If you want to ignore all the stuff below, feel free, but there are some nice suggestions down there you won’t want to miss
I thought if I could do an AMA, it should be something useful to you guys like this. I have lived in Japan, but I’m also part Japanese on my father’s side. I also really, really, REALLY appreciate when people ask me about Japan things for their story to not misrepresent.
Like Japanese names. Some stories I’ve read in the past had made-up names claimed to be Japanese. I wished those people did more research.
Background about me:
I have lived in Japan...
…since I was two (1994), I’m double (Japanese-American, or American-Japanese, however you look at it). I was born in the states, but I don’t remember any of it. I went to normal Japanese schools from kindergarten to high school. So, yeah, 90s kid.
I live every day in Japan and I’m aware of what kind of things regular, everyday people think about or talk about. I have Japanese friends.
But I also have quite an international side, so, I might not be able to give a “general Japanese person” answer all the time. I might not know certain things because I’m not interested in them (like sports, for example).
I can give facts. I’ll tell you when it’s subjective.
The No Topics:
What I CAN'T talk about:
- Sports (not interested)
- Anime (I watched Kirby, some Pokemon, and Ghibli, that’s it)
- Music (I listen to a lot of non-Japanese artists, so, can’t tell ya anything about this)
- Television (I don’t watch it)
- Sushi (I don’t like fish)
- Japanese YouTube (I watch, like, Karen Puzzles, Khadija Mbowe, Jaiden Animations, sometimes Merphy Napier, Ryukhar, Ali Spagnola etc. )
I won't talk about it here, but you can message me:
What bullying is like in Japanese schools. It will vary from situation to situation, school to school, and person to person. Not always like they show in anime or movies, although I have heard such horrible situations have happened, sadly, in some schools. I have experienced and seen some things, but I don’t want to have it in the main threads. If you want this information, message me personally.
The Yes Topics Suggestions:
General topics suggestions:
Things kids talk about
Committees (I joined the animal caring committee in elementary school to take care of the parakeets and bunnies)
Any kind of etiquette (I’ll do my best to answer)
What’s in a house, traditional and modern
What people not in a religion generally do on Christmas
How traditional American holidays are received
School festivals (had two in junior high, one in high school at my particular school)
Specific things related to my personal life, that I can talk about:
- Being a double person in Japan in the 90s in a rural part of Japan.
- How American or English-speaking foreigners have been treated.
- How an English-speaking, obviously double person like me is seen as
- What normal Japanese kids or teens talk about in school.
- What Japan school drama was like at my specific school (oh, the things I have seen )
- What Japan school cliques/groups were like at my private junior high and high school
- I went to a Catholic junior high and high school not because of religion. But I can tell you about that experience if you are curious.
- Going to church in Japan (my American mom is Christian, so we did go a few times)
- I did, for a short time, have a part-time job at 7-11, before going to university at 19 (so, if you need this kind of information, I have some).
And, of course, anything you can think of (gender, sexuality, disability, I haven’t been keeping up with recent news very well, so, I’ll do my best). As for politics, I can give you some general facts and popular ideas and stuff. I won’t give my personal views, er, try not to XD I mean, I am seeing it all through my eyes, so it might become a tiny bit subjective
But how Japanese am I really?
I went abroad to the U.S. for a year when I was 20:
- I was shocked to see university couples giving each other a kiss in the school cafeteria. PDA beyond holding hands and hugging is not common.
- I felt awkward and strange when friends wanted to hug me. We do not do this in Japan.
- The cashier talking to me about if I found everything caught me off guard. We do not do this in Japan. Ever.
- I could not get myself to call my professor by his first name even though he said to do it. In Japan, it’s really, really rude to call your teacher by their first name.
I hope that was easy to read and organized.
Anyway, ask away