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Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,944

28 Feb 2014, 6:11 am

You hardly can say something IS freaky or not. For japanese their culture is perfectly normal. I only can say, that for ME personally, working for an japanese company, that was leaded by japanese managers, was freaky. ^^

So the managers, were replaced every few years, to prevent them getting too "westernized". ^^ It´s absolutely expected to naturally greet your company manager, when he enters the building, even though t its naturally expected that he dont greet "his minions" in return and that he totally ignores to be greeted by us. They had strict believings into hierarchy: So even when I spoke rather perfect english, he never spoke personally a word with me, as long as my superior departement chief was there. So he walked right before me to my departement chief, told him that "Mrs. Schneekugel shall do this and that for him.", while ignoring my existance totally, and went again away, without even looking at me, even when I was sitting right there. When my departement chief was already gone, it was totally normal for him to talk to me directly without any negative issues. So its not that he did not like me or whatever, it simply was normal for him to not adress someone personally, if the person was "two ranks" below him, as long as "the rank" between was still in the office. ^^

And at least the managers I learned to know, still have tons of issues about "honour" and "worthyness" and "respect" stuff. So when our manager was totally ill (He had infuencia.. the REAL influencia, no minor flu.) he worked anyway until he almost broke down in company. Due to his doctor, he then agreed to be a few days at home. There was a minor everyday papershit, that would have needed his signing on it, but only about burocracy stuff, nothing serious. (Whenever we did a shipment that was outside of the country, for burocracy, he was the one to sign the delivery papers.) Because of him being really, really shitty ill, instead of disturbing him for a minor burocracy nonsense thats happening twice a week, we simply made everything ready, and gave the papers on his desk, to sign for him, when he returns back from illness. So every autrian manager, that we would have dared to call and disturb at home for some burocratic nonsense, when being serious ill, would have ripped our ass apart. When the japanese manager returned, he ripped our ass aparts, because of him having the impression, that we would have done so " show him our disrespect, that we wanted to show him that he is not needed and gnagnagna..." It was really hard work to make him understand, that we actually wanted to care for him, to get healthy agains as soon as possible, so we did not want to disturb him and bother him with anything, that was not really important.

As well that one time a japanese manager of another country, took some examples with him. It was planned and discussed and arranged that way, but when he was actually in our factory, our storage chief was not there, so they could not actually do the burocracy stuff for taking the examples with him. In the end it leaded to our manager creating an E-mail that was sent to every other european company departement, where he blamed about an theft having happened in the austrian facility, by the hungarian manager. The hungarian manager then needed to replie, as well with copy to all other european company departements, that he excuses himself pubicly for the happening and so on... It was like watching an classic Samurai film with the Landlord getting into issues about "having lost his face" due to some stupid s**t, and his Samurai kneeling before him, excusing himself publicly, and offering Seppuku for the blame he put on his landlord... *head -> desk"

Around the european workers, there were already the jokes running, that at least, he was not forced to do Seppuku to restore his honour for the thiefery. XD

And at least around here in europe its habbit, that you normally send an company E-mail with the recipient you are really adressing, following with the various E-mail adresses of people, that get an copy. Nope...not in Hitachi... there is an "order of rank" for the Email recipients, depending on their status. XD How dare you sending an standard Email to another company worker, without respecting the "order of rank" for the one getting the Email as copies. XD

And when they had their great Hitachi meeting in germany, our austrian sales leader mentioned, that he saw there a japanese woman as well for the first time. With our company manager immediately explaining in an excusing (!) way "that she was only assistant". So as if he needed to explaind and find a reason, why the holy hitachi meeting was bothered with the existance of japanese woman. XD

And as I learned: If a japanese manager orders a taxi, they expect certain standard as at least a driver with a suit. So I was aware of asking for a taxi driver, that speaks english, but was not aware, that a taxi driver. daring to wear short trousers might damage our reputation/honour. ^^

And they dont have any sense of black humour. When our storage chief applied a sticker with "I also brake for Japanese." on his fork lift truck, our company manager was mad as hell about austrian working laws, that did not allow him to fire our storage manager immediately for that. So he only could fire him regularly, which meant that the storage manager had a time limit of one month. XD

I´d really like to go there for holiday, so the country and the differences in culture seems really interesting to me in a positive way, so if I ever go that far to asia, I´d certainly want to visit Japan as well, and think as tourist it will really be enjoyable. But I could not imagine to move there completely, as well that I now would avoid to hire for an japanese company with japanese management. It was a real freaky experiment for me, and its already very hard for me not to do typical aspie failures among my own culture identity.

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 19 Aug 2016
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Posts: 7
Location: Okinawa, Japan

25 Mar 2019, 10:29 am

Politics would be the last reason to move to Japan; fault politicians like Donald Trump all you want, Shinzo Abe (the current Prime Minister) makes Trump look like a complete hippie by comparison. Japan is a highly conservative and nationalistic country and its society does not take kindly to those who don't fit in. Conformity is valued above all else. The US is a far more liberal and accepting country by comparison.

I'm not saying that the US is necessarily the best or worst place to live, but the grass is always greener on the other side to those who have never lived overseas. I promise you that the US is a pretty fantastic place to live and I always enjoy coming back to spend time at home. I find that I'm more accepted for being high-functioning autistic, and people are generally understanding.

In Japan, there are fewer people who accept the concept of mental illness as an acceptable thing; it's heavily stigmatized and even people on the autism spectrum are often seen as undesirable or that it is somehow their fault. I am very selective about who I open up to and I generally do my best to save face by not showing emotions that could detract from that.

Source: I've lived in Japan for years. I was stationed in Okinawa and now I live here as a private citizen. I live with a Japanese woman (whom I love very dearly) and I'm pretty integrated into the community.


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Joined: 16 Jun 2010
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,775
Location: Beirut, Lebanon.

25 Mar 2019, 10:55 am

^ Most of the East is like this, but it seems Japan is the most known eastern civilization to Americans due to media. Most of the things mentioned in this thread about Japan such as conservativism, nationalism, extreme patriarchy (extreme financial responsibility on men, polarized gender expectations... etc), conformity, lack of liberalism, no acceptance of mental illness (people don’t even go to psychologists/ psychiatries/ therapists, except the extreme cases while in the West it seems there’s a therapist for every citizen lol).... etc

All these things are not alien to me personally. I would probably be able to cope in Japan better than any American.

What Japan differs greatly from most of the Eastern countries is probably in its economic success and organization but socially / values /mentality?.. not much.


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Joined: 26 May 2014
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,443

27 Mar 2019, 6:53 pm

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
There's always those places to sleep in Japan that are like these drawers you crawl into. I wonder if they are cheaper to stay in?

No. Those are for businessmen who missed the last train home (Tokyo shuts down at 12 am and it's hard to go anywhere after except take an expensive cab ride (most expensive ride of my life)).
Cheapskates hang out in 24/7 internet cafés and nap with their face on a keyboard before going to work the next morning.

And: yeah, the government lowered the bar for immigration. The low fertility led to an aging population and not enough young workforce.
The country and culture is amazing and weird and interesting, but it's also a ticking demographic bomb.

I can read facial expressions. I did the test.