Friday, January 22, 2010

Communication in Japan.

Hi everyone,

This is my first blog entry.

Here I will probably discuss a lot of the cultural differences I am experiencing here in Japan compared to the US. I just moved here 3 months ago, but I wanted to keep a record of the things I am noticing here during my stay. This is both for sharing my experiences with others and my own personal growth.

On the surface, it does appear to be very different, but there is an even deeper difference (or perhaps, "Ura" in Japanese) that you won't see. To start off my first entry, I'll just discuss some major differences I've seen with the way people communicate here.

I'd like to highlight the fact that Japanese people here are extremely intelligent in regards to reading people's emotions and feelings, even if its not outwardly expressed. They have an uncanny ability (or sixth sense) to read people just by scanning them on a train or just by passing-by on a street. It is something I feel that a lot of Americans just don't do very well, or at all for that matter.

There is, however, a negative aspect to this. Japanese people are shunned from expressing an opinion or having one, thereby causing a lot of stress to be held in. Many of these people have difficulty articulating why they feel a certain way, what causes them to feel that way, or describe in detail why it is so. When it comes to conflict resolution, many Japanese people want their minds to be read (or "Kuuki wo yomu koto") because of this. This does not exactly foster good communication between two people, let alone promote conflict resolution. Much of this issue completely stems from the societal upbringings and mentalities here.

My girlfriend and I initially had issues with this too, but it is starting to really improve drastically. Either I'm becoming more Japanese, or perhaps she is becoming more Americanized? We shall see.

What are your thoughts on this?

1 comment:

  1. This may seems childish, but this is prevalent in many animes. I believe that Japanese women sees nonverbal communication as invitation to the soul. If a person can understand a person without a single word, it speaks volume and depth of relationship. Some of the most beautiful things can't be spoken through mere words but through subtle expressions like gentle smile or brush stroke of her hands.