The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse is one of Aesop’s Fables and tells the story of country bumpkin mouse who visits his urban-dwelling cousin for a taste of the luxurious life. The country mouse is at first captivated by the fine food of the city, but is thrown into panic and forced to run and hide after someone throws open the door while he and his cousin are eating. There are numerous retellings of the story, but the moral is that it’s better to live with little in safety, than to live in abundance surrounded by danger.
This may be how many Japanese people feel after leaving their peaceful and secure life in the countryside for the city. Every year thousands of Japanese move to big cities like Tokyo and Osaka from outlying country areas, for work or for school, experiencing all kinds of culture shock as they adjust to new lives. Even moving from one big city to another is an adjustment, as the character of the people and the way things are done differs by region.
Naver Matome has put together the voices of people from different regions of Japan who experienced what the Country Mouse experienced: that the city life isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
See what surprised these Japanese “Country Mice” about the big city below: