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Thread: Some explanation about me in the last few months

  1. #76
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    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.
    Thank you, that is exactly what I used to say in my two first years in Japan.

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  2. #77
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    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 !
    If you'll read my remark more closely, I WAS NOT referring to you. I was talking about myself and other foreigners and using a very simplistic example.

    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 ?
    Personally, I do not expect to be "rewarded" or recognized for my knowledge of the language and culture or I would not have stayed. I was satisfied, my wife and her parents were satisfied, and my Japanese friends were satisfied. To me that was reward enough and I felt very welcome anywhere I went. I didn't need anyone to pat me on the back and tell me what a fine job I did in my learning of their country. I lived there and acted like I belonged there and I was very happy in doing so. Very happy. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I have no regrets or complaints.

    The point is I still feel that no foreigner, no matter how fluent in the language, or knowledgeable about their culture and history can ever hope to change Japan to suit their needs or desires. The Japanese system, whether it be their educational system, their seniority system, their nationalistic feelings, their feelings of inferiority, their amazement at foreigners who can do the simplist of things Japanese, etc. suits the Japanese and the Japanese only. It works for them. It is not there to suit foreigners. They became the second largest economy in the world without changing their ways to suit foreigners. That in itself gives them pride and to keep the status quo.

    We may wholehartedly disagee with them (and I do in many things), but if they want to change it they will through elections or let their voice be heard in other ways. Right now, and probably for the forseeable future, the Japanese people don't want to change it and maybe never will.

    As long as they (like many Americans) have 2,000 yen in their pocket, access to easy credit, a job, a roof over their heads, and are able to buy the latest high tech items, play golf or whatever, and purchase expensive handbags and cosmetics, they are happy, will remain blind to their subtle prejudices towards foreigners and the rest of the world, and things will not change. However, take a few, or all of those things away and you will begin to see things change pretty fast.
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  3. #78
    As the Rush Comes Duo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    The Japanese system, whether it be their educational system, their seniority system, their nationalistic feelings, their feelings of inferiority, their amazement at foreigners who can do the simplist of things Japanese, etc. suits the Japanese and the Japanese only. It works for them. It is not there to suit foreigners. They became the second largest economy in the world without changing their ways to suit foreigners. That in itself gives them pride and to keep the status quo.
    Hmm... my knowledge of Japan and its history and development are only superficial but it seems to me that Japan has gotten to where it has today only thx to foreigners. They were a closed feudal society until comodore Perry forced them open and then they began to model their new state based on the European Powers. After WW2 Japan was even more influenced by the West. How could they have reached their status without the help of foreigners when they are an island state with no natural resources? They depend on the rest of the world for oil and raw materials and especially on foreign markets for their products. It would seem to me that if you HAVE to deal with other nations for survival one should at least try to understand whom they are dealing with, for better profits for one thing. How can the Japanese still think that anyone who speaks english is American ? It's simply ridicolous. I find this to be a very chauvinistic attitutide that shows total disrespect and I can clearly see why Maciamo was frutrated in his daily life there.

  4. #79
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    Hmm... my knowledge of Japan and its history and development are only superficial but it seems to me that Japan has gotten to where it has today only thx to foreigners. They were a closed feudal society until comodore Perry forced them open and then they began to model their new state based on the European Powers. After WW2 Japan was even more influenced by the West. How could they have reached their status without the help of foreigners when they are an island state with no natural resources? They depend on the rest of the world for oil and raw materials and especially on foreign markets for their products.
    I have no argument with you there and you are quite correct. However, once aid and assistance is given to a foreign country, it is up to that individual country and its people to make it work in a manner that suits them and their needs. Japan, in it's own way, seems to have made it work quite well for them even with major western influence.

    It would seem to me that if you HAVE to deal with other nations for survival one should at least try to understand whom they are dealing with, for better profits for one thing. How can the Japanese still think that anyone who speaks english is American ? It's simply ridicolous. I find this to be a very chauvinistic attitutide that shows total disrespect and I can clearly see why Maciamo was frutrated in his daily life there.
    Again, I agree with you. But the point of my argument is that they will NEVER change unless something drastically happens to make them change. Change in Japanese society, as in business, usually comes from the bottom up and is by consensus. If the majority of the people don't want or desire change, then nothing will happen.

    Just one look at Japanese society will tell you. When a new fad or clothing style, or music style or any genre is started by a couple of influential people, the whole country grabs hold of it and it becomes an obsession to the point of hilarity to foreigners.

    Only when something major happens that smacks the Japanese in the face and forces them to take a good look at themselves and realize just how ridiculous, childish and immature they are in their treatment of foreigners, then they may change. Until then I don't see them changing anytime soon. Just like when Commodore Perry threatened to shoot cannon at Japan did they change. They had no choice in the matter as they could not defend themselves and had no other recourse, but be dragged into the then modern world.

    Unless you've actually lived and worked there for any length of time can you really understand what Maciamo and I are saying? Along with a couple of others who share my feelings, I have a view that is completely opposite of his, as although I also was frustrated in the beginning, I learned to live with it, accept it, and enjoy the other aspects of Japanese life and living and working in Japan and left happily by choice. He, on the otherhand, as he explained so well, left unhappily and frustrated by choice. It's an almost perfect case history of two foreigners having opposite experiences living in Japan.

    Duo, how can you "clearly see why Maciamo was frutrated in his daily life there", or how I feel, or how the Japanese feel, unless you yourself have lived there for at least 3 years? Who knows, you yourself, while understanding the frustration felt by Maciamo, myself and others, may just love living there and accept it. Many have.

    On the otherhand, you may become just as frustrated as he, as well as many others, and leave with a bad taste in your mouth. You'll never know unless you've actually experienced it will you? So please don't judge a whole country, good or bad, based on the experiences of a few unless you've done it yourself. And I do hope you get to experience for yourself one of these days.

  5. #80
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    The Japanese system, whether it be their educational system, their seniority system, their nationalistic feelings, their feelings of inferiority, their amazement at foreigners who can do the simplist of things Japanese, etc. suits the Japanese and the Japanese only. It works for them. It is not there to suit foreigners. They became the second largest economy in the world without changing their ways to suit foreigners. That in itself gives them pride and to keep the status quo.
    Japan became the world's 2nd economy for 2 simple reasons :

    1) it enjoyed a priviledged economic partnership with the world's first economic power, while keeping a protectionist system toward other countries.

    2) Japan's population is the 2nd largest of any develeloped countries (with a big gap with the 3rd, i.e. Germany). In terms of GDP per capita, Japan now ranks 17th, with an economy going down for the last 16 years. I wouldn't be so proud of that system.

    I believe that Japan goes to its doom if it refuse to change.

    As long as they (like many Americans) have 2,000 yen in their pocket, access to easy credit, a job, a roof over their heads, and are able to buy the latest high tech items, play golf or whatever, and purchase expensive handbags and cosmetics, they are happy, will remain blind to their subtle prejudices towards foreigners and the rest of the world, and things will not change.
    But then, I wish they don't come and beg Westerners for economic aid after a major earthquake ravages Tokyo... They kept their protectionism and prejudices against Westerners for decades, and it would just be too hypocritical to start playing the innocent once things go wrong for them.

  6. #81
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    Hmm... my knowledge of Japan and its history and development are only superficial but it seems to me that Japan has gotten to where it has today only thx to foreigners. They were a closed feudal society until comodore Perry forced them open and then they began to model their new state based on the European Powers. After WW2 Japan was even more influenced by the West. How could they have reached their status without the help of foreigners when they are an island state with no natural resources? They depend on the rest of the world for oil and raw materials and especially on foreign markets for their products. It would seem to me that if you HAVE to deal with other nations for survival one should at least try to understand whom they are dealing with, for better profits for one thing.
    That is exactly how I see it. Japan, more than any other country in the world, has learnt and copied the system, fashion, food, lifetsyle, technologies and values of Western countries. It is one of the non-Western countries with the highest number of Westerners living there. And yet, Japanese people are among the people with the lowest understanding of Westerners and differences between the various Western cultures and countries. How can that be ?

  7. #82
    Back in town JerseyBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    That is exactly how I see it. Japan, more than any other country in the world, has learnt and copied the system, fashion, food, lifestyle, technologies and values of Western countries. It is one of the non-Western countries with the highest number of Westerners living there. And yet, Japanese people are among the people with the lowest understanding of Westerners and differences between the various Western cultures and countries. How can that be ?
    Frankly speaking, I don't agree with your comment that Japanese have the lowest understanding of Westerners. Even though you are of course entitled to your own opinion which may be shaped by your experience in Japan, i don't think that is a true statement on Japanese. Westerners include various European countries, North America, and others; and even among those so called Western countries there are misunderstanding and differences among them. That statement does not make sense to me. Maybe your negative experience in Japan can be of your own making. Each person looks at the world from his/her own perspectives/views which will surely affect the final outcome of his/her experience.

  8. #83
    As the Rush Comes Duo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    Duo, how can you "clearly see why Maciamo was frutrated in his daily life there", or how I feel, or how the Japanese feel, unless you yourself have lived there for at least 3 years? Who knows, you yourself, while understanding the frustration felt by Maciamo, myself and others, may just love living there and accept it. Many have.
    On the otherhand, you may become just as frustrated as he, as well as many others, and leave with a bad taste in your mouth. You'll never know unless you've actually experienced it will you? So please don't judge a whole country, good or bad, based on the experiences of a few unless you've done it yourself. And I do hope you get to experience for yourself one of these days.
    Well it is true that I haven't lived in Japan and I did not I say that I felt exactly what Maciamo did, I simply stated that I could understand why he would be frustrated with that kind of situation and I could relate to it because I have similar views to him when it comes to society, acceptance and integration. Reading his posts and his explanations on why he felt a certain way and the reasons behind I could see myself in the same position as him... therefore because I am similar to him in that aspect is why I could say that I could feel that I could relate to his situation and his actions because I would probaply do the same. Also... i've been away from my native land for about 8 years now so as from an expat to another I could see the simliarity of the things we would expect from the host society. I hope that makes some kind of sense
    Last edited by Duo; Jan 12, 2006 at 20:49. Reason: words missing

  9. #84
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyBoy
    Frankly speaking, I don't agree with your comment that Japanese have the lowest understanding of Westerners. Even though you are of course entitled to your own opinion which may be shaped by your experience in Japan, i don't think that is a true statement on Japanese. Westerners include various European countries, North America, and others; and even among those so called Western countries there are misunderstanding and differences among them. That statement does not make sense to me. Maybe your negative experience in Japan can be of your own making. Each person looks at the world from his/her own perspectives/views which will surely affect the final outcome of his/her experience.
    It is true that there is some ignorance and misunderstandings between Westerners too, but not to the same level as seen in Japan. The kind of stereotypes or generalisations Europeans have between themselves are usually limited to : Germans eat sausages and wear flashy tshirts on holiday; Brits drink tea and are Euroskeptics, Dutch people are stingy and travel with a caravan, Italian people speak fast, loud and are often excited, etc. These may be stereotypes, but at least there is some truth in it.

    But never have I seen a Westerner asking another Westerner (from a different) country if they also had vegetable graters in their country, and then make an astonished face with a rude "eeeeh" of disbelief when they were told that "yes". So the problem of the Japanese is not just one of ignorance, but attitude to ignorance. They just can't hide their contempt and sense of superiority, although it is disguised under the apperance of naivete (but believe me, when it comes to business or sex, the Japanese are NOT naive).

    When I was in India or South East Asia, the people were less well educated than in Japan, most had never been abroad (whereas 90% of the Japanese I frequently associated with had been abroad, often to Western countries). I have heard stereotypical statements, but never as naive as in Japan, and not always as a comparison to their own country in a way that clearly meant that their culture or society was superior, like I usually felt in Japan.
    Last edited by Maciamo; Jan 12, 2006 at 23:07.

  10. #85
    I jump to conclusions mad pierrot's Avatar
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    Maciamo,

    I just got back online. Read the thread.

    All I can do is wish you good luck, and say I'm sorry I won't have a chance to visit you in Tokyo anymore! Regardless, hope to maybe catch up with you at some other place in the world. Perhaps you'd care to visit me in Mongolia in the future?

  11. #86
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mad pierrot
    Regardless, hope to maybe catch up with you at some other place in the world. Perhaps you'd care to visit me in Mongolia in the future?
    Mongolia ? I will have to think about it, but sounds interesting. If you want to spend your vacations in Europe and passes by Belgium, just let me know.

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    But never have I seen a Westerner asking another Westerner (from a different) country if they also had vegetable graters in their country, and then make an astonished face with a rude "eeeeh" of disbelief when they were told that "yes". So the problem of the Japanese is not just one of ignorance, but attitude to ignorance. They just can't hide their contempt and sense of superiority, although it is disguised under the apperance of naivete (but believe me, when it comes to business or sex, the Japanese are NOT naive).
    Um , you are right~~ This is what I want to say .
    This nation is too lonely when they stay in the isolated island . They must be boastful,in order to comfort themself~
    Japan expand their confidence by attack the BIG country~ USA Russia and China~ and they achieve the "economic wonder" after WW2 .All of these things make Japaneses feel euphoria I think ~

    Let me give an example :
    A person is bellicose,and like to fight with their neighbor,no one like to play with him ,so he is lonely,he can only trust himself, so he must be boastful,otherwise ,he will collapse.
    This person is Japan~

  13. #88
    Back in town JerseyBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4321go
    Let me give an example :
    A person is bellicose,and like to fight with their neighbor,no one like to play with him ,so he is lonely,he can only trust himself, so he must be@boastfulCotherwise ,he will collapse.
    This person is Japan`
    Hah? Your post does not make any sense whatsoever. Sorry, I don't get how you arrive at that comment. I think you are reading into too much fiction or fairly tales. Chao.

  14. #89
    Back in town JerseyBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    It is true that there is some ignorance and misunderstandings between Westerners too, but not to the same level as seen in Japan. The kind of stereotypes or generalizations Europeans have between themselves are usually limited to : Germans eat sausages and wear flashy shirts on holiday; Brits drink tea and are Euroskeptics, Dutch people are stingy and travel with a caravan, Italian people speak fast, loud and are often excited, etc. These may be stereotypes, but at least there is some truth in it.
    But never have I seen a Westerner asking another Westerner (from a different) country if they also had vegetable graters in their country, and then make an astonished face with a rude "eeeeh" of disbelief when they were told that "yes". So the problem of the Japanese is not just one of ignorance, but attitude to ignorance. They just can't hide their contempt and sense of superiority, although it is disguised under the appearance of naivete (but believe me, when it comes to business or sex, the Japanese are NOT naive).
    When I was in India or South East Asia, the people were less well educated than in Japan, most had never been abroad (whereas 90% of the Japanese I frequently associated with had been abroad, often to Western countries). I have heard stereotypical statements, but never as naive as in Japan, and not always as a comparison to their own country in a way that clearly meant that their culture or society was superior, like I usually felt in Japan.
    It seems you were immensely annoyed about those questions Japanese people you met asked you. Unless the same person you met is asking you the same question again, I don't see the reason for the extreme annoyance and hostility you have toward those questions and experiences you had to endure through those questions. Maybe the people you met in Japan asked you those questions because they needed an conversation opener and/or they are not familiar with Belgium (Belgium is not the superpower in the world economy/politics and it is possible not many people in different non-EU countries are familiar with her) or Europe at large.

    In my opinion, I think you have an affinity or allegiance toward EU (as Belgium is a part of EU member) countries---which is normal----and I feel you would like to drum up their alleged intelligence/high worldly knowledge EU people have, compared to other people (like Japanese in this particular case) through your own experience (which is one person's experience). There is nothing wrong with forming your opinion/judgement based on your particular experience. But, as the saying goes, individual mileages may vary, as each person's character, temperament, background, and outlook will certainly shape the experience that person will go through.

    I am a Japanese national and I don't ask those questions you raised in your threads, maybe because I am too dry a person to start those ice-breaker conversations with a foreign national. Maybe because I dealt with so many people in different cultural backgrounds (I am in the international trade).....

    Not all the people fit in a new or foreign country/culture. Some people are set in his/her way and any behavior contrary to his/her standards is not to be tolerated. There is no 100% satisfaction on anything. I am sorry to hear that your endeavor in Japan did not work out as you wished. But, that is how things are in life.

  15. #90
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyBoy
    It seems you were immensely annoyed about those questions Japanese people you met asked you. Unless the same person you met is asking you the same question again, I don't see the reason for the extreme annoyance and hostility you have toward those questions and experiences you had to endure through those questions. Maybe the people you met in Japan asked you those questions because they needed an conversation opener and/or they are not familiar with Belgium (Belgium is not the superpower in the world economy/politics and it is possible not many people in different non-EU countries are familiar with her) or Europe at large.
    I hate to repeat myself, but as there are so many people on this forum, and not everyone read my old post on the subject...
    1) These questions rarely came as conversation starters or to break the ice. On the contrary, they typically happened in the middle of a engaged conversation, and they did sometimes stop it short because I was shocked at their attitude.
    2)The same person often did ask a series of annoying question, not just an isolated one.
    3) Very few people asked me about Belgium in particular, because at the point they asked the question, either they didn't know where I was from, or they already knew that I had lived in several European countries, and so asked about Europe in general or "gaikoku" (abroad) or "mukou" ("over there", "where you come from"). My wife sometimes tells her friend that we are going to France and not Belgium to "facilitate the explanations" (I can't understand that way of thinking, but if she judges that her friends are not able to understand where/what is Belgium... ), and she also says that we met in London.

    How does you explain that some of her friends worry that we should take a vegetable-grater, a garlic-crusher, a tin-opener, or pressure-cooker, "because it probably doesn't exist abroad" (this is the part that annoys me, i.e. their presumption that it doesn't exist outside Japan, whatever the country).

    Many Japanese will assume that something does not exist abroad because they didn't see it while travelling to one or a few countries. So if they haven't seen something while staying in New York, it forcedly doesn't exist, neither in New York, nor in all the States or Europe or anywhere else outside Japan (shocking way of thinking, isn't it ?). For instance, I was asked by someone if automatic vending machines "existed abroad". First I had to ask her : "What country is 'abroad' ?". Then, when she just wanted to know in Europe or where I had lived, so I answered that obviously we do have vending machines, and many even dispense food (snacks, sandwiches, ice cream...), someone I rarely see in Tokyo. She was surprised because she hadn't seen any while travelling, and so assume it was only a Japanese thing (she said it like that).

    I had people "assuming" that season greeting cards, fireworks, spring blossoms and autumn leaves, folding fans, and even comic books were "only [found] in Japan", or at least did not exist in Western countries. I have certainly heard such assumptions over 100 times, withouting counting the same persons making many such assumptions (please remember point (1) above).

    If at least they had assumed that things that were truly Japanese (e.g. kotatsu, tatami...) weren't common in Europe, I wouldn't have been annoyed like that (except if they made a point in always trying to find something uniquely Japanese so that they can boast about it, like what father-in-law likes to do when we meet). For example, I have been when was the first time I saw or sat on a tatami, which is a totally acceptable question, because it is just about my personal experience, which they couldn't know about. Likewise, had they asked me when was my first fireworks, that's quite ok (as long as they don't reply "Oh, you have fireworks in your country too, I thought it was only in Japan !").

    Asking about the existence of something abroad is not very interesting as nowadays anything can be imported or exported, even (or especially) traditional arts. So such questions are a bit pointless. I also wonder what is the point of asking whether we have folding fans in my country, as it is not really the kind of thing you use everyday (or not nowadays anyway). But what annoys me is not the question but the assumption that it doesn't exist, as it is a way of boasting about one's country or culture. And what really infuriates me is when such assumptions are made about things that are as common in the West as in Japan (seasons, fireworks...) or that Japan imported from the West (greeting cards, vending machines...).

  16. #91
    Back in town JerseyBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    How does you explain that some of her friends worry that we should take a vegetable-grater, a garlic-crusher, a tin-opener, or pressure-cooker, "because it probably doesn't exist abroad" (this is the part that annoys me, i.e. their presumption that it doesn't exist outside Japan, whatever the country).
    Many Japanese will assume that something does not exist abroad because they didn't see it while traveling to one or a few countries. So if they haven't seen something while staying in New York, it forcedly doesn't exist, neither in New York, nor in all the States or Europe or anywhere else outside Japan (shocking way of thinking, isn't it ?). I had people "assuming" that season greeting cards, fireworks, spring blossoms and autumn leaves, folding fans, and even comic books were "only [found] in Japan", or at least did not exist in Western countries. I have certainly heard such assumptions over 100 times, withouting counting the same persons making many such assumptions (please remember point (1) above).
    If at least they had assumed that things that were truly Japanese (e.g. kotatsu, tatami...) weren't common in Europe, I wouldn't have been annoyed like that (except if they made a point in always trying to find something uniquely Japanese so that they can boast about it, like what father-in-law likes to do when we meet). For example, I have been when was the first time I saw or sat on a tatami, which is a totally acceptable question, because it is just about my personal experience, which they couldn't know about. Likewise, had they asked me when was my first fireworks, that's quite ok (as long as they don't reply "Oh, you have fireworks in your country too, I thought it was only in Japan !").
    Asking about the existence of something abroad is not very interesting as nowadays anything can be imported or exported, even (or especially) traditional arts. So such questions are a bit pointless. I also wonder what is the point of asking whether we have folding fans in my country, as it is not really the kind of thing you use everyday (or not nowadays anyway). But what annoys me is not the question but the assumption that it doesn't exist, as it is a way of boasting about one's country or culture. And what really infuriates me is when such assumptions are made about things that are as common in the West as in Japan (seasons, fireworks...) or that Japan imported from the West (greeting cards, vending machines...).
    Before I say anything, I'd like to say I am not disputing you had experienced those you listed in this thread and others. I recall you said you were a foreign language teacher in Tokyo areas and were living in the neighborhood where old folks reside.

    I am not sure your definition of "many" as I feel your posts generally assume your particular 2-year experiences in Japan are the accurate representation of Japan at large. Also, in general, elders in Japan (or other countries for that matter) are set in their own way through years of life experiences. In my 4 years at the first job, I had dealt with over 2000 people in the States (excluding the college friends); even though I have my own biases/prejudices through which I look and experience, I have not been able to conclude that people in this another populous country are smart, educated, or what not. I feel my own particular experiences are not the proper representation of the country. It is not suitable to tell other people that my experiences are accurate and valid characterization of the entire culture/country.

    If you are basing your judgement on the very populous country through a few years of experiences, I cannot help myself questioning the validity of your whole arguments. As I mentioned earlier, I am not questioning your particular experiences you had to endure in Japan as you have gone through them. If you are a foreign language teacher, the people you encountered would be those who are not familiar with other languages and are in need of your/your company's service. Maybe it's possible the quality of people you met in Japan is due to your profession or the areas you lived in.

    I do believe each person has his/her own prejudices toward other people/cultures. Your high regards to Belgium & Europe might be well justified or not. I am posting my comment here because I find it difficult to reach the generalized conclusion you arrived at and I wanted to put some balance in this thread (I was a Journalism student in the states). Even though this thread is started by you and is heavily based on your own experience (there is nothing wrong with that as this is your thread), I wanted to put in my own comments as this thread would be viewed by many people.

  17. #92
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Last edited by Maciamo; Jan 17, 2006 at 00:57.

  18. #93
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Following my return from a self-imposed absence following our unfortunate period of unpleasantness during your time of greatest stress and irritability, I think I have behaved most civilly towards you and really have to take exception to having my comments at any point in this thread referred to as criticisms.

  19. #94
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Yes, I apologise for that, Mike.

  20. #95
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    No apology necessary. I can well understand how you would be prone to question the intent or content of any posts I make in reply to those of yours.

  21. #96
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    It would seem as though the move really hasn't helped you all that much...but if I offended you, for that I am sorry. I do believe...ah nevermind!

  22. #97
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    It would seem as though the move really hasn't helped you all that much...but if I offended you, for that I am sorry. I do believe...ah nevermind!
    I suppose that the "move" is from Japan to Europe. How could it help me have a thicker-skin if I never had one ? I am less stressed and irritable, but I won't tolerate provocation even in my most relaxed mood.

  23. #98
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I won't tolerate provocation even in my most relaxed mood.
    It wasn't as much a provocation as it was an observation...although I suppose one could lead to the other.

  24. #99
    Decommissioned ex-admin thomas's Avatar
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    I believe that Maciamo has made his point clear. In the light of the most recent escalation in this thread, I am going to close the topic. I have also removed the offshoot discussion. If some members feel any particular urge to follow up this issue, please do so by using private means of communication.

    I am quite saddened by the fact that I had to resort to the "Close" button several times lately. Anyhow, I appreciate your understanding.

    Let's take a deep breath and focus on what this forum is about: the civil discussion of Japan.

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