Monday, November 12, 2012

Won't Miss #3 - rude older men (reflection)

The Japanese at the top says "men's No. 1", which seems appropriate since men are clearly #1 in Japan.

The area that I live in in California right now has a bigger than average number of Asian folks. In fact, there is a church near me which is a Japanese one that conducts services in both English and Japanese. I'm guessing this is why there is a Daiso Japan near me as well as Nijiya Japanese market, not to mention about a million Japanese restaurants. I think they are here because this is where the customer base is.

To that end, I'm much more likely to encounter Asian males and possibly Japanese ones in particular in my area. That being said, I have not run across many Japanese folks at all. The first time two guys in business suits blew by me in a shopping center and I overheard their conversation, I actually grew teary. That doesn't actually relate to the topic at hand in any concrete way, except to say that I do have some extremely sparse and limited contact with Japanese men in my current location.

So far, however, only one of these transplants has done anything like I encountered in Japan. There, men navigated the world with a sense of utter entitlement that didn't just border on rude, but overtly displayed bad behavior, repeatedly. They didn't do this because I was foreign, but because I did not possess the proper genitalia to have the right to go onto a train first or to not be cut off when they wanted to be in front, even when I was at the head of the line or the space was too narrow for a person to reasonably pass by. 

I have found that men in America do not naturally barge ahead, push me aside, take up more than their fair share of space, or assume they should be treated deferentially. In fact, people in general are more likely to yield to others regardless of gender and this sort of courtesy was rarely displayed by men in Japan. I absolutely do not miss the level of arrogance displayed by older men in Japan, and have only seen it once here when an older Japanese man rudely barged by me and walked ahead of his female companion (likely his wife) at a pace which clearly made her uncomfortable.


  1. Korean men, in my experience, are 100 times worse.

  2. Men do not behave in such a way. There are many words for that, like '&%$#!' (insert your own). That behaviour, along with what western men perceive as effeminacy in dress and hairstyles, and unearned narcissism, is why most western men in Japan have far fewer male Japanese friends than female, and that's just accounting for platonic friendships.

  3. Michael Foster: I've heard that. However "traditional" Japanese can be, I've heard it is harsher in Korea!

    Ἀντισθένης: I'm afraid that I can't quite understand your comment. Also, you do know that I am not a Western man, but a Western woman, don't you? That means that I am treated differently by Japanese men than Western men, and, yes, they do behave that way toward women. I'm sorry if you don't believe that, but that was absolutely my experience and that of many Japanese women to whom I spoke.

  4. I know that Men are pretty mush the center of the universe in many Asian countries, but Japan is loosening up a bit. My grandfather was harsh on my grandmother, but I've met many Japanese families where the wife had all the power. I've seen menus like the one you posted, but it isn't saying how men are number one, or how only men matter. It just means that it's the number one choice for men, as in men (salary men, construction workers, etc.) order that from the menu. On the side, I can read Number 1 for students, and what not. There probably is one for OL's of women's popular menu as well.

  5. I think what Ἀντισθένης is saying that men who act like aren't men but jerks. And that's why western men who have experience with them don't have many of them as friends as well....

    So in the end I think he's agreeing with you.

    I think.

    1. Yes. Being born with the equipment isn't what makes one a man: acting like a man does.

  6. Retrograve: Ah, that makes it clearer! I didn't really understand. Thanks for the clarification!

    Sorry if I misunderstood, Ἀντισθένης!

  7. Reminds me of this video from YouTube: I think that this is a phenomenon that has been going on in Japan for quite some time. It will take more than a few decades in the modern era to overcome this attitude Japanese males have.


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