Stereotypes had been around almost all societies for decades or even centuries. It's a shallow yet known methods of predicting someone's moves and motives based on their nationality and/or ethnicity. It's the same for Americans, French, British, and especially for Japanese people. Japanese people, like many people in the world, had some stereotypes that are stuck on them for many generations. However, the stereotypes made in the past (or even the present) are completely false and are ready to get debunked. Here are 10 stereotypes about Japanese people that are super untrue.
1. All Japanese people love anime, manga, and cosplay
The most common stereotype is that all Japanese people are obsessed over anime, manga, and dressing up as their favorite anime characters. While it does sound really cool, in reality, it's super rare to see. The reason is that many Japanese people are not really into anime and manga like many foreigners predicted. There are some that are extremely passionate about anime in Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku where it's an anime-lover paradise. Just, don't assume that every Japanese person is into Naruto or One Piece. If you want to find out more about this particular topic, please check my article about Anime and Japan.
2. Japanese people eat sushi daily
Japanese people eating sushi on a daily basis is the same as Americans eating burgers, Mexicans eating burritos, and Italians eating pizza and spaghetti. Sushi is super delicious and healthy, but there's more than just rice and raw fish. There are other things Japanese people eat such as udon, tempura, kaarage, and yakiniku. So, it doesn't hurt to get out of sushi for some time and try other Japanese foods.
3. Japanese college life is torture with schoolwork
That is completely false! (≧艸≦*)
Japanese students do have to take super hard college entrance exams after finishing high school. However, for the students that passed the entrance exams, their college life will be super easy.
Japanese teachers mostly will reward you for just showing up in class, or even make an end-of-semester report and just turn it in. That means less homework, fewer exams, and less studying. So, it's not really surprising that many Japanese college students tend to skip class and go drinking with their friends.
American colleges are torture on a daily basis. Constant homework, exams, reports, and readings. So, of course, we Americans are extremely jealous of Japanese college students for having the super easy road. We even playfully tease Japanese students to coming to America, saying it's completely crazy to not take advantage of that easy college life. (ノ＞▽＜。)ノ
4. Japanese athletes are bad in non-Japanese sports
That's kinda opposite! Japanese athletes can compete in all sports at all levels of competition. In fact, in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Japan national team defeated Columbia (top-20 in the world) and advanced to the knockout round (controversially....) and almost beaten the top-5 ranked Belgium. Also, Japanese baseball players are high prospects compared to most Americans. Japanese basketball players are starting to get more recognition in not only in college basketball but in the NBA. So yeah... never underestimate Japanese athletes.
5. Becoming a Japanese citizen is extremely hard
Despite the scare of Japanese government had been putting up for foreigners, becoming a Japanese citizen is not really that hard, but it is kinda risky... In order to be a Japanese citizen, foreigners have to live in Japan for a minimum of five years, and they can apply for citizenship. However, the risk is that you have to become full Japanese national (AKA you have to get rid of your home country nationality to become Japanese). Plus, you have to prove to the government that you can handle daily life in Japan such as learning the Japanese language, bachelor's degree minimum, good income, and no criminal background. So, not impossible but not easy.
6. Japanese people feel uncomfortable with personal space
This one is true and false at the same time. So I would show it in both ways.
The reason it is false because Japanese people need to get used to being in tight spaces in transit such as trains. While it may be intimidating at first, consistency and trial and error can help you become more comfortable with extremely small personal spaces.
The reason that it's true is that Japanese people are not really into personal space in a public matter (private? depends on the person). Japanese people are not really into holding hands or PDA because they're conscious about the people around them.
So that's why this stereotype is both true and false.
7. Japanese people have tasteless tongues
What I mean by a tasteless tongue is people can eat anything and everything and call it delicious even if everyone else says it's disgusting or bland. Anime had shown a light that Japanese people can eat everything and believe that it's super delicious. But again,... not really true...
There are tons of Japanese people that says natto is super disgusting to eat. Plus, everyone has different tastes. Some are into spicy, sweet, and bitter tastes. Japanese people don't have the same tasteless tongue. It varies from different people.
8. Young Japanese people are hard to make friends
In fact, it's almost the opposite. Young Japanese people are eager to make foreign friends from many parts of the world. Since 99% of the country is Japanese, seeing a foreigner is an interesting experience. While yeah, in the first couple of encounters it will be timid and awkward, having Japanese friends are really nice. The reason is that foreigners can learn something new from Japanese people, and Japan does have a unique side of comedy that is actually funny and interesting to see and hear.
9. Japanese people are good with English
That's completely false. Since Japanese people don't have much exposure to the English language until high school, and it's not really the best exposure, Japanese people are bad at speaking English. The ones that are actually decent at speaking English are the ones that either lived in a Western country before or had many foreign friends that speak native English.
Japanese people are really passionate about learning English or any other language, but the exposure of the language is either super rare or not really decent that could help them in various situations.
10. Japanese people are shy and reserved
This is also one of the well-known stereotypes about Japanese people: being shy and reserved. In spite of that, it's shockingly not true. Japanese people can be open to almost a lot of things. It's more of a special connection they had with someone that can show their true feelings and emotions they wanted to show for a long time. Sometimes it can take a while for it to show their true emotions but there are times that it's super quick. So, it varies depending on the person.
Those are the ten common stereotypes about Japanese people that are completely false. Hope you learned something new! (o^^o)♪