Monday, April 23, 2012

Empathy and Book Recomendation

American's often joke how emotive latin American's are. I think Japanese must have the same jokes about Americans. One of my principals said he liked to hire Americans because it's like buying smiles. He thinks it is so funny that I just walk around smiling and waving at people, and loves the staffs improvement in moral. My parents always taught me, "life is 90% attitude", which is even more true when you have a huge language gap.

There is a huge culture gap in the department of empathy. A few days ago, one of the students was hit by a car while walking to school, it was devastating news (the student went to the hospital, but there is no predicted permanent damage). The person who told me, said it while smiling the entire time. In America, you would assume that person was a psychopath. It was very off-putting. For me as an American, there is often a disjunct between the content of the conversation, and the emotion portrayed by the Japanese person. It is bazaar. Today a women said that her daughter had a baby over the weekend. She said she was happy, and that she had wanted a grandchild for a long time. I kept getting really confused and expected there to be something wrong, because she said it with absolutely no emotion. It was very strange for me.

Japanese people laugh at my emotiveness. They say it takes quite a few drinks before they can be as "energetic" as me. I think they accept that that's just the way foreigners are, which is good, because I don't think I could ever have that much discipline.

Find it on Amazon

One of Ben's colleagues gave him a book to read, it's called "My Darling is a Foreigner". It's ridiculously funny. It does a great job of portraying cultural differences, in an extremely humorous way. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a good book or wants to learn about Japanese culture.


  1. Yep, 90% attitude and 10% showing up!

  2. You're 90% there! Keep it up. Fascinating insight - again! By the way, I'm guessing the "Hello Kitty" was a cash register. Jerri Jo says porta-poddy.