As Westerners, what are some things we should know about Japanese society and culture?
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08-10-12, 8:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
This is the one I'd have to disagree with the most and perhaps just say it's wrong. If someone invited you to do something accept the first time if you ever want to do anything with them. It's very common in Japan that if you turn down an invite the first time the person will feel that maybe you're just not interested and won't ask you again. This is some thing I've experienced and been warned about a number of times. If you ever want to do things with people, do not turn it down the first time, bad idea. Bringing gifts though, that is a biggy. Make sure to do that.
That's odd, classically this isn't the attitude of a Honne & Tatamae society.
Perhaps things are changing with the newer generation throwing away inefficient formalities.
Man there really are a shitload of rules in Japan o_o
There are a shitload of rules in every country.
Compared to America?
Yeah, all countries have a lot of rules. America is no exception. America would be things like how public transportation works (it is frequently late; requiring you to plan your trips well with a buffer) or ways to avoid getting mugged. You just don't realize these "rules" because you have lived them your whole life. A person visiting for the first time will be able to tell you odd things about your society that you never imagined.
Comparatively speaking the culture demands that Japanese follow a lot more rules. Going up the social ladder generally imposes more rules, although this is becoming more and more history, with 'upper-classes' giving less than two cents of a care for 'proper etiquette.' I mean, they probably won't just start cursing and swearing for no reason, but there isn't any big list of "don'ts" that is followed today.