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August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

Social Awareness

Prologue to a series:  My new project for the next six months will be branding this site and making it a resource for travelers and researchers on Japan.   Firstly, the internet is flooded with information on life over here.   Many of the sites/blogs explore the dynamics between foreigner and native from a linguistic and cultural points of view, to racism and how that makes any sense at all.      What you'll find is that my site will be very insightful, totally presenting a more natural and realistic element to the Japan experience.

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Your role as the foreign national living and working in Japan should be defined as simply as possible.    When living in any country where the local language and customs are different from your own, you are overcome with stress.    Even when you do not realize it.    It is a natural consequence of living away from your particular social mold and group.  

How to think, and how to feel:

The Japanese are instinctual people, and are mindful even when they appear mindless and oblivious to anything foreign.    They do not share the same common sense as Westerners, they have their own brand of common sense.   The Japanese also have a unique way of tuning out the things they lack an emotional quotient to handle.   They can do this because of all the years of social conditioning.     Things like past emotional pain associated with traumatic experiences are neatly buried away deep into their subconscious, and in a way that's so  unsuspecting  that by looking at them from plain view, you'd think that no harm has ever come their way.    

Westerners place a lot of value on moral and ethical conviction.    Values are another thing.
Foreigners who come to Japan to earn a living off of teaching and speaking their own native language are considered immoral in the eyes of contemporary Western society.    That includes those who take their students as brides and go back to America - common occurrence.    Japanese do not see the morality issue  that way.  

The English education industry makes billions, perhaps trillions of yen  annually from willing young Japanese business men and women who seek out private English lessons, which for many could be the doorway to that next big promotion, or to look and appear sophisticated or stuffy.      But I'm sure there are so many more example of why they choose to pay someone to speak their own native language.   

Where the two converge :

Westerners address problems and solve misunderstandings head on whereas Japanese avoid all forms of problem solving and misunderstanding unless there is an arbitrator.   Face-to-face dealings is too un-Japanese.    

The type of mindset that works is that you be mindless while only using that part of the brain that allows you to function.    Preserving the rest for making rational decisions and for professional people.   You musn't feel, you must do, you must function.    Just BE, and don't allow yourself to get caught up in the petty insignificances of people who have almost no grasp of the world outside of their own weak porous borders.    You are a highly skilled foreign national living here providing a valuable service to the Japanese people.   

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