Living in Japan – Culture Shock
by Abroad in Japan
Doesn’t speak Japanese.
Stages of culture shock.
Irritation and hostiility
He says he feels like he is in a huge theme park. He finds he is being driven to learn Japanese.
Vending machines are everywhere, and in the middle nowhere. The non-existance of crime make this possible.
Convenience stores are everywhere. You can buy airline tickets there or pay or your bills.
Hanko Stamp is your own personal stamp that you use to stamp the many documents you get each day.
Hi living quarters include a kitchen that’s too small (he says) to use. So he eats out a lot. This causes him to get out and walk, and this helps his fitness.
He takes us through a restaurant that delivers your meals on a conveyer belt.
An American Woman Reflects On Differences
Reverse cultural shock – after being in Japan
1. Realizing your short. There are towering people in America.
2. Cultural diversity in America. Apparent in airport.
3. Returning to a place with a lot less structure. Work and play schedules are looser.
4. Americans are much larger and have junk food in shopping cart.
5. Convience, fast food prep, is more common in America.
6. Japan they take time to prepare a meal with fresh foods and the time spent with family to prepare the meal is an important part of the family time.
7. Space – more room for stuff in America. There is a lot more stuff being bought and then surrounding ourselves with it. Japan you give money but not stuff. People think twice about putting stuff in their apartments.
8. Outdoors in America is a big thing. But her Japanese husband does not know the smell of a skunk. Her husband is a city boy. There are activities planned for outside in Japan, but it is structured differently.
Video link courtesy Karan Singh
Mono Culture and Jobs
Living in Japan – Job Distribution
Speaker says that the mono culture of Japan does not have, as you’ll see in the US, a particular ethnic group being predominant in a particular line of work. In Japan, this is not the case, and this (goes his analysis) means there is more respect for people in whatever job they do. There’s less of a tendency to dismiss a line of work because it is done by a particular ethnic group.
This, he says, is a wonderful thing. This in no the case elsewhere.
A job does not define a person, and it’s good to remember this. It’s easy to fall into a prejudice that “only certain people do this.”
This is not to say you should not aspire to an interesting job, but it should be a cautionary note when looking at people who do humble jobs.
This was a conclusion that comes out of his culture shock, but it may even be a reverse form of culture shock.
Be aware of the decisions we make related to work.
Video link courtesy Kali Larrucea
Sharla and Rachel in Japan
Things two US women (Sharla and Rachel) find difficult to do in Japan.
1. Squat toilet.
2. Taking off shoes quickly when entering someone’s home.
3. Slimy/gooey/stickey foods – some foods are like this. Hard for her to eat.
4. Riding bikes is hard but very common in Japan.
5. Naked in some public places, common showers or steambaths.
6. Using the correct form of polite speech that recognizes the other person’s position or rank.
Video link courtesy Melanie Flory