Musings of a Gaijin MD

Life in Japan as a Foreign Doctor

Land of Paradoxes September 17, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life — GaijinMD @ 11:14 PM
Tags: , ,

While I realize that every culture has their own paradoxes, i.e. Americans are used to sexuality being depicted in their entertainment but turn squeamish at the thought of going to a nude beach, I’ve noticed some in Japan that have me scratching my head.  Here are some examples:

  • As the home of Sony and other leading brands, Japan is thought of globally as the mecca of technology and electronics.  You would, therefore, conclude that the country would be very “wired,” yet WiFi is not very prevalent as it is compared to other major cities/countries in the world where my phone was able to pick up easily many WiFi spots.
  • In general, Japanese people tend to dress more conservatively (as in not showing as much skin), but they are more comfortable with “their own skin” compared to Americans given the Japanese love of onsens (hot springs) where people are not allowed to wear any types of clothing (i.e. swimsuits) while they bathe.
  • The Japanese put a great deal of emphasis on manners and politeness.  There is also a distinct hierarchy in society.  I found it interesting, therefore, when the residents would arrive late to dinners while the big-boss-hospital-honchos and attendings would arrive on time and have to wait for the residents.  I do realize that residents have many tasks/responsibilities/work but so do other people…
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