Public transport such as trains and buses serves millions of commuters each day. Regardless of the country, there are rules and codes of conduct (both written by law and unspoken) that should be observed to ensure all commuters can enjoy a safe, comfortable journey. Although most public transport users adhere to these rules and social norms, there are also bound to be those who ignore them and annoy the hell out of their fellow passengers with their inconsiderate behavior, like these people, who fellow commuters in Korea recently decided to snap and shame online.
- Philip Kendall
Jun 19, 2014
After living here for the best part of eight years (five in the country, the rest in the capital) I’ve come to realise that for all the talk of Japan being kind of an oddball nation, it’s no weirder than anywhere else, and perhaps the only reason people here sometimes come across as so quirky is because the rest of the time they mind their own business and just get on with things quietly.
One thing that never fails to astound me when I go out at night in Tokyo, though, is the almost superhuman way in which some businessmen – despite looking like they’ve consumed more alcohol than I ever could without ending up in hospital or featured in the local news – still manage to remain upright and even have the wherewithal to navigate the city’s labyrinthine stations, board a train and get themselves home.
Here are some words about this. Read them if you want to.
- Philip Kendall
Jun 17, 2014
There are a number of one-word phrases in the Japanese language that, try as you might, just can’t be summed up anywhere near as succinctly in English. ‘Atarimae‘ is one of them. Used to describe a situation, behaviour or feeling that is entirely natural and obvious to all concerned, the phrase has been used with tremendous frequency this week by Japanese reacting to news that people the world over were applauding their country’s football fans for cleaning up their section of the stadium after their World Cup game last weekend. “Why wouldn’t you clean up after yourself?” people asked. “It’s atarimae.”
An article published earlier today on Japan’s WirelessWire News, however, suggests that although in Japan it is considered proper to tidy up after oneself, by doing so at the World Cup stadium these fans may in fact be putting Brazilian staff out of a job, prompting netizens to debate whether they ought to follow suit and leave their trash behind or do what comes naturally to them.
- Philip Kendall
Jun 16, 2014
Their national team may have lost their World Cup game against Ivory Coast yesterday morning, but Japanese fans didn’t forget their manners, it would seem.
Like all good kids who remember to say thank you to their friend’s mother after playing at their home, Japan’s passionate football fans reportedly grabbed refuse bags and cleaned up after themselves before leaving the stadium following their team’s match against the African side.
Few would ever imagine that a pair of cleaning ladies from Japan should be something to be afraid of, but like a childhood friend’s terrifying mother busting a game of spin-the-bottle, a recent series of videos featuring two such individuals has put the fear of God into us today as well as reminding us that we’re never too big for a smack.
Going by the name Caddie Golu Golu, these middle-aged cleaning ladies are part of a campaign by entertainment company Sega Sammy ahead of its golf tournament, the Sega Sammy Cup 2014, which will be held next month. Wearing pink-and-white cleaner’s outfits and giant sun visors, these rapping ladies get up in the faces of rude and inconsiderate golfers, and have also featured in a series of videos meant for the general public, attacking people on the streets of Tokyo who smoke where they shouldn’t, fail to pick up their dog’s poop, or who walk while looking at their smartphones.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
As you may have noticed, we here at RocketNews24 are definitely not shy about giving out our opinions about life in Japan. But although you’ve heard plenty about what we think are the best and worst parts of living in the country, we thought it would be interesting to look at what Japanese people think of their own country.
After living and working abroad for a while, Japanese expats coming back home may find themselves thinking they’ve lost touch with their own culture. But we found a list of things that Japanese expats say are some of the best parts of life in Japan that you just can’t find anywhere else. Click below to find out the six things that Japanese citizens living overseas miss most about home!
- Philip Kendall
Dec 16, 2013
A curious video uploaded to YouTube late last week has been raising eyebrows across Asia today, but perhaps not for the reasons it was originally shot. In it, we see a man smoking a cigarette on the subway in Taipei, mouthing off to those around him after they ask him to extinguish it. A few seconds in, however, and we notice that there’s something else not quite right.
Simply titled “Man posing as a Japanese smokes on the subway“, the video has already been viewed thousands of times, with nearly every comment after it saying more or less the same thing: “That guy’s not Japanese.”
- Casey Baseel
Nov 30, 2013
Given the amount of time people spend riding trains in Japan, it’s no surprise that there’s a whole set of both implicit and explicit protocol passengers are expected to follow. Eating on the train is considered bad form, for example, and passengers are expressly asked to refrain from talking on their cell phones or allowing them to ring.
One of the trickiest aspects of Japanese train etiquette involves giving up your seat on a crowded train. Good manners stipulate that the elderly and young children have priority, but as the stories from Twitter users below show, what seems like it should be a simple act of kindness isn’t always so simple after all.
There is nothing quite as relaxing as slipping into the warm water at a Japanese hot spring. But as you get ready for tub time, you should be aware of the finer points of public bathing in Japan. Besides leaving your rubber ducky at home, we have compiled a list of key bath tips to ensure the best soak of your life without having to hear someone nag about the “lack of proper bathing manners these days.”
And since one of the more frustrating points of the Japanese bathing experience is a blanket ban on tattoos, we will also provide some context on why exactly your tribal sign tramp stamp is so unwelcome.
- Casey Baseel
Sep 26, 2013
Japan has a number of etiquette rules that might not be readily apparent to people from overseas, such removing your shoes before entering the locker room at the gym, or not wiping your face with the towel you’re given upon being seated in a restaurant.
Recently fashion model Nanao updated her blog with a post expounding the problem with another Japanese societal no-no: smoking while walking.
There’s a saying in Japan that you should have both eyes open before you decide to get married, and one eye shut after you walk down the aisle. It’s sound advice, as you definitely need to know what you’re getting into before you pledge to share your life with someone. At the same time, spending every day together is bound to bring to light the little imperfections that people naturally have (Mrs. Baseel excepted, of course), and it’s important not to get too worked up over them.
Of course, the inevitable result of trying to keep one eye perpetually closed is a wicked eye-cramp, so eventually you’re going to have to open it back up and notice something about your partner that drives you up the wall. Japanese firm Neo Marketing recently surveyed married women on the things their husbands do that they just can’t overlook.
In an age when we do the majority of our multiplayer gaming online, sometimes separated by entire oceans and continents, there’s nothing quite like a bit of couch co-op or split-screen multiplayer. I refer, of course, to the act of playing games together in the same room using a single screen; something that until the arrival of cheap, reliable internet was the only form of multiplayer video gaming there was. Make a night of it with a few chilled drinks, snacks and a couple of pizzas, and you and your gamer pals are in for a great time.
But with this infinitely more sociable form of gaming there also comes great danger: the risk of gross, greasy controllers. I’m sure many of you can recall taking a controller from a friend or sibling during a long afternoon playing Street Fighter II only to find it positively dripping with perspiration. What’s even worse is when said hand sweat is mixed up with pizza grease and cheesy powder from the endless bags of Doritos and Cheetos you and your friends have been working your way though.
It is time, my gamer friends, to learn to use chopsticks.
- John Stuart Translations
Jun 17, 2013
Xinhua News Agency, China’s official news wire, recently reported animosity towards Korean golfers was growing at courses across the country. According to Xinhua and a popular Chinese magazine, Golf Weekly, reasons for the resentment include, “taking too long to hit,” “poor tipping” and “bad manners.” Discontent has built to the point where some courses are now reportedly refusing to let South Korean golfers play.
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Mar 26, 2013
Sometimes the hustle and bustle of big city life in Tokyo makes you forget your manners. Women who don’t have enough time in the morning apply makeup on bumpy train rides, people doze off on the shoulder of their neighboring passenger, and the occasional man will clip his finger nails. With most people commuting by train and working very long hours, sometimes there’s no time to do things at home. And sometimes, you’re just so tired and stressed that you don’t care that you are behaving badly.
As a result, back in 2008, the Tokyo Metro system launched a three-year-long campaign aimed at reminding subway passengers to mind their manners while riding the trains. It featured the slogan “Please do it at home” or “Please do it again” alongside an illustration of the featured manner or rule. All posters are written in Japanese and English, some featuring hilariously outrageous and sometimes confusing activities that make you wonder, “Do people actually do that on a train?!”. For your viewing pleasure, may we present to you a compilation of these entertaining posters.
Flipping through any travel guide about Japan you will learn that Japan is a country where tipping is non-existent. Leaving your change on the table at a restaurant may result in the waiter chasing you down to give it back.
But in Japan there actually is a system of tipping that exists but is tangled in a mysterious system of formality that no one really seems sure of. In an interview with Yahoo! Japan, Nobuko Akashi of the Japan Manners & Protocol Association attempts to unravel this system so we can all know when and where it’s appropriate to tip in Japan.
- Karen Bremer Masuda
Dec 6, 2012
In Japanese eating culture, holding chopsticks improperly might be frowned upon (see: Proper Way to Hold Chopsticks), but how does it compare to that other notorious dinner table offense, chomping down on your food with your mouth open?
According to denizens of Japanese message board site 2channel, who recently discussed the matter in depth, noisily eating your food is a far graver crime than poor chopstick handling. Let’s take a close look at their discussion below. Read More
In any country there are both written and unwritten rules of etiquette that people are expected to follow while riding the subway. In many cases, these rules reflect some of the more unflattering quirks of that country’s people. In Japan, there are women-only commuter cars because some guys just can’t help themselves from recording up a girl’s skirt with their smartphone.
As China has been working to expand its subway network over the past few years, including a nearly 50% increase to the Beijing Subway that as made it the fourth longest metro system in the world, the country has developed its own brand of metro manners— or the complete lack thereof .
So just what kind of offenses do Chinese subway commuters have to endure on their train rides to and from work? A local newspaper in Tianjin, China’s fourth largest city, surveyed 894 people to find out what they think are the “most unforgivable subway manners.”
Take a look at the survey results below!
- Philip Kendall
Nov 15, 2012
As public perception of smoking becomes increasingly negative, and with the number of smoking areas in restaurants and cafes in Japan becoming fewer and fewer each year, it’s fair to say that those little white sticks that once brought so much pleasure to so many are perhaps on their way out.
As people find themselves becoming more and more irritated by cigarette smoke as they walk though crowded streets, and residents grow sick of sweeping up discarded cigarette butts in their neighbourhoods, smoking anywhere outside of specially designated kitsuen (smoking) zones has become a punishable offence in many urban areas of Japan.
The times, they are a-changing.
But even with so many turning their backs of tobacco and labelling it as un-cool, few could have predicted that a company as large as Hoshino Resorts would actively advertise the fact that they no longer accept job applications from smokers.
Just last week while picking up milk at my local 7-Eleven, I found myself chuckling at the sight of a teenage boy trying to peek at the adult magazines arranged on the rank right beside the comic books. I had to admire his technique as he stood holding a weekly manga collection open in front of him while staring, unblinking and open-mouthed, at the covers of the naughty magazines to his right.
Alas, this young man and thousands like him could soon be reduced to checking out far more explicit and abundant images of girls via the internet as “a certain convenience store” is rumoured to be clearing its naughty magazine section away very soon.
- Philip Kendall
Oct 29, 2012
While walking home from the station last weekend, eyes glued to my mobile phone as is my own particular vice, I suddenly found myself enveloped by vast plumes of cigarette smoke. Looking ahead of me, a guy in a business suit walking in the same direction had lit up a cig and was merrily puffing away, obviously in need of a hit having just disembarked a train himself.
While I’m definitely one of the anti-smoking set, I have absolutely no problem with other people smoking if they want to- just so long as it doesn’t affect the people around them. For me, smoking is like farting; go ahead and enjoy your own, but please don’t share with everyone else.
Breaking into a little jog, I overtook the smoker- a man in his late fifties wearing a business suit- and, once again able to breathe freely, walked up-wind of him.
No sooner had I done so that a second man, a little older this time, emerged from a side street. He blew his nose noisily on a handkerchief and stuffed it into his coat pocket, at which point he coughed, sniffed and, with what sounded like a tremendous physical effort, spat something brown out onto the pavement just a few feet ahead of me.
Quite forgetting myself, I muttered “kitanai naa” (“man, that’s dirty…”) a little too loudly, but received little more than a quick, disinterested glance from the man as he passed by.
So when I came across an article over on NicoNico News titled “Senior Citizens Have Worse Manners Than Young People”, I couldn’t help but feel that it might be on to something…
- Internet survey sheds light on how Japanese women deal with the hair ‘down there’1
- Run For Your Lives! Zombie-infested obstacle course heading to Singapore this October【Video】2
- Toyokazu Nagano’s “Magic Road” – the funniest, most adorable photos you’ll see today3
- Gamer discovers his deceased father’s ghost on an old Xbox game, challenges it to a race4
- Nara’s deer continue their summertime tradition of commandeering one of the city’s streets5
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- Creative pet “haircuts”: Funky or funny? You decide.3
- This man’s face left Chinese internet users in amazement, agony and confusion 【Photos】4
- Man kidnaps, imprisons 11-year-old to raise her to be his “ideal girl”5
- Gamer discovers his deceased father’s ghost on an old Xbox game, challenges it to a race6
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!7
- More than one way to skin a cat? Japanese YouTuber shows how to “open” a cat with belly rubs8
- Is Attack on Titan a documentary? Mikasa spotted in Russia!9
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- Nailed it! The shape of your nails may reveal the type of person you are!1
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- Life’s not perfect? Says who? This woman’s life is too perfect to be true!3
- Japanese politician screams and cries at press conference as he defends expenses claims【Video】4
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!5
- “Retweet if you thought I was a girl”: This beautiful young man, in his own words【Photos】6
- Japanese giant salamander caught taking a stroll on land7
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- These anime mascots are just what the World Cup has been missing!10
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- Samurai in Brazil shows off incredible freestyle football skills ahead of World Cup3
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- Russian crocodile hospitalized after woman falls on it5
- Internet falls in love with Chinese cosplaying beauty, disappointed to hear she’s a guy 【Updated】6
- Not your average Bulbasaur: Mayan-style Pokemon7
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- What if Sailor Moon characters were lingerie models? They’d look stunning like this 【Photos】9
- The official Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist trailer just made our day【Video】10
- Beautiful 400-year-old garden in Okayama about to be replaced with condominium complex
- “Black Cat” delivery company uses pawprint gloves to ensure packages are handled with cute
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker
- Raising awareness in the competitive gaming community – two female perspectives
- Too hot during the blackout? Cool down with an electric fan, veteran newscaster suggests
- Japanese critic shares his (kinda weird) views on Japanese vs Western adult entertainment
- The top 20 most eagerly anticipated anime of summer 2014, as chosen by fans!
- Japan’s Glico lets snackers turn their empty boxes into augmented reality sets for Doraemon!
- 【TBT】Tipping in Japan: Yes, it exists and it’s confusing
- Middle-aged Chinese man’s “stomach pains” turn out to be his first period as a woman
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