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Shanis (Offline)
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07-08-2009, 09:12 PM

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Originally Posted by MMM View Post
If you got from my posts that I didn't like my life in Japan, then I have failed.
Gome ne, I didn't want to write it like that. I didn't even read all the posts here, just the first few pages (about 15), but yuenflai got worried about it, actually I wanted to say it diffrent... how to say... the things you think are better in the US or more the reasons why you prefer living in your homecountry (it's the US right?^^) don't mean that yuenflai will have the same experience, she may live at a diffrent place, know diffrent people, etc. so she may enjoy it and doesn't like to go back to china, except for visiting family and friends. So I'm sorry it wasn't my goal to say it like that


When do you think people die?

When they are shot through the heart by the bullet of a pistol?
No.

When they are ravaged by an incurable disease?
No.

When they drink a soup made from a poisonous mushroom?
No!

It's when... they are forgotten.

~Dr. Hiluluk - One Piece
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07-09-2009, 01:02 AM

I think all of us who lived there liked Japan itself, but it is much different than our home countries and it is difficult to adjust to these differences. Like MMM's experience with the hospital, I too had an experience with this . I severly injured my back (herniated disk, cracked vertibrae) at work lifting a heavy weight. They took me to the hospital and I waited hours to see a doctor. They took an x-ray, but their MRI was made for small Japanese people and since I weighed 100 pounds more than I do now, I couldn't fit (plus my shoulders are broad). They gave me a liquid to put on my back for the pain. On a scale of 1 to 10 the pain was 11! This didn't help at all. I asked for painkillers and they gave me suppositories (if you are unfamiliar with this, look it up. I prefer medicine by mouth!) which did nothing but make me wonder if the makers had a good laugh knowing how people were cursing them for making the medicine this way. They finally found a MRI that was made in the US which showed my disc injury. The doctor wanted to operate, but I wanted a second opinion from a US surgeon since it is so dangerous. I flew at my expense to see the surgeon in the US and he said surgery was too risky. My Japanese doctor was angry when I refused surgery and that ended my treatment. Two people you don't question in Japan are police and doctors. Anyway, several years later I still am in pain but not crippled. I think Japan is afraid to give real pain medicine because they are afraid everyone will become drug addicts. I think medicine there is better than in most countries, but less than what we Americans are used to. The prices are very reasonable compared to the US. I had the National insurance, but even people who didn't could afford the bills.
If you can deal with situations like this, Japan can be a very nice place.


The World's only Belly Dancing Elvis Impersonator!
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07-09-2009, 02:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanis View Post
Gome ne, I didn't want to write it like that. I didn't even read all the posts here, just the first few pages (about 15), but yuenflai got worried about it, actually I wanted to say it diffrent... how to say... the things you think are better in the US or more the reasons why you prefer living in your homecountry (it's the US right?^^) don't mean that yuenflai will have the same experience, she may live at a diffrent place, know diffrent people, etc. so she may enjoy it and doesn't like to go back to china, except for visiting family and friends. So I'm sorry it wasn't my goal to say it like that
Since I posted some things earlier in the thread too, I thought I'd try to sum it up like this (it's what I think MMM and the others meant too).

Life in Japan is not all fun and games, it's life. Life includes all kinds of things, from the drudgery of doing laundry to getting sick or injured sometimes to maybe working at a job that can be boring or just feeling depressed, sad, or lonely at times, and all the other things that real life can bring. And the difficulties of living in a country where you don't speak the language well, can't read and write fluently, and come from a different culture with some different beliefs, priorities, and expectations can make life's challenges there even harder. Difficulty communicating with your doctor, for example, or having to line-dry your clothes when you really just wish you had a good dryer to dry them in an hour. As a foreigner, you are forever an outsider to the culture and to many people, and while most people are still very kind, helpful, and friendly (sometimes even more so than usual because you are a foreigner!), you'll likely find that, after a while, you might miss not being the center of attention and stares, that you'd like to be able to read a newspaper or signs without translating, that you'd like to watch TV shows or eat food that you just can't get in Japan because that's what you grew up with and you miss it. You might also miss friends and family, even if you make many new friends in Japan.

There are many threads talking about how great life in Japan is or would be, and I certainly enjoyed my 2 years there. I had a great time, it was a life-changing experience I'll treasure forever. In fact, they were 2 of the best years of my life. But all of the difficulties and frustrations of life in Japan were very much present in my time there too, and I think people dreaming of going to Japan deserve to hear about the other side of the coin, the down sides of living in Japan as well as the great things. At least they'll be better prepared and have more realistic expectations of what real life over there is like. And that's what this thread is for... not to say "Japan is terrible, don't go" (it isn't terrible at all, IMO), but "here are the difficulties, frustrations, and differences of life in Japan that you may not have considered." Many foreigners visit Japan for a vacation. Some people, like MMM, me, and some others here are lucky enough to have lived there for an extended time. But very few stay there permanently, most eventually end up going home again, and perhaps seeing their home country in a new light when they do. The poet William Shenstone wrote, “The proper means of increasing the love we bear to our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one”, and many will find that to be true. You don't really appreciate things like central heating and AC, clothes dryers, good Mexican food, or literacy until you have to live without them for a while.


JET Program, 1996-98, Wakayama-ken, Hashimoto-shi

Link to pictures from my time in Japan
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07-09-2009, 02:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai007 View Post
Since I posted some things earlier in the thread too, I thought I'd try to sum it up like this (it's what I think MMM and the others meant too).

Life in Japan is not all fun and games, it's life. Life includes all kinds of things, from the drudgery of doing laundry to getting sick or injured sometimes to maybe working at a job that can be boring or just feeling depressed, sad, or lonely at times, and all the other things that real life can bring. And the difficulties of living in a country where you don't speak the language well, can't read and write fluently, and come from a different culture with some different beliefs, priorities, and expectations can make life's challenges there even harder. Difficulty communicating with your doctor, for example, or having to line-dry your clothes when you really just wish you had a good dryer to dry them in an hour. As a foreigner, you are forever an outsider to the culture and to many people, and while most people are still very kind, helpful, and friendly (sometimes even more so than usual because you are a foreigner!), you'll likely find that, after a while, you might miss not being the center of attention and stares, that you'd like to be able to read a newspaper or signs without translating, that you'd like to watch TV shows or eat food that you just can't get in Japan because that's what you grew up with and you miss it. You might also miss friends and family, even if you make many new friends in Japan.

There are many threads talking about how great life in Japan is or would be, and I certainly enjoyed my 2 years there. I had a great time, it was a life-changing experience I'll treasure forever. In fact, they were 2 of the best years of my life. But all of the difficulties and frustrations of life in Japan were very much present in my time there too, and I think people dreaming of going to Japan deserve to hear about the other side of the coin, the down sides of living in Japan as well as the great things. At least they'll be better prepared and have more realistic expectations of what real life over there is like. And that's what this thread is for... not to say "Japan is terrible, don't go" (it isn't terrible at all, IMO), but "here are the difficulties, frustrations, and differences of life in Japan that you may not have considered." Many foreigners visit Japan for a vacation. Some people, like MMM, me, and some others here are lucky enough to have lived there for an extended time. But very few stay there permanently, most eventually end up going home again, and perhaps seeing their home country in a new light when they do. The poet William Shenstone wrote, “The proper means of increasing the love we bear to our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one”, and many will find that to be true. You don't really appreciate things like central heating and AC, clothes dryers, good Mexican food, or literacy until you have to live without them for a while.
Well said. And the Mexican food sucked! (Except what I made, and some I had to improvise )


The World's only Belly Dancing Elvis Impersonator!
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07-09-2009, 04:53 PM

Let me add something else... why do most people want to go to or live in Japan? The reasons vary from "I want to travel around the country and experience the culture" to "I want to buy tons of manga", and everything in between. The thing is, most of those reasons have finite limits, or at least diminishing returns. After you've traveled from 1 end of the country to the other, and visited more castles, temples, and interesting sites than you could count, the desire to see yet another one is far less than it was to see your first 1, 2, or even 10 places. And buying manga can be fun, but what happens when you already have 1500 manga? Is there still as great a desire to buy number 1501? No.

"Experience Japanese life and culture" is a common reason for going, but how long do you really want to experience it? For many people, 2 or 3 years of living there is enough to satisfy that desire, and then other desires begin gaining in relative importance. "See my family again" or even something like "get good Mexican food or southern-style BBQ ribs", may become more important after several years away than "spend a 731st day experiencing Japanese culture". Desires like that, which are relatively easily fulfilled back home and have never been very important, can surpass "living in Japan" once living in Japan has become the everyday norm and seeing your family or eating a food you miss is an incredibly rare treat, something that you can only do once a year or less.


JET Program, 1996-98, Wakayama-ken, Hashimoto-shi

Link to pictures from my time in Japan
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07-09-2009, 05:15 PM

Thanks samurai007, that puts everything into perspective.


Now only if people would read this before making ridiculous "I <3 Japan" threads.

I declare this thread be stickied!
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MMM (Offline)
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07-09-2009, 05:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai007 View Post
Let me add something else... why do most people want to go to or live in Japan? The reasons vary from "I want to travel around the country and experience the culture" to "I want to buy tons of manga", and everything in between. The thing is, most of those reasons have finite limits, or at least diminishing returns. After you've traveled from 1 end of the country to the other, and visited more castles, temples, and interesting sites than you could count, the desire to see yet another one is far less than it was to see your first 1, 2, or even 10 places. And buying manga can be fun, but what happens when you already have 1500 manga? Is there still as great a desire to buy number 1501? No.

"Experience Japanese life and culture" is a common reason for going, but how long do you really want to experience it? For many people, 2 or 3 years of living there is enough to satisfy that desire, and then other desires begin gaining in relative importance. "See my family again" or even something like "get good Mexican food or southern-style BBQ ribs", may become more important after several years away than "spend a 731st day experiencing Japanese culture". Desires like that, which are relatively easily fulfilled back home and have never been very important, can surpass "living in Japan" once living in Japan has become the everyday norm and seeing your family or eating a food you miss is an incredibly rare treat, something that you can only do once a year or less.
You make a good point there, samurai. The first time I went to Japan I was 16 years old, and after 3 weeks I was VERY ready to come home. I see a lot of people wanting to go for months on vacation there, and I am wondering what they think they are going to do all day. Japan is not a giant amusement park.
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momoxai (Offline)
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08-01-2009, 09:35 AM

I, personally, am really looking forward to living in Japan one day.

I'm 15 years old and have been to Japan 3 times - twice in the last 3 years - and am hoping to return at least once more before I graduate from high school. And then probably attend university there.
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seiki (Offline)
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08-01-2009, 01:16 PM

My cousin has this grand idea of going to japan to be of all things a manga artist. He feels that it is the life for him and always brings up things and says japan is the best country in the world. I would say no we have more freedoms and the boy says "we arent free to do what we want. Im not allowed to go rob a bank and kill people so we arent free." Dose this not make sense to anyone else or is it just me?
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Seanus (Offline)
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08-01-2009, 02:15 PM

Samurai was right on the money. The glass can be half empty as well as half full but Japan is largely a positive experience if you go in with an open mind. The food alone was a major highlight of my stay. I went there 8 years ago and was taken by the cute girls on the go. There was just so much to discover if your eyes were always open. I loved discovering sth new going down some alleyways. Some of the best okonomiyaki joints can be found that way. The ubiquitous vending machines were another boon.
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