Unpredictable Foreigner

Japan received me through her  gentle and patient people.

Their history is far to long to commit to memory, their Kanji takes at least 15 years to learn, and their customs are so detailed and full of meaning, that anyone not from Japan, begins their experience feeling a lot like an elephant in a small china cabinet.  At any moment something traditional may be unwittingly broken by my general lack of understanding. No one treats me disrespectfully. 

 

Radiant Radiant
56-60, F
3 Responses Mar 16, 2007

Ainje<br />
<br />
Watakushiwa sukoshi Nihongo wa hanashimasu.<br />
<br />
Tokyo Ochanomizu Daigaku ni obenkyo shimashita. <br />
<br />
Keredomo takusan nen mai ni obenkiyoshimashita!<br />
<br />
Kanji ga totemo muzukashi desu ne?<br />
<br />
Nijonjin ga yashashi y totemo jozu desu. <br />
<br />
Watakushiwa nihonjin ryori ga daisuki, totemo oishi, keredomo suhshi ga daisuki ja nai desu!<br />
<br />
Anatamo nihonjin ryori ga daisuki desu ka?

I have been learning Japanese for about 5 years and I really hope to stay there for an extended period of time in the near future. My Japanese teacher who currently lives in Kyoto says that because of my looks and my personality, I should have no problem fitting in. Which is interesting since it has long been said that がいじん are rarely accepted in Japanese culture... Such a beautiful country.

How very interesting!<br />
<br />
Japan has fascinating contrasts:<br />
Sleek buildings next to shrines over 500 years old. <br />
<br />
Modern clothing bordering on the most expensive in the world, next to the gorgeous kimmons that cost thousands of dollars. Each part of a kimmon is produced by inter woven and re woven designs or paintings. <br />
<br />
Traditional Japaneese food and French food as well as Mc Donalds, Pizza Hut, and Baskin Robbins.<br />
<br />
Their film and t.V. stars can be into anything from European classical music, to 3,000 years old music, to their own pop writers and performers, to copy-cat stuff that uses American Country and Pop and Rock. They go for movie themes in a big way. <br />
<br />
At a baseball game, it is nearly quiet. <br />
<br />
In public, Japaneese rarely speak, <br />
unless it is on a cell phone.<br />
<br />
To make noise at the baseball game, they clap together these big plastic things shaped like bats. <br />
<br />
Foreigners get all mixed up when it comes to bowing.<br />
<br />
They have zillions of rules about etiquette, so I figured that I better just smile, ask questions, and when they tell me how to do something, I do my best. <br />
<br />
You will notice that the women cover their mouth when they smile. It is a national custom that they believe began because so many Japaneese have bad teeth.<br />
<br />
Women speak softly and demurelly.<br />
Men speak gruffly and more staccato-like. <br />
<br />
The toilets in town usually are a porcelian hole in the foor, and you stand over it. I hated the splashing, so over time, I developed the muscles in my legs as I learned to balance and squat.<br />
<br />
Toilets in the standard hotels are western.<br />
<br />
One cardinal rule:<br />
<br />
When you go to someone's home, everyone takes a bath before th evening meal. <br />
<br />
You shower in the tiles showerroom, while sitting on a little stool. <br />
<br />
THEN you climb into the hot tub which is called "Offu Row".<br />
<br />
NEVER EVER put soap into the offurow!!<br />
<br />
All the other members of the family will climb into the tub after or before you, so everyone must be clean before getting in. <br />
<br />
Sometimes, there is a large hot tub, the size of a little swimmng pool, only shallow, and made to appear like a natural pond. <br />
<br />
Everyone of one sex will relax together, either nude or in a swimsuit. <br />
<br />
Or the entire family and friends will relax in swimsuits.<br />
<br />
In the old days, everyone relaxed without any clothing. <br />
<br />
The moring meal usually has fish of some kind. I could not handle this for the first few years, so I asked for cereal or toast and egg, sometimes they had peanut butter and it was nice to use on the bread. <br />
<br />
The Japanese food is very pretty and most of the time it tasted good. <br />
<br />
If you can visit, stay long enough to take a couple days at Akagi Yamma, or the "Alps of Japan". Just beautiful!!<br />
<br />
Nice to hear from you again, <br />
<br />
R