Japan and The Other Countries 日本と海外の違い



All the countries have differences, and it is very hard to compare between Japan and each country. I just went to several countries, so it might not proper to pick up this topic. However, I met a lot of people from other countries already, and I often feel that Japan is a unique country comparing to other countries. So I just want to write this blog basically based on my experience.



Many Japanese people don’t have religion /日本ほど主教が根付いていない国は珍しい

Japan is an island, and we have been kicking out the culture from other countries long time. I think that they are related to the reasons many Japanese people don’t have religion. Long long time ago, Francisco de Xavier was having a missionary work in Japan. I think that he had some difficulty to do it because Japanese people were so conservative for something from outside.


I checked about the religious countries, and Japan is very low. This article says 13% Japanese people have religion, but I think that it is lower than this data. I think most of the Japanese people don’t have religion. Some people might think “Japanese = Buddhist”, but it is not true. Many Japanese people might have the spirits of Buddhism somewhere in their mind though…

実際に日本の宗教の普及率について調べてみたけど。。。例えばこの記事(The world’s most (and least) religious countries)日本は13%と書かれているが、逆にそんなにいるのかという感覚だ。宗教のようなものを入れると10人に1人くらいの割合で何かしらの宗教は持っているかもしれない。ただ、ほとんどの日本人は宗教を持っていないと思う。「日本人=仏教徒」というイメージが海外ではあるみたいだけど、仏教の精神を多くの日本人は知らない間に生活の中で身に付けているかもしれないけど、仏教徒ではないです。

Some people have wedding ceremony at a church, some people have Buddhism style wedding at shrine, some people might have both style(first ceremony is at church and second ceremony is at shrine). Even they are not Christian or Buddhist, they have wedding at a church or shrine.



 It is natural to say their opinions or ideas in front of other people in other countries, but in Japan… /自分の意見を言ったり表現する国が多い

Basically, it is normal to say their opinions or ideas to other people in other countries(Sure, if the person is educated, he/she knows how to say it in well-manner). However, in Japan, it is not so good to tell their ideas or opinions in front of people. I think this kind of culture is minority in the world. My favorite comedian( comedian and commentator in Japan/worker from USA company) who is living in Japan says on his Twitter before

In Japan, the rule is …

Kinder garden ⇒ Follow other people

Elementary school ⇒ Follow other people

Junior high school ⇒ Follow other people

high school ⇒ Follow other people

university ⇒ Follow other people

company  ⇒ Follow other people





高校   ⇒周りと合わせろ

大学 ⇒周りと合わせろ

会社 ⇒周りと合わせろ

This is kind of rule we are facing…. In Japan, the pile that comes out is beaten…If you try to do something different thing from other people, he pile is beaten…Even he might be correct though… A lot of Japanese people are forced to swim in the same river with same pace. It is very hard to swim faster than other people, or swim in another river with other people. It is so hard for me to swim in the same river with same pace with other people…



It is normal to go to club in other countries? /週末はクラブでダンス?

When I see people from other countries, I sometimes see people who like dancing, going to club, or drinking in club. I think that many Japanese prefer to go to Izakaya(Japanese style bar) and talk with friends rather than going to club.


When I was in Toronto in Canada, one of my Brazilian friends asked me…


Usually, Japanese people don’t go to club much」

What!? Then, Where do they enjoy on the weekend without going to club?


Umm… maybe, going to karaoke, reading books, relaxing at home, shopping… etc etc

You can see many people in the club in Sydney on the weekends. I usually don’t go to club unless someone asks me to go to club. (maybe, 2-3 hours is enough, mentally, physically). I think that club culture is normal in many countries.









Cleanliness is very important in Japan/日本ほど清潔感を大切にする国はない

We should be proud of this culture. Japanese people like tidiness. Sure, I met some Japanese people who are not tidy at all, and met some foreigners who are tidy. So, I don’t want to say ” Japanese = tidy”, but I generally, I think that Japanese people are tidy. I guess there are some factors that it happens to Japanese people


School education <学校教育の影響>

Generally, pupils in public school need to clean school facilities by themselves after classes


I am not sure if they are actually enjoying cleaning or not (I didn’t enjoy it…), there was a motivation for cleaning because we could go home after that. Sometimes, when boys tried to be lazy for cleaning, girls came to boys and said ” Hey guy! Clean up!!!” I think that this kind of coversation is still happening in current generation…. Scary….


Group consciousness is working <集団意識が働いている>

I think that people think ” Some people are cleaning, so I have to do it as well”. If one person starts cleaning, other people start cleaning…


Whenever I come back to Japan, I am really surprised about the clean street and clean bathroom. I think that this cleanliness is one of the things that Japan could be proud of.



It is not good to be too close to your mother in Japan?母親と仲良くし過ぎるのはマイナスイメージ?

In Japan, If you are too close to your parents, some people might think ” You are mommy’s boy / or You are father’s boy” and the person is considered “He is not independent”.  I am not sure it happens to girls, but Japanese boys need be careful about the relationship with parents. Sometimes, foreign friends talk with parents on the phone almost everyday, but if they do it in Japan, Japanese people might think ” He is mommy’s boy, or father’s boy.




I am sure that most of the Japanese people have ever seen “sea” or “snow” because Japanese is surrounded by see and we have snow in winter(Some Japanese people might have never seen beautiful sea though…). Some Japanese might have never seen desert. I have never seen desert, and had never seen desert until I went to Australia in 2013.


While I was studying English in the class in Toronto, it started snowing. At that time, Few Brazilian students headed to the window and was jumping, and said ” This is my first time to see snow!!!”.

At that time, I thought ” Wow, I didn’t know some countries don’t have snow”. I have some friends who have never seen sea. Yes, if the area is inner side of continent, some people from the area might have never seen sea. It makes sense. What I want to say is…. The things happening now in front of you might not normal thing in other countries or areas. Or Normal things for other countries or areas might not be normal thing in Japan. We are living on the same planet, and same human, but what we are seeing or experience is sometimes different.

I feel that if we can understand the difference and learn each other, the would be better. It might be ideal though…

カナダのトロントに語学留学をしていたときに授業中、外で雪が降り始めました。その時にブラジル人の何人かが授業そっちのけで窓の方に向かい、「This is my first time to see snow!!!初めて雪を見た!!!」と飛び跳ねていました。。。


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