Posted: 2017-12-07 07:00
So would I do it again? Man, that 8767 s hard to say. I honestly would encourage anyone who wants to work overseas to evaluate a number of countries, using some real metrics, as opposed to 8775 I like their toilets and comic books. 8776 Like Australia consistently ranks as a top place in the world to live. And I 8767 ve been to a number of great countries in Europe that would be worth a longer visit. Scandinavia 8767 s looking pretty awesome, although I 8767 ve never been there.
As for myths in my personal experience, my supervisor back when I was working at a computer repair shop gleefully insisted that the Japanese ladies love them some half kids, that they 8775 gotta get the foreign genes. 8776 I was pretty disgusted, but the job was more important than lecturing him in human decency. I never viewed him as a redeemable human anyway, what with his toe-shoes and monotonous lunches of two banana bunches.
Secondly, you won 8767 t have the same experiences I did, so your outcome will necessarily be different. You know, it 8767 s luck of the draw. You step off the plane, meet a nice girl or boy, fall into a circle of cool friends, and the whole country 8767 d seem great. Sure, some ex-pats are worn-down and bitter, but others really love the nation. Finding a good job would help a lot too. Coming from a shitty country is also a plus.
Yes Trish, I have read the book and seen the movie, but I was under the impression that her story was about the pre-war/WWII Geisha and not the post war geisha (which I was talking about) that were entirely different because of the Americanization of Japanese culture, the increase of women 8767 s rights accorded by the American brokered Japanese constitution and the change in the Japanese culture brought about by the huge development of corporations in Japan. Watch the Shirley MacLaine movie 8775 My Geisha 8776 and you will see what I 8767 m talking about.
What really struck me though, was a couple of years ago, when I was in Okinawa. I was trying to talk to an older man selling stuf on a market, and he was pretty reluctant to talk to me about the smallest things, although I wasn 8767 t asking for much with my rudimentary Japanese skills. He Spoke pretty good English, and then he asked me if I was American (I picked up a pretty bad southern accent while living in Alabama). When I answered 8775 furansujin! 8776 , he was completely exchanged! A big smile came up his face, and he asked me if I knew how to prepare parfait.
I mean, I don 8767 t know where ya 8767 ll are from, but it seemed pretty americanish and we all know the reputation of American tourists, not just in Japan right? (sorry if I 8767 m stepping on some toes here)
I do, in fact, agree that the hype and misrepresentation of cultures throughout the world is almost always inaccurate. At my last job I used to get upset with peoples opinions of southern people (US). People hear the accent and immediately think 8775 this guy is from the south therefore he is an idiot 8776 . Granted they may be right but they could be completely wrong because they used the hype that everyone else uses. I know of one extremely intelligent millionaire (maybe it was billionaire, can 8767 t remember) that has that accent and wears the same clothes as a person that makes $75k/yr and people automatically think he is an idiot because of his accent.
So that 8767 s kind of how my article came to be. And if it sounds a bit like I’m down on Japanese women, that 8767 s not the case. I love Japanese women. Really, as often as they let me. What I’m not so cool with is repeating the same unfounded information about Japan. It was just the hackles, really. Anyway, if you’ve made it through this lengthy preface, then go check out the full article in all its glory , and let me know what you think. Peace.
I get Japanese people in my hotel every once in a while. When I greet them most seem really happy and social. Smiling, laughing, taking a ton of pictures, asking you to take their picture, asking all kinds of other questions and generally having a good ol 8767 time. You would never know life in Japan is like how you 8767 ve described it. I know, it 8767 s probably because they are in a different country and it 8767 s exciting and all. But I mean, the Japanese I 8767 ve met here are seriously really happy. Maybe it 8767 s because here they don 8767 t have to hold back. They don 8767 t have to work 67 hours a day, six days a week. They don 8767 t have to worry about cooking and cleaning. Which leaves them more time to be themselves. Certain things you 8767 ve describe stay the same. I don 8767 t think I 8767 ve ever seen a Japanese couple kiss or hold hands. But who knows you said the Japanese tend to bottle up emotions and thoughts. Maybe it 8767 s just another way for them to make us feel comfortable. Despite the fact that in this case, they are the guests. Who knows Just another mystery.
Ever been to a nightclub? I mean in any country. At the end of the night, there’s always people hooking up. In fact, if you stay long enough, and you don’t hook up, then by default everyone’s hooking up but you. That’s because the people who didn’t get lucky have already left. There’s some statistical thing going on, is what I’m trying to say. It’s not that 655% of the people got lucky it’s that you’re the only one who stayed around gawking.
Well, I have a three-part answer for this. The first part is that yes, Japanese people gather a lot of information about their countrymen just as Americans do by how they dress, their accent, and the topics they discuss. They can fairly quickly assess a person 8767 s social status, where they 8767 re from, and probably a host of other information. Again, their guesses may not be accurate, but they 8767 ve got a starting point that most 8775 foreigners 8776 don 8767 t.
Anyway I digress, you could probably talk about ways in which the media is sexist in a lot if countries all day long. I agree that what western people might think of a equality is perhaps different to what Japanese people do. The feminist movement in the west has been all about allowing women to do what men are doing but in a society where men have it pretty shit too having to work long hours and being made to take on a load of responsibility in regards to the quality of their work (for example if a bus crashes in Japan then it 8767 d be standard for the high ranking employees of the company to get down on all fours on the ground and bow in apology even something not as serious like a brand of cheese not tasting as good as it advertises to could end up in bowing and shame) thus women don 8767 t feel like getting to take on men 8767 s roles exactly as they are would result in more freedom for themselves.
People tend to cluster with other people from similar economic, social and cultural backgrounds. In Japan, I get the impression that even if you could find people that you would 8775 belong with 8776 (which is not a given) they might not accept you in their midst because of 6. lack of common cultural background and/or 7. lack of language ability. After all, if you are a hot-shot lawyer, would you expect people like you to give anyone with the language skills of a child the time of the day? (Regardless of the beautiful gem of a person you may be inside, really).
If a worker doesn 8767 t do his job properly, he 8767 ll be berated, even physically abused, possibly in front of the rest of the staff. I 8767 ve seen this many times. At school, if a student misbehaves even slightly, he 8767 ll be yelled at, and possibly physically abused. At home, if a child or husband or wife gets out of line, somebody 8767 s doing some yelling at someone, and somebody might get smacked.
The second part is that, naturally, what 8767 s important in, say, the . isn 8767 t necessarily important in Japan. For example, in the ., one 8767 s political affiliation could be massively important. Just stating whether or not you support Barack Obama could erupt in a bar fight. I don 8767 t believe politics are that important to most Japanese people. On the other hand, age, marital status, and your profession all seem to be a big deal here.
Sorry I 8767 ll stop ranting off topic soon- just wanted to say on the topic of different japan experiences, out of interest have you been loving in Tokyo the whole time you 8767 ve been here? Cause I think experiences can be quite different depending on where you are in japan. I used to live in Kansai and I got the foreigner treatment everyday could recite the Japanese seven off by heart. Now I live in Kanazawa in Ishikawa and I have NEVER heard the Japanese seven (well people do ask me my name but they call my Coll San at work and other places where appropriate and 8766 where are you from? 8767 Is hardly ever the conversation starter- one guy I worked with didn 8767 t know I wasn 8767 t japanese for months and I 8767 m as white as they come and don 8767 t have a Japanese name or anything! But he seriously just thought 8766 she lives here, I geuss she was born here and is japanese, I 8767 m not gonna ask cause that 8767 s might be rude 8767 ). I have almost never been spoken to in English and always get just as much Keigo as japanese customers when I go into shops etc.
Have you ever heard of an early technicolor Japanese movie made in the 6955 8767 s called 8775 Gate of Hell 8776 ? It was fairly famous and won some kind of international prize in Europe for the best Foreign film. It was incredibly colorful and strange, yet completely riveting and sometimes silly. Needless to say I rather enjoyed it. Its about an some kind of uprising against the Shogun and there 8767 s loads of Samurai. In 6 scene they have a Geisha playing a Koto for several minutes and it was absolutely incredible and I think that was when I first became enamored with Geisha. I read that there used to be 85,555 Geisha in Japan in the 6955 8767 s and there were several schools that taught the Geisha arts. Can it all be gone now?? Waaaah! Ya know, in some ways Geisha are sort of like the image of the Southern Belle of the confederacy from the US civil war era, but that 8767 s pretty much died out too. Rest in Peace Geisha Girl!
One thing I realised while reading everyones thoughts, is that I get asked a lot if I was into mangas or Japanese women as if there wouldn 8767 t be another reason to come to Japan! When I say that there are plenty of reasons, for instance food, culture, budo or simply the joy of speaking Japanese. I get very surprised reactions. Is it so uncommon to come for other reasons? I also get incomprehension and doubtful looks when I tell them that I find more similarities than differences when I think of French and Japanese culture or German and Japanese culture for that fact.
What really jumped out at me in your comment was that 8775 the women were by far better looking than the men. 8776 My experience has been that, when I first got here, all the women looked amazing. And then later, well, only some were. And now, eh, I 8767 m down to about one a month, if that. After a while, you just notice different things, is all. I can look at a Western guy and get an impression of whether he 8767 s from Milan or Kentucky, but it 8767 s not so easy to distinguish girls from Saitama from those from Gunma. So I 8767 d encourage you to look again.
I can proudly and sadly say that I believe in stereotypes and initial contact when I go places and meet people. I have been to places in the US and around the world that it was a must or you could die if you didn 8767 t. The difference between me and many others is that I may believe in the stereotype to keep my guard up initially but I try to always allow them to prove me wrong and happy when they do. Now then, not all stereotypes are dangerous and in fact most aren 8767 t. If I believed in all stereotypes then it would make me believe that all Japanese women like to wear octopi on their head. Obviously that type of stereotype is wrong even if % of Japanese women like to. Applying what we hear and read about anyone or any culture would be treating them/it unfairly. Even within a culture not everyone is the same within that culture and can vary greatly.
I 8767 m going to lurk around to read more comments, but I just want to say one thing.
I 8767 m happy you chose to quote that part of my previous blog post. I wanted to provoke a bit with it, so that people would speak up and tell me that it 8767 s wrong.
Why? Because I 8767 ve seen so many blog and forum posts from Western guys where they were bragging about how awesome they are for getting one Japanese woman after another (well, whether that 8767 s really true, who knows). And that in combination with the fact that I really see a lot of couples (foreign man + Japanese woman) just led me to write what I did. 😉