Living in Japan - The People

Happy Thursday! It is Thankful Thursday too. I tried to do the linky tool last week, sorry it didn't work as well as I thought and what I found was people just posted their thankful thursday in the comment section so everyone else can see what they were thankful for! Lets continue this because there is so much to be thankful for, I don't think this series can ever end.
*I'm thankful for the opportunity to live in another country and get to experience a new culture first hand

Today I'm focusing this post on the Japanese people and their customs. I didn't not have bad experiences with the Japanese people minus one but I'm not comfortable talking about that and years later it still affects me. The Japanese people are very polite, very respectable but tend to keep to themselves unless asked first. On the train and buses, there are seats reserved to the elderly, pregnant women and anyone that is injured. I remember being on the train once with my friend and an elderly man was sitting down on a crowded train, not in one of the reserved seats, and a pregnant woman walked on, he immediately rose to let her have his seat. In return for his kindness, my friend and I stood up to let him have our seat. But it is that kind of politeness which made it a wonderful country to live in. 

Japan is also a very safe country, for example the blood alcohol level for drunk driving is 0%, it isn't allowed. There is always the local koban, or police station, in the ward that you live in in Tokyo. Here are a few photos.

 But another reason why Japan is safe is because of the mentality that you keep to yourself and not bring any wrong attention to yourself. It is a cultural faux pas to do something that would bring dishonor and attention to yourself and to your family. Due to this simple mentality that has been ingrained in the culture for generations and generations, is one key reason why the country is very safe. I remember one time I left a ring in a bathroom in a department store, I walked all the way home and then realized that I had left the ring in the bathroom. I walked all the way back and the ring was there. Because the Japanese people keep to themselves, and if it isn't their own, they don't take it, I feel that is why my ring was still there. 

The Japanese people are also very resilient, and come back time and time again from disasters their countries endure. Earthquakes are commonplace in Japan such as the one that occurred recently with tsunami, but I have no doubt that that area that was hit will bounce back, and they will bounce back even stronger before. That is the just the Japanese mentality. That was the case too after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, instead of focusing on the fact that their country was bombed, the Japanese promote peace so that no future atomic bombs will be dropped on any countries.

Some of the wonderful things about the Japanese and their cultures is how they celebrate. In Japan, the major age is turning 20 it is like our 16, 18, and 21 combined. Turning 20 means you can drive, vote, drink and means you are an adult. All the girls and guys turning 20 that year get all dressed up in their finest kimonos and have a party hosted by the local ward they live in, but it isn't a wild and rambunctious party. Here is a photo of some girls going to their Coming of Age party

The other holidays in Japan also celebrate people! On March 3, Girls Day or Hinamatsuri is celebrated and the mothers in each household display all ornamental dolls depicting the Emperor, the Empress and his Royal Court and pray for their daughter's growth and happiness.This is the display of dolls.

Other holidays is the Child's Day, Kodomo no Hi which is celebrated on May 5 and flags of fish are hung outside the house, and how many boys are int he house are represented by the number of flags flying and the length of the fish indicates the age of the boys.

Other major holidays that celebrate people is Ocean Day Umi No Hi, the third Monday in July which represents the returning of Emperor Meiji from a boat trip to Hokkaido, the the most northern island of Japan. Respect for the Aged Day, Keiro No Hi, is the third Monday in September and pays respect to the elderly and aged and their longevity.
In November, 7 5, 3 Day Shichi, Go San No Hi, another festival for children, they get dressed up in their kimonos and are taken to the temples by their parents who pray for them and their life. Only the children who are turning 7 5 or 3 that year will get dressed up.

Finally, the last holiday that is celebrated is the birthday of the current Emperor, which now is December 23. This day is one of the rare occurrences when he comes to the balcony of the palace and allows the public to celebrate him.The current emperor is Emperor Akihito, and he has been Emperor from January 7, 1989. He is the son of Emperor Hirohito, who signed the surrender order to end World War II to the United States.
Sorry for the extra long post everyone, see you tomorrow!


Lauren said...

Today I am thankful for a great place to work :)

I find these posts on Japan so fascinating. I literally know NOTHING about the culture, so it's all new to me!

Kara {A Little Bit of Lovely} said...

What an awesome opportunity! I love the pictures and love learning about the culture through you.

I am thankful for the healthy food that I was just able to feed my little guys for lunch!

birdie to be said...

Loving all the bright colors. Your experience sounds amazing!

Ruthie Hart said...

gosh Japanese people must hate Americans! I really do agree with them though in the fact that they dont to stuff on purpose to bring attention to themselves. I really like that. And how sweet that the elderly man gave up his seat for the pregnant woman. That is respect right there, wish more Americans would live respectfully

ashley said...

Today I am thankful for my wonderful daughter.

These pictures are beautiful. :)

Alexis @bloomedinjune said...

i'm definitely loving this series and i love how respectful the japanese people seem to be! a few of my friends have been to japan, and they also have to agree with how kind and respectful they are.

Lacy in the Sky with Diapers said...

OMG!! I love long posts!!! Wonderful pictures!!! Keep them coming!

Kathleen said...

Today I'm thankful for my job, I just got the news that I was chosen as one of our new Around the World at Epcot Segway Tour Guide! Def something to be thankful for!

We have Japanese guests over here at Disney World all the time and I can never get over how nice and friendly they are when they come here. Great post today!

Amanda said...

Incredible! It's amazing how much you took away from your experience! I'm so impressed with you. I like the idea of how polite and respectful everyone is, and also that they don't want to inflict harm on themselves or others, so they are wary of their behavior. It's a good lesson that I think a lot of people don't get.

Laura said...

that's so cool! i heard a story the other day that massive amounts of wallets full of cash have been found after the tsunami...and that they are turned in and given back to their owners. so awesome to have such an honest culture!!

Allison said...

I'm loving these post! It is so interesting to learn about a new place & culture!

I am thankful today because my husband is FINALLY coming home tonight!

REBrown said...

Awesome post!

I always think of Japan as being very clean for some reason.

Laura Elizabeth said...

Loving this series you're doing. It's so interesting and I feel like I'm learning a lot. I had a friend do a student exchange and lived in Japan for a few months. She said that the Japanese culture was so different from ours in the way that they are respectful of each other. I wish we were a bit more like that too!

Samantha said...

What a wonderful experience you had living in another country. I hope to do the same some day in the not-so-far future. :)

Keep the Japan-themed posts coming please! I look forward to them!


Amanda C. said...

Wow it is amazing that everyone is so kind in Japan. I bet they have culture shock when they ride the bus here.

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

I am behind on blogging but I am so excited to read more of your Japan posts - what an amazing opportunity to live there!

www.StarHughes.com said...

What a neat experience!!! I loved reading all of these details about the culture too. Fun to read! I can't wait to catch up on your posts!

Nikki said...

I was just talking with someone about how the Japanese helped each other out so much during the earthquake disaster. Sharing food and water and checking in on families. Here we loot and only think of ourselves.

Michelle's Style File said...

Thankful Thursday is a lovely idea!


Simply LKJ said...

I am so enjoying hearing about this culture!

Yesterday I was thankful for friends who rallied around another who was hurting.

Katie said...

I have been enjoying the series on Japan, Meg!

And thankful Thursdays is great too, of course :) I am thankful the bit of rain we had last night! We've been so so dry for the last couple months. Hoping to see the yard green up again before winter!

Becca {A Blonde's Logic} said...

Such a very interesting culture!! It's nice to hear that at least one culture is about kindness and respect.