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What Japanese habits have you adopted since moving to Japan?

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"Aisatsu" - ittekkimasu, okaerinasai, gochisosama, otsukaresama, yoroshiku, . . . and on and on.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Shoes off indoors.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

palm down "come here" motion

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Constantly grunting 'uhn,..uhn' while having a conversation.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Being more reserved, not hugging as much, not shaking hands.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

One of the things that used to make me laugh when I first came to Japan was seeing people pick up a phone and bow to the caller.

What was even funnier was, a few months later, when I found myself doing it!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Pointing to my nose. Calling my friends by their surname. Taking it for granted that trains and buses will run on time. Expecting shop/wait staff to pay attention to me and to be grateful for my custom, however little I spend. Using an ear-pick.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I find it a bit childish for adults to call each other by first names, even though I grew up in cultures where that was the norm. The "Ron and Yasu" act by Reagan and Nakasone seemed embarrassing.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

When I shop @ COSTCO, I'm so surprised how big the products are.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Slurping solid food

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Running just-turned-red lights.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Taking off my shoes when I enter a residence or temple, saying 'gomen nasai' a lot, and bowing even more than saying sorry.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Pretending to work hard and producing little. This was more incremental I must say.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Running just-turned-red lights.

Didn't own a car here until a few months ago. I always thought it shocking as well. Now I understand, the yellow lights are not long enough.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

the yellow lights are not long enough.........

Or you are speeding. Try driving the speed limit and you won't have a problem.... oh and get off the ass of the car in front of you and you will have time to brake for the light instead of following it through the light.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

FizzBit

Watch out for the truck drivers who start to pull off just before their own light turns green (probably the same people who happily sail through a five-seconds-old red).

I always sit out the first few seconds of a green as insurance.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Or you are speeding. Try driving the speed limit and you won't have a problem.... oh and get off the ass of the car in front of you and you will have time to brake for the light instead of following it through the light.

Who pissed in your coffee this morning? Quite a remarkable accusation.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

getting red-faced fall-down drunk in public with no repercussions of any kind.

picking my nose on the train.

not washing my hands after going number 2 or 3.

wearing cheap black suits.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Gaman. Sighing with my coworkers in the morning elevator. Have learnt to embrace mediocrity, and realize that the answers to all questions and suggestions is , " Koko wa, Nihon dakara..... " . Do sing a mean karaoke though, and damn if my chopstick skills aren't second to none.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Acting surprised at things that aren't even slightly surprising.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Unconscious slurping any form of 麺, and even spaghetti. My parents were adequately disgusted when I went back to Europe

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Saying "yoisho" when I stand up

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@reckless

not washing my hands after going number 2 or 3.

Number 3?

Oh my goodness. Not that, surely.... ; )

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Acting surprised at things that aren't even slightly surprising.

Oh, I hate that one too. Especially those extra-long expressions like, "Ehhhhhhhhh-----"

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Walking around at any time of night with zero worry of my personal safety whatsoever.

Gaman

This is probably the biggest one for me. Before I came here, I would push my point on everything as a matter of principle. Now I pick and choose my battles. It's made me a better person I think.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sooo.. it seems that some people forget how to eat correctly each kind of food and blame it to the country/culture you are?

Slurping spaghetti? what are you a 5 y/o?

So if you ever go to the middle East or some countries in Africa you will begun to eat everything with your hand and forget about the fork and spoon?

And regarding not washing your hands, I think that is more of personal hygiene rather than some "cultural stuff that you have picked up".

0 ( +5 / -5 )

It's made me a better person I think.

You still have a long way to go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Manners are not subject of "when in Rome"

True many Japanese tend to slurp noodles of every kind, but that is because they ignore manners. If you know what are the correct manners and still you do it... then you are just rude

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@tinawatanabe

and what habits have you adopted since coming to live here?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Knowing that even it feels awfully full, 10 people can still get inside that train

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Knowing that even it feels awfully full, 10 people can still get inside that train

Just 10? Newbie!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Manners are not subject of "when in Rome"

Sure they are. Manners are not global, they are relative to culture. Slurping noodles is not bad mannered here, it's entirely acceptable, and is in fact the recommended way to eat ramen noodles. It's most definitely a 'when in Rome' thing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Giving up even pretending to care about the results while embracing the process 110%!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Upskirt photography, panty raids, chikan-ery of all kinds. When in Rome, I say.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not getting into bar fights.

(I don't miss it at all.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Daniel Neagari, I think some posters are being facetious^^

I don't walk around in public eating snacks/drinking coffee anymore. I don't feel obliged to engage in small talk with customer service staff. Those are the big things I can think of.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Slight bow of gratitude to the driver who lets me go by...even in the crosswalks.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

not washing my hands after going number 2 or 3.

Are you an alien?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Strangerland

Slurping noodles is not bad mannered here, it's entirely acceptable, and is in fact the recommended way to eat ramen noodles. It's most definitely a 'when in Rome' thing.

Sorry, but going to have to disagree with you there. I've been in Japan for almost a decade and I still consider it incredibly bad manners to slurp noodles. That extends to tea / coffee, pasta, sandwiches (yes, sandwiches) - you name it. Cultural aspect - sure, why not. But definitely rude - and just plain lazy. It's simply laziness. I eat ramen twice a week & do so without making a noise that is audible down the street. The noise absolutely drives me NUTS.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

sighclops: I heard someone slurping gyuudon once, GYUUDON.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

saying sagoi at average things, reverse parking even when driving in forwards is easier, lining up in the left lane at the lights even when the right lane is empty, pulling out at the last second into oncoming traffic becuase you expect people to slow down and let you in. waiting in line for 2hrs to try the new ramen shop noodles, buying cars / clothing with monochrome colors as yellow=crazy blue, red just stands out too much. standing in the middle of a busy walkway talking on my phone or to friends expecting that people will just walk around us.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Grocery shopping every day

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Using a 24-hour clock (love this!).

Doing the batsu sign to signal "no good."

Treating sales clerks like automatons.

Staring at foreigners.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Letting the door swing back into the person following behind.

Pretending not to see.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Cutting the air with my hand when moving in front of somebody.

Not tipping anyone.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What strange responses. Slurping while eating noodles is not so much a Japanese thing, but is typical of most East Asian countries, eg. China. Nothing especially Japanese about that. As for the traffic, pff there are plenty of Asian countries that simply ignore traffic lights completely. As for being ''reserved'', ''modest'' and showing respect to elders, this is a typical Asian trait. Nothing especially Japanese about this. Staring at caucasians is much more prevalent in the backwaters of Laos and Myanmar. Japanese habits would have to be constant bowing when on the phone and the culture of senpai kohai. Still, at least most Japanese pretend to be polite and accommodating. Not like the ''uhh'' responses of most western countries.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Strangerland

My sincerest apologies - I misquoted you! We may get an edit button on here sometime in the next millenia!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The question doesn't specify 'uniquely Japanese habits unique to Japan and Japanese people'. It the 'habit' was picked up in Japan from Japanese people it fits the question.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

shoes off. bowing when on the phone. pointing at nose for "me" weird sex stuff...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Shoes off. Ha ha ha. If you ever entered a temple in eg. Thailand or Cambodia, you'd be chased out by an angry mob. On the other hand, being excessively polite is a Japanese habit.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

While driving,

bowing when someone let's me pass

turning off the headlights when sitting at a red light

using hazard lights to say thank you

driving through just turned red lights
1 ( +2 / -1 )

Treating people with the respect they deserve. The respect you show before they show theirs. Apparently this did not work out for a lot of posters - oh, they were just trying to be funny or sarcastic. Good for you :-)

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

@Tessa

Staring at foreigners.

Spot on with that. What king of weirdo have I beome? : (

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I think some posters need to get out more. Most of what they think is ''Japanese'' is pretty standard in Asian countries. Ever heard of ''saving face''? It seems there are some disgruntled gaijin who think Japan ought to be just like their home countries . Really, what exactly is a ''Japanese habit''? Why would you ''adopt'' a Japanese habit anyway? Ethnocentrism....

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Sorry, but going to have to disagree with you there. I've been in Japan for almost a decade and I still consider it incredibly bad manners to slurp noodles.

Good for you. But that's because you are evaluating it based on your own cultural filters.

Let me give an example. In the US, it's not bad manners to wear your shoes inside. But if someone from the US comes to Japan and wears their shoes into someone's house, it's considered bad mannered. People don't wear their shoes in the house here.

In America - shoes inside is not bad manners.

In Japan - shoes inside is bad manners.

On that same note, slurping noodles is bad manners in many western countries.

In Japan - it's accepted.

Just because you think it's rude, doesn't make it rude. It would be rude if a Japanese person were doing it overseas in a country where it's considered to be rude. But in Japan, it's entirely acceptable, and when it comes to ramen, it's the recommended way of eating noodles.

Manners are relative to the locality.

My sincerest apologies - I misquoted you!

I think you quoted me correctly. Or am I missing something?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Bowing to everyone, even when I go back to my hometown. Taking off my shoes, same as #1. Accepting more and arguing less. Less complaining and being more thankful, even for the simplest thing. Taking baths in the evening. Eating less red meat and more veggies. Rice with every meal, except dessert. Using chopsticks more. Saying itadakimasu, gochisosama deshita, gomenne, shitsurei shimasu, tadaima, okaeri, and hai, hai hai. Walking and bike riding more. Less driving. Drinking on the streets. Using the bidet in the toilet. Hanging my clothes to dry instead of using a drier.
2 ( +5 / -3 )

Hesitate until the last minute, before pulling out of a side road just in front of someone else, then proceeding to brake/manoeuvre/signal 100m down the road.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

it comes to ramen, it's the recommended way of eating noodles.

Not really. Yes I have heard some people say that on TV, but in fact it is better not making noise.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@tina. LoL, that's why I quietly sip the soup & quietly chomp the "chya-shyu" pork. I hate the actual noodles. . . But that's just me. I know next to crap about how to sound when eating any asian foods-

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Is no one owning up to wearing underwear under their pajamas? (blushes)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@albaleo

Is no one owning up to wearing underwear under their pajamas? (blushes)

That's Japanese?? It's normal where I'm from.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh aye. Colour telly, a curtain for every window (downstairs) and a week in Morecambe every September. Posh as....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Drinking one cup sake on the train. Hanging out at tachi-nomi. Going to some kind of fuzoku establishment on a regular basis.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

not sleeping enough

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ignoring the neighbours

0 ( +3 / -3 )

No Japan-bashing on this thread please.

Slight bow of gratitude to the driver who lets me go by...even in the crosswalks.

Certainly they do attempt to run us over more often than not (slowing down at zebra crossings seems optional) One must be grateful

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Haha lots of good ones already mentioned!

I will confirm on the running reds while driving, first decade I didn't drive & was amazed at the constant running of reds, now I have been driving well into a 2nd decade, YES YELLOW lights are often scary short in duration!

And with tail gating so rampant I ALWAYS have to check my A$$ when approaching an upcoming red, it can be rather scary with some truck on yr butt! Sometime you have to run to NOT get rear ended.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the next question in this section should be "what foreign habits have your Japanese friends/lovers/relatives adopted since meeting you?" I personally have quite a few interesting answers to this one!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I feel I need to put an end to the debate on slurping. Whether you find it rude or offensive is up to you and your individual sensibilities (which are culturally created). What cannot be denied however is that slurping is the best way of appreciating the full flavour of your food and drink.

This has been demonstrated scientifically, and is due to two factors: (i) temperature, and (ii) the volatile compounds that contribute to the flavour and aroma.

When you slurp you do two things:

Firstly, you cool the food or liquid, which can improve the flavour. See here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/sep/17/serving-temperature-affects-taste-food

Secondly, you atomise and volatilise the liquid, both increasing the surface area (and therefore the amount of flavour) and allowing this to be carried to your nasal passage, thus enabling you to fully appreciate the aroma, which is an important element in appreciating food and drink. This is why slurping is the way that professional wine tasters evaluate wine. See here: http://www.winepros.org/wine101/sensory_guide.htm or here: http://www.wikihow.com/Taste-Wine

For the most detailed explanation, which discusses "non-equilibrium volatilisation" in coffee, see here: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=oI6LtxfEKkwC&pg=PA163&lpg=PA163&dq=slurping+increases+flavour&source=bl&ots=Cm_tJEUMjz&sig=I44l5cmCONwm8Dwgn0F-35P1dag&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8HieVZfRCMWisAGjxpmADw&ved=0CFQQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=slurping%20increases%20flavour&f=false

No culture is absolutely perfect, but criticising slurping is just plain wrong.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No culture is absolutely perfect, but criticising slurping is just plain wrong

Agree. That's why I sip the soup and quietly nibble on the nori & chya-shyu pork. The "noodles" are way overrated to slurp up anyways. On the flip-side, slurping Frosted Flakes every Saturday morning is perfectly okay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Knowing that even it feels awfully full, 10 people can still get inside that train

Same in NYC subway during rush hours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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