Japanese Perfectionism - The Number One Thing I Dislike About Japan

Japanese Perfectionism - The Number One Thing I Dislike About Japan

Japan does have a lot of things that people (Japanese and foreigners) like such as the kindness of Japanese people, the delicious food, awesome games and activities to do, and overall the everyday unpredictability the country have to offer. To a lot of people, Japan seems like a great place for a visit and even considered staying. However, like all human beings, Japan does have their flaws that are not really good. I read and experienced a lot of things about Japan's flaws. While I believe that Japan has few overall flaws as a country, there is one flaw that I really dislike about Japan the most, and it's Japanese perfectionism.

Why I don't like Japanese perfectionism?

I do admire the work ethic and dedication the Japanese people shows, however; it really upsetting sometimes whenever they try to achieve perfection. I am not saying that everyone in Japan acts like that. However, it's almost a pattern I see or hear in Japanese society. Like in anime or Japanese drama series, there's always this one character that always passes their classes, club president, and is really popular with the same and/or opposite gender (basically the golden student).

It's one of those reasons as to why I am not really a fan of a child or teen prodigies and I get kinda skeptical on golden students because of their mindset of being perfect at almost everything. 

While in reality, life is never perfect, and that's the beauty of it. I've seen and heard a lot of intelligent people (AKA child/teen prodigies) that done really well in the beginning but once they finally peaked, they started to decline. Also, there were people that are struggling at first but finally became successful at what they want.

Difference between Japanese and Western culture

In Western culture (well in America), we were once told that it's not on the mistakes we make. It's how we react to those mistakes, and if we can use it to make ourselves stronger or weaker. 

However, Japanese people were constantly told to never make any mistakes in order to succeed. As a result, it's one of the overlooked reasons as to why Japan (and most of the East Asian countries) have extremely high suicide rates compared to everyone else. Once they began to make a mistake or starting to peak on their performance, it hurts them morally and loses their overall willpower and motivation. 

Examples of Japanese perfectionism

The most common example of Japanese people dealing with perfectionism is learning English. When it comes to business and English grammar, they know every single rule better than actual native speakers. Yet, when it comes to having a normal conversation in English, most of them froze up because they're scared of making mistakes and embarrassing themselves in front of other people. Additionally, I realized whenever a Japanese people speak English, other Japanese people compare their English to the speakers they've heard in media, and they try to argue over who's English is better. 

It's really hurtful whenever I hear those kinds of stories because they were taught it's completely unacceptable to make any mistakes.

Perfectionism - good or not?

Perfectionism is a blessing and a curse. It does teach Japanese people to work hard to achieve their dreams, however; some people won't like the scenario of being at the top in everything to have a good life. If they worked really hard at something and failed at it, they would think no matter how hard they worked, they can't pursue their dreams. If they feel left out because they cannot find something they are passionate and good at/can't find something that fits their needs, they would self-hate themselves.

I heard from a lot of Japanese people the country wants to be perfect at everything they do. The problem had gotten so bad up to the point they hated their own country because of the perfectionist mentality.


I do like it when someone works really hard at something they love and passionate about, but at the same time, it's really painful for them to overwork themselves to have a good life by being perfect everything. The Japanese people don't realize there is no such thing as a perfect human being. Never have been and never will.

For human beings, making mistakes is nothing to be embarrassed about because that's what makes the human race unique, beautiful, and different. Being focused on perfectionism will lead to self-destruction and self-hate.


Perfectionism kills art. I find that if I criticize myself, it spoils the fun. You can get paralyzed by analysis--it takes all the playfulness away. 
Geri Halliwell



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