Sunday, February 22, 2009

In a Word, I'd Say....

We have a new front-runner in the search for a single word to describe modern Japan, submitted by a good friend and fellow JET (you know who you are): "Sheltered" Previous top entries include: "Constrained" "Comfortable" "Dazed" "Unexpected" "Sterile" Those that aren`t a single word but I like them anyway: "There`s something in the water..." "Cookie-cutter country" And a final one you can`t be expected to understand if you haven`t lived in Japan, but if you have then it says it all: "I`m fine thanks, and you?"


  1. Caleb,
    That explains a lot of the communication here. Maybe for a different reason. We don't want to get involved. We don't want to share. We use a polite phrase to end the conversation about us and move on not really caring about the other person just being polite. If someone actually told us how they were we would be bothered.

  2. I haven:t really thought this through, but I think the key might be when you say "for a different reason". In the west, in general, perhaps we don:t give the feelings of others enough consideration. Here, it:s too much consideration. When people start apologizing profusely because they:re offering to do ME a favor (but don:t want to make me feel guilty, or obligated to reciprocate), that:s a vicious cycle that has no real winners! (although, if everyone plays along, there are no real losers either...) Thanks for the comment!