Japan is a wonderful country. Not only because of its nature and landscapes, but because of people living there. We would like to tell about things and skills which our western people could learn from Japanese men and women.
A person who came to Japan for the first time will obligatory notice the public order and effective organization of… everything.
Clear streets, trains arriving with the preciseness of seconds, calm and polite people who are lightly eccentric and charming due to that (for instance, see popular cosplay hobby, an ice cream that tastes like chicken, or a lottery where one can win a five-leveled sandwich).
If to speak seriously, any trip to Japan, even the shortest one, can influence your life and outlook. Nobody comes back from there being the same as before. This article explains why.
Always Do a Favor in Return
The first thing you learn in Japan is getting used to do a return favor obligatory, not only to accept someone’s help. Remember, how many times you wanted to write somebody a thankful message, but forgot about it because of your troubles. This never happens in Japan. Good relations are impossible without mutual politeness exchange.
On the other side, in Japan there is no need to do an equal favor in return. For instance, if someone helped you to transport a sofa while moving to another apartment, it is enough to answer by giving a single coke bottle to that person. Everyone will be satisfied and happy as a result.
Thank for the Help When Meeting After
Thankfulness expression doesn’t end up on the previous point. Japanese people never forget to say “thank you” for the help when they meet you next time. We may find this not needed, but it is so pleasant when someone says: “Hey, you’ve helped me a lot with that sofa last time, thank you very much!” That’s cute, isn’t it?
Politeness is Something More than Just “Thank You” and “Have a Nice Day”
In Japanese culture, politeness is respected significantly more than in western one. If you ask someone on the street about how to get to a certain place, that person will not be too lazy to draw a map for you, and the shop owner can even leave trading for some time in order to guide you a bit. Japanese politeness means cultivating the unselfishness in oneself. When they help someone on the street, they never think “Why do I need that?”
Thinking About Other More than About Yourself
The best way to show your close people how much they mean for you is to think about their comfort more than about your own: to give the biggest piece of a pie to a friend, to give your relative the most comfortable place in a restaurant, to bake a cake and to share it with a neighbor. This all is the usual behavior of Japanese people.
There are special places for guests in the traditional Japanese house. They are in front of tokonoma niche, where the most beautiful things stand: ancient engravings and ceramics, or exquisite ikebana.
Everybody is a Part of a Group, No Exclusions
When colleagues go to a bar after a working day, everyone gets invited, not only the “close ones”. Moments when somebody suddenly finds out that they missed an afterparty are impossible in Japan. When the group photo is made, everyone is asked to join, without thinking of they are family members, friends or “just standing here”. Such relations allow to gain tolerance to those not looking like you.
There is an English proverb: Finders keepers, losers weepers. That’s not about Japan. If someone lost an umbrella or any other useful thing on the street, they will find it on the same place or on the nearest bench when comes back. Taking something that is not yours is shame!
See more lessons from Japan in the upcoming article!