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Being Left-Handed in Japan?

captaingunkan

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Hi,

I've noticed that, in Japan most things are for right-handed people. For one, like the cars, and some more conditions I don't have a big knowledge about. I'm left-handed(in just about everything) and I would like to know if left-handed people have a hard time while in Japan. Me, I write with my left-hand, wash dishes with my left hand, comb with my left-hand, almost everything. Is it true that most activities there in Japan mostly fit the left-hand? 👍
I've also never seen a famous person(or never heard of one) that is left handed. 😊
 

JimmySeal

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10% of the people in the world are left-handed.

Is it true that most activities there in Japan mostly fit the left-hand?
Are you sure that's what you were trying to say?

I've noticed that, in Japan most things are for right-handed people. For one, like the cars
How exactly are cars in Japan designed for right-handed people?

You shouldn't have much trouble here unless you decide to take up calligraphy.
 

captaingunkan

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Agh, I'm sorry for not going into detail, I was trying to say that

Their cars, the stirring wheel is in the right side of the car.

Anyway, I was kind of worried that most things in Japan are easier with the right-hand.
So, I'm kind of glad that it's just normal. Heheh, I was too paranoid :D
 

nice gaijin

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steering wheel on the right side of the car == shifting with the left hand. What's the problem exactly? Being left-handed is not a disability, in Japan or anywhere.
 

Mike Cash

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In my experience, the only real awkward thing about switching sides of the car for driving was getting used to using the other hand for eating. Switching sides is no big deal.

Want to have some fun sometimes as a left-handed person in Japan? When anyone facing you notices that you're left-handed and remarks upon it (as almost everyone does), just say "No....it just looks that way because you're facing the other direction."

Every once in a while you'll catch somebody who will twist their body around to face the same way as you while still trying to leave their head the way it was. You can practically smell the smoke as their brain bogs down trying to figure out the optical illusion. It's a priceless moment.
 

Mycernius

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Agh, I'm sorry for not going into detail, I was trying to say that
Their cars, the stirring wheel is in the right side of the car.
Does that mean in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malta drive cars purely for right handed people?
 

captaingunkan

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Ok, I'm sorry about that :D
I always thought it's made for right-handed people. My questions sound too ridiculous. :(
 

ArmandV

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To be left-handed in Japan you have to be of your right mind.
 

Glenski

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I've also never seen a famous person(or never heard of one) that is left handed.
As mentioned above, 10% of the world is left-handed. Lots of entertainers are left-handed, whether they are Japanese or not.

Forget any stress here. It's just as difficult being left-handed here as anywhere else.
 

Mike Cash

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I once caused the house pro at the local bowling alley to almost panic. I write and do some other things left-handed, but I bowl right-handed. I was having him drill out a new ball for me. For those who aren't familiar with the finer aspects of bowling and always use the house balls.....bowling balls are like eyeglasses in that they are custom-fitted for the individual, with careful measurements being made of the diameter of the fingers, the span of the hand, and the balls are drilled differently according to whether the person is right or left-handed.

He had just finished drilling out my ball and had me write up something, I forget exactly what, and almost crapped himself when he saw me filling out the paper with the pen in my left hand, since he had just finished measuring my right hand and drilling out the ball accordingly.

In the old days of paper score sheets it was quite convenient, as I could leave my wrist braces in place and still handle a pencil to fill in the score sheet.
 

Pachipro

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Great story Mike! Ahh a fellow bowler! Fingertip, semi, or conventional grip? Do you bowl on a league in Japan and enter local tournaments and do they still have them? I heard bowling is making a come back. You probably remember back in the day when there was a bowling alley every half kilometer or so when the boom hit.

Where I lived I practically lived at the local alley.

Also, pachinko machines are mainly for right-handed people and it looked odd, and uncomfortable, to see a left-handed person playing one.
 

Mike Cash

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I haven't bowled for about 5 or 6 years now. I used to bowl 3 or 4 times a week and didn't think anything less than 5 games was worth changing my shoes for. It was my heroin and it was costing me too much money, so I had to give it up.

To answer your questions, though. I did bowl on a league and I used fingertip grips. My best game ever was a 256. When I was teaching English one of my students, a high school girl, reported in class that she had gone bowling and gotten something like a 70. I told her I could do better than that with my eyes shut, just to tease her. But the next time I went bowling I did actually bowl two games with my eyes shut, just to see if I really could. The next time I saw her I was pleased to be able to report to her that I had bowled about 125 with my eyes shut.
 

Someone4373

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I'm left-handed. My Japanese teacher, Japanese himself, told me that parents and teachers would force the kids to become right-handed in Japan. I guess this doesn't happen anymore with the same frequency, and he did not go into detail as to why they would force something like that, he just remarked it as difference between the West and Japan. In Japan, it would not be acceptable to be left-handed. Although I really doubt this happens anymore, in places like Tokyo.
 

JerseyBoy

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I'm left-handed. My Japanese teacher, Japanese himself, told me that parents and teachers would force the kids to become right-handed in Japan.
Japan is a conformist society. If you stick out, they would pummel you down to the "norm" in Japan. I think if there is a Japanese David Koresh, a half of Japanese population will drink a lethal Cool-Aid without asking a single question. :)
 

Kyukun

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I'm left handed and I'm glad and in Japan I'm sure I'll get around well. I don't know, but I heard that holding a cup is right handed or something. And you're supposed to hold a tea cup a certain way. But that's what I heard.
 

Dogen Z

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Hi,
I'm left-handed(in just about everything) and I would like to know if left-handed people have a hard time while in Japan....

I've also never seen a famous person(or never heard of one) that is left handed. 😊


I wonder...is this the reason Ichiro and Daisuke left Japan? And all this time I thought it was for the money and higher competitive level. :p

I wonder if there were any left-handed samurai. A lefty samurai might have some advantage over those who were only taught to fight against right handers. 😊
 

lucyfukushima

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My family moved to Canada during the Meiji Period. I'm right-handed but use left-handed golf clubs, hockey stick and swing left-handed when I play baseball.
Changing left-handed babies to right-handed babies was culturally built-in. When relatives notice a baby using their left-hand over their right-hand they're held so the right-hand is free to grab and touch while the left-hand is held against the body of the person carrying them. This way they're changed too early to remember anything. I think this might be slowly changing in modern Japan.
I have to say that I became very angry at my family and my culture for doing this to me.
 
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