Saturday, March 3, 2012

Japanese People

''Japanese people never want to make friend with people from other countries. They always gather around other Japanese, even when they areaway from home''. This statement made me think, was it true? I have always thought that the Japanese are the politest and friendliest people in the world. However, after some careful consideration, I recognized the truth in the observation. The Japanese do tend to stick to themselves and therefore, they do not easily make friends with the people of the cultures.

What are the factors that cause this behaviour in the Japanese? One of them is the fact that most Japanese student are extremely self-conscious about the English they speak. They feel they are not sufficiently competent. Despite the fact they are studied the language in school, they lack conversation and listening skills, although their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar is good. Thus, when they go to the United States, for examples, they lost and disappointed. The fact that they had studies the language in Japan for more than six years and got good grades does not help. They discover that it is because of their pronunciation that Americans often do not understand what they say. They therefore find it hard to express their ideas. This causes them to lose much of their confidence especially since they come from a culture that emphasizes perfection. As a result, they tend to avoid those situations that would require them to speak to non-Japanese people.

Another factor is the role of the student in the Japanese educational system. Japanese student are taught not to talk during class and rarely is there a class that allows students to discuss and express their opinions. It is expected that they will remain silent in class and listen carefully to what is taught. This is what the teachers prefer for they feel that a student’s silence indicates respect. This explains why it is difficult for a Japanese person to speak up in class.

Yet another factor to explain the Japanese tendency to keep to themselves is that the Japanese are a reserved people. They are not good at talking to other especially to complete strangers. For example, passengers on a bus in Japan would very rarely strike up a conversation with the driver of the bus. It is just not done in Japan.
One final explanation for the Japanese tendency to keep to themselves is that they are used to a homogeneous society. In Japan, for example, almost everyone is the same- the same race, the same language, the same culture and even the same religion. This does not mean to say there are not foreigners in Japan. Koreans and Chinese live there but they are always regarded as foreigners and treated as outsiders. No effort is made to mix or make friends with them. Japanese tend to feel uncomfortable in the presence of foreigners. In fact, some Japanese feel that Japanese culture is superior to foreigners. This explains why they are not comfortable mixing with people of other cultures and customs.


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