Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tokyojin really need to chill

For the past several days I have been hanging in Hamamatsu. It is pretty far removed from Tokyo. In Japan, I spend most of the days knee deep in the insanity that is Tokyo. I have to admit, Tokyo has the ability to drive even the most stable person a little nuts. It is a pretty hardcore city; in fact it is the largest city in the world. Well, being away from Tokyo for a few days has open my eyes to something important; Tokyojin really need to chill the fuck out!

Brfore I go any further, let me just say that I love Tokyo. It is one hell of a city. I really get into all the excitment and adventure Tokyo provides. Everyday something happens which feeds my need for chaos. Yet, there is a certain attitude within a lot of people living in Tokyo which gets under my skin from time to time. It seems to be the habit of far too many people in Tokyo to eat each other alive. People will wait for you to say something they can use to make you look bad, while at the same time, make themselves look so good in front of others. I have tried so hard to understand this thinking but I still struggle. At times living in Tokyo is like being in a den of hungry lions. Someone is going to get eaten.

I guess this comes from the nature of Tokyo in general. It is a real fast city. People tend to gave little issue with stomping down anyone who gets in there way. They call it being polite, but in reality it is nothing more than being a bully with a coy sense of manners. People are able to get away with this kind of behavior because Japan has a passive society. While I have adjusted to the stance of,` I am stomping you in the mud because you are getting in my way; this is for your own good because I am the best thing since sliced bread,` it still gets under my skin from time to time. The crazy thing is, this attitude is usually not acted out though violence. It is a mental trip of talking shit in a manner which is coy and uptight.

Here are a few examples:

You are at a pub talking a rather attractive J-gal. Another dude joins you at the table. He also wants her attention. He will start to point out every little thing wrong with the way you look and give `advice` on how you can be better.

You are at a business dinner/drinking meeting. You are having some success networking with a important counter-part in your company. A fellow co-worker sees that you are making the right connection with the right person. Feeling that he may be getting pushed out of the loop, he/she will start to point out all the good things he/she has been doing; which you have not been doing.

You are enjoying a night out with a new friend. They decide to bring along one of their friends. You are getting along well with your new friend. The other person, feeling that you might become more popular, starts to point out all the fun things they can show you in Tokyo, while at the same time, giving you crap for not knowing about these things.

There are just a few examples but I think you get my point. So, Tokyo lets just relax a bit...Okay. It is not the end of the world if you are not the center of attention all the time.


Benjamin L. Belcher said...

As much as I love Japan, the polite/introverted culture comes with a price... that price being all these "passive aggressive" attacks you give examples of. It's a peeve of mine, but strangely enough, I experienced it a bit back in the states too (although the much less subtle "dude you're such a fag" or "you're gay" are much more common there).

TheGhost said...

I always felt this kind of `passive aggressive` attitude is kind of childish. I have been working on a way to counter-act this behavior.

Brian said...

Hey, your blog is cool and all, but you should try and ad more photos to it, it would make it better I think. Also, some links to other sites could back up your stories and make them more interesting.

Jordan said...

I hear you man. Competition is the name of the game around here. Along with that passive aggressive shit people use to get what they want comes this in-group mentality that reminds me of high school. Even amongst your typical ex-pat eikaiwa types you have this sort of shit going on. It's all pretty pointless, which is the reason why I try to keep going out on the town moderated. People are lame.

billywest said...

Good post, brotha!
It's funny because some of my good Japanese friends have pointed this out as well. I mentioned this in my Kabuki-cho cockblock post in a humorous way, but it really is annoying.
Usually, if the person is someone I barely know or don't work closely with, I tell them off. Gets tiring, though.

TheGhost said...

I am getting to the point of having very little patience with these kind of people.
Every time I run across them I want to smack them in the mouth. Lucky for them I have restrained myself.

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