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Culture Shock When Returning Home

alantin

日本語を勉強する者
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Hello. I didn't find anything about this with the search so here goes! (Might just be my inability to use it thought..)

This spring I spent three months in Japan with my wife. We had really interesting time the and the whole time was really rewarding. Only bad thing was that three months was very short time to spend in a totally different kind of culture and when - after trying to "get it" for months and just when we had gotten used to the life in Japan - we came back to our home country, it was a far greater shock than what we ever experienced in Japan:

I almost spoke Japanese in the customs (in my home country!), I kept bowing at the people, I spoke awkwardly, and everything just generally SUCKED (in capitals)!

In the same time everything in Japan got a silver lining.
The people were politer and nicer, the customer was always a king, etc..

Fortunately now I'm over it.

So I'm interested in if other people have had similar or some other kinds of experiences. How long did you spend in Japan and how did you feel about coming home?

窶ケX窶堋オ窶堋ュ窶堋ィナ?ティ窶堋「窶堋オ窶堙懌?堋キツ!
 

ArmandV

Eight Times To Japan
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I've caught myself bowing on occasion following vacations in Japan after I've returned home.
 

Pachipro

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You're not alone alantin. Many people have experienced the same thing you have often having spent many years in the country. Check around for older posts and you'll see there are many who share your same experiences.
 

weijin88

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In Japan, the people especially in sales and services line are very courteous and polite. They're world-renowed for that. I don't see that in many countries. Perhaps maybe Singapore.
 

alantin

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Yeah. After getting used to that, it was hard to accept what you get here!
 

nice gaijin

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I didn't expect reverse culture shock to the degree I experienced it when I came back from my year abroad, perhaps because I had very little trouble adjusting to life in Japan. But my return home seemed really abrupt, and it was even depressing for a while. I think this is a very interesting subject, and I'd like to write more about it later.
 

Shibuyaexpat

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I spent 2 years in Japan working for a global consumer electronics company and the return home, while welcomed at the time, turned out to be a very difficult--even now (it's been over a year since I came back).

As mentioned by others, one of the things that I still have trouble adjusting to in the U.S. is the differing level of courtesy between the U.S. and Japan. The oversimplified answer is that Japanese are very mindful to not impose on others; whereas Americans value the individual worth. I'm still amazed at how loudly people talk on their cell phones on the trains, elevators, restaurants, etc. It's very rare to see that "cupped hand over cell phone and mouth" routine here.

In recalling my experience, I'm sure that I've colored it with a romantic hue and gently glossed over some of the "not-so-nice" elements.
 

bakaKanadajin

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I must be different, the moment I was home and had picked my car up I was yelling at other motorists and had generally lost my more thoughtful and patient 'Japanese'-ness. It was like I never left, I suppose it's like riding a bicycle. Perhaps it's all a defense mechanism. However in the company of Japanese folks (here in Toronto that is) all the customs and little sayings are right back in place. Likewise as soon as I was in Japan I was doing my best to bow and be apologetic when required, I didn't get into too much trouble those first few weeks. But your experience is definitely not uncommon.
 

jguticon

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alantin: it has happened to me so many times. I just have been 3 weeks in Japan but I came saying 'sumimasen' instead of 'sorry'
Guess how people here would react. Also I have been living 2 years outside my country, I was a foreigner when I came. New programs on TV,new telephone companies, new TV channels. And what shocked me most, I was used to the way work was in that particular country. After 1 year at home, I still feel weird here. Also I was used to see only 'blondes', and the 1st time I went clubbing it was so extrange...
 
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