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View Poll Results: Which of these statements/opinions have you heard from at least ONE Japanese person ?

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  • Japan is such a small country

    16 42.11%
  • English grammar is more similar to Chinese than Japanese

    8 21.05%
  • Western people usually speak English

    13 34.21%
  • Japanese is a more difficult/complex language than English

    15 39.47%
  • Japan is special (or unique) for having 4 seasons

    13 34.21%
  • Most non-Japanese do not like sushi or natto

    11 28.95%
  • Westerners normally cannot use chopsticks

    15 39.47%
  • Foreigners in Japan usually cannot speak Japanese

    13 34.21%
  • Foreigners have difficult understanding Japanese people and culture

    16 42.11%
  • Foreigners in Japan are responsible for the rise in criminality

    15 39.47%
  • Japanese people have predominantly A blood group, and Westerners O blood group

    7 18.42%
  • In ancient times, Japanese people were farmers and Europeans were hunters

    6 15.79%
  • Gaijin stink ! ("gaijin kusai !")

    7 18.42%
  • Chinese people are indoctrinated since their childhood

    4 10.53%
  • Japan has managed to become a very rich country all by itself after WWII

    6 15.79%
  • Japanese food is the best in the world

    7 18.42%
  • Japanese cars and electronics are the best in the world

    11 28.95%
  • Japanese manga/anime are technically superior to any other

    4 10.53%
  • Japanese brains work differently from foreigners' brains

    6 15.79%
  • Japanese people are able to appreciate some arts or scenes that non-Japanese just cannot

    6 15.79%
  • None of these (but I have never lived in Japan)

    3 7.89%
  • None of these (and I have lived in Japan)

    1 2.63%
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Thread: Survey : which of these statements/opinions have you heard in Japan ?

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Arrow Survey : which of these statements/opinions have you heard in Japan ?

    Just out of curiosity, which of the statements or opinions in the above poll have you heard from at least one Japanese person. It's alright for both Japanese and non-Japanese to vote. However, if you haven't been to Japan and only know a handful of Japanese people, it is better not to vote so as not to false the results.

    Naturally I have heard all of them, otherwise I wouldn't be asking...

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  2. #2
    Hullu RockLee's Avatar
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    I only heard about natto, most foreigners can't eat it, or don't like it cause it smells. The rest of those I never heard before from a Japanese person I know.
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  3. #3
    Banned ricecake's Avatar
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    Japanese think they got up from ashes of WW2 by their own boot-strap.Of-course,take no interest in mentioning both Korean and Vietnam conflicts re-booted Japan's old war-time factories.Japan manufactured low end military supplies like ammunition for America's war efforts in the Far East.

  4. #4
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    I have never personally heard that foreigners can't eat sushi, but I have heard the part about natto.

  5. #5
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockLee
    I only heard about natto, most foreigners can't eat it, or don't like it cause it smells. The rest of those I never heard before from a Japanese person I know.
    The only other one for me would be that most foreigners in the country can't speak Japanese, which is very obviously true by a standard of reasonable fluency when talking with native speakers, complete understanding across a variety of situations (the news, movies, etc) -- in short more than speaking to get by within the military, business, teaching or other typical gaijn positions (excluding short-term visitors).

  6. #6
    Regular Member MeAndroo's Avatar
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    I was fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it) enough to get out of major cities and live in rural areas for short periods. As expected, I found opinions of this nature were more explicitly expressed in areas where foreigner contact is low. I must say, though, that instead of people saying "wow, I didn't think foreigners could use chopsticks," it was more of a "wow, you're so good with chopsticks, you're like a Japanese person." This particular example puzzled me, since Japanese people aren't the only ones who use chopsticks.
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  7. #7
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeAndroo
    I was fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it) enough to get out of major cities and live in rural areas for short periods. As expected, I found opinions of this nature were more explicitly expressed in areas where foreigner contact is low. I must say, though, that instead of people saying "wow, I didn't think foreigners could use chopsticks," it was more of a "wow, you're so good with chopsticks, you're like a Japanese person." This particular example puzzled me, since Japanese people aren't the only ones who use chopsticks.
    Aren't you of Japanese descent ? It must be doubly shocking to hear that from people who could mistake you for a Japanese by looks, and even more if they know you are partially Japanese.

  8. #8
    Regular Member MeAndroo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Aren't you of Japanese descent ? It must be doubly shocking to hear that from people who could mistake you for a Japanese by looks, and even more if they know you are partially Japanese.
    Half Japanese, half Chinese with a Japanese surname. I was indeed mistaken for a native Japanese person on a number of occasions, but if I ever sat to dine with someone, they'd find out right away I was an American. Indeed it was odd, but I chalked it up to them being convinced that Americans use forks almost exclusively (which is true in the majority of cases).

    Being of Asian descent doesn't necessarily imbue you with fluid chopstick ability. A friend of mine is Chinese raised in America (but he speaks English with an accent) and doesn't really know how to use chopsticks. I never understood that, but it happens.

  9. #9
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    I heard from a couple of Japanese students that Western brains work differently and I also heard one of them say something about Japanese anatomy being different from Western anatomy. I found that odd.
    "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."
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  10. #10
    Back leonmarino's Avatar
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    I only filled in the things I have heard directly from Japanese persons. And I must say I haven't heard too much biased views.

    I have heard people on tv say some weird things about the "differences" between Japanese people and foreigners.. "Different brains" is indeed a famous one.

  11. #11
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie
    I heard from a couple of Japanese students that Western brains work differently and I also heard one of them say something about Japanese anatomy being different from Western anatomy. I found that odd.

    Did they say that our brains work differently or did you misunderstand them...I have spoken with several people who said similar things, but when I questioned them further, they actually meant that we think differently (which is true) but not that our brains actually work differently.

  12. #12
    Banned ricecake's Avatar
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    Japanese meant " different mentality ",Western people quite often think " opposition " from us Orientals.

  13. #13
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    Did they say that our brains work differently or did you misunderstand them...I have spoken with several people who said similar things, but when I questioned them further, they actually meant that we think differently (which is true) but not that our brains actually work differently.

    I think I misunderstood them. That would be something I would agree with, Westners do have a different way of thinking.

  14. #14
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Another thing about the farmers/hunters statement. Of course Japanese were farmers...there weren't that many animals to hunt here! It was either farm or fish!

  15. #15
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    I've actually brought up the point before about English grammar being similar to Chinese but was corrected to mean only word order. It is possible to find similarities to both Chinese and Japanese but language discrimination is so nonsensical I suppose I may be missing the point here...

  16. #16
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    All I can say is read the "view poll" results and that should explain a lot.

    There are obviously a number of different Japan's that people are living in.

    Personally, I've heard the natto one....but that is just about it.

  17. #17
    nature's sweet success Alma's Avatar
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    i havent lived , but visited japan for two weeks. two days i spent in host family and openly discussed with them about japan, non-japanese people etc.. also, i meet other japanese people. and i have a few japanese pen pals. and i have two japanese friends here at home.

    but i never heard things like these from them.

  18. #18
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    Another thing about the farmers/hunters statement. Of course Japanese were farmers...there weren't that many animals to hunt here! It was either farm or fish!
    They meant at the same period. However it never happened in history that Japan was farming when all Europe wasn't. Farming reached even the remotest part of Europe (e.g. Ireland) about 6000 years ago. It only reached Japan about 2000 years ago.

    When I heard these statements, I asked them what period of history they were thinking about. They said around Kofun, Yamato or Heian period (medieval times in Europe, well after the fall of the Roman Empire !). They gave me as example the Vikings ! When I asked why they would think the Vikings were hunters and didn't know farming, they said that they had big axes and were barbarians !! The Norse/Viking society had been agricultural for thousands of years before Japan. They weren't barbarians in the way that they developed what is maybe the world's first slave-free democracy. We also owe the Vikings (not the Norse that remained in Scandinavia, but the "brutal savages" that invaded and plundered the rest of Europe) the world's two first parliament (on the Isle of Man and in Iceland).

    I asked them back if the Japanese were hunters until Edo-jidai because the samurai had katana.

    Some people have really no clue about world history. Compared to that hearing some of my (adult) Japanese students say that Napoleon was a medieval knight in armour or that Argentina was an Eastern European country is not even as shocking as it ought to be.

  19. #19
    puzzled gaijin
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    The comments related to thinking versus actual brains is an interesting one. The Japanese have published some books stating that Japanese brains are different.

    One of the few real differences that I am aware of is the common missing enzyme in the liver for processing alcohol which quite a few Japanese seem to have. Of course, some Japanese drink quite a lot and have built up a tolerance, whereas other ones drink a small glass of beer and will have a flushed face and sometimes exhibit symptoms of a drunkard. It seems some Chinese have this same biological trait as well, so it is hardly unique to Japanese, but much more common than in most other countries.

    Another difference is sometimes a higher percentage of double jointed individuals, especially in the wrist and ankle joints. I often see young women here standing with their legs twisted around in positions that I wouldn't try.

  20. #20
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    For those of you who live in Japan, I suggest that you print this poll and ask your Japanese friends which statements they agree or disagree with, and which ones they have heard from other Japanese people. I am sure this is an excellent way of getting to know them better.

  21. #21
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    I got the "wow your good with chopsticks!" and then gawking at me using them kinda reaction but apart from that i didnt get many of those statements in the poll.

  22. #22
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    For those of you who live in Japan, I suggest that you print this poll and ask your Japanese friends which statements they agree or disagree with, and which ones they have heard from other Japanese people. I am sure this is an excellent way of getting to know them better.

    Are you being serious? For someone who became quite irritated with mundane questions I think that you would realize this may indeed prevent you from making friends.

  23. #23
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    Are you being serious? For someone who became quite irritated with mundane questions I think that you would realize this may indeed prevent you from making friends.
    Mundane ? That's a kind of survey. I did ask such things to my students, although not all the same day, but little by little.

    You have to try to be tactful when asking. For instance, to get people to say whether they think that "Chinese people are indoctrinated since their childhood", it is better to raise the topic of the tense relations between Japan and China, the Yasukuni and textbook protests, and ask them why they think that so many Chinese are angry at Japan. It works wonders.

    I heard a lot "English grammar is more similar to Chinese than Japanese" while teaching English and discussing the differences between the languages I know. Of course, if you are not a language teacher or not much into linguistics, your chances of hearing that comment is pretty low.

    Btw, my wife says that she has heard almost all of them. With people you know well, you can just give them the list and ask directly which one they have heard (or said/thought).

  24. #24
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    Most of them don't speak English... so although they want to say that Japanese is difficult, they cannot be sure that it is harder than English. That's the impression that I have been getting

  25. #25
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Maciamo, isn't that what each person who spoke to you was doing? Their own little survey? Yet it ticked you off enough to leave.

    I understand, you are justified in saying it is for research...I think they were too.

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