Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting


Many Japanese people first say “So-desné” to any question

I think Japanese people have less personality. Some people say that this is because the school’s teaching methods are very uniform. The teacher forced us all to have the same qualities. Especially when I was in junior high school (in the 1980s), it was terrible. All the boys’ hairs were cut short by hair clippers, and the teacher accused us of wearing different clothes from what they decided. Thinking about it now, it’s like going to jail. In fact, some of my friends could not go to school because of mental pain. But at that time, I felt that this teaching method was normal, and there was no other way.

However, not only because of the school education system, I think Japan has a long-standing tendency to give priority to the public and to deny individual personalities. Since ancient times, even in rural areas, we built our house close to each other, cooperated agriculturally, and shared the harvest. Therefore, no one could live in isolation.

When we Japanese are questioned, in any case we first say “So-desné”. Even if you don’t understand Japanese, you can check the interview with the athlete on the video website. It may be just words when choosing next words. But it literally means “I agree with your question”, which I think reflects the nature of the Japanese people to serve society.

Regarding my friend who didn’t come to school in junior high school mentioned above, I thought he was an unfortunate person at the time. However, on the contrary, in the thirty years after that, I finally realized that it would be strange for me to move forward without questioning the path which adults prepared for me. I now hope that young people will value their individuality. As an elderly person, I want to do my best to realize this society as much as possible.


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