Travel, Teach, Live in Japan
The idea of moving to Japan for school or for work has become extremely popular in recent times. The country offers many great opportunities for people who are not native to the country. The thrill of learning a new culture is another reason why living in Japan is an exciting prospect for many people. The thrill of learning the Japanese language and being immersed in the culture is very exciting for many.
Living in a different country can be a challenge for anyone, so realizing that the Japanese are very particular about their customs and correct manners is very important. As a foreigner it is important that you become familiar with the basic rules of Japanese society.
While many of their people will cut a foreigner some slack on incorrect etiquette, if one performs something that is extremely disrespectful, then it might not be overlooked. Additionally, it is in your best interest as well to learn a little bit about the rules of a country that you are visiting or planning to live in.
An example of a Japanese culture difference involves entering a home. In Japan it is expected that outside shoes will be removed. The host then provides slippers for the guests to wear. Many people are aware of this custom of theirs; however, there are other shoe etiquette customs that are required in Japan that are not as widely known. For example, another Japanese society custom requires that any room with a tatami floor is to only be stepped on with socks or bare feet. Additionally, there are special slippers that are to be worn exclusively in the bathroom.
While it is important to try and learn as much about a new culture as you can, it would be impossible to think that you could learn everything about a totally new culture right away. This is true for anyone trying to integrate into Japanese society as well. If you have had extra time or exposure to a particular way of life, then it might make it easier for you.
For someone who is transplanting from a western country to Japan some customs will seem more foreign and some might seem more familiar. For example, in western culture it is considered bad manners to blow your nose at the dinner table, and this is indeed true in Japan as well. As time goes by it will become easier and easier to integrate into the new culture and you will no doubt find that living in Japan is easy.
While many westerners are making the decision to move to Japan for either school or work, they are also taking on the challenge of learning a new culture. There are many aspects to the Japanese culture that are extremely different from western culture and can take some getting used to, yet as time goes on it will become easier to integrate into the new culture. Once a person has gotten to this stage, then living in Japan will be much easier for them.
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