I received my weekly newsletter the other day which contained the travel report from Japan. I found it pretty interesting given that I’ve never been to Japan before.
Japan seems to be an advanced and cohesive country to me. It’s outstanding that the recent radiation leaks haven’t caused society to fall apart. The people seem to stay calm and even elated due to that Tokyo has been recently chosen to host the Olympics in 2020. All these brought me to the idea that maybe we can learn something from Japan. So I conducted a small research and compiled some facts I consider might be interesting to know about the Japanese people’s life style.
1. Education played an important role in Japanese life. Even in poor areas schools are excellent.
2. Learning English is a big business in Japan. There are learners’ editions of The Economist and other magazines with hard words explained.
3. It’s hard to find roadside trash bins, it’s even harder to find litter. Japanese put their trash in their pockets or purses to be deposited later into a trash bin.
4. Portion sizes in restaurants are small. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why it’s hardly to find an overweight Japanese person.
5. If you forgot your umbrella at home and it’s raining cats and dogs outside even cheap restaurants will lend you an umbrella; you’re simply expected to return it in a day or two.
6. The most famous statue in Japan is a dog Hachiko, who exemplified loyalty, perseverance and duty. You know the story about him, right?
7. A lot of studies have shown that the longer you sit down per day the more likely you are to die earlier. A large portion of Japanese people walk, bike, and take the train to work (or wherever they need to go). This means Japanese people are standing up for longer periods of the day.
8. There is very common in Japan when the oldest kid is taking care of the parents when they get old.
9. Socializing is a very important part of the Japanese life style. When it comes to business, employees are often required to go out and socialize, drink, and have fun after work.
10. Japan takes its time management very seriously. Even trains often issue late slips for passengers to take to their employers if their trains get delayed.
11. And last but not least I’d like to cite here one excerpt from the New York Times Article telling the impression the Japanese people left on the NYTimes’s columnist who lived in Japan with his family for five years:
“My wife and I saw the collective ethos drummed into children when we sent our kids to Japanese schools. <…>. When our son Gregory came home from a school athletic meet, we were impressed that he had won first place in all his events, until we realized that every child had won first place.”
This story exemplified that winning and left others behind isn’t everything the Japanese people strive for, unlike the most Americans. They’d rather care about the common good and harmony in their own lifes.
I think there are a couple of things we could learn from them. Of course, there are more other features that make Japanese so special and that they might probably teach us. Here there is only a small part I was able to find and compile. I hope that one day I’ll be able to find out more about Japanese on my own.
Awaiting for the future 🙂