The examples in the article say more about the culture of people's home countries than they do about Japan: the unhealthy American habits of overeating or eating badly, not walking anywhere, not sorting and recycling garbage... The Mexican was closed minded prior to Japan: now she "even" eats raw fish...Some of the Europeans seem to have acquired bad habits in Japan that they didn't have before: going to the combini 8 times a day, becoming perverted (!), losing one's sense of humour, sleeping in trains, not inviting friends over anymore.....Everything is relative I suppose. But what is the "fully Japanese lifestyle" (and mentality) that so many of you talk of in the discussion anyway? I have Japanese friends with totally and utterly contrasting lifestyles, some of them live in different time zones altogether so to speak: some get up in the morning and go to the office, others sleep all day and run a bar at night, their mentality is like night and day too. Japan is far less uniform than you think, but you will persist in seeing it as uniform so long as you stay stuck in the gaijin vs/ Japanese prison, a fallacy not only because there are differences in culture within Japan itself, but for failing to take into account the very enormous gaps in culture between different gaijin. I am always also very surprised by the endless complaints from (mostly) North American gaijin of being stared at. I have never been stared at in Japan the way I have been in some Western countries (and yet I haven't a drop of Asian blood in me). My worst ever being stared at experience was in Canada, when I had to take my 2 year old to the ER after he fell on his head, and all the nurse did was stare intently at my shoes. On the contrary there is far less conformism in Japan than in North America, or even some parts of Europe: the only people who sometimes stare at me in Japan are other gaijin! All of this is very, very relative.
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(so they deserve all the trials and tribulations their Japanese wives make them go through, as described in some of the comments...)
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"foreign" men aren't especially more romantic for the fact of being foreign. They do however want to secure a visa, fast.
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No: 1 thing foreign guys do that make Japanese girls fall head over heels is dont be feminine like the J boys here mostly are.
Japanese men are not "feminine". That's a myth overweight North American men with manboobs like to expound in order to feel less inadequate.
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The article seems to suggest that there is something unique about Japan in particular that makes people change their habits. This is because both the original article and many of the comments seem to come from the very limited perspective of people for whom Japan has been their very first -and only- international experience. OBVIOUSLY living in a different cultural environment will affect people's lifestyle and habits, so why is Japan so special in this respect may I ask?
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my point being that the term "foreigners" is loosely applied to cover the entire world without any cultural distinction in a context where the meaning makes it clear that it applies only to a very specific cultural minority. I can't for example imagine that a person from India would be surprised about sitting on the floor, or that a Chinese person would be surprised about slurping noodles, or that a Californian would be surprised at the idea of cosmetic surgery (of any sort)....
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