JP vs. USA: 20 Simple Similarities

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Too often we only focus on the mind-blowing differences among cultures.

However, what’s also mind blowing in an altogether different way is actually the similarities within cultures.

These are 20 ill-conceived concepts and ideas that highlight similarities between Japan and the USA. They’re drawn from the bounds of my personal experience with the USA (27ish years and Japan. (2ish years)

  1. Everyone has a first name and a family name. Why don’t we have numbers? Why do we need more than one name? Why did we decide this was the best way to organize things?
  2. Our school systems‘ two most essential features are ringing bells and written tests. I am supposing they’re both based off of the factory system. Control the masses with bells that signal them…
  3. There are terms for people who kiss ass in both languages. haha.
  4. There is a term for a “widow’s peak” in both languages, though I believe the Japanese one has something to do with Mt. Fuji.
  5. Meetings are still essentially pointless, and managers are still just people who make money, not people who actually know how to relate to and organize talent/personality into a healthy work environment.
  6. TV news exists. Still.
  7. People are taught to assign a positive association with white skin. (I dislike beauty standards very much, especially when it comes to things that you are born with and should never change / should never want to change.)
  8. People live in houses. (I thought we would have thought of something cooler by now.)
  9. Patriarchal society. (Used to think Japan was worse than the USA, but they’re both bad in different ways. Americans just try to hide it more…) Please note that, statistically, Japan ranks extremely for overall quality of life for women in a developed country, according to The Economist. I could try to analyze that, but let’s be honest, I’m not qualified to do so.
  10. People feel (mostly) powerless.
  11. Gambling is a thing.
  12. Marriage ~ it’s a thing.
  13. Chain restaurants  ~ though i find there to be a lot more mom and pops shops here
  14. Kids get stupid certificates for winning anything.
  15. School nurses are still the nicest people on earth.
  16. Mosquito spray ~ i guess why wouldn’t someone want that.
  17. Fireworks in summer. (to be fair, we probably stole that form the same country  or we just stole it from jp.) And in that same vain, summer festivals.
  18. Vegetable/fruit isle is the first thing you see when you enter the grocery store.
  19. People love fried things. (No not all JP food is healthy.)
  20. Most people seem to believe in a higher power and in prayer. Probably not to the same God. But, you get the point.

(Bonus: 21. I’m still weird in both cultures. Go figure.)

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