It is time to Respect both for Foreign travelers and Us.

Published by Hiromi Nishiwaki on

The other day, When I was at a coffee shop I heard Japanese people were talking about foreign travelers.

They complained that group of foreign travelers had no manners.

Well, this kind of things happen here and there and everywhere, however, I wonder if these travelers hadn't really manner. Different country has different custom, if so, What is the definition of "No manner"?

When I studied about Japanese Hot-springs to pass exam of interpreter guide, and checked website on hot springs, not only written by Japanese, but also by foreign people, I came across article that some hot-spring had prohibited to accept foreign travelers as a guest, after some traveler broke the rule and made trouble with local people.

And the the author of the article said, this prohibition would be discrimination, and he wrote in fact, Japanese people discriminate foreigners even though they don't recognize it.

I was shocked to read the article, however, I thought he might be right in a sense.

We adopted seclusion policy in Edo period from 1603 to 1867 to protect our country from "foreign threat" and "Christianity" and I have to admit, we still keep that blood in our selves.

and perhaps, this tendency might have been strengthened because of our defeat of WW2, and the reality taught us, "inferiority".

As We have had samurai culture which put importance on "honor" "Loyalty" and "Goodness", this defeat should have seriously damaged our racial identity, and I believe this led to today's Japanese people's attitude, to close our heart to foreigners.

Well, perhaps, this might not be applied to young Japanese who were born after year 2000, but to be sad, I believe people at my age, still keep it.

However, timidity and self-humiliation doesn't serve anything. We have to stop this.

What is important is not perfect language, what is important is good communication.

Essence of communication is to have mutual understanding and to reach at higher level idea for mutual benefit. when we overcome timidity and obsessed feeling that we have to speak perfect language, life gives us the chance of wonderful friendship or business connection and success and learning opportunity. Again, important thing is to open our heart and try to stand on the other party's point of view.

Yes we have a fear, however, we have to dive into fear to reach higher stage.

Well, I will return to the subject.

When we try to solve troubles with foreign travelers, we should begin to ask ourselves, "Why do they visit Japan?

They visited our country, because they thought small or big charm for our country. They like our country! We must not forget they spend their precious time and money for our country.

Knowing that, solution is not to prohibit their entry to Hot-spring, I believe. Someone must open his/her heart and have to communicate. You can communicate with our body/facial language, or writing, or ONOMATOPEE. You can be creative or even enjoy such trouble and accident if you try.

Again, timidity and inferiority doesn't serve. It is time for us to open.

Perhaps we can learn optimism from Italian People.

When I was in Italy, I enjoyed a lot Italian way of communication. Their English were so broken but they even enjoyed difficulties and differences, with funny and lovely body/facial languages, and that looked very charming for me. They tried their best to communicate with me.

Let us enjoy speaking imperfect broken English with big smile and welcome foreign people. I am sure, Many travelers will love Japan more!

Practice makes perfect!


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Hiromi Nishiwaki

Office Flora "JAPANOPHILE " Promotion was founded as a Japanese culture Research firm in 2017. We provide exciting information on Japanese Art and Culture and offer intellectual excitements though the prism of Hiromi Nishiwaki. We provide deep insights about Japanese traditional culture and Art from a Western perspective while keeping the core concepts from the Japanese Spiritual and traditional values intact. Our mission is to contribute to world happiness and prosperity.

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