I make a pretty good effort to NOT post opinions about Japanese society: instead, I just post actual Japanese stuff and let it speak for itself. I’ve read a lot of those books about “Japan is this” and “Japan is that” and some are good, but most are kind of patronizing and know-it-all-ish, and probably the smartest, most dignified course of action is to simply admit one doesn’t have a clue.
After 6 and a half years, the time has come.
. . . people won’t tell you if you got shit in your teeth. This is the single most important point, and pretty much everything else follows from this.
. . .they use more feet of toilet paper per dook-dook than anywhere else on the planet. Like, they make a ‘karate chop’ hand and then roll the TP around it 3 or 4 times, and that’s just for the first wipe. Women get even more elaborate.
. . . people waiting in line at the cash register have their change already out and counted.
. . . people’s self-concept is not based on “How far am I from perfect happiness?” but more like “How far am I from being so miserable that I quit altogether?” It goes without saying that quitting something unpleasant is the same as wimping out and failing. (this is not at work/school but in all parts of personal life as well)
. . . you can shop at the same store for years and the clerk won’t make small talk. (Maybe this is just
. . . you can’t sit on grass in the park because it’s dangerous and full of bugs and parasites and nature – you have to buy plastic sheeting and put it under your bum.
. . .people spend their holidays at popular spots where there are a million other Japanese all packed like sardines. They deliberately seek these spots out, and then proceed to totally ignore the people all around them.
. . . couples don’t hold hands or kiss in public, but a total stranger can fall asleep on your shoulder in the train. Even sober!
. . . you can try to take a picture of your friend on a crowded sidewalk and even tough guys will duck down so they don’t ruin it.
. . .where there are crazy guys on the train platform, teetering on the edge of the tracks, yelling to no one and flipping the bird over and over, all side-wrist gangsta style. Actually, we have those in
In my country, you could sneak up behind any random person on the street and be like, “HEY! I saw that illegal thing you did!” and the person would be like, “FUCK! How much does he know?” They’d be all,“You can’t prove it – I mean, uh, I di’int do nothin’! I mean, – hey, who ARE you? Fuck off!!” In other words, even if YOU didn’t know what they did, THEY will fill in the blank themselves, because we have a national complex about authority. But if you try this in
On the other hand, if you’re like, “HEY! You’re not trying hard enough! You’re letting someone down!” they’ll totally be like, “FUCK! How did he know?!? I can explain!!!!”
Whether it’s a high-school kid and his sports team, a Shibuya girl and her diet, a businessman and his sales quota, a gambler who owes pachinko money to the mob, or some hipster and his dreams of becoming an event promoter, everyone has a complex about that shit.7 comments