What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

I'll bet you'd be glad to be born Japanese.

craftsman

************
Joined
24 Sep 2006
Messages
261
Reaction score
19
I know I post more than a few polls but...some great research has been done to finally analyse just what it is that Japanese people like about.....themselves as Japanese.

There were 5003 people who took part and they could answer anything they wanted.

So here's the question:

What thing makes you think you’re glad you were born Japanese?

And here's the answers in order of popularity (and my silly comments) :

1 Delicious food 1,085

Who can argue with that? The largest number by far chose food.

2 The passage through the four seasons 664

I know. I know...but what about about in my [place your country here]? This is the subject of endless posts already.

3 Peace 636

Peace? Where? Anyone seen any peace recently? I'm sure it must be around here somewhere.

4 Good public order 333

Policemen have big sticks and blackbelts.

5 Economically rich 157

I knew money would come in here somewhere. But rich?

6 Hot springs 121


7 The good Japanese national character 91

The what?

8 Characteristic culture 72

Eh?

9 Can speak Japanese 69

Duh. These 69 responders seriously need their heads examining.

10= Free country 55

I thought there was an entrance fee.

10= Bountiful natural landscape 55



The polls are broken down by sex and age and other answers include:

  • Can wear kimono

  • Can soak in the bath tub

    what's probably missing here is - with a cold wet towel on your head and a cup of sake in your hand
  • Being a gun-free society

    Who needs guns when you can bully your enemies to death.
  • Having kotatsu and tatami in houses

    A kotatsu is a work of genius but tatami...
  • Having Mt.Fuji

Anyone who is not Japanese but wishes they had been born Japanese after reading this persuasive list?

Did they miss anything obvious?

Should they have said something different?
 
Last edited:

Revenant

Sempai
Joined
7 Mar 2005
Messages
615
Reaction score
37
Of course the police are often accused of doing something too late, or not doing anything at all, but after teaching a lot of police, it wouldn't be a job I wanted. Just standing up for yourself if some punk's shoving you around would be considered abuse of power, and it would make newspapers as well.

I've noticed that the traditions that accompany the four seasons are a lot more set and reflect the seasons more than they do in my own country. Don't know if I articulated that well, but hope you get the idea.

Ummm..... yeah.... good national character and can speak Japanese? Alrighty.....

Public order the result of rigid social norms? Just thinking out loud..... were that the case, then isn't there a portion of society that just doesn't do well at all as a result of the rigid social norms?
 
Last edited:

Karamuucho

Sempai
Joined
3 Nov 2006
Messages
161
Reaction score
9
The problem with the poll if taken by a lot of Japanese is that a lot of Japanese (and any other country, surely) people have not been abroad, so their views of other countries are narrowed down to what they see on tv/read in a newspaper/magazine. Also I'm guessing a lot of the participants were from outside Tokyo to have said "beautiful natural landscape" or "peace" heh.
 

craftsman

************
Joined
24 Sep 2006
Messages
261
Reaction score
19
Revenant, it's interesting to see some positive thoughts on the Japanese police because I've only ever heard or read negative. Well actually I've only ever thought negative as well.

Karamuucho, yes. I often wonder what people mean by 'peace'. It's such an important word yet in this context sounds so meaningless.
 

Maciamo

Twirling dragon
Joined
17 Jul 2002
Messages
3,332
Reaction score
111
This surveys confirms all my opinions about Japanese people.

Maybe there is nothing special for a Japanese to be glad of, as almost all the things mentioned could have been mentioned for most Western countries. Frankly, what developed country is less of a gun-free country than Japan, except the USA ? What Western country doesn't have seasons, apart from parts of the USA and Australia ? What Western country is less free than Japan ? What country doesn't have bathtubs ?

Food was also for me one of the best things about living in Japan, but it has nothing to do with the fact of being Japanese (I am not Japanese and it didn't make any difference). It is not Japanese food that is so great, it is the diversity of world food, the cheap price and fast service... Over half of the food in Japan nowadays is foreign (French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indian, American...), and 3/4of the so-called Japanese food is hybrid or foreign-inspired (karee, hayashi rice, beef stew, ome-rice, guratan, tempura, ramen, yakiniku...). The only truly Japanese dishes are very few : sushi, soba, oden, hijiki, some tofu dishes...


As for Japan being a rich country, it only ranks 17th among developed countries in terms of GDP per capita, so I wouldn't be so sure about that.

The problem with the poll if taken by a lot of Japanese is that a lot of Japanese (and any other country, surely) people have not been abroad, so their views of other countries are narrowed down to what they see on tv/read in a newspaper/magazine.
Really ? I thought that the Japanese were so of the most avid travellers in the world. Haven't been to a country where I didn't meet Japanese tourists (and I travelled a lot). Yet, I rarely met American tourists.
 
Last edited:
Joined
18 Jan 2005
Messages
10,198
Reaction score
655
My having been glad to be born as a Japanese,
My ranking is quite different
1. I can watch Manga and Anime.
2.With the latest game machine, a game is possible.
3.I can buy the latest household appliance.
4. can read various publications in Japanese.
5.There is not much religious limitation.
6.It is pleasant that there is various Maturi (a festival).
7.I can enjoy ONSEN of various nature of the water of a hot spring.
8.With a Japanese passport, I can enter many countries without a visa.
9.An exchange of the yenツ ,ツ I can do an exchange of the yen in overseas various areas.
10.Every day,I can watch the Japanese beautiful woman whom a foreigner longs for.ツ 👍
 

craftsman

************
Joined
24 Sep 2006
Messages
261
Reaction score
19
Hiroyuki Nagashima, yours are so much better. Why didn't those respondents give answers like yours?
 

hkBattousai

Nihongo Learner
Joined
19 Oct 2006
Messages
154
Reaction score
5
1. I can watch Manga and Anime.
5. There is not much religious limitation.
6. It is pleasant that there is various Maturi (a festival).
7. I can enjoy ONSEN of various nature of the water of a hot spring.
10.Every day,I can watch the Japanese beautiful woman whom a foreigner longs for.
Just these alone hit the spot! :box:
 

Maciamo

Twirling dragon
Joined
17 Jul 2002
Messages
3,332
Reaction score
111
My having been glad to be born as a Japanese,
My ranking is quite different
1. I can watch Manga and Anime.
I can too, and I am not Japanese. In fact I have watched many Japanese anime in my childhood because they are very popular on French TV.
2.With the latest game machine, a game is possible.
When I was a teenager I played a lot video games. My local game shop imported the latest games from Japan, so we had them a few days after the official release in Japan.
3.I can buy the latest household appliance.
Same for Westerners. In fact we do have more choice in Europe because we have the European (Siemens, Bosch, Miele, Philips, Zanussi...), American (Whirlpool), Korean (Samsung, LG, Daewoo) and Japanese brands. In Japan it's almost only the Japanese brands.
4. can read various publications in Japanese.
Just need to learn Japanese. Anyway, the most interesting I translated from Western languages, esp. English.
5.There is not much religious limitation.
Ah, this is actually a good reason, although it is fairly similar in countries like Belgium or France.
6.It is pleasant that there is various Maturi (a festival).
Pleasantness is too subjective. There are also lots matsuri (different ones) in Europe, especially in Southern Europe and Germany. Any foreigner can go to Japan if they like Japanese matsuri. No need to be born Japanese.
7.I can enjoy ONSEN of various nature of the water of a hot spring.
I never understood the attraction of onsen. But if you like them there are plenty of them in countries like Iceland, Finland, Germany and some parts of France (e.g. Vichy). Again, no need to be born Japanese.
8.With a Japanese passport, I can enter many countries without a visa.
Not as good as a EU passport, which gives you the right to live (not just visit for 3 months), work and vote at local elections in 27 European countries + visit 2 more countries (Iceland and Norway) without visa or time limitation.
9.An exchange of the yenツ ,ツ I can do an exchange of the yen in overseas various areas.
Not as common as the Euro or US dollar. The yen has been so weak these last years that it is actually a disadvantage to get your salary in yen. Anyway, it has little to do with the fat of being born Japanese, just working in Japan...
10.Every day,I can watch the Japanese beautiful woman whom a foreigner longs for.
And as a Caucasain one can actually get them. :p


The only thing that is unique about being born Japanese is to be a Japanese national with a Japanese passport. When faced with the decision of taking on Japanese nationality, I wondered what it would bring me that I couldn't have by just living in Japan as a foreigner. There was absolutely nothing, so I chose the permanent visa, retaining my right to live and work in the 27 EU countries.
 

undrentide

Japa'n vagyok
Joined
18 Jan 2006
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
308
Was the original question "what thing makes you think you're glad you were born Japanese because it is unique to Japan and not available in any other part of the world?"
Somehow I cannot see it either in the question or answers even though I did read the original page in Japanese as well.



 

Maciamo

Twirling dragon
Joined
17 Jul 2002
Messages
3,332
Reaction score
111
Was the original question "what thing makes you think you're glad you were born Japanese because it is unique to Japan and not available in any other part of the world?"

No, the original question was : 窶堋?窶堙遺?堋ス窶堋ェツ「窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋スツ」窶堙?スv窶堋、窶堋ア窶堙??堙坂?ーツス窶堙??堋キ窶堋ゥ? (literally : "What makes you think 'I am glad to have been born Japanese' ?")
 

undrentide

Japa'n vagyok
Joined
18 Jan 2006
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
308
No, the original question was : 窶堋?窶堙遺?堋ス窶堋ェツ「窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋スツ」窶堙?スv窶堋、窶堋ア窶堙??堙坂?ーツス窶堙??堋キ窶堋ゥ? (literally : "What makes you think 'I am glad to have been born Japanese' ?")

Then why some comments are critisized for not being something unique to Japan? Just wondered...

If I'm asked this kind of question, I would mention something Japanese or something from Japan that comes to my mind, without thinking whether it is avialable outside of Japan or whether it is unique to Japan.
 

Maciamo

Twirling dragon
Joined
17 Jul 2002
Messages
3,332
Reaction score
111
Then why some comments are critisized for not being something unique to Japan? Just wondered...
Because they are not related to being Japanese in the first place.

It is obvious that the people who made the poll and the people who answered it didn't understand the difference between "being born Japanese" and "living in Japan". That's so typical of the Japanese ethnocentrism and narrow-mindedness. There are about 2 million Japanese-born people living outside Japan, and 2 million foreigners in Japan. So being born in Japan and living in Japan is clearly not equal.

My criticism point by point was for those who understood the poll as "What do you like about living in Japan ?" (i.e. those who answered it).
 

undrentide

Japa'n vagyok
Joined
18 Jan 2006
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
308
Because they are not related to being Japanese in the first place.

Then the question itself is not valid...

I don't know how you define 'being Japanese', but when I read
窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス, I don't feel it means being ethnically Japanese nor having Japanese citizenship, but just "born into the Japanese culture, or the country called Japan". (thus I can enjoy this and this, will be my answer. And it does not mean "only in Japan" or "which is unique to Japan", of course.)
 

Maciamo

Twirling dragon
Joined
17 Jul 2002
Messages
3,332
Reaction score
111
Then the question itself is not valid...
Exactly !
I don't know how you define 'being Japanese', but when I read
窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス, I don't feel it means being ethnically Japanese nor having Japanese citizenship, but just "born into the Japanese culture, or the country called Japan". (thus I can enjoy this and this, will be my answer.)
Well it's not 窶愿コ窶怒窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス, but 窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス, so it is about being born Japanese, not in Japan.

This poll is exactly the kind of Japanese mindset that made me dislike Japan enough as to leave it, despite the good aspects. It is simply insufferable... If they hadn't say 窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙? but 窶愿コ窶怒窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙? it would have made a lot of difference. It is on such details that I can see how people's mind work, what they feel, and how intelligent they are.
 

undrentide

Japa'n vagyok
Joined
18 Jan 2006
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
308
Well it's not 窶愿コ窶怒窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス, but 窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス, so it is about being born Japanese, not in Japan.

To the Japanese living in Japan, they don't practically make difference.

Maybe you don't know it (I won't say you are ignorant) but there used to be a CM on TV, I forgot myself what it was advertising - vaguely remeber that it has something to do with eating 窶堋イ窶堙坂?堙ア, and the person in it said 窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス.

This phrase has become quite popular, has been used quite often (if you search it with Google, there'll be more than 60,000 hits).
For most Japanese, it does not mean "born ethnically Japanese" or "having Japanese citizenship" but simply "(happen to have been) born Japanese thus living in Japan, doing things people do here, or seeing things people see here, etc."

Such a ramdom question people answer light-heartedly.
It is not a test, or experiment for an important thesis, then why what people personally feel or think need to be academically screened or rejected as "incorrect" when people even don't say "it is unique to Japan"? I cannot help wondering.

But then I don't know the purpose of this thread. Maybe it is me who is out of place. Then I apologise, please go ahead and do as you like. I should not interfere when people are having fun.
 
Joined
18 Jan 2005
Messages
10,198
Reaction score
655
Hiroyuki Nagashima, yours are so much better. Why didn't those respondents give answers like yours?

😌
Because I am Otaku.

Probably,
A respondent of this questionnaire thinks that they answer it about having felt happiness by everyday life.

By my experience,
1.
When I eat a luxurious dish with a family in an ONSEN hotel, I realize happiness.
2.
It is drinking cups of sake while enjoying a snow scene in winter.
I see cherry blossoms with a cherry tree in spring,
I hear a continuous chorus of cicadas in the summer,
I watch colored leaves in autumn,
I feel happiness in such a case.
3.
When I do basking in the sun of spring, I feel peace.
4.
When money is in a safe of unmanned sale place of vegetables, I feel that the peace and order are good.
5.
When I stayed at an ONSEN hotel with a family for New Year holidays, I feel that I became rich economically.
6.
Because I went in various ONSEN from Hokkaido to Kagoshima, I was happy.
7.
In touring of winter,
When, in trasport cafe of a late-night highway, I took a nap.
A stranger (a driver of a truck) gave warm can coffee to me silently.
Because a body got cold, I was very glad.
8.
When I watched kagura performed at night in Yufuin,
When I participated in local festival (yamakasa),
When I watched kyogen (a Noh comedy),
9.
When I read Japanese classical literature,
When I read Waka (a 31-syllable Japanese poem), a haiku.
When I watch Manga and Anime.
10.
When I watched a miniskirt of a female high school student, I feel that it is a free country.
Kushiro damp plain of Hokkaido and Lake Towada-ko of Aomori, the Nagara River of Gifu, Shimanto River of Shikoku, Kumano of Wakayama, Mt. Aso of Kumamoto, Sakurajima of Kagoshima, the sea of Okinawa,
When I watched these, I felt the Japanese natural richness.
 

w1ngzer0

Sempai
Joined
17 Jan 2004
Messages
250
Reaction score
0
Same for Westerners. In fact we do have more choice in Europe because we have the European (Siemens, Bosch, Miele, Philips, Zanussi...), American (Whirlpool), Korean (Samsung, LG, Daewoo) and Japanese brands. In Japan it's almost only the Japanese brands.
LG and Samsung are Korean!!! ☝

I love LG products +1 for Korea.
 

Maciamo

Twirling dragon
Joined
17 Jul 2002
Messages
3,332
Reaction score
111
To the Japanese living in Japan, they don't practically make difference.
That is what I reproach them. Japanese people are famous for not being precise about language. This ambiguity and relative lack of nuances reflects a lack of :
1) discernment (difference between being Japanese or born in Japan)
2) analytical skills (realising that not all people born in Japan are Japanese or keep living in Japan)
3) critical sense (it is required to be born in Japan to eat Japanese or read Japanese manga)
Maybe you don't know it (I won't say you are ignorant) but there used to be a CM on TV, I forgot myself what it was advertising - vaguely remeber that it has something to do with eating 窶堋イ窶堙坂?堙ア, and the person in it said 窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス.
Yes, I think I saw that CM, or something similar. I have heard so many times (on TV, from students, from other people) "窶愿コ窶怒ツ人窶堙可青カ窶堙懌?堙ェ窶堙??堙ヲ窶堋ゥ窶堙≫?堋ス" that I can't hear it anymore. I even had a student who told me he was glad to have been born in Japan because he could get a good education. He didn't even know that Chad, Rwanda and Uganda were countries ! Talk about good education !
For most Japanese, it does not mean "born ethnically Japanese" or "having Japanese citizenship" but simply "(happen to have been) born Japanese thus living in Japan, doing things people do here, or seeing things people see here, etc."
And it doesn't disturb you ? Are you satisfied with people around you not distinguishing between Japanese national, ethnic Japanese and foreigner born in Japan ? Are you not bothered by people not distinguishing between "gaijin" ?
Such a ramdom question people answer light-heartedly.
It is not a test, or experiment for an important thesis, then why what people personally feel or think need to be academically screened or rejected as "incorrect" when people even don't say "it is unique to Japan"? I cannot help wondering.
The problem is that Japanese people always seem to talk in "light-hearted" manner, without thinking. For me it is the difference between civilised and uncivilised people, as simple as that. It reminds me of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's image of the "savage in the natural state": ignorant, light-hearted and blissfully happy.
 

JimmySeal

Tubthumper
Joined
5 Mar 2006
Messages
1,459
Reaction score
78
Frankly, what developed country is less of a gun-free country than Japan, except the USA?
What? Gun ownership is almost non-existent in Japan so any country that has guns at all is less gun-free than Japan. For reference:

Percent of households with a handgun, 1991 (1)

United States 29%
Switzerland 14
Finland 7
Germany 7
Belgium 6
France 6
Canada 5
Norway 4
Europe 4
Australia 2
Netherlands 2
United Kingdom 1

And it doesn't disturb you ? Are you satisfied with people around you not distinguishing between Japanese national, ethnic Japanese and foreigner born in Japan ? Are you not bothered by people not distinguishing between "gaijin"?
What's the problem here? Undrentide is saying that the term 窶愿コ窶怒ツ人 is taken to mean someone born and living in Japan. They are the ones who experience the various things in the survey for their whole lives. Is there a problem for taking the term "German" to broadly mean someone born and living in Germany?
 

Mrjones

先輩
Joined
16 Oct 2006
Messages
241
Reaction score
2
Personally I think police is more biased here in Japan, than any country I have went before, and that makes me feel pretty unsafe. Becouse they let all those yakuza guys roam free on the streets right in open(also notice the impressive sales of the video game yakuza 2). Again sure Japanese food, women, manga, onseng...its all good.
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
22 Apr 2003
Messages
9,525
Reaction score
131
What's the problem here? Undrentide is saying that the term 窶愿コ窶怒ツ人 is taken to mean someone born and living in Japan. They are the ones who experience the various things in the survey for their whole lives. Is there a problem for taking the term "German" to broadly mean someone born and living in Germany?
If they are speaking freely but very sincerely they are glad they weren't born of non-Japanese parents in Japan I can sympathize with that completely. I would doubtless also count myself as one of the privileged, fortunate elite from that narrow perspective. :p

I suppose being born and raised of Japanese parents overseas also makes it easier to repatriate if desired. 😌 :eek:
 

Karamuucho

Sempai
Joined
3 Nov 2006
Messages
161
Reaction score
9
Really ? I thought that the Japanese were so of the most avid travellers in the world. Haven't been to a country where I didn't meet Japanese tourists (and I travelled a lot). Yet, I rarely met American tourists.

Heh, not talking about comparitively to every country in the world mate, but I would go as far to say that at least 51% of Japanese people (of all ages) have not been abroad, I take 51% is satisfactory to mean "most Japanese". Seriously tho, enjoying the topic for what it is, why do you have to bum everyone out by pin pointing where they're going wrong so much? I mean sure it may be very slightly off the original topic of the poll, but in the grand scheme of things? They're not that far off. I don't mean to tred on anyone's feet here seriously, but if people are enjoying the thread, why rain on their parade? Heh maybe I'm missing out on a forum rule or something.
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
22 Apr 2003
Messages
9,525
Reaction score
131
Of course the police are often accused of doing something too late, or not doing anything at all, but after teaching a lot of police, it wouldn't be a job I wanted. Just standing up for yourself if some punk's shoving you around would be considered abuse of power, and it would make newspapers as well.
Really ? I've seen them shoving mentally disturbed people in the middle of a crowded station office totally unprovoked and I doubt that made the papers.
Come to think of it, I've never read a police brutality story in the news. Doesn't mean it doesn't occur of course.

Public order the result of rigid social norms? Just thinking out loud..... were that the case, then isn't there a portion of society that just doesn't do well at all as a result of the rigid social norms?
Yeah, like free spirited, free-thinking, freedom-loving people everywhere....not to mention those with less power and at the bottom of the heirarchy. My boyfriend is always complaining what a disagreeable, difficult "taihen" country and culture it is to have to live out your own life through a pre-determined role and I would consider his status and mindset to be mostly very typically Japanese. ☝
 
Top Bottom