I saw a TV program interviewing foreign people who have been living in Japan for a while. They were asking about “The moment where you first got used to Japan”. They talked about things that seems common to us Japanese in their answers, and I suddenly realized that those things might be weird to foreigners.
Konnichiwa, It’s Koheiヽ(^。^)ノ
Some of the answers are …
When I’m bowing on the phone,
When I can tell correct age of Japanese people,
When I apologize often,
When I get used to seeing people who wear a mask in town,
When I talk about weather in greetings,
You might need some explanation for some of them. Please refer to the bottom of this entry.
Regarding the greeting about weather, the interviewee is from Taiwan. She said it is always hot in Taiwan and there is no need to talk about the weather. Japan has four seasons and people are conscious about the seasons and weather. That’s right. We often talk about weather in greetings. I really appreciate that we have beautiful four seasons.
Now, it’s one of the best seasons of the year here in my area. We have a dry and comfortable weather. Therefore, some festivals and events are held around the town almost every weekend. This weekend I attended one of the events. It was a workshop about painting your own raku ware. Jah!
This is where we had the workshop.
Some people bow when they thank and apologize on the phone, even though the other person cannot see you. I, myself, might do it sometimes, hahaha…
Japanese people relatively look younger than people from other nations. It seems difficult for foreigners to tell the age of Japanese. How about me? How old do I look? I don’t think I’m an exception. … Well, I’m thirty eight. Do I look young?
We seem to apologize often. It is natural to us but it doesn’t seem that way at other countries.
**Wearing a mask**
In Japan, people wear a mask when you have a cold or hay fever. You see some people wearing a mask in town, especially during the seasons where cold and hay fever are common (from winter to spring). The country where this interviewee comes from doesn’t have such custom and she thought they are terrorists or something.