and tried to change Belgium to suit his needs as a Japanese feels other countries should be based on his thinking? What if he incessently complained about how Belgiens (sp) do not sit on the floor, or bathe regularly in an ofuro, or eat rice regularly or anything for that matter that is so foreign to Belgiens and not their culture? Would you not think he/she was out of place in trying to change Belgium's customs, politics, education, etc?

    I would. I think the same is true in Japan and of the Japanese. That is what makes this world so unique and wonderful. If everything was the same no matter where I went in the world, what fun would that be? For lack of a better example, if there were McDonalds and such, and the same US food all over the world, what fun would that be? I would never be allowed to sample a different countries food as there would be no difference throughout the world when it came to food.

    But I still smile to myself at how frustrated you must have been and how annoyed it made you over 3+ years as I have seen it many times and experienced it myself. IMO, for what it is worth, Japan may have been a good experience for you, and another notch on your belt, so to speak, in your travels around the world. But it is not the place you were destined to live for any length of time in. Too bad. As many foreigners have tried, including a few famous tarento, to get Japan to change, but all have failed. I was sort of hoping you would be the one to do it.
    Do What You Love And You'll Never Work Another Day In Your Life!


  20. #70
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    ¼‹ž
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    Let me ask you one question: How would you feel if a Japanese person came to Belgium, became fluent in the language, history, and culture, and tried to change Belgium to suit his needs as a Japanese feels other countries should be based on his thinking? What if he incessently complained about how Belgiens (sp) do not sit on the floor, or bathe regularly in an ofuro, or eat rice regularly or anything for that matter that is so foreign to Belgiens and not their culture? Would you not think he/she was out of place in trying to change Belgium's customs, politics, education, etc?
    I wouldn't mind hearin advice on improving the political or education system, as I don't know one place on earth where it is sufficiently good for me (although some are clearly better than others).

    But I have never complained about Japanese customs, such as sitting on the floor, using chopsticks, Japanese-style baths, slurping noodles, bowing to greet people, etc. These are things I got used to, or if I didn't practice them (e.g. sitting in seiza everyday, because I have long legs), the fact that they existed and people practised them around me never bothered me anyway.

    What bothered me are things that bother people in any culture, and whatever their own culture, I believe. They depend more on how thick/thin-skinned or sensitive one is, than where they are from. This is to say : discrimination (culture does NOT excuse it), prejudices based on ignorance (ditto), and the lack of acceptance by the Japanese, of people like me who try to integrate, learn about the culture, language, and have become permanent resident in their country. This does not make me feel welcome, as I never felt rewarded for having tried so hard to integrate, except by my wife and a few more open-minded friends/students.

    That was not enough for me. I know I am exigent, but that is how I am. I try to adapt. They won't recognise it, and there is no chance of it changing nationwide. Why should I stay any longer, feel frustration by the lack of recogniton, being treated like a short-term visitor by people who know I am a permanent resident, or having people answering me with gestures or strange (visibly suspicious or displeased) faces when I address them in their language ?

    I think I would not have encountered these problems if I just talked English to everybody, insulted them if they didn't speak English, never behaved like a Japanese, not stop when the cops wanted to check my bike, didn't bother to sort my waste, spoke louder than everybody, pushed people to get off the train, and didn't get married but just enjoyed my time in Shibuya, etc. There are many "gaijin" like that (this is my image of the "gaijin" by the way, the one the Japanese gave me, which is why I disliked being called that way), and they never complain half as much as I do. Why should they ? They have nothing to worry about... They behave like in occupied land. Unfortunately, I believe that it is people like this who are in part responsible for giving me a hard time by making the Japanese think that Westerners are normally like that (no wonder so many of them are afraid to travel to Western countries and they vote for Ishihara !)

    I would. I think the same is true in Japan and of the Japanese. That is what makes this world so unique and wonderful. If everything was the same no matter where I went in the world, what fun would that be? For lack of a better example, if there were McDonalds and such, and the same US food all over the world, what fun would that be?
    Why are you telling me that ? I am quite disappointed that you should think that I prefer McDonald, or would like "my country's food" rather than Japanese food in Japan. I am also disappointed that you should think that I try to change Japanese culture and customs like the ones you cited above (o-furo, sit on the floor...). Where did you get the idea that I dislike that ? If there wasn't that "exotism" or these positive aspects of Japan (Japanese food, politeness, etc.) , I would have left after a month !

    So please do not confuse me for some narrow-minded loser that expect Japan to be the same as at home, expect Japanese people to speak English everywhere and eat their country's food because they can't enjoy something they aren't used to !

    As many foreigners have tried, including a few famous tarento, to get Japan to change, but all have failed. I was sort of hoping you would be the one to do it.
    I doubt that they were complaining about the same things as I did. The things I complain about are that the education system make Japanese people completely deprived of critical sense and blindly believe everything they hear on TV, which in turn makes them have prejudices against anything not Japanese, and don't bother to think for a fraction of second before asking the same stereotypical questions when they should know the answer by themselves. Some more open-minded and more critical Japanese (and I have met very few of them), agree with me on that. I am not trying to make Japan more like "my country", but just better for everyone, especially for the Japanese. In fact, most of the people I discussed with about this issue had no opinion at all. They politely agreed, but I wonder if they even understood what I was talking about. There is at least one educated person I met who raised the issue before I even mentioned it, which encouraged me into believing that people who did have an opinion agreed with me. The whole issue is justly to make people think more by themselves, and create their own opinions. It's only natural then, that I shouldn't hear many opinions coming from the Japanese.

    All my problems in Japan come from that lack of critical thinking :
    - misconceptions and prejudices (i.e. false preconceive ideas not based on reason or experience, but on hearsays and stereotypes).
    - discrimination (because of a lack of distinction between the various kinds of foreigners, ultimately caused by ignorance and especially the lack of critical thinking)
    - unwillingness to accept foreigners as part of Japanese society (because of deep-rooted prejudices)
    - stupid/naive questions (which wouldn't happen without the misconceptions)

  21. #71
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 3, 2004
    Age
    49
    Posts
    198
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    What bothered me are things that bother people in any culture, and whatever their own culture, I believe. They depend more on how thick/thin-skinned or sensitive one is, than where they are from. This is to say : discrimination (culture does NOT excuse it), prejudices based on ignorance (ditto), and the lack of acceptance by the Japanese, of people like me who try to integrate, learn about the culture, language, and have become permanent resident in their country. This does not make me feel welcome, as I never felt rewarded for having tried so hard to integrate, except by my wife and a few more open-minded friends/students.

    That was not enough for me. I know I am exigent, but that is how I am. I try to adapt. They won't recognise it, and there is no chance of it changing nationwide. Why should I stay any longer, feel frustration by the lack of recogniton, being treated like a short-term visitor by people who know I am a permanent resident, or having people answering me with gestures or strange (visibly suspicious or displeased) faces when I address them in their language ?

    Maybe you should just move back here and walk around with a sign around your neck that says "Hey stupid...I speak/understand Japanese!" . Maybe that will correct part of the problem that you seem to encounter.

  22. #72
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    What do you know after your 3 months or so in Japan ? The problem was not that I was not enough integrated or not open-minded enough. It was rather the contrary. I tried to integrate so much that I became more natives than the natives (for some things at least) and did not tolerate that people behaved with me like if I was just a tourist that didn't know how to use chopsticks or what "ikebana" was. So you could say that if you are open-minded and like open-minded people, Japan can be a quite irritating place, as people are very narrow-minded, ethnocentric and ignorant of the rest of the world.
    I may have only been here five months, but I've been here five months with my eyes, ears and mind open.

    I've also talked to a lot of people here and asked them for their experiences - some bad, some indifferent and some good. While everyone has experiences different emotions and driving forces, it seems to me the people with open minds integrate easier than those with closed minds.

    People who don't expect Japan & Japanese people to be something they are not enjoy Japan and Japanese people more. Pretty self-evident really.

  23. #73
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 15, 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    291
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijin 06
    I may have only been here five months, but I've been here five months with my eyes, ears and mind open.

    I've also talked to a lot of people here and asked them for their experiences - some bad, some indifferent and some good. While everyone has experiences different emotions and driving forces, it seems to me the people with open minds integrate easier than those with closed minds.

    People who don't expect Japan & Japanese people to be something they are not enjoy Japan and Japanese people more. Pretty self-evident really.
    None of which will immunize you against the phenomenon of coming to reevaluate things somewhere around your third year, somewhere around the age of 30 (if you're not already past it), or when children approach school age. It isn't even necessary to hate or be disgusted with Japan to make a decision to leave when those milestones come. There are those completely enjoying their time in Japan who still make the decision to leave around those times.

  24. #74
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by mikecash
    None of which will immunize you against the phenomenon of coming to reevaluate things somewhere around your third year, somewhere around the age of 30 (if you're not already past it), or when children approach school age. It isn't even necessary to hate or be disgusted with Japan to make a decision to leave when those milestones come. There are those completely enjoying their time in Japan who still make the decision to leave around those times.
    I never claimed it would Mike. I don't know if I will last to one year in Japan, or three, or five.

    My point was that being here five months does not exclude someone from having an opinion.

  25. #75
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 15, 2002
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    291
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijin 06
    I never claimed it would Mike. I don't know if I will last to one year in Japan, or three, or five.

    My point was that being here five months does not exclude someone from having an opinion.
    I couldn't agree more strongly. There's very little about gaijin-to-gaijin relations that irritates me more than people acting as though length of time here somehow automatically adds authority and wisdom to their opinions. My policy has always been to avoid saying how long I've been here. I figure if my points can't stand without relying on a validity-crutch [tm] like that to prop them up, then maybe they don't deserve to stand at all.

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Yao Ming : No shaving for 6 months if China misses final eight
    By Dream Time in forum Chinese News & Hot topics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Aug 16, 2004, 07:17
  2. Temples and shrines : an explanation
    By Maciamo in forum Buddhism & Shintoism
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Mar 31, 2004, 13:17

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •