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MikeyJones Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:09 PM
Original message
Help!! I'm immigrating to Japan!!
I'll be moving there in the next 2 years to escape the suffocating right-wing stranglehold that's on this country. Can any Japanese people on this board and/or others who have lived there explain to me about the culture, government, society, economy, etc. in Japan? I'll be living in Tokyo so that should solve any potential transportation problems as I've heard they have a 1st class public transportation system.

But just explain to me if you would like to what Japan is like. What is life like there. Is it better than here or worse? Is there anything I should keep in mind when I move there?

Thanks to everybody who answers in advance.
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wake.up.america Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Why are you moving there for 2 years?
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MikeyJones Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. I'm not, I'm moving there IN 2 years time from now. nm
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wake.up.america Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #15
26. Sorry, I completely misunderstood. You are moving for good in 2 years.
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. So, you're emigrating to escape a repressive society. . .
but have no idea what sort of society it is you are going to, nor if it is even better or worse than the one you wish to escape.

Good plan.
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sgxnk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. friggin hilarious
in many respects, japanese culture/law is FAR FAR FAR more repressive than ours

conformity is much more important

the police have far far far more search and seizure, and arrest power. they can hold you for ANY crime without charging and interrogate you for hours on end and you have no right to an attorney

they have no exclusionary rule

they have far less free speech rights (except for porn. man, do they have porn!)

they also, to a very large extent, tend to view non-japanese as less than human, and certainly less than japanese

hey, maybe you could get a job as a comfort girl (rolls eyes)

otoh, you can buy beer in a vending machine

so, it's a lot less repressive if you want beer from a vending machine

and who wouldn't?
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MikeyJones Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. I just realized how vague I made my posting and I apologize.....
I understand the basic gist of Japanese society. I only desired specifics, that's all.
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karlrschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. Uh, have you actually ever been there?
"they also, to a very large extent, tend to view non-japanese as less than human, and certainly less than japanese"


------------------------------------

I've spent probably a total of 2 years all over the country and never one time felt I was considered
"inferior" in even the most subtle way. From Hokkaido to Honshu to Kyushu, never did any Japanese
person treat me with less than politeness and respect. I have many dear friends there. The only time
I even had a -scintilla- of trepidation was on my first arrival in Hiroshima, given the city's history but that proved to be much worry about nothing...the people there were unfailingly friendly and even
at times almost embarrassingly deferential.

I have walked alone late at night in dozens of cities in Japan and never had the slightest tinge of apprehension.

Sure, they have porn, they have unisex toilets and community baths, few if any sexual hangups and
an absurdly low incidence of rape and sex crime (most crime, actually)


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oc2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. Gaijin.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 01:19 PM by oc2002
From what I understand about Japanese culture, outsiders are not terribly welcomed. They even have a term for them, 'Gaijin'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaijin
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. all societies have such a term, gringo
i will say that white tourists are well treated altho regarded as curiosities in some areas, people may ask to have their photo taken w. you, it's quite humorous

there is always prejudice aga. the different, the japanese are pretty polite, i get the impression that if you don't speak japanese you might not even notice but i've been told of gaijin overhearing bigoted remarks, people sometimes having trouble getting hotels etc. -- being able to speak japanese or if this is impractical, having your business provide you w. a guide will prevent most problems i should think

it is at least POSSIBLE to learn japanese, it is not a tonal language that excludes the tone deaf from learning its secrets
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karlrschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. It's simply Japanese for "foreigner". Not a pejorative (usually)
You will generally only hear it from small children who are surprised to see such a large person,
or the occasional but rare drunk. It's seldom used in an insulting manner. ;-)
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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. Let me get this straight
You are moving to Japan "to escape the suffocating right-wing stranglehold that's on this country" and yet you don't know if it's "better than here or worse?"

So you're moving to an unknown condition to escape a known condition. And as far as you know, that unknown condition may be far worse than the known condition. Further, you are not willing to invest yourself in fighting to make the known condition more like your ideal condition.
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Tin Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
5. I visited Japan once. Loved it.
...everyone is polite and hospitable, and the sushi is awesome! Plus the chicks are hot...
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Jeroen Donating Member (608 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. Watch the film "Lost In Translation" you will love it!
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. Japan sounds an extremely odd choice.
Unless you have a job that's sending you there, or are ethnically Japanese, or speak and read Japanese, etc., why move to a country with a completely alien culture that you know absolutely nothing about? Why not Europe? Or Australia? Or New Zealand? It seems that there are likely to be other places you could move which would be more congenial than the US and where the culture shock would be considerably lesser.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Moving closer to those North Korean missles
be sure to warn us if you see any flying overhead.
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MikeyJones Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. I'm a manga/anime junkie mainly.....
Naruto, InuYasha, et al. Love it all. I also love Japanese food so it's kind of a 2-pronged thing.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. You need better reasons to want to live there...
than liking manga, anime and Japanese food. Those are pretty superficial. That's kind of like deciding to live in France because you like champagne and Gauloises cigarettes, when you can get those anywhere in the world.
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karlrschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Well, look - if you're serious at least VISIT before committing to a move.
I could live in Japan easily but there is a LOT of culture difference that might not suit -you-.
Just sayin'

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npincus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
8. isn't it rash to make that kind of decision
when you seem to not know much about where you are going?

I lived in Kyoto for 2 years- loved it. But that was as a temporary ex-patriot with intentions to go back home (U.S.). I don't know that I would choose to live there indefinitely.

Advice: go there for a few weeks, and see what you think before making your plans.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
11. i have family living there for over a decade, they think it's great
i'm far from any expert on this topic tho, would just be repeating second hand info

if you are an ethnic japanese and speak some japanese, it might be easier to just turn up in japan, otherwise the job sending you there will provide you w. excellent help to get you acclimated, much better than anyone on an internet board could give you

if you don't already have a job lined up, i'm not sure how good the economy is any more, you might have difficulties getting work, not sure about this one tho -- my relatives went there for one reason really, the ability to earn in their field, it's an educated society so you need to be well qualified in your field

the trains are indeed first class, it's most impressive

they are not really known for their "freedoms," but as i don't imagine you'd be participating in japanese politics, shouldn't matter much i guess

don't use drugs or shoplift-- crimes that you think are petty can be treated quite harshly
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FILAM23 Donating Member (344 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. As far as petty crimes being treated harshly,
there is one little bit of info you might like.
The average pre trial confinment for drug charges
is 5 years and there is no such thing as "time served"
if found quilty. Also the life span of Americans placed
in Japanese jail is slightly more then 5 years.
But to your questions; In Japan
Conformity is expected
The people are very polite to your face, however if
you are not Japanese you are considered less of a person
(Example: There are many people of Korean ancestory who
are native born to Japan but are not considered Japanese.
The police can search you or your home without warrent, they
are very prone to violent behavior.
All of this was true as of 1989, the last time I lived in Japan.

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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. May I suggest Tahiti, instead
better weather, calmer lifestyle ...
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
18. But in two years
The republican stranglehold might be over.
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aint_no_life_nowhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
20. What is the immigration law like in Japan?
What are the possible categories of immigration and what are the requirements? Do you have to marry a Japanese citizen? Do they have employment-related immigration categories such as those under U.S. law? Or do they allow non-ethnic Japanese to immigrate and acquire permanent residence with relative ease? I thought that was nearly impossible, but I could be wrong.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. it can't be all that difficult
i've had family members who are not ethnic japanese who have lived there, hmmm, i'm going to say 15 years and their residency is perfectly legal -- i think the employer DOES help w. gaining residency but don't really know the details as i am not a highly skilled person and never snooped around about the practicalities

on a different note, bobby fischer was a fugitive from the usa law and look how long he was allowed to live unmolested in japan





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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
25. I would need to know the circumstances under which you will
move there - expat, student, english teacher, whether you will have a job lined up, your Japanese speaking ability, etc. to know how to advise you.

It can be many different things depending on how to come to be there. It's definitely an exercise in contrasts.
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