1,000 Things About Japan You Can’t Help but Agree With

By Dominique Flemings

Living here in Japan, one quickly realizes that there are a thousand quirks about this culture that can be found nowhere else. Some make you laugh, others make you cringe; others you find completely endearing, and others you really could live without. Either way, they’re here to stay.

Pinpointing and categorizing all these little things might be hard to do, but there is a blogger who is attempting to do just that on 1000ThingsAboutJapan. You’ll find a blog updated daily with commentary on one thing or another that we’ve all either enjoyed or had to deal with here in Japan. The blog assumes a unique perspective, in that the writer categorizes each post into an “I will miss…” or an “I won’t miss…” – and I have to admit, I found myself nodding in agreement more often than not.

For instance, there was this post about water costs in Tokyo, and I will agree – if I were to move back to Canada, I wouldn’t exactly pine for the water prices here, either. I remember my first water bill. I grew up with the privilege of unlimited well water back in Canada, and this meant that, being a girl, I took long showers. This could no longer be the case in Tokyo, I realized a month after I’d moved here. An ominous slip of paper lay on my table, demanding more for my water bill than I even comprehended paying. Ah, memories.

And then there’s this post about western celebrity ads in Japan. There is nothing quite like seeing Leonardo DiCaprio pandering tires in a storefront and imagining a similar scene back home. If we Westerners worship our celebrities, the Japanese do a good job of bringing them back down to mere mortal status. Advertisements here can be amusing, anyway, but seeing familiar celebrities pandering wares that they wouldn’t dream of being connected with back home does bring a smile to one’s face.

I try not to get interested in blogs that may require me reading them daily, but I can’t resist with this one. It’s funny, witty, and identifies with those emotions we expats have when we see a t-shirt with an incoherent English message on it, or strange political advertisements that seem a little over the top. While the posts sometimes cover more serious topics, the general tone of the blog is a light-hearted one, designed to remind us of those things you find only here.

I am looking forward to reading continued installments to this blog and seeing what else the writer will blog about. Overall, she has undertaken a large project by seeking to find one thousand things to miss and not miss about Japan, and I wish her best of luck in doing just that – she’s certainly off to a good start. Thumbs up to this blog.

– Dominique


~ by Japan Blog Review on September 7, 2010.

One Response to “1,000 Things About Japan You Can’t Help but Agree With”

  1. Definitely a great site to check out. I’m a big fan of Orchid’s blogging, as well.

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