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Thread: Radical difference between East and West regarding relationships and marriage

  1. #101
    Regular Member Keoland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverpoint
    As you can see the money from our guests is considerably short of paying for the entire wedding (about 1.1 million yen short in fact!). The rest of the money is provided by myself and my fiancee, and both sets of parents. In recognition of the high cost of my entire family coming out to Japan for the wedding, my fiancee's father has insisted that his contribution should be higher. If both sets of parents were Japanese, I don't know for sure what would happen.
    Whaa...?

    Over here, the cheapest of the cheapest weddings (a traditional one, unless you just show up at the civil registry, which isn't a proper wedding at all) is 10,000 euro [1,367,000 yen].

    But that's the lowest! An average wedding - like my cousin's - went up to 20,000 euro (2,734,000 yen) and they go up to 50,000 euro (6,835,000 yen).

    To compensate, the absolute minimum fee a guest has to give is 150 euro (20,500 yen), which is what I give, though it can go up to as high as 500 euro (68,400 yen). So guests effectively pay for the party, as long as you manage to invite enough of them (100-200 is recommended).

    As a comparison of the cost of living, the *average* monthly wage here is 600 euro (82,000 yen).

    So I reckon marrying in Japan is actually quite cheap...

    Regards,
    Keoland

  2. #102
    AmericaFlorida TuskCracker's Avatar
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    Japanese relation to sex

    There is a kind a tacit understanding between spouse that after 10 years of marriage (loveless anyway) and a few children, the man is free to satisfy his libido somewhere else. That is why the sex industry is so prosperous in Japan.

    Male literature in combini is 90% porn and everyone reads it openly (and shamelessly) anywhere. Even serios newspapers have their pink pages. This is just beyound belief for Westerners first visiting Japan.
    In the age of AIDS, isn't this seen as not good. And then the cost of this, hostess bars, and such.
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  3. #103
    __________ budd's Avatar
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    it's just different
    smoking and driving fast cars ain't good neither, but people do it
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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuskCracker
    In the age of AIDS, isn't this seen as not good. And then the cost of this, hostess bars, and such.
    Actually it's total crap. The first poster is living in some kind of fantasy world.

  5. #105
    Regular Member cicatriz esp's Avatar
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    Ah, so wedding presents are not required to be given, then. Thanks for clearing that up, it makes more sense now.

    And actually, in the west there is the concept of "registries" so the couple doesn't get a whole bunch of useless stuff they then have to sell on ebay.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keoland
    So I reckon marrying in Japan is actually quite cheap...
    Yes it is. It was one of the factors in our decision to get married in Japan. An equivalent wedding in London where I'm from would cost probably 3 or 4 times as much.

  7. #107
    Seeing is believing Minty's Avatar
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    Another great topic Maciamo!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Reason for marriage
    Japan : Children => with or without love is not very important. Lots of marriage are still arranged ("miai") and some Japanese think that it's better than love marriage because loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce as the purpose is to have and raise children, and for the woman often to quit working and care about the household. Japanese men often look down on women at work, but are usually ready to ask them to stay at home and pay for their expenses, even if their salary is tight. As the father of a child born outside marriage is not legally recognised, the marriage rate of parents is close to 100%.
    This is quite similar to Chinese.

    Japanese family relationships
    Even in love marriages, once a woman has a baby, her husband regards her as a mother, not a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end. The new mother is said to lose completely interest in her husband anyway (this may not be true in international couples, from what I've heard).
    In most families, children sleep with both parents or just the mother. The the latter case, the father has his own room. I've been told that this way he wouldn't wake his wife and children up when he comes back late from work.
    Sleeping with the child(ren) in the middle of the parents is so common in Japan that Japanese and a special name for it, a comparison it to the kanji 川 (kawa = river). Children might sleep with their parents till age 3, 5, 8, 12 or even 16, depending on the family, number of children and space in the house.
    Well Chinese men regard his wife as a mother after their child is born but the difference is he also still sees her as his women. Some Chinese children sleep with their mothers too but not as old as 16.

    Western reaction to children sleeping with parents
    Westerners find for the least surprising that children sleep everyday with their parents (especially till age 12 or later !). They should not forget that on top of this it is normal in Japan for a father to have a bath with his children, even 20 year-old girls ! I guess that if the average Japanese man loses interest in his wife once she becomes a mother, there is no problem with children either.
    That's culture shock to me!

    I've heard a lot that Westerners would be afraid of crushing their new-born baby by sleeping in the same bed, but I was told that it never happened (of all mamals, only male sealions and pandas sometime crush their babies to death when sleeping with them, but never humans would it seem). The good point of the mother sleeping with the baby is that the baby doesn't cry because it feels secure near its mother and has a unexhaustable warm-milk bottle at its disposal. I've read that it was better for babies to be breastfed than drink other milk. That system definitely has its advantages.
    Actually my husband's mother slept with her new born children and grandchildren down stairs because they were so noisy, and annoyed the men of the house. Yes, she is European.

    Another concern is that the parents lose their privacy and can't have sex anymore - unless doing it in front of the child, which is a kind of taboo in the Judeo-Christian mindset. As Japanese parents stop having sex regularily after their children are born, that isn't a problem.
    For international couples who do continue, I was told little babies can sleep very well even with the parents doing whatever they please right beside them. But they should have their own room from age 3 or 4 then.
    Finally, lots of Westerners think it might cause psychological problems to the children to sleep with their parents. But Japanese do it and seem to be alright with it. The only drawback I can think of is the independence factor. Japanese are very group-minded and usually have difficulty thinking by themselves. It may be related.
    That's why Japanese people are very attached to their parents and are kiddie. The Taiwanese seems to be also like that, but not so sure about loosing interest in the sex thing though.

    Why do Japanese women stop working when they get married or pregnant ?
    1) It's in the culture like that. They usually want to. Most Westerners think they are forced to quit, but they often resigned from their own will (or from what society has inculcated them). Japanese men also prefer that their wife stay at home once married. Women almost always want to spend as much time as they can with their babies (remember J-girls like what is "kawaii" ? The connection is evident).
    2) Nursery schools are few and very expensive in Japan (I've heard about 200.000 yen/month). It make more sense for the mother to stay at home than work and pay almost all her salary for the nursery. In most Western countries, nurseries and kindergartens are free, which allows lots of mothers to work.
    3) Paternity leaves don't exist in Japan, and (paid) maternity leave are not encouraged.
    I think it's the same in Chinese. (Not sure about the mainland)

    Japanese relation to sex
    There is a kind a tacit understanding between spouse that after 10 years of marriage (loveless anyway) and a few children, the man is free to satisfy his libido somewhere else. That is why the sex industry is so prosperous in Japan.
    Male literature in combini is 90% porn and everyone reads it openly (and shamelessly) anywhere. Even serios newspapers have their pink pages. This is just beyound belief for Westerners first visiting Japan.
    Japanese men who miss talking to young and cute girls (or not so young and not so cute, depending on the price and place) go to hostess bars or "snack" after work. Nothing much happens there except dirty talk. Those who want to go more carnal have the soaplands and massage parlours, but Asian men's testosterone level is reputedly lower than Caucasian or African men, so they are often satisfied with just talking, watching - and groping...
    Yes I supposed so, when I was dating my husband (boyfriend at the time) my Asian counterparts asked me whether "Western men are very sexual?" Also for Chinese it is possible to be boyfriend/girlfriend without sexual relationship but my husband said over here if people say they are boy/girl friend that means they have sexual relationship.

    There is also the infamous "enjo kosai" or teenage prostitution. I'd like to say that for lots of Japanese (or East Asian) women, this isn't even considered as prostitution. Many find it normal to have sex with a man that pays them whatever they want. Remember that marriage is not much more than a man giving almosy all his salary to a woman to make children and take care of them. It suely sounds utterly shocking to lots of you, but after talking to (female) Japanese and other Asian friends I know quite well, they don't even see it as abnormal. It's in the mores, that's all. That doesn't mean Japanese women cheat more, but lots of them certainly consider money as more important than love or sex (which I find very saddening).
    I have seen Japanese drama that reflects this. This is why Japanese girls have sexual experiences much earlier than Chinese girls. I wonder when you say Asian friends where in Asia are they from. Yes a lot of Asians are materialistic.

    Behind this, I've realised that cuteness (the kawaii factor) iss very powerful in Japanese women's mentality. They like babies, cute anime characters and cute clothes more than anything else, it seems. Men have an obsessive care about their job and status. My impression is that this stereotype works as well for Korea and China, if not also South-East Asia.
    Divorce and charge of the children
    Yes most Chinese women like cute babies too; this is one of the reasons why many Chinese have many children.

    In 95% of cases in Japan, the woman gets the exclusive charge of the children. It only seems natural as the father often don't really care about them. He comes back late from work and rarely take part in their education. After a divorce, it's not normal for the father to just forget about his offsprings. He doesn't care very much. That's the mother's role to care for them.
    That's how my family works too. Why you think I often say that as a Sino Malaysian instead of having Sino Malaysian accent when I speak Mandarin I have Taiwanese accent instead.

    That might sound crude again to some Westerners, as in the West parents sometimes fight bitterly over the charge of their children, and in peaceful cases, it's usual to find arrangement such as the children stay one week with the mother, next week with the father, or, weekdays at the mother's and weekends at the father's. Anyway, lots of father would feel terrible not to see their children regularily. (see the thread about children abduction on this regard).
    Hmmm, I think it depends on the family. I do know Western families where the males don't like children it's the females who want them.

  8. #108
    The Original Seven Nana007's Avatar
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    Western reaction to children sleeping with parents
    Westerners find for the least surprising that children sleep everyday with their parents (especially till age 12 or later !).
    By western do you mean Caucasian? African American children tend to sleep in the bed with their parents. Although with married/dating couples the child tends to stop sleeping in the bed around 3/4. But children with a single mother tend to sleep in the bed for a bit longer. I myself had my own bedroom since I was 5. But for the most part I slept in the bed with my mom until I was 12. It really wasn't until I became a teenager and wanted to be independent that I really started to sleep in my own room, and even then when I was sick or maybe scared I would climb in her bed. The same thing with my little cousin she slept with her mom until she was 13. I notice the same trend amoung some hispanic groups.

    Also as far as bathing goes, Its not okay with the male parent, but until about 5 its okay for a child to take a bath with the mother.

  9. #109
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty
    I think it's the same in Chinese. (Not sure about the mainland)
    The mainland is different. Don't know about the countryside, but in the cities there is easy access to nursery schools & such (though it's not necessarily cheap). Many women work again after they had their child.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nana007
    Also as far as bathing goes, Its not okay with the male parent, but until about 5 its okay for a child to take a bath with the mother.
    Why not with the father?

  10. #110
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    For the reference of more recent viewers to this thread, do remember japan is a different country with different values, especially to love and relationships not tied to a christian pounded in sense that sex is somehow sinful and dirty.
    Also Maciamo is now well known by his own admittance to have not liked living in Japan, he has proclaimed to have lived in many different countries.
    Im not sure which but by his dislike of Japan i would assume their mostly if not entirely western/european countries.
    Finally Japan is just one of those love-hate things like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it.

    Also as far as bathing goes, Its not okay with the male parent, but until about 5 its okay for a child to take a bath with the mother.
    For reference again, this is because western society of late has effectively cast all men as sexual predators who given half a chance would prey on the innocence and purity of virgins, and children or anything else they can stick their dick into.

  11. #111
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nurizeko
    Im not sure which but by his dislike of Japan i would assume their mostly if not entirely western/european countries.
    I wouldn't call it a general dislike of Japan. If that were so, he wouldn't have tried to assimilate as he did.

    Finally Japan is just one of those love-hate things like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it.
    There is always something in between. I, for example.

    For reference again, this is because western society of late has effectively cast all men as sexual predators who given half a chance would prey on the innocence and purity of virgins, and children or anything else they can stick their dick into.
    Luckily it's not as bad yet in Germany. The US seems a horrible place in that regard. What's it like in Britain, nowadays? I know that there was this hysteria some years ago, but I thought that has died down.

  12. #112
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    The main issue in britain is pedophilia, if your remotely suspected of being a pedophile you can bet your neighbourhood will rise up and protest outside your house, effectively pedophiles in britain are the modern witch, it's less about you being genuinly guilty, just the mere taint of an accusation is treated as fact, and your existance immediately relegated to the catagory of sub-human.

    Rape and sexual harrassment social attitudes seem about normal for europe, in britain, britain isnt as bad as America in those regards.

    But yeah, never accuse a friend even joknigly of being a pedophile here.

    You know that thing where sometimes young kids show each other their nether regions?, its a rare and silly/embarrassing event for the parents but otherwise i'de considor it a harmless exploration of themselves (since they have no idea of sexuality at that age)...we've had people go ape-sh** over it as if somehow a carnal sin against human decency has been committed.

  13. #113
    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    While on the topic, there's a book entitled "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex"

    This book was published in the US and it did cause a great deal of controversy. But this book raises the issue that children can have or better yet, teenagers sexual desires. The issue about protecting children from things like nudity, but the raises the question as to what society is really protecting children from.
    "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)

  14. #114
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    I found this topic pretty stupid...Girls bathing with their own father at the age of 20???? I wouldn't say non-existent, but very unlikely..I think this is what Maciamo wants..Too much porno, or something..??

  15. #115
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    osias, maciamo again, by his own admittance, didnt like japan, i personally feel he made wildly generalising statements about it, took things out of context or exhagirated them.

    maciamo's cool, and has many good posts otherwise.

  16. #116
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nurizeko
    osias, maciamo again, by his own admittance, didnt like japan, i personally feel he made wildly generalising statements about it, took things out of context or exhagirated them.
    I think it belongs to me to decide whether I like Japan or not. In fact, I do like Japan. Japan is one of my favourite countries outside Western Europe. I love Japanese food, I like many things about traditional and modern Japanese culture.

    What bothered me about Japan is the way Japanese do not differentiate much between foreigners from every country and have such strong stereotypes and prejudices against anything that is not Japanese (in very broad lines, I don't want to explain the details again). I also dislike Japanese politicians, and complained a lot about the relatively poor standard of living compared to what I was used to in Europe. But otherwise I do like many things about Japan. I just wouldn't live there anymore.

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  17. #117
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    Guess Maciamo made his point by this, and by many other posts about his opinion, so leave the guy alone about this!

  18. #118
    ┣¨キ(*゚д゚*)┣¨キ meverieJp's Avatar
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    somewhat sounds true to some extent, but on the whole over-generalized.
    Note: when I say Westerners here, it means Europeans and all those immigrants of the other countries who are originated from Europe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Lots of marriage are still arranged ("miai") and some Japanese think that it's better than love marriage because loveless arranged marriage rarely end up in divorce as the purpose is to have and raise children, and for the woman often to quit working and care about the household.
    I'm not so sure what kind of resource this is based on but according to the statistics of National Institute of Poppulation and Social Security Recearch, which took place in 2002, only 7.6% of the marriage out of 6949 couples are arranged marriages.
    However, I suspect that all the Japanese, not to mention the rest of the world, are genuinely choosing their spouse only for what you might call "love" as seen in trophy wives and gold diggers everywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Even in love marriages, once a woman has a baby, her husband regards her as a mother, not a woman anymore, which means their sexual life comes to an end.
    pretty much sounds true. some J-guy seem to think marriage is a kind of opportunity to show how responsible he can be with family to the society. (course, it's not all about that though.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Children might sleep with their parents till age 3, 5, 8, 12 or even 16, depending on the family, number of children and space in the house.
    Western reaction to children sleeping with parents
    Westerners find for the least surprising that children sleep everyday with their parents (especially till age 12 or later !)
    I reckon the 16 years old case is an extreme one. I've also found a statistics which says 1/3 of British adult male under 36 are sleeping in the same room of their moms, which would be, of course, with no privacy.
    I assume this would be also a matter of the space in a house.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    They should not forget that on top of this it is normal in Japan for a father to have a bath with his children, even 20 year-old girls !
    I reckon bathing with a 20 year old is entirely an extreme case. It even sounds like me saying "Don't forget they European have sexual intercourse with animals even if he is not a navy!". Well, This survey in 2000 shows the percentage of it. As for the girls, the first is 10 years old in 23.9%, 9 years old comes for the 2nd in 11.32%, and the 3rd is for 6 & 8 years old in 9.43%. As for the total, 10 years old is the first. It includes bathing with the same sex parent so bathing with opposite sex parent is expected to be lower than that.

    I'd say that because the most Westerners don't have the habit of bathing with other people, it would sound unacceptable to have a bath with family members. Most Japanese would consider bathing with family members as a place to communicate for mutual affinity, singing together, playing hand games, talking about daily life etc.. And in old style public bath houses, it used to be a good place to deepen social friendship with non-family members and for kids to learn social manners from them. As you can see in the expression "Hadaka no tsukiai--skin to skin communication", which means "while naked, one can feel like speaking openly as they have nothing to hide". There was a time that we didn't have to worry about those possible perverts out there. But today, I wouldn't put my child in a bath of the opposite sex.

    Incidentally, some Finnish people enjoy sauna naked with family as well as with others in public ones.
    Moreover, given the existence of the nude beaches in Europe, this "even 20 year-old girls !" even sounds like a theatrical reaction.
    * Why are they jogging only with a tank top on without wearing bra in public while bouncing their breasts, by the way? expecting to distract guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Why do Japanese women stop working when they get married or pregnant ?
    1) It's in the culture like that. They usually want to. Most Westerners think they are forced to quit, but they often resigned from their own will
    Japanese men often look down on women at work, but are usually ready to ask them to stay at home and pay for their expenses, even if their salary is tight.
    Looking down on women at work would be true save for those relatively new companies such as venture companies. According to the statistics of NIPSSR, over 90% of Japanese women want their husband to understand and cooperate with their work. And the percentage of those who consider being a house wife as their ideal life course is 19% and the rest wants to work.
    I assume this idea is more likely based on the Japanese men's fantasy or that of the women's taking advantage of it. Incidentally, this notion of house wife system originally came from America. I think Japanese marriage life is more codependent on its mind-set, of which they might deem it as love.

    Well, I'd write more later as I still have something to say, but I'll put a period for now since it's long enough. And no offence, I would like you to be more careful when you use "lots of them", "most of them" or something to that effect without raising any objective stats if it's based on just those who you met with since it bothers me as much as you do when you are generalized with "most gaijins are yak yak yak". I dislike it to be honest.

  19. #119
    ┣¨キ(*゚д゚*)┣¨キ meverieJp's Avatar
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    Well, sequel of the previous post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Japanese relation to sex
    There is a kind a tacit understanding between spouse that after 10 years of marriage (loveless anyway) and a few children, the man is free to satisfy his libido somewhere else.
    I'm not sure about individual's sex life but this sounds somewhat true although as far as people around me are concerned, the sex industry part is not applied unless obliged to hostess bars or snack bars for a social obligation. And they all are very cooperative with taking care of kids. I've also heard this American joke which sarcasticly describes their relented sex life after the marriage from men's point of view. So I assumed that the issue concerned with declined sex drive after the marriage is happening in the states.
    As for women, it's normal to have a decreased sex drive after giving birth and I often find those Westerners suffering with this problem. Given the fact, I'm not so sure how Western men are taking care of that amount of libido. Just dreaming of a sexual intercourse with porn movies..? haha. Most likely would just switch the partner, I suppose.

    And I've found this interesting survey. It shows clearly the difference of the desire degree between the ethnic groups. Westerners put much priority on sex than Asians do and it would prove their instinctive physical characteristics, life styles and the mind-sets. Japanese seem to like more sleep, sports and hanging out with friends rather than sex. Chinese put more priority on watching TV while Indians and Mexicans seem to focus on work (probably cause their countries are in an industrial boom). I find it interesting that champagne and chocolate are there as the answers.

    And here is a world comparison of frequency of sex and its degree of satisfaction.
    Be it married or not, Asian sex frequency is much lower than Westerners, which I think is because of the biological characteristics.
    Belgium is the top runner in terms of the the degree of satisfaction while Croatia comes first in its frequency. You'll see Japan painfully has a certain problem here far behind the rest of the world although is slightly better than China in respect of its satisfaction.

    This shows the world percentage of one night affairs, pretended orgasms, virtual sex and paid-sex etc..
    As for one night affair, Icelander, Norwegian, Finnish and Australian have good scores amongst Western countries while Vietnamese comes first amongst all. But as for developing countries, you'd have to take prostitutes into account. Relatively, Australians, Americans, New Zealanders, Canadians, Icelanders and Brits seem to play pretended orgasms. And Brits, Americans and Canadians all seem to like having virtual sex.

    And from my small personal experience, I have a feeling that Western men tend to be more ardent to practical sexual research than Japanese guys and have less pride in asking her wish of it. I however don't say that sex is all about love.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Male literature in combini is 90% porn and everyone reads it openly (and shamelessly) anywhere. Even serios newspapers have their pink pages. This is just beyound belief for Westerners first visiting Japan.
    I am not so sure about the accuracy of the rate -- though I can agree its a high rate. That said, I despise this part of Japan culture either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    There is also the infamous "enjo kosai" or teenage prostitution. I'd like to say that for lots of Japanese (or East Asian) women, this isn't even considered as prostitution. Many find it normal to have sex with a man that pays them whatever they want.
    I'd have to say this is too much generalization. Who are those "lots of/many" J-women? Those corrupted 4.4% of Joshi kousei..? And to be accurate, the definition of the word "Enjo kosai" is vague since some people deem it includes paid-dating without sexual intercourse. When you mean prostitution it has to be defined in the term "Uri".
    Well, as far as J-women around me are concerned, none of them would consider "Uri" like it's never prostitution. As for prostitution as an industry, there is a movement by some feminists to make it a legal system like some European countries so that they can administrate more easily with the improvement of sanitation. (Note: this is NOT for "uri" of the minors, of course.)
    So I assert the "alot of" should be applied to those pathetic J-guys encouraging their sexual disorder because I know the stats of the men who have experienced prostitution is high (13.6 %) followed by Spain (11%) compared to the others and I know a stats that says about 75 % of the high school girls were asked for "Enjo kosai" by those immoral guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    It's in the mores, that's all. That doesn't mean Japanese women cheat more, but lots of them certainly consider money as more important than love or sex (which I find very saddening).
    I would consider a man who even can't make a living just for himself without making any effort as a looser. I also wouldn't dream of having my parent buy me a car, a house, any of those materialistic things so I would never get along with this kind of guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Behind this, I've realised that cuteness (the kawaii factor) iss very powerful in Japanese women's mentality. They like babies, cute anime characters and cute clothes more than anything else, it seems.
    well, I don't like any of those save for a certain level of anime such as Jinro.

    And as for weddings, I had a typical one only once before as a MC for "Nijikai" but haven't attended neither any weddings nor of receptions because I find it quite wasteful. The only party I attended was all treated by the couple including some game events and gifts. All I brought was a bouquet. Most of them even didn't ask me to come since I had repeatedly told them in advance that I would't be afford it. But this is not the end of the world since we still are friends.

  20. #120
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meverieJp
    I'm not so sure what kind of resource this is based on but according to the statistics of National Institute of Poppulation and Social Security Recearch, which took place in 2002, only 7.6% of the marriage out of 6949 couples are arranged marriages.
    When I got married in Japan, I wasn't asked by the town hall if it was a love marriage or an arranged marriage. I guess 99% of the people were never asked, and even if they were asked, they don't have to tell the truth. So how would that National Institute of Population and Social Security Recearch know ? About half of the Japanese I personally know who got married while I was in Japan got to know their partner through a o-miai, marriage agency or introduced through a parent (typically, the mother looking for a good husband for her 30-year old daughter). Even if the man and woman like each others, if they got to know each others through a kind of set-up, and needed their family approval to get married, then it is an arranged marriage in my eyes.
    FYI, my parents didn't meet my wife's parents before we got married on paper, and neither did we really need our parents' approval to get married. My wife is Japanese, but few Japanese would marry without asking their parents (or esp. without the husband-to-be asking his future in-laws) and without both families agreeing first. I hope this helps see the cultural gap between Japan and the West.
    I reckon the 16 years old case is an extreme one.
    Maybe (although it is somebody I know very well), but I actually asked most of the Japanese people I knew, and they almost all slept with their parents/mother until the age of 6 to 12. In Western countries, a typically child receives its own room immediately after being born, or no later than age 3.
    I've also found a statistics which says 1/3 of British adult male under 36 are sleeping in the same room of their moms, which would be, of course, with no privacy.
    I assume this would be also a matter of the space in a house.
    Do you sincerely believe that ? First of all, your "statistics site" about the UK is an non-official website in Japanese. Then I have NEVER heard of any adult or even teenager sleeping in their parents' room in Western Europe. In fact, all the people I know have had their own room (or shared with a sibling if they come from a big or poorer family) since their were babies or toddlers.
    As for the girls, the first is 10 years old in 23.9%, 9 years old comes for the 2nd in 11.32%, and the 3rd is for 6 & 8 years old in 9.43%. As for the total, 10 years old is the first. It includes bathing with the same sex parent so bathing with opposite sex parent is expected to be lower than that.
    Where I come from, bathing with a parent (same sex or not) is ok until 4 or 5 years old.
    I'd say that because the most Westerners don't have the habit of bathing with other people, it would sound unacceptable to have a bath with family members.
    That highly depends on the country and culture in the West. German-speakers and Finnish people are much more like the Japanese in this regard (Russians too I think).
    Most Japanese would consider bathing with family members as a place to communicate for mutual affinity, singing together, playing hand games, talking about daily life etc.. And in old style public bath houses, it used to be a good place to deepen social friendship with non-family members and for kids to learn social manners from them. As you can see in the expression "Hadaka no tsukiai--skin to skin communication", which means "while naked, one can feel like speaking openly as they have nothing to hide".
    I know. That is what I was explaining in my article. Big cultural difference for me ! I wouldn't even let my parents, sister or male friends (at school) see me naked for 2 seconds since I was about 6 years old ! I can only let a girl see me naked if she is my girlfriend/wife.
    It's interesting to see how privacy is perceived so differently by people. My wife gets really upset if I check her email or mobile phone messages, while I don't care if she sees mine. But I would be very upset if someone else than her (even a relative or friend) saw me naked, even at an onsen (that's why I hate onsen, except if it's a private bath inside the room). I was shocked to see adults walk nude in the fitness club or swimming pool's changing room in Japan. In Belgium, swimming pools have individual changing rooms. Not even two family members (except children or couples) would go into the same one ! Funny to see that our German neigbours are much more like the Japanese regarding nudity.
    Moreover, given the existence of the nude beaches in Europe, this "even 20 year-old girls !" even sounds like a theatrical reaction.
    That's a minority of people (naturists, a kind of offshoot from the hippies, who believe that we should go back to living like at the prehistoric age when there was only nature unchanged by human civilisation), and it is only allowed only in some countries, and some particular beaches.
    * Why are they jogging only with a tank top on without wearing bra in public while bouncing their breasts, by the way? expecting to distract guys?
    That's it. How comes that Japanese can see each other nude at onsen, but not be topless on the beach ?
    And the percentage of those who consider being a house wife as their ideal life course is 19% and the rest wants to work.
    Funny, my wife WANTS to be a housewife, and so do 90% of her friends. They think it's so much more fun and easier when the husbands pays for everything and they just have to do things they like : cooking, shopping and taking care of cute babies. From what I have understood in 4 years in Japan is that the ideal of over half of the Japanese women (in Tokyo) is to be a bourgeoise who doesn't have to work because her husbands earns enough money. Guess that the people in your survey were not the same kind of people as my wife and her friends.
    And no offence, I would like you to be more careful when you use "lots of them", "most of them" or something to that effect without raising any objective stats if it's based on just those who you met with since it bothers me as much as you do when you are generalized with "most gaijins are yak yak yak".
    This is based on a serious 4-year research carried out everyday I spent in Japan "interviewing" people about their opinion on marriage and many other things. Yes, it is based on a limited sample (only a few hundreds people) of the Japanese population, and mostly in the 20 to 35 years old section, and only in Tokyo. But they represent the young generation of today, people that are in the age of getting married (and I did attend several Japanese weddings with my wife), and Tokyo is a melting pot of people from all parts of Japan. So I believe it is a quite representative sample.

    One of the reason you just cannot say "gaijins are like this or that" is that "gaijin" means any "non Japanese person", so the speakers of one of the world's 3000 languages (=cultural group), each with a different cultural values and lifestyles. Even talking only about Westerners as a whole is quite difficult given the numerous differrences between Western countries.

  21. #121
    Seeing is believing Minty's Avatar
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    I think people are a bit hard on Maciamo, people can like certain aspects of a country and dislike other aspects. But maybe I can understand his point of views and don’t think they are offensive (even when he talks negative things to do with Chinese) are because my husband is French.

    I supposed French native speakers share some form of common grounds in their views and I am used to that.

    I also want to say that in my years of internet experiences this forum is one of the most decent forums I have been to.

    FYI, my parents didn't meet my wife's parents before we got married on paper, and neither did we really need our parents' approval to get married. My wife is Japanese, but few Japanese would marry without asking their parents (or esp. without the husband-to-be asking his future in-laws) and without both families agreeing first. I hope this helps see the cultural gap between Japan and the West.
    I didn’t exactly ask for my parent’s approval, but my parents are very open-minded. I think for many Chinese families you need to. I did however bring him back to let my parents look at him before I married the guy.

    Where I come from, bathing with a parent (same sex or not) is ok until 4 or 5 years old.
    Well in Chinese families we take our own baths once we are eligible, only babies and young toddler take baths with their carers or mummies.

    It's interesting to see how privacy is perceived so differently by people. My wife gets really upset if I check her email or mobile phone messages, while I don't care if she sees mine.
    Well I get upset too if my husband reads my emails or checks my messages without my permission. But I think he also doesn’t like me reading his stuff without his permission, but of course since I don’t like people doing that to me I naturally don’t do it to them neither.

    Funny, my wife WANTS to be a housewife, and so do 90% of her friends. They think it's so much more fun and easier when the husbands pays for everything and they just have to do things they like : cooking, shopping and taking care of cute babies. From what I have understood in 4 years in Japan is that the ideal of over half of the Japanese women (in Tokyo) is to be a bourgeoise who doesn't have to work because her husbands earns enough money. Guess that the people in your survey were not the same kind of people as my wife and her friends.
    Most Taiwanese or Malaysian Chinese women like to be housewives and expect their husbands to work too. HK and SG women on the other hand like to work, and dislike staying home to have babies. That’s one of the reasons why they have serious birth decline problem.

    One of the reason you just cannot say "gaijins are like this or that" is that "gaijin" means any "non Japanese person", so the speakers of one of the world's 3000 languages (=cultural group), each with a different cultural values and lifestyles. Even talking only about Westerners as a whole is quite difficult given the numerous differrences between Western countries.
    The Taiwanese seem to have the same ideology of gaijin as Japanese, they think they are Americans; they all can speak English, some think French can only speak French but definitely cannot speak English. They think European clothes between each European nation are the same, they think all European pastries are the same, and they can’t make any distinction between each nation's things… (Mind you, this is not counting Taiwanese who have lived in foreign countries or the ones who can speak English and have experiences with Westerners).

    Yes, it's like saying all Asians eat is rice.

  22. #122
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty
    I didn’t exactly ask for my parent’s approval, but my parents are very open-minded. I think for many Chinese families you need to. I did however bring him back to let my parents look at him before I married the guy.
    Well, my wife also met my family, and I met hers before we got married. It's just that both families didn't meet before. I think it's more important for me, rather than my family, to know her family and decide whether it's ok to get married. My feelings is that in Japan many people somehow wants their family to decide for them (need approval), while in the West there is some kind of devolution of the decision power to the children getting married. I suppose this could be because Western countries are more individualistic, and people prefer deciding all by themselves (esp. French, Italian and English speakers).

    Well in Chinese families we take our own baths once we are eligible, only babies and young toddler take baths with their carers or mummies.
    Here too. But parents like to supervise small children (till 4 or 5 years old), who might slip and drown or do stupid things (e.g. empty the whole bottle of foaming soap) in the bath.

    Yes, it's like saying all Asians eat is rice.
    And so do all Europeans. And all people in the world drink water. (no I am not generalising, this is an absolute truth !)

  23. #123
    Heimin
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    ''Radical difference between East and West regarding relationships and marriage''

    I don't think there's much an ''East'' and a ''West'' thing regarding relationships and marriage.

    there's huge differences between countries in the ''West'' and huge differences between countries in the ''East''.

    Dutch culture is very different from Italian culture, Italian men behave different from Dutch men in relationships like Whoa (I like Italian culture more).
    I think Italian and Korean men have more in common, in terms of flirting, than Italian and Dutch.

  24. #124
    ┣¨キ(*゚д゚*)┣¨キ meverieJp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    When I got married in Japan, I wasn't asked by the town hall if it was a love marriage or an arranged marriage.
    The Japanese government CENSUS was probably taken while doing a National survey, as it is not customary of the government to check if it was arranged or not at the time of marriage. So of course, you weren't asked.

    even if they were asked, they don't have to tell the truth. So how would that National Institute of Population and Social Security Recearch know ?
    In that case, you wouldn't be able to rely on any stats in this world including all of yours in your posts. It's a census that a number of newspapers/publishers/organizations/enterprises etc. would consult.
    At least, I suppose it's more reliable than your "a lot of", "many" etc. because it's evenly carried out across the country, above all, unswayed by one's bent.

    Even if the man and woman like each others, if they got to know each others through a kind of set-up, and needed their family approval to get married, then it is an arranged marriage in my eyes.
    Even if they got to know through the friends/siblings? as long as a person goes to see the partner's parents for the approval, are they all arranged marriages..?
    That's very uncommon definition of arranged marriage. For me it's as irresponsible as saying, "Gaijin = American". At least, when it deviates from the common usage, you should raise your own definition in the first post. We should be careful of over generalisation or our posts will come across as half-baked.

    About half of the Japanese I personally know who got married while I was in Japan got to know their partner through a o-miai, marriage agency or introduced through a parent (typically, the mother looking for a good husband for her 30-year old daughter).
    Uh..huh.. So now the "Lots of" in your first post for this group has declined to "About half of"? Why is it so "flexible"? That's why I find it over-exaggerated.

    I know the climate that parents get anxious about the daughter's marriage when she reaches around the big three-O and some would rush the daughter to the marriage (for their own sake). But I've NEVER seen what we call o-miai marriage (marriage through the parent/agency etc.) let alone forced marriage in over 30 year life in Tokyo, save for my 96 year old grandma. My folks got to know each other through work, school, friends, sports club etc..
    Even so I do not think that a dating or marriage service equals an arranged marriage, as this is just a business of introducing people.

    FYI, this stats based on the census shows how they got to know each other.
    the percentage of 2000 and later as follows:

    from school ---------------------------------------- 9.3%
    from work ----------------------------------------- 30.1%
    through friends/siblings ---------------------------- 31.1%
    from downtown/trip --------------------------------- 6.1%
    from after-school job/casual staff ------------------- 4.9%
    through arranged (through someone took care of it) -- 6.4%
    through marriage agency ---------------------------- 0.7%

    Japanese people I knew, and they almost all slept with their parents/mother until the age of 6 to 12.
    確かに一般的に新生児や幼児のうちは放置しないだろう と思います。12歳は、私にも奇妙に思えるけど。 In general, I would suggest that the high rate is due more to the lack of living space than out of choice or custom.

    FYI, my parents didn't meet my wife's parents before we got married on paper, and neither did we really need our parents' approval to get married. My wife is Japanese, but few Japanese would marry without asking their parents (or esp. without the husband-to-be asking his future in-laws) and without both families agreeing first. I hope this helps see the cultural gap between Japan and the West.
    Not surprising, I'm in the process on the same course as yours. My parent doesn't mind so much about it unless it bothers her life. My father has since passed away but I can assure you he wouldn't mind it either. I haven't met my guy's family yet although he is hoping me to do so. As for my friends, it was more like self-introduction for each other just to say "From now on, I am your step son/daughter/parent. Hope we will have a good time together". This may be because most of them were long term relationship so they knew each other on the dating stage.

    Nevertheless, I know the people who adopt that kind of approval system exist here as well as America/Canada/England and some other countries. I suppose it would be applied more to cloistered girls/princess type(i.e. probably wealthy) brought up carefully with conservative family.

    your "statistics site" about the UK is an non-official website in Japanese.
    That's my misuse. I meant statistics site = site with figures(数字).
    Yes, it's written in Japanese, so what? It even sounds like language discrimination as it is an article of a British writer of London.
    And what exactly determines if it's "official" or not? If you say it's unreliable because it's "non-official", it means your personal story here would be just a two-bob watch since it's not "official".
    I assumed it would be at least more dependable as it's about her own country (expected to be less subjective as it's not good thing for them), publicized through an enterprise (expected to be more responsible) and comes with the figures. The words such as "most", "many" and something like that can be swayed favorably by one's personal feelings like you did yourself above. I'm not saying you mustn't put your opinion/experience, it's a matter of violation against all of those cultural identities you mentioned in the first post.

    Big cultural difference for me ! I wouldn't even let my parents, sister or male friends (at school) see me naked for 2 seconds since I was about 6 years old ! I can only let a girl see me naked if she is my girlfriend/wife.
    I know the difference and respect your being shocked. But to me, it's not either a big deal nor something I should make a fuss about even though I know some people like jogging without bra. As for this, I may be in a neutral position.

    That's it. How comes that Japanese can see each other nude at onsen, but not be topless on the beach ?
    Whoa! Please don't flip my question. That's what I am asking here. OK, I'll rephrase it for you; How come are you making a fuss about it while knowing that kind of people exist in Europe?
    What do you say to the German/Finnish culture regarding nudity?

    Funny, my wife WANTS to be a housewife, and so do 90% of her friends. They think it's so much more fun and easier when the husbands pays for everything and they just have to do things they like : cooking, shopping and taking care of cute babies.
    I strongly feel there is a big gulf lying between the people you met with and that of the people I know...
    I'm guessing the folks you speak of, were brought up in conservative family, so the mother is most likely a house wife and the father is a salary man, in the upper or upper-middle class.
    I DO NOT like housework and child-rearing. Shopping may be but I seldom spend money for shopping unless it's for books, something educational, movies or traveling. I however may find my baby adorable because it's mine!
    I'd say this is a case of "Like draws to like". I know that kind of people you met with exist, whereas most of my people are working, some are working while raising kids, and one of their hubbies is doing house work and managing her salary while working and she seems socially successful.
    And Even if they want to be a house wife, I don't think it's bad thing to like housework and child-care. far better than abusing one's own child(ren). I often wonder how many mothers would take advantage of baby-sitting service if it were sufficiently affordable and secure. As I sometimes see those mothers who suffer with themselves unable to feel affection for their babies or/and get support from the spouse/folks feel it ever so burdensome.

    From what I have understood in 4 years in Japan is that the ideal of over half of the Japanese women (in Tokyo) is to be a bourgeoisie who doesn't have to work because her husbands earns enough money.
    To be a bourgeoisie..? Rather, most of the people you met with would be in the upper or upper-middle class already, since those who can afford eikaiwa lessons tend to be more affluent. I assume those kind of people wouldn't want to lower their living standard by having a leach as a companion.

    Guess that the people in your survey were not the same kind of people as my wife and her friends.
    I doubt the 6949 couples were "chosen ones", but I 100% agree to the fact there are different kinds of groups in this society, and it's possible that they might have missed the survey.

    One of the reason you just cannot say "gaijins are like this or that" is that "gaijin" means any "non Japanese person", so the speakers of one of the world's 3000 languages (=cultural group), each with a different cultural values and lifestyles. Even talking only about Westerners as a whole is quite difficult given the numerous differrences between Western countries.
    I'm not denying your limited experience in Tokyo but there are 33375 people in Japan only for the 20-35 section. That's a lot of different viewpoints. And a person in a city or countryside, OSAKA or TOKYO etc, will all have various cultural differences too. My point here is you are contradicting yourself by over-generalising the people, describing as if it's all about Japan/East vs West while basing it only on the small group of people that you know.

    So while you dislike over-generalising Foreigners you do the exact thing to Japanese based on the experiences that you have heard or had. We must all try to avoid the over-generalisation, and accept that there is no hard and fast rule to how a society behaves or thinks. It may be semantics but its a big deal at least to me.

    For example, consider the differences in these sentences:

    Japanese love to eat natto.
    Many Japanese love to eat natto.
    90% of Japanese love to eat natto.
    Most of my Japanese friends love to eat natto.
    In my experience, a lot of Japanese I've met, tend to love eating natto.

    There are some subtle but important differences to those sentences, and I think we can agree the first statement is not the best one to use.

  25. #125
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply, MeverieJp.

    Quote Originally Posted by meverieJp
    Even if they got to know through the friends/siblings? as long as a person goes to see the partner's parents for the approval, are they all arranged marriages..?
    That's very uncommon definition of arranged marriage. For me it's as irresponsible as saying, "Gaijin = American". At least, when it deviates from the common usage, you should raise your own definition in the first post. We should be careful of over generalisation or our posts will come across as half-baked.
    Well it is arranged if one of both parents (and possibly other relatives in addition) introduced the future husband/wife to their daughter/son because they wanted them to get married. I know that a lot of Japanese (or Korean) mothers worry about their daughter not being married at 30 years old. Where I come from people don't care so much about marriage, and parents tend not to interfere at all. In fact, less and less people are getting married in Europe. 80% of couples with children in Sweden, and 50% in the Uk are not married. According to government statistics, less than 1% of Japanese couples with children are not married. I think that's a big difference between Northern European and Japanese people. However Southern Europeans tend to marry more, and Americans even more (more than the Japanese, but also divorce more).
    Uh..huh.. So now the "Lots of" in your first post for this group has declined to "About half of"? Why is it so "flexible"? That's why I find it over-exaggerated.
    ...
    The words such as "most", "many" and something like that can be swayed favorably by one's personal feelings like you did yourself above.
    I think that is just a matter of feelings, but for me half of a country's people is really a lot in this regard.

    "A lot" or "many" does not give an idea of proportion, but just personal feelings (=subjective). For example, for some people 10% of people getting divorced may be a lot. For other 50% is a lot.

    If I want to be objective but don't know the exact percentage, I use words like "all" (100%), "almost all" (95-99%) "most" (70-95%), "the biggets part" (50-90%), "the majority" (over 50%), half (50%), and I just use the negativewhen it's less than half...

    I use other words for semi-accurate proportion of time(s) : "always" (100% of the time), "most of the time" (80-95%), "usually/generally" (60-90% of the time), "sometimes" (10-60%), "rarely" (3-10%), "hardly ever" (1-3%), "never" (0%).

    Note that "often" or "many times" are subjective, like "a lot".

    Because I use these terms very frequently, it would be better to get used to them and not confuse what I mean as "most" for "a lot" or vice versa.

    But I've NEVER seen what we call o-miai marriage (marriage through the parent/agency etc.) let alone forced marriage in over 30 year life in Tokyo, save for my 96 year old grandma.
    I have never seen a forced marriage, but I have seen a lot of o-miai.

    確かに一般的に新生児や幼児のうちは放置しないだろう と思います。12歳は、私にも奇妙に思えるけど。 In general, I would suggest that the high rate is due more to the lack of living space than out of choice or custom.
    There is no reason to be ashamed with that. It's just cultural difference (which is often used a good excuse for all kind of individual and non-cultural behaviour, btw ). I don't think it has to do with the size of the house because, in my wife's case (and some other people I know too), she is the only child, and there was space enough. I think it has more to do with getting used to sleep alone when you are not used to since a very young age.

    Whoa! Please don't flip my question. That's what I am asking here. OK, I'll rephrase it for you; How come are you making a fuss about it while knowing that kind of people exist in Europe?
    Because when I lived in Japan I just couldn't go to the gym, a sports club, swimming pool or onsen without having to worry about privacy in the changing room. I don't care about Finland as I have never lived there. I wouldn't care about Japan had I not lived there.

    I'm guessing the folks you speak of, were brought up in conservative family, so the mother is most likely a house wife and the father is a salary man, in the upper or upper-middle class.
    I agree that a good deal of the people I interracted with in Japan where upper-middle class (my wife too => Ginza shopping type). Most of my students (let's say 80%) were cadres or executives in Marunouchi, Otemachi and Nihombashi.

    I DO NOT like housework and child-rearing. Shopping may be but I seldom spend money for shopping unless it's for books, something educational, movies or traveling.
    So you do not feel isolated because you don't have the latest Gucci , Prada or Dior handbag and don't eat in famous restaurants 3x a week ? You must be out of norm for central Tokyo then ! (alright, here I am exagerating, but then I use "!" at the end of the sentence)

    And Even if they want to be a house wife, I don't think it's bad thing to like housework and child-care. far better than abusing one's own child(ren).
    Well, it's not bad per se. In fact I find it a little too good and cosy, especially if we don't have children yet and often eat in restaurants.

    I often wonder how many mothers would take advantage of baby-sitting service if it were sufficiently affordable and secure.
    In my experience "baby-sitting" is kind of a misnomer, as parents would rarely let strangers care about "babies", but more typically children between 5 and 10 years old. My parents would only ask relatives or friends to babysit, never strangers.

    And a person in a city or countryside, OSAKA or TOKYO etc, will all have various cultural differences too. My point here is you are contradicting yourself by over-generalising the people, describing as if it's all about Japan/East vs West while basing it only on the small group of people that you know.
    Alright, I admit that it is more like comparing upper-middle class Western Europe to upper-middle class Japan and Korea, than just West vs East.

    We must all try to avoid the over-generalisation, and accept that there is no hard and fast rule to how a society behaves or thinks. It may be semantics but its a big deal at least to me.
    For example, consider the differences in these sentences:
    Japanese love to eat natto.
    Many Japanese love to eat natto.
    90% of Japanese love to eat natto.
    Most of my Japanese friends love to eat natto.
    In my experience, a lot of Japanese I've met, tend to love eating natto.
    There are some subtle but important differences to those sentences, and I think we can agree the first statement is not the best one to use.
    I try as much as I can to use percentage or objective words to substitute them (see above), and say whether this is baed on my personal experience or on official statistics. At least I am honest about that. Now you can't expect me to remind my readers at every sentence whether it's based on personal experience or not when it's fair enough.

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