Question: Is it easy to make friends abroad?

But making friends abroad is even harder. ... Like dating, making friends is much easier when youre not in a contrived situation of polite conversation. Plus, meeting people through a shared interest or history means you already have things in common. The foundations of friendship are already there.

Should I have many friends?

Friends bring more happiness into our lives than virtually anything else. Friendships have a huge impact on your mental health and happiness. Good friends relieve stress, provide comfort and joy, and prevent loneliness and isolation. Developing close friendships can also have a powerful impact on your physical health.

But this conversation has been going on a long, long time in the expat community in Japan, with a lot of otherwise Japanophile foreigners finding it Is it easy to make friends abroad?

to befriend the Japanese on a higher-than-acquaintance level. Comparatively rare, however, is the Japanese person who will treat you like just another human being. The constant praise On the surface, this seems like something everybody would want. It feels great when people earnestly praise your language skills, your exotic looks, and your unique skill set. The mystery While you feel conflicted about stereotyping the Japanese right after several paragraphs of complaining about the Japanese stereotyping other people, it really does feel like the Japanese tend to mince words.

But I find this often clashes with the methodical nature of planning social gatherings in Japan. Is either way right or wrong? But are the two styles compatible? Uh… Not really, and many foreigners find this lack of flexibility hard to stomach.

It takes time When I was in college, I found it incredibly easy to strike up a conversation with another student in line at the food court or sitting next to each other in class. After a few short exchanges, a friendship seemed to instantly sprout up out of the ether.

In Japan, striking up a Is it easy to make friends abroad? is easy enough, but it takes months or even years for that first contact to bloom into a substantial relationship. Working your way up from soto to uchi thus takes a very long time and a lot of favor giving-and-taking.

On the one hand, close friendships with Japanese people are extremely rewarding and almost always last a lifetime, but on the other hand, getting to that point can quite frankly be a pain in the ass. Source: Madame Riri Read more stories from RocketNews24. Then why don't you speak Japanese with them? Ever thought that you are keeping them around because it's easier to speak in English to them?

Is either way right or wrong? But are the two styles compatible? Uh… Not really, and many foreigners find this lack of flexibility hard to stomach. Anyone else think this is the dumbest, most hypocritical thing you've read for a while? On the one hand, close friendships with Japanese people are extremely rewarding and almost always last a lifetime, but on the other hand, getting to that point can quite frankly be a pain in the ass.

I would say that is more a reflection on you than anyone else. Despite what most people on here might think, I have no problem making friends, Japanese or foreign. Whoever wrote this garbage has issues far greater than the us versus them scenario running through their head. I'd add a couple of more points: Different interests We are generally interested in different things. The type of English-speaking foreigner to uproot and come to a country like Japan is not your typical conformist, while the typical Japanese is a conformist.

And having grown up in different cultures, we often have different priorities and interests. So even when we can break through the various barriers Is it easy to make friends abroad? be in a position to be friends, often the person isn't necessarily someone we would choose to be friends with. This isn't a negative thing - everyone has Is it easy to make friends abroad? right to be interested whatever they like.

But it's a definite barrier to making close friendships. Small homes In many western countries, it's common to invite someone over to your home to become better friends.

It may be for a dinner party, or just to have a few drinks, or watch tv. But Japan does not have this custom of having people over to one's home, at least not nearly to the degree to which it is done in the west.

So when going out with others, it always involves having to get ready and go out somewhere, and is not casual hanging out around the house. This also means that you can't just ring someone up and say 'hey, I'm in the neighborhood, mind if I drop by for a bit? This ties in with the 'planning' item mentioned in the article. The Japanese also have difficulties making friendships with each other, which is why most people's friends are still those who they met in their school days.

I've seen Is it easy to make friends abroad? in Japanese of a similar vein. Later on, when they become mothers, they become totally absorbed with childrearing and domestic matters to the exclusion of all else, but actually that happens with my non-Japanese friends, too.

The few good Japanese friends I have are regarded as oddballs by their peers which probably says a lot about me! They never invite me anywhere, never set up anything for us to go out and do and I never see their Japanese friends or family. They see nothing wrong with it and use every excuse as to why the problem is not with them but with you or just plainly ignore it. You can defend them if Is it easy to make friends abroad?

like but I know Japan is mostly a covertly racist and biased country where most people don't care about anything that happens to others outside their country.

When the devastating earthquakes in New Zealand and Haiti happened, there was barely a peep written or spoken about them, except in the case of some Japanese dying during the New Zealand Is it easy to make friends abroad?.

In my opinion, they generally don't care what happens to non-Japanese. I have gotten ten times better hospitality and made better, quicker friendships in so-called Third World countries than here. They are easily the most predictable people I have ever come across and when I walk out of my house I could narrate what's going to happen on any given day at work or on the bus, train, etc with uncanny accuracy. Like it or not, I am actually happy to see China getting stronger and standing up for themselves against Japan.

I wanted to be accepted and liked and I really wanted to like this place but many people here go out of their way to remind you you are a foreigner and don't belong and will never truly be accepted every day of the week. You can call me a basher if you want but what you should say is he calls it like he sees it.

One is chopsticks are not used as cutlery generally Is it easy to make friends abroad? many countries, thus the surprise at the ease with which they are being used. It doesn't stop me from eating too much. Another is said surprise is often a result of the speaker's limited interaction to date with foreigners.

It is an honest observation and not intended to be a blow to the foreigner's sense of I've been here for blah blah and oh this is so rudimentary. Six years of compulsory English education develops a large number of English bandits, many who would rather not pay for it. My advice is to be friends with those who at least mix the two languages in their communcation with you, or who can't be bothered with English but can be with you. This however is dependent on the foreigner actually wanting to speak Japanese, you know, living in Japan and all.

I have a couple of foreign friends who have been here for more years than words they can put together in Japanese. Each to their own perhaps, they're having fun.

I should imagine it would probably help me to learn Japanese as well, something I'm struggling with at present due to being the only person I know who speaks any level of Japanese whatsoever. I've typically had difficulty making friends for my whole life, so this would be nothing new to me really. Still, it's worth knowing these points. I might be able to use what I've learned here to help me make Japanese friends a little quicker, even if that means taking five years instead of six.

I just came back from backpacking in Myanmar for five weeks. Once I got back to Japan. I felt this enormous pressure of once more being treated as a gaijin. I know that this is not openly racist but what's the problem? In Myanmar no one looked at me as a gaijin. I could sit at the same table and no would even flinch. As soon as I walked up my street back in Japan I do know many people in this town but still got those looks or people crossing the street to avoid walking by me.

After five weeks of being treated like a person, it really jerked my nerves to be back again! Can you deal with it?? If you are the typical backpacking english teacher, you probably don't care as you are only in Japan for a year or too. But would you want to stay in Japan long term?? I did but then I have never been particularly worried about making friends anyway.

Since them i fell in love a couple of times, married, gave birth in Tokyo, gave birth 2 more times in the States, taught English in Tokyo 5 years and Japanese in Oregon almost Is it easy to make friends abroad? years at the college and high school levels. I've gone back nearly 20 times, usually escorting students. My husband seems very Japanese; from Wakayama, he even has practiced and taught Shorinji Kempo over 30 years.

She is a woman, the woman i love. I make allowances and bend, as does he bamboo, without breaking. They do the same for me. If you speak to a stranger in Japan, they will look at you funny. Heck, even I avoid people who talk to me in Tokyo. However, once you find something in common and have a friendly conversation, there is a certain level of trust.

Therefore, I had to start with zero friends. It was really easy to start talking to people. Strangers smile and say hi. I was living in a dorm with 6 guys to a room. We all got along well and after living with them for 2 years, I confided in a roommate that I trusted about a personal problem I was having. I'll never forget his face. It's difficult to reach that level if you're new to the area. He went up and told the girl what I said. We western men have certain codes. A western friend would never tell the girl what I said.

Why didn't he tell me directly? I can never be close to Japanese guys.

Is it easy to make friends abroad?

The culture is too different. I think there are too many white people who are used to having a position at the top of the world in their own minds and just can't handle the fact that they will never achieve that in Japan. I have plenty of Japanese friends and some of them have gone right to the wall to support me. I'd easily trust them with anything. I accept the fact that I'll always be a gaijin Is it easy to make friends abroad? it doesn't bother me a bit.

There were only two of them. I've had a few of these punched-in-the-guts moments myself, enough to no longer really bother going out of my way to form friendships with Japanese people.

On the other hand, seeing the way they treat each other sometimes makes me glad to be out of the loop. There are many people I meet-- Okinawans, Japanese and other people-- who want to pursue friendships but I am often the one who is more hesitant to open up to people and most of my Is it easy to make friends abroad? friends Is it easy to make friends abroad? those from my high school, and for the aforementioned people who want to hang out I must plan it in advance or else it is too troublesome to bother.

While I don't try to divide my friendships by treating them like gaijin or soto, when people don't understand why sometimes my mind is radically different I just say it's a cultural thing and leave it at that. But maybe Is it easy to make friends abroad? biggest reason I am the way I am is because I'm naturally introverted and don't try to make myself stand out in any way.

Foreigners are very accommodating, they can easily adopt, broad minded, true to it's feelings and open hearted. The problem is within them. They have to learn how to interact and be more open. When they travel abroad or work abroad, they have to make the effort to make freinds with the people of the country, not only of their own kind.

I have two awesome best freinds and luckily they're Japanese. But then again, let me mention that I befriended them since my kids were in kindergarten. We'll have three French guys at tonight's practice. Yeah, could see myself saying that even if it included a good French guy I've known for years, depends on the context. So, you class this as a bad thing that happened to you? Basically I adopt the same attitude described by hidingout.

I could possible imagine mentioning three French guys at say tonight's wine tasting session, or three New Zealand guys at say tomorrow's rugby match. Wouldn't fly, not where I come from. I don't care about the praise over using chopsticks, or how I pronounce things.

I often Is it easy to make friends abroad? it back on them and we laugh. I don't have a chip on my shoulder as a foreigner in Japan. I know I am different from Is it easy to make friends abroad? of the people I see when I am there.

Fat, bald British people are probably a rarity in Tokyo I imagine, lol Back to the point, and no, I don't find it hard to make friends with Japanese people. We have some of the same interests in common, such as music, some hobbies. All it takes is finding common ground and a great friendship can grow. I make a few jp friends during the 2 years here, invited them over my place for lunch. Not too close but yet could go down a bit personal. I agreed that it's not easy and need a lot of effort and you need to take the first step.

Most of them whom I know are mothers and they don't show much interest in getting to know you better. To be frank I find them rather boring. They don't even try to speak a word of English. Working your way up from soto to uchi thus takes a very long time and a lot of favor giving-and-taking.

Some people find it hard to make friends because of the language barrier. I often meet people who think they are great at Japanese, but really aren't. A few months ago I met a guy complaining about how hard it was to get on with Japanese even though he was great at the language, but really the way he talked, his word usage etc was just so different that it would be hard for Japanese to feel comfortable with him. So it would be difficult to really be not seen as a foreigner and be on the same relationship level as another Japanese.

But let's face it, I know literally dozens of Japanese and other Asians who went to study and live in western countries and it wasn't like they had loads of friends. But how many really intimate friends do people have anyway. Having said that, if you have things in common it gets easier. Kids going to the same school, the same routine and goals at a gym.

And I think some of you are expecting a little too much. I think I'll always be different. But even my wife will always think of me as a foreigner. If I see foreigners they stand out to me, and often if I see someone from behind I know they aren't Japanese just by the way they walk. And if it's any consolation, lots of Japanese people never fit in if they go and live in a completely different part of Japan either.

But again, there are people who have been in Australia for decades who will still be seen as Kiwis or Pommies. And even if Piers Morgan got citizenship in twenty years people will still always see him as different. They think a little differently, but. I have no problem making friends, and have no problem with most of five ways mentioned above, but the microaggressions to get me from time to time.

Not the term itself -- I really don't care at all what people call me -- but it bothers me when Japanese people recount their overseas travel and talk about all the 'gaijin' in the country they went to. So again, yes, it's a two-way street, but it would be nice if the other side of the street didn't ride over into the other lane assuming the road is all theirs, be it the 'gaijin' or the Japanese.

I understand it seems funny if you get complimented on it, but nobody knows that you used them for years. It's different Japanese who meet you. And the next time they meet a foreigner they might meet one who doesn't like chopsticks or can't use them very well.

I think we are all just a little too sensitive. Most times Japanese are just trying to come up with something to say that's nice. If Japanese could all read this page of comments they'd probably give up trying to be friendly as they'd be too scared of saying something that offends someone.

That said, these kind of stereotypes are just as bad as those some Japanese hold. I think the key to any relationship is communication and compromise. Obviously language is the biggest hurdle initially but accepting and respecting cultural differences is just as important if not more. I think not being able to strike a balance culturally can be one the main reasons friendship can end up stagnating. As mentioned many people feel and or experience not being fully accepted into society but this article fails to really expand on that.

To understands this I think it is best to look at the law. Firstly, birth certificates, currently there is no other option other than Japanese or Non-Japanese. There is such thing as dual-nationality when you reach a certain age must decide which nationality to take on or state recognition for Japans minorities which plays into the nihonjinron mentality.

In addition to this, naming your child a completely Non-Japanese name will bar them for Japanese citizenship. I respect that with a written constitution change is difficult to bring about but I feel anyone who contributes to society, in turn, should also be able to contribute democratic decision.

I don't think it's just a Japanese thing. It didn't mean I wasn't Is it easy to make friends abroad?, I had fun and enjoyed my time there, but the fact I was not Australian wasn't to change.

I lived in both countries. Japanese people love to be friends with foreigners believe it or not. Maybe you're hanging out with the wrong people. If you have something in common that is meaningful it helps a lot. Put a bunch for model train collectors from a dozen different-tongued nations together and watch what happen. Which can work opposite ways. That is how things get done and also how unions are made. Which always works in mysterious ways.

Which does not work in mysterious way. I had to toss that in. This is just lateral thinking. The article makes many valid points. If Japanese could read and comprehend this page of comments, it wouldn't have become an issue in the first place. Sharon Arai- o be frank I find them rather boring. They don't even try to speak a word of English. They don't even try to speak a word of English??? They always expected me to speak their language and I bet I would have been isolated if I didn't speak their language.

But this awareness has never been a problem. If anything, it has helped preserve the relationship. Is it easy to make friends abroad?

Is it easy to make friends abroad?

and tolerance from both sides have made the relationships last and get stronger. What I think we westerners do not have is humility. We come to Japan or any non-western country for that matter and expect people to speak English so that we can communicate with them. We do not often realize that the cultures ours and theirs are very different but the difference does not make either of them better than the other. Instead, why not be more open and less judgemental?

It will make life easier, more interesting and certainly more enjoyable. I living in The Netherlands. For example when i go vacation Japan which was 3 times already and again this year.

Is that i make so easy new friends :D For example in Osaka i went a Dancing club and then say to a group Japanese which they were celebrating bday of two people. Anyways, for guys, it is rather simple: Japanese men tend to not make friends with people after their college years. Working class guys are a bit more plastic. So, that leaves the college educated foreigner in a difficult spot if that college educated foreigner exhibits the kind of classcism that many college educated have.

However, most Japanese will laugh at your mistakes openly and then refuse to tell you what exactly you said wrong. It bothered me in the beginning but after awhile I learned that if I tell them that I need to know to speak better! Also when once asked by my Japanese classmates I was the only foreigner in a 300 people class why I date other gaijin and not Japanese, I replied that Japanese are also gaijin in my viewpoint, which it seems they never thought about : They are all sorts of people in any country, different generations, people from different areas, you just have to find your own.

Only to find that they are even less socially compenent here. My successful non-Japanese friends all speak great Japanese and are well adjusted socially. They are confident and happy, and can draw people to them, whether the people are Japanese or not.

Some people have it and some people don't. I grant that there are some racist Japanese like there are racists everywhere. But the pervasive nebulous racism and xenophobis people talk about is a projection of social incompetence onto their other i. I would discuss or add perhaps the following: I am married to a Japanese woman. I am expecting my first child with her in May. When we first met many years ago, her family treated me like I had always been part of their family and never once blinked at eye at me otherwise.

My experience has been overly positive in this regard with Japanese people. And not just my wife either, who obviously loves me as a human being. They truly have made me feel a lot of love in my life. For example, if I was teaching them English, that was it for them. When we were done with our lessons, we were done ever knowing each other. But at the same time, I used them for their Japanese language skills so I could improve mine.

I also think it's easy to empathize with Japanese people treating gaijin like. I mean, how many gaijin come to Japan and can barely speak the language? Why is the burden on Japanese people to learn English or any other language? So when we come to Japan and we don't instantly become best friends with the Japanese people we meet, think about it from their perspective: They don't understand a word we are saying in most cases.

Or worse, they don't understand the Japanglish we try to spit at them. And if I wanted to be friends with a Japanese person, I can always be proactive and offer to teach them English. I've done this several times and have lifelong friends as a result. Language is a delicate thing in the land of the rising sun. Perhaps the most important point is the usage of compliments.

In fact, I think it's a great encouragement to me, and it makes me want to learn more to talk with them And no, I don't have self-esteem issues. What I mean by this though is that I would gladly welcome any country whose citizens would rather compliment me than look at me and call me a piece of garbage for attempting to speak their language, or worse, look down on me for trying. I think the rest of the world can learn to mind their business like the Japanese do.

I wonder what the world would be like if others did like them? Sorry this is so long. The very things brought up in the article are exactly the reasons why people have such preconceived negative notions of Japanese people in the first place. But I have no difficulties with the language I have N1, have done a lot of translation and interpretation, and do business meetings in Japanese 3-4 times a week with clientsand I still agree with the points in the article.

I agree that foreigners who move to another country should learn the language of the land, but that's a separate issue. My point being that for the most part I find the article accurate, whether you know the language or not. Don't get me wrong, I like Japanese people - in fact I'm very fond of them, their kindness and essential niceness - and you can be friends, but you generally have too keep it 'light.

I hate to say it but they are extremely boring down the pub, so there's really not much incentive to want to get to know them that deeply. My lifelong dream of befriending a Is it easy to make friends abroad?

housewife has been shattered! I don't want to be friends with the 'You use chopsticks well', Where are you from? I don't particularly care if these are 'microaggressions' or just ways to make conversation either. I'm sure they are very nice people but they are not for me.

There are times when you're obliged to keep company with people you'd rather avoid but that's true no matter where you Is it easy to make friends abroad?. I know some foreigners who love being in this kind of company and I'm happy for them.

The Japanese friends I have are generally unlike those mentioned in the article. In Japan, and you should know this more than most, even a simple word and the intonation you put on it can mean a million different things to a Japanese person. And most foreigners I think never fully understand this concept or act like Is it easy to make friends abroad?

do but really don't. After having lived with a Japanese woman for the past five years, I can tell you every inch of what I say is scrutinized and carefully studied Is it easy to make friends abroad? her. Language is important in any culture, and perhaps the most in Japan.

Is it easy to make friends abroad?, I never said there was a problem. As I said in my first post in this thread, for the most part we have different interests. I've been here 16 years now, and I've met very few Japanese people who have the same interests as I do. Which is fine, I'm not complaining about it. But other than that Is it easy to make friends abroad? agree with what the above quote.

I don't try to make friends with my clients, I have a very distinct line between business and personal life, as Japanese people usually also do. We have good working relationships, but I've never gotten the impression that they want more than that, and I'm not interested in more than that myself.

The Japanese friends I do have are people I've met outside of work plus a few former co-workersand have nothing to do with my business. I still stand by my comment that the points brought up in the article are not the result of a language barrier. The language barrier is its own issue, and could have been an additional point to the article.

I think it's safe to say you are kind of saying that you agree with this by saying you agree with the article's points, are you not? I completely disagree with you about the language issue. I mean, you can say that and Is it easy to make friends abroad? lot more, but sounds like you opt not to do so. And this is coming straight from the mouths of my Japanese friends who have read this article and talked about it with me tonight.

Also, one thing to note that I'm not sure if anyone has or not. They work enormously long hours and don't have time for casual friendships or even huge friendships with lasting importance. This is where the whole filling the role in a Japanese person's life comes into play. This is six days a week.

7 simple ways to make friends abroad

He had to practically schedule a day off three months in advance just to hang out with me when I visited Japan a little while back. It was a huge deal. So you have to also take into account that for people like Yoshikun, who lives and works in Tokyo, one of the most expensive cities in the world to inhabit, it's a matter of balance priorities with time in the day.

Anyone in his situation might ask themselves: How can this person I know benefit me? I mean, it's a valid point I think to consider when you have no time for yourself in the day, let alone for other people. I didn't get that from the article at all. The article was talking about why it's difficult to make friends with Japanese people, not that there was a problem being friends with Japanese people.

On top of that, the article was taken from a Japanese article on madamriri. I think it's safe to say you are kind of saying that you agree with this by saying you agree with the article's points, are you not? I agree with the points in the article, but as I don't agree the article is saying there is a problem being friends with Japanese people, your premise that I agree with that point is incorrect.

I didn't speak a lick of Japanese when I moved here. So I definitely can take a step back and see how it was. I quite vividly remember my first years here, and how it was to not be able to communicate. And I often travel to countries where I don't speak the language. The language barrier is a huge barrier to making friends, but as I mentioned a post or two back, I believe this is independent of the points Is it easy to make friends abroad?

up in the article. Basically the points brought up in the article are mostly relevant to people who are able to communicate in the language, or are dealing with people who speak their language. They like to congregate and hang among people like themselves.

Hence you have 'foreign' enclaves throughout Japan. Same as it is in plenty of other countries where foreigners and expats hang among their 'own' kind. This one has also has some additional information added in the header and summary. The summary of that article was actually quite good. Next, how about trying to be a little more direct with what you are thinking. If you're the type of person who isn't good at being direct, then it may be good to tell the person Is it easy to make friends abroad?.

I think it's about putting your heart into communication with someone who speaks a different mother tongue to you. In my experience I've found that those with an interest in in other cultures and languages tend to be those who are able to hold more 'normal' conversations with foreigners and be more accepting, particularly on first meetings.

Perhaps I've been here too long and frankly don't have the energy to get past the difficulties of so-called barriers despite the fact I speak good Japanese. These days I prefer to have natural, normal conversations with people who don't have cultural differences at the front of their minds. Not too much to ask, is it? Excellent post, Leikireiki, and describes how I so often feel when conversing with Japanese people. In fact I often get the feeling that I'm having exactly the same, safe conversation with only tiny variations.

The range of topics that you can discuss openly are very, very narrow and circumscribed. And then there are the myriad conversational minefields, that you have to step over very delicately, if you don't want people to hate you.

You know what I mean, right? Sometimes Japanese are so swift to take offence, it's as if they have a huge complex or something, which is really not fitting for a supposedly modern and progressive society.

Dealing with it becomes such a headache after a while, that you just cannot bother anymore. Very few non-Japanese I know manage to do this. I also am surprised to read these comments about Japanese people taking offense quickly to the things you are saying - what are you Is it easy to make friends abroad?

to which they are taking offense? I don't have a need for this, but it's nice to know that I'm going to be pleasantly surprised from time to time. I don't think I've ever heard anything from a Japanese person that wasn't following the official party line state or media sanctioned.

On the other hand, to my great personal astonishment, I've been told many times that my utterances are profound and even life-changing. They'd never thought of Life that way before, ever! To me, I was merely stating the obvious. To them, I was suddenly a font of all wisdom. Just one example of many. This is admittedly one of the few things I find bothering about Japanese. I tend to plan things off Is it easy to make friends abroad?

cuff; sometimes at the very last minute or at the spur of the moment. I figured out that constant planning just destroys the fun of surprise and will lead to disappointment. Japanese really need a few slices of this! It's one of the differences I find that makes it hard for me to be friends with them I don't feel a need to talk Is it easy to make friends abroad?

stuff like this - same reason that I don't like all those inspirational quotes people feel the need to post on Facebook. They dropped me like a ton a bricks. Pointing out that one of their compatriots was behaving in a less than gentlemanly fashion. Can you imagine something like that happening in your own land? And yes, Japanese people quite freely and happily criticise British food, even the ones who've never even eaten it before! Makes my wonder why I still choose to live here.

Oh, that's right I have a great job. In my research I've looked at the issues of language proficiency and more friends. In most countries the better you speak the language the more local friends you have. This isn't necessarily the case for Japan. More important is intimacy, Most Japanese will not let strangers in, and as gaijin, we are lots stranger than the average Japanese. Most Japanese do not disclosure much personal information, which is practically a requirement for friendships and becoming closer to other people.

The bottom line is that Japanese have a hard time developing new friendships with even other Japanese, let alone someone coming from a different country and culture.

Some people just have friendly personalities, others don't as some have even cited in their remarks here above. I'm a big dude also and always had people sitting next to me on the train and no one in my towns avoided me.

I was invited places and did last minute stuff. Japanese say some things that wouldn't fly in western countries. When you sit down and explain that to Japanese people who matter in your life most will understand, but it may take some getting used to. Give the crying a rest. It is their culture for moms to be narrow minded?

This article has its merits but I can't agree more than say. I find many of my friends of a certain ethnic hue to have more adaptation issues in Asia.

But that is my own experience. I've often been given cause to wonder about the 'Ingrish' thing as well.

It's inevitable that, at some point, something to do with your English skills will enter into the relationship, whether it was initially intentioned or not. For instance, the son or daughter learning English. On another note, have you noticed how the 'sore wa chotto' and 'unnnn' and not answering evasion techniques only work if you are a Japanese using them to another Japanese?

Many will keep pressing a foreigner for information even when they have used the Japanese indicators that they don't want to talk about it. I think this must be because people can sense that you think you are a superior being. I find that being a gaijin actually enables me to have conversations with my Japanese friends about things that they are not comfortable speaking about with their other Japanese friends.

I have on many occasions had very heartfelt talks with Japanese friends Is it easy to make friends abroad? things like bullying, divorce, domestic violence, adultery etc going on in their lives because they know that a I'm not going to judge them, and b that I'm going to try to give an honest response instead of just trotting out some platitude. Friendships are what you make them.

If you think you are better than the Japanese because you can speak English, or because you have a good job, or because your education is top Is it easy to make friends abroad?.

Try a little humility maybe? We'll have three French guys at tonight's practice. Yeah, could see myself saying that even if it included a good French guy I've known for years, depends on the context.

So, you class this as a bad thing that happened to you? Basically I adopt the same attitude described by hidingout. I see most of the comments agree, in principle, with the author, but a few Japanese apologists remain steadfast. Maybe their personal experience is atypical and they are ignorant to how their peers' relationships with Japanese are. It's just not relevant to people who see others as equals and who have a world view.

They would rarely expect visitors from another state, much less a foreign country, but if they had had a Japanese guy living in their town for Is it easy to make friends abroad? and he had been playing with them for some time and two other Japanese guys joined them, he would be considered part of their inner circle and not lumped together with the other two coming in. The homogeneous nature of Japanese society certainly is the primary culprit.

Let me give you an example from my experience. I played some ice hockey at the club level for the first five or six years I lived in Japan. They couldn't have cared less about whether the foreigners on the other team were good at using chopsticks or speaking Japanese, they just assumed that any foreigners playing ice hockey in Japan were bound to be way better players than the Japanese.

And they were usually right. I see most of the comments agree, in principle, with the author, but a few Japanese apologists remain steadfast. Maybe their personal experience is atypical and they are ignorant to how their peers' relationships with Japanese are. They'd never thought of Life that way before, ever!

Maybe their personal experience is atypical and they are ignorant to how their peers' relationships with Japanese are. Sorry badman, I botched the quote in my post above. Obviously the last paragraph is your words and should have been a quote. The actual nationality was irrelevant to them in that context. I think it just makes me someone who has been here long enough that I've grown used to the way Japanese people speak.

Such a person is no peer of mine. Maybe their personal experience is atypical and they are ignorant to how their peers' relationships with Japanese are. Or maybe they are in serious denial Is it easy to make friends abroad?

need to attack those who speak the truth because they i. The worrying thing is, that could have been me! Your story was a reasonable explanation of a story that could have been repeated in any country, so that would not qualify as a Japanese apologist. A Japanese apologist is someone who defends even the most indefensible actions and often adds that the foreigner who happens to be complaining should feel free to leave if they can't accept said negative behavior. Clearly the story you describe is not what we are talking about and I doubt there are too many gajin here complaining about being burdened with overly positive stereotypes, though I must admit I was getting tired of complete strangers at the karaoke bar I used to frequent in Shinjuku asking me if my junk was as big as the microphone.

The author shared their own feelings and experiences in an honest and sincere manner, others may have different relationships and that's fine but to be uncivil and confrontational, why?

I have never been to Japan but its a long time wish to spend a month or so visiting the areas I have heard so much about. Before I leave I'll try to get up to speed on the best ways to avoid social goofs while keeping my comments to strangers very limited. When you visit a different country, you play by their Is it easy to make friends abroad?. I appreciate the information and the additional comments.

This article is an English summary of the article that was originally written in Japanese. When you visit a different country, you play by their rules. Many of us are not visitors, but residents. People that the government have given permission to live in the country, for some of us, indefinitely.

Some people take it as an insult when others say we should be permanently considered to be visitors - even though we pay taxes, raise Japanese families, and participate in society as contributing members. Nothing much in common except for that link, but it's a good chance for the English person to speak a little Japanese. I can think of more egregious examples of exploitation than this, and I think the idea of friend can sometimes get confused with close acquaintance. People usually have more close acquaintances than friends.

I shall never give up on learning about their language and culture. Hey, while there are foreigners who have a hard time making friends in Japan, there are plenty of foreigners who make life-long friends with Japanese people, and with your great attitude to learn the language and culture, I am very positive that you will be liked and will make friends with Japanese people. My Japanese was decent, but didn't really find any places where I got the chance to use it beyond greetings.

I think this article basically could say that Japanese do not often socialize or mix groups as adults like others said and leave it at that. You need to be able to comfortable being alone for awhile if you choose a smaller city. That is the main reasons foreigners stick together, they remember that feeling and often want to help the new people learn the lay of the land.

But, I do think when Japanese meet a foreigner, they should first ask how long the foreigner has been in Japan, and then ask questions accordingly.

If someone Is it easy to make friends abroad? lived here many years, people should get that certain questions are not really good. I see someone took off the minus now! Nothing much in common except for that link, but it's a good chance for the English person to speak a little Japanese. I can think of Is it easy to make friends abroad?

egregious examples of exploitation than this, and I think the idea of friend can sometimes get confused with close acquaintance. People usually have more close acquaintances than friends. In fact, I bet they'd get annoyed if they had just a fraction of the same behaviour we have to get used to in Japan - constant questions and broken English with people you don't really want to speak to.

I guess if you aren't a native English speaker you don't understand how irritating it can be, and not just from Japanese people - lots of people do it wherever you go in the world. On the other hand, do Japanese people get fed up with the manga and anime obsessives? I remember hearing a story about a good-looking Japanese girl living in London who was getting very fed up with being hit on all the time.

Well, isn't it the Is it easy to make friends abroad? thing? You get bugged by people just because you have a white face and they think you speak Eigo, and you don't even get a shag out of it most of the time! It's so hard in Japan to make friends because the Japanese are generally incapable of handling any criticism or differing opinions. Their egos are incredibly fragile, and if you accidently upset them, rather than tell you where you screwed up, they'll just distance themselves from you.

Many times foreigners have walked into a conversation with a Japanese person who were unwilling to share personal opinions on anything, and prevent offending someone. In effect most foreigners only ever have very surface level conversations which would never lead to a deepening of rapport.

In a advance nation like Japan, you still have around 30K suicides per year for over last 15 years in succession, and there Is it easy to make friends abroad? alot of lonely people who are incapable of making true friends and they deals with problems alone. The realisation that people Is it easy to make friends abroad? had considered 'good' friends in Japan had really only kept me as 'gaijin-pet' was, to say the least, disappointing.

On the other hand, there are those that I truly miss and I know from mutual friends that they also miss me but do not maintain the contact for reasons known only to themselves. Bar one or two - one of which J-friend I married and now lives with me in Blighty. Most of the 'lifers' enjoy being a gaijin, otherwise why would they choose to stay so long?

Instead of complaining all the time, why not embrace it? I'm a runner and love being the only gaijin in races or trying to beat other gaijin. I pissed myself laughing because actually I was the only gaijin! I love that kind of thing. And for what it's worth, I agree with others on here that the language barrier is not always to blame for difficulties making friends. One of the best acquaintances I've met in the teaching world, was a maths teacher at the junior high school I was working at.

He couldn't speak much English and at the time the same was true for my Japanese, but due to some common interests we got on like a house on fire. There 's more to making friends than language. That said I've met an equal number of socially inept Japanese salarymen. Some so unimaginative that it literally hurts to work with them. We're decades off from that.

They're not all that good or to our liking, but when we do find one we like we hold on to them. My experience is the exact opposite. Most of the long termers I know just want to be left alone and would like to be treated like the locals. It's the newbies that seem to enjoy all the comments, the looks, the random English leeches walking up to them and talking to them.

I have a lovely group of Japanese friends that I am thankful for. I met them when we were all single, out clubbing and the like. I have not really met anyone since I'm at that age where folks are married, have kids and not going out. I think it becomes harder to make real friends in your 30-50s when work and family are Is it easy to make friends abroad?

a large part of your life. Coworkers, in my opinion, are very rarely friends. The locaks often feel the same while I think many foreigners don't seem to understand this and get upset when they learn otherwise. Do I think it is more difficult here than home? Factor in language and culture difference and why would it be the same as home? Is it easy to make friends abroad? hate being the token gaijin puppet but I am at a point in my life where I just basically tell these folks to screw off and refuse to play the game.

I don't think many newbies get that they are being used at the beginning and are jaded when they figure out that these people really aren't friends.

Frankly, I find the foreigners in Japan just the same. I certainly won't be friends with every foreigner I meet - though many seem to think I should because they're a foreigner, I'm a foreigner. Just as bad as the locals in this regards in my opinion. The J friends I have are friends for life.

We've proven that by getting married, relocating, having kids, getting divorced and still be a central support team. I'm grateful and thankful for them. Just like I am for my non-Japanese friends. My experience is the exact opposite. Most of the long termers I know just Is it easy to make friends abroad? to be left alone and would like to be treated like the locals. It's the newbies that seem to enjoy all the comments, the looks, the random English leeches walking up to them and talking to them.

I have to agree with the original comment. I like being a foreigner in Japan. I like the special treatment it affords me. Sure I don't like some of the annoying stuff that also comes with it, but overall the positives well outweigh the negatives. Conversations with Is it easy to make friends abroad? mates show them to feel similarity. Of course, like attracts like, so I don't doubt that there are those for whom the negatives outweigh the positives, and they hate being foreign in Japan.

I don't understand why they would have stayed in the first place though myself. How many good friends do you have at home that you met in a bar or walking down the street? My friends back in Canada are all from school, work, sports, people I've spent time with. My boys played baseball here so I've got a big list of baseball dads if I feel like hanging out and talking about that and I've got my golf buddies I can get a round whenever I want and golfers are the same here as anywhere else.

Nothing wrong with a bunch of acquaintances. I enjoy being a foreigner in Japan, because I take the best of what it means to be a foreigner in Japan, and don't particularly care about the stuff many people get really steamed up about when it comes to being different. For me, the experience of like in Japan is defined by a lot more than just the nature of my relationships with people I know, or how others perceive me.

Japan Is it easy to make friends abroad? strikes me as being a very, very particular and rigid kind of society and culture - almost stylised, and the Japanese take great self-satisfaction and pleasure in that. They are like hippos wallowing in an extremely pleasurable waterhole of their own making - they love it.

But I don't mind that at all, because I generally like what I see and enjoy life in Japan, and most importantly, I am not, and definitely don't want to be Japanese. I'm an expat from a foreign culture who will adapt when and where necessary whilst retaining my 'foreignness' absolutely.

We always come back to the issue of our gaijiness. Honestly, I dont think there is no such thing as a Japanese friend, unless that person is a japanese of other country origin. For most Japanese, the gaijin is an outsider of interest. Personal relationships are mendokusai, and as soon as the interest has worn off, the gaijin becomes mendokusai. Its a zero sum game for the gaijin resident not visitor in Japan who wants to become close to the Japanese in my opinion.

While I've been agreeing with the article throughout my comments in this thread, I have to disagree with this comment. It's hard to become friends with Japanese people, but not impossible. I have some Japanese friends who I'm sure will be friends most of the rest of my life.

Some have moved overseas, and I've visited them overseas, and I see them when they come back here. If I ever leave, I expect the reverse will happen as well. There are lots of them. A few off the top of my head: Getting bought drinks at bars after a little English conversation Every time I go to get my hair cut, no matter the barbershop, the shop manager always cuts my hair.

When I worked for a Japanese company, I wasn't expected to put in the same overtime as the Japanese When I go to business meetings, I often don't wear a suit. Japanese people could never get away with this. While making friends is difficult, striking up conversations is really easy. Much easier than for Japanese people. Not relevant for me anymore, but being white made it really easy to meet girls here when I first came. If you think it's hard being a foreigner in Japan, you should see what it's like being Japanese here.

I also wonder why you would ever have stayed if you cannot think of even one benefit of being a foreigner here. Women still act like ladies, don't try and drink swear and act like men do when they are drunk. Many other benefits of this like lack of Feminazis etc. Great, no distractions from what is important in life while concentrating on gay marriage and abortion.

So much to choose from and excellent service. Many more that i would put if i had time. Women still act like ladies, don't try and drink swear and act like men do when they are drunk.

Many other benefits of this like lack of Feminazis etc. Great, no distractions from what is important in life while concentrating on gay marriage and abortion. So much to choose from and excellent service. Many more that i would put if i had time. Moderator: You're on the wrong thread.

I can assume that it's probably this page they are referring to: By 'this page', I meant the page that we are currently viewing. Not the one that I linked to. Anyways, upon actually reading the article, it's definitely referring to this Japan Today page, as they almost directly translated my first post in the thread, along with a number of other posters. They were good enough to include the poster's names in their translations as well.

I would not mistake that as being liked, its just hard to enforce the norms on gaijin and the gaijin is seen as an escape from the straightjacket rules and conformity. I have found Japanese to be moody; if the economy is crap, they then turn on the forienger. I dont for one second think Japanese like me for who I am; they like me because I represent something different than them.

The need to belong to a group and conform in Japan is enormous. As a forienger your the perpetual outsider. Never been 'turned on' by anyone. As a forienger your the perpetual outsider. Well I suppose if you want to make yourself a perpetual outsider, or see yourself as a perpetual outsider, if every bit of teasing is seen as people 'turning on' you, then yes you're going to be a perpetual outsider.

On the other hand, if you just get on with things, interact with people as people and not as 'they're Japanese and I'm not', put yourself inside a Japanese family maybe and add to it, I don't see how it's possible to remain a permanent outsider.

No hate intended, as many of us once had a Japanese fetish also and I think this can be applied all over the world 1 They want to practice their English. A most annoying experience 2 They have a Gaijin fetish. What are they saying when talking to each other? They seek out the gaijins companionship, usually Is it easy to make friends abroad?

to change the gaijin to fit Is it easy to make friends abroad? bizarre expectations of how things should be 5 They want the romance male or female or a gaijin mate. Inspired by a visit abroad, gossips, etc. People who 'like' a group of people regardless of their age, interests, personality, character etc simply on account of their race are people I'd rather avoid, regardless of their race. It usually doesn't take more than a few minutes for them to want to revert to Japanese.

Different dietary lifestyles are interesting, it seems. When you realise you share no interests etc. Or if it does, you politely turn it down. I highly suspect your answers to 2, 3, 4, and 5 are a result of this. The strays are can be women or men, but many are men.

If you never have met a stray, me wonders what kind of existance you have had in Japan. If you have never met a Japanese with a gaijin fetish in any fashion, me also wonders what you have been doing in Japan. I suspect that since your from England, you wont get it, but some Japanese are quite proud that they gave the British a spanking in Singapore and you lost the island to them.

But I agree, this is a rare topic. What I meant was that many Japanese marry the forienger because they represent something they cant find in their own culture. If you have never met a Japanese with a gaijin fetish in any fashion, me also wonders what you have been doing in Japan.

I'z bin gettin' on with me life. London is full of strays and weirdos of every flavour, from all over the world. As a hot young thing back in the day, I quickly learned to spot them and avoid them.

By the time I got to Japan it had probably become second-nature. Life isn't long enough to spend any of it getting into and out of scrapes with strays and other folks' fetishes. Unless the stray has four feet and whiskers, of course. Picked up more than my fair share of those, kept a few, found homes for the rest. But I don't suppose that's what you're talking about. I don't think I got you wrong on number 5. The Japanese can only marry the foreigner if the foreigner agrees, yes?

I agreed only the once, when I was certain he was besotted with me, not my foreignness. All the ones who were just after 'the foreigner' got Is it easy to make friends abroad? down. I would not mistake that as being liked, its just hard to enforce the norms on gaijin and the gaijin is seen as an escape from the straightjacket rules and conformity.

That's not going to stop me from enjoying the benefits though. As a forienger your the perpetual outsider. Well, as a foreigner, I'm a perpetual foreigner. But as for outsider, it depends on the group. Japanese break all groups up into 'uchi' inside and 'soto' outside.

As far as being in the Japanese group, we'll always be outside. But in other groups, we're inside. It just depends on the group. The economy has been crap for a very long time now. Never been 'turned on' by anyone. Yeah, I can't say I've ever seen that either. My wife has three siblings, all who have married, one who has divorced.

When I first met my mother-in-law, she wasn't exactly happy that her daughter was going to marry a foreigner.

But over the years I've proven myself, and she likes me more than either of her other children's spouses, and we have a really good relationship now. It has got to the point that whenever a family representative is needed for something - most recently divvying up of her late husband's mother's assets, I am the one who goes along as the family representative, ahead of even the oldest son.

There is no doubt that I am not an outsider in this group. Those guys didn't feel it was very personal to talk about their family in the first meeting, for instance. This is not what happens with Japanese people.

After some time I realised there are things you can't talk at all to a Japanese friend. So, I wonder if this is true friendship. The foriegner represents something gai outside and is just an object of interest. The first and foremost priority for most Japanese is to become a member of a group, enter the best university, get the best husband or job. The forienger is just a distraction to this compulsory behavior; a relief of sorts. Any interaction with a forienger is just a means to an end; a way to promote ones ranking or social status within a group, or to be more competitive, like having a high Toeic score.

Communicating in English in Japan isnt really communicating at all. Its showing off ones skills. Wow, we have had such different experiences. The Japanese friends I do have either don't speak English, or if they do, we switch back and forth. And using me to elevate their social status? A few years ago there was a Chinese language boom, then a Korean one, now back to English. Chinese and Korean are out of fashion as they are troublemakers.

No real application English like composition or speech- that requires individualism and it gets squashed in that good ole need for conformity. I dont have high hopes for Japan.

Its a country with great capacity but allot is holding it back. They rely on saviours like Koizumi or the lattest Abe, but we see the 3rd arrow, as was to be expected, a failure, just like the English boom will be. Communicating in English in Japan isnt really communicating at all. Not got no Japanese language skills?

You deign to pass verdict on a whole country, the vast majority of whose residents you are unable to communicate with? I can see your a lifer gaijin, comfie in your zone, so its useless to argue my point with such an individual. Good luck to you and your gambare nippon adventures!

Once we've been introduced, or they've seen me talking to someone in Japanese, or Is it easy to make friends abroad? approached them, there's usually no problem.

And for many more people, there doesn't seem to be any problem in the first place anyway. So yes, I'm very comfy in my zone and I find it sad that instead of trying to find out how your situation could be different and how you could be more comfortable, you retreat into 'you don't understand' mode.

Where are all these Japanese people who are desperate to practice their English skills on furriners? Cos they're not crossing my path. I would force them to forget japanese.

I see the apologists are at it again thumbing down opinions that challenge their little gaijin bubble of denial. No real application English like composition or speech- that requires individualism and it gets squashed in that good ole need for conformity.

I've found it frustrating when high school English text books try and set up a discussion of some sort in a way that one might in a classroom in the west. So any attempt to learn and use English will only be successful if it is approached from a Japanese cultural viewpoint.

Therefore, success at really learning English is a moot point. You're lucky if anyone even says hello to you if you're Asian in this country. I guess if you're white you expect special treatment wherever you go in the world.

Maybe most Japanese are just like Australians and look at you wondering, 'what are you doing in my Is it easy to make friends abroad? and when are you going to go home?

Luckily, I am the type of person that can look back and think, 'I don't give a flying f. They all pretty much say the same thing when confronted with anything that challenges their existance in Japan. They surely experience the same issues that other gaijin do, but they have come enjoy the taste of the bitter Koolaid.

I hope I never reach that point. I will agree with cleo however, that Japanese will open themselves up to a point with their significant other moreso than with any other Japanese. You become ultra soto as soon as you step outside into the world, no matter how hard you try to act or speak Japanese, but uchi in your home and its all shoganai. I prefer not to interact with Japanese unless I have to.

This would go directly against what apologist advice, but I have found that all the advice I have read or listen to when it comes to Japan has been wrong or unrealistic. The more Japanese I speak, the less I am accepted. The more foriegner I act, the less discomfort I have.

Its not too difficult to understand. As the author stated, I am a perpetual outsider. Why change what I Is it easy to make friends abroad? None, at least from what I have read, require that the Japanese people themselves change.

There will be wonderful programs put in place to get gaijin accustomed to the Japanese language and customs. I personally dont think Japan can accomodate and assimilate a large number of foriengers. They would rather slowly fade away with their unique culture. The foriegner themselves must adapt or endure it, usually resulting in what the action was designed to do in the first place; expel the otherness.

I would like to thank japan for that, because the Japan experience forced me to interact with others I usually would of never done. I have had Japanese who lived abroad tell me the same thing, and they can appreciate foriengers who live in Japan. I admit, if I were Japanese, I would be very proud of my country and I try to keep this in mind when discussing anything international with Japanese. I know the minute I point out anything negative, I Is it easy to make friends abroad?

scolded or asked to leave. To have a good life in Japan there's no need to adapt to the point of smothering your own identity. Learning the language is a given of course - how else are you going to communicate?

In fact, go too far down the path biznas claims is necessary and you turn yourself into a weirdo who is recognised by neither Japanese nor one's fellow compatriots. Didn't you tell us you had 'plenty of J skills'? Most Japanese people are much happier speaking Japanese than trying to get by with their schoolboy English. Most are joyful when they realise they don't need to try to speak English. The more Japanese I speak, the less I am accepted. Unless your Japanese is really, really basic or really, really weird, that's rubbish.

The more foriegner I act, the less discomfort I have. Why try to be something you're not? I know the minute I point out anything negative, I am scolded or asked to leave. But process this Cleo and other apologist- lets say a Japanese woman living in the U.

Should I inform her that she was probably a loser in her own country Japanstop her complaining, if she dont like here then leave. Something obvisouly made her feel uncomfortable.

Seems to be a one way cake and eat it too attitude. We can see this everywhere in Japan. Its mendokusai to show ones emotions, lets just hide behind our kaze mask, then we can be ourselves, just like we act when abroad.

Lets stare at our cell phone, no need to interact with others, its mendokusai. Gaijin, you dont like it, your mendokusai so leave! It's not unique to Japan! Thats where i got the material from my post from. We can learn allot from her experiences. All the author of the posted article was trying to do is eactly what the Asian lady was trying to do, its just coming from opposite experiences.

Thats where i got the material from my post from. We can learn allot from her experiences We can learn a lot from her about how obnoxious her precious, bitchy comments make her seem. She's probably a nice lady, but her stupid comments don't make me want to be her friend. Or to even talk to her. You think you speak the local lingo better than the locals? Your problem is the opposite of course, you expect everyone to speak your lingo and then complain when they don't do it well.

I wonder what kind of impression of Americans Ms. Chen would have if she limited her circle to only those who spoke Chinese? People should choose their eating utensils based on their genetics? Is it easy to make friends abroad? about your appearance make you want to smack people?

No one is claiming that Japan is 'just perfect and flawless and can do no wrong'. There's plenty wrong with Japan. But when people complain that the problem with making friends with Japanese people is that they don't speak English, then yes something is wrong, and it isn't with Japan or the Japanese.

I've heard so many foreigners say that Is it easy to make friends abroad? my years in Japan, and every time it was simply the person's justifications for their own insecurities. I've never met a single foreigner who could speak Japanese at a decent level who has made this claim. You do realize that the Japan hater's come off exactly the same don't you? Any attempt at an explanation for something the hater hates gets a reply of 'you're just an apologist'. You become ultra soto as soon as you step outside into the world, no matter how hard you try to act or speak Japanese, but uchi in your home and its all shoganai.

This is only relevant when you are speaking of soto and uchi in relation to being Japanese. We will always be soto. But everyone's lives are made up of multiple different circles, and depending on the circle, sometimes we are soto, sometimes uchi try screwing up at your work sometime the staff will apologize to people outside the company on your behalf extensively, because as your co-worker Is it easy to make friends abroad?

are their uchi and the person they are apologizing to is soto. But after the person as left, when they are complaining about you to a coworker, you will be soto and their coworker will be uchi. The more Japanese I speak, the less I am accepted. The more foriegner I act, the less discomfort I have. Again, both of these are manifestations of your own insecurities, not based in the reality of the situation. As the author stated, I am a perpetual outsider. Why change what I cant? This is only a half-truth.

You'll never be Japanese, so trying to change that is not only futile, you lose out on the benefits of being a foreigner. But you'll only be a perpetual outsider if you see yourself that way. It's quite easy to get on the inside in other circles that have nothing to do with Japanese-ness. Family, company, sports, arts - all of these are areas where you can become an insider. The fact is, I've never met anyone who learned to speak Japanese at a comforable level who made the sort of claims that you are making.

I've heard the same time and time again from those who didn't learn the language though. People who don't learn the language feel like permanent outsiders because let's face it, they are. It's impossible to feel like part of te group when you have an inability to participate as a full member of the group. If you don't have the ability to sign up for cell phones, rent hotels, get loans, handle problems that arise, and make phone calls to get information about one thing, and need to rely on someone else who speaks Japanese to handle these things, it's impossible to feel like you belong.

That's not to say it's all sunshine and roses for those who speak Japanese, but the people who speak Japanese have an entirely different set of complaints to the ones that I've quoted above. Thanks for the help, you just cleared everything right up Now lets go be secure and see if anything changes.

But you said become secure. Lets say the Asian woman interviewed by Kong complained about being compared to a brothel worker. Oh, shut up already, its her insecurities!!!

It has nothing to do with being secure or insecure. Its a cultural phenomenon that cant be changed. Thanks for the help, you just cleared everything right up Now lets go be secure and see if anything changes. But you said become secure. This is a straw man. Look at your original comment to which I replied it was your own insecurities: The more Japanese I speak, the less I am accepted. The more foriegner I act, the less discomfort I have. None of the things you mentioned have any connection with 'speaking more Japanese and becoming less accepted' or 'feeling less discomfort by acting more foreign'.

So I stand by my comment. Your thoughts on speaking more Japanese and becoming less accepted, and feeling less discomfort by acting more foreign are both manifestations of your own insecurities. But she wasn't, and she didn't. She did say she was mistaken for a waitress in a Chinese restaurant. Hardly a brothel, Is it easy to make friends abroad?

a major insult. I was once in a school where I was mistaken for an English teacher. If you wear on your face the feelings you express in your posts, it's not really surprising that people stare, and don't want to sit next to you, or employ you.

Try forgetting you're in Japan, just go out and act normal. I wasnt considered or treated as an outcast. Many of us here agreed with the author, so lets summarize. Its useless arguing with an apologist. There are loads of documentation and books that show evidence of the same experiences as the author had. They cant be disqualified Ive experienced them, others I know have had them. They have nothing to do with the following: 1 Insecurities 2 japanese language skill 3 straw men 4 expression of feelings Good luck to you, and gambatte in Nippon!

Rather, it has to do with all the points the author posted in their original discussion. Try forgetting you're in Japan, just go out and act normal. It is not impossible, just like how it is not impossible anywhere else.

Instead of looking down on people who have made friends here, what is so hard to accept about people befriending Japanese people on a more than superficial level? Yes, many Japanese are not interested in what happens outside of Japan, unless it involves Japanese. Seen very little about it on the J news. There were no J citizens on board.

I was also here during the great earthquake also and I was standing on this bridge after it happened. I started a conversation, of course with the usual fake praise you must do in Japan, with a J man standing there.

Im ashamed to say that, but this self demoting behavior is a common way to start any conversation with a pig headed Japanese. His reply was the usual, aitsu nanimo dekinai or something anit foriegner Japan superior nonsense and quickly went into the gambaru Is it easy to make friends abroad? mode and scooted off. Seen very little about it on the J news. Maybe you're watching the wrong channels. I started a conversation, of course with the usual fake praise you must do in Japan What 'usual fake praise'?

No wonder you don't make friends, Is it easy to make friends abroad? one likes a faker. It does show, you know. I'm not surprised he skooted off.

Dunno what mochiake said, but it seems it was so interesting the mods have taken it off into a corner where they're keeping it all to themselves. I do wish they wouldn't do that. Especially when insults like 'you seem dim' posted by self-confessed fakers are allowed to stand. You been naggin on my post for awhile. I dont think Jenny Chen was bitchy, I really could empathsize with her because Asians do get allot of crap said to and about them in the U.

There is no need to suffer; we should all be allowed to share our experiences and Im not a faker. I was also in the earthquake, and was trying to have a conversation with the J man. I have enjoyed reading the comments by others who have had the same experience as me.

I dont want it to become tit for tat. Rather, it has to do with all the points the author posted in their original discussion. If you'd read the rest of the thread, I've claimed very clearly that the reasons have nothing to do with language ability, and that that the original points were quite accurate.

And I'm sure you'll find a way to keep backpedalling with that one too. You are trying to pigeonhole anyone who doesn't agree with you into whatever you have defined an 'apologist' as. You've done so with me, and you've done so with Cleo, and neither of us have apologized for anything. But you have gone off on a tangent as it is anyways. Your original points that I claimed were a result of your own insecurities were from your comments about speaking more Japanese and getting thought of as the henna gaijin.

Then you suddenly switched to the points made in the original article as a defense of your point about being thought of as a strange foreigner for learning Japanese. Then when it's pointed out that I agree, all of a sudden it's about something else. You're all over the place.

Next, you do realize that the author of the article is Japanese right? That it's a translation of an article that was on a Japanese website? Seen very little about it on the J news. They just keep regurgitating the same news over and over, with one single new added point - 'another possible find of wreckage'. How about they just tell us when they actually find some wreckage?

Not that I'm defending Japanese news I have to clarify this, else be branded an apologist for not agreeing with you 100% with no counter points whatsoever. I really could empathsize with Is it easy to make friends abroad?

because Asians do get allot of crap said to and about them in the U. Like the girl from the podcast. She had a rude answer for every comment that was made to her. If there is one thing I find quite despicable is people who snap at someone who is just trying to be friendly, even if they are misplaced in their friendliness. I get annoyed at people telling me that I'm good with chopsticks as well, seeing as I've been using them almost my entire life. Welcome to the vast majority.

But it is true that there are a lot of people in Japan like you who can not accept that Japan can possibly have any flaws. And Is it easy to make friends abroad? any foreigner or minority that criticize Japan become problematic. And so they become ostracized. The problem is that the people who call others apologists apply this to anyone who disagrees with them even a little, whether or not the person disagreeing is the type to find flaws in Japan or not.

For the most part, 'apologist' is just a name bandied as a pejorative in order to avoid admitting that there may be another view point other than the one that is anti-Japanese. One who have this positive attitude to make friends and not blaming people's language level for not being able to talk about what they want to talk about. I honestly do not think there's just one simple answer of Yes we can be friends with Japanese, or No we cannot be friends with Japanese, because just like some people stated, it all depends on the person.

And for people who are saying you get sugoi!! I said this in one of my posts earlier, but some of us make life-long Japanese friends while some don't. Blaming the fact you don't have Japanese friends or it's difficult to make friends here to Japanese people is simply non sense.

Before coming to Japan, I remember meeting a guy from Chile who had only been in the country for three months, and we were able to converse in English. Thinking back on it, his English wasn't that good yet, but I was impressed that he was able to converse, and I told him 'your English is good', and I honestly believed it and for that matter, still do. It wasn't perfect, but the point of language is to communicate, and he was communicating.

I think you're just noticing that since you are in a foreign land. I am not sure where you are from originally, but I had that same feeling when I lived abroad- nobody tried to use my native languages Japanese and French in Is it easy to make friends abroad? U. They probably wouldn't have really had any business with me if I didn't speak English. Did I expect them to speak Japanese or French?

You know what I mean, right? Its showing off ones skills. The first point being that racism, discrimination and xenophobia are so embedded and endemic in Japanese society that, were it not for the occasional foreigner raising a stink about these, the Japanese consider these to be perfectly normal parts of their culture and society. The second important point is that the rest of the world has treated the Japanese with kid gloves and given Japan the benefit of the doubt for so long that the Japanese feel they can get away with such dispicable actions without getting rebuked by the global community.

It is time to stop giving Japan a free pass and to start holding it accountable for its actions. It's like yelling at a teenager who has done something wrong. The second important point is that the rest of the world has treated the Japanese with kid gloves and given Japan the benefit of the doubt for so long that the Japanese feel they can get away with such dispicable actions without getting rebuked by the global community.

It is time to stop giving Japan a free pass and to start holding it accountable for its actions. I see this same equivalent in the recent surge of Japanese nationalism. They feel that they have treated their Asian neighbors with kid gloves so long, that they are fed-up with it, and so they are becoming ultra-nationalist. Which isn't helping their situation whatsoever, it's making it worse.

Same as suddenly coming down on Japan and the Japanese will alienate them, and also worsen the situation. Diplomacy is not easy, but it's the right way to handle things.

They never invite me anywhere, never set up anything for us to go out and do and I never see their Japanese friends or family. They see nothing wrong with it and use every excuse as to why the problem is not with them but with you or just plainly ignore it. You can defend them if you like but I know Japan is mostly a covertly racist and biased country where most people don't care about anything that happens to others outside their country.

When the Is it easy to make friends abroad? earthquakes in New Zealand and Haiti happened, there was barely a peep written or spoken about them, except in the case of some Japanese dying during the New Zealand one. In my opinion, they generally don't care what happens to non-Japanese. I have gotten ten times better Is it easy to make friends abroad?

and made better, quicker friendships in so-called Third World countries than here. They are easily the most predictable people I have ever come across and when I walk out of my house I could narrate what's going to happen on any given day at work or on the bus, train, etc with uncanny accuracy. Like it or not, I am actually happy to see China getting stronger and standing up for themselves against Japan.

I wanted to be accepted and liked and I really wanted to like this place but many people here go out of their way to remind you you are a foreigner and don't belong and will never truly be accepted every day of the week. You can call me a basher if you want but what you should say is he calls it like he sees it.

What I want to know is why people insist on living in a country where this is the case. This is the reason I don't have any non-Japanese friends in Japan - all they do is analyze, criticize, complain, and in general exist in a state of indignant confusion. I don't want to have endless conversations about the anthropology of Japan, because I live in this country and I accept it for what it is and go with the flow.

It doesn't bother me if things don't make sense or are contradictory, as long as I can figure it out and function. You know why it is hard to fit in with Japanese people? Japanese people are not like you, they work incredibly hard and make so many sacrifices because it is the Japanese way, because they are Japanese.

Do you do that - do you act in regard to the Japanese way? This is literally what makes people Japanese, this is what gives them a collective consciousness, the thing they are so proud of. Would you sacrifice your life for Japan? Do you care about the future of Japan more than yourself? Because most Japanese people do, and even if they don't, they will act as if they do because this is the way of Japan. This is why Japan has a low crime rate, it is why things work the way they do, and Japanese people want it that way.

So until you can identify with Japanese on an experiential level, they will not be able to identify with you or trust you. Japanese are subjective people, utterly. They generally don't analyze or have objectivity. Don't expect them to be different, or to change.

It doesn't matter if it's a good or bad thing. The problem is with you and the solution is that you move to a country that is suited to you and your way of life. I sure am glad that y'all have helped so many of us here. It really was simple, I don't think I am extra special or super intelligent but I figured it out pretty quickly. And I found it much like right here in Austin - when I was sincere and honest with people they usually liked me.

I never tried to gain friends, but they came naturally to me. So really Japanese aren't that different, just ready to enjoy more friendly people like the rest of us. But what do I know - I am not a writer for a fancy magazine like Japan Today. There are people that easily make friends and some that don't, just personal traits but they can be changed. This is regardless of their place of origin, color, creed, etc.

Some are just better at making friends. Forgot all the reason and justifications, it is individual. Most crowded big cities are like this.

Everything is superficial and friends are hard to make. Maybe you guys are just finding out what it is like to be part of a small minority. I can understand to a certain extent why foreigners feel the way they do in Japan or in their interaction with Japanese. It is not fair to blame Japanese because in my opinion all these old eastern civilizations Chinese, Indian and Japanese kind of are a life style more than anything.

They can not easily be acquired even if you live there a life time. Some cultures are probably more receptive than others, for instance Indian vs Japanese in that Indians are probably better hosts at a personal level than Japanese but deep down you will still be a foreigner for us and depending on what your goals are you may feel like rejected. Japan being isolated due to its geography as well as it's ability to protect itself from outside forces for the majority of their existence does add a lot to their mindset in terms of retaining their identity and not seeing a need like accepting a foreign language.

I still think Japanese have a lot to offer as a society and there is no particular reason for any foreigner to feel inferior or superior at a non superficial by having or not having a friend. I am going to add a race part to it based on my observations in life so far. Japan seems to not care about them whites or other races in particular, I never thought in my visit to Japan that they treat whites better than others.

This may subconsciously impact a white person in general. In other words Japanese are comfortable in their own as much as they are. I wish more countries are like that. But as far as work relationships go, I generally find them better Is it easy to make friends abroad? more capable than many others. On my travels in India I met some foreigners trying to become Hindu e. This is exactly what foreigners feel in Japan, somethings are conceptual in which you understand the concepts and apply them to your own life.

Do not try to be a Japanese but if you like something Japanese then take it and use it in your own life. Not being able to make friends in Japan is not that much different in your own country. Anycase, I think getting literacy in Japanese is reasonable expectation if you are going to live in Japan and also doing that without expectation that Japanese should respond to you in Japanese.

Let the things take their natural course while you make your efforts. I basically have very little friends and find that Americans do not want to become close too fast and prefer remaining acquaintances for a very long time.

However, I found that in Japan I was much more able to make friends. I was never there long enough to become very close friends, but I had genuine friends there, including some who were adamant I improve my Japanese so we can talk in Japanese instead of half English half Japanese they spoke English at an okay level but their wife wasn't as good.

I was invited over to their house for a long weekend so we could visit different cities together. Maybe it's different when you live there on the long term. Western women are like deer, skittish and gone like the wind if any little trigger is hit like messaging them more than once in a daylong period, stupid crap like that.

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