Tips for Living in Japan
Read a short entry on Japanese culture, including language, customs and etiquettes. Maybe you would find out something that you were always curious of.
Lesson 20Three Sacred Treasures
Since ancient times in Japan, the Imperial Regalia have been the sword, the mirror and the jewel. They are also known as the Three Sacred Treasures.
In the 1950s, when electrical products were still rather scarce, a black-and-white television set, a refrigerator, and a washing machine were known as the "three sacred treasures" that everyone longed for. Those electrical appliances were later widely diffused and greatly changed the Japanese lifestyle.
So what are the three sacred treasures these days, now that our lives are filled with electrical products? Some people say flat televisions and digital cameras, but there are many new candidates appearing one after the other.
What would you choose as the "three sacred treasurers" of the 21st century?
Lesson 19Meeting places
In Shibuya, the district of Tokyo in which NHK is located, a very popular meeting spot is "Hachiko" in front of JR Shibuya station. It’s the bronze statue of a faithful dog that waited outside the station for several years after his master’s death.
With the diffusion of mobile phones, how people arrange to meet has greatly changed in recent years. Now you can contact the person you are supposed to meet by text message or telephone, informing them that you are going to be late or asking them where they are when you can’t find them at the rendezvous spot. As a result, you no longer have to worry about whether something has happened to your friends or they have gone to the wrong place. On the other hand, some people say that the act of meeting has lost much of its customary thrill and has become rather dull instead.
Lesson 18Train announcements
When riding on a train or on the subway in a country you were visiting for the first time, have you ever had the experience of being worried whether you could get off at your destination or change trains without making a mistake?
In Tokyo, most of the announcements on train and subway include the name of the next station and instructions for changing trains in Japanese and English. Above the doors inside train cars constructed fairly recently, there are liquid crystal display monitors that provide information in Japanese and the Roman alphabet. On some lines, this is also provided in other languages, including Chinese and Korean. So you can feel secure even if you don’t understand Japanese.
However, when trains are not in operation or have been delayed due to an accident or bad weather, the announcements are made only in Japanese. That is the time when your Japanese skills are tested! Please stay calm and listen carefully to the announcement.
The Akihabara district of central Tokyo is known as the world’s leading centre for electrical and electronic appliances. Today, it’s also known as the place from which the very latest in pop culture—including anime and manga—is dispatched. On weekends, crowds of young people visit Akihabara in search of figures in the shape of anime characters and game software.
Akihabara started as an "electric town" around 1950. During the postwar reconstruction period, stores dealing with electronic components began to gather around Akihabara station and their number increased at a rapid pace. In those days, small stores with only a few square meters of space pressed against each other. Even today, if you walk round the backstreets, you can find almost anything, from nostalgic radio tubes to the latest electronic parts.
Lesson 16Ideal marriage partner
In your country, what are the conditions required of an ideal marriage partner? According to the results of a survey carried out by a Japanese insurance company to working women aged between 25 and 44, the conditions they ask for of men are the "3K". This 3K is a combination of the initial letters of kachikan, meaning "a sense of values", kinsen-kankaku, meaning "a sense of money" and koyô no antei, meaning "stable employment."
In the late 1980’s, when Japan was enjoying a wave of prosperity, three different terms were very popular: kô-shinchô meaning "tall"; kô-gakureki meaning "high academic qualifications"; and kô-shûnyû meaning "high salary."
As time has gone by, the conditions required for an ideal marriage partner have changed!
Source : AXA Life's Survey