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Thread: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

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    A Chinese perspective: Some surprising cultural differences upon coming to Japan
    By Andrew Miller
    LIFESTYLE <time datetime="2013-02-20T07:03:41+09:00" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 10px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; text-transform: uppercase; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;">FEB. 20, 2013 - 07:03AM JST</time>


    A Chinese perspective: Some surprising cultural differences upon coming to Japan


    TOKYO —
    On Feb 1, a Chinese newspaper writing primarily for Chinese nationals residing in Japan published an article titled “Some of the Things that Surprised Me when Coming to Japan.” Written by Chinese men and women who have experienced the Japanese lifestyle, the publication gives accounts of some quite startling differences between Chinese and Japanese customs and what is taken for granted as common sense.

    On first coming to Japan, some of the things that shocked the Chinese that took part in this poll include:


    - The notion that ramen and dumplings are often seen as a side dish to rice.


    - Upon entering a public lavatory, toilet paper is always provided,


    - Pedestrians in Japan obey crossing signals and wait to cross even if there is no traffic.


    - Household waste is collected on fixed days of the week.


    - In Japan, it’s considered impolite to eat while walking.


    - It is against the law for those under the age of 20 to smoke or imbibe alcohol.


    - While pregnant, Japanese women have a tendency to keep themselves slim. Even so, carrying a baby around with them in public is commonplace.


    - Fundamentally, a child’s medical expenses are free of charge.


    With regard to the working conditions in Japan, many Chinese comment that, to their surprise, even part-time workers are treated with great respect. Other areas that are strikingly different in Japan include: the fact that university scholarships must be paid back in full once entering full-time employment; women often only leave home after putting on a layer of makeup; hospital care includes full nursing; small infants don’t wear open-backed pants that allow easy access to little ones’ bottoms when they tug on your arm and quietly tell you that they’re seconds away from having an accident.


    In China it is common practice to dispose of toilet paper in a rubbish bin, but in Japan flushing it down the toilet is the norm. The idea that the toilet doesn’t become blocked leaves many Chinese somewhat bewildered. In Japan, one sprinkles salt on tomatoes or watermelons but in China one sprinkles not salt but sugar. Finally, in the land of the rising sun, one of the most “Chinese” foods is a dessert called “annindoufu” (a dessert of almond jelly).


    Other differences that left many Chinese lost for words were that even older members of society use cosmetics to make themselves presentable.


    But the list doesn’t end there. Despite being one of China’s closest neighbors, there were many differences in Japan that Chinese residents were completely taken aback by:


    - Sports newspapers in Japan often images of naked or scantily clad girls, despite the fact that they have no relation whatsoever to the sports news itself.


    - It is considered impolite to carry on conversations in a loud voice while riding a train. Similarly, there is a strict “no talking on the phone” rules on board trains in Japan, with most people putting their mobile phone in the ‘manner mode’ setting which prevents it from ringing.


    - Many Japanese people keep their wallet in their back pocket and plainly visible, however there is very little fear of it being stolen due to the relative safety of Japanese society.


    - Public transport almost always arrives at the scheduled time.


    - Anyone participating in a wedding ceremony adheres to the strict rule of formal wear.


    - Although there are no rubbish bins supplied on the streets, citizens take their litter home with them. For this reason, the streets are always clean.


    - At fast food restaurants McDonald’s or KFC you are expected to clear your table and dispose of any wrappers, cups, napkins and the like, however the staff treats the customer as though they were royalty and will often step forward to take a customer’s tray to the bins if possible.


    - In Japan, a medical examination or staying over in hospital doesn’t require any form of ‘special connection’ or resorting to the act of bribery.


    - One particularly striking difference in customs is that in Japan the husband hands his paycheck over to the wife. On the subject of money, when going on a date, a couple often splits the restaurant bill in half.


    - In Japan, if a person commits suicide by jumping in front of a train, their remaining family is charged reparations.


    - Japan has hotels designed specifically for the purpose of having sex, where the front lobby is designed in such a way that the customer is saved the embarrassment of coming face to face with hotel staff.


    - Finally, many Chinese were, perhaps understandably, surprised to hear just how frequently Japan’s prime minister changes.


    Many Chinese also state that living in Japan is very convenient, and society as a whole is very safe. It is very much a society in which you reap what you sow: by putting in the effort, you are recognized by those around you, which in turn encourages further individual growth. It is perhaps this social bond of solidarity that helped many a Japanese person overcome the devastation of the most recent great earthquake, where through the help and kindness of those around them many were able to rebuild, to some degree, their previous lives.


    Well these are some of the most apparent differences expressed by the Chinese who have come to Japan. Having read this how does all of this compare to your own country’s customs? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.



    Source: Record China

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    I got a feeling that this thread will turn into a war thread again

    Got sensitive word being used in your article
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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by YaoSiuKia View Post
    I got a feeling that this thread will turn into a war thread again

    Got sensitive word being used in your article
    I posted this because it's a good article about 2 different cultures.

    Please don't get me embroiled horrr..

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Trader View Post
    I posted this because it's a good article about 2 different cultures.

    Please don't get me embroiled horrr..
    Don't worry, they will get themselves embroiled

    It is a good article, very informative. Thank you for the read.
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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    in u.s. where paper napkins, paper hand towels and toilet paper are readily available, ah tiong-run businesses, offices, salons, restaurants and homes are always clogged with wrong kinds of paper in the w.c. causing overflows. you'll find signs in chinese and english, even in homes, that read "don't throw paper towels in the toilet; only toilet paper goes into the toilet."
    6.9 k's of sinkies: kopi, kaya toast, kueh kueh, kio kway, ktv, kpkb.

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by eatshitndie View Post
    in u.s. where paper napkins, paper hand towels and toilet paper are readily available, ah tiong-run businesses, offices, salons, restaurants and homes are always clogged with wrong kinds of paper in the w.c. causing overflows. you'll find signs in chinese and english, even in homes, that read "don't throw paper towels in the toilet; only toilet paper goes into the toilet."
    You should also tell your landlady not to throw her sanitary pad into the toilet bowl.
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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Trader View Post
    - It is considered impolite to carry on conversations in a loud voice while riding a train. Similarly, there is a strict “no talking on the phone” rules on board trains in Japan, with most people putting their mobile phone in the ‘manner mode’ setting which prevents it from ringing.

    - Public transport almost always arrives at the scheduled time.

    - Anyone participating in a wedding ceremony adheres to the strict rule of formal wear.

    - At fast food restaurants McDonald’s or KFC you are expected to clear your table and dispose of any wrappers, cups, napkins and the like, however the staff treats the customer as though they were royalty and will often step forward to take a customer’s tray to the bins if possible.

    - Finally, many Chinese were, perhaps understandably, surprised to hear just how frequently Japan’s prime minister changes.
    Praise be to Loong for making Singapore feel just like home to our foreign residents!
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    Swim or sink for you, no blame culture for me. Teehee!

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    i did not know PRC are mountain turtle.
    so ignorance, what is CCTV and chinese education teach their youth.
    singapore are much knowledgeable.

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    - In Japan, it’s considered impolite to eat while walking.

    That's why old Chang ki biz fail in Japan without realized Japanese culture . Want to do biz with the Japanese must understand their culture first .

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Lordshiva View Post
    - In Japan, it’s considered impolite to eat while walking.

    That's why old Chang ki biz fail in Japan without realized Japanese culture . Want to do biz with the Japanese must understand their culture first .
    Why fail???? Share share lah
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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    It is considered impolite to carry on conversations in a loud voice while riding a train. Similarly, there is a strict “no talking on the phone” rules on board trains in Japan, with most people putting their mobile phone in the ‘manner mode’ setting which prevents it from ringing.

    Because worry some handicap people wearing listening device !!

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Lordshiva View Post
    - In Japan, it’s considered impolite to eat while walking.

    That's why old Chang ki biz fail in Japan without realized Japanese culture . Want to do biz with the Japanese must understand their culture first .
    I heard it's impolite to smoke in public or too... Is that true?

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by YaoSiuKia View Post
    Why fail???? Share share lah
    Japanese never walk and eat at the same time ( I'm not talking about street food market like Ueno or amusement park ) when curry puff buy home already now nice especially during the winters .

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Trader View Post
    I heard it's impolite to smoke in public or too... Is that true?
    You can't walk and smoke at the same time in shinjuku , roppongi , ginza ...ect because too crowed ppl will worry you burn their clothes or thick winter clothes . There's many smoking zone area , don't worry . Usually is beside a cigars venting machine or a out door hut which you can smoke and buy drinks from venting machine with free magazine and music for you to relax . But at night , things change in those area I mention , machiam no government !! Day time in busy Tokyo and night time is very different !! Expecially if you take their subway
    Last edited by Lordshiva; 22-02-2013 at 04:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    - In Japan, if a person commits suicide by jumping in front of a train, their remaining family is charged reparations.

    That's why nobody pity those who jump track

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    - Many Japanese people keep their wallet in their back pocket and plainly visible, however there is very little fear of it being stolen due to the relative safety of Japanese society.


    Even biscyle no lock also never mind

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    - One particularly striking difference in customs is that in Japan the husband hands his paycheck over to the wife. On the subject of money, when going on a date, a couple often splits the restaurant bill in half.

    That's why many Japanese man likes to have gf and think their gf more understanding

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    - Public transport almost always arrives at the scheduled time.

    Let me tell you , this one very amazing !! Knn not even one min late !!! Unless of course got ppl jump track , even the bus arrived in time !!!

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    Other differences that left many Chinese lost for words were that even older members of society use cosmetics to make themselves presentable.

    Even go out to buy food or cigs must put make up if no make up they will use a big hat to cover heir face !!!

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    Default Re: Culture Differences - What PRCs find surprising when staying in Japan

    - While pregnant, Japanese women have a tendency to keep themselves slim. Even so, carrying a baby around with them in public is commonplace.

    It's common to see a mother carry 2 or 3 kids in public !!

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