A while ago, I made a post, where I talked about things, I love about Japan. So know, I'm just going to do the opposite thing and talk about my most unliked parts about this country. Japan isn't the perfect country, because no country is perfect (even Sweden isn't). Here are 10 reasons/ things, that I don't like about Japan.(Okay, I actually had to google what could be hatable about japan after two items or so)
- Japenese english is difficult
This is probablys the most- known disadvantage about Japan or Asian countries in general. As the school system isn't the best (I'll come to that later) a lot of people are trying to learn english throughout memorizing it, what is in my opinion not the best way to study a spoken language. So, a lot of japanese people became english- haters and aren't able to speak this language at all (especally adults). Even the people, who can speak english roughly are often hard to understand because of their pronounciation. I think, this is a main problem about the school system.
- the way, animals are treated
So, first of all, I want to point out, that I wasn't vegan when I came to Japan, but I was planning to. According to the variety of food, I wouldn't regard it to be too hard to eat vegan in Japan but I think there aren't going to be a lot of people, who understand you. I've never met a vegetarien in Japan. I once had a conversation with a member of my host family, who actually sayes something like: "It's necessary for us to eat whale flesh as it's necessary for you german people to eat pork". When I talked with a friend of mine, she actually claimed that "fishes are alive to become our food". I'm not kidding you, the most animals are regarded as food supplies and nothing else. This is shown throughout the TV shows as well. As there are a lot of cooking shows, the killing and preparing of the animals is shown as well. Two memories are burned into my mind undeletable: 1. There was a cooking show whether they catched an eel. They made three long cuts lengthways its body. Then they put it in the pan and cooked it. The eel winded and coiled and the TV people sayed something like "Oh, it hurts, doesn't it?" and lauged. 2. In another TV show they showed, how some obetous were made. They put a small octopus, who was still alive, on the salad. Then they cutted though the octopus' body a few times. The octopus winded and jerked and in my eyes, he screamed.
But it isn't only "food animals", that are treated so horrifically. There are pet shops, where cats and dogs are kept in tiny glass boxes, where the visitors are knocking and peering the whole day. I'm not sure, whether it's the truth but I once heared, that animals, who aren't getting buyed for a long time, are getting gased. I saw it in my host family as well. They had a cat and they sometimes punched it on the tail, when it should go away. They would sometimes chase it as well and they thought, that the cat would be having fun (I wasn't sure about this). So, as a result, the cat become aggressive sometimes and tried to bite me a few times and sometimes fleed when I approached.
This is really fucked up.
- a huge throwaway culture
This is a food thing as well. When something is left over after eating, it's getting thrown away(unless it's a really huge piece). The people tend to buy a lot of stuff, not only food, but especally small cheap goods, that are really.. unnecessary. I didn't saw the throwing away of this kinds of goods too often, but especally the dealing with food wasn't so appreciatable for me.
- restricting rules/ inflexibility
I mean, it isn't that I don't like rules and outlines and orientations guidlines. I think, some rules are crucial for a working social community and for any society. And of course, some rules should be unbreakable and breaking of them shouln'd occur too often. I agree with all of that.
I often sympathised with the bunch of rules, that are existing in Japan, but what I missed about them was the considering of freedom and flexibility. I want rules but I want my freedom as well. I don'T want to be restricted in any action I do and any word I say. Japan doesn't necessarily have more laws, but there are definetely more social rules like how to behave, what to say etc. I think, some of this strict rules are the reasons for people not having their own opinion and just following the group. This was actually a point, I heard from other people a lot but didn't experience myself too much.
A thing, that I actually did experience was unflexibility. I remembered the preparation meeting in japan, where a daily plan was made with anything that is going to be done and where and when this is going to take place. We had a kind of group activity one evening and then there was the presentation of each group (or so). Then, all groups had finished presenting their stuff but according to the daily plan, we still had some minutes till the next activity. So instead of starting with the next one earlier, we got asked whether somebody wants to present anything else- just to bridge the time!
- people not talking about their honest feelings
Japanese people, I talked to, had mainly two feeling: they are fine or they are tired. When they were tired, it was obviously because of school or work. Japanese people are really straightforward sometimes but I don't think that anybody only has this two kinds of feelings. When I'm close friends with someone, I want them to talk about their feelings- honestly. It's okay, when people are sometimes sad or angry or bored or something else than tired or amused!
This is the restrctive rules' fault, I guess. It's regarded to be polite to don't talk about one's feelings. I don't care if my friends are polite towards me. They're my friends!
This somehow accompanies with the above- mentioned point. When I talked with friends, it was really often about superficial things like favorite books or favorite color or the next school subject. I understand, that nobody would talk about their deepest feeling with a foreign stranger directly but after I've become really good friends with people, I want to overcome this shallow talking.
- the school system
As I've already mentioned above, I'm no great appreciater of the Japanese school system. It is based on teacher- centred- teaching and memorizing. Although I loved going to school and I liked a lot of subjects very much, it was obvious that this wasn't a system, throughout what very much students would actually and actively learn something.
So, about 80 percent of the classes consisted of the teacher speaking and the students listening more or less actively. The teacher would write a lot at the board and a lot of students would sleep. At the end of the lessons, the students often take a picture of the blackboard and walk away. Sometimes, the teacher asks a few questions in class, that are mostly answered with "I don't understand". When students have questions, they use to ask them after the lesson (in case, they ask them). There is a test week about every two month. About a week before this, the students study day and night to make the test. After the test there is often a board, at which the most sucessful student's names and their reached scores are written. A lot of students are coming to class a hour before the actual lesson begins. At this time, they make their homework (in case, they make it). When students are studying, they would just do a bunch of test questions and correct them. For every subject, they need about two- three books.
This way, very few students actually learn a teaching content, but they just memorize it for a short- term period. When I get worked up about my country's school sytem, I think about Japan and I'm usually happy after that.
- the food system
This is a small one. My host family had almost inchangable eating times, inbetween which they ate almost nothing. As a polo- eater, it wasn't so easy to accept that.
- this kind of family lifestyle
As my host family had no children, I didn't actually experience that but I think, I know enough about it to talk about this issue. The basic japanese family concept is rather traditional. The father works and the mother makes the houshold. No problem with that. But to my mind, the balance is missing. The most fathers go to work very early (because the work's office is in another town), even before their cildren are woken up. They come home really late, as they often go dining or doing another fun activity with their work members. A lot of father go drinking after work and therefore come home really late, when their wifes and children are sleeping already. What is left over are the weekend, the only time, when anybody has some free time, that isn't filled with school, work or club activity.
Then there is this love thing. Holding hands is embarrassing. Kissing is embarrassing. Hugging each other is embarrassing. Especially, couples refuse to show their love throughout this ways openly. But also in privacy, I wouln't imagine japanese couples to be so close to each other. This may be just another way of expressing love, but I actually question, whether some of this highschool couples are having feelings for each other. Okay, it's anyway better than sending each other nude pictures an facebook.
- boys group and girls group
Anybody can be friends with anybody, seriously. And if a person only befriends people of their own sex, I'm obviously okay with that. But in Japan, it's almost a social rule, that anybody is only friend of people of his own gender. But this groupü restiction is seriously anywhere: in school, in the train, in the school clubs, any community is divided into male and female persons.
I think, this is neither supporting gender equality nor the equality of one's sexual orientation. I've never met a gay person there and nobody speaks about this kind of things as well.
Okay, this may've seemed like I hate Japan, but I defenitely don't do. I love this country and while writing this post, I felt again, how much I'm missing my Japanese friends and (host)family. I definetely want to go there again.
Anyways, I hope, you enjoyed reading this and I'll see you soon.
Anyways, I hope, you enjoyed reading this and I'll see you soon.