1. watermark

    watermark Member

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    On Japanese High School dating

    Discussion in 'Research' started by watermark, Jan 13, 2017.

    So I was hoping someone can enlighten me on a few questions below about Japanese high School students and culture:

    1. I read online that in Japan guys don't pay for dates, and it's normal to have the girl pay too. And this is an ok thing. Is this true?

    2. Is it a BIG DEAL if someone is late for a date in Japan? I've read that you're supposed to apologize to your entire team if you're late for work. But I've also read that punctuality standards are a little more relaxed these days. Is being late still considered a big offense? especially in dating?

    3. Do Japanese high school students hug or kiss casually for non-romantic reasons? Not as in hooking up, as in if someone gives you a gift is it OK to hug them to show your appreciation in a friendly way? Or would this be viewed as weird behavior?

    4. Do Japanese high school students even have time for dates? Or are they so busy studying that there's no time for that? Reading about their school system online it would seem that way. But then again anime says otherwise, so I'm not sure what the real situation is.

    5. So what's the deal with mixed hot springs? I've read that it's no big deal for men and women to soak naked together in mixed hot springs, but then in anime the females throw stuff at males when they do their "peep at the girl's onsen" thing. So I'm confused, which is it? Or is mixed springs a thing for older adults only?

    Thanks so much!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  2. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    I can only answer #5. I haven't been to many hotsprings here, but they've all been gender segregated. There's either a men's side and a ladies' side, or they have alternating hours (10-11 men, 11-12 women, 12-1 men etc). I've never heard of a mixed nude hot spring except for one that Mrs. A and I went to that was private. It was huge for two people, not just a hot tub, but it was outdoors, with a locking door to the hallway and a strategic hedge that allowed us to see the river, but (presumbably :eek:) kept others from seeing us. The mixed hot springs I've heard of have been swimsuit-mandatory places.
     
  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    I don't know anything about your specific questions. Only that Japanese culture is very ancient and very complex. If you're planning to write about anything in Japan you will have some serious research ahead of you. Anime ain't gonna cut it.
     
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  4. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Hear, hear.

    My daughter has an interest in Japan, spent a year working there, learnt the language (including Kanji) to a reasonable standard. Few things irritate her as much as people saying "I love Japan! I've read all these manga/seen all these anime!"
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  5. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    Thank you. I'm going on 16 years here, and yeah, my reading is shit, but nothing makes me smirk more than gaijin otaku.
     
  6. watermark

    watermark Member

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    Yeah I know what you mean. Shows do not equal culture. If they did, then the USA should be full of vampires and walking zombies. I know anime tends to exaggerate for dramatic effect. There's even this theory that sometimes it's so over the top because Japanese society is so repressed in reality. That's why I was hoping someone who's truly knowledgeable about the culture here can help me out, so I could be more accurate in my writing. Maybe I should go to a Japan forum to ask around too.
     
  7. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Senior Member

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    Isn't Gaijin offensive? Essentially like going around in America and calling people foreigners instead of Mexican/British/French/Japanese/ so on?
     
  8. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Senior Member

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    Un-related note. Japanese Ramen is amazing. First time I tried authentic Ramen I ate it for like a week straight. They had to double check that I wanted the super spicy. "Are you sure? You are White." lol
     
  9. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    Long, long response ahead, so TL;DR: There are more polite terms, and some people find it offensive. However, I'm not one of those people.

    Okay, got some tea or whatever? Let's go first with the disclaimers and background information. I'm a Caucasian US citizen who grew up in a nice, comfy bubble of white privilege. I remember the names of both African American students in my grade school to this day, out of a student body of ~500.

    All English vocabulary will be used with its American English connotations.

    外国人 (gaikokujin) is made up of three characters:
    外 gai means "outside".
    国 koku means "country"
    人 jin means "person"

    So a gaikokujin is an outside country person, or foreigner. A gaijin, on the other hand, has a bit stronger feel to it, it would basically mean "outsider". However, the Japanese love to shorten things and drop unnecessary syllables, so there's not that strong of a semantic difference. There is an activist from gaikoku who got his Japanese citizenship and runs a campaign to, in his view, improve the treatment of foreigners in Japan. He believes that "gaijin" is the equivalent of "n*gger", and wants foreigners to be referred to as "NJs", for "non-Japanese." I disagree with him on a number of points, not least of which is his insistence on substituting an English-based abbreviation for the current Japanese word.

    However, as far as gaijin being a racial epithet? My personal opinion, again, as a white guy from Pleasantville, is that, in terms of formality and social acceptability, "gaijin" is roughly equivalent to "black", while "gaikokujin" corresponds to "African American".

    This is not to say that African Americans are less than full Americans! It's simply the best analogy I could come up with for polite vocabulary when referring to a minority group.

    However, unless you subscribe fully to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, the problems in Japan run much deeper than whether one is referred to as an "outsider" or a "foreigner". To illustrate, a true story that happened to me a couple years ago. I was riding my bicycle through the back streets of the suburb I live in, and I passed a group of kindergarten students being walked to the park or something by their teachers. Some of the kids saw me and started pointing and yelling "Gaijin, gaijin!" in excited little voices, while others started giving their best "Haro!"s to me. The teachers were quick to correct their charges.

    "Gaijin janai, gaikokujin desuyo."

    Don't say "outsider", say "foreigner".

    No thought of "Don't point and yell at someone just because they're different, just make sure you use polite speech."

    The background level of racism in this country is stunning, but mostly harmless. Foreigners are safer here than in most places in the world, because this is just a very safe place, but we'll never, ever become "one of the boys". That activist that I mentioned before started off his campaign when he was denied entrance to a restaurant simply because he was a gaijin, but the last time I checked his website, probably a decade ago, he was upset that he'd been denied entrance to a brothel. No thought of the fact that Japan has one of the developed world's worst records on human trafficking, or the fact that the brothels, while legal, are generally run by the yakuza, he just wanted his right, as a Japanese citizen of foreign ancestry, to go molest some poor Filipina on a Saturday night. I'm comfortable being an outsider from that sort of thing, and the term "gaijin" is used by members of the foreign community to refer to themselves and each other with no stigma or hesitation.

    Finally, you mentioned:
    My circle of friends and coworkers includes people from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the USA, Canada, and India, but we're all native English speakers. I'm not going to break down how many or who's who, but the one thing we have in common is that we're all gaijin. If we go to a gaijin bar or restaurant, we can count on at least a romanji (English alphabet) menu, and staff and customers who won't look shocked or embarrassed when we walk in and speak English to each other.

    Okay, done. Sorry for that, no homework for the weekend, and class dismissed!
     
  10. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    Will scotch work?
     
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