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Old Mar 21st 2015, 5:08 am   #16
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

The thing that has worked for me is to quickly realise that I will never be part of Japanese society so don't try to join it. I am lucky that the Japanese management where I work has very little to do with me and most of them have quite a few foreign staff, so they do have some understanding of a non-Japanese point of view.
I have some good Japanese friends and am lucky that my landlord's son speaks good English.

I also spend my holidays out of Japan, so have a bit of a sanity check twice a year (OK I'm in Thailand but the difficulties are different)

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Old Mar 21st 2015, 5:39 am   #17
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

How wonderful to have a bunch of gaijin get together with differing views on Japan and not rip each other to crap!
Intelligent respectful discussion on the Internet - who'd a thought it possible?!
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Old Jun 11th 2015, 4:31 pm   #18
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

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There is something about Japanese women that makes me want to punch them so hard that their unborn children will feel it...
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Er...
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Old Jun 11th 2015, 11:43 pm   #19
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

What a weird thing to do - wanting to punch a pregnant woman! But still - she's not attacking anyone here. Just coming across a bit psycho. Japan can do that to you

Actually a heavily pregnant friend of mine WAS punched in the stomach on a train. And what did someone say about the empathy gene? No one lifted a finger. Her baby boy was ok. What kind of freak would punch a pregnant woman?

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Old Jun 12th 2015, 10:13 am   #20
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

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What a weird thing to do - wanting to punch a pregnant woman! But still - she's not attacking anyone here. Just coming across a bit psycho. Japan can do that to you

Actually a heavily pregnant friend of mine WAS punched in the stomach on a train. And what did someone say about the empathy gene? No one lifted a finger. Her baby boy was ok. What kind of freak would punch a pregnant woman?
Unborn children in my opinion means that the child has not even been conceived. That's what I meant. Who would punch a pregnant woman? Are you serious? And by the way:
1) Don't tell me that you have never wanted to punch someone. I am sure all of us would like to punch someone sometimes but are not able to do it.
2) I AM a psycho but I don't punch pregnant women.
3) I was only joking, is it so difficult to understand?
4) Luckily I don't live in Japan anymore

Thanks.
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Old Jun 12th 2015, 11:35 am   #21
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Unborn children in my opinion means that the child has not even been conceived.
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Old Jun 12th 2015, 3:01 pm   #22
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

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What a weird thing to do - wanting to punch a pregnant woman! But still - she's not attacking anyone here. Just coming across a bit psycho. Japan can do that to you

Actually a heavily pregnant friend of mine WAS punched in the stomach on a train. And what did someone say about the empathy gene? No one lifted a finger. Her baby boy was ok. What kind of freak would punch a pregnant woman?
I don't think anyone mentioned punching a pregnant woman. The OP mentioned feeling frustrated by certain things in Japan (some behaviors of Japanese women included) and made a joke. That's all.

Because, as you say, Japan can do that to people not raised there.... (Frustrate them.)
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Old Jun 13th 2015, 6:22 am   #23
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Because, as you say, Japan can do that to people not raised there.... (Frustrate them.)
So desu ne...
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Old Jul 22nd 2015, 5:14 am   #24
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

Hi all. Just registered so I can comment and vent a little.

I've been in Japan for nearly four years, first in Yokohama and Kawasaki, then moved to suburbia about an hour outside Osaka. I moved to Japan because my Japanese wife got a very good job offer and the situation in the UK seemed to be heading in the "foreigners not welcome" direction.

I have seen the observation that foreigners in Japan go through three stages: amazement, alienation, acceptance. I have never had the first or the third. From my arrival I found the Japanese to be rude beyond belief, and this is only added to by the veneer of fake obsequiousness. The number times I got off subways amidst a crowd of passengers to then have someone behind start repeatedly poking my in the back, sometimes just shoving - until I turn around when that person suddenly finds enough room to step back and say "sumimasen." So they accidentally pushed me in the back 100 times? Then there is the person who goes out of their way to walk onto you. Countless times this happened in Kanto (although never in Kansai). I was always amazed at how stupid this action is. I weigh a solid 90kg and just lean into the body block, so I don't know what they think is going to happen.

I got work one day after being here for six months and one of the other teachers asked how I was, to which I replied “I could happily murder them all with a machete.” I don’t know if I was joking.

Then there's the staring. This has got much worse since moving to the suburbs. I will be walking along and someone approaching me will start to stare very obviously, not in a way that reflects interest, but as if you were walking down the street and a zebra appeared, certainly not as if I'm a human who understands what they are doing. This will continue behind my back until I'm out of sight. One of my neighbours was staring so intently he fell over, and this was months after moving in. If I wait until my audience reaches me, so their head is at 90° and ask "nan desu ka?" the head suddenly snaps forward. Shopping in a supermarket requires an inspection to see what I’m buying. Eating in a restaurant requires some very intrusive inspections of my plate.

The myths of hard-working, honourable Japanese? Hard-working doesn’t mean spending the entire day faffing around and only starting to do something at going home time so the boss thinks you’re busy. Honourable doesn’t mean lying and cheating at every opportunity and feigning remorse if caught. From my experience with Japanese staff at schools and some of my wife's family they are so lazy and dishonest they could be prospective candidates for Parliament.

Thinking for yourself is wrong and anything can be justified by someone else doing it. Why do new houses have tatami rooms? Because old houses have tatami rooms. No use for them in most cases except as giant, weird smelling cupboards.

They are incapable of blowing their noses or eating with their mouths closed. Supposedly they vile, stomach wrenching noises are to cool down hot noodles, so why does everything else have to be consumed with the grace and manners a three-year-old would find objectionable?

The architecture is monstrous. Yes, buildings are designed for a function, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look pleasant. The entire country looks like an industrial estate with the sky obscured by blankets of overhead cables.

I find almost everything about the mishmash of throwbacks, prejudices and overly expensive imports that passes for Japanese culture to be utterly unattractive. From the way the place looks, to the weather, to the incredibly inefficient and expensive road system, to the tasteless beer, but by far the worst thing about Japan is the people. I can say with absolute honesty I would rather die than be like them.
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Old Jul 22nd 2015, 5:44 am   #25
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

Many thanks Athos for an excellent first post!

Your description of Japan is nothing like I would have imagined and, I guess, was a total surprise to you too. The only other feedback I have ever had was from my doctor who visited his son, married to a Japanese girl in Tokyo, He seemed to really like it, though he did spend most of his time as a tourist outside of the major cities.

Very interesting observations on the work ethic too, again not quite like the image we have in the west.

Do keep your observations coming in, they make for very interesting reading.

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Old Jul 22nd 2015, 10:56 am   #26
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

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The myths of hard-working, honourable Japanese? Hard-working doesn’t mean spending the entire day faffing around and only starting to do something at going home time so the boss thinks you’re busy. Honourable doesn’t mean lying and cheating at every opportunity and feigning remorse if caught. From my experience with Japanese staff at schools and some of my wife's family they are so lazy and dishonest they could be prospective candidates for Parliament.

Thinking for yourself is wrong and anything can be justified by someone else doing it. Why do new houses have tatami rooms? Because old houses have tatami rooms. No use for them in most cases except as giant, weird smelling cupboards.

They are incapable of blowing their noses or eating with their mouths closed. Supposedly they vile, stomach wrenching noises are to cool down hot noodles, so why does everything else have to be consumed with the grace and manners a three-year-old would find objectionable?

The architecture is monstrous. Yes, buildings are designed for a function, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look pleasant. The entire country looks like an industrial estate with the sky obscured by blankets of overhead cables.
A little jaundiced viewpoint, however honest.

The hard working point, in my experience, is mostly not the workers but down to managers dumping work that must be completed that day in the late afternoon.

My friends love the smell of tatami so insist that the house has one or more rooms with it (personally I don't like the smell but it's not my house, is it?)

Just because the Japanese consider the slurping of noodles to be polite and you find it objectionable is no reason to complain, also quite a few of the slurped noodles are cold not hot. Just avoid noodle restaurants or eat at home it's easy to do!.

The general architecture it good in the places I go. But there is no consistency of style which westerners find pleasing. Japanese look at the individual building not the whole so it looks a mess but as I said individual buildings do look good.

You seem to be in the "hate Japan" phase, which is common at around 4 to 6 years in country.
I would guess that you haven't been away from Japan for holidays for a while, getting away regularly is a great help in mitigating the adverse reaction.
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Old Jul 22nd 2015, 11:13 am   #27
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

"Just because the Japanese consider the slurping of noodles to be polite and you find it objectionable is no reason to complain, also quite a few of the slurped noodles are cold not hot. Just avoid noodle restaurants or eat at home it's easy to do!. "

As I said it's not just noodles, it's everything everywhere they put in their mouths that has to be sucked in with the sound of a stomach pump.

The laziness is nothing to do with work being dumped on them late in the day. It's to do with deliberately not doing the work during the normal working hours then putting on a pathetic pantomime for the boss to show how vital they are by staying behind. I've seen it again and again and again and it's so ubiquitous that I'm so nearly everyone who posts about Japan knows it. MacArthur so spot on about the Japanese.

Where is it that doesn't look like a 1970s industrial estate?

Yes I hate the place. Totally and without reservation. I can't wait to leave and never have to deal with Japan again.

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Old Jul 23rd 2015, 4:01 pm   #28
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Yes I hate the place. Totally and without reservation. I can't wait to leave and never have to deal with Japan again.
Finally someone who agrees with me. When it's time to prepare your Visa I can help you, we did it for my husband and when I left Japan it was a good day.
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Old Jul 24th 2015, 1:06 am   #29
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

Thank you, but I'm British and the UK or EU are the most likely destinations (assuming we're still in the EU by then). The only visa I have is one for Japan. If I leave without telling them and they don't let me back in, brilliant.

I had only skimmed your post before writing my own sermon, but I absolutely agree.

They are monstrous to animals. We rescued a Newfoundland here which had come from a failed backyard breeder. She had never been walked, was underweight, had heartworm and nearly bald from mange because of complete neglect. She's fine now but really does not ike grey-haired Japanese men. I can guess why. The number people I encounter walking their dogs have no idea about training or socialisation is staggering and upsetting. But then those dogs are the luck ones because many never get walked. Why have a dog to leave it alone in your tiny garden 99% of the time? It's just an ornament that s***s and needs to be fed. It is common that families are relocated for work and if the move to rented accommodation hat doesn't allow pets, many they just throw their dog out on the street. I suspect that most of them would monstrous to people if they could get away with it. With foreigners they think they can. That does explain a lot of Japanese history.

I have only seen one person in a wheelchair my entire time I've been here, but then pavements and roads are hardly access friendly. The disabled probably have to spend their lives shut away. Considering what's outside that might be for the best.

Masks? WTF? There is no explanation for that other than hiding your face. The holes in material are quite large when compared to the size bacteria or viruses. Surgical masks are designed to stop surgical staff accidentally dropping body fluids into open wounds when leaning over them. Any other use is pointless.

Technologically advanced? Everywhere being saturated with 400 watt neon lights isn't the same as technology.

For a supposed consumer culture they place is a joke. Everything is expensive. An old style non-energy saving light bulb costs ¥400. Why? Clearly the sellers have got together and agreed to sell them at that price because people need light bulbs. Every shop sells exactly the same things at exactly the same price. If you want something and one shop doesn't have, that's it.

I disagree that men work like slaves. They work like people who do sod all all day and take lots of breaks. They children who get away with everything they can, and if caught pretend to be sorry.

Japanese women are the only ones with any personalities, but half of them are the most unpleasant, vacuous tarts imaginable, although I appreciate that if I was single I might have a different view on this. My wife and I refer to the dyed-hair, thick make-up, high heels look as "the full whore".

You didn't mention, no rubbish bins anywhere, so rubbish is thrown on the ground. This is supposedly because of the sarin gas attacks. That was 20 years ago in one specific place, by one specific group, so the entire country has to have rubbish everywhere.

Then there's a culture that is so worried about opinion that no one did anything while reactor after reactor exploded because they were sacred of doing the wrong thing. But most Japanese think Fukashima was only minor event, instead of the second worst nuclear disaster in history, because the government and media colluded in lying to the country and checking outside sources doesn't happen, because foreigners.

Now, where's my machete?

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Old Jul 24th 2015, 9:33 am   #30
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Default Re: Japan - From a long term resident's perspective

I am no great lover of Japan and the Japanese, but neither am I a hater.

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"Just because the Japanese consider the slurping of noodles to be polite and you find it objectionable is no reason to complain, also quite a few of the slurped noodles are cold not hot. Just avoid noodle restaurants or eat at home it's easy to do!. "

As I said it's not just noodles, it's everything everywhere they put in their mouths that has to be sucked in with the sound of a stomach pump.
Your experience not mine.

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The laziness is nothing to do with work being dumped on them late in the day. It's to do with deliberately not doing the work during the normal working hours then putting on a pathetic pantomime for the boss to show how vital they are by staying behind. I've seen it again and again and again and it's so ubiquitous that I'm so nearly everyone who posts about Japan knows it.
Some Japanese are that lazy as are some Brit's.

In the company's I worked the main reason for working late was, as I said, poor management not being lazy. Together with the need to stay until their direct boss left.
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Where is it that doesn't look like a 1970s industrial estate?
None of the places I go, or where I live, are like that.



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I have only seen one person in a wheelchair my entire time I've been here, but then pavements and roads are hardly access friendly. The disabled probably have to spend their lives shut away. Considering what's outside that might be for the best.
I see them on average once a week, my wife almost every time she goes out.
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Masks? WTF? There is no explanation for that other than hiding your face. The holes in material are quite large when compared to the size bacteria or viruses. Surgical masks are designed to stop surgical staff accidentally dropping body fluids into open wounds when leaning over them. Any other use is pointless.
They are to provide you with protection from spray from coughing and sneezing far more than to protect the wearer. And in winter on the Pacific Ocean side to protect against the extremely low humidity.


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You didn't mention, no rubbish bins anywhere, so rubbish is thrown on the ground. This is supposedly because of the sarin gas attacks. That was 20 years ago in one specific place, by one specific group, so the entire country has to have rubbish everywhere.
"rubbish bins" every station, every MiniStop, every Lawsons, every 7/11, every Family Mart, and every other convince store. Virtually every group of vending machines has a recycling rubbish bin or two.

Clean streets, no cigarette buts, no rubbish



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Now, where's my machete?
buy a one way ticket or you will be forced to stay for a very very long time.
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