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Post Reply Ask Me Anything About Living in Japan
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Posted 1/18/14

edge1143 wrote:

What if you don't wear your uniform to school?


You get sent home. After you spend about an hour getting yelled at for how you let everyone down and made your family and friends and school embarrassed and how you will never amount to anything if you are irresponsible like this.
Uniforms are no joke.


Thfelese wrote:

In japan when some one make you anger how do you deal with it?


It depends. The way that is accepted in Japan is to make weird comments, or leave notes, or make a big show of doing something the right way, so the person will fix it themselves. In the Western world it seems very passive-aggressive.
If you are drunk, it's the same as anywhere, though. In Japan, drunk people can do anything and they don't get in trouble.




Do you have to know Japanese to get your way around Japan? (Getting a job, asking for directions, reading news, etc.)

Yes and no. If you are in big cities and you are just trying to go for a holiday, you'll probably be ok as long as you are happy to just try things and speak slowly, clearly, and using easy words. Most jobs need at least a bit, but if you are teaching English, you can get away with learning while you live there (i did!). Reading the news is practically impossible for a foreigner. Newspapers require you to be able to recognise and group around 2000-2500 kanji. Some highschool graduates can't do that. You basically need to be a native who graduated highschool to read a news paper.

Is Japan as it is in anime or manga?

Anime is a borrowed word from French. It's for animation.
Manga essentially translates to "comic". So both!

Is it really the norm in Japanese society that people die from "karōshi"? AKA overworking?

It isn't super common, but it happens. It shouldn't and the recent financial collapse had at least one good affect. A lot of people who worked for a company all their lives thought they'd be looked after. They were dumped like old stinky fish. So people are slowly starting to realise that you can't live for your job. It'll take a long time, but it is slowly getting better.

Do you know why some Japanese commercials are so weird? (Even though they're more awesome)

Japanese tv is fucking bonkers. That's all I can really tell you unless you want to get into some seriously long discussions about social norms and foreign meddling after WW2.

What place would you recommend to go see once in Japan?

Depends. What do you like? Want to see temples? Mountains? Nature? Technology? Busy cities? Do you like hiking or snowboarding, or history, or architecture, or museums?

If a person is from a different culture, and they are not asian whatsoever, do people in Japan make a big fuss about it? (E.g. Indian, Jamaica, Muslim, etcc!)

Yes. It's a serious thing that will be part of your every waking moment. That's both good and bad in equal measure.

I AM REALLY CURIOUS. Sorry for so much questions! :3

No problem. That's why I made the thread!



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Posted 1/18/14

madmejis wrote:

Have you been to any sumo matches?! There have been no Japanese Yokozuna's in the past decade they have been Hawaiian or Mongolian. Are any Japanese sumo wrestlers aiming for that top spot anymore?


Yep. i was lucky enough to live not too far from the Budokan. Sumo is super expensive, but if you go on the day and turn up at about 7am, you can get seats way up in the nosebleed section for about $20.

They are definitely trying, but the title of Yokozuna is only ever given to a few wrestlers at a time. If someone earns it, they get it until they retire. That can be a long time. The current Mongolian guy was caught up in some REALLY shady stuff to do with organised crime. His position should be up for grabs pretty soon i think.


aeb0717 wrote:

Were you able to find the majority of cooking ingredients that you were used to in Australia, or did you need to dramatically adjust to the market variety? Somewhere in between?


A bit of both. You can get most things, but they are going to be expensive. If you want food to be affordable, you have to eat like a local. That said, some things are damn near impossible to get unless you have something like a costco in your area. A lot of things are similar but different. For example, good bread is hard to get. Japanese bread is sweet and gross. To get good bread, you need to find a 'french style' bakery.
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Posted 1/18/14
How is Japans current relationship with other asian countries like China and South Korea?
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Do you have to know Japanese to get your way around Japan? (Getting a job, asking for directions, reading news, etc.)

Yes and no. If you are in big cities and you are just trying to go for a holiday, you'll probably be ok as long as you are happy to just try things and speak slowly, clearly, and using easy words. Most jobs need at least a bit, but if you are teaching English, you can get away with learning while you live there (i did!). Reading the news is practically impossible for a foreigner. Newspapers require you to be able to recognise and group around 2000-2500 kanji. Some highschool graduates can't do that. You basically need to be a native who graduated highschool to read a news paper.

Is Japan as it is in anime or manga?

Anime is a borrowed word from French. It's for animation.
Manga essentially translates to "comic". So both!

Is it really the norm in Japanese society that people die from "karōshi"? AKA overworking?

It isn't super common, but it happens. It shouldn't and the recent financial collapse had at least one good affect. A lot of people who worked for a company all their lives thought they'd be looked after. They were dumped like old stinky fish. So people are slowly starting to realise that you can't live for your job. It'll take a long time, but it is slowly getting better.

Do you know why some Japanese commercials are so weird? (Even though they're more awesome)

Japanese tv is fucking bonkers. That's all I can really tell you unless you want to get into some seriously long discussions about social norms and foreign meddling after WW2.

What place would you recommend to go see once in Japan?

Depends. What do you like? Want to see temples? Mountains? Nature? Technology? Busy cities? Do you like hiking or snowboarding, or history, or architecture, or museums?

If a person is from a different culture, and they are not asian whatsoever, do people in Japan make a big fuss about it? (E.g. Indian, Jamaica, Muslim, etcc!)

Yes. It's a serious thing that will be part of your every waking moment. That's both good and bad in equal measure.

I AM REALLY CURIOUS. Sorry for so much questions! :3

No problem. That's why I made the thread!



Thank you for answering my questions! Hmm I see. Yeah, I would like to know about the social norms and foreign meddling after WWII. Do you mind answering?

How would someone deal with the prejudice? Have you dealt with it before? What's your advice on it? Because I do plan on going to Japan to visit but I have a feeling I am going to be discriminated because of my race. (Which is muslim)

ALSO, I LOVE GTO. My favorite anime of all time.

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Posted 1/18/14
pretty bad.
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Posted 1/18/14
What would it be like going to Japan if you are from America and speak little Japanese? I am planning to go when I graduate from High school and I want to go everywhere from Okinawa to Sapporo. I would try to socialize with some of the locals after I learn some more Japanese. Also would I really stand out, I have blonde hair and blue eyes. Lastly, where would you recommend I go, I want to see festivals, mountains, beaches, historical landmarks and cities?
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Posted 1/18/14

1871212 wrote:

How is Japans current relationship with other asian countries like China and South Korea?


Right now? Pretty terrible. Japan and Korea are sharing a lot of culture stuff like pop music and TV/movies, so it's not too bad compared to how it has been. China and Japan have been fighting over 3 tiny little islands called Sankaku in Japan and Daiyoh in China. They have some pretty solid strategic military advantage and there's talk of oil under them. All three countries are laying claim, but a Japanese citizen owned them. Recently, the Tokyo government decided that they hadn't had enough threats of war, so they bought the islands from the Japanese owner. Now they are officially owned by Japan and China is pissed.


Deviant-Person wrote:

Thank you for answering my questions! Hmm I see. Yeah, I would like to know about the social norms and foreign meddling after WWII. Do you mind answering?

How would someone deal with the prejudice? Have you dealt with it before? What's your advice on it? Because I do plan on going to Japan to visit but I have a feeling I am going to be discriminated because of my race. (Which is muslim)

ALSO, I LOVE GTO. My favorite anime of all time.


Prejudice won't be a big problem. Most people will think you are weird and fascinating. the ones who hate foreigners will avoid you unless they have no choice. I dealt with it on occasion, but mostly in ways you wouldn't notice if you didn't live there. Problems with visas, different laws for non-Japanese... that sort of thing. Not many people in daily life will ever give you any trouble.
Islam is a religion. Nobody can see your religion, so that won't be a problem. What you look like might, but I don't think it will be so bad. If you area very devout Muslim, you will need to be carful about food. Japanese people love to put pork into food.

Ok, World War 2... Let's just assume that we all know what happened in WW2 and how it ended.
At the end of the war, Japan was more or less conquered. Americans moved in and stripped the emperor of power, leaving them with no real government. A parliamentary democracy was set up and the entire constitution was rewritten with US hands on the pen. Japan was given very little power to set up their own rules for governance. It led to all kinds of weird laws, like the current obscenity laws that mean you can't have uncensored porn. It changed everything about the Japanese economy and it also changed the media.

Going back to your older question on why their ads are so weird, you had a country that was already kind of culturally obsessed with weird cuteness. On top of that, there's very little cultural norm for making fun of people for liking one thing or another. There's also a culture that encourages people to pick one thing they like and be REALLY into it. what this all means long term is that people don't feel ashamed singing, dancing, taking photos of trains, or any other stuff like that in public. It's especially strong because they are often pushed into being very conformist. Your hobby is one of the few things where you are allowed to be different. So people are REALLY into it and don't ever get embarrassed by things they like. It's one of their only creative outlets, so they are really passionate about it.

Being really willing to look silly in public meant that looking silly in public kind of became normal. When television came to Japan, you got to see people being silly all the time. So it got sillier. Then the 80's came along and all the TV ads had crazy shit. Ads before that all had things like singing and dancing and that never really died out like it did in other countries. So now you have a mix of Western influenced media, shameless silliness, the old style of singing and dancing, the excessive cocaine craziness of the 80's that never died, and the need to be different from the other singing and dancing weird TV. The end result is Arnold Schwarzenegger drinking an energy drink to turn into a super hero who laughs maniacally while his boss gets buried in ramen.
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Posted 1/18/14
Ah I guess thats true xD, I thought that the weird japanese shows that the americans have online are just selected ones, didnt know they were all like that
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Posted 1/18/14
Are maid cafe's as glorious as I think they are?
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Posted 1/18/14
When you started dating, what was it like going through meeting the family and all the potential social awkwardness that comes with such a match up? Were any family members particularly hostile?
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Hi, I was wondering what kind of jobs are available to people don't have a college degree that would also get you a work visa. Also, I'm kind of confused about how visas work and i have tried to research for answers but i couldn't really find any :/ How often do you have to renew them and how easy are they to get from the Japanese government, and are there any reasons they wouldn't let you renew and/or take it away from you? Thank you in advance
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Posted 1/18/14
hey ive been wanting to visit and maybe move do they enjoy american guys like could i make friends how much English can most Japanese speak how hard is it for a young person to get a job can you ask girls on dates like in the states or are they strict with who they date
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Posted 1/18/14

hikikomori4life wrote:

What would it be like going to Japan if you are from America and speak little Japanese? I am planning to go when I graduate from High school and I want to go everywhere from Okinawa to Sapporo. I would try to socialize with some of the locals after I learn some more Japanese. Also would I really stand out, I have blonde hair and blue eyes. Lastly, where would you recommend I go, I want to see festivals, mountains, beaches, historical landmarks and cities?


For a holiday, you'll be fine in big cities. Smaller places might be hard, but just being willing to try and speak Japanese will make people like you and want to help. People are generally really friendly and welcoming if you show that you are truly interested in their culture. Blonde hair and blue eyes will make you stand out. 99% of Japan is black hair, brown eyes.

Japan is pretty damn big and every place has its own cool things. I'll try to name some of my favourite places based on what you want to see:

Festivals: They are everywhere, all the time, but Summer is when most of them happen. There are some really awesome ones that aren't even famous. You just need to research the areas you are going to. The Iron Phallus festival in Kawasaki is awesome. So is the fire festival in Nagano during the Winter. Obon is the biggest celebration weekend fo the year and I think the best Obon festival is on Shikoku island in a city called Tokushima. The horseback archery festival in Tokyo is awesome. So is the ninja festival in Mie. There are food festivals and alcohol festivals everywhere. Every little town has its own special festival. It really is endless.

Mountains: The Nagano alps in Summer are wonderful. Hokkaido in the winter has the best snow in the world. i think Furano is better than Sapporo, but it's a matter of taste. Fuji can only be climbed in the middle of Summer and even then, it's cold as all hell up there. There are about a dozen nice mountains in every prefecture in Japan. The only really flat place is Chiba, my old home. Even that has Nokogiriyama, which has amazing views and has a giant carved statue of Buddha.

Beaches: The best beaches are going to be on the southern islands. Okinawa is your best bet. It may not fit your idea of Japan, though. A lot of Okinawans don't even consider themselves Japanese. Their dialect is pretty different and their culture is, too.

Historical Landmarks: Oh man... SO many. I'll rattle off a few, but even my local temple had buildings that were a thousand years old. There are cool landmarks on every street.
The old emperor's palace, Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji on top of a million other temples and gardens in Kyoto are good.
Kobe has the remnants of the old earthquake damage in one area so people can see it.
Osaka Castle is rad.
Mie has the a temple built on the last earthly place of Amaterasu Okami (the wolf goddess from Okami) before she ascended. There's a mountain sanctuary full of temples just West of Osaka that houses the remains of Kobo Daishi Kukai, the only Japanese claimant of Buddhist enlightenment. Between those two places you have the most holy Shinto and Buddhist places in Japan.
Tokyo has about a million temples, buildings, and other interesting things. There's a rollercoaster theme park at the foot of Mt Fuji that is awesome.
Chiba has a town in the south called Sawara that has a lot of sake brewers. they film a lot of Japanese period dramas there because it looks really traditional and the two festivals every year there are super fun.
Hiroshima has the Peace Park and nuclear holocaust museum and the famous red gate in the water that you see in pictures. It also has an entire building of nothing but okonomiyaki restaurants. Go there!
Matsumoto is right near Nagano and has an awesome castle. The whole area is famous for onsen. There's also an onsen where monkeys will get in the water with people. Just remember, onsens are usually gender segregated and no clothing is allowed.
There's another oncen in the area with pet bears.
Nagano also has a wasabi farm you can go see. That's pretty cool.

I could go on forever. There's so much to see and do.
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Posted 1/18/14
Let's say I want to live in japan. what would be the process ( legalwise) to be able to live over in japan? how much rent/ pay is it for a decent apartment for one person and does it cover everything ( gas, electricity, water, etc)? would you recommend living by with only using japanese transit or getting yourself a car while living in the tokyo or a close ward? and if a car is needed what is the process for getting a driver's license? are there big supermarkets with international foods ( i'm mexican so I gotta be able to cook my mexican food from time to time) ? and finally are their special places where one can learn how to cook japanese food?
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Did you pilot a mecha?
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