manners

Do you really know how to eat sushi? Probably not!

Do you really know how to eat sushi? Probably not!

Did you know that you’ve probably been eating sushi wrong this whole time? Check out this video from a pro sushi chef to see how you should be doing it if you want to be a real sushi gourmet.

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Yamagata high school baseball team becomes Twitter sensation with their impeccable manners

Yamagata high school baseball team becomes Twitter sensation with their impeccable manners

The 96th National High School Baseball Championship, better known as Summer Koshien, is now underway in Hyogo Prefecture. In other words, Japan is once again swept up by baseball fever.

The championship takes the form of a single elimination tournament between the regional champions from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures (Hokkaido and Tokyo are both allowed two teams each). One of the teams this year, which hails from northern Japan’s Yamagata Prefecture, has become an especially hot topic online, even though they were recently knocked out in the third round. The reason for their popularity is not only because of their skill, but also for their unbelievably well-mannered conduct off of the field. Introducing the team that has now become known as the most polite high school baseball team in all of Japan.

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The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】

The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】

Japanese culture places a lot of importance on taking care of yourself and not inconveniencing others. Sooner or later we all end up needing a little help, though, which is why the Japanese language has a half-dozen regularly used phrases that all mean “thank you.”

But while having that arsenal of expressions with which to show your gratitude comes in handy, it won’t do you much good if you want to thank someone who’s not in earshot, such as a fellow motorist who let you into their lane on the expressway. That’s why Japanese drivers follow a bit of automotive protocol that lets them deliver a message of thanks with the push of a button.

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To sit or not to sit? Linguistic and societal debate on Japanese train seats for the elderly

To sit or not to sit? Linguistic and societal debate on Japanese train seats for the elderly

With how crowded trains get during rush hour in Japan, finding an open seat can be like discovering an oasis in the desert, or a cold can of Ebisu beer in the fridge nestled behind a group of lesser brews. Oftentimes, though, you’ll step into the train and find every seat occupied.

While no one really likes standing for a 30- or 60-minute ride, for some elderly, pregnant, infant-accompanying, or handicapped passengers, that’s not just an unpleasant situation, but a painful, or even impossible, task. Those groups of people still have as much need for mobility as anyone else, though, so rail companies put up signs directing those passengers to special seats for them along the corner benches of each car.

It seems that able-bodied passengers in different parts of Japan react differently to these suggestions, though. Not only that, not everyone believes keeping those seats open is the right thing to do, and a lot of it has to deal with a subtle difference in the wording used in Tokyo and Sapporo.

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Sumida River Fireworks Festival aftermath: Not everyone in Japan has perfect manners after all

Sumida River Fireworks Festival aftermath: Not everyone in Japan has perfect manners after all

Japanese soccer fans attracted plenty of praise at the World Cup last month when, having watched their team lose to Ivory Coast, they diligently cleaned up their trash from the stadium. Whether you think these supporters’ actions show how important it is to Japanese people to be considerate of others, or just good old-fashioned common sense that applies wherever you are in the world, everyone (well, almost everyone) agreed that taking your rubbish home with you is A Good Thing.

This week, however, Japanese Twitter users have breathed a collective disappointed sigh as photos of the trash left in the streets after the world-famous Sumida River Fireworks Festival show some people in Japan aren’t as super-considerate as we’d like to think. Is Tokyo an exception to the rules? Or is Japan’s reputation as a super-clean nation undeserved?

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Inconsiderate commuter behavior in Korea – A photo guide

Inconsiderate commuter behavior in Korea – A photo guide

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.

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Some words about the evils of alcohol and the superhuman powers of drunk Japanese businessmen

Some words about the evils of alcohol and the superhuman powers of drunk Japanese businessmen

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.

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Were Japanese soccer fans ‘wrong’ to clean up after themselves at the World Cup?

Were Japanese soccer fans ‘wrong’ to clean up after themselves at the World Cup?

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.

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Japanese soccer fans remember their manners in Brazil, clean up before going home

Japanese soccer fans remember their manners in Brazil, clean up before going home

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.

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Remember your manners or these hip-hop cleaning ladies will bust your ass

Remember your manners or these hip-hop cleaning ladies will bust your ass

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.

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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!

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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