The Japanese have existed on a series of small volcanic islands over millennium, formulated in the way of Kata:
Over the centuries, ordinary Japanese were rarely exposed to other ways of life or thinking.
Nor have the majority of modern Japanese experienced any other way of life except life within the cloistered world of Japan.
This naturally leaves the Japanese acutely sensitive to deviations from the Japanese way of doing things, especially in the light of the severity of Japanese history, and the mandated Form☀︎Order☀︎Process.
The constricted evolution of the Japanese has contributed significantly to their developing especially strong feelings of being unique in the world—a feelings of uniqueness which still persist today—influencing the behavior of the Japanese toward the others—sometime in a negative way.
In light of this evolution the Japanese will often refers to themselves as:
island country mentality
It very difficult, if not impossible for ordinary Japanese to relate to non-Japanese—as for the most part, the Japanese do not speak a second language—nor do the majority of foreigners speak Japanese to any meaningful degree.
Moreover, the Japanese are innately averse to contact with those from outside their circle and this goes to include other Japanese as well.
Proof in pudding.
Chit chatting to my local friendly farmer, one pointed to the sole neighbourhood restaurant mentioning the owner move here from Tokyo.
To which he replied:
“That idiot is not Japanese, he is a North Korean,” which is considered a grave insult when used on a Japanese citizen.
Indeed, the local friendly farmer was not so welcoming or amicable to this Japanese outsider—nor did any other neighbours in this rural town consider the new face on the block from Tokyo as anything but an outsider and unwelcome.
One could actually say in general the Japanese are unique in their uniform suspicion of all outsiders.
Who would have ever thought that some as simple as fish could be turned into such an extraordinary work of art—not only gustatorily, but ocularly as well.
Sashimi is uniquely Japanese, embraced globally, not only for the extraordinary menagerie of flavours within the fruits of the sea, but in healthy eating protocol as well.
One can only wonder in amazement at the mind it takes to look at ordinary fish in its natural state, then visualizing it into something remarkably marvelous—such as one of the three power pillars of flavourful happiness—sashimi moriawase—oshinko moriawase—rei shu (chilled rice wine).
If one would like to truly understand Japanese society on a deeper level while exploring deep inside the nooks and crannies of the Japanese spirit—it’s time to hit the books.
Upping one’s own language ability, no matter from where one may have started in the Japanese language journey is the key to a success living among the Japanese.
After a period of time and reaching a certain communication level, life in Japanese society is routine, if not somewhat mundane.
Nevertheless, one’s pink shinny face serves as a daily reminder—regardless of the depth of one’s Japanese language skills, there is always much farther to go.
All the while, in the attitude of gratitude, reminding oneself how fortunate to be living here in the Land Of The Rising Son, among the Japanese, as one is reminded along each step of one’s own Way.
Japan—speak Japanese—do as Japanese—be Japanese