Jul 24, 2018

Distance With Japanese Friends

During my time in Japan I have made many Japanese friends! I love them to death. We have gone on trips together and spent many late nights at karaoke, but there is something that has always bothered me. I almost never know what is troubling them. It sometimes feels like I know them, without really knowing them.

Distance With Japanese Friends photo

Late night karaoke from last night!

Japanese people in general tend to bury their feelings, at least compared to Americans. My friends back home, even newer friends, almost immediately tell me when something is on their mind. I do the same. We support each other and don't allow one another to suffer alone. Don't get me wrong, my friends in Japan are their to catch me when I am feeling troubled, but I feel like I don't get as much of a chance to do the same for them. 

Distance With Japanese Friends photo

Maybe it's the culture of gaman, or bearing through it, but it makes them feel very distant. Every once in a while one of my friends will share their troubles with me, but afterwards they always apologize a ton for burdening me. Plus, I have never seen one of them even cry. I feel like many people in Japan don't feel like they can share their true feelings. But I want to and I am determined to break through that wall.

Distance With Japanese Friends photo

I have broken that barrier with my boyfriend, luckily. But their are still times when even he may not tell me outright. I have made progress with one other friend as well. But, in a country where the suicide rates are troublesome I feel it is my duty to change this. At least with my friends anyway.

How are your relationships with you Japanese friends. Do you feel like they are holding stuff in as well?



Teacher, Traveler, Dancer -
Currently living in Gifu -
I love Japan, dance, cats, food, and fashion!


  • Candiajia1

    on Jul 24

    Being a psychology major I always wonder if I over analyze situations with Japanese counterparts but after experiencing the same with many individuals I realize it is a thing of as you call it ‘gaman’. I express to our family friends that we don’t just want to be on the receiving end as we operate on reciprocity but it’s always the same. For example a friend of ours always take stuff to our home( food .. anything) but if I try to get something I’m told not to... even when it’s a gift they try to pay us back..... hopefully we too can get to break through those walls

  • TammyMarieG

    on Jul 25

    I love the photos! I never realized the difference in emotional characteristics from one country to another. Interesting!

  • ReishiiTravels

    on Jul 27

    @TammyMarieG Thank you!