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To Japanese people, America = What?

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To Japanese people, America = What? 2006/11/1 12:37
United States
What do Japanese people (especially the ones who have never been to America) think that life in America is like? What comes to mind for many Japanese people when they think about life in America in terms of the houses, cars, lifestyle, people, schooling, etc.?
by liz  

.. 2006/11/2 10:09
Honestly, I think their view is based on the media, news and hollywoood. Exactly the same way how American's who have never been to Japan or know Japanese people, have a few of Japan, its all based on Media, Hollywood, and entertainment, since, good or bad thats how images of America are seen throughout the world.
by john rate this post as useful

Japanese who haven't been to America 2006/11/2 14:45
I think it depends on the person, but probably the major idea among people who don't know the U.S. well is big houses, big cars, junk food lifestyle, big and cheerful people and schooling that don't have as much rules as they do in Japan.
by Uco, who has been to America rate this post as useful

. 2006/11/3 14:51
Uco basically summed it up.

Of course Japan also shares some generalized world views of America too along with other countries. I'm sure you know what the stereotypical view is. (FDL)

by . rate this post as useful

?? 2006/11/3 21:09
By the way, how far away is Los Angeles from California?
The capital of America is New York, right?
by An average Japanese rate this post as useful

Re: to view of Japan based on media. 2006/11/3 21:18
I have never been outside of the US and I base NOTHING on the media. Maybe I'm a special case.

Heck... I don't even remember the last time I saw the latest blockbuster.

by I disagree rate this post as useful

Re:?? 2006/11/3 21:30
Simple questions with simple answers that you can find out on your own...

LA is in Cali

and Washington DC

were you joking?

Reading is still fundamental.

I've looked into Japanese porn stars(why they chose that profession).

I've researched trends in Japan.

Music, festivals, "school spirit", how they deal with American holidays, schooling/cram schools, uniform policy, the practice of martial arts, the obsession with paleness, the hair, the anime/manga(I knew you were expecting that one), the artists who started the anime/manga and why, why they connect blood type to personality, crime rate, technology, transportation, etc.

I feel that if you are interested in something then research it. I know how and where Japan gets most of its power from and that it imports a good percentage of its food(which surprised me because I thought the Japanese just used what was around them).

by Haruka rate this post as useful

true 2006/11/3 21:47
Haruka, the original questioner was asking how people ''instantly'' react when asked the impression of the United States.

I don't know about L.A., but I definitely agree that most people think that NY is the capital. I've told them, but they won't try to remember!

by Uco rate this post as useful

Re:True 2006/11/3 22:04
Sorry, then! LA is in California. Washington, D.C. is the capital of the US. to average Japanese person.

Did they ever say why they think NY is the capital?

So I am also interested in hearing various answers from Japanese people?? Please!

Not the question but
I'm trying to remember back to my first impression of Japan....

When I first saw the anime "Sailor Moon"... a looong time ago. umm This is in.
I thought that Japan was cool. I thought that kids studied hard because one of the senshi attended cram school and was accepted into many medical programs being just in junior high. I thought that it was the dream of many girls in Japan to become idols(at first I didn't understand why they called them idols instead of celebrities but I like idols better)....

I also thought that most of the young women in Japan was growing out of wanting to become a housewife because only one of the girls in that anime wanted to be a housewife, the others wanted bigger and better things. One wanted to takeover her grandfather's temple.

I also thought that kids in Japan could just run around unsupervised most of the day. Yep.

Then I started thinking... how come I see no Japanese looking people in this anime. Then I started to think "there are blonde Japanese people"

I also thought homosexuality was more widely accepted in Japan(from the one lesbian couple in the anime).

This was back in middle school. I am now 21.

So,more or less, those were my first impressions of Japan's people.

I hope some Japanese out there can give me their first impression of America(besides the capital being LA... or NY)
(^(^)

by Haruka rate this post as useful

. 2006/11/3 23:27
To I disagree, you're free to disagree, but I can tell you the world view of Japan is based mainly on what people see in the media, what they see in movies, television, and pop media. Is this true for everyone no, but its argueable its true for most people, including myself before I actually traveled to Japan.

The question being poised is what people think at first, or for those who never traveled, and probably never researched at first, not what is fact. When people think of France, the image of the Eiffle tower immediately comes to mind, why? Because thats what is seen in the media, movies a lot.

If you were to ask what people's impression of America, the fact is its widely different depending on age, older generation, younger generation, depends on one's life experiences, and ones exposure to media etc etc.

It varies greatly.

For example, if you were to as an American about their view of Japan, it too would vary greatly, some might see it as a very conserative society, while others might see it as a very liberal society, others might think of it only in terms of Anime, some might see it as a high tech nation, while others might think people still live in bamboo houses.

If you want a generic answer, the generic answer would be similar to that found in other parts of the world, and as mentioned already:
Bigger houses, bigger cars, pretty much just bigger everything, food portions etc.

As for the Capitals I think its the tendency for people to think the more famous and sometimes the more populous city to be the capital city, if you were to ask a bunch of people what the Capital of Austrailia was, you'll probably get A LOT of people who would say Syndey, or Perth, or Melbourne, but in reality the Capital is Canberra. Of course this doesn't work if you ask Austrailians.

by john rate this post as useful

To John 2006/11/3 23:52
It's just funny that majority of the people in Japan, with them studying so hard in school and cram schools, believe in the media.

It's just funny. It's true and understandable, but funny still.

I just look at how I was in school(high school and under). I worked hard and that led to me not really believing in a lot of what I saw. Or maybe that was instilled in me or part of my personality before I even attended school.

This is why I can't understand why people in Japan, with their great artistic, technical, and academic minds, would believe in all that... mess.

by Haruka rate this post as useful

. 2006/11/4 00:34
It's just funny that majority of the people in Japan, with them studying so hard in school and cram schools, believe in the media.

I'm not saying they believe in it, I say its their first impression based on the media, and I say its not only Japanese people, but people from most countries in the world, when they think about other countries they never traveled to before or don't know much about, their only basis to rely on is what they have seen in the media, movies, tv etc etc. Ask someone about Austrailia they think Kangaroos and wallabees, ask someone about France they think the Eiffle tower.

Its certainly not limited to just japanese people.

by john rate this post as useful

Re John 2006/11/4 01:14
I know it's world wide but we/I were/was referring to Japan(ese) and America(ns).

everyone has a first impression of white america, black america, hispanic america, africa(some/majority of people don't stop to consider it's a continent not a country... made up of many countries).
They refer to all Blacks from Africa as "Africans" but I rarely seen this referred to non-black Africans.
Canada(some think it's mostly cold and frozen over but it is very beautiful), etc.

I know.

by Haruka rate this post as useful

media 2006/11/4 14:47
Well, as a Japanese living in Japan, I do agree that it's NOT just all about the media.

The media always show what "people want to see". So if people think that America is big and the biggest scene in American is NY and LA and the president is evil, then the media shows it that way, and then the people again think "See? That's what I thought!"

Anyway, it's very difficult for people who have lived in their own town all their lives to imagine that NY, Texas and New Orleans are very different. It's already difficult enought for them to imagine that Tokyo, Sapporo and Okinawa are very different.

And they keep talking about Washington D.C. on the Japanese news every day, but since they show nothing but the White House and Pentagon, people can't help getting the impression that "Washington D.C." is some tiny district in the middle of New York :D

by Uco rate this post as useful

When I was in Japan, people would ask 2007/1/3 08:32
Well. When I was in Japan, I got asked if I had a gun. I was also asked if a lot of people got killed around where I was from and if my family used guns to protect themselves.... this was asked to me by several people, and it was asked to my friends.
I was also asked about my religious views, and I tried to stay away from that topic. The girl who was talking to me was trying to make a point that it was stupid for anyone to believe in anything but themselves. I personally did not agree nor disagree with her statement nor get into the conversation with her. My sensei who was in Japan for twenty years had lots of good and bad memories of Japan. One was of a girl who tried to committ suicide after his roommate had told this girl he would marry her and had sex with her (they had just met.. and she believed him.. and well he was just saying that...)
a good incident that he said spoke well of americans was that his sensei told him that only an amereican would do that... he was speaking of when that plane crashed and a man saved a child instead of himself, and soon thereafter drowned... so you can take from this what you may... but I think these few statements may give you some insight..
by Christy Kibodeaux rate this post as useful

- 2007/1/4 21:57
When I think Usa, I think wars on world, guns, hiphop, big muscle cars from 70s, school shootings, cowboys, not many manners and also they should get rid of their military bases on our Okinawa that they are occupying, they cause too many problems (like rapes, murder, many guns for sale, noise, olution, etc.).
by Hitomi rate this post as useful

- 2007/1/24 11:10
OT: Nice sock puppet previous poster.

All I know is my wifes friend was pretty shocked I don't grill dinner every night.

by Jason rate this post as useful

. 2007/1/24 11:43
Long time ago, I thought Americans were living in a constant fear of crime and violence no matter where they lived. When I moved to US several yeras ago, all my friends asked me how big Americans were and how bad the foods were, which took me a while to convince them what they see/hear are not entirely true.
by A Japanese woman's view rate this post as useful

. 2007/1/24 13:02
I am japanese. America looks very great and beautiful country to me.
by .nihon jin rate this post as useful

Well.... 2007/3/12 04:28
My ma' first told me that Japan was so crowded that they didn't have any trees, that people only ate fish and rice, and that they went to school all year round.

My ma' aint the most open minded person out there. But I didn't really like her answers. They just didn't make sense. Like how in a manga, the kids would have one month off for summer vacation. And I thought, if ma' was wrong about THAT then perhaps she was wrong about other stuff too.

So...I began researching Japan, and its culture and language. The more I learned the more I wanted to know.

And then something else happened...I fell in love with the country. It was so different from the country I was born in, so fresh.

So, I guess...it depends. Maybe some Japanese people are just like me, and will want to know more. And maybe they'll find out that it isn't exactly the way the media portrays it to be, that yes, the US is different, but not by a lot.

So...it just depends, really.

by sabrina rate this post as useful

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