Why is it that between Chinese, Japanese and Korean ethnicities, cultures and languages, Japanese seem to be the most "hands off"?

Like, when these East Asians recognize foreigners trying to learn their language or immerse themselves in their culture, Chinese and Koreans especially, seem to be the most upbeat and eager to teach foreigners their language and about their culture.

Japanese people on the other hand, don't seem as eager to do this. In fact, it seems to me like they want nothing to do with outsiders at all.

It should also be noted that, out of all of the 3 East Asian languages, Japanese is the least prevalent language option choice when watching American TV shows, films, DVDs, Blu Rays and playing American video games. Even the Thai and sometimes Vietnamese languages pop up as a language option choice.

So why do Japanese seem to have a more "laissez-faire" attitude towards outsiders and international relations in general? Am I the only one who notices this?

9 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Every culture has its unique way of viewing itself.  Japanese, generally-speaking, have a somewhat chauvinistic view of theirs.  I wouldn't say they are intolerant of non-Japanese people learning their language or customs, but they would never think of such people as Japanese.  (There's even a derogatory term in manga/anime circles for non-Japanese who become obsessed with the culture.)  They seem to feel that gaijin are, and always will be, gaijin.

    You can compare that to the French, who also have an extremely chauvinistic view of their culture, but who have carried that to the logical extreme of establishing colonies and cultural missionaries with the objective of inducting EVERYONE into the French culture.  In some ways like the Japanese only moreso, and in other ways the exact opposite of the Japanese.  They seem to feel that, with sufficient effort and refinement, anyone can become French.

    Whether the Chinese and Koreans really feel very differently about this, I can't say.  I think that each culture just has its own peculiar way of viewing itself.  There's no point in making a special riddle out of Japan.

  • 3 weeks ago

    I am not completely sure, but I have heard that the Japanese are much more reserved than both the Koreans and the Chinese.

  • reme_1
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Until WWII there were really no foreignors in Japan. No visited there. It was a rather backward country in the early 1900s. The country is now changing, the people are changing. They welcome visitors as long as you mind your manners; they are a very proud, polite culture. I got to live in Japan in the 70s and they were ahead of us already in electronics and recycling and trains and transportation.

  • 4 weeks ago

    I haven't noticed it but you may be right.

    It's possible that there are less Japanese immigrants in non-Japanese countries because their economy is in a better place than that of China or the two Koreas. 

    They may also have higher self-esteem from a national point of view. 

    Some of them may think foreigners can't understand their culture and become fluent in their language, so there's no point in promoting those outside Japan.

    That said, I don't see much of a difference between Japan and countries like the U.S. or U.K when it comes to the aspects I've mentioned (they rarely care if foreigners learn English or not, they're usually patriotic and most don't need to leave their country because of economical reasons).

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  • 4 weeks ago

    I honestly don't care because I don't really find japanese that interesting. 

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    They are weird looking people.

    • iammclane
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      He didn't say anything racist.  He just said they look weird to him.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    History-- Japan almost got colonized like the rest of Asia, but avoided it by banning all foreigners and becoming Imperialist themselves (toward Korea, China, Russia...).

    • leslie4 weeks agoReport

      Japan never amongst got colonized, they only had attempted invasions by mongols and certain factions of china. 

      but they never almost got colonized by an asian power 

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

     With DVD Japan is in Region 2 so it is incompatible with USA which is Region 1.

     The distributers see that Japan is a rich country and so charge more for the DVDs in Region 2. They don't want them to have access to cheaper USA DVDs. So they do not make mixed language products which would allow the Japanese to buy cheap USA imports.

     With BluRay Japan was promoted to Region 1 to be in the same rank as USA so it should become more popular. But they don't release dual language versions so the Japanese have to buy the more expensive one sold in Japan.

  • 4 weeks ago

    hi from miyazaki prefecture :), i understand what you say but share it to a certain point and not to another certain point, i must admit there's rampant racism in japan, and dislike of foreigners, in part, promoted by tough immigration laws that have restricted many from entering, we're even criticised by UN for not allowing not even refugees inside, but that's not our fault, it's our culture and system guilt. we've been raised to believe that foreigners (at least taught to me) will destroy ultimately japanese culture to its chore.

    i am an exception, i must admit, i'm 27 and i love foreigners, especially Americans and British, i am here to improve my poor English language and if i could help any one wanting to learn japanese i would do. 

    to the point of your question, yes, perhaps chinese and south koreans (not north koreans) are more open, but in japan everybody is more free.


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