rugby world cup 2019

No butts, no boors: Rugby fans learn the ropes in polite Japan

42 Comments
By Etienne Balmer and Sara Hussein

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42 Comments
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Good, absolutely nothing wrong with Japan or any other country highlighting be proper behavior.

-11 ( +9 / -20 )

Well stated, old man. Except for the a few incidents, It is good most foreign rugby fans are following Japans rules of universal politeness, cleanliness, and public order. Keep Japan the paradise it is.

-19 ( +8 / -27 )

The Australian visitor who smokes in the streets should realize that people here don’t care if visitors like him have a bad image of Japan. If you cannot respect local customs and regulations, just pack up and leave.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

Thank you to all the fans for helping the Japanese economy by spending their hard earned cash by coming to Japan!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Japanese society is unfailingly polite

Not in my 20 years experience living here.

In my opinion there is a thin veneer of politeness that covers the usual rudeness, passive aggressiveness and racism that you’d find in many other countries.

23 ( +29 / -6 )

"I smoke in the streets," said Mark Clifford, 48, an Australian watching a game at a Tokyo pub. "It's the World Cup, there are a lot of foreigners, so they have to be tolerant. Especially if they want us to have a good image of their country."

Call me crazy, but I'd be more worried about Japanese getting a bad image of my home country. You came to Japan, not the other way around.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

It is good most foreign rugby fans are following Japans rules of universal politeness, cleanliness, and public order.

What a shame that so many Japanese people don't follow Japan's rules of universal politeness, cleanliness and public order. Perhaps you could post similar comments in Japanese on Yahoo Japan inviting the natives to behave as well as the visitors for the Rugby World Cup.

Since you seem to be an expert on the matter, perhaps you could explain just exactly what Japan's rules of universal politeness, cleanliness and public order are exactly.

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Japanese society is unfailingly polite

Not in my 20 years experience living here.

> In my opinion there is a thin veneer of politeness that covers the usual rudeness, passive aggressiveness and racism that you’d find in many other countries.

Agree 100%

16 ( +20 / -4 )

The friends I have made there over the last decade are some of the best people I know and there is no hidden rudeness, racism or anything else.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

Another article by people about Japan either based on a short trip or without any knowledge of how Japan really is.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Japanese society is unfailingly polite and reserved.

Please pass that on to the elderly gentleman on the bicycle who spat at me because I wouldn't get out of his way when he was riding down the wrong side of the street.

So eyebrows were raised when a video began circulating online of French fans seated on the floor of a subway carriage, passing a crowdsurfing friend over their heads.

I'd roll my eyes at that, too.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Japanese society is unfailingly polite and reserved.

Not unfailingly. Come to think about it, I come across fails every day.

As for the littering, I must be dreaming when I brush up cigarette butts and pick up plastic bags outside my apartment.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

The friends I have made there over the last decade are some of the best people I know and there is no hidden rudeness, racism or anything else.

When you say 'there', does that mean you don't actually live in Japan?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@HBJ and others:thank you! There is always a debate in my office about this topic and many people can't see how passive aggressive, impolite, rude and downright racist this country really is. Articles like this are just to get people posting, which always happens, but there is also strong belief among the native around the nation that Japan is unique. Luckily, many of us know that to be wholly untrue.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

"It's the World Cup, there are a lot of foreigners, so they have to be tolerant. Especially if they want us to have a good image of their country."

Take that high and mighty attitude to a different country and he might be doing time.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Clearly the writer(s) of this article and some people commenting here have never been to Tokyo or just trying to hide the reality. Japanese people do tend to talk loudly to each other in the trains especially after work or night time. Also countless Japanese men smoke on the streets while walking in major areas like Shinjuku, Ginza, Shibuya, Ikebukuro and other minor stations as well! Some idiots have this super cool image of Japan which is far from the reality of daily life!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

but there is also strong belief among the native around the nation that Japan is unique. Luckily, many of us know that to be wholly untrue.

Luckily? Interesting word choice.

I guess you feel like Dorothy, after learning about the man behind the curtain. Congratulations. I wonder if you’ll feel even more enlightened if I told you that every country has some kind of mythical self-image.

Knowing this, can you guess exactly how many of these is negative?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

The article is deceiving,it make it sounds that only Japan have this uniqueness of calm and politeness.

I would suggest to the writer of this article to try to live in Norway or Denmark.

The streets of Oslo and Copenhagen are as clean and safe if not more than the one from Tokyo and Osaka.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Keep Japan the paradise it is.

I love Japan but if anyone thinks it's some kind of idyllic utopia, they're kidding themselves.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

The streets of Oslo and Copenhagen are as clean and safe if not more than the one from Tokyo and Osaka.

Yes, and it's also true that the Norwegians and Danes are equally as racist and insincerely polite as Japanese. And they also hold themselves to be better than others.

But I wonder why you didn't choose to say "the streets of Rome and New York." Is it because they aren't as clean? Which would imply, what? That there are such things as differences that you you can apply in a general manner when comparing countries?

How shocking!

I've read this same conversation in various forms probably dozens of times over the years, and in the end, it's all pretty childish and pointless. I'm from Canada, and you know what? I think that I'm mature enough and secure enough in having pride in my national identity to admit that the streets are cleaner in Tokyo than Toronto. Yes, they are, and the world is not coming to an end because of it.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Not in my 20 years experience living here.

In my opinion there is a thin veneer of politeness that covers the usual rudeness, passive aggressiveness and racism that you’d find in many other countries.

Tissue ???... Don't like it, you know what to do ..

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Keep Japan the paradise it is.

I love Japan but if anyone thinks it's some kind of idyllic utopia, they're kidding themselves.

true. scratching the surface is not enough. people won,t know unless they,re actually living in Japan (long term).

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Not in my 20 years experience living here.

In my opinion there is a thin veneer of politeness that covers the usual rudeness, passive aggressiveness and racism that you’d find in many other countries.

@Kentarogaijin Tissue ???... Don't like it, you know what to do ..

how about if we acknowledge the issues in Japanese society and change it for the better

7 ( +9 / -2 )

So eyebrows were raised when a video began circulating online of French fans seated on the floor of a subway carriage, passing a crowdsurfing friend over their heads.

This would raise eyebrows in a lot of places - it's rude and anti-social.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

sourpussToday  11:27 am JST

The streets of Oslo and Copenhagen are as clean and safe if not more than the one from Tokyo and Osaka.

Yes, and it's also true that the Norwegians and Danes are equally as racist and insincerely polite as Japanese. And they also hold themselves to be better than others.

But I wonder why you didn't choose to say "the streets of Rome and New York." Is it because they aren't as clean? Which would imply, what? That there are such things as differences that you you can apply in a general manner when comparing countries?

How shocking!

I've read this same conversation in various forms probably dozens of times over the years, and in the end, it's all pretty childish and pointless. I'm from Canada, and you know what? I think that I'm mature enough and secure enough in having pride in my national identity to admit that the streets are cleaner in Tokyo than Toronto. Yes, they are, and the world is not coming to an end because of it.

I rather find your over reacting post childish and presumptuous,I didn't mention any racism and hypocrisy unlike you that tend to offend and categorize the Scandinavian people as racist and fake,and I guess you never lived there.

I was merely pointing that the poster of the article was over generalizing with the gaijin-Japanese stereotype.

You claim to be old enough,but your overreaction shows the contrary.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The article is deceiving,it make it sounds that only Japan have this uniqueness of calm and politeness.

I would suggest to the writer of this article to try to live in Norway or Denmark.

The streets of Oslo and Copenhagen are as clean and safe if not more than the one from Tokyo and Osaka.

That doesn’t suit the narrative or preferred mindset here. Japan is compared with ‘foreign ‘ countries as a whole which seem to share uncanny similarities across the continents in terms of danger levels, lack of manners and an inability to communicate telepathically.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

But some visitors confessed they were bending the rules.

"I smoke in the streets," said Mark Clifford, 48, an Australian watching a game at a Tokyo pub. "It's the World Cup, there are a lot of foreigners, so they have to be tolerant. Especially if they want us to have a good image of their country."

And there you go.

Conveniently overlooked by many as usual, we have foreigners like this man openly saying they bend the rules despite knowing what the rules are.

And then he has the audacity to state that the Japanese locals should be tolerant of foreigners bending and ignoring the rules, just so that these same foreigners can have a good image of their country? How ludicrous is that line of thought? How does this make any logical sense?

So locals should just ignore and tolerate boorish behavior like that exhibited by some rugby fans on a train? I bet this Australian is the same kind of guy that gets upset back home when foreigners act without manners and disruptively.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

So much self praise by Japan.. wow.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

damn, I did not know Vicks inhalers were banned here...they seriously help relief cold symptoms and clogged noses xP

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So much self praise by Japan.. wow.

The empty can rattles the most...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Oh please! Japan isn’t teaching foreign visitors about how to follow rules and what rules should be followed. What is listed are what I see Japanese people do countless times. Especially smoking in public and littering. The next morning walk along any street where there’s a restaurant or izakaya and see the mess left over.

It’s quite arrogant thinking JP Inc it’s this moral pillar of greatness teaching lowly foreigners how to behave.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What about just stating stuff as they are :

As in your country, it is not see as proper behavior to not mind your surrounding (loud talk, wide move, throw your trash outside of designated area, smoking in forbidden area, ...). As in your country, you will saw a lot of native acting improperly (as the sign reminding proper manner in the train show) and it is often overlooked. That does not mean the behavior is fine. So you should follow proper etiquette as taught in your own home country as it is most likely to be spot on.

There is some specific in Japan :

sneezing is ok as blowing in public is not even if you hide the act

making sound when eating ramen is fine

there is almost no public trash bin (aim for your house, conbini, station, eating area)

there is almost no public seating (think positively you are not 80, department store and the like could be a good aim)

smoking and non smoking area rules can differ from your home country and finding a smoking area can be tricky (if you got a smartphone there is some app for that)

(does anybody have any idea of other specific which can be useful for traveler instead of the usual crap about Japan is more polite than your country because they have the same politeness rules as your country ¯(°_o)/¯ and stuff like the title of the article).

What does drug have to do with politeness ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The friends I have made there over the last decade are some of the best people I know and there is no hidden rudeness, racism or anything else.

That must mean all Japanese people are like this.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Westerners for the most part,have an innate respect for Japan,meaning international sporting events are going to be generally trouble free.I remember when Japan/SK hosted the football world cup and the fear was of the unruly hooligans,particularly English fans,going amok.But there was nothing of the sort and I put that down to Asian cultural respect and Japan has that in the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is Japan the only country that considers itself so special and extremely polite, to the point it feels it must educate the great unwashed foreign visitors who travel to Japan?

Not just talking about this article which seems to be written by a couple of gaijin, but recently there was a story about guidelines published to educate visitors about how to behave when visiting Kyoto.

I find Australians in general very genuine, down to earth, kind and well-mannered. But you won't find us publishing guidelines on how foreign visitors should behave when they visit Australia.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@William77

I was merely pointing that the poster of the article was over generalizing with the gaijin-Japanese stereotype.

Uh huh? If you say so.

Lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Behaviour has been excellent so far. The organisers are lucky its rugby and not football! Due to the poor organisation at the fan zones, soccer fans would riot! Small screens and venues are not big enough so fans cannot enter.

Forget the fans.... trash separation seems to be the priority.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mr KiplingToday 12:40 am JST

Behaviour has been excellent so far. The organisers are lucky its rugby and not football! Due to the poor organisation at the fan zones, soccer fans would riot! Small screens and venues are not big enough so fans cannot enter.

Which fan zones are you specifically talking about?

I've done a couple aroud the country and found them fine. Easy to get beer and food and no problem seeing the match. Though, I've heard Yokohama has been filled to full and it is the biggest with a capacity over 8000.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That must mean all Japanese people are like this.

Dude, did I say that? No country is perfect. But there's so many people that seem to want to argue that Japan is secretly a rude, racist hellhole hiding underneath the clean, polite veneer, and I'm pointing out that in my experience, it couldn't be further from the truth.

But then again, you get out of it what you put into it and when I'm in Japan, I work very hard to not be that Australian guy that thinks ignoring local customs is the proper way to behave. I'm guessing a lot of folks here don't do the same and experience treatment from locals that reflect that.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Tissue ???... Don't like it, you know what to do ..

You sound like Trump.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dude, did I say that?

Did I say you did?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But then again, you get out of it what you put into it and when I'm in Japan, I work very hard to not be that Australian guy that thinks ignoring local customs is the proper way to behave.

And that's the way it should be. We should respect our host country but at the same time, love of a country also means occasionaly pointing out things that could be changed for the better.

I'm guessing a lot of folks here don't do the same and experience treatment from locals that reflect that.

Possibly. However, I do have several friends who have experienced anti-foreigner sentiment and sexual harassment here. Just for being in the "wrong place" etc, etc.

Of course, every country has its eejits and it would be unfair to say Japan is worse or better than such and such a place.

I'm optimistic that most people, visiting or living here or hosts, know how to treat each other with respect.

Most.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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