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Clarifying Japan:The good and the bad

Malik00

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On the surface japan is great. Good Culture, Good Food, Very advanced and you can't be into anime, manga and video games without giving a shout out to the land of the rising sun. So yeah great place to visit.....I don't think i would want to live there though.

From what i can piece together the way japanese society is run is...to put it simply almost like a hive mind.
Narrowing it down to 3 basic tenets
1:Obey Authority no matter how absurd the request
2: Do not stand out
3: Do not "Dishonor" your family.

The first one comes from observing multiple parts of the Japanese work force, The notion that you are obligated to work ridiculous hours for the sake of the company, on top of that you must always follow the rules even if said rules make no sense at all. There are times when people have asked why the rules are the way they are, the higher ups even said they have no idea and just roll with it anyway. I guess it's just the notion that you must always follow the rules without once questioning why is absurd to me.

The second one is the biggest one for me. The whole notion of not standing out, not only does this make native Japanese feel somewhat samey to me, but it also in a way discourages any sort of critical thinking or individuality. This may also be the reason why you see so many people complaining about how if you know certain words you can understand at least 50% of japanese conversations.

The Last one is in air quotes because when i say dishonor, i mean doing or attempting something that doesn't approve with your family. A prime example is hideo kojima, who was disowned by his family when he was insistent on perusing a career in video games, and they only attempted to patch things up with him when he made a name for himself in the world, which he eagerly welcomed. Personally I wouldn't be as forgiving, but I digress.

To put it simply for what they have on the surface, as far as I can tell, japan as a society seems to encourage the cog in the machine mentality. Not so much snuffing out but in a way actively discouraging having any sense of self. I'm fully aware that there are many MANY exception to this rule. But that's the general feel i get when i research Modern Japanese Society and...honestly asian societies in general.

If this isn't the case then by all means point out why. I would love to be proven a liar.
 

Uncle Frank

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I'm sorry I'm off topic for this post , but I couldn't help but laugh. If anyone from another country looks up Chicago , it appears to be the anus of the US by all the bad publicity it gets. With high crime, high murder rate , high unemployment, etc. it sounds like a living hell hole. I know it's only certain areas of Chicago that have problems , but compared to Japan , I'd choose Japan to live and work . The media and Facebook law enforcement sites sure have nothing good to say about it , but I'm sure for someone living there it can't be as bad as they make out.
 

mdchachi

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If there are "many many exceptions" to the rule then it's not really much of a rule is it?
 

Malik00

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I'm sorry I'm off topic for this post , but I couldn't help but laugh. If anyone from another country looks up Chicago , it appears to be the anus of the US by all the bad publicity it gets. With high crime, high murder rate , high unemployment, etc. it sounds like a living hell hole. I know it's only certain areas of Chicago that have problems , but compared to Japan , I'd choose Japan to live and work . The media and Facebook law enforcement sites sure have nothing good to say about it , but I'm sure for someone living there it can't be as bad as they make out.
I suppose that's a fair point....but you don't have to be so harsh about it. Saying that other places have problems too isn't exactly a comforting answer

If there are "many many exceptions" to the rule then it's not really much of a rule is it?
Maybe it would be more accurate to say the younger generation is slowly growing out of it?
 

mdchachi

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What is your interest/expertise on the topic? We are all well aware of these stereotypes.

> actively discouraging having any sense of self.
Rather than discouraging sense of self, I'd say it's more like entwining your sense of self with other things such as community, family, company. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
 

Malik00

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What is your interest/expertise on the topic? We are all well aware of these stereotypes.

> actively discouraging having any sense of self.
Rather than discouraging sense of self, I'd say it's more like entwining your sense of self with other things such as community, family, company. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Maybe I didn't make it clear but i'm more interested in examples that contrast the steryotype examples of native japanese showing free thinking, individuality, questioning authority, and being supportive of others choices in life.
 

mdchachi

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There are any number of anecdotes. Look up Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of Rakuten, for example.
As far as supporting others choices, while gay marriage is not legal, there has never been any backlash against the LGBT community like there is in the U.S. I've never heard of anybody being murdered for their sexual orientation.
 

Uncle Frank

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It's been a long time since I was in Japan , but all the people I knew would be considered hippies. I had a circle of friends of about 25 , and not one was an office worker. If I was not working for the Navy on base , I was off base living in Fukuoka. Most of my friends were high school dropouts or college dropouts. I worked in an underground bar called the Pit Inn. None of the people there wore a suit and tie and worked for a big company. In the 2 years I lived there , none of your descriptions would fit my community
 

Malik00

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It's been a long time since I was in Japan , but all the people I knew would be considered hippies. I had a circle of friends of about 25 , and not one was an office worker. If I was not working for the Navy on base , I was off base living in Fukuoka. Most of my friends were high school dropouts or college dropouts. I worked in an underground bar called the Pit Inn. None of the people there wore a suit and tie and worked for a big company. In the 2 years I lived there , none of your descriptions would fit my community

Is that so? Interesting.
 

Mike Cash

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observing multiple parts of the Japanese work force,

Could you tell us about your personal experiences directly observing multiple parts of the Japanese force, please?
 

Malik00

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Could you tell us about your personal experiences directly observing multiple parts of the Japanese force, please?

Basically the whole notion of literally working yourself to death for the sake of your company.
 

Mike Cash

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Basically the whole notion of literally working yourself to death for the sake of your company.

You said you have observed multiple parts of the Japanese workforce. That means you have stood somewhere and directly watched them with your own eyes.

It sounds more like your knowledge of Japan comes from having watched too many cartoons.
 

HanSolo

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On the surface the US is great. Good Culture, Good Food, Very advanced and you can't be into hollywood, pop music and video games without giving a shout out to the land of the free. So yeah great place to visit.....I don't think i would want to live there though.

From what i can piece together the way American society is run is...to put it simply almost like Mad Max.
Narrowing it down to 4 basic tenets
1: If you fail to obey authority they should routinely gun you down in the street
2: You should carry 3 types of guns at all times
3: Don't let your boss dishonor your salary
4: Consume the fastest artery-clogging foods at all times.

See? Everyone can make dumb exaggerated stereotypes.
 

OoTmaster

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All so correct HanSolo. You can't be a real American if you haven't been shot at least once. Also only 3 types of guns? I mean maybe that's great starting out but I would think you would want at least 5 different types it's more of a standard.
 
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