Wa-pedia Home > Japan Forum & Europe Forum
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 50

Thread: Do Japanese prefer money above all ?

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    西京
    Posts
    2,434

    Post Do Japanese prefer money above all ?

    There is a proverb in Japanese that says 金の切り目が縁の切り目(kane no kirime ga en no kirime), which translates as "When poverty comes in through the door, love flies out of the window" or "Out of money, out of friends".

    縁 (en) is a Buddhist concept difficult to translate into English, but it refers to fate in meeting people, finding love or friends. So the proverb here contradicts the Buddhist idea by saying that 縁 (en) doesn't exist without money.

    Personally, I'd rather say that interesting, funny or even beautiful people don't need money to make friends. It's very sad to think that people would only be interseted in one's money rather than their personality or feelings.

    People could say it's just a proverb, but what bothers me is how many people (in Japan) have said it to me and believe it to be true. Proverbs are said to reflect a culture's mindset. Something I have never comlpetely understood is the "hostess bar" or "snack bar" system in Japan, where men pay to befriend women. The hostess' job is to make the customer believe she really likes him, but not necessarily as a lover, but more often as a friend or a person altogether, as there is rarely sex involved. In this case I understand very well that people think that money buys relationships, but it's only an illusion.

    In my 2 years of teaching private lessons in Japan, I've been able to ask dozens of women, usually between 25 and 35, if they considered love or money more important in a relationship. I expect that if I asked this to Western women, most who say that love is more important, as the Western culture (in any language I believe) has the proverb "Money doesn't buy happiness" and most people will remind those who they feel are too materialistic or money-obsessed.

    But Japanese don't seem to see any problem in liking money more than people. I've been told many times things like "With money I can go shopping so I am happy". And of course Japanese females love shopping like I've never seen in any European like it. The same craze for shopping applies for Korean and Chinese women.

    Please read my previous topic regarding the meaning of marriage in Japan.

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

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

  2. #2
    Regular Member neko_girl22's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 14, 2003
    Posts
    36
    well we have no money but have heaps of friends in NZ and Japan

  3. #3
    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Age
    43
    Posts
    218
    Well, it is no secret that I agree with you 100 percent on this topic, Maciamo.

    I sometimes do feel that money is the root of happiness for many Japanese people--women in particular. I have had my closest Japanese friend(male) tell me that a marriage is basically supposed to be about practicality. The husband makes the money, the wife uses it however she sees fit, or simply however she wants. I was asking him didn't he think it said something that men are required to reveal their income in personal ads over there, and his response was something like, "well, what else really matters?". I can't help but feeling sad over that.

    It's amazing how I kind of assumed that role--a role I never thought I would take on. To me, marriage was supposed to mean love first then everything else. Now, I feel I've kind of settled into the Japanese wife mode, which I find a little uncomfortable, to say the least.

    You know that saying they have over there..."Teishu genki de rusu ga ii"...and I've found most of them mean it, too...
    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

  4. #4
    Banned ghettocities's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 16, 2002
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon.
    Age
    36
    Posts
    16
    I'd say yes, but not JUST money, they are seemingly based on 100% materialistic values.

    Josh

    http://www.ghettocitiesclothing.com

  5. #5
    __________ budd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 10, 2003
    Posts
    56

    hmm

    i don't know -- got a few Japanese friends that won't even take gifts from me, much less money
    yet a sister of a friend (american) be calling me at 7:00 in the morning begging for $20 -- and she not a crackhead, just woresome
    ttp://www.tcvb.or.jp/

  6. #6
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    西京
    Posts
    2,434

    Re: hmm

    Originally posted by budd
    i don't know -- got a few Japanese friends that won't even take gifts from me, much less money
    yet a sister of a friend (american) be calling me at 7:00 in the morning begging for $20 -- and she not a crackhead, just woresome
    That's because politeness, courtesy or good manners are very important to Japanese. With extremely politeness there is always a good deal of hypocrisy or self-restrain. That doesn't mean they don't like money, but social norms are so developped that people finding money in the street will even bring it back to the local police box (koban). Japanese like money but honestly earned (except politicians of course )

  7. #7
    Banned ghettocities's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 16, 2002
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon.
    Age
    36
    Posts
    16

    Re: Re: hmm

    Originally posted by Maciamo
    That's because politeness, courtesy or good manners are very important to Japanese. With extremely politeness there is always a good deal of hypocrisy or self-restrain. That doesn't mean they don't like money, but social norms are so developped that people finding money in the street will even bring it back to the local police box (koban). Japanese like money but honestly earned (except politicians of course )
    Yeah that reminds me of this time I went to this outdoor flee-market type deal in Shinuku one weekend, well there was this really beautiful girl there trying to sell eye-liner that looked like they had been acquired through dumpster-diving, well that's all she was selling, I felt sorry for her cause she was all doing her best to sell it but everyone just kept giving her **** like she got it out of the trash or it wasen't even worth them time to even try so when I was next to her I told her that I wanted to give her money because she wasen't selling anything, I then gave her a few thousand yen, she went crazy, I walked off, moments later she tapped me on my shoulder with a small box of eye-liners, I shook my head and smiled, walked off again, she then ran in front of me, bowed with her holding the money out saying it was really sweet but she was unable to accept money she didn't earn.

    I was impressed,

    Josh

    http://www.ghettocitiesclothing.com

  8. #8
    __________ budd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 10, 2003
    Posts
    56
    that is sad

  9. #9
    Regular Member Kaminoko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location
    English-Chinese
    Age
    40
    Posts
    3

    For the love of money!

    Most arguments worldwide in a man-woman relationship are due to money, regardless of race. When a divorce settlement is due, what is the argument over...money! (And kids if you have them). When you're struggling through life, and your husband goes gambling, what does the wife complain about...money! Mostly it's no different. But I guess Japan may have it a bit worse...

    Is it that much of a surprise that money reigns over love, when there is a breakdown of what "family" is supposed to mean anyway?

    The average child growing up in Japan will be somewhat distanced from their parents. Some of my friends went to school 7 days a week! 5 days normal school. 2 days "special school" - a life of study, study, study...to get a good job, to get money...

    The father is out working all day long, and then goes out with his superiors in order to entertain to get a promotion/status in the eyes of others. What time does he have for "love"?

    It's not a wonder that women in Japan would go for money over love, for what kind of example have they been set? If they didn't have a good example of what it means to be a family, why would they want kids of their own anyway? We read the newspapers, and we see the population shrinking, we read of teen girls selling themselves - not because they don't have money, but because they want more money.

    At present, materialism is king, and love has no meaning. There are no good examples to follow...All they can hope to follow is the next pop star, or the next Beckham hairstyle. And there is no hope. No hope of a job due to recession. No hope of love, due to their own dysfunctional family system. No hope of happiness, except the small possibility that having money will buy it for them.

    A glimmer of fleeting happines, without the hope of long-term joy.

    Sorry, this is something that really grieved me when I was over there. I hate family breakdowns. Too many people are hurt. Life is too short, to be angry, to be cruel, to be selfish.
    ...After I jumped, I thought to myself, "Life is Perfect"...

  10. #10
    __________ budd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 10, 2003
    Posts
    56

    well shoot

    american women about getting money also, look at the marry a millionaire shows
    i just got off the plane and i've seen about fifty i'd give my wallet to already (the girl running the cash register at this starbucks is super cute -- but i must stay focused! gaman gaman yo!)

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    4
    Konnichiwa!

    I think most Japanese are not liking money, but thinking it's very important.
    We are worrywart(心配性) and we want to be prepared for any kind of things.
    Compared to other countries, we save many money.

    Average Household Savings
    Japan $45,118
    France 17,649
    Germany 17,042
    United Kingdom 7,451
    United States 4,201
    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/8Comparison.htm

    Household Savings rates
    Japan 13.4
    Germany 11.0
    France 9.0
    United Kingdom 3.1
    United States 0.5
    (Italy is the highest 13.6)
    http://www3.jetro.go.jp/iv/cybermall...pan/10a_1.html

    Specialist says that we save many money because we were agrarian people. We have the national character that we prepare for future trouble (like preparing for famine or damage from cold weather) and avoid uncertaintness.

    Main reasons for saving money are
    1. preparation for sickness, disaster
    2. providing for old age
    3. for children's education
    4. just for safety
    5. to buy a house
    6. for children's marriage
    7. for vacation, leisure, recreation
    http://www.saveinfo.or.jp/kinyu/yoro...7/per9704.html (in Japanese)

    We may look like we are sad people prefering money above all and not knowing what love is(and there are some people like that), but many Japanese are thinking money is important because they love their family and want to live happily and safely.
    I know (and I think many Japanese know) that saving many money doesn't mean we're happy, but we're doing our best for our family in this way. (ganbatte imasu!)


    Thank you for reading my poor English.
    Last edited by qchan; Oct 10, 2003 at 18:13.

  12. #12
    Bored working guy Shadow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    39
    Posts
    10
    Originally posted by qchan

    We may look like we are sad people prefering money above all and not knowing what love is(and there are some people like that), but many Japanese are thinking money is important because they love their family and want to live happily and safely.
    Wow, nicely put...

    I'm an asian, and I somewhat feel the same way... IMO, If there's no savings (there's no $$$), and it's hard to provide happiness and stability for someone you love... "Money cannot buy happiness" is absolutely true but money does give a jumpstart in finding and preserving happiness!
    "If meaning lies with having met someone and not in meeting them, then what is the meaning of having met them?" --Soma--

  13. #13
    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Age
    43
    Posts
    218
    Originally posted by qchan
    We may look like we are sad people prefering money above all and not knowing what love is(and there are some people like that), but many Japanese are thinking money is important because they love their family and want to live happily and safely.
    I know (and I think many Japanese know) that saving many money doesn't mean we're happy, but we're doing our best for our family in this way. (ganbatte imasu!)
    Is it love or is it pride? Maybe it's a combination. I don't know.

    By the way, your English is good, qchan. Don't worry about it!

  14. #14
    Omnipotence personified Mandylion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    61
    Bit of a tangent; on tv last night I happened across a show that has teenagers/young adults going over the issues of the day. I can't remember what it was called. The topic last night was, roughly, how important is money in a relationship. They had a group of about 10 people (17-20 years old) and to my surprise, they got really fired up.

    One young lady said that if she met a man who had the looks, and the type of lifestyle/life experience she found attractive, if he didn't have money she would move on. Boy, did they rip her a new one...

    To make a long story short, the group came down against the money as most important idea. They didn't throw it out the window, it is important, but in their future mates they were more interested first in love and then in how dedicated a work/family member they would be. Flashing big wads of cash around figured quite far down on the list. They weren't interested in a millionare lay-about (said they would have no drive and ambition) but someone who was willing to go out there day after day and bust their butt, no matter how much they made in the end. Overall, after taking letters from viewers, it seemed that the young folks who watch the show know the importance of money, figure it into their future plans, but the majority don't let it be the final word in their relationships.

    qchan- Thanks for your post. It was great. I have some different ideas on why Japanese people save so much, but I don't have time to go into them now. You English is great! I second KNM's post
    "It's a d**n poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word."


    - Andrew Jackson

  15. #15
    Regular Member Haivart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 15, 2002
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    7

    Re: well shoot

    That's an over-generalization. Not ALL are. Those shows are about getting yourself seen on tv to bolster your ego and to try and get something fast, without working for it.



    Originally posted by budd
    american women about getting money also, look at the marry a millionaire shows
    i just got off the plane and i've seen about fifty i'd give my wallet to already (the girl running the cash register at this starbucks is super cute -- but i must stay focused! gaman gaman yo!)

  16. #16
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    西京
    Posts
    2,434
    Originally posted by qchan

    We are worrywart(心配性) and we want to be prepared for any kind of things.
    ...
    Specialist says that we save many money because we were agrarian people. We have the national character that we prepare for future trouble (like preparing for famine or damage from cold weather) and avoid uncertaintness.
    This relates to Hofsted's cultural analysis, which I have already evoked here . Japan's uncertainty avoidance level is very high (92%) which is why Japanese plan and prepared so much everything and worry about the future. But if we believed Professsor Hofstede's analysis, it is not a characterstic unique to Japanese, and some European countries have in reality a higher uncertainty avoidance level than Japan. For example Belgium (94), Portugal (104) and Greece (112). Hofstede's survey is 20 years old and things might have evolved a bit (though culture cannot change so dramatically in sucha short time).

    I read a few months ago in the monthly statistics section of the Economist that Belgian and French people actually saved a higher proportion of their salary than Japanese, but that was the top 3 for industrialised countries.

  17. #17
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location
    西京
    Posts
    2,434
    Have you also noticed that most Japanese TV programmes, be them about food, lifestyle, games, quizz, etc. always revolved around money. They can't present a restaurant (and god knows how many programmes are about restaurants in Japan !)without putting an exaggerated stress on the price of each item (with "sugooooii" voices in the audience as much when it's cheap as when it's expensive). Even travel programmes are usually about food sampling and they systematically say the price and often go as far as indicating it in large fonts on the screen as if it were more important than the tatse of the food itself.

    Japanese also discuss more freely than most Westerness their salaries, how much cost their house or how much they spend each month in clothing or for their hobbies.

    Half of the time, when I've been somewhere on holiday people will ask me if I enjoyed it AND how much was life in this or that country, or how much I spent for the plane, hotel and so on.

    If you don't know what to talk about with Japanese people, money is always a good topic, for they don't get bored to hear how much cost whatever you have ever bought or imagined to buy in your life.

  18. #18
    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Age
    43
    Posts
    218
    That's something I have also come to notice over the years. Having grown up thinking it was rude to talk about how much you spent on something to someone else, it was very strange hearing the Japanese people I knew talking so openly about it.

    Yes, a show like Iron Chef is a good example. They are always making sure to mention just how tremendously expensive the theme ingredient is.

  19. #19
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 22, 2003
    Location
    アメリカ
    Posts
    298
    Although my experience has generally been with other women being most insistant on the question of cost or price, sometimes even over the objections of their husbands. Which can be quite comical, actually, -- as if they weren't fully aware of how the other would react ;).

  20. #20
    Taicho mdchachi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location
    USA (Detroit area)
    Posts
    35
    And there is no hope... No hope of love, due to their own dysfunctional family system. No hope of happiness, except the small possibility that having money will buy it for them.

    A glimmer of fleeting happines, without the hope of long-term joy.

    Sorry, this is something that really grieved me when I was over there. I hate family breakdowns. Too many people are hurt. Life is too short, to be angry, to be cruel, to be selfish.
    If you hate family breakdowns that make sure you don't come to the U.S. We have many physically even sexually abused children. Children living in poverty. Many children born to young, unwed mothers. Much more crime committed by children. Many teen runaways prostituting themselves to escape from family situations. In comparison, Japan family life looks pretty good.

  21. #21
    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Age
    43
    Posts
    218
    There are good and bad things about every country/culture.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Kaminoko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location
    English-Chinese
    Age
    40
    Posts
    3
    Originally posted by mdchachi
    If you hate family breakdowns that make sure you don't come to the U.S. In comparison, Japan family life looks pretty good.
    I know what you mean...I lived in the US for a year...spoke to quite a few in those situations - but problems can never be compared. Your paralysed body doesn't make someone else's amputated hand better. And it is because of the breakdowns that I'm moving to Japan in the first place. The good thing about the US is that there is a lot more support for those hurting than in Japan.

    I guess grieving is something I'll have to live with since these are the type of people I give my free time to...Reality hurts, but we can all help to make life a little bit better eh? No point trying to escape the problems that exist! Better to try to meet them head on...I've had to all my life!

    Cheers!

  23. #23
    ~~ Carolgirl00's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2, 2003
    Location
    IL
    Age
    30
    Posts
    9
    hmm, just wondering, how are the rates of physical/sexual child abuse in Japan? Anyone know?

  24. #24
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    4
    When I first read the posts here, I thought people here were feeling too negative about being interested in money. So in my last post, I wrote the positive side about it. I couldn't understand why you were feeling strange about it, but after reading about the tv program and people talking about money openly, I begin to understand. I didn't think it strange before you pointed out, it was normal for me.

    I thought maybe difference between Westerner thinking rude to talk about money and Japanese talking about it openly, comes from whether your from country of Christianity or not. I read in a book that Christian society concidered commerce and financial business as negative things historically. But in Japan those business were encouraged since fifteen century. In Osaka (a commercial city), there's a greeting 「もうかりまっか?」「ぼちぼちでんな。」("mookari makka?" "bochibochi den na" - it's Osaka dialect). It literally means, "Are you making a lot of money?" "Well, just so-so.". It's a greeting same as "How are you?" "Fine, thank you.". This may be sound very rude greeting for Westerners...

    So one of the reason why Japanese interested in money and talk and ask about it a lot is maybe because Japan isn't a Christian country. We don't have negative feeling about being interested in money, compared to western people. When Japanese talk or ask about money we don't mean to be rude, just asking it from simple-minded curiosity.

    From Westerner point of view, Japanese are too interested in money, and from Japanese (my) point of view, Westerner are feeling too negative about being interested in money.

    Originally posted by Maciamo
    If you don't know what to talk about with Japanese people, money is always a good topic, for they don't get bored to hear how much cost whatever you have ever bought or imagined to buy in your life.
    And for Japanese, even though you don't know what to talk about with Western people, you shouldn't talk about money because it's very rude for them.
    These kind of cutural differnce are very interesting, and I really enjoy learning about it. This topic is very interesting for me.


    kirei na me, Mandylion - Thank you. I wasn't sure if my English was making sense. I feel relieved.
    Last edited by qchan; Oct 12, 2003 at 18:18.

  25. #25
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 22, 2003
    Location
    アメリカ
    Posts
    298
    Originally posted by qchan
    So one of the reason why Japanese interested in money and talk and ask about it a lot is maybe because Japan isn't a Christian country. We don't have negative feeling about being interested in money, compared to western people. When Japanese talk or ask about money we don't mean to be rude, just asking it from simple-minded curiosity.
    Certainly no one is implying Japanese are intentionally being rude....only that this could just as well work in the reverse, that Japanese are interested in money for it's own sake in the absense of any other value system Japan has never developed or has never taken root there (whereas Christianity teaches it as a means to end. Otherwise even churches wouldn't have the basic tools to support themselves. Where did the capitalist work ethic originate from, after all). The notion that westerners aren't interested in money is completely off the mark .In many ways they are less modest about showing off their wealth than the Japanese seem to be. Don't they have these sorts of vignettes on J-tv as well? That take the viewer on guided tours of grossly overbuilt American homes, with a particular concentration on the luxury and wastefulness of our lifestyle, panning in on any lazy, overweight bystanders ? I could have sworn I came across two or three segments in that vein last time.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: Mar 24, 2010, 22:50
  2. Replies: 6
    Last Post: Apr 3, 2007, 05:21
  3. Do you prefer cash or credit/debit cards ?
    By Maciamo in forum Polls
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: Sep 3, 2005, 11:09

Posting Permissions

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