You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!
From my experience, there is very little privacy in Japan compared to the US. You want to take some time off during the summer break to go on a vacation? You better write down where you’re going and for how long so that information can be distributed to not only your boss, but everyone in the office. Make a big mistake at work? You’re purposely going to get scolded about it in front of your coworkers. A close family member passed away? You’re going to have to make a public announcement about it whether you want to or not (at least that’s what I was forced to do at work when my grandmother passed away and I had to suddenly go back to America).
The oddest invasion of privacy that I have ever encountered here in Japan is always during the yearly health examinations. Since I’m a public worker, once a year I am required to have a full physical. This sounds awesome, I get a free health check-up and I don’t even need to make an appointment.
Wrong, it is awful.