The opinion different countries of the world have of America is one that can best be described using a swinging pendulum. There are times when America is viewed as the world leader in science, economics, and technology. This, however, does not take away the fact that there are parts of the world where negative perceptions are held in America. Since the end of the Second World War, the bond between Japan and America has grown most remarkably. But has there been a change in the public opinion between both countries? This is why we have decided to investigate what the Japanese think of America.
What do Japanese think of America?
Japanese people often view Americans as friendly and open instead of shy and reserved. On the other hand, they also view America as a very violent place with a high crime rate. Japan is noted to have the lowest rate of homicide in the world even though the country has about 40% of the total population of America and is crammed into a land that is the size of one of the states in America. Also, it is believed that Americans reside in a more spacious country and its people are more expressive about the way they feel about issues. The media in Japan have also helped to reinforce the belief among Japanese that Americans are gun-toting, fat and selfish customers. Furthermore, Japanese are known to trust Americans a great deal and the feeling is often mutual. This, however, does not mean that they consider Americans as trustworthy.
What Do Japanese People Think Of Americans?
Many things run through the minds of the Japanese when they think of Americans, here is a breakdown of a few of them:
Japanese people often view America and Americans as being more cheerful and free-spirited than they are. This can be largely linked to the fact that America is a country filled with people of different tongues and tribes. They also view America as a land of limitless opportunities aside from the fact that Americans only eat Hamburgers.
Places of interest in America
More and more Japanese are visiting America and this is giving them an increased view of the way they see America. Quite several Japanese college students have visited America at least once in their life. And when they are asked for their places of interest, you would probably get responses such as California, New York, and maybe Disneyland!
There is a general belief among the Japanese that Americans are quite friendly and open. This is coupled with the fact that they are viewed as sociable and not shy. This does not, however, take away the negative stereotypes the Japanese have of Americans. Chief among the negative stereotypes include gun crimes and weight issues. For instance, the weight issue can be traced to the size of food Americans eat while the gun-related crime can be traced to the news that is aired on TV every day.
What Effect Did The Second World War Have On The Japanese Perception Of Americans?
Japan launched an attack on the U.S. Naval base located at Pearl Harbor on the 7th of December 1941. Responding to this, America declared an all-out war with Japan. There was also a response from Japanese allies such as the Nazi Germans and this lead to the Second World War. The effect of this conflict is one that can best be described as bitter with atrocities such as torture and executions of Americans by the Japanese. The Americans adopted rather strategic ways to defeat Japan such as the bombardment of the Japanese mainland and Okinawa. This approach was quite successful as they soon moved inwards.
It is argued that World War II had a profound effect on the relationship between America and Japan. It changed from a rather hostile relationship to a rather friendly one in terms of economic and political alliances. After the Second World War, America had already attained the status of the strongest country in terms of the economy and the Military. Japan soon began making considerable progress politically and economy-wise.
What Is The 21st Century Like Between Japan And America?
By the close of the 20th century, the relationship between Japan and America had witnessed considerable progress. The factors that hitherto lead to frictions between both countries had been replaced with China becoming the major economic threat to the US. The rise of North Korea as a security threat and China’s expansion was enough motivation to strengthen the relationship between both countries.
Some Questions Americans Working In Japan Will Face
If you are an American working in Japan, you may find it quite difficult to properly blend in. This may be due to your skin color or your poor Japanese skills. But to stay on top of your game, you will need to learn to answer some recurring questions. Here are a few stereotypical questions Japanese often ask Americans:
What differentiates American Companies and Japanese companies
As far as the Japanese are concerned, differences are important. Everyone certainly wants to know how it is on the other side in terms of opportunities and pay. Also, your Japanese colleagues would want to know the differences that exist between Japanese and American offices. But if you have never really worked in an American company, you could share with them the experiences of your family and friends.
Are you in a relationship
Unlike whatever perception you may have about this question, it is important to note that this type of question is not unusual in Japan. For instance, if an attractive person in Japan asks you about your relationship status, it is highly unlikely that he or she is hitting on you. It may simply be a product of curiosity. This makes it quite convenient to express yourself to someone whom you find attractive in Japan as it would not be seen as weird or awkward.
What do you do for a living
Most of the foreigners who work and reside in Japan are usually English teachers and translators. This is why most people begin to wonder what it is you do if you do not fall into any of the aforementioned work categories. But if you opt to make known what it is you do, make sure that you speak highly of it. This is because you never can tell if your feedback could get to your boss.
What brings you to Japan
Many people love to visit Japan for several reasons. Some go there for the food, others go for the comics and the temple experience. It is not uncommon to find foreigners pushing through the crowds with their large backpacks. But this does not mean that all foreigners in Japan are tourists, there is quite a number who reside and work in Japan even though they are not many. This is perhaps why an American living in Japan would be faced with curious questions about why they opted to live in Japan. The answer to this question is usually used to tell more about who you are and what your intents are. For instance, if you came because of the anime, it could be deduced that you are a nerd, if you say you love the raw fish, you would be viewed as a foodie.
Where do you come from
One of the problems Americans in Japan would face is the question of what kind of foreigner you are. It is even worse when you are the only American working in your company because you would get invited to nearly every social event. And in these social events, you are bound to come faced with questions about where you come from. The fact that you come from America in Japan would certainly give you some sort of advantage over others. Your identity as an American can go a very long way in giving you professional and lifelong connections in Japan.
Interesting Facts About Japan You Should Know
There are some important and interesting things you should know about Japan before you pay a visit. H
Firstly, there are not too many trash cans in public hence; you may need to have a plastic bag with you when you are on the move. Also, you may have to rent a pocket Wi-Fi while you are in Japan as Google maps may be your lifesaver on your journey through Japan. Furthermore, you would be surprised to find out that more places credit cards than you would have imagined. In addition to this, you shouldn’t tip anyone rendering services to you. This is just the rule over there. One rather weird rule you would find out is that in Japan, you may be asked to remove your shoes when entering a restaurant.
What do Japanese think of America? We have been able to establish that the Japanese generally have a healthy disposition towards Americans. This is fueled by a history of socio-political dealings that have spanned decades. From the looks of things, it doesn’t seem like this relationship will fade any time soon.
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