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Feb 21, 2017

Confronting bad manners in Japan

I'm just wondering if anyone here has ever tried to confront Japanese people when they might be acting inconsiderately or with bad manners (on trains, in queues, and situations like that). If you have, what kind of reaction did you get? Maybe I'm getting grumpier as I get older but so far I've yet to do it but sometimes I feel I should.

DaveJpn

DaveJpn

Love travel, football, and a good read. Been in Japan for a little while now. Still loving it, still discovering new things, and still annoyed by how much packaging they wrap around snacks in this country.

9 Answers



Best Answer

  • Daiuchi

    on Feb 22

    When someone has bad manners or makes me feel uncomfortable I usually just give them a weird/upset face depending on the situation. Using the gaijin card they tend to stop right away without having to say anything and surprisingly they also don't like to be confrontational for the most part. The thing that really bothers me though is the rush for train seats. I've seen people knock over people in order to get a seat and not even apologize! When this happened to me once... I just stood in front of the person the whole way to make things awkward for them. I'm not really one to say things out loud but I don't think you should hesitate to confront someone if it's something that really bothers you. Especially on the train... manners on the train always seem to just disappear :(

    1
  • Saitama

    on Feb 21

    I haven't, but this is timely as just today I felt like confronting someone. We were at a playground and there was a woman there with her child and she kept running down the slide in her shoes. It really bugged me! Maybe this is normal? I wanted to say "kids have to go down there on their bums, please don't run down it in your big clunky boots with muck on them." I was really really surprised at her to be honest and if truth be told a little disappointed in myself that I didn't say something. I decided to move on instead.Thankfully I rarely come across bad manners (rural area), if I was facing it a lot I may very well explode.

    1
  • Saitama

    on Feb 21

    ...I do say something to unruly children though. A lot! But I think that is common here.

    1
  • ConeHead

    on Feb 22

    I usually say someone but in a pleasant way if it is not that bad. But last week I saw a customer reprimanding a clerk in the supermarket and I think, just based on her attitude, that she the customer was over doing it. With my limited Japanese, I didnt want to say anything and it wasnt what I think it was. I really wanted to stand up to that woman though,but I didnt. So I kept staring at her in a bad way, hoping she was say something to me, so I could take her on! lol

    1
  • Aluma

    on Feb 22

    I usually just say, "sumimasen" and make myself look really uncomfortable and that usually resolves the problem. A little passive aggressive, I know, but I'm super non-confrontational and usually use the "gaijin factor" to my benefit.

    2
  • edthethe

    on Feb 22

    ive called out highschooler for being rude. one was directed towards me as a heavier foreign woman. i spoke to him in japanese and let him know he was being rude. another incident i told off a boy for harassing another student the same way i would scold my own kids, but mixed english to really terrify the boy. i never saw him harass another student onb the train platform again. im not sure what i would have done if it had been an adult.

    2
  • DaveJpn

    on Feb 24

    @Daiuchi I'm right with you on the rushing for train seats thing!! In fact, better to not get me started on it - one of THE most annoying things for me. I try to give these people dirty looks, but given what they do, I don't think they care about anyone else anyway.

    0
  • DaveJpn

    on Feb 24

    @ConeHead I once saw something similar in a supermarket. An older Japanese guy was having a right go at one of the ladies working at the cash register. It was going on for ages before management stepped in. Actually, another 'gaijin' who was there at the time tried to step in, but he looked like he was enjoying too much rather than doing anything productive.

    0
  • Jackson

    on Feb 24

    I'm the say-nothing + stand in the way + evil stare type haha. The Japanese way is to go 'sumimasen' but it definitely isn't as effective (or threatening) than evil stares lol

    1

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