Gaijin Stories

These short stories are a collection of my experiences while living in Tokyo. I hope people wishing to learn more about Japan and gaijin in japan wishing to compare experiences will find them interesting. I also hope some Japanese people will find a gaijin's perspective interesting reading as well.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Introduction - Japanese Culture

It's easy to be critical and disgusted by other cultures, if we only look at them on the surface. If we think about and understand other cultures deeply, we can appreciate them more. We can also learn about ourselves and become more cultured people. A kiwi friend, who also lives in Tokyo, once said to me “Being in Japan makes me a better person”. Learning about Japan and Japanese people is not only interesting and educational but also spiritually uplifting.

If you are in Japan, plan to visit Japan in the future, or know one or more Japanese people, I recommend that you stay open and positive to learning about Japan to make the most of your travel experiences and friendships. The short stories in this blog can be read in numerical order or read randomly choosing by title. The storiess progress from relatively obvious cultural differences to more difficult to understand and intriguing differences. If you have lived in Japan, you’ll probably enjoy reading the latter stories more.

Like most things in life, we learn mostly by experience. We can’t learn everything from reading but reading can help us think and speed up the learning process and give us new perspectives. Each short story shares an experience and touches on unique features of Japanese culture, often specific to Tokyo. I hope your reading stimulates thought and speeds up the learning from your real-life experiences, so that you can understand and appreciate Japan more and more.


  • At July 04, 2005 1:09 PM, Blogger David said…

    Hi David,

    I read your essay. I think that
    we have many countries where the people follow a specific
    way in the world. Countries which have a long history
    tend to have specific way to follow, especially when a
    country is formed by one ethnicity, as long as I have
    seen. A multi-cultural country, a mono-cultural country,
    an old country, a new country. They are different even before
    discussing a feature of the people. In my eyes even
    Australia is less liberal than California in the U.S. I
    know many people look down the U.S. though and I do not
    admire it either but I feel that California is very
    open-minded and it causes many problems.

    By the way, could you tell me how to use English Blog?

  • At July 04, 2005 1:25 PM, Blogger David said…

    Yes I agree. Japanese is quite monocultural don't you think? That is why it is very interesting for me andfor other visitors. There are many cities in the US and the people are different in each city. They are like different nationalaties.
    So you think Australia isn't as liberal as the US? I've met many types of people from both countries so I can't compare the countries so easily. But as you indicated, liberty has its good points and bad.
    As for making an English Blog, I'll send you an email.
    Thanks for your comments.


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