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论坛地址:http://www.ltaaa.com/bbs/thread-483176-1-1.htmlSarah Federic

I have been teaching here in Japan for four years. I’ve also taught Japanese students both offline and online for more than 10 years so I will be sharing a lot of things I see happening in schools.


1.I’ve seen parents with extreme attitudes. Some would complain about the teacher because their children misbehave, as if it’s the teachers’ responsibility to raise their kids and the parents only need to support them. It seems to me like they have it backwards.


Meanwhile, other parents would go to school and castigate the teacher for trying to discipline their kids or for not treating them like the prince/princess they are. They’re famously called ‘monster parents.’ With this kind of environment, teachers have become wary of parents.


I notice that this is present in every industry. The Japanese manage to make simple things difficult and complicated. It is both a weakness and a strength. On one hand, they’ve mastered the art of tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and wrapping gifts. On the other hand, there are managers who obsess about the font size and formatting of documents so much that their employees don’t even have much time to sleep.


2. How kids spend most of their waking time going to school or doing things related to school. I get it that it’s important for young people to learn as much as they could. But there’s more to life than school.


3.How expensive the school backpacks (randosel) can be! They sell for around $300 and more, if you prefer the more colorful or unusual ones.
Education is supposed to be free but with how much parents have to spend on school supplies and trips and other sports equipment, it certainly is a burden. No wonder some couples choose not to have kids here.


Orvin Demsy
They can’t communicate if they don’t drink.
For those who have been living in Japan either as student or as worker must be familiar with the word ‘nomikai’ which means ‘drinking party’.


One day I had a drinking party with my colleagues from the company, this party was held as a welcome party for new employees (so it means there isn’t any rank/status difference or one-should-pay-respect-to-others attitude, we were all in the same level).


There was this one guy whose face looked red, I approached him, he initiated the conversation first, then later on we took selfie together, we became a good friend that day until the next day I ran across him, I was surprised as he didn’t even look at me. “What was wrong? did I do something that disgust him?” Later I found out, it was a part of Japanese culture.


I feel like there is tendency where ones should drink in order to express their own feelings. This isn’t happened on casual friendly party, this is also used a means of sealing a deal between parties.


I feel like there is tendency where ones should drink in order to express their own feelings. This isn’t happened on casual friendly party, this is also used a means of sealing a deal between parties.


Wife will be happy to see the husband coming late from work.


This one applies to a guy who already has a family. It is said that coming home early from work (no overtime work) implied as not working hard enough enough for the family.


Plus, I also heard once the husband gets his pay, he will give his wife all of it, then the wife gets to decide how much is the husband’s portion.


The Japanese youngsters tend to slack off in their bachelor’s year. The trend I found out is they are desperately struggling to make it through the top-notched university, but once they made it, they begin to slack off again.
This is the golden rule : “Once I have the best university, my future is assured”


Now I think, this is caused by the Japanese way of employing freshly graduate student. They recruit people based on which university the went to, instead of what skills they have. They tend to hire generalists than specialist. That’s why it`s common to find someone whose job is completely unrelated with their major. Consequently, the company needs long long time to mold their workers according to their needs. Real life example: my friend whose major was chemical engineering, currently work as control engineering, which was ironic because her main job demands her to be proficient at MATLAB, a software she had never known before.


Eiji Takano(高野 英二)
I don't like some customs lapsed into the formality in Japan.


Let's begin with marriage ceremony. Only devout Christians in Japan have their ceremony seriously at their churches. For most of Japanese couples, Shinto priests solemnizes at their shrines or wedding halls. Japanese people in general are not serious Shintoist. They are temporary Shintoist when they marry, New Year's Day or some kinds of celebrations. They need Shinto priests like they need knives and forks when they eat steaks.


Also, Japanese people use a lot of money for wedding receptions. It's vanity. Newly wed's family invites many people (friends, families and co-workers of the couple) and prepare gifts to the guests. So the guests have to prepare congratulatory money to be equal to the meals and gifts. .


Funeral ceremony has the same aspect. Japanese people ask Buddhist priest's help for the funeral. Japanese people become temporary Buddhists for this occasion. Again vanity dominates the ceremony. The survivors have to decide the size of altar. How big, how many stories of altar and how many flowers (pictured). The appearance of the funeral would be thought as how survivors respect the deceased. So the family has to spend a lot of money.


I think it's a "Vanity Fair" in Japan.


Xun Long
A Mexican who works in Tokyo for years told my friend that he wanted to commit suicide because he couldn't handle the stress from his work. When you are a new employee, everyone is very nice, even super nice. However, if you still can't do your work well after years, company will be the last place you want to go. Same to foreigner and Japanese.


I saw a non-Japanese waiter in an Udon&Soba-Ya restaurant got scolded badly by the owner for misunderstanding what the owner said. The girl was nearly crying in front of me.


In my company, A Japanese man took a leave of absence for 1 year before I enter my team. After he came back, he quit after 5 months. I never saw anyone chatting with him. I never know the reason why he took absence and finally quit, but I think this is not difficult to guess.


A cute Japanese girl in another team in my department. She was in charge of a small case connected directly to the customer, and failed on it. The leader kept scolding her until she took a leave of absence(1 year). It was the third year after she entered our company after her graduation. She came back, but I don't know when she can hold on.


My KOUHAI(who entered company one year later than me) who smiled a lot became behaving like a rabbit after working for years, scared of everything, especially when named by the leader.


I can give you more examples like this.
I am not saying it's right or wrong.
Japan(not only Japanese) cost too much to keep the quality of Japanese products.


illa Levington Roth
I loved Japan, Having said that the one thing that was very hard for me to come to terms with was the way I was treated at the work place. OL as we were called, office ladies, had no rights and my shachou often screamed at me until I ran into the bathroom in tears of humiliation. We weren’t allowed to ever leave before the shachou, even if it was 10: pm.


Women have no way to climb the ladder in regards to salary nor position. You are always expected to make tea, smile and fawn over your boss and never ever say he might have made a mistake or might be wrong.


As a feminist from SF, CA I had to bite my tongue many times . The upside was, being a gaijin I was well paid because they knew I could never collect a pension.


Srinivas Kattimani, lives in Bangkok
One of the lowest Number of holidays/year in the world


Racism from some old folks : It happened many a times as soon as I enter the train to commute I see some old men/women immediately moving away to the different corner . Sometimes they would rather stand up and give up their seat instead of sitting next to a gaijin ( foreigner) . Again I am not generalizing , but there are still size-able number of people who do that.


Overly polite attitude : Not saying it’s wrong but it’s just something I disagree with. Most of the restaurants or shops I visit , they tend to welcome with over the top fake smile and modulated voice which immediately switches to a different expression and voice when they talk to their colleagues. Just feels like I am entering some disgruntled relative of mine who just needs money out of me.


By stander effect : Although it’s not restricted to only Japan but from personal experience , it’s quite worse here. Even when a guy is aggressively pursuing on a girl at a bar or on streets no one would bat an eye on it.


Salary-man effect : Again quite general but if you have lived in Tokyo for long you can easily find pattern among the black-suited people. Work->drink till late in the night -> wake up early -> sleep in the train -> work -> repeat. You almost feel like they are following this manual and they are robots!


Women : You could see a drastic change in lifestyle of a woman once she gets married . Worse would be when they are forced to quit, no longer able to party out as they used to, while their husbands are out flirting all over the place.


Jamie Wang
The unique understanding of apology is the first thing in my mind.
I remember a script line from a old teenage drama, the general meaning of it is “If apology solves everything, then why do we need police?”
But in Japan, apology is supposed to be the termination. “I am apologized, what else do you want from me?” is at least my understanding of the common sense of Japan.


For example:
1, Morinaga milk industry caused a serious poison milk power incident in 1955. Eventually, 12344 people got poisoned, 130 died due to having arsenide. Morinaga was found guilty and 2 workers went to jail for 3 years. As for the management team, they apologized so they didn’t get any jail time.


2, The nuclear disaster of Fukushima power plant was caused by the earth quake, but was already a risk before that, due to its out-of-date first generation fail safe design. Tokyo Electric Power Company knew the high risk of Fukushima first/Daiich power station, and deliberately ignored it. The meltdown of 1 to 4 generator caused the worst nuclear disaster in human history. Compare to Fukushima, Chernobyl is quite OK now. Because the chain reaction is stopped.


Did any high rank went to jail for this? No, they apologized. They even knelt down before the public and victims, what more do you want?


Vladimir Prostran
Women are definitely not seen as equal to men in Japan and, what’s even worse, I have a feeling that the progress of Japanese women’s rights has stalled. When a woman ends up being stalked or raped, police doesn’t protect her.. There have been many cases when murdered women asked for police protection and were brushed off. The police dismissal of harassment against women happens often and I don’t think women in Japan are shown the social respect they deserve.


Disrespect and lack of protection of employees. There have been many cases of deaths due to overwork (karoshi) in Japan and it is still incredible that staying overtime “voluntarily” (this is a lie - it’s not voluntary!) is considered something to be admired. Pretending to work hard is more appreciated than actually being productive. Many junior employees are treated very disrespectfully by their senior colleagues and they have no one to turn to when they’re being bullied - just as in the previous case, it’s always implied that the victim somehow caused the behavior of the aggressor and it’s their fault.