Craig note- Our “Lifting Up People In Japan” series continues with a GUEST….’WAIT FOR IT’…CONTRIBUTION!
Today`s Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin “Lifting Up People In 2018” post is courtesy of up and coming blogger and YouTuber:
Sean and his family are about to celebrate their one year anniversary since relocating to the Japanese countryside (Hida Takayama, Gifu) from Hollywood, California.
More About Sean
Sean works as a Marketing consultant by day, while writing, making music, videos, and other creative endeavors by night.
5 Japanese Habits Your Family Can Start Today!
There are many contrasts between most western countries and Japan! One thing you can count on experiencing during any visit or move to Japan is a higher level of service, mutual respect and a unique etiquette that may seem shocking at first. But just because you haven’t been to Japan (yet) doesn’t mean your family can’t start integrating some healthy habits that make for a more harmonious lifestyle.
Entire books could be written about Japanese gift-giving! It’s not just for special occasions, but any time you go on a trip or visit a new place, souvenirs are brought back. Whenever someone’s home is visited, or really any other reason they can come up with.
We’re not talking big expense, as the gift is usually some type of small edible snack.
But why not start engaging in a tradition of giving between your friends and coworkers? It’s likely the thought will be reciprocated – and even if not, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Walking and Eating
Every wonder why Japanese people are relatively thin? Yes they maintain a healthy diet, but it goes beyond that. You generally don’t see people walking down the street with a Big Gulp in one hand, while shoving a Hot Dog in their mouth with the other.
Eating while walking is generally seen as bad form, so most meals are eaten at specific times/places and not throughout the day.
You may see someone eating their snack in a car or convenience store, but a habit of limiting eating to mealtime keeps you healthier all around.
The Long Goodbye
This one could just as easily be entitled “The Long Hello.” When Japanese people visit each other’s homes, moments are taken to welcome them as well as everyone gathering to see them off when the leave.
This often extends to the entire family walking outside and waving goodbye as a guest drives off. While westerners may see this as unnecessary, it’s truly a respectful way to show someone how important they are to you.
Leaving It Better Than When You Got There
Bathrooms are generally rather clean in Japan, even in convenience stores. Similarly, most tables at restaurants look relatively cleaned up before the customer even leaves!
Most Japanese people think it’s wise to clean up after any mess they may have made, and to generally leave a place cleaner than how they found it.
Not to do so would be embarrassing. If more people did this – the world would be a more beautiful place.
This word roughly translates into “I am about to receive.” It is usually said before eating or drinking as a way of being thankful and polite. Some western families may offer a prayer prior to a meal, but even if not religious – being thankful for what you have should be part of daily life for a healthy family environment.
Hang Up Lost Items
Say you’re walking in the park or along a trail and notice someone’s keys on the ground. Don’t just leave them there – hang them up at “eye-level” on the closest branch or fence to make it easy for someone to spot or find. The person who lost the item may not even realize it’s lost…until they spot your extremely kind gesture!
This one is a bonus because it may not work for everyone. Converting your home into a “no shoes indoors” household, makes for a cleaner home. At the very least, much less vacuuming and sweeping required when no dirt and mud is tracked in.
Keep several pairs of inexpensive indoor slippers on hand for indoor use.
If you are worried about guests, make sure you always have guest slippers near the door as well. Keep a pair of “bathroom only” slippers in the right place for people to switch out as needed.
There’s many more! Are there any Japanese habits you’ve witnessed that strike you as interesting? Comment below!
Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin thanks Sean Curiel for his insightful post!
Please be sure to check out Sean`s great, great, great social media!
Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin
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“Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.”- Paulo Coelho