arl Stefan (孙天福), lived in China (2013-2017)
upxed Feb 13, 2019
I took this picture in China. It was on the wall of a restaurant at my university.
Notice how two people are using chopsticks to grab the same piece of food (and perhaps share it)? That’s okay in China —albeit a little casual as far table manners go— but you NEVER do that in Japan, and you certainly never have a giant picture of the deed taking up an entire wall in your restaurant.
So after scrambling through our Chinese dictionaries, my Japanese friend was finally able to get across that chopsticks are used to pass around the cremated remains of someone during a funeral ritual, much like someone in China might casually pass food around at the dinner table. Who would’ve guessed?
Japan has a lot more social pressures than China does. In Japan, there is this concept of “hito no me”, which means “other people’s eyes”. If you do something wrong or stupid in public, the other Japanese people will stare down at you, making you feel intensely uncomfortable, until you stop. In China, if you stare someone down while they do something stupid, they will never stop. You have to openly confront them and be very straightforward with: “You’re being stupid,” or “You’re wrong, you need to do this instead”.
日本比中国社会的压力更大。日本有个‘hito no me’的概念，意思是说其他人的视线。当你在公共场合做了错误或很傻的事，其它日本人就会注视着你让你感到强烈不适，直到你停下来他们才会移开目光。但是在中国如果你在他们做傻事时盯着他们，他们并不会停下来。你必须公开直接了当的告诉他们：“你正在做蠢事”或者是“你做错了，你应该这么做。。。”
In China, people value cheap prices over quality; in Japan, people value quality over cheap prices. My car mechanic once complained to me that his Chinese customers who have bad brakes will tell him to replace the bad brakes with a used brake rather than to replace them with new brakes, for no other reason other than to save some money. My mechanic emphasized in all his years of being a mechanic, only Chinese people would ask him to do something like this.
Chinese women are very career-oriented, while Japanese women are more likely to be housewives. I do not know of any Chinese woman who is a housewife, even after having kids. In Japan, not even Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s wife could continue her career after marriage. Also, Japanese female members of the Imperial Family must give up their royal status if they were to marry; although China no longer has an emperor, this concept is still baffling to Chinese.