10 Mistaken Beliefs Westerners Have About Life in Japan

many Americans are incredibly fond of Japanese culture and dream one day of living and working in Japan however the truth is that what many of them think of as Japanese culture may not be entirely accurate now this doesn't mean someone who has learned a lot of language and customs and wants to spend time there will find no enjoyment but Japanese culture is not necessarily what many Westerners think it is understanding what you're dealing with before hands will help you avoid culture shock and misunderstandings and in the video we're going to help you do just that number 10 Japan has lots of vending machines but it's not so whimsical as many Westerners know Japan is the land of vending machines and at least this part isn't in itself a misconception there are an incredible amount of vending machines compared to most countries and they do come in many different sizes shapes colors and varieties they dispense everything from soda to freshly baked pizza and well everything in between however while this all sounds really neat and technological the fact of the matter is that it's actually an indicator of something not so fun and not so whimsical the United States is known for being always on the go and they consume an incredible amount of fast food while Japan is not known for being as much of a consumer of fast food they are a huge user of vending machines Japan doesn't have vending machines in order to be fun or make the city seem like something out of anime but because like in the United States people in Japan are always on the go and oftentimes that includes not just stopping for food but also for many basic supplies which can also be found in some Japanese vending machines and other reason vending machines are essential is because Japan kind of shuts down at night as most towns are very oriented towards work and they don't exactly have a crazy nightlife in reality their popularity in Japan is simply because of cultural necessity number 9 adults in Japan see manga and anime differently than Westerners many young men and women expect people to share their passion for manga and especially anime but the truth is that being super into anime as an adult it's often seen as a little weird in Japan now most Japanese adults have typically still heard of the most popular series and some may have watched a little of some of the more prominent popular anime but after childhood they just don't tend to have the sort of hobbyist level obsession that many in Western culture do as for manga the same thing sort of applies and sort of doesn't if we're talking about the kind of manga that many people think of which are mainly the same manga that have been turned into anime it's really the same situation however up saying manga in Japan is almost like saying book in many countries everyone reads manga in Japan because there is manga about everything targeted that everyone there's manga specifically targeted towards housewives businessman and everyone and everything in between number eight if you moved to Japan you may find it harder to make social connections than you thought after growing up and reading countless anime and reading all the manga they could find many young Westerners have taken steps to learn Japanese and some men darpa zsl teachers in Japan they are fulfilling a lifelong dream and enjoying a rewarding career yes many of them find it extremely hard to adjust socially which weakens their enthusiasm to settle down and create a new life there some even feel that they were almost greeted with over exuberance at first and then later the people around them some who even worked with them seems almost cold this can confuse newcomers to Japan as they try to fit in with the new social scene around them a writer for Japan times explained that the reason many people get depressed is that at first when you visit it's traditional to be polite and people will welcome you with a big party and be super friendly it's sincere in its own way but it isn't how they will treat you all the time when you are a co-worker or an acquaintance after that initial meeting they are willing to strike up a few new friendships as adults even with people from foreign countries coming to live in Japan but like many cultures they're slow to warm up the upsides of this of course is that you can build very deep friendships if you're willing to take the time and be patient number seven Japanese TV is not full of perversion during daytime hours or on normal channels many sides irresponsibly post what basically amounts to tabloid style journalism while barely throwing in any written content to begin with one of the most ridiculous of their favorite go twos is the parade of so called a Japanese game shows that display ridiculous perversions with women doing disgusting things on camera often while fully nude these sides say that these clips or pictures of game show perversion or something that you can see on regular Japanese TV but this is simply through those who went to the trouble to investigate found that TV regulators for Japan would not allow such things on something the general public was watching any more than the FCC would in the United States rather a lot of what you are being shown are often porn clips that originated from Japan and were first posted on the internet of all places and even among the game shows that did have sexier segments the vast majority have always aired extremely late at night more akin to how you might have stumbled across something like taxicab confessions if you are up past midnight in the 1990s number six Japan is not nearly as high-tech as you might imagine not so much because of anime or manga or anything of that sort but for more realistic reasons many people think of Japan as a bastion of advanced technology they've been known for their cutting edge cameras they still make very solid cars and right now many people consider them at the frontier of robotics technology however the truth is that in terms of daily life not all Japanese people are living in a high-tech Wonderland they were still using regular flip phones a few years back when most people in the US had smartphones and they still tend to rely on fax machines far more than the scanning and emailing combo that has become so popular in Western offices they also are an extremely cash-based society and most ATMs are not accessible late at night so you need to plan ahead even for that and you'd better have cash on hands because even with all the high-tech power of their vending machines most of them do not accept bank or credit cards number 5 people like to eat sushi to get a taste of Japan but it isn't eaten that often in Japan itself in the United States eating sushi is extremely popular especially among the crowd that obsesses over the latest cool clip from Dragon Ball super or the like it has become the go-to way for Westerners to get a taste of Japan however many people tend to forget that as with many countries Japanese cuisine is far more complex and varied than one type of dish sushi is a valid food to eat in Japan but the truth is that it's actually not something that is eaten in Japan particularly regularly many Japanese people actually only eat sushi out and only on special occasions the way many Western countries view sushi would be like if the Japanese thought that the only food that really counted as American was pizza and any time they wanted to try American food they Drizzt have made some other variation of pizza just like there are hundreds of other dish Amerika besides pizza hot dogs or hamburgers or whatever traditionally American cuisine you want to go with there are hundreds of other dishes in Japan besides sushi for example they grow up chicken vegetables and fish deep fried and seasoned batter soups like miso or ramen any different noodle dishes soybean dishes and so many others that we could spend many videos listing all of the different interesting things that Japanese people eat the truth is that if you want to prepare yourself for Japan you're going to need to eat a lot more than just sushi number four Japan is not nearly as perverse as in general as Westerners believe Japanese law basically has a loophole that allows certain younger beings to be depicted in sexual situations in manga as long as they aren't human enough hence the use of cat ears and such this doesn't mean most Japanese people are consumers of any of this or approve of any of it in any way shape or form while arguably some content out there could promote pedophilic interest the average Japanese person is just as disgusted by such things as you or us as we mentioned earlier there is manga of pretty much everything in Japan so of course there is manga of porn and naturally there are creeps who are going to bend the rules as much as they possibly can the most shocking content is something we hear about because of how awful it is but that doesn't mean the average Japanese person would imagine consuming such material willfully or seek such things out it's also important to remember that manga is bought by Western audiences as well so many people helping that kind of Filth to proliferate have never even been to Japan number three most people think of the Japanese as workaholics but the good old USA has them beat Americans are known around the world for having a ridiculously unwarranted positive attitude and that's well and good because if they had their illusions shattered they may not be such happy people all the time many Americans tend to think of other countries as overworked especially the Japanese and consider their own quality of life to be pretty above average however the truth is that the Americans are seeing the world through rose-colored glasses my most quantifiable metrics America is the most workaholic country in the entire world even beating out the Japanese whose culture of work is very embedded in their society Americans have less vacation time than most and are more likely to work more than 60 hours per week take fewer sick days and days off in general and are more likely to end up working overtime with extra pay the Japanese are still a hard-working culture but they're not the most addicted to work number two Japanese are considered collectivist but they can be more individualistic than you think while there are elements of truth to the claim that Japanese are collectivist and Americans are individualist there are certainly exceptions for starters even in the United States the country many people like to think of as one of the most individualistic in the world there are many examples of collectivist action or thinking when many people work together to elect a political candidate who they don't agree with on many things that who still has the right letter by their name they are taking part in a collectivist action when they decide to base an opinion not on carefully going over the facts but on what the political party they support says they are taking part in collectivist thinking also anytime you band together with others to help in a natural disaster like a hurricane you are part of a collective many Japanese people when asked state it is a misconception that they are entirely collectivist they explain that the belief in them as entirely collective is mistaken they are actually quite individual in thinking and sometimes they don't really want to work collectively either but they do so because it is the most logical way to get things done number one there is a misconception that while looking outwardly normal Japanese people are weird perhaps the silliest misconception and fun this even many who spends more time understanding Japan often fall prey to is the Japanese people a weird stereotype the media like to show all kinds of quirky things that seem bizarre out of cultural context and put a spotlight on the strangest outcasts but people would have a weird perception of your country as well if only these strangest things were highlighted in the media the media for cheap clicks wants to play to the perception that Japan is like colorful anime the reality is that much of the anime we see in the West is actually geared more toward Western interests so the reality is that people think what they're seeing is Japanese culture but what they're actually seeing is what the Japanese think that we want to see the reality is that's not lunch a pan is like a tall so I really hope you found their video interesting if you did please do hit that thumbs up button below and don't forget to subscribe brand new videos just like this every day of the week and if you're looking for something else to watch right now why not check out my other channel it's called today I found out you'll find a link to that on the screen now and as always thank you for watching you

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  • LindaPV says:

    Who wrote this crap?

  • David Smart says:

    A Japanese person I know once told me that, especially in the touristy areas, those manga and Anime loving American adults can be very aggressive in their come-ons to Japanese women. To a point where it’s a real problem. To be fare, I have a female blond haired blue eyed former Navy officer friend who said she was hit on a lot by Japanese men when she was stationed in Tokyo. She said happened a lot whenever she was off base and she didn’t like it. Apparently some Japanese men have a fetish for blond haired blue eyed Western woman.

  • sweet torment says:

    Did he say Pizza is a traditional American dish? xD Italians must sue.

  • Amal Lee says:

    Really enjoyed this. Can't wait to experience real Japanese culture…

  • Justin says:

    The Japanese have boroing words for mundane things. But whenever we get a Japanese word into English, it is usually for something bizzare that we don't yet have in our culture.

  • Elder Lemon says:


  • Heather Contois says:

    #3-we have to work so much becasue we don't get paid enough to take sick days, vacations or even a day off.

  • Over9000 says:

    But pizza is Italian…

  • Vanillastump says:

    Manga has a long O sound. Like the word like "Wrong" or "Log". It's a language thing. The way we romanize Japanese is weird.

  • ladyi7609 says:

    My mom's cousin met and married a Japanese woman while serving his first US military post in Japan in the post-WWII recovery period (later on he would fight in Korea while his wife and family stayed Stateside), so it was through her that my family learned about some genuine Japanese dishes, especially Japanese curry. Japanese curry is just about the most delicious thing I can imagine consuming and is a true Japanese comfort food dish; I prefer the kind made with regular chicken, though of course there's katsu curry or curry made with pork. Then there are rice balls, various pickled dishes, ramen (and I grew up with Sapporo Ichiban), udon noodles, miso soup, teppanyaki, and delicious snacks such as rice crackers and fruit gummies. Japanese cuisine is one of my absolute favorites and it's definitely more than just sushi, as delicious as sushi is.

  • greaterfiend says:

    Americans arent workaholics, we just arent allowed to not work.

  • Evelene Maye says:

    read anime
    watch manga
    speak 爪楊枝 (Tsumayōji)
    Get pig

  • Lir Robinson says:

    I remember Sasebo being pretty conservative and mellow. All the vending machines where crazy though.

  • Atsuko Richards says:

    Just want to say thank you for this video – from Japan.

  • AutonymousTube says:

    As someone with no first hand experience. I can assure you there really is some wacky stuff going on in Japan. It's way too cutesy. Same with S.Korea now. It is spreading.

  • Fernando Cabanillas says:

    What counts as actual USA cusine? pizza is italian, apple pie is british, hamburger is a long long story and so on… does USA have any traditional dishes of their own?

  • Eoin Nisharrig says:

    From what I see on TV is f'ed up big time especially animé. And if that's not enough how about used panties sold in vending machines?

  • Josh Turenne says:

    Not as weird as North America

  • karan dullet says:

    Japan is still weird for me

  • drmadjdsadjadi says:

    What?!? There is food other than hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza in the US?!? Could have fooled my daughters…..

  • Gravelle Art Studio says:

    Ok. I live in Japan let's see how he does.

    1. Trueish. The machines are basically drinks but Japanese don't eat on the go.

    2. True. Manga nerds aren't really cool.

    3. True, though depends on who you are and how you act

    4. True. It's just variety shows and news

    5. True, and the computers are basically trash.

    6. False. People like sushi the restaurants are very busy and it's available at the convenience store. Sure other food is available and eaten.

    7. False, lolicon without no humanizing kids is legal and porn is available and in the open at the convenience store

    8. False, just false.

    9. True

    10. True

  • Doctor Roses says:

    If the Japanese aren't dirty why do so many anime and manga have loli fetish in them?

  • GerardWay4President says:

    I’m an American living in Japan, yes, to all of this.

  • Sherwood Forest Of Geekdom says:

    This list is full of garbage. Some are true. Other are at least 20 years out of date since I experience a lot of what is wrong less then 10 years ago. Let me correct your list:

    10: Ok, fine you start off with a right one, but don't worry I am going to put your feet to the fire.
    9: Partly true. Anime like characters are all over their media. Little cartoons and color are all over signs even official ones. There is a splash on color among the dreary steel and grey.
    8: Very well, 100% true on this.
    7: I see you said day time and normal channels. This makes your statement correct. However, when the sun goes down and you turn just one corner your statement here does not hold water. Japan is a very repressed culture, but they do know how to let their hair down, and let it down they do. The night scene is just as westerns think.
    6: You done F'd up dude. Their internet is faster and cheaper than in the US. Their phones have actually 4 and 5G while other countries (with the exception of South Korea) lag behind greatly. Their mobile TV works EVERYWHERE (elevators, down in the subway, EVERYWHERE!). I used my phone to access the train station and then put it up against a vending machine. Retail uses better card security than the US. The trains. THE TRAINS! This whole debunking could be a video if I were talented enough to make it.
    5. Yes, true, but a lot of fish and rise is consumed in Japan. Though I could go for some Coco's Ichi Banya right about now… DAMN YOU FOR MAKING ME REMEMBER THAT AWESOMENESS!
    4. Like a wise man once said. A lady in the streets, but a freak in the bed. Check out the night life. It might shock you. Though there is one thing they don't do that a lot of westerners are trying to change. I won't go into details, but personal grooming could be better.
    3. Japanese people do take more vacations that the US. Because they are paid better. However, when they are at work it is much more serious business. A lot of companies have their workers come in early to clean the work space as there isn't as much in the way of janitors there. It is all part of the 5S mentality which started in Japan. Everyone shows up and cleans off the clock, even the CEO.
    2. When going from place to place I can see where this thinking comes from, and out in town they are collectivist. Everyone rides the escalator on the right side. Everyone waits for passengers to leave a train before piling in. It is very neat and ordered. That being stated, yes they are varied just like most other cultures. Just as long as they follow the rules.
    1. Their culture is unique. Every culture that is not yours has some oddities. On a whole the Japanese people just know it as living. I for one welcomed the oddities and rolled with the punches.

    I am not sure you actually visited japan, but instead are using prompts from another site or something. Do yourself and your viewers a favor. Go to a place you are talking about. Don't just listen to another site/travel blog. Go out and explore!

  • Eeasr Sebola says:

    Makes sense

  • Jeremy Smith says:

    So nothing about Godzilla? I thought this was facts about Japan 🤔

  • Michael Wahl says:

    I think the difference is that Japanese people actually do work when they go to work, versus Americans that punch in, put on their Wal-Mart smock, then stand in a group ignoring customers.

  • Wheels Lifts says:

    Adults in the us watch anime? What the hell? What is wrong with people.

  • OlagGan says:

    Actually the vending machine one is more complicated than you are making out. It's actually due to the fact thatvthe Japanese population is increasing in average age. Thus the work force is decreasing so there is neither room or enough people to run a shop in order to set up a shop selling snack food and sundries. Rather than that they have installed vending machines which can be dealt with by a man in a van rather than set up shops which would need several people to run. Also an older generation of person could easily deal with the machines rather than a younger range of people which would be needed to run a shop.

  • Luis Dominguez says:

    Hey, we Americans can be pretty weird too

  • Anonymous Libertarian says:

    3 is not true at all. The part about Japan being culturally conservative? Not since the 1950's has Japan been culturally conservative! Yes the Japanese as a whole have a different view on sex (unfortunately) and even in their Temples they practice some unseemly things.

  • Anonymous Libertarian says:

    He is so wrong on the foods segment. The Japanese consume billions of pounds of fish yearly. They are a seafood culture. Did he bother to do his research before he did this video???

  • Anonymous Libertarian says:

    4 and 5 are incorrect. Next he is going to say that Japan doesn't have HSR (high speed rail) how do I know that Japan has lots of credit card enabled vending machines? Travel Vlogs. Japan is a cash based society? Misleading. The Japanese probably use a lot of debit cards and they were using credit-card enabled vending machines almost 20 years before they came out in the USA.

  • Lexx1976 says:

    And their genitals are pixelated

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