Thursday, September 5, 2013

Will Miss #32 - such nice, clean people (reflection)

As I mentioned in the "won't miss" portion of this two-part post, Japanese people aren't necessarily as clean as their reputation would lead one to believe. People litter, and there aren't as strict laws in place to punish them for doing so in Japan like there are in the U.S. More than one student would complain to me that people would throw their trash bags out their car windows on the highway and there was either no law to stop them, it was not enforced, or the punishment wasn't severe enough to cause people to dispose of the trash properly. 

The main difference between Japanese folks and Americans on this front is that the Japanese were meticulous about keeping the spaces around their businesses or homes clean. They'd take matters in hand and pick up after others. This kept areas looking nice. Here in the U.S., there is often trash in the streets in front of stores, and it can remain there for a long time because no one picks up after passersby who litter. 

I still miss the fact that Japanese people had an ethic which said that it didn't matter who created the problem when it came to litter or dirt. Regardless of who messed it up, someone would clean it up.