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Making friends in Japan?
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jmatt



Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OneJoelFifty wrote:
I don't think it's easy to make good friends with Japanese people. And by 'good friends' I mean people that will want to go for a drink/shopping/whatever every weekend, rather than every month or two. I suspect the amount of time spent knowing each other, rather than feeling a 'connection' with the person, counts for more in Japan than it does in the west. It seems to me that most friendships are formed at work, and that any significantly older come from club activities while at school. I could be wrong though!


I think Japan is a lot like British society and very unlike America in a way----relationships tend to be "an inch across and a mile deep" as opposed to in many parts of the US where people are "great friends" off the bat, but the relationships dissolve very quickly. After living in Japan for a long while and working in the bar business on the West Coast of the US that was readily apparent, and even weird to an East Coast native. People here seemed to make fast "friendships" that were very surface-level and odd to me, considering what I had always thought of as a real "friend"----and my Japanese wife, while having many acquaintances, has made no real American friends---most of the strongest friends she's made have been with other Japanese, and she still maintains friendships with people she's known since JHS and HS.

Generally speaking, if you want to become real friends with a Japanese person it'll take tons of time and effort. Once they make a real friend it's not just a lark, in my experience.
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southofreality



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 579
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to anyone in particular, but if you're not that hot at making friends at home, you're not likely to be any better at doing it abroad. If you're pretty good at making friends back home, you're probably not too worried about being able to do it abroad anyway...
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Sublime



Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would newbie teachers in Japan actually have time to socialise?
From the few job descriptions I've looked at it seems the work schedule can be pretty intense - with hours of travelling and possibly even Saturday teaching thrown into the equation too.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much time does one need? Plenty of people go out after work or on their 1-2 days off. It's all up to the individual.

Some actually let their work (or learning how work) suffer with excessive "socializing". They feel coming here is more of a fun time than a job.
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hagiwaramai



Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 113
Location: Marines Stadium

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
How much time does one need? Plenty of people go out after work or on their 1-2 days off. It's all up to the individual.

Some actually let their work (or learning how work) suffer with excessive "socializing". They feel coming here is more of a fun time than a job.

That's true, just one quite large point in the teachers' defence that is rarely if ever mentioned though, is that sometimes that is how the job is marketed to them. On the Shane website for example, it sells the Coming to Japan experience just like a travel brochure would, and has a list of the 20 most fun things to do around Chiba/Tokyo according to its teachers. When that is what the company themselves are telling you can't blame the teachers that much for treating it the same way.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know, and to some extent I agree.

I draw the line at people who see the experience as being more important socially and in a sightseeing venture than doing their jobs. Showing up late or hung over is not what the employer wants from its teachers.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2578
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
I draw the line at people who see the experience as being more important socially and in a sightseeing venture than doing their jobs. Showing up late or hung over is not what the employer wants from its teachers.


Hear, hear!

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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Sublime



Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
I know, and to some extent I agree.

I draw the line at people who see the experience as being more important socially and in a sightseeing venture than doing their jobs. Showing up late or hung over is not what the employer wants from its teachers.


Aren't you stereotyping the vast minority to some degree? I doubt that most people who'd like to "see Japan", learn the language, experience the culture and see some of the interesting sites etc. are also turning up late to work with hangovers.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sublime wrote:
Glenski wrote:
I know, and to some extent I agree.

I draw the line at people who see the experience as being more important socially and in a sightseeing venture than doing their jobs. Showing up late or hung over is not what the employer wants from its teachers.


Aren't you stereotyping the vast minority to some degree? I doubt that most people who'd like to "see Japan", learn the language, experience the culture and see some of the interesting sites etc. are also turning up late to work with hangovers.
Before I answer, may I ask what your experience has been with teaching in Japan? Your post history suggests you have never taught here.

I'm just calling it like I have seen it for the past 14 years here. Plenty of reports from the ~6,000 JET ALTs/year and uncounted eikaiwa instructors support what I wrote. And, a fairly large number have not learned the language here, just in case you didn't know.
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stumptowny



Joined: 29 May 2011
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

english leechers! so true. and until you can speak japanese, negating this factor, it is tough to see what friendship is truly there.. some japanese are very genuine with a desire for 'friendship' while others will come out and say "I want to study or improve my english" (to which you can reply, this is how much I charge for private lessons) this sorts things out rather fast... but don't throw these people out too fast. they can connect you with their friends and also language exchange is great if you want to practice your fuji-sans and such.. and the leecher themselves may turn out to be solid as well.. if being leeched in your precious free time doesn't matter to you..

regarding expats here for friends, chronic complainers are great when you want to commiserate, vent... think therapy. and often you can learn lots from their experiences and share yours. moderation. same with otaku (with even more moderation). you can learn lots from everyone here essentially. it is all for the taking. not much of a drinker but I don't see that environment as hugely different for making friends than everyday life. would just be drunk or buzzed eigo leechers at that point but more colorful practice...
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