Find out her thoughts on Japanese courtesy, thoroughness, tattoos and white lies.
Foreign singers and foreign idols in Japan are few, but they’ve shown that even though breaking into the competitive entertainment industry may seem like an insurmountable task, success can be within reach through effort and a little luck.
Julia Bernard is an upcoming Polish singer who first visited Japan in 2011 when she was 17. Appearing on singing variety show SONG FOR JAPAN, which focused on foreigners singing Japanese songs, her stellar performances earned the approval of several famous guest judges.
▼ She also introduces Japanese culture
to her YouTube subscribers in Polish.
Since then, Julia has been traveling between Japan and her home country of Poland, working toward her dream of releasing a debut album. It seems that dream has been fulfilled, and her album titled “Japoland” hit the shelves of stores across Japan today.
▼ “Good morning! I’ll be leaving for Japan soon! I’m so excited!
My CD is scheduled for a release on 1 September, so let’s wait for it!
Thank you for supporting me and I hope we’ll continue to have a great time!”
Mr. Sato had the privilege of discussing various topics with the budding songstress over a cup of coffee. While Julia is no native speaker of Japanese, she deftly replied Mr. Sato’s questions about the things she loved about Japan:
“I think most foreigners who come to Japan feel that Japanese people are very kind, and I thought so too when I first came here.
For instance, even when I’m feeling a little depressed, I get cheered up by store clerks who always greet me with smiles. I get perked up just by that. Japan might just be the best in the world when it comes to service.
People are quite tolerant when it comes to fashion. I tend to wear flashy clothes, but even then I’m accepted here. In Poland, I get stared at and elderly people demand I change my clothes, which is the complete opposite in Harajuku where everyone can wear whatever they want. No one will reject your fashion.”
She also revealed the things she disliked about Japan:
“I thought that everyone was just so courteous at first, but as time went on I realized that there’s discrepancies between what Japanese people say to your face and what they really think of you.
Take my tattoos for example. I met an elderly couple on the strees when I was out one morning, and we exchanged greetings like Japanese people do. An acquaintance behind told me to cover my tattoos since it’d frighten the couple, but I didn’t understand what he meant.
I mean, we cheerfully greeted each other, didn’t we? They obviously weren’t afraid at all, so why was I being told by another person to cover up my tattoos? Why not just come straight out with it instead? Not everyone’s like that of course, but I realized that Japanese people tend to hide their true intentions.”
Ah yes, Japanese people are known for hiding their true feelings in social situations, using tatemae to help smooth communication and foster pleasant conversations. Language and cultural differences make it confounding and sometimes a little patronizing for foreigners however.
▼ Julie posing in front of the Mr. Sato itasha.
“On the other hand, I think Japanese people really respect rules, be it at work or in private. People in my country are assertive and there are those who just don’t abide by the rules. The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake is a case in point, and I think Poland would be a whole lot more chaotic if a disaster were to strike.”
“One other thing that I really like about Japanese people is that they pay great attention to detail. Bento boxes are a great example. It’s essentially a lunchbox, but they put so much effort into making it beautiful; it’s like an art. You don’t really see this outside of Japan.
I love Japan because they are generally tolerant to fashion and they are extremely thorough in everything they do. In my YouTube channel, I want to tell Poland about the things I love about Japan.”
▼ Julie’s promotional video of her “Japoland” album.
With success in the palm of her hand and a debut album out, we hope Julia’s dream of breaking into Japan’s entertainment industry will be a smashing success. Perhaps she might even make it big one day and have her own handshake event, complete with free deodorant to mask the nasty odor of unwashed bodies.
Source, images: ©SoraNews24
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