Episode 7: Nation of Nitpickers

Episode 7: Nation of Nitpickers

Nation of Nitpickers

When Westerners first encounter the Japanese writing system, which is an application of the much more ancient and complex Chinese system, they look at it from several different perspectives.

In my particular case I stand in wonder as to the aesthetic aspect of written Japanese, or actually one can say that Japanese is drawn in stylized calligraphy. 

Most are overwhelmed by the sheer complexity and the enormity of the system, and never bother to learn it at all. 

Nation of Nitpickers

Episode 6: Shikitari; The Herd Instinct

Episode 6: Shikitari; The Herd Instinct

Episode 6: Shikitari; The Herd Instinct

One can say that to the Westerner eyes that Japan is the land of contradictions, everything good or positive about Japan always seems to have a flipside that is negative or unfavourable. Indeed you could say this about all societies, but here this contrast may appear to be much more pronounced.
The Herd Instinct

Episode 5: Itadakimasu & Gochisosama

Episode 5: Itadakimasu & Gochisosama

Itadakimasu & Gochisosama

There are two very important words in Japanese with deep meaning but no equivalent sentiment in the English concept of language. Itadakimasu and gochiso sama are very important parts of the dining etiquette in Japan. Itadakimasu is said just before eating, it literally means “to receive” or “accept ” but in this context more like a DNA infused Japanese Way in a ritualistic connotation, you could almost say it’s like a prayer.

LOTRS_code-words_cover_black-bk_ep1_1980w_e

Episode 6: Shikitari; The Herd Instinct

Episode 4: Ongaishi: Covering With Obligation

Episode 4: Ongaishi: Covering With Obligation

With only a few exceptions, virtually every interaction with the Japanese of any kind begins with, and is based on, a personal obligation as opposed to what some would regards as higher principles.

The Japanese have traditionally been known for their generous hospitality that they typically bestow upon visitors and on people with whom they want to develop a professional or business relations.

 

 

LOTRS_code-words_Obligation

Episode 3: Tripping Over One’s Tongue

Episode 3: Tripping Over One’s Tongue

Episode 3: Tripping Over Ones Tongue

Fundamentally, the Japanese are weary of people who are good talkers, equating this habit and demonstrations of such ability with unprincipled, untrustworthy behaviour.

While we can say there is also a similar attitude towards overly talkative people in the West as well, here in Japan, the negative response to people who talk way too much has a much more deeply rooted culture connotation, and far more important in the overall scheme of things even up until this very day.

Japanese Telepathy

 

Episode 2: Japanese-style Sympathy

Episode 2: Japanese-style Sympathy

Episode 2: Japanese-style Sympathy

Japan has traditionally been noted for the extraordinary exclusivity of its culture and this has been recognized as one of the more serious handicaps when the Japanese deal with the outside world. To make things even more complicated Japan’s exclusivity complex is based upon group membership.

 

 

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