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Post Reply Living in Japan ruined anime for me.
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Posted 10/18/16 , edited 10/18/16
mmm Its a case of confusion of impression from fiction versus what is real......a conflict of reality and the perception of what is real but its more of a disppoinment .

To me anime is an artform , I dont confuse it to be the real thing although there are elements that are base on what is real.

I watch NHK for their news and their special program and documentaries , I like it becuase it shows sample of different people in Japan who are trying to make a difference. There are women Japanese in goverment offices but Japan is a very paternal country which is what America was and maybe is in some parts of the country.

I had a Japanese friend who actually believe America saved his life becuase he became a free otaku, free to express his feeling and show his love for anime and be accepted ...especially the genre that he likes He shared how dead he was back in Japan and I can see why living in the US has helped him.

I hope what you feel now Zipzo will somehow lessen in time

I am getting older myself and I am loosing interest in some anime and in conventions etc. and I am somewhat struglling in making myself genki in organizing the anime meet-up but everytime I see my avatar , it reminds me of the seiyuu I met in the past years, helps me to keep going.Also Japan reminds me of the love story my mother told me during WWII and wondered the what if





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Posted 10/18/16 , edited 10/18/16
As someone who appears to be older then you, and has spent 10 months over 6 "missions" (was there in AUG), nothing could be farther from he truth. If living in Japan killed anime, it is because you were naïveté about Japan and anime in the first place.

The more I go to Japan, the more I want to explore. Anyone who wanted to "trade" USA/Japan citizenship, wouldn't even hesitate. And if you think you are somehow "free" in USA, think again. How free was the 2008 economic crisis for you? Trump/Clinton?


The above would require a /walloftext to explain; but actually anime/real life not as far apart as you may think. The creation and hidden messages of anime are indeed a reflection of the Spirit of Japan.


To "reintergrate" yourself, I would suggest you/friends restudy Japanese History. And, perhaps some Shinto religion, if that helps. Japanese philosophy and culture is 10000000x more advanced then USA, without doubt.


The problem is, the "lost decades" since 1987 has "wiped" such understanding from today's young people in Japan. They never knew what "good times" were like. And old people in Japan have gotten too lazy to do their duty and teach what that is.


When faced with Americanism, young Japanese are now lazy and try to act American. But they do so at the cost of their own existance. There is no reason for this... as the only problem young people in Japan have today is lack of resolve.


Japan is a "gold mine" of ideas. Young people, are sitting on top of this. Artificial Intelligence, robotics, various computing things the future. They have it all, and most importantly, the ability to make it happen. Few populations of the 7 billion humans of Earth can say that.


But it is also true, that Japanese young people are "talking themselves off a cliff". There is nothing wrong with that country, rather how young people interpret it as such. They have it all, but don't realize or see it otherwise.


Again, I would need a /walloftext to explain such, but let just say... Once you "discover true Japan"; it is a beauty to behold, you will never look back. Hopefully soon I can write something to such effect, because as I have seen myself in AUG when I was last there, 'dem Japs are being suicidal again...


Anyways, if you want more, I can type it, it is so...
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Posted 10/18/16 , edited 10/18/16

TheGrandAlliance wrote:
Anyways, if you want more, I can type it, it is so...


Do it. I'm curious about your thoughts and experiences on the matter.

This is a fun thread.
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Posted 10/18/16
lol its just stories...life didn't match your expectation so call the waaaaahbulance
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Posted 10/18/16 , edited 10/18/16
A penny for my thoughts with regards to your revelations.

It's sad to hear this from you since I'll be going there, two months from now for vacation.
I like the idea of visiting Japan since I've been into mostly shoujo manga and animes since 2010. Nothing would bring me great joy than to see the beauty of the origin of my interest.

However, I had a feeling that anime/manga world portrayals are far different from the actual world of Japan. I met someone recently as she was an exchanged student from Japan and she visited our school.

She says that women are still viewed as inferior than men. She's envied the way our society is as we have been fighting for gender equality. There may be cases that are still like this, but there are already improvements and that can be seen in our government, workplace etc.

It's true that even if you're a college graduate and you got married, you're not allowed to work. If you really want to, you can do office work with overtime.


Anyways. I hope something would come up and make you change the way you feel about Japan.
I also hope that your love for anime/manga would NOT dissipate at all.
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Posted 10/18/16 , edited 10/18/16

Shrapnel893 wrote:


Do it. I'm curious about your thoughts and experiences on the matter.

This is a fun thread.


Okay, but the full story version may require "a few weeks" to put out. It is comming to my attention, that I need to like "save the world", because for some reason, nobody else "figured it out yet" For the last 11 years since first time in Japan, I have been trying to figure out how to reinspire Japan, and larger degree, all of humanity.


In interest in this thread, I will put out an brief "abstract" of the concept... The Grand Alliance Theory...



Basically, everything in life is but illusion. So is life itself. When you think about it, it makes sense.

Money, for instance, is just a piece of paper. It only gets you something, because "somebody else wants it". I suggest you watch Spice & Wolf for more behind what that means, but basically the economy that exist today does because it has to, at least with our lvl of understanding.

Government is the same way. The Constitution of the United States is a piece of paper with words on it. So are laws. The only reason we think our fate is inescapable, is because we believe a piece of paper is going to kill us. In reality, the "rule of law" only has an illusionary power simply because people believe in them, and some try to enforce as such.

But the scientific universe doesn't care. Nor do animals, for that matter. Or that meteor about to hit the planet. If humans realized that their existence is about as real as Sword Art Online, lot of the "problems" that exist in this world, would never have been such in the first place. However, such an intellectual enlightenment would probably cause lots of short-term violence, and me is currently researching that aspect thereof.


Whether it be Japan or Trump, in the end the problems people think exist never existed in the first place. Even "starvation" is a human illusion, one that requires the comprehension of "dying" in the first place. Now how that relates to Japan...


Japan has 1000s years of a slow evolution of such understanding. When WWII, and more likely started during Meiji Restoration, took a dump on everything, Japanese people forgot "why we fight". Instead, they just went hitting Pearl Harbor and everything.

Post WWII, Japanese became pacified. Concepts of "war" or conflict slowly erased. As a result of the Lost Decade period, young people don't even know what it is "to be Japanese"


Again, all these concepts are illusionary, however illusions are not necessarily unreal. As in another thread here, the series "Chaos;Head" illustrated this point. It is true that basically the entire universe is a quantum illusion, but that doesn't mean the sum of illusions is also an illusion. It is the key to understanding... if you know everything is an illusion, then being the one certain thing you know, you can relax thereof.

"People" are "born" and "die". They do whatever. Once you realize none of the technicals matter, only then are you free to pursue true understanding. In the case of Japan, they need to simply "wish away" their perceived problems, and they will "magically disappear".


You "working too hard"? What is work? Japanese society "hates" women? Are you not Japanese? You feel "social pressures"? What is society? In the end, the "stress" that young people face is indeed, all in their head. None if it is real in the end.


Now, why is Japan>America in terms of understanding? Because long time ago, they used to know that. The whimsical nature of Shintoism; the "lazy god religion" is like Exhibit A. But then, facing American post-War occupation, 'dem Japs got all serious and worked themselves up in a tisy.

They just need to drink some Sapporo, or some sake, and everything be fine I suppose. Come together, as a "coalition of the wiling", and forge a new future.

But of course, the old people gonna cause problems. That is why it is "an alliance" in the first place. Not everyone may side your way; there are battles and wars to be won as it us human nature, but don't live in the present, in fear of the future.


Indeed it is so...
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Posted 10/19/16 , edited 10/19/16
First of all, hi~ I remember you from the FUNi forums ^_^;

So... can I respond to that?
First of all, I think I agree with your overall philosophy, that nothing is actually real. ahahaha, I tried explaining things like this to some people on another forum, and they just... didn't get it ^_^; but...
Some writer (I forgot who, but a scifi writer) said "reality is everything that doesn't go away when you stop believing in it".

So yes. Laws, religion, customs, language/symbolic conventions, divisions between people, the purpose of an object in one shape vs. another (e.g. different sorts of spoons, different sorts of buildings (why is it a school vs. an office vs. a temple vs. a house, etc.) ... all of these things are not-real, and understanding that is very important...



TheGrandAlliance wrote:



You "working too hard"? What is work? Japanese society "hates" women? Are you not Japanese? You feel "social pressures"? What is society? In the end, the "stress" that young people face is indeed, all in their head. None if it is real in the end.


. . . but here's the thing: These things would go away if people stopped believing in them (e.g. in the early middle ages, people repurposed Roman ruins into homes, churches, storehouses, whatever they needed, because the original functions really didn't matter to them, even if they did know, which many of them didn't)... but that doesn't change the fact that people today do believe in these things. And throughout the world, there are tons of diverse beliefs and practices. And people's beliefs are really important to them. They tend to be very protective of their beliefs.

And some of these structures can have function. I think that it's important to realize that these ideas are pure human invention, that they are mutable, but at the same time, some of these ideas can be useful - e.g. different purposes for different places. Laws and customs, to an extent. It's important to realize that the world won't collapse if you change them, but it's also important to be able to understand and respect them as long as they have a good purpose.

(And actually, if you really know how much you have the power to change things, you really realize that just because you can, that doesn't mean you always should. I could go into detail with the Constitution as an example, and how legitimately infrequent new amendments are - because, with all the flaws in America, it actually is a really good example, if you understand it and its purpose).

So back to the quote: "Social pressure" to "work hard", society that looks down on women, etc...
On one hand, these things are all in your head.
On the other hand, they're not, simply because they affect how other people think of you, and interact with you. And in a place like Japan, that can affect how much of the world is open to you, or at least, it can make you afraid. Social pressure works because the people inside of it really believe that their lives will be limited if they don't go along with what their society wants.

If you don't understand how much of a force social pressure can be, you really don't understand Japan. Historic Japan, Modern Japan...

And, actually, almost all other cultures and societies, either. What is culture, even? When all of the people in a country or a region, or a city, or a part of a city, tend to talk similarly, dress similarly, eat similar foods, etc.... that is social pressure. It's not in people's blood, or their genes, to observe cultural behavior - it's because as kids, they copied their parents and the other adults around them, and as they grew up, they did things along with their peers. They dress similarly because they don't want to be weird - and because they have positive associations with their families and friends, and, they think, "things that aren't my social-circle's things must be the things of those-weird-people-over-there, and I don't want to look like those people, I want to look like my people."

That isn't to say it can't lead to positive things. Of course it can. In so many places around the world, there are festivals and things like that that have happened every year, or every x many years (or every month, or every week, in some cases) for centuries. There are buildings that have been used continuously for the same purpose for centuries. I think that's pretty amazing.
(not to say that non-continuous cultures are less meaningful (e.g. Ancient Egypt). They're important too).

But at the same time, social pressure has negative effects, too. A person - American, Japanese, European... and it's even worse in other places, of course - grows up seeing women treated like they can't be as smart as men, or thinking that all men must be happier having successful office careers, and all women must be happier having babies. In most cases, they're going to assume that to be the case for every person they meet. And if a man wants to do something other than work in an office (like be an artist, or be a stay-at-home dad), he's going to think, "What's wrong with me? I'm a failure if I think that." And if a woman wants to do something other than have babies (like be an artist, or work in an office), she's going to think, "What's wrong with me? I'm a failure if I think that." (obviously this is a simplification.)

Because they've been taught all their lives that there's only one right way to live, and that all of their friends and neighbors are going to look down on them if they do something else. It's like when you think of the stereotypical picture of the '50's and '60's in America. And that is actually really powerful to a lot of people in a lot of places in the world, especially in Japan.
And Japanese office culture is actually pretty extreme. Office workers ("salarymen") don't take days off, because it's considered being a poor team player. Even when you're really sick. They go out drinking with their office groups, and it's considerer not being a team player if you don't get extremely drunk. The amount of work is also an issue, as is the lack of promotion for women. You may or may not get fired for these things, but if you go for years and don't get promoted, that's about as much of a failure to them. And this is the area in which you can't be an anime fan - or be into a whole lot of other "niche" hobbies. It really is just like high school. But anyway.

It's important, philosophically, that all of that is meaningless, that you don't have to listen to people who would reject you and put you down, that you don't need your neighbors to approve of you.

But you can't expect everyone to snap into that belief so easily. Because it wouldn't be easy.
You say there's no reality, only perception, but to rephrase it, perception is the only reality there is.

So, you go to Person A and tell them to do the thing they want to do, and not care what their neighbors think. In your reality, their neighbors are insignificant, and the things they say really don't matter, or mean anything. But in their mind, their neighbors control them. You can ask them - as so many books on things like this have - what do they think will really happen if their neighbors reject them? Will they be barred from their favorite cafe? From the train stations? Will they be fired? (In Japan, that last one's actually pretty likely - or at least, they'd get demoted.) But even if they consciously realize none of these things will happen, the fear is still there.
And when their neighbors react negatively, you'd see it as something that should just be brushed off, but they'd see it as more than that. But if you just laugh at them and call them a wimp because of it, or something... that doesn't help, really, because in their world, it's not just some little thing.

And you can't ignore the fact that when you talk about "Japan", you're talking about a whole lot of people who are trapped in that. (And the positive sides of it to - e.g. in Japan, they don't litter. There are public spaces that are so clean and elegant and usable. I live in New York, and that would never happen here. There's a Korean cafe chain that opened a few locations here, and they started out with these nice, tufted seats... yeah, New Yorkers ruined those pretty fast. Their newest one has metal seats, because New Yorkers can't have nice things. But... when you go to Japan, and use their nice, clean trains, you have to realize that it comes from that sort of group mentality.

(I'd like to think that, with sufficiently widespread good education, we can have our cake, and eat it too - there can be a society where people are conscious of each other and keep their public spaces clean, but also aren't caught up with judging and being judged by their neighbors. And by good education, I mean actual education - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave <- being dragged out of the cave. That is not what happens in schools - public or private, in America, Japan, Europe, and most other places lucky enough to have schools at all.)

But yeah, it's really not that simple...

(I don't think either is 100% better. I don't think that's the right way to look at it. If you want to compare the US and Japan directly, both have their strong points and their issues - and they tend to be on opposite ends of the spectrum in a lot of ways.
Which you prefer has a lot to do with your individual tastes.
(and... 10 months over several trips is not a lot of exposure to Japanese culture. You might not feel the same after working and living there. Have you tried applying to teach English in Japan?)
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Good lord! Anime is story in a format! You either watch understanding that or wow out of touch a little? I watch for the story, voice acting, animation style of art! Even the music pulls it all together! Many anime started as light novels or books with words! Shocking right? Some started as manga! These were written by a author or drawn by a author and helpers! Sold and made someone an income! So I have never been to Japan would only be able to say simple and botched words. I would have zero understanding of the written word in Japanese! Those are simple facts and would have no bearing on my enjoyment of a well told story in anime format! The main reason I keep supporting CR well my reason! So.. your reasons are yours and yours alone!
Life's, life! Live it!
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Posted 10/19/16 , edited 10/19/16

LavenderMintRose wrote:

Some writer (I forgot who, but a scifi writer) said "reality is everything that doesn't go away when you stop believing in it".



Indeed I appreciate the response you had. This is why my observation is only a hastily written abstract at best, because it leaves room for error.

The point being made is a metaphysical one... it isn't whether it is good nor bad, just is. A realizing of a new scientific reality, of sorts.

It doesn't mean you instantly burn down all of human civilization... but simply realize you are fighting for phantasies that never exist. As long as you can understand this, you only then can go about business. The world might be one giant video game (Wall Street sure as hell is), but that doesn't mean video games aren't fun; nor we stop playing.

For example, Sword Art Online is considered a video game; some of the characters consider it real, as to say whether or is or not, all can be said is that it is.


LavenderMintRose wrote:

. . . but here's the thing: These things would go away if people stopped believing in them... but that doesn't change the fact that people today do believe in these things. And throughout the world, there are tons of diverse beliefs and practices. And people's beliefs are really important to them. They tend to be very protective of their beliefs. Social pressure works because the people inside of it really believe that their lives will be limited if they don't go along with what their society wants.

If you don't understand how much of a force social pressure can be, you really don't understand Japan. Historic Japan, Modern Japan...

But you can't expect everyone to snap into that belief so easily. Because it wouldn't be easy.
You say there's no reality, only perception, but to rephrase it, perception is the only reality there is.

And you can't ignore the fact that when you talk about "Japan", you're talking about a whole lot of people who are trapped in that.

But yeah, it's really not that simple...



They are in a trap of their own personal making... It is why Republican like people in USA "cling to their guns", because they realize freedom is everything. Their life may suck if they don't adhere to Obama-ness, but at least they have their freedom.


Furthermore, it is indeed a simple way, but it requires a state of peace of mind to achieve. Such concept is not entirely foreign to Japanese either as you may think... think Buddhism. Indeed, the comparison is quite close; as to shed the need for materialism when in meditation, so on so forth.

Core Buddhist monks already are along this realization. The difference is in their belief in "one-ness", which is another debate to be had. But to say Japanese culture does not exist an "escape solution", is also a "misread of history" as well.

Let I point out an anime example of a such "logic change" in Japan... Eden of the East. That anime almost explains all, as the NEET had to come together to fix themselves in the end. With help, of course...


Finally, lest not forget most of these " Societal pressures" are post-WWII inventions. Historically, Japanese did what they did because they cared about intangible things such as "honor". (that is a /walloftext right there). They weren't being forced to do anything: They wanted to do these things. At least as with most people, anyways... lazy ones not so much.

They were samurai and followed Bushido, because they wanted to have purpose. They were the best at their craft and trade, because they wanted pride in their life. They were respectful others, because they wanted to be respected themselves. Nobody is holding a gun to their heads metaphorically in this scenario, they chose this by in large for themselves.

All because, as per their ancestral worship philosophy, they wanted a legacy that "stood the test of time". From the poor farmer to fedual lord, "honor" is the only thing considered NOT to be an illusion. It doesn't matter matter how much wealth you had; or whatever white people think of as "successful" these days, without honor you are indeed nothing in the end.

Now, because Japan had forgotten its past, the ideal of honor has now somehow morphed into "societal pressure"; but make no mistake there was never no such pressure to begin with.



LavenderMintRose wrote
(and... 10 months over several trips is not a lot of exposure to Japanese culture. You might not feel the same after working and living there. Have you tried applying to teach English in Japan?)


Ahh, I would but from my understanding, because I never finished college I don't qualify for any of the work visas. Plus me-a "failure at life" in other respects, in regards to immigration policies. If I had enough 10s of thou$ands in theory I could get a study visa to finish language studies I had started on only tourist visas, but that is about it.


But yes, I have lived in japan in 3 month blocks before. I am aware of most of the common complaints you and the OP cite. As a white man in Japan, there are extra pressures on Gaijin (esp outside Tokyo) that are glaringly obvious. But none if that is gonna stop I, as indeed it is all but a test of resolve. If you can handle thier attempts to intimidate u back to where u came from, they will respect you in time.




Anyways, in summary..... It looks like I need to "finish me book" of sorts, because the final detailed point can mean (almost) everything, it is so.
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Posted 10/19/16 , edited 10/19/16

TheGrandAlliance wrote:


LavenderMintRose wrote:

Some writer (I forgot who, but a scifi writer) said "reality is everything that doesn't go away when you stop believing in it".




It doesn't mean you instantly burn down all of human civilization... but simply realize you are fighting for phantasies that never exist. As long as you can understand this, you only then can go about business. The world might be one giant video game (Wall Street sure as hell is), but that doesn't mean video games aren't fun; nor we stop playing.

For example, Sword Art Online is considered a video game; some of the characters consider it real, as to say whether or is or not, all can be said is that it is.

This is what I meant. As for Wall Street/money, well... I'll just say that the world would be a lot better if people understood what money really is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium_of_exchange <--- Real functions of money. No, it's not the devil in solid form. It simply makes transactions easier for everyone... but of course, since people have complex feelings about transactions, they pin all of that on money... but that's off-topic.





LavenderMintRose wrote:
...how much of a force social pressure can be...


They are in a trap of their own personal making...

True, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve sympathy. (Also, IMO, the gun people are just as trapped, because, no, actually, the whole world is not out to get them. There's no real reason to value weapons and combat in most modern countries. The human species should have outgrown violence by now. To be fair, the people who try to make books/movies/etc. but can't come up with any stories that aren't dystopian, sort of the same thing.

But then again, like we said - perception and expectation shape an individual's reality. And to people like that, they are living in the dystopia. Because even with all of the evidence that it's not true, in their minds, that's all propaganda. I just pity them, honestly.



Furthermore, it is indeed a simple way, but it requires a state of peace of mind to achieve. Such concept is not entirely foreign to Japanese either as you may think... think Buddhism. Indeed, the comparison is quite close; as to shed the need for materialism when in meditation, so on so forth.
Core Buddhist monks already are along this realization. The difference is in their belief in "one-ness", which is another debate to be had.


Not every Japanese person is a Buddhist monk, just like not every European person is a Christian monk.


But to say Japanese culture does not exist an "escape solution", is also a "misread of history" as well.

. . . huh?



Finally, lest not forget most of these " Societal pressures" are post-WWII inventions. Historically, Japanese did what they did because they cared about intangible things such as "honor". They weren't being forced to do anything, they wanted to do these things. At least many people, anyways... lazy ones not so much.

Now, because Japan had forgotten its past, honor has somehow morphed into "societal pressure"; but make no mistake bthetevwas no pressure to begin with.

. . . . . . . . . . . Not really.
To go with anime examples - Ghibli's The Tale of Princess Kaguya shows the social pressure back then. Joker Game shows it right before World War II. (Yes, Meiji era Western influence, can't really tell what's 100% Western and what's a Japanese take on it, but still).
I'm sure there's plenty more, but group pressure has always been a thing in Japan. And everywhere else, too, but particularly in Japan (and China and Korea). If Japan has this group issue now, and America doesn't have it to that extent, and Europe definitely doesn't, then where did it come from after WWII?




But yes, I have lived in japan in 3 month blocks before.

Same. Yay for tourist visa.


I am aware of most of the common complaints you and the OP cite. As a white man in Japan, there are extra pressures on Gaijin (esp outside Tokyo) that are glaringly obvious.

. . . not the same as actually working there.

. . . . . to be honest, for myself, I actually feel like I "fit in" more in Japan than I do in New York, because I feel like... this is sort of convoluted, but I don't feel like I'll really fit into the "culture" and "community" anywhere (nor do I particularly want to), but I feel like, in New York, I'm expected to fit in, but, even though the boundaries of fitting in in New York are wider than they are in Japan, I don't, and I'm more different than they expect, so I'm treated as "different", but in Japan, since I'm not Japanese, they don't expect me to "fit in" or anything, but I'm not as different as they expect, so they're nicer to me than people in New York, I guess.
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Posted 10/19/16 , edited 10/19/16



Ahh, u responded rather quick... I was still redited my post. I do that "sometimes", and usually almost always rechange the whole meaning. Let me repost the piece u missed, should clarify a bit.



Finally, lest not forget most of these " Societal pressures" are post-WWII inventions. Historically, Japanese did what they did because they cared about intangible things such as "honor". (that is a /walloftext right there). They weren't being forced to do anything: They wanted to do these things. At least as with most people, anyways... lazy ones not so much.

They were samurai and followed Bushido, because they wanted to have purpose. They were the best at their craft and trade, because they wanted pride in their life. They were respectful others, because they wanted to be respected themselves. Nobody is holding a gun to their heads metaphorically in this scenario, they chose this by in large for themselves.

All because, as per their ancestral worship philosophy, they wanted a legacy that "stood the test of time". From the poor farmer to fedual lord, "honor" is the only thing considered NOT to be an illusion. It doesn't matter matter how much wealth you had; or whatever white people think of as "successful" these days, without honor you are indeed nothing in the end.

Now, because Japan had forgotten its past, the ideal of honor has now somehow morphed into "societal pressure"; but make no mistake there was never no such pressure to begin with.




LavenderMintRose wrote:

The human species should have outgrown violence by now.







Anyways, time to prepare for"The Great Debate", it is so..
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Posted 10/19/16
This would be like expecting:

Most bars are like Cheers.
High school is like what you see on Saved by the Bell.
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Japan sure is overrated as the OP described. Also, I knew there was something wrong with that country, but I never thought Japanese men could be so sexist.
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Posted 10/19/16
So because you were Naive, you let something ruined what you enjoy? Man, that's just something.
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Posted 10/19/16 , edited 10/19/16

KurtIrving wrote:

Japan sure is overrated as the OP described. Also, I knew there was something wrong with that country, but I never thought Japanese men could be so sexist.


"O'Reilly?" Japanese men are problem, huh? Need I remind you....




#makeanimegreatagain
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