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Is there a thing called "Japanese claustrophobia"?

Is there a thing called "Japanese claustrophobia"?

Old Dec 2, 12, 6:56 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by Taiwaned View Post
I wish I am naturally blond and Caucasian. Then there will be no chance of been mistaken as learning disabled but have some patience for being a gaijin.

I appreciate everybody's kind words. Just feel a bit Japan-ed out.
Being white in Japan means that people won't think you're learning disabled, they'll just treat you like you are.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 8:10 am
  #17  
 
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The culture things comes and goes in cycles. Over time the cycles get longer and less pronounced. You kind of need to treat it as a game.

I'm sure there are no penalties for ignoring garbage rules. There never are for local ordinances. If the garbage Nazis hassle you, just tell them its a privacy/ human rights things and threaten to report them to the police for violation of the national privacy laws.

I'm surprised anyone working at 7/11 these days is Japanese and knows about Japanese etiquette.

The reason that you get different treatment as a non-Caucasian Asian is not because they don't know you're a foreigner, it's because the Japanese are racists and believe other Asians are below them on the pecking order.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 11:23 am
  #18  
 
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Gaijin da!

Forgot their rules. You get the automatic gaijin pass for everything and make sure that you use the card as often as possible. The Japanese do not expect you to know or understand their 10,000 page handbook.

Just make sure you don't write too many gomen nasai letters to the omawarisan.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 4:08 pm
  #19  
 
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I Love It Here!

All the Japanese cultural oddities seem normal and weirdly logical now that I have been coming here for 30 years on business.

Also, goinggoinggone is absolutely correct: You get a "Gaijin-Pass" for any perceived cultural slight or misdemeanor you commit, so don't worry so much.
I eat food on the street all the time, and nobody ever gives me a second look.
I do, however, always respect the no cell phone talking on public transportation or in restaurants rule, because I too believe that it is very rude and disrespectful behavior, so much so that when I am back in America and hear people talking on their cell phones in public, it now drives me crazy.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 4:26 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
I have been coming here for 30 years on business.
Visiting on business is a different kettle of fish to living in Japan as one of the extraordinary ordinaries.

Originally Posted by Pulp
But she didn't understand,
she just smiled and held my hand.
Rent a flat above a shop,
cut your hair and get a job.
Smoke some fags and play some pool,
pretend you never went to school.
But still you'll never get it right,
cos when you're laid in bed at night,
watching roaches climb the wall,
if you call your Dad he could stop it all.

You'll never live like common people,
you'll never do what common people do,
you'll never fail like common people,
you'll never watch your life slide out of view,
and dance and drink and screw,
because there's nothing else to do.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 5:20 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
Also, goinggoinggone is absolutely correct: You get a "Gaijin-Pass" for any perceived cultural slight or misdemeanor you commit, so don't worry so much.
That "Gaijin Pass" is only for non-Asians that distinctly look the part of a Gaijin.

It also doesn't work very well if you have a Japanese spouse or other family members. People will bypass you and go to them with your transgressions, causing a lot of internal strife.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Andre Gide
Society knows perfectly well how to kill a man and has methods more subtle than death.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 6:44 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
That "Gaijin Pass" is only for non-Asians that distinctly look the part of a Gaijin.

It also doesn't work very well if you have a Japanese spouse or other family members. People will bypass you and go to them with your transgressions, causing a lot of internal strife.
This is so true.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 6:52 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by Taiwaned View Post
This is so true.
Like many things in Japan, it is true so long as you think it is true.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 6:58 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by joejones View Post
Like many things in Japan, it is true so long as you think it is true.
How Zen!

Yes, you can indeed stop nosy Japanese from embarrassing your relatives with reports of your actions by simply refusing to believe that they are happening.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 7:26 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Taiwaned View Post
I'm not sure how to describe it but recently I feel really claustrophobic living in Japan.

Everything seems civil and orderly on the onset but discover so many unwritten procedures and non spoken yet readily accepted rules of conduct that I feel like I am in a very small closet, hand cuffed and smothered.

Went to 711 to pick up a snack. Told the cashier that I don't need a bag because I was going to eat it right away. She told me, please don't! This neighborhood doesn't like people eating and walking. Got home and my wife agreed with her and said "This is Japan, not Canada, not China."

I can't seem to do anything right (the Japanese way) and I am feeling really suffocated.
After you eat the snack, where will you toss the wrapper? THAT is still the only thing that bothers me as a tourist. Well that, and getting shoved around デパ地下 by elderly women.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 7:44 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
Yes, you can indeed stop nosy Japanese from embarrassing your relatives with reports of your actions by simply refusing to believe that they are happening.
There are nutty people everywhere, particularly in what amount to retirement communities. As someone who grew up in Florida, perhaps I am just immune to it. That said, if your family take strangers' sides against you, it means that either you are seriously in the wrong, or it's time to find a new family.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 8:05 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
After you eat the snack, where will you toss the wrapper? THAT is still the only thing that bothers me as a tourist.
That's part of the subtle hints given to visitors. There is no public garbage can (except in certain areas of extreme congestion) because, in public, you are not supposed to be doing something that warrants the need of depositing garbage in transit.

Originally Posted by joejones View Post
That said, if your family take strangers' sides against you, it means that either you are seriously in the wrong, or it's time to find a new family.
Oh please. It's entirely possible to defend your family member in public (as Mrs. Taiwaned is probably doing) and chide them for their actions in private (as Mrs. Taiwaned is probably doing). In fact, that's the expected form of doing things in order that everyone can save face (which is the basic problem that Japanese have with foreigners: doing things in a way that forces somebody into embarassment)

Nobody will ever understand Japanese society without a fundamental understanding of the concepts of Uchi-soto.
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Old Dec 2, 12, 8:10 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
Nobody will ever understand Japanese society without a fundamental understanding of the concepts of Uchi-soto.
*yawn* Care to tell us about the chrysanthemum and the sword while you're at it?
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Old Dec 2, 12, 8:22 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by joejones View Post
*yawn* Care to tell us about the chrysanthemum and the sword while you're at it?
*yawn* No, I'm good. Continue playing the role of the uneducated American, as that will be more palatable for Japanese than knowing that you are being knowingly rude.
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