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Japan becoming nation of unrelenting complainers

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Getting your restaurant introduced on a "gurume" (gourmet) TV show can be great for publicity. But it also has its pitfalls. Like attracting the wrong kind of clientele.

"A first-time customer demanded, 'I want the same dish you served on that TV show,'" a restaurant operator relates to Shukan Gendai (Dec 12). "When I told him, 'Sorry, but we prepared that specially for the program,' he became infuriated.

"I went to the trouble to come here, so you'd better come through!" he screeched.

To avert a blowout in front of the other patrons, the operator agreed, but this failed to console the customer. "That was not the dish I'd expected, so I won't pay for it," he huffed.

"I let him leave without paying, just to get rid of him," the operator sighs.

Japan, it seems, is fast becoming an "ichamon" society, where people don't merely raise complaints, but make false charges and pick fights at the slightest pretext.

Last July, Shinichi Sekine, author of "The Claimer Next Door," (Chuokoron Shinsha, 2007) published a "White Paper on Complaints." Of over 5,000 respondents to Sekine's questionnaire, nearly 40% noted that complaints at their workplace have been increasing of late.

The highest response was among teachers and educators, of whom 53.7% of whom said they had been directly in the line of fire.

"Until 2008, I'd been an administrator at a university for three years," a source from academia tells the magazine. "During that time, I constantly had to field claims by students' parents. Their methods were hardly different from yakuza. They would latch on to the smallest problem and demand that I acknowledge it, and apologize to them. Whenever I conceded a point they would ratchet up their claims."

The day after cream stew was served at the cafeteria of a Tokyo primary school, a parent called to confront a teacher, saying, "My kid hates stew, so yesterday he only ate bread. I want a refund for that day's lunch."

To help municipal workers deal with the growing number of aggressive claimers, the city of Toyama has produced a manual, and since found itself swamped with requests for copies by public organizations all over Japan.

"Patients are bellowing, 'Hurry up and examine me!' or 'The doctor has a bad attitude!'" sighs a worker at a university hospital in Tokyo. "The staff can't get their jobs done. So more university hospitals have been employing retired cops to deal with these 'monster patients.'"

"With so many scandals, awareness has been growing that even major corporations and famous companies can't be trusted," explains management consultant Katsuhiko Egawa. "As a result, people are more determined not to let themselves get hoodwinked or suffer a loss."

But White Paper author Sekine believes the recent barrage of bellicose objections also reflects a change in the temperament of Japanese people.

"They are not just complaining; their methods are becoming increasingly spiteful, such as demanding money or an apology in writing," he points out.

"I think a key factor may be the declining sense of contentment."

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

80 Comments
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"A Nation of Children" are beginning to bite themselves in the butt. They are finally starting to acknowledge something that foreigners have known for a longtime. There are a lot of immature people in this country. I believe it is something that is taught.

On the other side, it seems more people are taking advantage of Japanese cultural tendencies to avoid confrontation or embarrassment. As times get rough more and more will be working the system.

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This could be something Japanese people wanted to do for a very very long time but had been restricted by national customs, habits. Now the can of worm is openned, people will over do it at first, but then will back to normal but more just society...perhaps.

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Wow, at last someone other than foreigners are raising this issue. Maybe something will finally change. Though the other great common problem qualities such as obstruction, intransigence, narrow vision, set menu thinking and general self absorbtion are equally displeasing and equally common place.

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These are the new "Libs" -wait until they try to take over like in the U.S., Paris, UK.

Illegal immigrants fighting and marching in the streets. Demanding free healthcare, school and jobs Bizarre new social norms No responsibility and don't pay taxes

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Complaining serves a purpose when its needed (stubborn or stupid staff with no knowledge of procedures or making a mess of a transaction), but I've seen plenty of examples lately of furious customers ranting at staff and stalking around for long lengths of time, well after they've made their point and extracted an apology. It seems like there's also a very fine line between the common tactic in Japan, of hammering the guilty party until a genuine apology or reflection has been reached- And bullying. I always feel bad for staff who have to deal with this as it is pretty degrading and affects other customers who are waiting for their service. The last time I saw a guy ranting in a restaurant like this, it was really good to see the other staff back up the waitress who was being abused, and they even came around later to apologise for the scene and interruption!

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"I let him leave without paying, just to get rid of him"

I wouldn't have.

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Come on admit it. There's a lot to complain about in this "moushiakigozamasen" society. Why would a restaurant knowingly prepare a dish for the media that it doesn't serve. It's a sure way to get complaints. Goid on you little sheep, bite the wolf. (just no violence please)

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Heck, as long as Japan doesn't become a nation of unrelenting suers.

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Sarge. Interesting point. Just to give a business owner's or manager's point of view, you can argue with people like this or take other measures, but you eventually spend a whole lot more time on it than it is worth. Alternatively, if you let it go, people will walk all over you. My experience in Japan is that the kooks are really quite few overall. I guess the type of business makes a difference, but I think that is generally true for Japan.

Just to add a new dimension to the discussion, I would say that businesses are to blame for this kind of stuff to a great degree. Advertising has become a medium for wild claims and empty promises. Almost none of it is really true. Look at the advertisements on this page! Crazy claims. It is hard to cheat an honest man, and honest business proposals and reasonable prices protect a lot of businesses from weirdoes. Advertising on TV and then expecting NOT to get flakes is wishful thinking. Gullible people are ultimately ignorant, helpless people who will believe they are being cheated. Many times they are.

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=I am gullible and easily indoctrinated =I have no right to be angry since I don't know that I am angry or why I would even be angry.

=The Gov is not doing a good job programming these people. The media must do a better job to make sure this populace is perpetually happy.

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You got it wrong, Japan is a land of non complainers, people used to just go along with the flow but now are sticking up for themselves. There are a ton of stupid things in Japan that go on, like all school children have to eat the same lunch, Japan needs to realize that people complain because something is wrong (most of the time).

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Heck, as long as Japan doesn't become a nation of unrelenting suers.

but one of the problems is that there is no other recourse when you are treated unfairly. business here also take advantage of the japanese nature of avoiding confrontation.

as for hospitals, when they keep you waiting for hours even when you do have an appointment, i would complain too.

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I think that Japanese people have been eating it for a looooonngggg time but just like the old adage says "Just because someone smiles when they hand you a bag of s#$t, doesn't mean you have to take it". As biglittleman said, people have been taking the pi$$ here for far to long especially the banks and government. Today let them complain about soup because hopefully tomorrow they will complain about getting ripped off at every turn and force change.

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‘I want the same dish you served on that TV show,’”, Japanese people are plain DUMB. Once I was at a bar, as usual, and one j-idiot asked for a tequila that robert deniro drinks in a movie. I wanted to slap him. why people are so dumb here? d u m b

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A segment of society here is becoming angry and bitter, just like the conservative tea baggers in the USA who hate without reason or cause of any sort.

The recent change in government from the out of step and totally corrupt LDP to a new party is another sign that consumers in Japan have had enough of being ripped off. But the way to change that is via reform, no whining endlessly like so many angry shallow conservatives do over and over again on this board.

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i think the complainer had a valid point. youre making a dish just for tv ? that could be seen as fraud-he had a legitimate right to expect they would make it if he went there. refusing to pay and saying didnt taste like i expected is nonsense though

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That TV dish was the advertisement that so aroused desire that customers made time and closed distances to get to it. Advertizers are obliged to not frustrate them.

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I have complained in restaurants here...did so last Saturday actually. But, I asked to talk to the head chef in private. He offered to buy me a new meal. I said no way, but please take my suggestion seriously, and I paid for the meal. Maybe the Japanese should study how us polite foreigners make complaints and follow suit. (But then again, a boss in a company here will lay into a worker right in front of everyone, but we do not do that...use a private office to register the problem)

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This report is backing up my observation that Japanese do mistake "individualism" with "selfishness"; this and that now the new generation educated under the paradigm of "relaxed education" is flooding out of University into society will make things ugly.

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A universal motto for businesses. Except in Japan its followed by an asterisk.

The Customer is King*

*as long as they take whatever we offer and shut their pie holes.

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I just walked out of an izakaya without saying anything or paying once because the service was so terrible. That's the way to do it.

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Once I was booked on the limousine bus from Narita to Shinjuku. Every seat was full when I boarded and the one empty seat was next to a Japanese man who was so overloaded with omiyage that I was left with basically one-half a seat with the rest of my bottom hanging out over the aisle. It was a very uncomfortable 90 minutes. (I am not particularly large, incidentally.) There was simply not enough room to sit down and the man couldn't squeeze his hoard of souvenir whisky and tobacco into the tiny, narrow rack up above. So upon arrival at the station I went to the window and complained that I had paid for a seat, not half a seat, and that it was the driver's job do deal with problems like this (he must have seen me in his rearview mirror). I'd barely delivered one sentence when the man at the window refunded my entire fare on the spot. Actually I felt let down because I would have hoped that it would go into a report, but I think the limousine bus operators' idea of troubleshooting is simply to pay off complaints with no questions asked -- without any real intention of remedying the underlying cause.

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I reward good food/service by returning. When I changed offices 2 years ago it took me about 1 year to find 4-5 good lunch places. Most places have bad food or service. Once I find a good place though I keep going.

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Hehe, staff in Japan can surely panic with complaining customers. Not all places, but some...

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declining sense of contentment

Contentment has been declining in Japan for some time now. Deference to societal norms is no longer normal. God help Japan when it all comes undone.

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“I went to the trouble to come here, so you’d better come through!” he screeched.

real men don't screech...j-'men', on the other hand..........

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A nation of unrelenting complainer?

Did the reporter interview my wife? I got grief the other day for watering the garden too hard.

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Well lets take my example to make a point. When I was rich and earning a lot of free money I was everyone`s fav guy. Then I got sick and thin and lost my money. Now I complain about everything and everyone complains about me !!

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I got grief the other day for watering the garden too hard.

OMG!!!

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The article is classic "bait and Switch" When will Japanese consumer learn the difference? And when will the JGov outlaw the practice? Remember when NHK 2-3 years ago announced that Softbank was going online with their new business and Cell phones? Remember when it was reported that new customers would get their phones for FREE? But then when you got to the store, you learned that to Soft Bank Free means for the first month then you pay for it monthly after that......bait and switch.....Their answer was it was illegal to give phones away. Guess its not illegal to offer them for free on TV. Jcompanies lie to their customers everyday to justify their ridiculous prices for consumer goods. Then in the end the public learns that they've been eating substandard food and waering substandard clothes. Made in China for a Japanese price!

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‘I want the same dish you served on that TV show,’ people here are super dumb. I was at a bar and some idiot asked for the "robert deniro" tequila. soooooooooooooooo stupid.

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The problem is, Japanese never USE to complain because it was faux pas to disturb the 'neighbour's wa (harmony)'. You had to 'gaman' everything. Now some people are starting to complain, and like the kids contributing to classroom breakdown they realize there is no real system in place to deal with said breakdown. In schools, for example, teachers relied on corporal punishment, and that was rightly done away with. In its place? NOTHING! Kids were expected to go on obeying and when they stopped, the teachers and system could do nothing.

Slowly but surely their parents realized they could make demands of teachers and while they morally SHOULDN'T, there's nothing the teacher could do to deny their commands. Hence, 'monster parents'. In the remaining prefectures with school lunch systems some 40% or more of parents simply refuse to pay into the system, and since nothing can be done about it the other parents who DO pay are expected to shoulder the costs.

Now we're seeing it in restaurants -- customers complaining beyond reason simply because they want a free lunch, and what is the restaurant in question ultimatey going to do? It is far easier to simply let the person go than to call the police and complain, try to get money back, etc. And the police won't do anything anyway.

Japan has been complaining for a long time, they just haven't piped up to the tone they are now for fear of being reprimanded. Now that they now there is no one to tell them off or threaten them, they know they have power. In other words, expect a lot more of this... or expect a lot more 'restaurants' that require you to purchase a ticket from a vending machine before you are served.

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"They would latch on to the smallest problem and demand that I acknowledge it, and apologize to them. Whenever I conceded a point they would ratchet up their claims."

Oh so true of the Japanese!!! This has happened to me too many times at work... somebody finds a TINY subjective problem and treats it as if I've stuffed up majorly. I then say "actually I thought it was pretty good... the customers liked it too..." they'll keep hammering away at how they don't like it.

Finally I concede and just say "look if it means so much then fine... maybe next time I'll change it... if there even is a next time... given it's and obscure, meaningless, isolated incidence..."

This gives them a foot hold to just keep on upping the ante until I just walk out saying "shut up!!! I'm gonna go have a beer..."

They then don't see the irony when they tell me "we are modest compared to you westerners..." yeah... the fact you're telling me proves your stance on that one buddy...

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"Did the reporter interview my wife? I got grief the other day for watering the garden too hard."

haha. It can't be the water. It has to be something else. Good luck figuring out what it is. Why do husbands die younger than their wives? Because they want to... haha.

SmithinJapan is right. I feel terrible for anyone involved in education these days. Nobody has a backbone, so you are pretty well on your own, I reckon. And yes, in business, especially in service businesses, people with way too much time on their hands will game the system. There are plenty of out and out whackos too, walking around pretending to be normal people.

This all works itself out in most cases. I don't want to say that blacklisting exists, but I do know of businesses that avoid certain types of clients who are likely to cause trouble. Other businesses treat good customers like gold.

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What can you expect in a nation of lying companies, misleading advertisements, and profit-first screw the customer mentality? Maybe some paybacks are overdue!

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TV customer... Easy solution... don't eat there if it doesn't meet your fancy. I have no idea what they made for TV, why they did it, or the surrounding context. Maybe it was a show on seafood, so the chef made sashimi, although he runs a yakiniku joint...

Meh who knows?

Either way... I hate people badgering away over issues that are never going to be fixed in their favour.

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smithinjapan: I think you are right. Japanese people are not used to making complaints about services and now that they are speaking up more perhaps they have no guidelines as to how to do it tactfully. I remember asking students to give me an example of when they complained about something but they couldn't come up with one.

kyoken: You have a good point too. The upcoming generations do seem to be more selfish and less concerned about what other people think of them.

Complaining can be a good thing for consumers. It can pressure businesses to provide better products & services. But just shouting at someone and making a fuss is not going to create any positive changes. All you really have to do is take your business elsewhere next time.

Wouldn't want to be a teacher in the Japanese school system. They have pressure from all sides: students, parents and administrators.

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Ironically, the people quoted in this article ,are, themselves,

unrelenting complainers

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I generally have superb service in Japan and usually all you have to do is mention a problem to have it resolved with a lot of gomennasai-ing.

Japanese people are more likely to be retiscent about complaining and more likely to withhold their future custom than make a scene. I do not really recognise the picture above of childish whingers.

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This is so true, especially referring to the 'monster parents' harassing school teachers. The teachers have become so scared of these monster parents they take no action at all on the kids and then, when the monsters complain about their kid's grades the teachers will say thousand sorry and excuse me and juggle the kid's scores to appease the monsters. Meanwhile, the public school system is going to hell in a handbag turning Japan's declining workforce into a bunch of un-educated, self-indulgent PSP masters. It's fun to watch.

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Some of you obviously don't live in the real world of Japan. In the enterprise world of IT the Japanese don't take any sh*t if a problem arises and they make sure every member of the party knows about it and that the problem is fixed promptly. Some actually commit suicide, but for the most part that's the level of service they have come to expect. Anything less and then it's a shouting match on the phone, an official letter of apology, gifts, money back and a few bows... among other things.

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The thing is, these places complaining about the complainer don't have a backbone to tell them to shut up and go away. The who "waruguchi" thing - they are scared that people will complain about them - just as teachers are afraid of getting fired. To be honest, many schools will support the teacher IF the teachers asks for help in dealing with parents. The thing is, most won't for fear of looking weak. They deserve to be trested this way if they don't have the confidence to stand up for themseleves.

As for the "I saw it on Tv" I don't blame the customer for being pissed. If you saw something in TV and is was used as a selling point, why wouldn't you expect it at the store. It is like Disney using Mickey and Minnie to lure people in and then claiming "It was just for Tv". False ads. Japan needs to get a better business section and deal with such crap.

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Japanese United is the same. Advertising a "All Inclusive Fair" and when I inquired on what days I could go, Anytime in January, February, or March, they replied, check it yourself. We don't help. Almost every restaurant in Japan says one thing then give you another. Seen stickers on things that say one price but when you go to the register a higher one comes up. When they see the sign, they say, o it was a mistake. You have to pay the higher one. Japan has no sense of customer service any more. This guy who went to the restruant to get something he saw them prepare, is completely justified in getting upset. good for him. Japan needs more of them.

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Ive seen this type of thing in Japan for years and have often wondered why this is so prevelent. For some reason companies, hospitals, schools and restraunts are deathly afraid of complaints to the point of it being illogical. Most Japanese I know are very immature when it comes to dealing with conflict and social skills in general.

Here is some unsolicited advice...

-Its ok to say "no" to someone. You can say "no" in a polite way, especially if you explain why you are saying "no".

-Set boundries in your relationships, personal and professional, and maintain the boundries when they repeatedly get tested. This means you might have to fire someone, quit a job, break up with someone, stop hanging around certain people, ask someone to leave your place of business, call the cops on someone, ask to speak to a manager etc when conflicts arise.

-Be fair and respectful but firm and consistant.

-Dont confuse apologizing with losing face/being bullied. Of course if there is a mistake apologize and show empathy. But everyone deserves to be treated with a basic level of respect.

Come to think of it...this advice is basically the same way to deal with children.

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Japanese people are good at coping anything from abroad.

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Japanese people are good at copying anything from abroad

Given the comments on this topic (or just about any other on JT) I'd agree that the foreign community is years ahead of Japan when it comes to being unrelating complainers.

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“A first-time customer demanded, ‘I want the same dish you served on that TV show,’” a restaurant operator relates to Shukan Gendai (Dec 12). “When I told him, ‘Sorry, but we prepared that specially for the program,’ he became infuriated.

“I went to the trouble to come here, so you’d better come through!” he screeched.

I would have told him something like "Don't go away angry, just go away". If it's my restaurant, I wouldn't have made him anything.

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Jcompanies lie to their customers everyday to justify their ridiculous prices for consumer goods. Then in the end the public learns that they've been eating substandard food and waering substandard clothes.

I wonder if Japan has the equivalent of a Better Business Bureau?

The ridiculous price thing kills me. If you try to offer something for a decent price, a Japanese person will automatically assume it isn't any good. Which is the reason why WalMart couldn't make Seiyu work.

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I once complained in the Spanish restaurant in Ikebukuro. The were offering some Spanish cheese variety and we've got was "baby" cheese probably costing less than 10% of what the original one would cost. I think they though we wouldn't know the difference. I asked the waiter what cheese is what they served us, paid for what we ordered without waiting to be served and got the hell out of the place.

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Regarding the angry guy in the restaurant story - I think the guy is right... If he sees the show where they heavily advertise that place, with delicious dishes costing only a few hundred yens and he later decides to actually try it by himself only to hear that those were actually plain lies done for the terebi camera, he has the right to be angry.

It is called false advertising, punishable by law in any country.

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I'd agree that the foreign community is years ahead of Japan when it comes to being unrelating complainers.

Yeah? Good! That's why prices for goods and services everywhere else are reasonable, companies are held accountable for mislabeling food or false advertising, and borderline extortionary fees such as "brotherhood fees", "friendship fees", the annual vehicle inspection fees, and reikin are outlawed (just to name a few!).

If the people stay quiet, then they get walked on. Complain away! Maybe people will agree with you.

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Actually, service outside of Japan is usually laughably horrible. Good service doesn't come from complaints, it comes from hard work.

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That guy has every right to complain! The restaurant is ripping off people by advertising something they don't even sell.

Now if only people would complain about the bigger things like crap working conditions or corrupt politicians...

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My theory:

Conforming and maintaining “harmony” is (as we all know) the Japanese Prime Directive A1, bar none.

But, it only applies within your “group” ie the group in which you yourself fit into a hierarchical structure. And since the key word here is “hierachical” you never, ever, ever show any displeasure toward those higher than you, you never present ideas to them, you never offer opinions, you never basically do anything that in anyway could be construed as “conflicting” or “challenging”. This creates a huge amount of frustration, a constant sense of marginalization for every one except the people at the top of the pyramid.

But, again given the tate shakai, it is perfectly OK to release your full wrath on those below you. And given the bonds of steel that bind you within the group you do belong to, and the frustration that brings, you need that release on a very basic level.

So, if you’re in a shop or a restaurant as the kyaku-sama, waaaaay higher up than the measly shop assistant, that’s what you do. You cannot lash back at those above in the hierarchy, but you can at those below you and those that are in no way related to you.

In other words, for most people here, communicating as more-or-less equals is not something that happens in everyday life, and therefore does not become part of the way people think and reason.

People talk a lot about people here being very “respectful” and “polite”—but it only applies upward in the pyramid or within certain settings where Japanese custom says you should be polite.

Add to that the fact that people here are taught from Day 1 On Earth to always be perfectly consistent, never ever ever ever make a single mistake, always BE "perfect"—and you have a quite a powderkeg.

Maybe this theory is not 100% correct; it doesn’t seem to work in some situations. But I think it’s fairly accurate, and seems to explain quite a lot of the (to me) irrational behaviour I see here.

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Most Japanese don't complain. It's the same 10% of people complaining all the freakin time about everything. I think they almost enjoy it.

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You will all love this.

I was informed 30 minutes ago that my flight reservations, made in August, for my family's Christmas Holiday, and subsequently paid for, have been, in fact, cancelled. It was a US air carrier. They could not fill their flight, so they just cancelled it. Ta-dah!!

Do you think I should complain?

I am livid. What is the world coming to?

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Most assuredly, in this age of shoddy business practices, people have plenty to complain about. I can hardly blame people for making a habit of complaining if others make a habit of ripping them off.

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A lot of interesting posts. In the first case, this was a TV show and not an advertisement so I think the guy had very unrealistic expectations. However, there does need to be laws and regulations against false advertising to protect consumers.

I have to say that people here do seem to put up with a lot of BS (apartment fees, unpaid overtime) and perhaps they feel powerless to change the big issues so instead they complain about trivial things.

I think it's also true that respect can sometimes be a one-way street here and that really needs to change if people are going to live together happily and peacefully. Plus, it's much easier to complain to a stranger and vent your frustrations than confront someone you care about to create a better relationship.

I think people who have good personal relationships and who are basically content with their lives are not likely to b!tch as much. If you feel you have personal power, you don't complain, you give constructive feedback, try to change the situation or you just get out! It's the people who feel powerless and miserable who will whine about pretty much anything. Id rather live by the motto--Pick your battles--and save my energy for something worth b!ching about.

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Good points dolphingirl. I have found J companies to be great and people should really turn that frown upside down.

I am kind of wondering what to do about the 5000 dollar investment in a vacation that went up in smoke today, tho... That is cash. Not credit.

A Japanese airline would never have done this to me. I think that the word "reservation" has lost its meaning in the English language. I think that I am emotional about this because I find it unbelievable. I made a real promise with real money. Truly I committed myself and my family's holiday to this company. CASH, peeps!

What makes it most galling is that this was the last US carrier that had NOT jerked me around one way or another. Now US carriers are a perfect 5 for 5 at cancelling flights, missing schedules, losing things, etc. This would have been the second time I flew with them.

Someone about 30 posts ago made the comment that the only vote we have is our wallet. It is true. So true. I will fight to get my money back from this US airline as soon as I can and make other arrangements as fast as I can. I will keep all of my paperwork and I will have a story to tell whenever the name of this airline comes up. Scrooge? Grinch? Bah humbug. I know of a company that ruins Christmas holidays with emails and form letters and broken promises.

With that, I relent.

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complaining can be great constructive feedback - as long as the person you're complaining to is the person responsible...

i know of a parent who spent his parent conference (his son is 4) telling the teacher how much he hates an unruly classmates mother and why doesn't the school do anything about her. he even went over his appointed time by 25 minutes just complaining - no mention of his own son.

what did he expect to get back from this complaining?!

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The restaurant customer had a right to believe that the food cooked on the show would be representative of the actual food served in the restaurant. In all honesty, the chef probably regrets giving people a false impression. He just better hope photos of his food doesnt end up on to many J-food blogs with bad comments.

As for the "monster parents" they are spoilt brats themselves and need a taste of reality. A trip to North Korea may leave them a little more grateful to those providing essential services around them.

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The ridiculous price thing kills me. If you try to offer something for a decent price, a Japanese person will automatically assume it isn't any good. Which is the reason why WalMart couldn't make Seiyu work.

that is not true, seiyu is doing very well now in the down times, so is uniqlo and so is mickie ds

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I think this is why Japanese coperations sometimes dont like to serve foreigners, because they know foreigners will complain out loud.

I paid through my nose just to rent a house, u pay huge for everything, and sincerely speaking, is usually not that great.

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The more you think you got them figured out, the more puzzling they become; it's all very tiresome but I enjoyed reading the posts. I also hope they complain till it gets so bad that big changes will have to take place, one way or another, if possible on all aspects of living and working here.

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What can you call people who acream about such petty things? Argh-souls?

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Anybody that SELLS anything is under no obligation to provide any kind of service whatsoever. You give them money, they give you product. You don't like it, go someplace else. They provide enough DECENT service, they'll stay in business. They don't, they won't.

Of course, whenever you build a society under the model of the government is the mommy and the daddy, and the people are the kids, who are dependent on the wisdom of the government, people tend to only know how to complain like children. Put the whole of the problem on the provider, and demand they "give" you exactly what you want. Just like the kids do in kindergarten.

That goofball that was complaining his dish wasn't available should be forced to visit the Soup Nazi.

NO SOUP FOR YOU! GET OUT!

I'm also reminded of that scene from "Fast Times From Ridgemont High"

"It says that If I'm not a hundred percent satisfied, I get a refund!"

"If you don't shut up, I'm gonna kick a hundred percent of your a$$!"

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The idea of "the customer is always right" does not work in Japan.

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‘I want the same dish you served on that TV show,’”, Japanese people are plain DUMB. Once I was at a bar, as usual, and one j-idiot asked for a tequila that robert deniro drinks in a movie. I wanted to slap him. why people are so dumb here? d u m b

Oh, and people in America or wherever you're from (where you need to take your a$$ back to) are absolute geniuses. With an attitude like that I don't blame Japanese folks for not liking gaijin.

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tranel, good post.

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‘Sorry, but we prepared that specially for the program,’

Restaurateurs shouldn't do that. Make dishes on tv shows that they don't serve in their restaurants I mean. It's misleading, unless the restaurant's name is never mentioned on the programme (like hell.)

Still the customer shouldn't have behaved like a spoilt kid. But some people behave like that, including in movies. If the Japanese are becoming more like this it's probably because they see it on trashy Hollywood movies and think it's acceptable in other countries, therefore they ought to join in. It's not actually acceptable anywhere, but it certainly does happen in western countries so it's not so surprising that the Japanese are following. Britain followed America, and Japan is following both.

God help us all.

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Yeap! It's getting bad out there. Just completely spoiled!

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problem is japanese don't know the right time nor places to complain. they seem to just do it for the sake of doing it. even in nice places with good food & good service it seems they rave on.

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cwhite: "In the enterprise world of IT the Japanese don't take any sh*t if a problem arises and they make sure every member of the party knows about it and that the problem is fixed promptly."

And sadly there is a word for people in those companies and others who suffer the ultimate fate of those who cannot stand up to the complaints/unrealistic demands of seniors, it's called 'karoshi'.

UnagiDon: And then there's Unagi! One of the infamous 'Japan is NEVER wrong' posters, who can really only ever back up his 'arguments' with the 'you are a foreigner'.

"Given the comments on this topic (or just about any other on JT) I'd agree that the foreign community is years ahead of Japan when it comes to being unrelating complainers."

Case in point. The only difference, which with the blinders it's hard for him to notice, if the posts on this or other threads are unrelenting in their criticism, it's justified. He won't even bother to acknowledge whether or not he feels the man used as the example at the beginning of the article is justified in his complaints or not. Nope. Of course his retort to my comment will also probably just be some cut and paste 'bounces off to me and sticks to you' type 'argument'. :)

Relax, Unagi... this isn't an anti-whaling thread.

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Look, I stand behind what I said about the schools and what not, and there being a lack of system or general day-to-day common sense in terms of dealing with complainers. But of COURSE there are instances when not relenting in complaints is warranted, but in the case in question, and many others, it is not. THAT is the problem in Japan, that does not exist in too many other places. Try complaining like this at a busy deli in New York and see what happens. If the complain is valid, you compensate the complainer by some means. If not, you should be able to refuse them and if need be tell them off.

There are two types in Japan:

the aforementioned unrealistic and unrelenting complainers: generally suffer from a sense of extreme insecurity and take this out on others, knowing that the others will do nothing and they will get what they want. A prime example of this are the fools in the black trucks, and until recently the LDP.

the 'gaman' everything type: they would do anything BUT complain or go against a complainer. They don't even look sideways at someone smoking in a non-smoking area because the person (undoubtedly one of the above types) will probably throw them in front of a train. They would move out of a house before addressing the noise a neighbour's dog is making, and pay the money for the rough looking criminal who shoplifts instead of calling the police.

This of course ultimately comes down to the fact that, again, there is no system to deal with it. The police never do anything until after a crime is committed, and even then it has to usually be a 'serious' crime. You can't call the police when students are fighting like they want to make Crows Zero 3, or if a customer is stealing from you (until it's been three months of failed promises to pay, like in the case a couple weeks back). It's just 'easier' to ignore it, accept it, and hope it goes away.

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Badsey

These are the new "Libs" -wait until they try to take over like in the U.S., Paris, UK.

Illegal immigrants fighting and marching in the streets. Demanding free healthcare, school and jobs Bizarre new social norms No responsibility and don't pay taxes

This is probably the dumbest post yet. What does complaining at restaurants and such have to do with political liberalism, or any political philosophy? Your post essentially boils down to "These damn kids today grumble grumble get off my lawn!" I love how conservatives paste the "Lib" label on anything they don't like. Why don't you ask some of the hard-core complainers about their political beliefs? You may be surprised.

I gotta say, though--I sympathize with the guy who went to the restaurant wanting what he saw on TV. I would be frustrated, too, since the TV shows of that type that we usually see are meant to be extended commercials for the restaurants. I wouldn't throw a tantrum about it, though.

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Wouldn't be related to stress by any chance would it????

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Biglittleman said it best, this country is so 5 yr. old. In everything they do from driving to believing stupid lies from companies. This is a nation that thinks wearing a little band made of whatevermetal will make you well, that hair products and skin creams in ads will work miracles, that companies actually care about you, that electronics are supposed to be thousands of dollars even though they're sold cheaper globally. Look at all the past stories here where lovers break up and one of them is killed, can you say immature?

"A Nation of Children" are beginning to bite themselves in the butt. They are finally starting to acknowledge something that foreigners have known for a longtime. There are a lot of immature people in this country. I believe it is something that is taught.

On the other side, it seems more people are taking advantage of Japanese cultural tendencies to avoid confrontation or embarrassment. As times get rough more and more will be working the system.

tldr; Japan will never grow up...just a bunch of kids running a nation.

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"Japan, it seems, is fast becoming an 'ichamon' society, where people don’t merely raise complaint, but make false charges and pick fights at the slightest pretext."

Isn't this what happened to "toughman" Terence Lee? He got bumbed by a department store clerk, and decidee to take the Clerk aside to "talk" abut it....only to end up gettign his kiester kicked, and filing a police report (and having the man arrested) for a fight he picked!

And I agree about the complaints coming at educators and school administrators. A mother complained to the college administration where I was teaching, demanding to meet me, the English Department Chiar, and the College President to explain why her son didn't pass my class. When I showed the Vice-President that the boy in question had missed 80% of his classes, turned in no homework, tests, projects, nor reports, and failed all of his tests, it silenced her.

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I will admit though that the bait and switch thing works a lot here, and is often used. My wife and I went to a seminar in Tokyo that we were led to believe was a live event....only to find out that it was a DVD played on a huge screen down front. We didn7t go bac kfor the resto fthat day or the next....

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Japan, stop complaining. It could be worse -- you could have the narcissist Obama as your fearless leader, and then you'd really have something to complain about.

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