manners

6 things Japanese expats miss most about Japan

6 things Japanese expats miss most about Japan

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!

Read More

Video of man “posing as a Japanese” while smoking on Taipei subway leaves Asia confused

Video of man “posing as a Japanese” while smoking on Taipei subway leaves Asia confused

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.”

Read More

The trials and tribulations of giving your seat on a train to a Japanese senior citizen

The trials and tribulations of giving your seat on a train to a Japanese senior citizen

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.

Read More

Top tub tips and tattoo taboos at Japanese baths

Top tub tips and tattoo taboos at Japanese baths

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.

Read More

Japanese fashion model proposes violent punishment for people who smoke while walking

Japanese fashion model proposes violent punishment for people who smoke while walking

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.

Read More

10 simple ways to ruin a Japanese wife’s day

10 simple ways to ruin a Japanese wife’s day

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.

Read More

Chopsticks: why every gamer should know how to use them

Chopsticks: why every gamer should know how to use them

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.

Read More

Chinese accuse Korean golfers of lacking manners, some courses refusing entry

Chinese accuse Korean golfers of lacking manners, some courses refusing entry

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.
Read More

Tokyo Metro Manner Posters Confuse and Delight Foreign Passengers 【Photo Gallery】

Tokyo Metro Manner Posters Confuse and Delight Foreign Passengers 【Photo Gallery】

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.

Read More

Tipping in Japan: Yes, It Exists and It’s Confusing

Tipping in Japan: Yes, It Exists and It’s Confusing

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.

Read More

Which is Considered Worse, Holding Your Chopsticks the Wrong Way, or Eating Noisily?

Which is Considered Worse, Holding Your Chopsticks the Wrong Way, or Eating Noisily?

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

From Spitting to Sh*ting: China’s Ten Worst Subway Manners

From Spitting to Sh*ting: China’s Ten Worst Subway Manners

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!

Read More

Radical Japanese Company Advertises Jobs Online: “We do not employ smokers”

Radical Japanese Company Advertises Jobs Online: “We do not employ smokers”

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.

Read More

Japanese Convenience Stores to Remove Adult Magazines from Shelves?

Japanese Convenience Stores to Remove Adult Magazines from Shelves?

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.

Read More

Young People Speak Out: Recent Survey Suggests That Japan’s Older Generation’s Manners Stink

Young People Speak Out: Recent Survey Suggests That Japan’s Older Generation’s Manners Stink

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…

Read More

Inspiring or Inconsiderate? Foreigner Plays Guitar for Frustrated Train Passengers While Stranded in Typhoon

Inspiring or Inconsiderate? Foreigner Plays Guitar for Frustrated Train Passengers While Stranded in Typhoon

On Sept. 30, Typhoon Jelawat struck the eastern part of Aichi prefecture, Japan and then proceeded to move north, causing flight delays and affecting public transportation across the eastern region of the main island.

In Tokyo, train schedules throughout the city were disrupted and one section of the JR Chuo Line was even forced to shut down before trains could make it back to their stations, trapping passengers inside the cars until weather conditions improved.

Now, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that nothing can ruin a day (week?) like being held up in an unexpected transportation or traffic accident. The general mood among passengers in those stranded cars must have been pretty sour. Which is why it’s amazing one foreigner had the pluck to take out his guitar and start serenading his fellow passengers while they waited for the storm to pass.

Read More

“You’re Very Good at Using Chopsticks” and Other Obscenities

“You’re Very Good at Using Chopsticks” and Other Obscenities

Earlier this week, website Netallica posted an interesting little article entitled “The Things That Foreigners in Japan Hate to Hear” for its predominantly Japanese readership. Naturally, classics like “wow, you’re so good at Japanese”, and “you’re very good with chopsticks” were flagged as the main offenders, which I’m sure many gaijin (a term I use intentionally and will come back to later) will no doubt empathise with and would be happy to hear a little less frequently, but overall there were few phrases that could not be reasonably perceived as stemming from either the speaker’s genuine desire to compliment the listener or simple naivety.

It’s difficult to broach this topic- especially as a cynical Brit who loves a good grumble- without it quickly turning into a cliché-ridden compendium of gripes about life in Japan as a foreigner or an ill-advised rant about how comments of this nature are, in fact, some kind of backhanded attempt to draw a line between foreigners and Japanese; and goodness knows there are plenty of those out there.

There are, nevertheless, a number of phrases that foreigners living in Japan have heard a thousand times and would definitely prefer Japanese people knew aren’t always received in the way that they are probably intended…

Read More