Sunday, October 03, 2010

Foreigners' Questions about Japan (2) What is your favorite thing about Japan/Japanese culture?

I don't hesitate to admire social safety in Japan. According to OECD Factbook, Japan's victimization rates (Percentage, one year prevalence victimization except murder rates among the entire population) is the second lowest in all OECD countries. Rates in 2005: Spain 9.1, Japan 9.9, France 12, OECD average 14.5, US 17.5, and UK 21.
As for murder rate among 150 WHO member countries, Japan is the second lowest.
Last year, I dropped my wallet which contains $700 / 530Euro / 475pounds at Tokyo. Three days later, my wallet was sent to my home in the same condition as when I dropped them. It was lucky case, but not rare in Japan.

Cleanliness and hygiene mind and punctual customer services (for instance, railways) in Japan make me feel comfortable.

I like some modern culture of Japan, but most of them are affected by western culture. But graphic novel, a.k.a manga is one of Japan-established culture which may be easy to be understood by worldwide people. I also like Japanese traditional culture – cooking, arts and architectures (for example, Buddha statues and temples) – but I think that some of them aren't easy to be understood for some westerners except as for orientarism-understanding.

Japanese people are tolerant for religions. The same person is celebrated by Shinto way, which is Japanese original religion, when after one month later he / she was born, He / she marries in Christian style – even though they never read the holy bible, and his / her funeral is conducted according to Buddhism rites. Many foreign people, in particular monotheism believers, may feel it ridiculous. But I think it was a good side of Japanese culture. Many Japanese seem to think that religious intolerance is an origin of serious conflicts, and I also agree with it.

For reference: newspaper findings
What characteristic of Japan do Japanese like best?
Safety, beautiful four seasons, diligence, delicious foods, glorious nature, moralistic mind, heritage, peace-oriented mind, non-class-based society, comfortable climate, cooperativeness

What characteristic of Japan don't Japanese like?
Closed-society, group mentality, intolerance, political system, opportunism, lack of creativity, irresponsiblility, indifference for others, homogeneous society, history during era of imperialism.