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Are Japanese people really like that?

Talk about the culture and entertainment from Nihon.
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Namida Iro
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Post by Namida Iro » Sep 30th, '07, 00:10

regregreg wrote:Hmm, I've read what apartofmylife wrote about Japanese not talking to strangers even if sitting next to each other on a train... and it's quite understable, really. But the thing that I was wondering about is... how do Japanese people make friends then? If you don't talk to strangers, you will never get to know them and you will never have friends! Or is it okay to talk to a stranger if you two attend the same class and/or work at the same place? Japanese people don't even talk to anyone who's not in their family or is not their classmate/workmate? And how the hell do they get a boyfriend/girlfriend if they don't talk to anyone? :unsure: Someone explain it please!
I went to Japan for an exchange programme last year. I don't think the no-communication thing is that extreme. Maybe I only went to one of the smaller cities in Japan, but everyone there was ultra friendly. For example, the bus that we rode in. It's not a public bus, so everyone inside was from the same (my) school. Outside of the bus, the Japanese in another car were actually pretty excited to see us, and they even waved to us first! x) I actually find that pretty nice.

Of course talking to your classmates and co-workers are fine. XD And their boyfriend/girlfriends, they're from their own class, probably (or at least the same school)? XD I mean, my host's boyfriend is her schoolmate.

But me too, I wouldn't talk to strangers at all unless they're only asking for direction or something. XD I mean, I don't know them. Would you out of nowhere start talking in friendly terms with people you don't even know? I don't think so, especially in Japan where one's status is pretty important (considering there's even 'senpai', 'san', 'sama' etc attached to their name =P).

In terms of their English, they do learn English, but it's very basic. For example, in their junior high school years, they're still learning elementary English. I attended one of the English classes. The teacher was teaching them by interactively playing games. And considering it's very rarely used in the country, I don't think they have much practice with it. So we can't expect them to know English. It's the same for me, where I learn Mandarin in school, but since I have no interest in it, and I refuse to speak in the language, my Mandarin still sucks (despite the fact that this country has many of the people speaking Mandarin).

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Re: Are Japanese people really like that?

Post by |ZERO| » Sep 30th, '07, 00:36

Noale wrote: the Japanese don't speak English (which I do happen to find ridiculous).

Later in the episode the hostess of the tv show got on a bus and tried small talking to people sitting next to her about the weather and things like that, but nobody dared to make even the slightest sound and there was nothing but complete silence and a weird uncomfortable atmosphere.
Why do the Japanese have to know anything other than their own language in their own country? English is not important to them.

How would you like it if you were tired from a long days work and was relaxing on a bus ride home and some crazy, disrespectful, culturally unaware foreigner came up to you, got in your face and started talking in a foreign language?

Just don't go to Japan.

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Post by mikomiko123 » Sep 30th, '07, 00:54

i agree with over the rainbow..... i dont really like japanese and dont wanna go to japan, i just like ther entertainment, for as a filipino, they invaded our country and killed many filipinos and americans who wer peacefully living ther, including my grandfather who was sent to the death march by the japanese, it was when they have to march to cross this gulf something for many miles, that time america was aiding philippines, so they attacked philippines and everytime an american soldier or a filipino soldier gets tired cuz of the march they stab them with their bayonets.... im kinda off topic but i just cant not say it.....
and also thers this show wer if they laugh, they get beaten up with a bat... so ok watever

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Post by |ZERO| » Sep 30th, '07, 01:31

Don't think the Japanese would care if you go there. Saw on NHK news the other day that the Japanese are protesting about the number of Filipino, Iranians and Nigerians coming into their country and bringing in more drugs crime, vandalism, and other havoc. What the Japanese did duringthe war was certainly horrible.

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Post by Serilkath » Sep 30th, '07, 02:28

mikomiko123 wrote:i agree with over the rainbow..... i dont really like japanese and dont wanna go to japan, i just like ther entertainment, for as a filipino, they invaded our country and killed many filipinos and americans who wer peacefully living ther, including my grandfather who was sent to the death march by the japanese, it was when they have to march to cross this gulf something for many miles, that time america was aiding philippines, so they attacked philippines and everytime an american soldier or a filipino soldier gets tired cuz of the march they stab them with their bayonets.... im kinda off topic but i just cant not say it.....
and also thers this show wer if they laugh, they get beaten up with a bat... so ok watever
Is this really the place for this kind of talk ? I'm French so with this kind of way of thinking it's would be OK for most of the planet to hate me ? And I would be OK to hate German people ? This is the most ridiculous and stupid post ever.

PS : BTW did you know that the courageous American navy sunk a huge number of peaceful fishing boat during the pacific war, especially near the end of it when there wasn't any Japanese Navy left ? That is only an example, any military is bad and prone to atrocities. I'm quite sure the filipino army has more than a few skeleton in their closet too...

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Post by doink-chan » Sep 30th, '07, 02:47

I agree with what Serilkath said. Most countries have done pretty awful things in their past as well. I'm American, and the U.S. wasn't exactly an angel either in the past. I recognize that the Japanese army did do many awful things during and before WWII, in fact my grandfather fought against them, but I don't hate modern-day Japanese people or the postwar country because of it. It would be like hating modern-day Germans because of what the Nazis did (not to bring Godwin's Law into this, of course). It isn't as though Japan invades countries and kills people today, in fact a lot of modern-day Japanese are pretty pacifist (excepting a small number of loud extremist doinks).

But anyway, I don't really think that WWII should be dragged into this conversation either, we've already had several threads on that and most of them soon became flamewars...so I don't want this thread to become a flamewar either.

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Post by InTr4nceWeTrust » Sep 30th, '07, 02:50

@Serilkath
Find Jewish people that don't hate Germans. Find black people that wholeheartedly trust white people. I'm pretty sure you will have some trouble finding them. While it may be illogical to hate an ethnicity based on the past, it happens...a lot. And it's very difficult not to. Humans hold grudges. It's not that it's "ok" but it's not stupid either. It's in our nature to avoid and dislike things that have repeatedly harmed us in the past. You can't force people not to do this. The only way to get rid of this is with time. During the time of the Nazis, almost all Jewish people hated Germans. This number has diminished. During the time of slavery, most black people hated white people. Now there is an increasing number of black-white marriages. During WWII, a lot of Americans hated Japanese people. Now there are almost none. More recently, soon after 9/11, Middle Easterns were greatly pre-judged by Americans. The racial profiling of Middle Easterns has now started to decrease.

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Post by lilchestnut10 » Sep 30th, '07, 03:53

as for japan...well, everyone pretty much ran in into the ground that Japan has its ways, so deal with it. seriously, i really hate it when people insist you speak THEIR language. I live in southern california and nothing bothers me more than someone coming up to me, assuming i speak spanish, and then getting angry that i dont (and its happened). im not saying we shouldnt learn spanish, but i think its should be a rule of thumb, youre a guest so act like one. you wouldnt go to another's house and follow your own house rules. i say this to make a point, if you go to Japan, speak Japanese. If you want to speak english in Japan, well...you better just go with a tour group or go to the tourist traps. you could also go to an information booth, but dont think they owe it to you to speak english.

But, Japan isnt as cold as you think. Ok, so talking to someone on the subway is not exactly the brightest idea. but i think thats anywhere...i dont care how friendly your town is. But neighbors and family etc are usually excited to meeting new people, as long as its through someone else. That you should learn, as Japanese meet people through people they already know. (this comes from trusting your first friend's opinion of someone else that leads to meeting someone new...a bit confusing...i learned it in a japanese communication class...)


this seems to be a trend with EVERY country, if stuff goes wrong blame the immigrants. it cant be helped.

so to sum things up:
the japanese speak japanese (wow!)
just appreciate different cultures instead of judging them.

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Post by Serilkath » Sep 30th, '07, 04:58

InTr4nceWeTrust wrote:@Serilkath
Find Jewish people that don't hate Germans. Find black people that wholeheartedly trust white people. I'm pretty sure you will have some trouble finding them. While it may be illogical to hate an ethnicity based on the past, it happens...a lot. And it's very difficult not to. Humans hold grudges. It's not that it's "ok" but it's not stupid either. It's in our nature to avoid and dislike things that have repeatedly harmed us in the past. You can't force people not to do this. The only way to get rid of this is with time. During the time of the Nazis, almost all Jewish people hated Germans. This number has diminished. During the time of slavery, most black people hated white people. Now there is an increasing number of black-white marriages. During WWII, a lot of Americans hated Japanese people. Now there are almost none. More recently, soon after 9/11, Middle Easterns were greatly pre-judged by Americans. The racial profiling of Middle Easterns has now started to decrease.
1) I live in Canada and know a lot of Jewish people that really don't mind German people, and most people here just don't care about your skin colour, they won't base their trust on it anyway.
2) The time heal hatred that wars create. Well, yes, that was my point really. If my memory is good the japanese invasion of the Philipine was in the 30s... This guy is talking about a war he probably did not lived through. This kind of talk just terrify me, in fact. These are the seeds for the next wars... Modern japanese aren't those who invaded most of asia 70 years ago. Furthermore, bringing this grudge here is really really sick. I'm really glad this kind of people are not the majority. If it were the case in Europe, life would be really really hellish (well... it is hellish, but not for this reason).

I got pissed, once again :P

PS : I do think that holding a grudge as general as "I don't like Japanese people because they invaded my country 70 years ago", in this case, is really, really stupid.

PS.2 : BTW, I don't think there's still Jewish people hating today's Germans. Nazis however are probably still fair game (as they should. Bad, bad people...)

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Post by InTr4nceWeTrust » Sep 30th, '07, 05:13

Even if he didn't experience the war himself, his grandfather did. Thoughts of contempt will be passed down each generation but usually weaker each time. These continuously weakening thoughts are hardly seeds for another war.

And about Jewish people not hating Germans, I know plenty that still do because their grandmother or grandfather went through the Holocaust.

I'll leave it at that. I'm getting pretty off topic.

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Post by apartofmylife » Sep 30th, '07, 05:21

mikomiko123 wrote:i agree with over the rainbow..... i dont really like japanese and dont wanna go to japan, i just like ther entertainment, for as a filipino, they invaded our country and killed many filipinos and americans who wer peacefully living ther, including my grandfather who was sent to the death march by the japanese, it was when they have to march to cross this gulf something for many miles, that time america was aiding philippines, so they attacked philippines and everytime an american soldier or a filipino soldier gets tired cuz of the march they stab them with their bayonets.... im kinda off topic but i just cant not say it.....
and also thers this show wer if they laugh, they get beaten up with a bat... so ok watever
I can’t say anything but we are sorry.
I wouldn’t say I understand your feeling because it is not something easy that we, victimizer, can understand.
I think only victims can understand. I think we should admit horrible things we have done, apologize about it,
never forget it, and never repeat the history. I think many Japanese people nowadays think so too.
I want to communicate with people from various countries and to understand better each other.

Please let me back to the topic.
regregreg wrote:Hmm, I've read what apartofmylife wrote about Japanese not talking to strangers even if sitting next to each other on a train... and it's quite understable, really. But the thing that I was wondering about is... how do Japanese people make friends then? If you don't talk to strangers, you will never get to know them and you will never have friends! Or is it okay to talk to a stranger if you two attend the same class and/or work at the same place? Japanese people don't even talk to anyone who's not in their family or is not their classmate/workmate? And how the hell do they get a boyfriend/girlfriend if they don't talk to anyone? :unsure: Someone explain it please!

And about the Japanese don't talk to foreigners thing... Well, I'm not Japanese but I don't talk to foreigners either. I'm kind of afraid of them too, so I'd probably run away if anyone came up to me and asked something in English! I'd never ever speak a word of this language aloud. :whistling: So, I'm with the Japanese on this one! :lol
It’s ok to talk with our classmates/workmates, of course!. It is how we make friends! :D
We don’t talk with only people who has no connection with us. I mean totally strangers.
But like some people say, Osaka and Tokyo is different and big cities and countries are different.
I think people in Kansai is more open or friendly than people in Kanto. I don’t know how much different though.
I have been saying we don’t talk with stranger, we don’t talk with stranger, but I think obasan
(middle-aged women or over) tend to talks to strangers not like young people.
My mom made a friend with a woman who my mom see at a bus stop every morning. :-)
I am sometimes (not often) spoken by obasan in a supermarkets or at a bus stop.^^;

I’ve just remembered the conversation I had with my co-workers.
My boss saw a very handsome guy on the train. He was so handsome that she was staring at him.
He noticed her looking at him and looked at her back.
She was embarrassed and looked away… A co-worker told my boss,” why didn’t you speak to him?” My boss asked ”how?”
The co-worker said, ”You are handsome.” We burst into laughing…we are not trying to make my boss a strange lady,
but our talk was going to that way… If my boss actually spoke to him, it would be like she did nanpa.
Nanpa is to ask girls/guys in the street or public places for a cup of coffee or drink.

How to make boyfriend/girlfriend in Japan.
I think these are the top three ways to make boyfriend/girlfriend.
1. from school or work place.
2. Goukon or nanpa. Goukon= a group of guys and girls have a drinking party.
3. Omiai (arranged marriages)
Last edited by apartofmylife on Sep 30th, '07, 06:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Karate-ka » Sep 30th, '07, 05:28

this is what i think:

Of course the things like world war 2 must never be forgotten but as for our generation we dont have to mind are buissnes in to it.

Are generation should work more on peace then hatred, if you keep hating people who hurt your fammely 60 years ago then you are probbably crazy, and if you pas on you hatred to other peopel to the next generation how would you expect that there would be never peace?

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Post by seeshu » Sep 30th, '07, 06:21

I don't think that the "Japanese are really like that." It's really strange to generalize from one TV show to questioning the entire population. Sure, people aren't too friendly -- but I've found that in cities across the globe there are unfriendly people. I think it was probably just a combination of being forced to speak English and being surprised by a bunch of foreigners with video cameras. That has got to be intimidating.

I'd hate to imagine some foreign country watching an episode of "Fear Factor" and assume that all Americans are like that.

I've only been to Japan a few times but I've been around Asia a lot. Asians generally are more reserved, but it's a cultural thing.

Also, I've watched some of the "silent library" segments. I kind of found them hilarious, but maybe that's because I recognized half of the participants and knew that they were all famous comedians/talk show hosts. So to me, it seemed obvious that they didn't take random people off the street and subject them to strange torture.

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Post by Dudie » Sep 30th, '07, 08:20

I also wanna go to Japan one day and that's one of the reasons i watch Lost In Tokyo (ohh Hard Gay was soo funny in the 2nd episode!) But about the Dutch group trying to communicate with the Japanese are trying it the wrong way around. I mean if i didn't know english and there was one of them asking me something in English with a camera i was like go away too i guess. I heard tho that Japanese people also get English at school but due the lack of getting in touch with the English language the way they speak it is off and they know that i guess so they don't dare to speak it or something.
I think it's better to start saying something in thier langauge so they know you are willing to try out thier own and then maybe might give English a try. Show interest in thier county is very important i guess.

Before i go though i want to be able to speak Japanese better then i do now.. Now i only know a few basic lines like "Do you understand English/Dutch?" and "I don't understand Japanese" etc.

Ohh and i find it stupid that people might think it's all like in Manga/Anime/Jdrama there since it's not...

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Post by Noale » Sep 30th, '07, 09:21

regregreg wrote:Hmm, I've read what apartofmylife wrote about Japanese not talking to strangers even if sitting next to each other on a train... and it's quite understable, really. But the thing that I was wondering about is... how do Japanese people make friends then? If you don't talk to strangers, you will never get to know them and you will never have friends! Or is it okay to talk to a stranger if you two attend the same class and/or work at the same place? Japanese people don't even talk to anyone who's not in their family or is not their classmate/workmate? And how the hell do they get a boyfriend/girlfriend if they don't talk to anyone? :unsure: Someone explain it please!

And about the Japanese don't talk to foreigners thing... Well, I'm not Japanese but I don't talk to foreigners either. I'm kind of afraid of them too, so I'd probably run away if anyone came up to me and asked something in English! I'd never ever speak a word of this language aloud. :whistling: So, I'm with the Japanese on this one! :lol
I'm sure they do talk to people they know from school and work and get to know people this way. And perhaps many of them also like to go to bars and clubs at night? From what I've heard the more reserved people who are always very busy during the day are more likely to party at night to release some of the stress.

Oh, I love it when foreigners come up to me and start talking to me in English That happened to me a week ago when I was in a tram in Amsterdam. :lol An American couple asked me about the ticket system and I explained it to them in English and they were all like "Where did you learn to speak like that? You speak with a perfect American accent."
Maybe they were just trying to be nice, but it's always nice to hear.

I have to say though, that, whether I talk back to strangers who just suddenly start conversing with me, depends on the individual. Sometimes you can just see that people are no good and are talking to you with wrong intentions - and in those cases I have no problem with ignoring them and running away!

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Post by Noale » Sep 30th, '07, 09:36

Karate-ka wrote:this is what i think:

Of course the things like world war 2 must never be forgotten but as for our generation we dont have to mind are buissnes in to it.

Are generation should work more on peace then hatred, if you keep hating people who hurt your fammely 60 years ago then you are probbably crazy, and if you pas on you hatred to other peopel to the next generation how would you expect that there would be never peace?
In a way talking about this is also relevant to this thread, because it's all about generalization, which sometimes goes as far as discrimination, which is caused by misunderstanding. I know a guy from Greece who hates all people from Turkey and absolutely despises the entire country, because a century ago they invaded and took over Greece. However, things have changed since then, but that's just not something he realizes. His family raised him, constantly saying that the Turkish are bad, so he grew up believing that. I wouldn't call it crazy, it's just the way people can be formed. People create people.

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Post by a2a » Sep 30th, '07, 09:53

Speaking from personal experience:
This summer I went to Japan for the first time in my life, with my Japanese teacher and classmates. I don't know if you know about Greeks but we are very open and loud people and going to a country like Japan where everybody keeps a low profile we were obviously going to stand out. I kinda expected that we were going to be avoided or ignored by the Japanese. Surprisingly none of this happened. People were really open and kind and went out of their way to help us! One girl in Osaka in particular offered to show us the way to our hotel when we got lost one night.

BUT you have to know Japanese. I had a lot of conversations with Japanese people on the street, in the stores etc. Sometimes I talked to them and sometimes they talked to me. I also found it easier to express myself in Japanese than in English. Although I can speak English since primary school I was always stressed to speak to foreigners. But in Japanese that didn't happen and I'm not fluent or anything. However, a lot of people in Japan complimented me and seemed really happy when I spoke to them. I had little kids and even hot Japanese guys that I didn't speak to, smile at me. And I smiled back. In the buses I helped the elderly and always received their thanks. Although our group was kinda annoying at times cause we would say anecdotes and laugh out loud in the subway. So, basically, Japanese, may look reserved at first glance, but if you are willing to embrace their language and culture then they welcome you with a kindness and hospitality that can't be found anywhere in the world.

About English and Japanese now: You can't expect people whose language is radically different from English to learn it well. In Europe, most languages have a connection between them, so its easier for Europeans to learn English. A language like Japanese however, that is based on syllables, and that lacks sounds like l, x , v etc can't be associated with English. It's so different that Japanese people have trouble learning any language. My teacher has been in Greece for more than 25 years and she still confuses some words or can't pronounce them. So if you try to start a simple English conversation in Japan you will get hilarious results. When a friend from our group (the only one who didn't know Japanese) tried to buy a pair of shoes in Tokyo the result of his attempted communication with the seller was me leaning on a stall laughing my ass out, the other sellers laughing too and my friend looking around confused wondering if his money went to waste. I didn't even have the courage to step in and help him (in the end I did).

All in all, just don't expect them to understand you. Rather try to understand them.

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Post by groink » Sep 30th, '07, 09:54

The only problem I have with Turkey is this:

http://www.ikissyou.org/

Earlier today, I went to a Japanese-oriented store (Shirokiya for you locals.) At two different departments, the cashier spoke to me in Japanese. I actually find that really cool!

A few years ago, my parents (my dad is Filipino, and my mom is Irish) attended a banquet. At the end of the line, this guy was handing out eating utensils. My mom came up to him first, and he handed her a fork. She laughed, "What? Just 'cause I'm one haole? I prefer chopsticks!" The guy was so embarrassed!!! Right behind her was my dad - dark skin and all... The guy handed him chopsticks. My dad replied, "Can I have a fork instead?"

Here's another example that just happened today... I took my mother out to dinner. The host asked me, "Anyone over the age of 65?" First I thought WTF, he's asking me if I'm 65????? Then when the blood finally reached the brain, I realized he was referring to my mother. Guess it is a polite way to inquire if she's a senior citizen. Later, my mom mentioned that a few months earlier, a restaurant host asked my aunt (age 46) point blank if she was 65. In summary, she had a massive cow.

It is just two of many exercises I've witnessed over the years where just the look of a person fires off assumptions. Many of you must understand that making assumptions is actually a necessity in human communications, and it should be looked upon as such. No one should ever take it personal when people assume things about you based on how you look. Maybe when the Internet, airplanes, ships and transporters (Star Trek) have been in use for at least 500 years, that when the different cultures will get used to one another. But until then...

--- groink

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Post by machacat » Sep 30th, '07, 15:10

I didn't really find Japanese people to be like that at all. I stayed there for two months for an exchange program. Everyone was pretty open to me which surprised me because I thought they would be kind of cold. Maybe it was just the city that I lived in... but people didn't really avoid me anymore than they would in the United States or something. It felt pretty normal.

I don't think English should be required to know either, there's no way you can go to expect people to know English when it's not the official language of the country. o.o;;

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Post by Sheepy » Sep 30th, '07, 19:57

Noale wrote:Hmm, yes, the global english thing.. Forcing English on people may sound extreme, but I honestly do think it would be great if in every country the educational system offered a second (global) language that is taught well, so it's not a waste of time, but people can actually use it.
Keep in mind that for a Japanese person it's a lot more difficult to learn English than for a Dutch person. Dutch and English share a lot of vocabulary and are closely related. Also, Dutch people are exposed to English a lot in their daily life (movies and music).

And if you are gonna choose a global language, make it Mandarin Chinese.

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Post by Hero » Sep 30th, '07, 20:11

I've been around Japan and don't find that at all.
Asking for directions, which train to use, how o operate the ticket machines etc was no problem people were happy to help.

I really like the stores in Japan, the way they come up to talk to you, like in clothes shops using simple english was fine.
Japanese people seem very polite, willing to help. maybe i was just lucky...?

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Post by doink-chan » Oct 1st, '07, 02:12

Sheepy wrote:
Noale wrote:Hmm, yes, the global english thing.. Forcing English on people may sound extreme, but I honestly do think it would be great if in every country the educational system offered a second (global) language that is taught well, so it's not a waste of time, but people can actually use it.
Keep in mind that for a Japanese person it's a lot more difficult to learn English than for a Dutch person. Dutch and English share a lot of vocabulary and are closely related. Also, Dutch people are exposed to English a lot in their daily life (movies and music).
This is also true. Actually, I've heard that one of the easiest languages for a Japanese person to learn is Korean, because Korean and Japanese have similar grammar (unlike English and Japanese), and both also have a lot of shared vocabulary from Chinese (one example of this is the word for promise - in Japanese it is 約束 [yakusoku] and in Korean it is 약속 [yaksok] which is also written in hanja as 約束. Both of them came from the same Chinese word). There are theories that Japanese and Korean are both in the Altaic language family.

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Post by Noale » Oct 1st, '07, 10:10

Hero wrote:I've been around Japan and don't find that at all.
Asking for directions, which train to use, how o operate the ticket machines etc was no problem people were happy to help.

I really like the stores in Japan, the way they come up to talk to you, like in clothes shops using simple english was fine.
Japanese people seem very polite, willing to help. maybe i was just lucky...?
Perhaps. Or maybe it depends on where in Japan you go to. I moved around a lot in my own country and I found that different pronvinces bring about different people.

To Sheepy:
Yes, that I know. Japanese and English have no similarities and they would have to learn an entirely new alphabet. And the same goes for many other global languages. And if it's Mandarin, then the Europeans, Africans and Americans are going to have a harder time.
As nice and perfect as having most of the world share one second language sounds, I know it's either impossible or extremely hard to achieve. However, I do not appreciate it when countries refuse to speak any other language than their own and make not even the slightest attempt to teach their children another global language.

To Groink:
Hehe, I hate those darn chopsticks. My family is part Chinese and we always have to eat the same Asian dish together with Christmas, using chopsticks. However, every year something goes wrong. Either I make food fall on my lap or I accidentally throw food on the person sitting next to me.
I agree making assumptions is necessary. Also, it's something we will always automatically do. Though of course making slight assumptions is different from making blind judgements. Hmm, in a way I would like there to be more understanding between people all over the world, but then again I don't want different cultures to dissapear and be replaced by one massive commercial culture ^^
Last edited by Noale on Oct 1st, '07, 10:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by cantiara » Oct 1st, '07, 10:34

This is why I don't really like that show, Lost in Tokyo. I watched the first episode and I gave up. It is shown to an audience who basically have not (or even never) been exposed to the Japanese culture or even Eastern Asian culture in general, and what are shown in that show don't really represent the whole content of the culture either. Hey, I'm no expert of the culture either, but I've been exposed to it from reading about it and watch Japanese TV shows that I can say they're only bringing about <i>some</i> parts of the culture only to serve the purpose of shocking the audience. Commercially, nothing is wrong with it, but I just dislike what it results in.

Not to mention most participants of that show don't really seem to be that open minded either. They are basically a bunch of whiners! ("Ooh, I don't wanna do that, dressing up like a sexy maid is just plain weird for me, I have my pride, so thanks but no thanks"). If you are willing to participate in a reality TV show, you should already expect that you might have to do something you are not really fond of doing!

It results in viewers who (like I said) haven't been exposed much to the Japanese culture or Asian culture in general, generalize. And questions like this ("Are they really like THAT? Woah, how bizarre") pop up.

Noale, you and me are considered lucky to have this forum in which we can ask or discuss about this topic. We can ask to clarify and even get a deeper insight on the Japanese culture in general. But most people who watch that show don't, and they'll end up thinking that the Japanese culture only comprises of the so-called "weird" things that are shown on that program. That's sad... because we all know there are certainly more to the Japanese culture than what are shown in that show...
Last edited by cantiara on Oct 1st, '07, 10:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Noale » Oct 1st, '07, 10:44

Exactly. Especially because all the contestants are so negative, literally saying that "they don't like Japanese people" and "would never visit the country again".
It shocked me. And there was this disbelief - I didn't know much about the Japanese culture, but I had watched many Japanese movies and dramas that had given me an entirely different image of the Japanese than the one "Lost in Tokyo" presented. So I started this topic.
I think it was a good thing to do, because many people took the time to react and have given me a lot of good and useful information about Japan that I didn't know.

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Post by cantiara » Oct 1st, '07, 10:52

Noale wrote:Especially because all the contestants are so negative, literally saying that "they don't like Japanese people" and "would never visit the country again".
Again, bunch of friggin' whinersssss!! :cussing:

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Post by Romance » Oct 1st, '07, 11:07

I dont really get the topic, but ive lived in japan for 5 years now and i dont get what you are talking about.

Well, go to shibuya one day and look at the people and ask yourself what you just wrote again.

And the tvshow? Its just superior, i have to say that japanese have a great sense of humour, often in a crazy way which lightens up this otherwise boring planet, i just love japanese tv.

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Post by roxieanonymous » Oct 1st, '07, 11:08

Japanese people in general are very...how do I put it...nationalistic. They are ethnocentric people, which means they have an ardor love or preference for their own race/kind only and exclusively so they're not very welcoming when it comes to anything foreign, especially foreign people from the west. We've studied about this in sociology. The Japanese aren't exactly rude or anti-social, they're just less friendly and less hospitable to foreigners. However, not all of them are like this.

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Post by Tetsu87 » Oct 1st, '07, 11:08

Hero wrote:I've been around Japan and don't find that at all.
Asking for directions, which train to use, how o operate the ticket machines etc was no problem people were happy to help.

I really like the stores in Japan, the way they come up to talk to you, like in clothes shops using simple english was fine.
Japanese people seem very polite, willing to help. maybe i was just lucky...?
I am feeling the same at the moment and I am staying for one year in Japan, Aomori.
Everywhere I go, people look at you (not uncomfortable in my opinion) and smile and even greet you^^ You shouldn't watch and believe such shows, go to Japan and try the REAL life. Or maybe just stay here and believe it........ :roll
Of course not everyone is like this and it also depends on your own behaviour how people around you react.

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Post by Noale » Oct 1st, '07, 11:18

Romance wrote:I dont really get the topic, but ive lived in japan for 5 years now and i dont get what you are talking about.

Well, go to shibuya one day and look at the people and ask yourself what you just wrote again.

And the tvshow? Its just superior, i have to say that japanese have a great sense of humour, often in a crazy way which lightens up this otherwise boring planet, i just love japanese tv.
Don't assume that what I wrote was my opinion on Japanese people. I merely stated what I had seen and asked for its degree of truth and more information on the culture.
Good to know you've had nice experiences during your stay there, like many others who posted here have had too. It makes me seriously consider learning the language, so I can go there one day.

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Post by Kuronami » Oct 1st, '07, 11:44

Hi ^__^
Well I don't think the Japanese are really like that on the contrary I found them very social and they often want to know more about you.

I've been to Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Arashiyama, Tokyo and other places and I got to talk with a lot of people BUT !!! that may be because I speek Japanese. I talked with both generations, when you say Japanese don't know english I disagree because I find that there are more Japanese that know how to speak english then french know XD If you are dutch and if you have been to France which is quite possible because France is vacation heaven for dutch people you must have seen their english level :lol
When I went to Sanjusangendo I met a 70 year old Japanese who spoke nearly fluent english I was amazed never I could of seen that in France.

It's true that in Holland and in northen european countries nearlly everybody knows english because it's present everywhere like on dutch tv lots of the shows are in english and subtitled in ducth. So I can understand dutch when they are shocked to see countries who don't really speak good english.
And when I got lost or didn't know where something was I often asked anybody in the street for the directions and they would be so happy and some even said "oh then let's go there together! or I'll take you there!". And when I was in Umeda station I was looking on my map for midori sen the green line and I heard somebody saying in english "Do you have a problem ?" and it was a policeman with a big smile ^__^.
But my Japanese friend told me that Kansai people are really kind and yeah that's so true. Then when we were going to Tokyo we told me that people in Tokyo are less friendly but I didn't got to see that really. Maybe it's because there are so many people in Tokyo and different nationalities that it's maybe normal for them to see foreigners and maybe it would be strange for them if someone they didn't know at all of a sudden wanted to speak with them. If you go in the Kansai region and take the Hankyuu line or go to the suburbs of Osaka like Awaji you'll be quite suprized that you are often the only stranger :D Over there I did lot's of photos with the crew of the restaurants I went, really good atmospher.

Well if someone had a really bad experience in Japan it would shock me a bit because I really had nice moments with people I didn't even know XD and even made new friends.
But what's for sure you don't go to a other country if you havn't at all learned at least important cultural stuff and also learn a few key words or phrases people will always be so happy that you know a word or 2 in their mother tongue even if you forget them afterwards :P

Well in the end all of this is my own opinion and experience :-) and we all have our own point of view n__n

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Post by Noale » Oct 1st, '07, 16:44

Aye, there are a whole lot of other countries where merely one language is spoken, France being one of them. But especially for France it's incovenient, because they're surrounded by all these countries where English is spoken and every year they're being troubled by so many English speaking tourists, including the Dutch. I've been to France only too often and there's just no communicating with the French. Even when you're in a restaurant in one of those extremely touristic cities, you'll find that the waiters and waitresses don't know English. So I always have to speak French there, which I find awfully difficult. XD

Yep, English is indeed present everywhere in Holland. I don't understand why the French and the Germans (and so many other populations) have to synchronize every single foreign tv show into their own language. They could just use subtitles like we do, which makes it so much easier to learn other languages. The only things we don't sub are cartoons for young children, since they haven't learned to read yet.

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Post by doink-chan » Oct 1st, '07, 17:28

cantiara wrote:This is why I don't really like that show, Lost in Tokyo. I watched the first episode and I gave up. It is shown to an audience who basically have not (or even never) been exposed to the Japanese culture or even Eastern Asian culture in general, and what are shown in that show don't really represent the whole content of the culture either. Hey, I'm no expert of the culture either, but I've been exposed to it from reading about it and watch Japanese TV shows that I can say they're only bringing about <i>some</i> parts of the culture only to serve the purpose of shocking the audience. Commercially, nothing is wrong with it, but I just dislike what it results in.

Not to mention most participants of that show don't really seem to be that open minded either. They are basically a bunch of whiners! ("Ooh, I don't wanna do that, dressing up like a sexy maid is just plain weird for me, I have my pride, so thanks but no thanks"). If you are willing to participate in a reality TV show, you should already expect that you might have to do something you are not really fond of doing!

It results in viewers who (like I said) haven't been exposed much to the Japanese culture or Asian culture in general, generalize. And questions like this ("Are they really like THAT? Woah, how bizarre") pop up.

Noale, you and me are considered lucky to have this forum in which we can ask or discuss about this topic. We can ask to clarify and even get a deeper insight on the Japanese culture in general. But most people who watch that show don't, and they'll end up thinking that the Japanese culture only comprises of the so-called "weird" things that are shown on that program. That's sad... because we all know there are certainly more to the Japanese culture than what are shown in that show...
I agree, I haven't seen this show but it sounds similar to that Kelly Osbourne show from earlier this year. It also focused on more of the weird "otaku" things like maid cafes and whatnot, trying to make out like all Japanese do these things. Not that I object to "otaku" things being covered, but make it clear that only some people are into those things and not everyone. Heck, there were even some scenes in the show where you could hear Kelly's interpreter say things like "This is so weird" and whatnot in Japanese.

They also misrepresented some of the non-"otaku" things in the show...there are no samurai anymore, for instance, there haven't been any samurai for a century. The guy who they showed as a "samurai" was actually a kendo/kenjutsu teacher (don't know which exactly). And Kelly herself also often whined and complained, like when she cosplayed as Lacus Clyne from Gundam SEED and people wanted her to pose in character...she complained about how her costume was soooo skimpy and how the people who wanted her to pose were sooooo grooooss. Well, maybe you should have dressed up as a different character with a less skimpy outfit, doink! :roll And she also generalized all cosplay as "sexual" based on her wearing a skimpy outfit... :roll :roll

It's like a documentary about America that only focused on things like furries. It's doinky!

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Post by Thekitten » Oct 1st, '07, 17:44

well... I stayed in Tokyo for a month and I didn't have any problem at all!! people were really nice and ready to help at the slightest chance...
Actually i'm spanish, so I shouldn't know much english (had the opportunity to learn it and did it! ^_^) but here it's really rare for someone to be fluent in english, I mean, they do teach us since we are little (3-4 years old) but it is really strange to find someone who actually can express themselves in english.
back to the topic.... I believe what others have said, if you go to a country, you can't expect everyone to speak your language... or even english, I was even in a Hotel where the receptionist didn't have a clue of english xD (quite funny actually)

Maybe people in the street were kindof shy because they were being filmed (already said) but i asked anyone on the street and they even walked me to wherever i wanted to go ...
Also joung people are really nice, and try to speak some kind of japanenglihs quite funny...

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Post by seirin » Oct 1st, '07, 18:09

I was in Japan for holidays and didn't have problems. Sure they tend not to talk to you, but it might be if don't speak Japanese. I've asked for directions and stuff and they were helpful. Though some try to be helpful even though they don't know the location ^^; I ended up on a wild goose chase. Some people are helpful too, like when I'm carrying heavy luggage to the train or bus, some may help out as they pass by ^^; Also some old guys even tried to converse with me. I guess maybe cuz I'm a girl? No idea.

As for the variety shows. They do strange things I admit. Like the food, game, crying competitions etc. But it beats the Hilton sister's Road show reality show.

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Post by Kuronami » Oct 1st, '07, 23:14

seirin wrote:Also some old guys even tried to converse with me. I guess maybe cuz I'm a girl? No idea.
Well a old japanese grandpa (about 70) while I was looking at some 800 year old statues in Sanjusangendo came and saw that I was interested in them and he came to me and talked to me in english and I in Japanese XD and I hadn't said a word to make him come to me and I'm a guy so ...... so maybe it has nothing to do if you are a guy or a girl XD depends on the situation and circumstances XD
Maybe the older generation is very pleased to see that young people are appreciating history ^__^

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Post by cantiara » Oct 2nd, '07, 08:25

doink-chan wrote:
I agree, I haven't seen this show but it sounds similar to that Kelly Osbourne show from earlier this year. It also focused on more of the weird "otaku" things like maid cafes and whatnot, trying to make out like all Japanese do these things. Not that I object to "otaku" things being covered, but make it clear that only some people are into those things and not everyone. Heck, there were even some scenes in the show where you could hear Kelly's interpreter say things like "This is so weird" and whatnot in Japanese.

They also misrepresented some of the non-"otaku" things in the show...there are no samurai anymore, for instance, there haven't been any samurai for a century. The guy who they showed as a "samurai" was actually a kendo/kenjutsu teacher (don't know which exactly). And Kelly herself also often whined and complained, like when she cosplayed as Lacus Clyne from Gundam SEED and people wanted her to pose in character...she complained about how her costume was soooo skimpy and how the people who wanted her to pose were sooooo grooooss. Well, maybe you should have dressed up as a different character with a less skimpy outfit, doink! :roll And she also generalized all cosplay as "sexual" based on her wearing a skimpy outfit... :roll :roll

It's like a documentary about America that only focused on things like furries. It's doinky!
Didn't expect that from Kelly, always thought she's pretty weird herself haha..

Anyway, this show is like only showing the Red Light District and all Coffeshops in Amsterdam to foreigners and they think that all Dutch people are very liberal and smoke weed, everyday, at given times, just like drinking coffee.

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Post by xxwolfsrainxx » Oct 2nd, '07, 12:32

You realize you're basing this on a dutch tv show? I mean the dutch newspapers degrade a race and religion of over 3 million people.
PS. Of course this is my biased opinion of the dutch from watching the news and reading up on the dutch parties.

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Post by xxwolfsrainxx » Oct 2nd, '07, 12:52

Hey to the teacher who went to korea- You're amazing. My korean friend taught me some korean but I'm always afraid to speak it to koreans. Glad you can do it though =). I'm sure the reason most people in japan don't speak english is that they dont want to be made fun of. this is the same thing for almost all people who learn a second language. I don't speak spanish to spanish people and I learned it for 2 years.

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Post by Noale » Oct 2nd, '07, 13:03

xxwolfsrainxx wrote:You realize you're basing this on a dutch tv show? What are the dutch in the media if not intolerant? I mean the dutch newspapers degraed a race and religion of over 3 million people. They also have a nationalistic party that wants to get rid of arabs and muslims and make it harder for immigrants to come into their country.

PS. Of course this is my biased opinion of the dutch from watching the news and reading up on the dutch parties.
Yep, that is pretty biased. Though if you think that I have formed a steady view about the Japanese by watching that show, you misunderstand. The show was pretty shocking. A little too shocking for me to just blindly believe it and adapt to its views and that's why I started this thread.

But what race and religion are you talking about? And you're right about the extremely nationalistic party - it's called "Partij voor de Vrijheid" lead by Geert Wilders. Honestly, the guy has gone mad. He wants to ban the Quran in Holland. Fortunately only few support this idea of his. However, there are many problems with immigrants in our country. Many of them are doing very well, but there are also quite a lot who have a hard time adapting and turn to criminality. These days most criminal activities in our country are caused by immigrants. It scares the Dutch population (especially the elderly people who keep on reminding everyone on how it used to be safe to walk the streets at night) and so some of us are starting to see all immigrants as a threat and don't want any more of them in our country. It is indeed extreme and biased, but it doesn't come from nowhere.

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Post by xxwolfsrainxx » Oct 2nd, '07, 13:21

Noale wrote:
xxwolfsrainxx wrote:You realize you're basing this on a dutch tv show? What are the dutch in the media if not intolerant? I mean the dutch newspapers degraed a race and religion of over 3 million people. They also have a nationalistic party that wants to get rid of arabs and muslims and make it harder for immigrants to come into their country.

PS. Of course this is my biased opinion of the dutch from watching the news and reading up on the dutch parties.
Yep, that is pretty biased. Though if you think that I have formed a steady view about the Japanese by watching that show, you misunderstand. The show was pretty shocking. A little too shocking for me to just blindly believe it and adapt to its views and that's why I started this thread.

But what race and religion are you talking about? And you're right about the extremely nationalistic party - it's called "Partij voor de Vrijheid" lead by Geert Wilders. Honestly, the guy has gone mad. He wants to ban the Quran in Holland. Fortunately only few support this idea of his. However, there are many problems with immigrants in our country. Many of them are doing very well, but there are also quite a lot who have a hard time adapting and turn to criminality. These days most criminal activities in our country are caused by immigrants. It scares the Dutch population (especially the elderly people who keep on reminding everyone on how it used to be safe to walk the streets at night) and so some of us are starting to see all immigrants as a threat and don't want any more of them in our country. It is indeed extreme and biased, but it doesn't come from nowhere.
Ha that's the reason I posted it. I was trying showing you how ridiculous it is to base a opinion off what you've seen on TV. Sorry I was under the assumption you assumed that's how Japanese people are just based on that one show. I'm talking about Arabs and Muslims. I was reading about that guy and apparently the place I read about it said he was a popular party leader and that he has the parliment's support. Maybe that has changed or it was false =). Also read they had conventions where they were trying to make pictures that depicted Arabs and Muslims negatively and the person with the best would win something.

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Post by Noale » Oct 2nd, '07, 13:43

Well, there have been quite a number of people who supported him, but nowadays he's just becoming more and more extreme and when he's in Dutch newspapers, he's usually being ridiculed. But I've never heard of such conventions and it doesn't at all sound like something our government would organize. Perhaps they were private meetings by a group of angry and confused teenagers or a couple of kids who thought they could be funny? :nuts:

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Bubble Buster

Post by Jinusean » Oct 8th, '07, 23:23

Those that think the Japanese culture they see in Anime or J-dramas mirrors real life, they're going to be in for a huge disappointment. These shows theyare watching are of a world that don't exist. The Japanese are yes very nice. And you're going to be quick to praise that part about them especially if your stay in Japan is short (two weeks or less). You may have stories of "Oh, people were so nice in giving me directions.... The service in the stores was impeccable...."

Look for stories of experiences that 外国人s (foreigners) have in Japan around net, however, and they'll find a scary contradiction. They may see stories where many people say that all the Japanese politeness is only a facade in most cases. A lot of them say that the Japanese are extremely superficial, and hard to get close to. Some would venture as far to say that many times foreigners are viewed by the Japanese as contaminants to the pure Japanese culture. They will be extremely nice and polite to you up front, but most of the time keep you at a safe distance.

I've heard a few stereotypes from friends who've said "The Japanese people can sometimes be so fake. They're only nice on the outside, but you have no idea what they're thinking about you on the inside." I couldn't believe their words! How dare they stereotype an entire race of people!

My experience:
My initial experiences with 日本人Japanese were really great, cause they were so nice and full of praise. It was extremely disappointing when they took it too far, some would say praises that that were way over the top, and I realized disappointingly that this person was not saying things sincerely at all. I realize cultures are different, and this part of it was one of the hardest things to acknowledge, swallow, and leave behind and move on.

Originally I thought of America as a country where people can be so tactless and rude? But after experiencing life on the other side of the world, I prefer many times in "keeping things real."

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Re: Bubble Buster

Post by ManaYagami » Oct 9th, '07, 01:14

Jinusean wrote:Those that think the Japanese culture they see in Anime or J-dramas mirrors real life, they're going to be in for a huge disappointment. These shows theyare watching are of a world that don't exist. The Japanese are yes very nice. And you're going to be quick to praise that part about them especially if your stay in Japan is short (two weeks or less). You may have stories of "Oh, people were so nice in giving me directions.... The service in the stores was impeccable...."

Look for stories of experiences that 外国人s (foreigners) have in Japan around net, however, and they'll find a scary contradiction. They may see stories where many people say that all the Japanese politeness is only a facade in most cases. A lot of them say that the Japanese are extremely superficial, and hard to get close to. Some would venture as far to say that many times foreigners are viewed by the Japanese as contaminants to the pure Japanese culture. They will be extremely nice and polite to you up front, but most of the time keep you at a safe distance.

I've heard a few stereotypes from friends who've said "The Japanese people can sometimes be so fake. They're only nice on the outside, but you have no idea what they're thinking about you on the inside." I couldn't believe their words! How dare they stereotype an entire race of people!

My experience:
My initial experiences with 日本人Japanese were really great, cause they were so nice and full of praise. It was extremely disappointing when they took it too far, some would say praises that that were way over the top, and I realized disappointingly that this person was not saying things sincerely at all. I realize cultures are different, and this part of it was one of the hardest things to acknowledge, swallow, and leave behind and move on.

Originally I thought of America as a country where people can be so tactless and rude? But after experiencing life on the other side of the world, I prefer many times in "keeping things real."
Generalizing is bad, because you put everyone in the same bag. I know what you are talking about, since I am Portuguese and Portuguese people are one of the worse things that I know about. They can claim to be your friends, they speak to you openly, they hang out with you, etc., but in the next moment, they are saying bad stuff about you right on your back without having the guts to confront you about whatever they don't like it and when they are confronted, they will simply say "I'm sorry! It was a misunderstanding!" or even "I was in a bad mood.", and I know about it from my personal experience, but I also know good and trustworthy Portuguese people that I can count with and who are good friends. They aren't the type that I hang out with every day or something like that, since they have their jobs and their family, but I know that I can count with them if I need their help.

Another thing is the fact that many tourists say that we welcome them with open arms and all that stuff, but the reality is that most of the Portuguese people that deal with foreign people, dislike them, but act like they are they are their friends and I know for a fact that it doesn't happen only here, so what's your point? There are racist and xenophobe people all around the globe, no exceptions. So, if I generalized the Portuguese people, they would be one of the most fake and corrupt people on the planet, who could sell their own mothers and would be all smiles for you while they took your money, but I know that's wrong, not everyone is like that, so stop judging an entire people just by the acts of part of them.

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Re: Bubble Buster

Post by Jinusean » Oct 9th, '07, 04:25

ManaYagami wrote: so what's your point?
It's in the title of this thread. "Are Japanese people really like..."

I'd never start a thread like this, but since someone asked, I gave a realistic answer of what to expect as a reply to a thread in a post. Do you have any idea how many foreigners find it so difficult to adjust to Japanese life? Not to mention the preconceived notions many over there already have of "other" foreigners like South Americans and other Asians.

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Post by ManaYagami » Oct 9th, '07, 11:10

Preconceived notions exist everywhere, everytime that I hear someone talking about a foreigner, even from European countries, people always say that they must obey some standard imposed by whatever person said that they were like that. Like "English people always think that they are better than the others!", "The Chinese people aren't trustworthy!" or even "The German people still are Nazis!", so if you think that only they don't know what they are talking about, just let me spoil it to you that they aren't the only ones.

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Post by Aikawa Ringo » Oct 9th, '07, 11:20

yeah...
my friend who work in a japanese restaurant in other west country, said that japanese people dont like "bathing/take a bath" he said they take a bath several only in a week, so he said all japanese like that...
then i answer him, u and i were same nation, if i dont like take a bath, are u dont like take a bath too?
then he just silent XD XD

i think not all like that, and yes japan's english a bit weird,
like they said : glass to be gurasu, christmast be kurisumasu...
maybe they afraid to be misunderstanding
dont think too much ;)
and when u asking him and he rushing, maybe he have something important to do hahaha...

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Post by Jinusean » Oct 9th, '07, 18:20

ManaYagami wrote:Preconceived notions exist everywhere, everytime that I hear someone talking about a foreigner, even from European countries, people always say that they must obey some standard imposed by whatever person said that they were like that. Like "English people always think that they are better than the others!", "The Chinese people aren't trustworthy!" or even "The German people still are Nazis!", so if you think that only they don't know what they are talking about, just let me spoil it to you that they aren't the only ones.
Not sure where you are running with this, and also you are spoiling nothing for me, I already knew what you are talking about and I can see where you are coming from. Yagami, there's no need to get defensive about my post, calling me a generalizer, and telling me to open my eyes. I never attacked the Japanese in my post directly, and drew inferences from my stories I've heard and my own experience, and shared that, just as the original post requested.

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**Mejoka**
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Post by **Mejoka** » Oct 9th, '07, 19:36

it seems that there isn't any REAL japanese people to answer this question!!!! 8)

I think that nobody should answer this question unless they lived in japan for while, or at least visited it for more than a week...so don't judge them from watching a 45 min TV show or a friend's opinion on them...BELIEVE ME, alot of people can be deceived by something because of the way media put it out to them.

so GO see for your self :goggle: and don't just sit on your couch judging how people live their lives in their own country,and if you didn't get the chance to visit them _just like me :cry: _keep your mouth shut,for the sake of these people.

of course I'm not japanese, but friendly or not friendly I still want to go to japan someday :thumright:

BTW: I'm not saying it because I want to go to japan, my opinion goes for any kind of judging to any kind of country. :salut:

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Post by doink-chan » Oct 9th, '07, 19:58

**Mejoka** wrote:it seems that there isn't any REAL japanese people to answer this question!!!! 8)
Apartofmylife replied to this thread a couple pages back, and he/she's Japanese. So are greyhorse and siantut.

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Noale
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Post by Noale » Oct 9th, '07, 20:08

To Mejoka:

I do not entirely agree. I think it's not impossible to get a better understanding about another culture without actually visiting the country it belongs to. There have already been quite a number of people with interesting opinions and experiences - some who were Japanese and some who visited the country or lived there for a while.
I, of course, do not think you can generalize an entire population, but there are always certain features that go hand in hand with certain countries.
Also, it's quite impossible to sit in front your tv, watching any particular television show about any particular country you do not know much about, without partially judging. One always partially judges automatically - without these minor judgements we wouldn't function normally. But that does not mean we always let it form our final opinion on the matter.

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**Mejoka**
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Post by **Mejoka** » Oct 9th, '07, 21:12

[/quote]I do not entirely agree. I think it's not impossible to get a better understanding about another culture without actually visiting the country it belongs to.[/quote]

I have a certain proof for it, but lets just keep it that way ok.... :-) I don't want go through it anymore.

so in the end you may have a point :|

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Post by Maryvel » Oct 9th, '07, 21:56

I would like to apologize in advance to all americans for what I'm going to write now. :unsure:

I'm Austrian (Europe) and we get a lot of TV shows from the US in Europe of course. And especially these shows running on MTV where incredibly ignorant people show up in incredibly dumb reality shows to make fools of themselves. (Seemingly without noticing how terribly ridiculous they are.)

From time to time I watch this for a few minutes (more is absolutely unbearable) and I can't help asking myself if all Americans are really like that.
Sometimes I sit in front of the TV, desperate, and think "OMG, these people practically rule the world that I live in! :cry: "

But then again, all the Americans I ever really met while travelling have been so friendly and funny and incredibly nice that I know now, that what they show on TV are only very extreme cases.
They do that on purpose because they think it's funny or something, when in reality it's just plain revolting. :goggle:

And when I was in Tokyo a few years back, I absolutely loved the Japanese. I found them very friendly and helpful. :wub:
Whenever I just stood somewhere looking confused, Japanese people would ask me if I was lost and would even walk me to wherever I wanted to go. Men and women alike, even Salarimen. :lol
So I was the one who was embarassed, thinking, "I'm sure you have work or at least you shouldn't have to run around with a stupid foreigner during your lunch break!" But that's just how they are... Is what I thought back then. :D

Especially the young people where falling all over themselves in bars in the evening to be able to practice their english with me, so...

I would say that Japanese people aren't like that at all. But what do I know, after 3 weeks of sightseeing? :cheers:

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Post by **Mejoka** » Oct 9th, '07, 22:50

Maryvel wrote:I would like to apologize in advance to all americans for what I'm going to write now. :unsure:

I'm Austrian (Europe) and we get a lot of TV shows from the US in Europe of course. And especially these shows running on MTV where incredibly ignorant people show up in incredibly dumb reality shows to make fools of themselves. (Seemingly without noticing how terribly ridiculous they are.)

From time to time I watch this for a few minutes (more is absolutely unbearable) and I can't help asking myself if all Americans are really like that.
Sometimes I sit in front of the TV, desperate, and think "OMG, these people practically rule the world that I live in! :cry: "

But then again, all the Americans I ever really met while travelling have been so friendly and funny and incredibly nice that I know now, that what they show on TV are only very extreme cases.
They do that on purpose because they think it's funny or something, when in reality it's just plain revolting. :goggle:

And when I was in Tokyo a few years back, I absolutely loved the Japanese. I found them very friendly and helpful. :wub:
Whenever I just stood somewhere looking confused, Japanese people would ask me if I was lost and would even walk me to wherever I wanted to go. Men and women alike, even Salarimen. :lol
So I was the one who was embarassed, thinking, "I'm sure you have work or at least you shouldn't have to run around with a stupid foreigner during your lunch break!" But that's just how they are... Is what I thought back then. :D

Especially the young people where falling all over themselves in bars in the evening to be able to practice their english with me, so...

I would say that Japanese people aren't like that at all. But what do I know, after 3 weeks of sightseeing? :cheers:
this is CERTAINLY what I was saying... :salut:

GO japan :thumright:

what I like the most about japan and japanese culture, that they have their own thoughts, they never try to copycat others :wub:

I hope I could get my chance visiting them, too :mrgreen:

and I totally agree with you on the American TV thing (no affaince)!!!!
but again it's different when you meet real people other than watching the media which tries to put on extra spices on every thing just to make their show more interesting :glare:

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Post by Yorokobi » Oct 10th, '07, 00:29

Noale wrote:To Mejoka:

I do not entirely agree. I think it's not impossible to get a better understanding about another culture without actually visiting the country it belongs to.
Sure its not impossible to get a better understanding without visiting but without visiting the understanding you get is very weak. Trust me, I though I knew the Japanese culture well until I got here. Now ive been living here for 4 and a half months and am only really beginning to come to terms witht the difference. The whole way the Japanese people think is different to where I come from. New Zealand is a very laid back country and nothing like Japan. Here is Japan everyday I see things in their culture I dont understand and while im making the effort to try and understand the views are so different my brain can get around it properly. dont think you'll ever truly understand adifferent countries culture unless you live there for most of your life.

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Post by ManaYagami » Oct 10th, '07, 00:53

Jinusean wrote:
ManaYagami wrote:Preconceived notions exist everywhere, everytime that I hear someone talking about a foreigner, even from European countries, people always say that they must obey some standard imposed by whatever person said that they were like that. Like "English people always think that they are better than the others!", "The Chinese people aren't trustworthy!" or even "The German people still are Nazis!", so if you think that only they don't know what they are talking about, just let me spoil it to you that they aren't the only ones.
Not sure where you are running with this, and also you are spoiling nothing for me, I already knew what you are talking about and I can see where you are coming from. Yagami, there's no need to get defensive about my post, calling me a generalizer, and telling me to open my eyes. I never attacked the Japanese in my post directly, and drew inferences from my stories I've heard and my own experience, and shared that, just as the original post requested.
Bad experiences with people from other countries can lead to that, I understand it, but I just got on the defensive, because I do it when people tell me stuff like that about the people from countries, like it was said before about the impression that many European people have of American people, today I had a discussion with someone of my family because of that, since she was saying that "All Americans are stupid!" without even knowing personally any American, I know that it was not your case, but I gave those examples of Portugal exactly because if you spent some months in Portugal and got to know our language, you would have the same kind of experience, with many people that aren't as friendly as they appear to be, which is similar to ali_sen's experience in Korea, who had both good and bad experiences with different people. I'm sorry for using you as an example, but it's related to what I was writing.

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Post by Tao Libra » Oct 22nd, '07, 10:51

Maryvel wrote:I would like to apologize in advance to all americans for what I'm going to write now. :unsure:

I'm Austrian (Europe) and we get a lot of TV shows from the US in Europe of course. And especially these shows running on MTV where incredibly ignorant people show up in incredibly dumb reality shows to make fools of themselves. (Seemingly without noticing how terribly ridiculous they are.)

From time to time I watch this for a few minutes (more is absolutely unbearable) and I can't help asking myself if all Americans are really like that.
Sometimes I sit in front of the TV, desperate, and think "OMG, these people practically rule the world that I live in! :cry: "
There's no need to apologize for that observation, Maryvel. You are quite right that the idiots on "reality shows" are… well, idiots. Especially the ones on MTV.

This is an American saying this, mind you; and nearly every other American I know thinks the people on "reality shows" are idiots too, even those who watch the shows. I don't watch that kind of crap myself; but most of the people I know who do watch it will happily tell you that they only do so because it amuses them to watch idiots be idiots. (Personally, I've got better things to do with my time than verify the existence of stupidity by watching "reality shows.")
Maryvel wrote:But then again, all the Americans I ever really met while travelling have been so friendly and funny and incredibly nice that I know now, that what they show on TV are only very extreme cases.
They do that on purpose because they think it's funny or something, when in reality it's just plain revolting. :goggle:
Ever heard of "Roach Motels?" It's a kind of small cardboard box with something inside it that smells good to cockroaches, and glue all over the inside too… so when the roaches crawl in to find the good-smelling stuff, they get stuck in the glue and never come back out.

"Reality shows" are really just elaborate, televised "Roach Motels" for the dregs of society. Bear that in mind when you catch a glimpse of one, and you won't find yourself nearly so appalled and horrified.

:lol
Maryvel wrote:And when I was in Tokyo a few years back, I absolutely loved the Japanese. I found them very friendly and helpful. :wub:
Whenever I just stood somewhere looking confused, Japanese people would ask me if I was lost and would even walk me to wherever I wanted to go. Men and women alike, even Salarimen. :lol
So I was the one who was embarassed, thinking, "I'm sure you have work or at least you shouldn't have to run around with a stupid foreigner during your lunch break!" But that's just how they are... Is what I thought back then. :D

Especially the young people where falling all over themselves in bars in the evening to be able to practice their english with me, so...
From everything I've read and seen, and heard from gaijin who actually go to Japan, your experience is pretty common. Those who see the "bad side" of the Japanese are usually doing something extraordinarily rude that causes the Japanese to react badly.

Remember those "roaches" I mentioned above? Well, we've got a worthless little cockroach here in America named Tom Green (a roach that migrated here from Canada), who has sometimes been given TV shows on which he behaves like total scum on camera – I don't know whether he has a show right now because I hate him and wouldn't watch it if he did have one (although, for whatever reason, there are idiots who think he's funny and will watch him do it) – doing things like vandalizing his own parents' car, or "interviewing" random people on the street by shoving a microphone in their faces with dog crap on it, or just generally harassing innocent people.

Well, this scumbag cockroach once took a camera crew to Japan so that he could act like that over there, just to see how the Japanese reacted. As you might imagine, the reactions were very much like what the OP described seeing in the first post of this thread.

I wouldn't take those reactions as being typical of the Japanese, any more than I would take Tom Green's behavior as being typical of Canadians.
Maryvel wrote:I would say that Japanese people aren't like that at all. But what do I know, after 3 weeks of sightseeing? :cheers:
You know plenty – and three weeks of sightseeing is three weeks of first-hand experience that many of the people here (probably most) don't have.

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Post by lynchmob72 » Oct 22nd, '07, 23:37

First off, let me say this. I would like to live in japan for a yr or so sometime in the next 5 years. I plan on using the time before i go to learn the language. You can't expect people in thier own country to speak your language. That, however, has been covered.

I would like to point out one thing. When English speaking people hear broken english, it sounds funny to us. In the same way a child sounds. I think most english speakers do not try to make fun. With that being said, broken english, is at least understandable. 90% of the time, you can figure out what someone is trying to say. Japanese is entirely different. If your pronounciation is off, you may be saying something completely different, or worse, rude or offensive.
This thread makes me want to go more than ever now lol.

And @ Tao Libra. I couldn't agree more. I never watch those crap TV shows. Just a bunch of morons making the average american look like an idiot. Trust me, we don't need the extra help. :)

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Post by Gir » Oct 23rd, '07, 02:25

Tao Libra wrote:
I wouldn't take those reactions as being typical of the Japanese, any more than I would take Tom Green's behavior as being typical of Canadians.
.
You got the wrong Green there, Red Green and his buddies at the Possum Lodge are your typical Canadian. :lol

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Post by Sanari » Oct 31st, '07, 23:08

Maybe it was said in this thread already, but I want to point out one thing in Japanese people (I personally know some of them for a couple of years). They are always willing to help if you need help, but they will never approach you on the street and try to chat. Nor will they look into your eyes or make hasty moves around anyone. I would call it "not going into another's territory unless needed". They respect personal space yet are very friendly unless you act as a total idiot. And also, I think, they are keenly aware of people's place in society hierarchy, the people's status.

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Post by lomsie » Nov 4th, '07, 22:01

Maryvel wrote:
And when I was in Tokyo a few years back, I absolutely loved the Japanese. I found them very friendly and helpful. :wub:
Whenever I just stood somewhere looking confused, Japanese people would ask me if I was lost and would even walk me to wherever I wanted to go. Men and women alike, even Salarimen. :lol

Especially the young people where falling all over themselves in bars in the evening to be able to practice their english with me, so...

I would say that Japanese people aren't like that at all. But what do I know, after 3 weeks of sightseeing? :cheers:
I want to comment on this.
 
I preface this by saying I have lived in Japan for an extended amount of time. Enough to have severe reverse-culture shock when returning to my home country. And I will have to make generalizations. I don't know every single person in the world (let alone Japan) so I can't not make generalizations. I know everyone is different, so there.:P

It is true that Japanese are very polite and helpful. It's their culture. Everything is based off of making sure that you don't insult the other person. And of course, they want every foreigner who comes into Japan to leave with a favorable experience. It's when a "gaijin" tries to become a part of that community that they start showing resistance. Many consider it "scandalous" to have an international marriage. Kids who are of two ethnicities can be brutally bullied in the schools. So if one has a relationship with a Japanese person, you may experience some (a lot) of road blocks.

Being polite and being truly kind are two very different things.
**Mejoka** wrote: what I like the most about japan and Japanese culture, that they have their own thoughts, they never try to copycat others
Hmm, not sure I agree. Everyone has their own ideas, it's just whether they act on them or not. There is this thing called 'honne' and 'tatemae', your true feelings and what you present to the public. There have been dozens of papers/journals/books written on this. Most of the time, Japanese conceal their 'honne', because expressing their true thoughts is going against the group.

And just think about all the gadgets in Japan.......what they did was take the idea from other countries and elaborated on them. Cars, trains, kara-age, potato salad, rap music/culture, Mr. Donuts, Christmas (eating KFC for Christmas dinner!), Christmas cake...I could go on forever.

This is true of all countries. Everyone copies, so I don't think that we can exclude anyone. One country/people/culture isn't better than the other. There are two sides to every coin.[/quote]

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Post by acn7 » Nov 4th, '07, 22:43

i ve been to japan for three month last year
and i lived there with a traditional family which couldn't speak one word of english...
i also traveled around a lot and stayed with an other family for about a week...
all i can say is that all the japanese i ve met closer were really nice people.
you need to understand that the culture is different and at first they might be shy,
but from my experience, as soon as they know you they are the nicest people ever... :wub:

i mean you re from Amsterdam, you should know the clichees about dutch people and that they are all drug addicted...
it not true but a clichee.
don t let tv influence you too much, nowadays we are watching a lot of crap...

just go and make your own experiences, reality is always better than any fantasy.

:thumright:

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Post by Noale » Nov 5th, '07, 10:49

acn7 wrote: i mean you re from Amsterdam, you should know the clichees about dutch people and that they are all drug addicted...
As a matter of fact, a whole lot of teenagers do frequently use (soft) drugs. It depends on the neighbourhood you're in. But I do feel like I must be one of the few in my country who never tried drugs. It's sad, but true.

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