Friday, 22 August 2008

They are all identical!!!

How can 127 million people be so identical??? Wherever you turn your face in Japan, you see the same exact identical behavior acted by the Japanese people!

1. When they use automatic stairs, everybody stands in one line one by one on the left side so that if someone comes in a hurry he takes the right side and keeps walking!! I have never seen two people standing beside each other on the stairs or standing on the right (wrong!) side!!

2. When you just pass by ANY employee in ANY mall (even if this employee was really busy holding so many stuff), they tell u IRASHAIMASE~ which is a way to show respect and say you are welcome!

3. They enter the train in a very organized queue with no messy crowds, speaking quietly, if any, and putting their mobiles on silent mode. I just can’t imagine this happening in Jordan!! Can you imagine how quiet the trains are? If not, check the following video..

4. They all sleep in the train in the same way, closing their eyes and sleeping peacefully without a move. When the train arrives to their station they simply wake up and leave. They never miss the station!! I really tried to do like them, I could not. Either I keep moving my head or I keep opening my eyes to see if I arrived to the desired station and I think if I slept deeply like them I would definitely miss my station! The following video shows two sleeping Japanese in the train. Not DEAD! Only sleeping..!!!

5. Same facial expressions especially when they are shocked or when they forget something.

6. On sunny days, all futons are put out in order to be aired and u can hear all the neighbors beating them with something like a stick.

7. No one crosses the street on a red sign even if the street was only 2 meters wide and there were no cars at all!

There are many examples but those all what I remember at the moment..
Very identical! Sometimes I even wonder if they are taught all this in schools..!


Jaraad said...

Interesting! Although, order is something very valuable but when it is exaggerated it becomes weird. Nice post.

PŕōuđPāŀĩ said...

the japanese r the most organized and disciplined people on the face of the planet. their culture is that way, they raise their kids on these principles and there is no room for mistakes in anything they do. its amazing! but when tokyo is the most populated city in the world (with 32mil people +) u HAVE to be THAT organized in order to make life easy on u and others..

of course, they could be clones! lol

Saemon 左衛門 said...

Well, when I was in Osaka people crossed the streets red or green.

And about the queues infront of trains, a Japanese friend in Osaka told me that in the past it was like the bus queues (or non-queues!) in Jordan, but that there were heavy public campaigns in the media (such as billboards, tv, etc) to promote orderliness in train queues and then over time it became orderly like you see it.

Also about the escalator thing, what's interesting is that in kansai and kantou people stand on different sides. When I was in kyoto I saw many people standing on the opposite side and I was confused but realized that these were visitors/tourists from Tokyo!

Kawachan said...

You are very sensitive & observing people well!! lol
Yeah, as Samer says people stand on the right side of the escalator in Osaka.
People in Osaka are more frank and they like to talk a lot.
Osakan people are said to be similar to Arab people..not only their personalities, but also their fashion.
They like gold colors or vivid colors, and gorgeous clothes like in Arab world..
They also like to negotiate for price discounts..even at large department stores!!
Tokyoites laugh at Osakans but I think they are more friendly and I like Osakans a lot!

Kawachan said...

By the way..majority of the people who visit Dubai are from Osaka.
I once stayed at some hotels in Dubai and majority of the Japanese guests were Osakans or in the neiboring area in Kansai.

If you see a Japanese in the Arab countries, you can bet 70 percent of them are from Kansai area.

Monther - Moski said...

man, this is sooo coool, we need 100 trillion billion years to even come close, this is noo not fair. Please keep us updated ;), i can't wait for my next visit this january.

Blue Rose said...

Thanks everybody for sharing us your opninons, these info are totally new for me!!

Actually i didn't know that Osakan people are less organized and similar to Arabs plus their system is opposite than the system here in Tokyo. I also didn't know that all these organized queues are the fruit of public campaigns!! Actually I still cannot imagine the word disorganized said to a Japannese!! I know that no one is perfect but their systematic way of life makes me feel that they lived this way their whole lives!!

After all, I got used to this way of life and I like it so much, that's why I think now it is hard for me to to go back to Jordan and see things going with no system (^_^;)

Summer said...

I think most people around the world are like Arabs (not a bad thing at all), not organized to the T and do things spontaneously, it is good sometimes because it reflects that we are humans not robots! but with training, discipline and organization anyone can be trained to behave in a certain robotic way! Look at us Arabs when we go to the west and start driving, we follow the rules down to the smallest thing, such as stopping at a stop sign with no one in the street at all, no police or nothing....i would rather have people behave this way than being chaotic!
great post about Japan, as always!

subzero said...

Summer san,
When you say Arabs and Japanese you are taking the two extremes, organizing wise. I cannot see any problem in being organized even if a little bit too much. Its better than being not organized, a little bit too much..

subzero said...


Thank you for passing by. I hope our following posts would amaze u more :)

momiji said...

Not all Arabs are the same ,I think.
not all Arabs like vivid, or gold colors.At least, for me. In every country there are people with different tastes.

Being organized is a very nice thing and not bad at all.
Japan population is very large so they need to be organized, or many problems will happen.
We need some organization here also. Especially, at the bus stops.

Thank you for the nice post, blue-rose san :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for your comments for japanese society which you observed. they are all very interesting. and comments of visitors of this post are also interesting! good discussions!


Kawachan said...

I am surprised you are completely adapted yourself to the environment in Tokyo...
Yes, manners can be learned by anyone.
In 1980's, the manner in train in Japan was not as good as it is now.
People could smoke and lie on the floor.
Nowadays, the manners are very very strict and people are expected to follow them.
See the manner improvement campaign posters by Tokyo Metro.

Those posters say:
*Don't put makeup in the train
*No picnic in the train
*Don't talk on the mobile phone.
*Lower the volume of earphones.
*Don't eat&drink like home in the train
*Don't rush into the train

Those rules are Tokyo Metro only.
However, I guess other subway systems like Nagoya subway encourage similar manners.
Do Jordanian people follow those manners in the train or in the bus...?

Tala said...

Ramadan Kareem Blue Rose and Saned, yen3ad 3aleikom :)

Kawachan said...

I forgot to mention one thing!

In Tokyo Metro subway, people are very calm, but in JR(Japan Railway) trains, people are noisy and tend to talk a lot!

Maybe that's because subway is more closed and in darkness, so people feel more supressed or hesitate to talk because you will stand out and people will look at you in such a closed space if you speak aloud...
And one more important thing...In JR, people can play with their mobile phones, exchanging e-mail or surfing the net. In subway, it's impossible because the signal is off. They just give up and sleep or read books...

In JR, on the other hand, people tend to talk a lot and the atmosphere is more cheerful, but I also see a lot of bad-mannered people in JR. You will also see lots of high school students in JR trains, while high school students aren't seen in Tokyo Metro.

The fare of JR is cheaper and more "open" to the outside world. People can see the outside scenery and also can open the windows.
Maybe that makes people's mind more open and make them cheerful.

Also, the people's social class and status are different between JR and Tokyo Metro.
While JR is used by any kinds of people, Tokyo Metro is mainly used by business people or upscale people living in those area, because Tokyo Metro only covers central part of Tokyo(business/commercial district & upscale residential areas). So, Tokyo Metro is quite empty on weekends(most business is off), while JR is crowded on weekends...
Maybe that's why Metro passengers look more sophisticated and good-mannered because their purpose of using Tokyo Metro is manily serious...

subzero said...


Thank you for the link. Because I take the JR and the Metro both everyday, I can notice the difference and what you said is true. The JR is more crowded and noisy.

Actually no, Jordanian people dont follow the same manners. They are a little bit unorganized when entering or leaving the bus.. I hope we can make such a campaign in Jordan..

subzero said...


Thank you for the wishes. Ramadan Kareem for u too.

subzero said...


Thank you for passing by :)

Blue Rose said...

summer san and momiji san,,

You're both right! Yes people outside are not organized to the T, but still -at least for me- being that systematic is really great! We need such manners in arab countries but I still cannot understand why do we stick to the rules abroad and we don't stick to them back home?! May be we need some awareness campaigns like the one kawachan posted.

Tala san,,

thanks a lot it is very sweet of you my friend..


Am happy you've read the post, I would like to know one thing since you're Japanese; do Japanese find what was mentioned in the post and in the comments are true? Or is it just people from outside Japan find it systematic and identical?


Thanks for the rich info you're providing us, I've checked the link, it is really interesting to know about this campaign, I think the only rule that Japanese females don't follow is putting the make-up, especially at 7:00am when they head to work, you find females putting FULL make-up CALMLY as if no one is around them and when they finish you notice that they've put it perfectly without being affected by the train's movement!
For the question you asked; unfortunately, Jordanian don't follow such manners at the bus stop, it is just like a crowded race..

Saemon 左衛門 said...

Blue rose,
When we go to other countries we are affected by the different behavior of people. For example, in Japan it is easier to be organized because almost everybody is organized. similarly, when we're in Jordan we can't have our way into the bus or in the streets, without being selfish, because everybody is selfish about it. Another thing is that when we're in a foreign country we take more care to follow the rules because we don't want to get in trouble; we can be easily stopped or deported from the country.

As for becoming organized, well you have to understand that you can't go to raghadan or sweileh and tell a person who can barely find next day's meal that he should be organized or good-mannered. This is the least of his worries. I don't think any kind of campaign will be effective like it was in Japan, simply because the standard of living is much lower and economic situation is much worse.

Remember that the Japanese economy was broken after the war and after the Korean war it starting going upwards and at one point in the eighties, it was even bigger than the united states economy. The standard of living was improving and people were getting refined with time, so it is much easier to tell a Japanese person in the 60s or 70s to get rid of an old unpleasant habit, liking pushing his way into the train; He already has his basic human needs fulfilled and so he is open to education and enlightment.

Excuse the long post!

Kawachan said...


Yes! it's a shame to see a woman(office worker probably) putting on her makeup in train! Maybe she is too lazy to wake up a little bit earlier...
Such women normally have other problems in their lives(like, their room is full of garbabe..and not clean..).
In Japanese companies, all the female workers are supposed to wear makeup. If a office girl appear in the office with no makeup on her face, she will be scolded by her boss and will be asked to put on her makeup in the restroom..
It is kind of business etiquette for women to wear makeup in a company. It's like all men in Japanese companies are supposed to wear tie & suits.


I agree to your point of view!!
I think any person cannot afford to care about his/her behavior or social manners enough when he/she is having difficulties to get his/her bread and doing very hard to survive every day...

First, human beings need to be given basic needs to live a minimum comfortable and humane life...such as safe food, water, hygiene, and of course a peaceful society.

Second, education/campaign/enlightment...

I now think maybe it's not a simple problem of "campaign", because it is rooted in poverty and social unfairness...

Kawachan said...

I forgot to answer the question in your article...

>Sometimes I even wonder if they >are taught all this in schools..!

Yes, all the postwar Japanese people are educated in elementary school about moral/social manners.

There is a "moral education/social manner" class in every elementary school's currirulum.
About the morals, it's non-religious, neutral, universal ideas about human morals..such as "you should greet cheerfully to other people in the morning. younger people should say good morning first".

So, it's like combination of moral and basic social manners, sometimes taking children out of the classroom and letting them experience and practice in real world under teachers' supervision.

Kawachan said...

By the way,
I found an interesting survey on the internet.
It's "The Pew Global Attitudes Survey ( Favorability ratings".

It's a worldwide cencus of favorability ratings of major countries.

Each country's citizens rate foreign countries if they like the country or not.

On page 48 of this report,
Favorability rating of Japan is listed as below:

Question: "Is Japan favorable or unfavorable?(Do you like Japan or dislike Japan?)"

In U.S.: (favorable:70% unfavorable:11%)
In Britain: (fav:70% unfav:8%)
In France: (fav:78% unfav:22%)
In Germany: (fav:78% unfav:14%)
In Spain: (fav:67% unfav:20%)
In Poland: (fav:73% unfav:14%)
In Russia: (fav:74% unfav:17%)

In Turkey: (fav:43% unfav:34%)

In Egypt: (fav:51% unfav:44%)
In Jordan: (fav:43% unfav:53%)
In Lebanon: (fav:57% unfav:28%)

In Argentina: (fav:47% unfav:19%)
In Brazil: (fav:68% unfav:21%)
In Mexico: (fav:40% unfav:32%)

In Nigeria: (fav:69% unfav:18%)
In S. Africa: (fav:39% unfav:39%)
In Tanzania: (fav:70% unfav:8%)
(The number of sample of each country is between 700 to 1000 people. This census is conducted scientifically and accurate.)

All the countries's citizens except for Jordanian seem to have favorable views of Japan.

I would like to know the reason why majority of Jordanian people dislike Japan...while other nation's citizens mostly like Japan.

Maybe Japanese travellers are behaving badly in Jordan and aren't following manners or social rules in Jordan and giving them bad impression?

I would like to hear any reasons for bad view of Japan by Jordanian people or can you give me advice or suggestion to improve the image of Japan in Jordan?
Any candid opinion by Jordanian people is greatly appreciated! (^o^)

Of course, I understand you yourself probably have positive views of Japan because you are interested in Japan already and visiting this blog...but I would also like to hear common Jordanian's opinions..such as your friends or neighbors if possible.
Thank you!! ( ^^)

Anonymous said...

Ramadan mbarak!!
ogenki desuka?
sorry that i came here to answer your question,gomennasai!
about your comment for what you observed. the point is "how much organaised japanese are". my opinion, we are not very organised but more "manualised". we are strong and organised for the things that we learned, but we are not strong and disorganised for the things that we havn't learn...


Blue Rose said...

kawachan and K-s, sorry for the late reply, but we had some circumstances that kept us away for several days.. Anyway, kawachan, this survey is really interesting!! Actually am really shocked!! because Japanese have a really good reputation back in Jordan especially that they support so many projects financially and also experts wise, plus I've heard that the number of people learning Japanese in Amman is increasing in a way that haven't been before!! BUT subzero has an interesting opinion to say regarding this!! he'll be posting soon inshallah..

K-s thanks for Ramadan wishes and for the answer, yea I think manualised describes it right.. well, it may cause some difficulties at the beginning for a Japanese to live in a place other than Japan,,, as well as for a foreigner to live in Japan then things go smoothly..

Anonymous said...

yeaa you are right
The most thing I was surprised that they don't cross the street if there is red light!
But Osakan people are different:))
I lived Fukuoka, there people aldo qued in escalator's also that who are rushing can pass from the side:)