Unfortunately, you don’t have to look far to encouragement. Just look at the Japanese TV programs and movies. It’s right there.
You are not kidding! The number of times you see a schoolkid standing on the roof of a building in some drama contemplating suicide is almost like an ad for it.
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The vaccine was a success, but the patient died. :(
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Us foreigners are usually immune to トナラー but I've experienced it before. They do this not only on trains but also in car and bicycle parking lots, and yes, urinals. Probably the bicycle parking is where I've experienced it the most, because they park next to my bike not knowing it belongs to a gaijin.
Sometimes I had to change my seat at a restaurant because someone sat right next to me when the whole row was empty. Then again, waiters/waitresses working at restaurants usually try to cram you next to others when you walk in, so people probably think that's the "right" way.
You are probably right. I have experienced instances of cramming, which I usually resist. I also think it has something to do generally with Japanese women's fear of men (not always unjustified) and a pervading sense that older men are smelly and irrelevant and a kind of neurotic attitude on the part of many Japanese women to sexual relations. Just the use of the word 'oyaji' makes my skin crawl. And yet face-to-face, younger people are extremely polite and respectful.
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Mirai HayashiToday 08:13 am JST
Or in the toilet, when every stall is empty, but some lonely heart wants to use the stall right next to yours. Insane! This is actually a real phenomenon in Japan called "tonara" トナラー, where people can't help but to be next to others. I think its a psychological disorder due to social programming and being forced to live in tight quarters.
Surely this is made up or just doesn't apply to foreigners. I've been in Japan for 24 years and it is absolutely the opposite. If there is a choice for a Japanese person to NOT sit next to me (male, average size, middle-aged), they look around and go for another seat, as long as it isn't next to a 'gaijin'. This is even more the case with women. I say, even though I love being in Japanese and love Japanese people and culture generally.
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