Semester ini, di Tokyo Tech gue ambil kuliah “Topics on Japan”. Isinya semua tentang Jepang dan yang ambil kuliah kebanyakan mahasiswa asing yang kebanyakan lagi pertukaran pelajar sih (walaupun gue bukan salah satunya).
Sebenarnya ini pikiran gue selama hidup di Jepang tentang orang Jepang.
Semoga memberi gambaran untuk anak-anak Indonesia yang mau ke Jepang juga ya.
Well, this post is written in English since this class is conducted in English.
Check this out. 🙂
and it would be very long .
Suggestions to the Japanese People Based on the Analysis of the Charms and Disagreeable Points of Japan in Comparison With Other Countries
As for me, living in Japan for almost 2 years and studying Japanese society for 3 years back then in my diploma years, makes me much or less, understand how Japanese society is like. I would likely to say in the terms of “the majority of people I know” instead of generalizing it. I experienced various things when I am living in Japan from the things that I can say it is “terrific” until the “shocking” things that I can barely understand. But, among some disagreeable points that I have, for me, Japanese society has its own charms that fascinate me. By writing this essay, I hope I can give some suggestions to the Japanese people that read this essay.
First, I will start it the charms of the Japanese people. I would like to discuss 3 points of charm. I had been studying Japanese in the Faculty of Humanity University of Indonesia before I enrolled the faculty of engineering. Because of that, I can understand Japanese language well and can communicate with Japanese people. Every Japanese sentence and expression has its own feelings. You can tell people’s feeling by what they are saying. For example, “～してしまう” (Shiteshimau) means “accidentally doing it” and “～する” (Suru) means “doing it on purpose”. But literally, it has the meaning of “doing something”. By using these kinds of words, Japanese people do not have to express anymore feelings. The opponent will understand how Japanese do on something and its condition. I think this kind of Japanese expression is beautiful. You can find various kinds of feeling in every Japanese word. When Japanese are talking with some other Japanese, they will mind 2 kinds of common way of talking. It is called “敬語” (Keigo) and “ため口” (Tameguchi). Japanese people use the polite way to talk to someone. Once you heard Japanese talk in Keigo with you, which mean very polite words, it means they are really mind the words they are talking to you. The reasons are probably, you are older than them, you just met them, and your position (in the job or schools) is higher than them. Keigo is used in a formal ways and polite actions. While Tameguchi is a casual talk for close friends or family. I think this kind of charm needs to be maintained by Japanese people. In comparison in other country, like some parts of Europe or America, everyone uses “You” to point on someone. In Japanese, they call people with various kinds of ways, for example “san”. If they use such kind of “way of calling people”, it is considered to be polite.
The second charm that I want to discuss is Japanese is very discipline. They are very punctual. Japanese people manage to come earlier 10-20 minutes before the appointment time. I think compared to other nation that I know, Japanese is the most punctual and very organized. My suggestion is, this kind of charm also needs to be maintained.
The last charm point that I want to discuss is about “Harmonizing Feeling” or “solicitude” or “気遣い” (Kidzukai) in Japanese. Japanese people are very careful to treat people. Sometimes, if they do not feel happy about something, they will aside the strong arguments and synchronize their feelings and the opponent’s feeling. Sometimes, it is good and sometimes not. The good thing about it is Japanese people are avoiding harsh expressions so that the opponent will feel comfortable when talking with them. But the bad thing is sometimes Japanese people can’t say their intentions. For example, to harmonize the opponent’s feeling they will say “yes” while actually they want to say “no”. Compared to other countries, foreigners usually clearly say if they do not want to say “yes” they won’t say “yes”. My suggestion is Japanese people should be more honest about what they feel not just synchronizing people’s feeling.
Next, I would like to describe about my disagreeable points for Japanese people. The points will be mainly discussed in the terms of “communication”. There are 2 points that I would like to discuss. The first thing is “Nominication”. Japanese has a special word called “nominication” which comes from the word “nomi” which means “to drink” and “-cation”. All of my Japanese friends told me that drinking in Japan is a culture. Compared to people from all over the world, which I know, Japanese do not drink occasionally. But they can drink every time they want. Not only for parties or celebrations but also when they are feel shy in Karaoke or they want to be close to their new friends. While in some parts of the world, also in other Asia countries, drinking is not considered to be a culture. But more like a way to celebrate something. That is why I say Japanese do not drink occasionally but regularly. Some of my Japanese friends told me that they are really bad at communication. For some people like that, they will attend every drinking party not only for enjoying themselves but also to “break the ice”. If Japanese drink, they will feel not shy anymore and feel comfortable to talk. But I think that is just because of the effect of alcohol. Not their true selves. Not because I am Muslim and I do not drink I am disagree about this thing. But I think the important thing is not using the stimulation or force yourself to do it are even better. There are many other good things that we can do to communicate with other people. Other things instead of drinking, for example; hiking, cycling, visiting interesting places together, or else. The more you spend time with many people, the more you will be close to them and finally you can talk. I suggest these kinds of activities for Japanese people to communicate. Even in the daily life, everyone in my laboratory almost go for drinking to some izakayas (Japanese-style of drinking bar) almost every week. While someone like me who is not tend to drink can’t join. Also I do not want to force myself to drink. Even if my laboratory friends have some other activities to do, I would like to join.
The next thing that I want to discuss is Japanese actions towards the foreigners. I do not want to homogenize it but I believe that this is the feeling of some of my foreigner friends’ feeling towards Japanese actions towards them and also me. Japanese tend to be apathetic to the difference. Japanese society is homogenous. They are used to see people with the same hair color, same tribes, and even same way of thinking. So that if they socialize or happened to meet the different people, say it a foreigner, they would likely to avoid it. The reason is simple. It is because Japanese does not get used to the difference. Having a long conversation with my Japanese friend, I can understand that Japanese is avoiding having arguments. Some of them do not have confident to talk with foreigners. They think that foreigners won’t understand what they will talk about or they can’t express what they want to say. Even before talking to foreigners, Japanese has already avoided that. Then finally, Japanese will choose to socialize with the same Japanese not with the foreigners. It is one of the reasons why foreign students do not have many Japanese friends as many as they made friends with the same foreigners. Only Japanese who have interest in the foreign culture can make friends with foreign people. While comparing to other country like Indonesia or England, people comes from different tribes. If foreigners come they would like eager to do communication with them. I think because they are get used to know the variety of nations. They think that people who are coming from different nations are interesting. My suggestion for this is try to think more about the equality of every person no matter what their nations are. Also feel free to communicate with foreign people or make friends with them. If language is the barrier just do it with body language. After all, difference is beautiful and with it we can learn how to understand other people.