Love Japanese Culture? Want To Live There?

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Postby soul.assassin » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:08 pm

As much as it's a wonderful country to visit, it's a different story if you're going to spend 6 months or more as a resident alien -- you have to confront with life in a place where the cost of living is very high, a language with a steep learning curve, have to steer away from certain "Japanese Only" business establishments (they have to, because some foreigners tend to do rude stupid shit that pisses off their hosts, like singing loudly or picking a fight), and put up with a lot of etiquette and misunderstanding.

And yeah, those smart toilets. And those t-shirts.

Which is why if you plan to live there, you need to prepare carefully and make contacts with expats in Japan so that they could help you survive the experience.

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Postby Oz » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:42 am

From my own experience as a tourist, I can tell you that Tokyo is an ugly place for the most part. It's the result of what happens when the government replaces everything old with masses of concrete for decades. That doesn't change the fact that it's a fun place to visit though: I still make annual trips to Tokyo. It's worth even an expensive trip if you have a hobby/interest that is somehow related to Japan.
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Postby r1cepurin » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:43 am

I guess it should be appropriate to reply in this thread

I've been in Japan as a visitor since 15th of Dec. and my trip is coming to a close next Wednesday.
From my experience, I do want to say that the people were really friendly to me, I loved viewing the mountains from my sister's apartment every day, and snacks here are excellent! I love soybean chips a lot and the chocolate is pretty good, and kinako....delicious kinako sweets :DDD btw I know these are dumb priorities in terms of my gist of the country but I've been here for a while I don't know where to start

As for places to go, I actually didn't go to too many places. I stayed with an unreliable older sister who kept saying "oh yeah you wanna go to Kyoto/Sapporo/Nagano/Kobe?" (<- every place she told me we'd go to) and just never did. She was always too lazy and made excuses to take me sadly. I stayed in Kashiba-shi, Nara, and visited Nara city and Osaka a few times by myself. Nara especially relaxed me. They have a bunch of deer themed shops and a high deer population (I even got to pet one) and I was more excited about the Moomin store and clothing stores to buy Engrish shirts than say, anime stuff. Also I'd ignore things I could already obtain in the US (like pocky who gives a fuck about that shit??).

I wish I could visit here again, only go to different locations. Sapporo, Nagano, and any area nearby interest me a lot more since they're places my sister originally wanted to take me but didn't. I may some day though.

From my own experience as a tourist, I can tell you that Tokyo is an ugly place for the most part. It's the result of what happens when the government replaces everything old with masses of concrete for decades. That doesn't change the fact that it's a fun place to visit though

Yeah honestly I thought Tokyo was kind of overrated. I was there too for a day with my sister before we left to go to her place. There's so many better places.
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Postby MisatoCrush » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:39 pm

But it's just so surreal right? The culture is so different from the West, it's like a different planet right?
Much moreso than like Thailand or Indonesia.

Also, is your older sister an English language teacher? University student?
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Postby r1cepurin » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:25 am

View Original PostMisatoCrush wrote:But it's just so surreal right? The culture is so different from the West, it's like a different planet right?
Much moreso than like Thailand or Indonesia.

Also, is your older sister an English language teacher? University student?


In a way it is like a different planet but at the same time, the culture is actually a bit more Westernized than previous decades, especially since the whole foreigner residency and study abroad movement happened it became more so.

My sister is a former English teacher. She quit because she ended up in a bad company that would complain about her and kept paying her less and less. She still has no idea why this happened because she has foreign friends who do the same job with no problems. Also she was ill from time to time, once to the point where she had to go to the hospital from lack of proper medicine (thyroid disorder). I shouldn't really blame her too much for not spending a lot of time with me now that I think about it because she was always tired. She plans on moving to South Korea in the future for the living benefits and also she doesn't really like the US.


Also I did wanna say that my sister learned interesting social norms of the Japanese. They don't have a form of sarcasm. she did the "air quotes" thing to someone and he had no idea what it meant, lol :D Also, my sister told someone at her job that if he wanted to visit America, he needs to make sure he's preoccupied because unlike Japan, Americans like to talk to strangers on the bus or on the street, and also tend to make personal comments in said public places. His response was "oh I'd hate that." In Japan if people don't know you, they don't care to talk to you or make comments to you. They use double meanings too. My sister came to class with the wrong kind of shoes and a student said "those shoes must be really uncomfortable".It's not that they were, he was trying to tell her that you're not allowed to wear those type of shoes in class.
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Postby MisatoCrush » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:35 am

Oh no! I just learned what 'weaboo' means.
I hope I am not a weaboo.

I mean I love Japanese culture, but I don't pretend to be an expert. Nor do I desire to be an actual Japanese person.

^^
I watched the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV show and films for the 1st time in January 2014. Heartbreakingly sad but so beautiful too. I'm here to discuss theories about what happened in the show.

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Postby delispin25 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:42 pm

View Original PostMisatoCrush wrote:Oh no! I just learned what 'weaboo' means.
I hope I am not a weaboo.

I mean I love Japanese culture, but I don't pretend to be an expert. Nor do I desire to be an actual Japanese person.

^^

Then you're not a weaboo.
Let me tell you about weaboos, let me tell you. When I was 11, I convinced myself that I was Japanese, could speak Japanese and that I was going to live in Japan making manga. All I ever ate was ramen, pocky and shrimp snacks. I used to walk about the house and at school saying gibberish, which at the time I thought was Japanese, because watching enough anime made me a fluent Japanese speaker, or so I thought. I was obsessed with Naruto, my mother made me the fucking jacket, which I wore to school everyday, I even had the goddamn dagger and headband from Naruto. Looking back on it, I can easily say that it's the most shameful time of my life.

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Postby MisatoCrush » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:50 pm

Posting here too because nobody seems to like those other threads about this topic:

Can anybody tell me what is the Japanese breakfast food that Rei eats in those Petit Eva spoof videos?
It looks like gruel or porridge but I'm not sure. She eats toast and drinks this hot soup with chunks in it for breakfast.

I am assuming it's some traditional Japanese breakfast food, but I have no idea.

Any help?
I watched the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV show and films for the 1st time in January 2014. Heartbreakingly sad but so beautiful too. I'm here to discuss theories about what happened in the show.

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Postby ZapX » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:08 am

Probably miso soup.
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Postby Blue Monday » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:53 am

View Original PostOz wrote:I can tell you that Tokyo is an ugly place for the most part.

OZ YOU BETRAITOR 東京 IS THE GREATEST CITY IN TEH WHIRL'D.

:grmf:
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Postby caragnafog dog » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:11 pm

I don't know if this is the thread for this but I found out yesterday that I got into Middlebury college's intensive study program for Japanese this summer. It's in Vermont but I'll be doing nothing but speaking Japanese for 8 weeks. So there's that.
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Postby Dream » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:26 am

View Original Postcaragnafog dog wrote:I don't know if this is the thread for this but I found out yesterday that I got into Middlebury college's intensive study program for Japanese this summer. It's in Vermont but I'll be doing nothing but speaking Japanese for 8 weeks. So there's that.


Good luck!
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Postby soul.assassin » Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:14 am

If you're going to pick up local news while staying for a long period of time, avoid trying to read Japan Today -- it's about as credible as The Star or The National Enquirer, along with a shitty community of sheeple who make whinery about why Japan is too freaky for them.

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Postby Giji Shinka » Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:38 am

I'm going to Japan with my friends probably in 2016-2018.

We go there to hunt kawaii Nippon waifus and we maybe MAYBE look what the culture has to offer. :hahaha:
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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:09 am

Some years back, my otouto was living the dream with a Japanese girlfriend. He told me that one time, when they holidayed in Glorious Nihon, she was always being complimented on her command of the language and having to explain that she was Japanese too (presumably years living abroad had left her with a foreign accent and not being au courant with vernacular idiom).
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Postby LeoXiao » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:21 pm

I think I would do well living in Japan, but it would take a lot of money at first and going there isn't really compatible with my overall direction right now. I certainly intend to visit sometime however. Maybe if I return to education I'll try going there.

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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:31 am

View Original PostOz wrote:From my own experience as a tourist, I can tell you that Tokyo is an ugly place for the most part. It's the result of what happens when the government replaces everything old with masses of concrete for decades.


You should see Shanghai.
I was actually quite amazed by how well tradition and innovation (for lack of better words) coexist in Japan compared to any other country I have seen.

Apart form this (Tokyo is still amazing, I mean 6 storey videogame arcades with the SEGA brand everywhere, what more could you want? :D ) I'd dare say, as cynical and as manipulative as it may sound, that the best way to get Japanese culture to be a part of your everyday life MIGHT be finding Japanese friends (or even better a partner) in the country you live in.

As an expat myself, I'd arrogantly say that you'll find the most interesting people of any given nationality among those living abroad, for good or for a medium-to-long period of time. If they are abroad for the right reasons, they'll be the more openminded, flexible, adaptable, unbiased and ultimately interesting people you can find. And, from what I have seen, this is even more so true with people coming from rather conservative/xenophobic societies such as the Japanese one.

Going abroad with no knowledge of the language and the expectation that you'll have a great life when it comes to work, friends, partners and so on is a risky, risky thing to do.

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Postby Madonna » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:50 pm

I'm highly interested in Japan and it's culture, and have been studying said culture and language for quite some time now.

Whether I'd want to live there or not, I'm not sure, because although there are aspects of Japan I adore; there are others that aren't to my fancy whatsoever (the adherence to a social conformity system which doesn't give way to a lot of individualism for starters). Although I see that working/career women and LGBT Japanese people are starting to become more mainstream, which is a great thing.

Although perspectives change once you visit the country, of course, so hopefully I'll get to visit Japan sometime this year - any recommendations of the best times to go? I'm thinking October.

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Postby MisatoCrush » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:23 pm

Madonna

Go when it's warm yo. Makes it a lot easier to wander around at a stroll place sight seeing.

Also, about the social conformity and what not, why not live there a year and help to change it for the better?
I watched the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV show and films for the 1st time in January 2014. Heartbreakingly sad but so beautiful too. I'm here to discuss theories about what happened in the show.

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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:45 am

View Original PostMisatoCrush wrote:Madonna

Go when it's warm yo. Makes it a lot easier to wander around at a stroll place sight seeing.


Like summer warm? Like 30 degrees and insane levels of humidity? Like having to down a Pocari Sweat every other vending machine you encounter?

Madonna, try to go for the cherry blossom time while avoiding the so called Golden Week of national holidays when everything is kinda shut down. If you are planning to visit natures and not just cities, though, it's up to you because I personally believe that every season has got something to say when you are outdoors.


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