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I don't love the United States of America anymore (or maybe it was never there...)

nahadef

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Really? You wear your shoes when you visit their apartments? You use a knife and fork at every meal? That's way too American for me when I'm here. I have tried to adapt to this country by taking on their customs where appropriate.

I have encountered Americans in Okinawa who were proud to own a bed, and made a point of "living like an American." After all, isn't that why a person travels halfway around the world? To pretend they're at home? Actually, now that I think about it...
 

edogaijin

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Sure I wear my shoes inside all the time, and I actually carry a fork with me to ramen shops. I also own a full-size western bed in Tokyo :p
 

edogaijin

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I think 25 million people in Tokyo, many of whom own beds, might take issue with your statement that they do not live in real Japan. Particularly given the historical irrelevance of Sapporo and Hokkaido in general ;P
 

nahadef

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Take it up with the Americans who said they have beds.

Welcome to the forum. I'm guessing you're one of those, "I'm not here to make friends," types.
 

edogaijin

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Take it up with the Americans who said they have beds.

Welcome to the forum. I'm guessing you're one of those, "I'm not here to make friends," types.

You mean in the forum? I don't much care what Internet strangers think of me to be totally honest. In Japan, I just find friends that don't care if someone acts foreign. Guess I've been lucky to meet 'Americanized' Japanese... I never came here under any illusions to acclimate to the culture, learn it or do much about it.

Stranger in a strange land and what not...
 

EnigmaticAnon

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Really? You wear your shoes when you visit their apartments? You use a knife and fork at every meal? That's way too American for me when I'm here. I have tried to adapt to this country by taking on their customs where appropriate.

I have encountered Americans in Okinawa who were proud to own a bed, and made a point of "living like an American." After all, isn't that why a person travels halfway around the world? To pretend they're at home? Actually, now that I think about it...


Well I understand about adapting; but personally I was never one to lay on the floor... Not because I don't want to or it's "not american" but mainly because it's uncomfortable on my back... I guess I am a bit needy in that sense?
 

EnigmaticAnon

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To be honest I think I'd prefer to live in somewhere that isn't like the middle-east right now... Not trying to bash on anything just not fond of wars or violence.... Countries I would do best in would be countries that have a lot of english speakers... I can't say I am not interested in learning japanese(I am) ; however... I am not going to lie and say I "can" learn japanese. I've been watching all of this anime for so long and trying to use it as a motivation to learn-- so I can understand what they're saying. I only recognize a few words/sentences and that's about it... Which is sad because I'll probably never be able to be sophisticated enough to learn more than 2 languages(english is my second tongue)... If I could learn japanese I'd be more than happy to! Other than that~ the only trouble I'd have with living in any country whose diet is mainly sea food... is that I "Really" do not like sea food of any kind... I couldn't even eat a frog's leg like my friends who went to france did. I can't eat sushi~ especially since I used to work in a petstore and well I learned a lot about fish. I like to see them, but not eating them. My father loves to eat sea food and I have tried it several times I just can't get past the smell of it cooked... or even the taste. I do hear that's not all they eat but still. I guess my diet would be something with meat on it. Vegetables are okay, but I am not a vegetarian so I couldn't live off of it... I do love the idea of a joined bath house.. but I am rather self conscious and shy.. soo... bathing with random people (I hear some bathhouse have no gender domination-- i.e. women and man's bath house) would be too much for me to handle. lol. Maybe if I knew them very well.

The whole idea that everything is close to each other is nice sounding to me and if it wasn't for a certain other aspects I wouldn't mind living there. I am not sure what became of the radiation problem lately... and I'd like that not to affect my health....


I do agree in some extent america isn't perfect... unhealthy foods, peer pressure and everything... women here can be a bit shallow and one track minded (NOT ALL THOUGH-- please don't chew me out for this--- just the ones I have <personally> met!!!!! ; x;) and I guess adding to the mix that I am a rather awkward individual wouldn't make it easy for me to live anywhere. lol unless the people were open minded and not easily offended since I do tend to say the wrong things at the wrong time. ^^;; I am not really a "cave" dweller like a lot of people from here can be.... but sadly I don't really have an easy time making friends that I could go out with often. If I had more friends you can bet your sweet peppy I would be out often!
 

nahadef

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Well I understand about adapting; but personally I was never one to lay on the floor... Not because I don't want to or it's "not american" but mainly because it's uncomfortable on my back... I guess I am a bit needy in that sense?

I don't think you have to do anything in particular, I just find it odd the degree that some people are proud of not integrating. Why be proud to use a bed, like you're some free thinker for bringing your family's habits with you when moving overseas?

Anyway, I understand your case, of the comfort. My father had a very hard time with a futon on his first trips here. I'm at the point where when I go back home, I often get a sore back from the deep cushion of my house's beds. I like sleeping on a hard surface now. (Nothing I'm proud of, just the way it is.)
 

EnigmaticAnon

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I don't think you have to do anything in particular, I just find it odd the degree that some people are proud of not integrating. Why be proud to use a bed, like you're some free thinker for bringing your family's habits with you when moving overseas?

Anyway, I understand your case, of the comfort. My father had a very hard time with a futon on his first trips here. I'm at the point where when I go back home, I often get a sore back from the deep cushion of my house's beds. I like sleeping on a hard surface now. (Nothing I'm proud of, just the way it is.)

To be honest I don't think sleeping habits are something one really can brag about because all you're doing is catching some Z's... lol... My take on it... as long as there aren't any vermin crawling on the floor (highly unsanitary if there were...-- which I am pretty sure there isn't) there's no problem sleeping on the floor. My mother occasionally rests on the floor in mid day. To be honest some of the things japan has that we do not have that I am kinda jealous over... is mainly how they have hot springs, and those big baths in older Japanese housing.... like I hope this isn't stupid of me to assume... but has anyone watched the movie totoro? You remember the bath in that movie? I kinda like how it's a tub where the water could easily overflow into the floor and there's a big drain in the floor. lol I actually love the idea of that. So if I ever came to live in such a country I would be glad to purchase a home that has that kind of facility.... as long as it's <slightly> more modern (I was never a fan of using wood to build houses-- even in the us... it makes me nervous. since things like tornadoes could easily take it down..).
 

edogaijin

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Japan should be less concerned about its anti-American sentiments and worry more about how hated Japanese people and their government are in South Korea, China and basically every other SE country except Taiwan. If the US soldiers left, this country would get invaded in no time flat heh
 

Dotanbatan

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I often found myself fighting the corner for America (I'm a Brit by the way), during discussions with various people on my travels. The USA is an easy target and a lot of the same old arguments that were rolled out were either based on ignorance, wrong information accepted as the truth and in many cases envy.
My top 3 likes for the US of A are:
1. Freedom of speech.
2. Freedom of speech.
3. Freedom of Speech.

If the population of a country genuinely has this - then all the ills and wrongs can eventually be righted.

A very close number 4. would be deep pan pizza ..... sorry NY !!!

On the more important subject of Beds/Futons ... I hated sleeping on the floor when I first came to Japan, but I got used to it and the chronic back pain I had been enduring for years (following a sports injury),almost completely went away. I now need a firm surface to get a proper sound sleep.
It was also very useful to be able to just fold up your bed, pack it away and create some vital space in the shoebox we called home !!
 

edogaijin

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I'm a bit of a cynic, and I'd argue that Japan doesn't really have freedom of speech at all. For instance, the social rules say you aren't allowed to question your:

-senpai
-superiors
-the government
-your elders
-the rules
-basically anything else

I'll take my big imported fluffy king-sized bed, and keep my AC permanently set at energy wasting levels. Fork in hand, I say 'merka, F*** yeah'.

With love, from Omotesando
-Edogaijin
 

Dotanbatan

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I'm a bit of a cynic, and I'd argue that Japan doesn't really have freedom of speech at all. For instance, the social rules say you aren't allowed to question your:

-senpai
-superiors
-the government
-your elders
-the rules
-basically anything else

I'll take my big imported fluffy king-sized bed, and keep my AC permanently set at energy wasting levels. Fork in hand, I say 'merka, F*** yeah'.

With love, from Omotesando
-Edogaijin

You can print all your words above onto leaflets and stand next to Hachiko handing them out ... infact you can do this anywhere in the country.
You could also tape your message and broadcast it through loudspeakers from your van which could also be covered with your words or message.
If you feel that strongly about things there is absolutely nothing stopping you calling your senpai, superiors, elders and the government from the pub at 5:01 PM and giving them the same message.

Japan does have freedom of speech, they just exercise it in different ways.

I don't want to quell your rebel spirit (we may need that during the revolution) .... but I think you'll enjoy it more in Japan and certainly get a lot more out of living here if you try to adapt just a little bit !
 

edogaijin

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My last message was poorly worded. I am referring to the fact that very few Japanese speak publicly about these matters. I hope to provoke that discussion. Japan is well overdo for a social revolution, one that will come in the form of the younger generations throwing off the shackles of the elderly. One where unpaid overtime and exploitation of foreign workers ends. One that includes equal rights for the young and working class, and limitations on the social welfare of the elderly.

Most of all, one of a multiracial and multicultural Japan. In time, I suspect that will happen in Japan. Mass immigration will likely occur within 20-50 years as a matter of demographic reality -- at that time Japan will be forced to change and adopt foreign ideals irregardless of the wishes of anyone -- Japanese or not.
 

Lestat84

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Good, you questioned your society in your teens to twenties. Now it's time to question your peer groups. You have to realize that you are jumping from one band wagon to another. I have seen a million (exaggerated) posts about specific 20 year olds that decide they hate the US and want to live in Japan, apparently because it's full of pop music and anime... There is nothing new there.

Just make sure that when you punch your mother and tell her you hate her, that you are not still sucking on her tit at that time. You are still going to college right? Well, that's a product of our country.

A clear solution would be to travel more. Go to any given 3rd world country and drink their water and get parasites, get MRSA from their sleeping habits, and try to get back before being kidnapped for ransom. Seriously, there is a reason so many try to sneak into the US. There are far worse places out there and relatively few places that give anyone freedom to be bisexual, or to even vote a moronic representatives into office. Maybe it's time to get out there and realize that it's possible that you are just a spoiled brat.

Nothing personally addressed to you; this is a just a note to the mainstream group you have decided to join. I would not be surprised if this was the only contrasting argument you get here (Japanese anime, pop music and race queen forum and all). Just keep in mind that a majority doesn't make the argument right or wrong.
Going to college is not really the issue at hand here. The issue is whether we believe that other countries do it better than the USA or not. The OP never expressed that he felt Japan was full of pop music and anime. No one with the ability to think deeply enough to really question his own citizenship and ideals that comprise his identity would believe that Japan is exactly like anime. You're creating false conclusions from nothing here. Not only that, but calling the OP a bandwagon jumper is really incorrect here. Nor is he being a spoiled brat. Going to college has no real reflection on anyone's character. everyone needs to work to survive. that is a general truth of the world; It's universal. The only thing it shows is that the OP desires to be educated so he can be successful in life and potentially follow his passion to his goals. In fact, individual thinking like this is definitely not mainstream or spoiled. It indicates a level of thoughtfulness that most people don't have, because the majority of Americans are very chauvinistic in their view of America. They accept it when the government justifies wrongdoing with the threat of terror. This person obviously cares about the moral and legal promises our government has made and subsequently broken. The mainstream school of thought certainly does not include expatriatism. Moreover, going to a less developed country has no bearing on the OP. It makes no difference because while those countries are in unfortunate circumstances, he has no plans to go there, nor does it affect him directly. Thus, it cannot have very much impact on him, nor should it change his resolve to seek freedom and ideals. It doesn't take a spoiled brat to be an idealist. It takes a compassionate person to desire ideals such as freedom and justice for all, and the OP should be lauded for these good traits. You are dead wrong in accusing this person and as a future expat myself, I take offense to it as well.

On a separate note, UncleFrank, what made you decide to return home? what was so off-putting about Japan? Moreover, how could you return to a country with a government that is so corrupt? Wouldn't you want to escape the wrongdoing, injustice, and corruption here for somewhere that is more livable (not necessarily Japan, but somewhere)?
 

Uncle Frank

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Number one reason for leaving was my inability to improve my language skills. I could not express my thoughts and feelings in any great detail which limited my conversations to child like exchanges. Even after two years , my Kanji skills were terrible. I could not read a newspaper or magazine enough to get by. Radio and TV Japanese was still to hard for me to pick up everything and understand it. I had flunked English in high school 2 years in a row so I did not feel qualified to teach English. The only job I found there was being a bouncer in a bar so my economic future looked grim.
I also missed guns and hunting. Living in Maine , my dad and friends and family had me shooting by age 5. I started going to hunting camp at 4 years old. I loved the woods and nature and target shooting and really missed it. I joined a gun club in Japan , but all they used for guns were Korean pump up air birdshot guns. Also , my father had just started an automotive business that was growing fast and he really wanted me to come home and help him with it. At the time , my Japanese fiance planned to return with me to Maine so my future looked better back home. There were no major problems with Japan and myself , just my feeling I had no future there.

Uncle Frank
 

edogaijin

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On a separate note, UncleFrank, what made you decide to return home? what was so off-putting about Japan? Moreover, how could you return to a country with a government that is so corrupt? Wouldn't you want to escape the wrongdoing, injustice, and corruption here for somewhere that is more livable (not necessarily Japan, but somewhere)?

This isn't directed at me but I felt inclined to answer anyways. I've seen many Americans (and Canadians) return home for a few reasons. Some can't hack the cultural differences, others miss relatives, some are in IT (IT wages in Japan tend to be low and the hours absurdly long) and a small but very vocal minority grow to hate Japan and leave.

Regarding corrupt government, if you ask many Japanese they will also say that their government is corrupt. It's just corrupt in a Japanese way -- which often means that the government is just plain bureaucratic and inefficient, with corruption coming in the form of wasted money and life-long political appointments. Look up the concept of 天下り if you don't believe me. Many politicians "retire" to the private sector on executive boards. Same as in USA really...

My experience in living is that there is no escaping fundamental injustice. It's inherent to the human condition, and it's pretty ubiquitous at least within the modern world. We trade one form of suffering for another, I think. There is some suffering that comes with being a foreigner in Japan, same as there is some suffering with being associated with being an American in North America. IMO, it's like Gandalf said. All we decide is what we do with the time that we have. We can't affect the bigger picture, so worrying about it isn't really going to do much good.
 

AdjeYen

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I don't want to sound rude or anythin' like that, though I haven't read everything of your post, I'd say that you have been blinded by the media, like for example, as you said: "USA the land of opportunity, freedom, the greatest country in the world" etc..
USA is nothing like that, there is fo' sure good americans, I'm not dissing USA, but I would never want to travel there or live there, sorry.
You also have been blinded by the USA for saying that Islam is a religion of terrorism, as Muslims were the reasons why the twin-towers were blown down and similar stories, you get my point.

There is a big reason why it's like that or as it is today. Sometimes when I travel around Europe, before I take a flight, I'm actually scared to take off, because whenever I arrive at one embassy and show them my passport, visa, they would look at me and it looks like from their looks, I already know what's goin' to happen: "Oh, look, a muslim fellow, look at his name, "Adnan", we have to investigate" and then they would ask me lots of question like: "what I'm doing here, what is my purpose of coming here" and so on and so on, they just won't let me go until they say so.
And I don't want to sound like an smart-a** because I do know some stuff because I care and want to fill my body with wisdom and knowledge, when I was about 9/10 years old I knew from the very beginning that the life in the USA is somehow fishy, it ain't right, it's like as we're being seen as puppets in a theatre as we can't do anything but watch and support these kind of events.

Eventhough I'm not from the USA, I know how you're feeling because I feel the same way here in Bosnia, but at least when it comes to the vacations and similar, it is ten times better here.
There is a big economical crisis here in Bosnia but people still somehow look happy and satisfied lol, they drink coffee, hang around as if their fee is 1000+$ lol. You guys don't even wanna know what our standard fee is but still people look satisfied like there's no tomorrow lol.

I keep my fingers crossed for you, I don't know you personally but I can relate man, if you don't feel good in your very own hometown, you should try somewhere else, hey, we're on a japanese forum, how about Japan? Why don't you give it a try there?
But yeah, the issue is as always the God almost the whole Earth believes in... "Money"...As the quote goes: "I live my whole life for a green piece of paper".
 

edogaijin

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I think everyone knows where I come down on these matters, as a white American in Japan. But my opinion is that America is one of the greatest countries on Earth. Not just because it's wealthy, powerful or has a large army either. More because of the fact that America often defends the safety and peace of other nations, including Japan.

Following WW2, America could have decided to leave Japan in shambles and let the Soviets or Chinese occupy Japan instead. I can say without much doubt that it would have been a brutal occupation filled with revenge, as the USSR and China were quite upset with Japan at that time. Instead the US rebuilt and modernized Japan, and with the tenacity of the Japanese people, made Japan what it is today -- a truly first world country and an economic power-house. The Americans of that era did the same thing in Europe with the Marshall Plan. The USSR had a rather brutal plan to invade Japan in 1945, and under a split occupation... it'd have altered history fundamentally. It's unlikely Japan would be the same country it is today.

Is modern USA a far different nation and arguably a negative influence in the world? Yeah I'd say so. I was no fan of the Bush administration either, but I have to point out what I see as a strong anti-American bias on JREF and within the expatriate community in Japan, even among Americans. I think had the bombings not occurred, Japan would have had most of its infrastructure crushed under a full-scale invasion and ultimately the Japanese would have lost more than their pride. The Japanese at that time got off very easy with just a mere bombing.
 
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