It's a rare thing in this complex world to find a country where the vast majority of people seem to hold the same set of misconceptions and mental limitations. Japan is one such country. During my 4-year stay in Japan, I have complained often about Japanese misconceptions and prejudices regarding foreigners and foreign countries. This trend is part of a broader intellectual impediment - perhaps the fruit of excessing neural pruning by Japanese culture, society and its education system ?

Even living outside Japan, I still have many opportunities to meet Japanese people. I don't feel the constant irritation of having to deal with their meagre minds on a daily basis like in Japan, but they still manage to get on my nerves once in a while when I am not in a particularly good mood. This was the case today, when I heard Japanese women say that the Japanese nashi pear were so much sweeter than the "Western pear" ("younashi" 洋梨). I asked them which variety of younashi they were referring to, as there are over 30 major varieties of pears outside East Asia, and hundreds of cultivars. The common European pear (Pyrus communis) alone has over 50 cultivars, each with a different appearance and taste ! They replied exactly in the way I expected them to: "I don't know, younashi is younashi. They are all the same."

It's actually not the first time I have heard that kind of comments about Japanese pears being superior to "foreign pears". The Japanese do that for everything. Anything that is Japanese seems intrinsically superior for most Japanese people, and they have to make sure they can boast about it every time they can. Not only are they ignorant and chauvinistic at the same time, but they like to boast about it ! That's a perfectly despicable mentality if you ask me. I am glad I don't have to live in Japan anymore.