07 October, 2016

Getting Advice & Information About Japan

During my studies, I have taken the time out to learn more about Japan and the Japanese language. The purpose of this post was to discuss what I came across through studying.

When getting personal advice and information on Japan, I noticed a common pattern between Japanese people and non-Japanese. Americans have given me useful advice, but mostly they make sure to discourage me from moving to Japan. I got it that Japan Reference and other informational sites and sources was a racial issue. I felt Japan Reference never deserved a proper review. It turns out like a lot of Americans who has visited Japan, their goal is to turn others away from Japanese people, Japanese culture and Japan altogether. One man told me how I better learn Japanese, and commenting on how 'us Arabs' always come to a country and tries to take over everything. This made me realize that not only do I have to worry about racist Americans in the US but in Japan as well. This is not fair to say when they are also immigrants. I am not saying all Americans are this way. I'm just saying I get more insolence from them than from actual Japanese.

The Japanese have been extremely helpful with my research. They gave me unbiased advice; their information is always according to law and regulations, and truth.

What I learned is that tattoos in Japan is prohibited. Humans are required to cover them. I was told those with tattoos can be refused service and kicked out of establishments. I read how a woman with a small tattoo on her arm who was chased out of a store by an elderly Japanese man.

Speaking of the elderly, I admire how the Japanese treat the elderly. They even have a festival celebrating them. It's a lot different than how Americans view and treat the elderly.

My step-grandma loves Japan's smoking law. Unlike the US, Japan has more lenient laws for smokers. They are allowed to smoke in most of locations, in public and in establishments. There are even vending machines selling cigarettes.

I was told by diplomatic Japanese guides on the Japanese visa. To migrate to Japan, my family would need to fill out for a long-term residence visa. A few other things I learned:

  • Never write someone's name in red ink.
  • Never point at someone
  • Never eat in public
  • If on an elevator, the closest to the buttons is usually the last to get off elevators.
  • It is common that men don't hold doors for women. They're not being rude, it's just natural.
  • Japanese toilets are confusing and seems hard to work.
  • Always take off shoes before stepping into a house.
  • Learning how to eat with chopsticks is essential.
  • Never use your chopsticks to point, grab food from others, or never stick chopsticks upright in food.

See, I have gotten a lot of information from Japanese people. I hope to not have too much trouble from Americans. My move to Japan is not immediate, for my family plans to gain a fluent status in the language. I feel this is what is best. I have also seen how essential avoiding language barriers for the Japanese. Not from personal, but they tend to have a low tolerance for those who are incapable of speaking and reading Japanese. Many state their refusal to learn English. Most of times, Japanese people can insist that you learn Japanese and refuse to do further business until you learn their language. For this, I am not saying all Japanese are nice but not all are this way. In fact, I see many Japanese are distant and can be slow to opening up to you. I noticed if you sincerely express genuine interest and respect, they will give you the same respect. It's kind of interesting but when some Japanese find out I am part Asian, they assume I am already fluent in Japanese. I'm like, no not yet, but getting there.

I have learned about publishing in Japan as well. I will discuss this soon; I just wanted to address and acknowledge this as another important issue.

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