Dergonu Posted April 27, 2019 Share Posted April 27, 2019 Hi there! I'm not sure if there is any sort of demand for this kind of post, but I thought since there's so many people interested in Japanese media on this forum, maybe some of you would be interested in knowing what it's like living in Japan as a foreigner. So, that's what this thread is for. If you have any questions about the topic, ask away! For those of you who don't know, my name is Andreas, I've been studying Japanese for about four years or so now, and I'm a freelance translator. I spent about half a year in Japan studying the language at a Japanese university, (Josai International University in Togane,) which was honestly one of the most fun experiences of my life. I am going back to Japan again soon to live there for a year this time, (starting August this year,) and I just came back from a short vacation in Japan around a week ago. Needless to say, I like it there. I haven't decided quite yet, but I think me moving there permanently down the line is a very likely scenario. Anyways, I'm not sure what, if anything, people would be interested in hearing about the topic, so I picked one thing my foreign friends have asked me quite a lot. So yeah, do ask if you want to know something else! Are Japanese people generally cold and distant towards westerners? Short answer, they might seem that way at first, but honestly, no! The thing is, Japanese people are generally just very quiet and closed off in public spaces, as they do not want to bother strangers in public. Get a Japanese person a couple of drinks at an izakaya or a karaoke bar, and you won't be able to shut them up, haha. While there might be some Japanese people who are "racist," / cold towards westerners, most people aren't like that at all, and will open up to you quite easily once you get to know them a little bit! Of course, you have to actually get to know them a bit at first for this, and sure, as a foreigner, it might be a little bit harder to get through that first stage. But, it's honestly not that hard, especially if you have some kind of icebreaker/ meet the person in some setting where it would be natural to start up a conversation, like a university, at your job, or out in a club/ bar etc. Of course, not knowing any Japanese will make this a little harder, as Japanese people generally do not speak English very well. (International universities are gold mines if you're looking for Japanese people interested in foreigners, heh. We had trouble eating at times during lunch, as we were swarmed by groups of Japanese students wanting to talk to us, lol.) One tip I'd give western people trying to get to know Japanese people in Japan, try to not be too loud and "pushy". Like I said, Japanese people are often a bit guarded towards strangers, and first impressions are quite important. If you come off as "scary" and loud, it might be harder to get someone to open up to you. Remember, westerners are pretty scary to Japanese people, haha. We're generally a lot taller, they won't know if we speak a word Japanese or not just by looking at us, (and they probably won't know much English,) and we tend to just act quite differently compared to Japanese people in general. The unknown can be pretty scary! So, all these factors can make us quite intimidating. Therefore, try to dial it down a bit, and you'll have a much easier time getting a Japanese person to open up to you. Anyways, that's what I could think of, so hit me with some questions if you want to know more! phantomJS, vizualfan, MirāNoHebi and 3 others 5 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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