Continuing from last week, I would like to introduce some of the behaviors and conversations that international students find strange when communicating with Japanese people.

Shy Japanese?
International students often tell me that many Japanese people are shy. When I ask them why, they say that many Japanese do not express their opinions clearly, do not make eye contact, and are shy about dancing or singing in public. Do you think that Japanese people are really shy? In Japan, modesty and mutual respect have long been regarded as virtues. For this reason, I think many Japanese people are careful to avoid doing anything that might draw attention to themselves. However, there is one situation where shy Japanese people can act boldly. One of them is hot springs. International students often say that it is strange that Japanese people are so shy that they show their nakedness to others and take a bath together. They also say the same thing about Japanese people who cosplay at anime events. When it comes to hot springs, the reason given is that it is a part of Japanese culture that they have grown accustomed to, so few Japanese question it. Also, cosplaying is a way to "be someone else," and many people are open to it.

In your country, what kind of poses do you take when taking photos? When you take photos at your Japanese language school, you can discover the differences between countries. For example, male students from Nepal and Bangladesh "wear sunglasses and put their hands in their pockets and hold them at an angle," while female students from Asian countries who like Korean culture "make a heart with their index finger and thumb overlapping. And most Japanese teachers make the "peace sign". There are many theories as to why Japanese people make the peace sign. Some foreign students think that Japanese people are boring when it comes to posing for photos. However, for shy Japanese who feel embarrassed to be true, it may be a relief to have a standard pose.

Different Personalities in Different Regions
When people talk about the personality of the Japanese, they are often referring to the Japanese living in the Tokyo area. So, are Japanese people in other areas the same as in Tokyo? Osaka is famous for being different from the typical Japanese character. Osaka has prospered as a city of commerce and is home to many people who like to talk and make people laugh. For this reason, I often hear foreign students who have visited Osaka for the first time or who have talked with people from Osaka say that they do not feel like Japanese. Also, being located in the southernmost part of Japan, Okinawa has a large number of people who love to dance and sing. Just like the climate, the people in Okinawa are warm and cheerful. On the other hand, people in colder areas such as Tohoku are more humble and less talkative than those in Tokyo. Even in the same region of Japan, the atmosphere of the people differs depending on the region, so please try talking to Japanese people in different regions.

Over the past two weeks, I have introduced the personality and behavior of Japanese people. International students who have just arrived in Japan often have misunderstandings about the behavior of Japanese people. In order to reduce such misunderstandings, Japanese language schools offer classes on Japanese culture as well as on the character of Japanese people. Please come and observe our classes.





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Oct. 19, 2021
[English/日本語] Things that surprised foreign students when they came to Japan. ~Fashion Foreigners who come to Japan for the first time (both tourists and international students) often wonder what kind of fashion they should wear during their stay in Japan. Therefore, I would like to introduce some episodes about Japanese fashion. Japanese who don't wear well-fitting clothes What surprises foreigners who travel to Japan in summer is that Japanese people wear oversized clothes even in summer. Foreigners, especially Westerners, tend to wear T-shirts or running clothes on top and short pants on the bottom. So why do Japanese people wear oversized clothes? It has to do with the heat and humidity of the Japanese summer. Summer in Japan is humid and hot. Therefore, wearing tight-fitting clothes can cause skin problems due to steaminess. Oversized clothes are chosen because they are well ventilated and functional, which helps to eliminate steaminess. Foreigners who enjoy summer vacations in Japan sometimes develop skin problems after a while and rush to buy new clothes. If you are coming to Japan in the summer, be sure to keep this in mind when choosing your clothes. he Aesthetics of Hiding In summer, more and more female students at Japanese language schools wear revealing clothes, but this is mostly the first-year students. However, this is mostly the case for first-year students; second-year students, like Japanese, do not expose their skin as much. So why do Japanese people not expose their skin so much even in summer? In Japan, showing skin or anything that is considered "sexy" in other countries is often seen as "vulgar". For this reason, Japanese women seem to be childish to foreigners. In Japan, there has always been an "aesthetic of concealment," which means not showing everything to others so that they can imagine your beauty. Also, in Japan, there is a culture of "kawaii," or childishness, which gives a good impression. This trend is slowly changing these days, but it still persists. The Unique Fashion of High School Girls One thing that has nothing to do with the "hidden aesthetic" is the fashion of high school girls. Most high school girls in Japan wear a uniform designated by the school. Most Japanese high school girls wear school uniforms, and they are passionate about how to make their uniforms look cute. A typical example is the length of the skirt. They wear short skirts even in the middle of winter in order to make their legs look longer and more beautiful. I heard a male exchange student say, "This is great because we don't have high school students like that in my country! Be careful not to look too much or you will get caught by the police. They also like brand-name items, and even high school students sometimes have high-brand purses and bags. Some of these items are given to them as gifts by their boyfriends, but they also work hard and have part-time jobs to buy them. That is how desperate Japanese high school girls are for fashion. What do you think? I will continue to introduce Japanese fashion in my next article. I will not be able to talk next week due to circumstances. 留学生が日本に来て驚いたこと。~ファッション編~ 日本に初めて来る外国人(旅行者も留学生も)は日本滞在中にどのようなファッションをすればいいのか悩むことが多いそうです。そこで、今回から日本人のファッションについていくつかのエピソードを紹介します。 フィットした服を着ない日本人 夏に日本旅行に来た外国人が驚くのは、日本人が夏でもオーバーサイズの服を着ていることです。外国人、特に欧米系は、上はTシャツやランニング来て、下は短いパンツをはくことが多いです。では、なぜ日本人はオーバーサイズを着るのでしょうか。それは、日本の夏の「蒸し暑さ」に関係します。日本の夏は湿度が高く、蒸し暑いです。その為、フィットした服を着ると蒸れてしまい、皮膚トラブルを起こすことがあります。オーバーサイズの服は風通しもよく、蒸れを解消させてくれる機能的な面でも選ばれています。日本で夏のバカンスを楽しんでいる外国人は、しばらくたつと皮膚トラブルを起こすことがあり、急いで服を買いなおすこともあるそうです。夏に日本に来る際はその点に注意して洋服選びをしましょう。 隠す美学 日本語学校では夏になると肌を露出させた服を着る女子学生が増えます。しかし、これは1年目の学生が多いです。2年目の学生たちは日本人同様に肌を露出させなくなります。では、なぜ日本人は夏でもあまり露出をしないのでしょう。日本では肌を出すことや、外国で「セクシー」と言われるものは、「下品」だととらえられてしまうことが多いです。そのため、日本人女性は外国人から見ると幼く感じるようです。日本は昔から「隠す美学」というものがあります。「隠す美学」とは、他人にすべてを見せないことによって、美しさを想像させることです。また、日本では「かわいい」という、幼いことが好印象だという文化もあります。このような傾向は、最近は少しずつ変わってきてはいますが、まだ根強く残っています。 女子高生の独特なファッション 「隠す美学」とは関係ないのが、女子高生のファッションです。日本の高校生はほとんどが学校指定の制服を着ています。女子高生たちは自分たちの制服をいかにかわいく見せるかに情熱を注いでいます。代表的なのはスカートの丈です。足を長くきれいに見せるために、真冬でもスカートを短く履いています。男子留学生からは、自分の国ではそのような高校生がいないので、最高だ!と話しているのを聞いたことがあります。あまり見すぎると警察につかまってしまうので注意しましょうね。また、ブランド物が好きで、高校生でもハイブランドのお財布やバッグを持っていることもあります。これは恋人からのプレゼントされたものもありますが、それだけではなく、購入するために一生懸命アルバイトをしていることもあります。それだけ、日本の女子高生はファッションのために必死になっていると言えます。 いかがでしたか?次回も引き続き日本のファッションについて紹介します。※来週は事情によりお休みします。
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Oct. 5, 2021
[English/日本語] Things that Surprised International Students When They Came to Japan: Japanese People's Personalities (1) When I asked international students, "What kind of people did you think the Japanese people were when you were in your home country? " I asked them. They replied, "I thought Japanese people were polite, kind, and serious. But now it's a little different. They replied. So, what do international students think about Japanese people when they come to Japan? This time, I would like to talk about some of the behaviors and conversations that international students find strange when communicating with Japanese people. Social Etiquette This is a story about a Bangladeshi student. There is a Japanese person who I became friends with during break time at my part-time job. I was very happy because I had never made Japanese friends before. The Japanese person said, "Let's have dinner sometime. I was so happy that I asked him when he wanted to eat. Where do you want to eat? I asked. But the Japanese guy laughed and said he would check his schedule and that was the end of the conversation. I waited, wondering when. I waited and waited, but there was no answer at all. I wondered why. If you are Japanese, you may understand this story. When Japanese people say, "Let's eat dinner sometime," it does not mean that they really want to eat. This conversation is a kind of greeting. However, in most cases, it is not a lie from the Japanese to the foreign student, because it is often said when the conversation was enjoyable. It also implies that you might really want to have dinner together when you get to know each other better or when the timing is right. If someone says, "Let's have dinner sometime. If you are asked, "Let's have dinner sometime," you can say, "Sounds good. or "I would like to introduce you to some restaurants in my country, so please let me know when you are free. I'd like to introduce you to some restaurants in my country. What is your blood type? I often get asked by international students, "Why do Japanese people often ask me my blood type? Why is that? There are many international students who do not know their blood type. They also say that almost no one asks people their blood type in everyday conversation. In Japan, "blood type fortune-telling" and "blood type personality tests," which are not common in other countries, are often featured in morning information programs and women's magazines. Type A is serious, Type B is self-centered, Type O is sketchy, and Type AB is mysterious, to name a few of the blood type characteristics that Japanese people believe in. Some Japanese people don't want people to know that their blood type is B because they have a bad impression of it. When I tell this story, the foreign students burst into laughter. You may think it is ridiculous to judge people by their blood type, but it is true that for some Japanese people, it is used as a basis for judging others. If you are asked your blood type by a Japanese person, you may want to reply, "I don't know. Japanese people are quick to apologize A Mongolian student said to me, "Japanese people are quick to apologize. It's strange that they apologize even if it's not their fault. " Japanese people use the word "Sumimasen" a lot in their daily lives. The word "Sumimasen" is mainly used to apologize, but it is also used when you want to thank someone or call out to someone. However, this is not the only reason why Japanese people apologize more often than other countries. It is often said that the reason why Japanese people apologize so often is that they are a nation that is careful not to cause trouble to others. When foreigners see Japanese people apologizing, they think that Japanese people are polite, but at the same time, they sometimes feel as if they are running away from solving problems. However, if you get a job at a Japanese company or work part-time serving customers, you may have problems if you cannot apologize like a Japanese person. There are books on how to apologize, and even movies about it in japan. If you want to work in Japan, learn not only the Japanese language but also how to apologize. What do you think? In the next article, I will continue to tell you about Japanese people's behavior and conversation that international students find strange! 留学生が日本に来て驚いたこと~日本人の性格編①~ 留学生に「国にいるときに、日本人はどんな人達だと思っていましたか?」と聞くと、「礼儀正しい、親切、真面目だと思っていました。でも今は少し違います。」と答えます。では、日本に来た留学生は日本人対してどう思っているのでしょう。今回は留学生が日本人とコミュニケーションをとる時に「日本人って変だな。」と思った行動や会話などを中心に紹介します。 社交辞令 あるバングラデシュの学生の話。 アルバイト先の休憩時間で少し仲良くなった日本人がいます。日本人の友達が初めてでとてもうれしかったです。その日本人が「今度、ご飯食べよう」と言ってくれました。私はとてもうれしかったので、いつ食べますか?どこで食べますか?と聞きました。でもその日本人は笑って、「予定を調べる」と言って話はそれで終わりました。私はいつかな?と思って待っていましたが、全然返事がありません。どうしてでしょうか? この話は日本人のならわかると思います。日本人の「今度、ご飯食べよう」は本当に食べたいと思っているわけではありません。この会話はあいさつのようなものです。ただ、会話をして楽しかったときに言う場合が多いので、留学生に対して失礼なことをしようという気持ちはまったくありません。そして、もっと仲が良くなったときやタイミングが合ったときに本当に一緒に食事をするかもしれないという意味も含まれています。もし、「今度、ご飯を食べよう。」と言われたときは、「いいですね。」や「私の国のお店を紹介したいので、暇なとき教えてください。」などの返事をするといいかもしれません。 あなたの血液型は何? 留学生から「日本人に血液型をよく聞かれるけれど、どうしてですか?」と質問されることがあります。留学生で自分の血液型を知らない人は少なくありません。また、普段の会話の中で人に血液型を聞く人はほとんどいないと言います。日本では他の国にはあまりない「血液型占い」や「血液型性格診断」などが朝の情報番組や女性誌でよくとりあげられています。日本人が信じている血液型の特徴をあげると、A型は真面目、B型は自己中心的、O型は大雑把、AB型はミステリアスなどです。日本人で自分の血液型がB型の人は、悪い印象を持たれているから人に知られたくないという人もいます。この話をすると留学生からは爆笑がおこります。血液型で人を判断するのは馬鹿らしいと思うかもしれませんが、一部の日本人にとってはそれを相手の判断材料にする人がいるのも事実です。あなたが日本人に血液型を聞かれたときは「知らないんです。」と答えるのがいいかもしれませんね。 すぐ謝る日本人 モンゴルの学生から「日本人はすぐに謝ります。自分が悪くなくても謝るのは変です。」と言われたことがあります。日本人は「すみません」という言葉を日常生活で多用します。「すみません」は主に謝罪の時に使いますが、その他にも感謝したい時や呼びかける際にも使います。しかし、それだけではなく日本人が他の国と比べて謝罪が多いのは確かです。日本人が頻繁に謝罪する理由としてよく言われるのが『他人に迷惑をかけないように気をつかう国民性』があげられます。日本人が謝罪する様子を見て、日本人は礼儀正しいと外国人に思われる一方、問題解決をすることから逃げているように感じると言われることもあります。ただ、日本の企業に就職した場合やアルバイトで接客をする場合は日本人のような謝罪ができないと問題が起きてしまうことがあります。謝罪の仕方の本屋、それを題材にした映画などもあります。日本で働く場合は日本語だけではなく謝罪の方法も学びましょう。 いかがでしたか?次回も留学生が変だと思う日本人の行動や会話などについてお伝えまします!